The Atomic Cannon

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by Graeme, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    The 280mm Atomic Cannon (T131)
    How many times was it fired? Is this a real photo or a montage? Did the cannon crew simply 'fire and run' or was it remotely fired?

    Thanks,
    graeme.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Don't know the answer to your other questions, but it is a real photo, taken from live movie footage. The grainy brown colors make it look even that much more ominous. As I recall, the 280mm cannon used was trucked in using two bogies, one at each end. Set up was rather lengthy and tedious (2-3hours as I recall). And when you say remotely, do you mean like a set piece? I don't think so. Gun crew was supposed to be local from all information that I have read. You can see how these operations were rendered battlefield obsolete in modern warfare.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That was the first nuclear artillery shot fired as part of Operation Upshot Knothole. From what I have read, it was the only nuclear artillery shell ever fired.

    More info can be found here:
    The Atomic Cannon
     
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Matt and Eric.

    Matt I was thinking along the lines of future health issues. 15 Kilotons only 7 miles away. Did the gun crew fire the shell and simply 'turn their backs' or did they retreat to some protective bunker/shelter before the detonation? (quickly!) Or did they set the gun up, and then from some 'safe' control area electrically trigger the firing sequence?

    Looking at site Eric provided, the crew appear to be exposed to fallout?

    Australian Nuclear Veterans Association
    MARLINGA is still an issue in Australia-especially to serviceman.

    "At the time, the Australian government displayed very little interest in the possible long-term effects of the tests. However, by the 1980s these effects started to become clear. Australian servicemen and the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land were suffering blindness, sores and illnesses like cancer. They started to piece things together, linking their afflictions with their exposure to nuclear testing."
     
  5. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yes, they were exposed to fallout. The soldiers that took part in the live-fire tests were supposed to turn around and face the other direction when it was fired, but they turned back around to look at the mushroom cloud after it detonated. I remember seeing the film; most of the soldiers were in foxholes or trenches when they fired it, but after the shell detonated, I remember seeing them getting up out of their foxholes/trenches and watching the mushroom cloud billow skyward. This was before much was known about nuclear fallout; the long-term effects of exposure to radiation hadn't been investigated yet.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    cool footage:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GQj-0bT2J0

    In the 50s, 60's, 70's The US was scared sh!tless at the prospect of engaging in a tank vs tank battle with the Warsaw Pact. Perhaps when the A-10, cobra and apache came on line we could have stood a chance.

    In the '50s, "Atomic Annie " was the ultimate anti-tank gun..

    .
     
  7. fer-de-lance

    fer-de-lance Member

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    Hey, that's nothing, the one weapon that is jokingly referred to have a Pk of 2.0 (100% guaranteed to kill the target ... and the user) is the "Davy Crockett" nuclear recoiless gun.

    The M28 120mm version only shoots the M-388 shell with a W54 nuclear warhead (0.01 to 0.25KT yield) 6,600ft (~1.98km)! At the shortest fuze setting, (1,000 ft), the shooter would probably get a radiation dose close to what is needed to kill 50% of those exposed!

    Cold War equivalent of the Soviet 45mm anti-tank guns nicknamed "Proschai Rodina" (Прощаи Родина!; Adieu Motherland). Supposedly, the gunners have to wait until the enemy tank gets so close to penetrate the armor that they expect to be killed after firing a single shot!
     
  8. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    This weapon sounds just like the Nuclear Howitzer my Father told me about, one was being transported by road in Germany and fell by the wayside somehow, he was among some Britsh troops helping the American unit tasked with geting back up a slope and onto the road again.
    One heck of a job he said.
     
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