Since 2001, radical Islam has taken center stage; their assaults on our way of life defy all previous notions on how to conduct warfare against them. It remains to be seen whether a concise, efficient method can be put into effect to curtail their activities, and the idea of “ultimate victory” (as in WW II) is a pipedream at best.
Their strength has been because of the guerrilla warfare nature of their operations, not a clear “front line” but random attacks where we were forced to react instead of being able to interdict them in advance. The government assaults on personal privacy, and NDAA, (making us a de-facto police state) were put in place supposedly to ensure our safety. Are we any safer than prior to these events? NO!
Now the Islamic State is openly engaged in a sort of conventional war, but while they are the most immediate threat, radical Islam and their hit and run tactics has not changed.
Military tactics will have to be carefully thought out; indeed, completely rewritten. In Korea, President Truman had cashiered General MacArthur; and that conflict, the first “police action” via the U.N. resulted in no victory; merely keeping the status quo.
Eye opening related article HERE
The 50’s cold war activities included attempts to develop field use of tactical nuclear weapons; the cannon described here was actually deployed in 1957, thankfully these were never implemented, though there still may those who may favor the notion that limited nuclear weapons could be engaged against radical Islam. Regardless of our advanced weapons technology, THIS IS NOT FEASIBLE.
The weapons leveled against Hiroshima and Nagasaki were one-half kiloton. To all but the most dense individuals, their destructive power, and after-effects are well known. By the 70’s we had ICBM’s with 20 Megaton warheads.
I have NO idea how many kilotons equal one megaton. I post the following statistics, and video of one tactical device here to prove how these are not only the wrong answer, but far more importantly, why radical Islam, and countries like Iran CANNOT be allowed to wield nuclear weapons. The video does provide an idea of how much more powerful these early 50’s devices were in comparison to the Hiroshima bomb.
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Supervillain secret weapons by order of Congress produced the 280mm M65 “Atomic Cannon”, affectionately called Atomic Annie, which rolled off the assembly line on October 15th, 1952. Truly, the M65 was the strangest weapon that the Ordnance Corps of the Department of the Army ever produced. It filled an important deterrence role in the tactical nuclear arsenal of continental Europe when it was deployed in 1957 with the 7th Army’s’ 3rd Armoured Division by way of attached units from V Corps, serving in West Germany. A total of twenty cannons were built. Of those, about ten to sixteen where deployed. The M65 remained in service until 1963.
The completely mechanical and hydraulic design allowed the M65 to fire a 600 lb. shell up to 18 miles. No electronics were used in the operation of the M65. Deployed as a tactical nuclear defensive weapon, it could fire the T-124 conventional high explosive shell. The M65 was also semi-mobile, and could be set up and ready to fire within 8 minutes. It required two dedicated tractor-trucks, which were attached at the front and back of the gun carriage to push and pull it into firing position. If battle damage disabled the gun’s hydraulics, it could be aimed manually by turning geared wheels, but it was loaded by a hydraulic power rammer. One cannon, including transport vehicles and a separate armoured ammunition carrier, required a total crew of 22. The recoil from firing 600 pound shells was absorbed by dual recoil buffers, one of which separated the barrel from the upper carriage, the other separating upper and lower carriages. 90% of the 50-ton gun weight actually recoiled. To discourage enemy infantry, each transporter was fitted with a .50 cal. Browning machine gun. Better safe than sorry.
Thankfully, the M65 was never fired in anger. The W-9 atomic artillery shell came in 3 yields, and the maximum lethal range of the shell was dangerously close to the 18-mile range of the M65. 80 W-9 shells were produced from 1952-53 for the T-124 280 mm shell. A W-9 shell was fired as a part of Operation Upshot-Knothole, a series of atmospheric atomic tests performed in Nevada during 1953. On May 25, the test named GRABLE saw the M65 fire a 15 kiloton W-9 shell 7 miles into the Fulda gap, a natural feature in the desert at Frenchman Flat, Nevada. A mock town complete with buildings, roads and used cars was constructed at target ground zero and soldiers occupied trenches less than 5 miles away. Hundreds of high-ranking Armed Forces officers and members of Congress were present, anxious to see their new toy in operation. The shell detonated 524 ft above its target in a timed airburst.
Seven M65s survived the Cold War and are on public display today. The largest atomic cannon sits in a public park in Junction City, Kansas, on permanent loan from the Smithsonian. Another can be seen at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Source – ATOMIC CANNON