Did They or Did They Not?

October 9th, 2006 by xformed

Well, was it a nuke, or wasn’t it?

Back in 1965, the Navy conducted a series of tests (two underwater ones at San Clemente Is and three surface shots) that simulated an atomic bursts, by building a really, really big pile of conventional explosives (TNT) and yelled “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” while ships were parked on concentric rings around the penninsula of Kaho`olawe Island.

More info on Sailor Hat here.

I know of this, because we used to use the Navy training film to fill classroom time while the training devices for the team trainer were down.

Maybe they just stuffed lots of semtex in a hole and fired it up, just to see what we’d do…It’s called OPDEC (Operational Deception) if they did…

This entry was posted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 2:16 pm and is filed under History, Military, Military History, Navy, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 responses about “Did They or Did They Not?”

  1. Thomas Jackson said:

    If this test was to prove they had the theory right the size of the bomb didn’t matter. It makes sense to save rare bomb materials for the real thing rather than a proto type. It makes little sense to try deception since if we really wanted to scare Beijing we’d adopt an no objection policy to Japan, Taiwan and South Korea developing their independent nuclear forces. Considering that China did nothing to stop its little friend and the Bush regime is trying to put a cheerly face on it all I’d say we’d better try a little sabre rattling.

  2. xformed said:

    Very good points, Thomas. You’re right: Testing the conventional charge for the probability of driving the material together certainly is an option….

    It’s a huge guessing game, with the possibility of pre-emptive attacks occuring, and then finding out it was merely some preliminary engineering work. Regardless of the rationale that it’s better to step in when a country is on the track to put the weapons together and then on the street, given the current political (internal and external) environment, anyone in charge will have a tough row to hoe….

    We need better intel…again, no matter who is in charge.

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