Safety First: Adventures in Research
From the Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday 18 October, 1950, “Bomb Head Find”
Workers in Nottingham discovered an unexploded WWII bomb, one fitting neighborhood recollections as having failed to go off during an air-raid. The workers winched it up, and putting the question to the test, extracted material from the head, then touched a match to it. They found this to blaze satisfactorily. The Royal Engineers arrived to cordon off the area. Captain D.S. Ramplin, of the N. Midland District Army HQ, arrived, and admonished the workers, “You shouldn’t have tampered with it like that. Suppose you had blown yourselves up.”
Perhaps there’s an obvious answer to this statement…but as to that, the article gives no quote.
“New Atomic Weapons to Support Ground Forces”, Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury, June 11, 1952. This article recounts the simple aspirations of the British/American post WWII alliance…for the deploying of a new range of smaller, more portable bombs, convenient for use on the battlefield.
The checklist includes these points:
- “Troops and weapons which are well dug-in will not be seriously affected except in the immediate area of ‘ground zero’.
- “…a slit trench—three or four feet deep—will provide adquate protection against the blast…and even troops above ground at this distance wlil be safe from burn if wearing a rough woolen battle dress plus mittens and a mask.”
- “…if these counter-measures are strictly observed, tactical atomic bombing…may be little more dangerous than attack of comparable intensity by conventional weapons.”
In conclusion, a quote from then U.S. Secretary of the Army, Frank Pace, Jr.:
The goal in future actions will be “…to force an enemy to concentrate so that he will present a remunerative target for an atomic weapon.”
(image clip art, public domain)