The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: A History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945

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Naval Institute Press, 2009 - History - 274 pages
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The atomic bomb ended the war against Japan in 1945 and became the centerpiece of U.S. and Soviet military strategy for the next 45 years. In the late 1940s the debate over whether the atomic bomb was the ultimate arbitrator of international differences led to the infamous carrier-versus-B-36 controversy in American defense policy; American school children in the 1950s practiced "duck and cover" as we feared an atomic attack against American cities; and billions were spent to develop and procure vast fleets of B-36, B-47, and B?52 nuclear bombers, that led to a still-alive legacy that is seen in the current B-1 and the B-2 stealth bomber controversies. At the battlefield level the U.S. Army developed the 280-mm atomic cannon, atomic demolitions, and the infamous Davy Crockett atomic "grenade" launcher--the last intended to give battalion commanders their own nuclear arsenal. Similarly, the U.S. Navy entered the atomic world to obtain a carrier-based nuclear strike capability, to compete with the U.S. Air Force. Subsequently, a vast variety of naval weapons were developed, from the ASTOR nuclear torpedo to 16-inch nuclear projectiles for the four Iowa-class battleships. And, within the United States air-defense fighters carried aloft nuclear missiles and rockets, while nuclear-armed surface-to-air missiles ringed major U.S. cities and military bases. The U.S. nuclear arsenal peaked at some 31,500 warheads in the mid-1960s.NUCLEAR WEAPONS OF THE UNITED STATES describes all of those weapons--the bombs and warheads, and the missiles, rockets, and planes that could deliver them.

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U S Secondgeneration Weapons
Multiple Warhead Deployment
Continuing Attempts at Missile Defense

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About the author (2009)

Mr. Polmar is the author of Strategic Weapons: An Introduction (1975), which, in several printings, was used as a text for at U.S. military academies and several universities. Nuclear weapons are also discussed in his several editions of Guide to the Soviet Navy and Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet. They have also been the subject of several of his articles in the Naval Institute Proceedings and other professional journals.He served on the advisory boards for several of the nuclear weapons studies produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and has lectured on nuclear weapons development at the Department of Energy and the Soviet Institute of U.S. Studies (Moscow). Mr. Polmar served on the Secretary of the Navy's Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) for almost ten years and in 2007 was named chairman of the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Advisory Committee

Nooris has been a research associate for almost twenty years at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., covering nuclear weapons issues.

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