Credible nuclear deterrence effects, debunking dogmatic "disarm or be annihilated" enemy propaganda. Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1929 photo of Dr Samuel Glasstone for a Leeds Mercury newspaper love story (plus Glasstone's WWI TNT effects experience, and Russian translations of Glasstone and classified Russian nuclear weapons manuals)

For an amusing break from news of the North Korean Missile Crisis, have a look at the photo story newspaper clipping from The Leeds Mercury 15 February 1929 (the day after Valentine's Day).


Samuel Glasstone's photo was published for a love story on page 4 of The Leeds Mercury newspaper, England, Friday 15 February 1929 (newspaper clipping copyright Johnston Press plc, c/o British Newspaper Archive; however the actual photographs are not necessarily the copyright of the publisher).

I found this amusing article while searching for another photo of Glasstone (the one on a blog post in 2006 is from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission's 1967 third edition of Sourcebook on Atomic Energy).  As we noted in the 2006 blog post about Glasstone and Dolan, Glasstone was a chemistry lecturer at Sheffield University and in May 1928 gave a series of five BBC radio broadcasts on "chemistry in daily life", which formed the basis for his first book, published in 1929.

Violette Collingwood, who Glasstone married, illustrated that first book, and also helped him to edit the classified 1950 (Korean War era) book on Radiological Defense, Volume II as Walmer E. Strope describes in detail in his Autobiography of a Nerd (chapter 9, page 115): "In the summer of 1950, as the Marines were desperately trying to halt the North’s invasion of South Korea, we received word from AFSWP that Samuel Glasstone would be arriving to accomplish the final editing of RD2. ... Glasstone arrived but not by himself. He had his wife with him. She, it turned out, did not come to keep house for Sam. She was his help-meet at work; not a secretary, mind you, but a full-fledged partner. Fortunately, the office I had reserved for Glasstone was large enough for the Glasstones. They sat across from each other at a library table and passed our drafts back and forth."

(Note that extracts from the Glasstone's edited Radiological Defense volume 2, The Principles of Military Defense Against Atomic Weapons, can be found here.)

In addition, she also helped Glasstone with the editing of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons 1957 (see Glasstone's 1 February 1957 letter to Colonel Dent L. Lay of the AFSWP).

According to the amusing 15 February 1929 newspaper article, Glasstone had spotted a photo of botany student Collingwood exhibited at a London studio:

"The portrait of Miss Collingwood is the one exhibited in a London studio, which so attracted Dr Glasstone that he sought an introduction to the lady.  As a result of the meeting they are to be married in June."


Update (26 September 2017): more about Samuel Glasstone

There is an interesting article about Samuel Glasstone on page 4 of the 14 May 1928 Sheffield Daily Telegraph which explains that he was engaged at Brunner Mond on chemistry research during World War I, including at Silvertown, where the Brunner Mond TNT factory blew up:


The Brunner Mond munitions plant at Silvertown where Glasstone worked during the war (in the East End of London) suffered a devastating explosion of 50 tons of TNT on 19 January 1917, destroying 900 houses, killing 73 people, injuring nearly 500, and causing damage to 70,000 homes (these self-goal accidental war effects were a classified secret until 1950, unsurprisingly):


Above: the Silvertown explosion hit London’s Royal Docks in the East End of London on January 19, 1917.

"Brunner Mond had established a factory at Crescent Wharf in 1893 to manufacture soda. Two years into the First World War, the Army was facing a crippling shell shortage. The War Office decided to use the factory’s surplus capacity to purify TNT from 1915 onwards, despite opposition from Brunner Mond and the fact that the factory was in a highly populated area. Their fears became a reality at 6.52pm on January 19 when a fire in the melt-pot room caused an explosion of 50 tonnes of TNT. ... streets of houses were destroyed in what is still regarded as the biggest explosion in the history of London. Fires raged in the nearby flour mill and on ships in the dock. ... Among the dead was Dr Andreas Angel, an Oxford professor doing voluntary war work as the plant’s chief chemist. He was attempting to help put out the fire when the explosion happened." - http://www.londonsroyaldocks.com/forgotten-stories-1917-silvertown-explosion-part-one/

"Historian Graham Hill, who co-wrote with Howard Bloch The Silvertown Explosion: London 1917, said: “It was said that by the turn of the century every household in the country owned or had at least one product that had come from Silvertown.” Said Graham: “The Minister of Munitions, David Lloyd George, said two years before the explosion: ‘Even after utilising every workshop and factory capable of turning out munitions, we found that output would be inadequate unless we supplemented our resources by setting up emergency buildings.’” Despite warnings from Brunner Mond’s chief chemist at the time, Dr Francis Arthur Freeth, that there would be a catastrophe sooner or later, the Ministry of Munitions believed it was worth taking the risk and the factory began TNT production in September 1915." - http://www.londonsroyaldocks.com/forgotten-stories-1917-silvertown-explosion-part-two/ 

UPDATE (4 November 2017): Russian edition of Samuel Glasstone's 1962 revision of the Effects of Nuclear Weapons, and some classified Russian manuals on nuclear weapons capabilities and effects











ABOVE: Russia's translation of the 1962 edition of Samuel Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons (ENW), now on Internet Archive with other related Russian materials from 1960-2014, linked here.  There are some interesting differences to the original American Department of Defense book: Russia excluded the appendix listing all nuclear weapons tests (although it included the other two appendices about nuclear weapons safety and the detection of nuclear tests), and it also removed the "bibliographies" at the end of each chapter in the 1962 version (in fact, what Glasstone called "bibliographies" were actually just further reading lists, since when you get and read the documents he lists you find very little of it is used in ENW, and there is a lot of material in ENW for which you can find no source whatever in his "bibliographies"!).  The Russians have also changed all the graphs from the original American imperial units of pressure, psi, to metric units.


ABOVE: Russian nuclear weapons manual from 1960 (extracts of some vital pages are linked in Internet Archive here, with the full book linked here).  Russia's own nuclear weapons effects manuals contained critical mass curves and illustrations of the use of smoke trails laid by rockets just prior to nuclear tests, to allow the path of the Mach stem to be filmed (the smoke is blown by the blast winds when the shock front arrives, but if the camera is some distance away you also get an optical detection of the precise location of the blast since the higher density air in the shock front refracts light and causes the illusion of a "break" in the rocket trains, akin to looking at a spoon in a glass of water from above at a slanted angle!).


















ABOVE: Russian military nuclear warfare manual published in 1963, the year after the Cuban missile crisis, How to operate in the conditions of application of nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapon (manual to soldier and sailor), by the USSR's Department of Defense, Moscow.  It is 127 x 198 mm in size, with 99 illustrations and 128 pages.  Sold to us by an ebayer in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Since most of the information is in illustrations, only minimal use of an English-Russian dictionary is required. For more technical Russian nuclear weapons documents, the situation is similar, since the mathematics and graphs display the data as plain as day regardless of language.)



ABOVE: a 1974 USSR warning poster on the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effect from nuclear explosions.  In the same year, 1974, the USSR published a 234 pages long hardback book on the EMP, consisting of Russian translations of extracts from American research reports and journal articles on various aspects of the EMP (below). It is interesting that the EMP report extracts were edited, as for Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons, to bring out the most relevant information, deliberately excluding the lengthy bibliographies and irrelevant waffle that leads nowhere and is of no help (typically about half the text of the American reports).






ABOVE: the 1974 USSR Russian language 234 page long hardback book of extracts from American reports on the EMP covers all mechanisms of EMP, and interestingly is focused on good approximations for analytical calculations of the EMP strength.  For example, as shown in Equation 57 on page 72 (above right), for approximate calculations of the maximum EMP field strengths from the E1 or magnetic dipole mechanism in high altitude bursts, the calculation can be divided into two parts: the Compton current contribution (the non-attenuated field is proportional to the Compton current integrated along the radial line from burst to observer in retarded time), which is then multiplied by the exponential attenuation factor due to the conductivity of the air (the exponent contains the air conductivity integrated over distance in retarded time).  



As a result of the Ukrainian civil war, Ukraine having been a USSR nuclear weapons site during the Cold War, some in Ukraine have been selling Russian nuclear weapons literature on ebay. Finding, translating and correlating the information with Russian internet hosted military sites has led to a complete analysis of what Russia knows on nuclear weapons effects, particularly Russian military nuclear weapons effects on tanks, personnel, etc.  This is a big improvement on the older analysis of Russian nuclear and Russian public civil defence information, which was based on Western information such as Glasstone's American Effects of Nuclear Weapons (all editions of which were translated into Russian, as an unclassified general public information book).  The most detailed Russian information is a limited, copy-numbered distribution (officers only): http://militera.lib.ru/manuals/up_spec-podgotovka-inzh-voisk/index.html (English translation here):



Educational literature
Group of authors

Nuclear weapon. A Manual for Officers

The website "Military literature": militera.lib.ru

Edition: Nuclear weapons. A Manual for officers. - Moscow: Military Publishing, 1987.

Book on the site: http://militera.lib.ru/manuals/up_nuclear-weapon/index.html
Nuclear weapon. Manual for officers / Fourth edition, revised and enlarged. - Moscow: Military Publishing, 1987. - 168 p.

Annotation of the publishing house: This Handbook is a revised edition of the manual "Nuclear Weapons", published in 1969. The new edition specifies the characteristics of the striking effect of nuclear explosions on personnel search, armament, military equipment and other objects. The focus of the manual is on the detrimental effect of ground and air nuclear explosions. Questions related to the protection of troops from nuclear weapons and the assessment of the results of nuclear explosions are excluded from the Manual, since they are devoted to published manuals and handbooks. The manual is intended for officers and warrant officers of all types of the Armed Forces, as well as for cadets of military schools.


This book, Nuclear Weapons - A Manual for Officers, is the Russian equivalent not of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons, therefore, but rather of Philip J. Dolan's Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons.  It is vitally important to read and study, because it shows just what the Russians were planning to do with their nuclear weapons if war broke out.  It contains extensive tables of data on the capabilities of nuclear weapons blast and initial nuclear radiation against a wide variety of military targets, aircraft, tanks and other military vehicles, with nuclear test photos of damage to these targets to help the user understand the tabulated information.  Unlike the extremely long American manual, the Russian book is relatively more concise, compressing nuclear test data into tables and graphs rather than trying to formulate theoretical models and then testing their predictions against test data (the preferred American analysis method, at least since the 1972 edition of US Effects Manual EM-1). Moreover, the earlier editions of Nuclear Weapons - A Manual for Officers, are much longer and contain photos of damaged Russian military equipment at Russian nuclear weapons tests.  The best edition is the 328 pages long 1961 edition, crammed with photos of damage caused by the 1950s Russian nuclear weapons test programme prior to the 1958 moratorium. (We will compare the 1961 and 1987 editions in detail in an update below, later in this post, when time permits.)

Russian classified Nuclear Weapons Effects Publications and the East-West Wiki schism over the Swan device design

The civil war between pro-Westerners in the Western parts of Ukraine, and generally pro-Russian immigrants in the East (near the largely imaginary border between Russia and Ukraine) has led some Ukrainians selling off cold war era (1955-1987) Russian military nuclear weapons effects manuals, printed with "Official Use Only" and serial number in the top right of the outer cover and title pages.  These are worth a blog post since they are the Russian equivalent to the classified American Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Weapons Employment manuals.  Formerly we only had access to unclassified Russian publications, mainly Russian civil defence (rather than military defence) manuals, the nuclear effects data in which was mostly unclassified Western literature.

Before we get into the details, I want to draw attention to a key distinction between the Russian language and English language Wikipedia sites on Nuclear Weapons: they have differing designs shown for the American 1956 Swan nuclear weapon (tested that year as the 15 kt Redwing Inca shot).  This is of importance because Swan was a very special miniaturised warhead of use in tactical weapons and also as the fission (primary) stage in thermonuclear weapons.

According to the Russian Nuclear Weapons Wikipedia article (but not the American one), the name Swan appears to reflect the radial symmetry of the device itself, which is one point implosion (the American article claims it is two point implosion) as follows:

The Swan fission implosion design is allegedly a heart-shaped, one-point implosion fission weapon, with a radial cross-section resembling the curve of the neck and head of swan, according to animation on the Russian Wiki article, "Nuclear Weapons".  This differs substantially from the two-point Swan design on the English "Nuclear Weapons" Wikipedia article!  There is a special lens system of explosives: the outer shell which ignites is a fast-burning explosive like TNT, whereas the inner region of the heart shaped shell is filled with slower burning explosive, so that the compressive implosion wave is shaped to converge around the fissile core, despite the implosion having been initiated at one point only!  The Swan device was successfully tested in 1956 as the 15.2 kt Redwing-Inca shot, which notes that Swan was one-point safe (which clearly is not strictly true for the Russian one-point implosion Swan design, the whole point of which depends on a single point of high explosive initiation!).  However, the Russian article's one-point implosion Swan illustration is an ingenious design and if the "one point implosion" at the base of the heart was shielded/protected from accidental ignition (such as by fireproof impact-absorbers), then the remainder of it would be one-point safe.  While the outer heart-shaped design of the high explosive system may make sense, note that the design above has the fissile core system placed far too close to the top of the heart: there is too little thickness of explosive above it (or to the right of the core in the lower sequence of implosion images) to produce uniform compression.  The Russian graphic is unreliable for this reason.  You can get a single detonator one-point implosion to work with a heart shaped TNT charge, but you need the fissile material to be located closer to the centre (so that it receives similar implosive impulses from all sides, at the same time!).  The mixture of crazy ingenuity, and slip shod inattention to important details, permeates a great deal of Russian nuclear weapons information, and we will encounter further examples of this.  Again, I'm not claiming that the Russian illustration of the Swan device is in any way accurate or has any connection to the actual Swan design; I'm merely commenting on an interesting difference between Russian and American ideas.

Excerpt from a 1974 USSR nuclear weapons design poster showing critical masses under different conditions.
1974 USSR nuclear weapons effects poster depicting capabilities of a 1 megaton explosion.
USSR troops train for nuclear weapons fallout monitoring and decontamination. Unlike America and Britain, which had separate Radiac survey meters (meters with the ionisation chamber or miniature geiger counter tube in the main boxes for measuring 0.1-300 R/hour gamma dose rates, for use in the first 2 weeks after an explosion) and contamination meters with probes on cables (for use during decontamination more than 2 weeks after an explosion, measuring dose rates below 500 mR/hour), the Russians instead used a single instrument which covers the entire range of dose rates by using multiple geiger tubes in the probe unit.  

Russians practice duck and cover against nuclear explosions despite their Marxist overseas propaganda units hypocritically sneering at Westerners doing the same!

2014 official Russian Civil Defense Manual Extract: nothing fundamental has changed since the Cold War.  Compare Figure 1.8 on page 42 (above right) to the similar earlier illustration in this blog post from the the year 1960, based on 1950s Russian nuclear test data (linked here for your convenience) showing survival in deep tunnel shelters near ground zero and survival in good trenches close to ground zero!

13 November 2017 update: detailed review of the limited distribution 1961 and 1987 editions of the Russian effects data manual, Nuclear Weapon - A Manual for Officers

Russian MIG-15 fighter jets and tanks were exposed to nuclear tests.  Most of the content is military effects.  Note that invading forces, while actually on the move in offensive attacks and invasions, are highly vulnerable to nuclear weapons effects like neutrons and the wind sandstorm blast "precursor" for detonations above a dark sandy surface (they are more vulnerable than civilians in modern concrete buildings, who had a 50% survival rate at just 0.12 mile from ground zero in Hiroshima, according to Glasstone).  The opposite is true for troops in defensive dugouts, which are relatively safe from blast, heat and radiation.  Therefore, nuclear weapons are an effective defensive weapon that can stop invasions, of use by dug in troops to prevent an enemy invasion of a peaceful country.  They could have deterred the invasion of Belgium in 1914, the invasion of Poland in 1939, the invasion of Russia in 1941, of Afghanistan in 1979 and of Kuwait in 1992.  In short, they can deter precisely the kind of military invasions that resulted in all the world wars and major wars of history.





Above: the 1961 Russian Nuclear Weapon - A Manual for Officers book contains an extensive collection of Russian nuclear test damage photos on all kinds of military equipment, fortifications, and some Russian type houses to illustrate the definitions of damage criteria in data tables which cover nuclear weapon yields of 1 kiloton to 300 kilotons. The book even includes a chapter on "Some issues of organizing and conducting military operations in the conditions of the use of nuclear weapons" which discusses the use of tactical nuclear weapons with coloured diagrams (below):


Use of tactical nuclear weapons with regards to offensive and defensive forces in the 1961 Russian restricted distribution book, Nuclear Weapons - A Manual for Officers.


Above: the 1961 Russian manual Nuclear Weapon - A Manual for Officers also includes vitally important data on the survival of field defense fortifications which are similar to improvised civil defense shelters and countermeasures, such as shallow pits for preventing blast wind displacement damage to vehicles, and wood pole and earth shelters, as well as the good old trench type shelters which prevented rapid knockout blows by high explosives in World War I.

1961 Russian Nuclear Weapon book: field fortifications damage distances chart in original colour: red is for 150 kilotons, green for 30 kilotons and blue for 8 kilotons yield.  (This is a photo.  The small scanned PDF extracts file is in greyscale.  Eventually, the entire 1961 manual will be scanned in original colour, but that will take time, and the extracts on Internet Archive will do for the present, as the data is also contained in tables.  The coloured diagrams are for quick, emergency use in a war.)
1961 Russian book colour illustration of the terrain effects on blast overpressures: if you are on a hill with a view of a nuclear explosion, the blast is reflected and there is an increase in overpressure (this is partly due to the conversion of dynamic pressure into overpressure, and partly the doubling of pressure that momentarily occurs as the reflected shock front reflects and collides with further incoming compressed air).  But if you are on the opposite side of the hill to the explosion, you get a reduced blast overpressure (compared to unobstructed terrain), due to diffraction (which is the opposite of reflection).


1961 Russian Nuclear Weapons book illustration of fallout overlap from 8 and 30 kiloton tests; note the downwind "hotspots" of 500 R/hour from each weapon.  This is based on research from original Russian nuclear test data.




1961 edition of the USSR Nuclear Weapon Manual for Officers military effects of tactical weapons A

1961 edition of the USSR Nuclear Weapon Manual for Officers military effects of tactical weapons B


1961 Russian Nuclear Weapons book poster-style illustrations of damage to military field equipment.  None of these full colour plates are reprinted in the much briefer 1987 edition of the manual, so it appears that they were colour photos of military posters included in the longer 1961 edition.  




Above: Comparison of the 1961 and 1987 editions of the USSR Nuclear Weapon Manual for Officers.  Both the 1961 and 1987 editions of Nuclear Weapons - Manual for Officers are hardcover published by the USSR military publishing agency Voenizdat, in Moscow, but they are very different in superficial appearance.  The 1961 book is 328 pages long and 150x227 mm with colour illustrations, whereas the 1987 edition is just 168 pages long with no colour and 145x220mm.  (You almost get the impression just by comparing these editions of the book that in 1961 the USSR's star was rising with Gagarin that year becoming the first person in space and Khrushchev's peace shattering 50 megaton nuclear test, while in 1987 it was on the wane due to the concessions made in order to agree to the INF treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in that year.)

UPDATE (4 December 2017):


English translations of examples of thermal data from the 1961 Russian manual, for 50 kt nuclear test (TABLE 3).
Above: as a test of the source of the Russian data tables, Table 3 in the 1961 edition shows very different data on thermal effects to Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons.  It gives Russian test data from a 50 kiloton burst, showing that glass only begins to melt at 700-800 cal/cm^2, while white boards only ignite at 150 cal/cm^2 (although they temporarily smoke or char at 40)!  (Note that in the Russian table, кал/cm2 = cal/cm2.)

The  key data from the 1969 Russian Nuclear Weapons manual has now been added between the 1961 and 1987 editions, here.  The 1969 edition is actually longer than even the 1961 edition, with 388 pages!  Although at first glance the 1969 air burst blast overpressure curves look similar to those in the 1987 edition, there are subtle differences.  In addition, it contains interesting differences in the presentation of EMP capabilities.  See the section on pages 174-6 of the 1969 edition:

"§ 22. порающее действие электромагнитного импульса п способы защиты от него":

§ 22. The damaging effect of the electromagnetic pulse and the methods of protection against it.

(This post is under revision. To be updated with detailed data summaries from the Russian nuclear testing based Nuclear Weapons - A Manual for Officers manuals, and Russian nuclear testing damage photos.)

Update (9 December 2017):

I've uploaded two 1939 Cement and Concrete Association Air Raid Shelter design booklets, relevant to civil defence, to internet archive here.  The important point here is that cheap shelters were falsely "ridiculed" by Marxists like Professor Haldane and Professor Cyril Joad in Britain prior to WWII.  The same nonsense is endlessly repeated by all sorts of people with an authoritarian mindset bordering on fascism or communist groupthink today, who falsely claim to be liberals (the sort of "liberals" who are bigoted, screaming, abusive, nasty patronising morons; I had a speech defect due to a hearing problem as a child and am unfortunately an expert in exposing this hypocritical nonsense as a result).  Raymond Briggs, the children's cartoon illustrator, has repeatedly restated this nonsense.  In When the wind blows - a cartoon booklet against civil defence in the Cold War which was made into an animated film that that editor of the Home Office's Civil Protection magazine debunked in a review headed "An Ill Wind for Civil Protection" - he claimed that simple shelters don't protect against fallout.  In his more recent family history based film, he repeats the same nonsense against his family's Morrison shelter providing no shelter from glass in World War II - his parents had incorrectly sited it near a glass window without any protection from flying glass (all the WWII booklets tell you to block the windows of a room used for shelter, to stop flying glass).

The reality is this: false attacks on cheap effective civil defence were made by Lord Noel Baker from his 1926 BBC speech on gas war onward and by the so-called "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War group" (not a Cambridge University affiliation) from 1935 onwards, which gained attention because the facts were kept secret.  For example, gas masks were deemed useless because mustard gas spray droplets affects the skin, while sheltering indoors against mustard gas was deemed useless because gases eventually diffuse into buildings through cracks and door seals.  The reality in this example, and it applies also to nerve gas/liquid today, is that the combination of being indoors and having a gas mask provides protection against both skin contamination and inhalation risks.  However, when you read "criticisms" of civil defence today, the "reductionist problem" (of breaking the argument up into skin and lung risks, and showing that gas masks don't protect the skin, etc.) remains strongly believed by anti-civil defence bigots.  Another example of sophistry is the bigoted comparison of shelter costs with the costs of building hospitals, instead of comparing shelter costs with the costs of fighting wars.

THE "PAUCITY OF ALTERNATIVES"-FASCIST AGENDA OF BIGOTRY AND HATRED TOWARDS THE FACTS

Let's get this straight: in 1948 the Labour Prime Minister of Britain, Attlee, instituted both work on nuclear deterrence (building nuclear weapons) and re-started the Civil Defence Corps, in response to the threat of a Russian nuclear and conventional war capability (Russia didn't test its bomb until 1949, but the scope of its fellow-traveller nuclear research spying had become clear with case of nuclear spy Dr Alan Nunn May in 1946).  In 2002, the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair launched a war against Iraq in response to a possible "45 minute" missile launch chemical/nuclear threat.  The point, for those who need it spelled out in the most lucid way possible (I guess that's almost the entire membership of CND and the pseudo Democratic Party in the USA) is this: by attacking both credible (tactical not strategic) nuclear deterrence (that worked against the USSR in the 60s under Kennedy and in the 80s under Reagan) and also civil defence using false arguments, these pseudo "peace agendas,"  just like those of Lord Noel Baker and the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War group" in the 1920s-1930s caused a costly war.  The costs involved, in lives and money, in using conventional weapons for regime change proved way higher than credible nuclear deterrence and civil defence.

There seems to be no way to debunk the liars.  Let's again state the facts: stockpiles of weapons before WWI and WWII were insignificant compared to the vast amounts of weapons used in the wars, which as we've shown (in previous posts, see links below this blog post) were equivalent to nuclear wars.  The reality is that nuclear weapons are easier and cheaper to deliver than the equivalent in conventional weapons, which means less crisis instability than the huge conventional weapons mobilizations needed in 1914 which induced tensions and excuses for aggression!  In addition, the effects of nuclear weapons are more effective against aggressive forces on the move, such as the troops invading Belgium in 1914 or the tanks invading Poland in 1939 (not dug in defensively, or in modern concrete buildings like those that survived near ground zero in Hiroshima, where people are relatively well protected).  This means that nuclear weapons can and do deter the invasions that trigger off large wars, but this means public education to debunk the fascist liars.

Update, 10 December 2017:

A new compendium of key extracts of British civil defence publications giving the scientific basis for low cost countermeasures to make deterrence credible is linked here on internet archive (removing irrelevant administrative and bureaucratic material, and including only the key facts that debunk liars "nuclear weapons don't work to end war"-style propaganda).  For comparison, an English translation of DTIC's pdf of AD773427, the 1973 Russian Civil Defense manual, is available for online browsing on internet archive at the link here.  Again, we see that cheap, simple countermeasures are effective for civilians, but ineffective for invading forces on the move: nuclear weapons can credibly deter the invasions that set off terrible wars, without the collateral damage to civilians that you get with conventional weapons that failed to deter two world wars and many others.

16 Comments:

At 9:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...When a fire in the [TNT] melt pot room..." For a long time I have known that many types of ordnance were made with the filling in a molten form that solidified as it cooled. I always wondered if melting such materials caused accidental ignitions sometimes. It appears that it did. A good reason to build these facilities far away from cities and other industries.
I thought the amount of damage and injuries/deaths this accident caused sounded extreme for only .1 kt. After all, the lethal radius for such a burst should be under 40 meters based on Hiroshima concrete building data. Even exposure in the open, or in wood buildings should not leave this much devastation. I did a little research on this incident, the properties of TNT, and a few other things. When tnt goes off, it puts out 4 or 5 kj/gm. The gases produced are in and of themselves flamable, however. As they react with the air, they can release up to 10 kj/gm, in the form of heat. This means that a very big fireball can theoretically form following the initial burst. Because this fireball is somewhat cooler than the smaller equivalent nuclear fireball, it doesn't emit thermal radiation as efficiently. At 3000 kelvin, or instance, an object wih an emisivity of one will radiate just under 110cal/cm^2-sec. At 4500 kelvin,this has risen to 555cal/cm^2-sec. For any given flow rate, target shape, target temp, etc, the hotter blast delivers only 50% more convective heating (objects near a fire get mostly radiative heat, but objects in it get both radiative and convective). Thus, a target say, 100 meters from a .1 kt nclear burst will get more thermal radiation than a target the same distance from 50 tons of real tnt. Most of the extra heat that tnt produces is radiated after the giant fireball rises well away from the ground, or else is convectvely transferred to objects within that fireball. However, the initial fireball radius on the ground is probably much, much larger for tnt than for nuclear. As was proven at Teapot Apple-2, flamable vapors and liquids are highly resistant to thermal radiaion, if only because the ignitable gas phase doesn't absorb the rays, and thus is not heated. These materials are normally very flammable, but they need flames to directly contact them, to get some heat into the flammable gas phase. At silvertown, a tank holding 200,000 cubic meters of uel gas was ruptured and ignited. If it was coal gas, 10 Mj/m^3, this is 2×10^12 j, or about .47 kt, of heat. If the tank held natural gas, 39 mj/m^3, the energy added by this secondary fire alone was 7.8×10^12 j, or about 1.9 kt. A lubricant factory also caught fire. For a nuclear fireball of .1kt, these kind of effects, the ignition of gas and liquds, would only occur within at most 30 m of ground zero for a surface burst, and probably not at all for an airburst above 30 m. My theory is that the big tnt fireball started these fires by direct impingement, but that an equivalent nuclear burst would not have. Houses and industrial equipment have been designed with better fire defense since wwi, reducing the risk of ignition either by the fireball or by blast damage to gas lines fireplases and electric equipment. Modern buildings also absorb blast before it can spread to far from GZ. They also protect their occupants better. All in all, even a 50 kT blast in modern London would likely kill less than 73 people, and destroy less than 900 houses.It's still interesting that Glasstone was a chemist at the Silvertown plant. He was lucky not to be at that particular plant during the accident! Sorry if my spelling is bad. I'm using a tablet touch screen. Violette Collingwood's face is pretty, but her hair kinda looks like a mushroom cloud!

 
At 11:35 am, Blogger nige said...

"Modern buildings also absorb blast before it can spread to far from GZ. They also protect their occupants better. All in all, even a 50 kT blast in modern London would likely kill less than 73 people, and destroy less than 900 houses."

I'm all for debunking massive exaggerations of nuclear weapons effects, but I'd like to see calculations or extrapolations from data made on rational grounds, for claims about specific casualty numbers. For example, the ratio of areas in Hiroshima for 50% killed in modern concrete city buildings and for people outdoors (or standing behind windows in obsolete city centre inflammable wooden houses full of bamboo and paper screens) was found to be about 120, as Glasstone and Dolan record in their final chapter on biological effects:

50% killed to 0.12 mile radius in the lower floors of concrete buildings or similarly protective WWII air raid shelters, compared to a radius of 1.3 miles for people without any protection; the figure preferred by CND and other propaganda organizations of the sort which in the 1930s exaggerated aerial bombing to encourage appeasement policies, leading to world war and millions dead. The ratio of areas shows a protective factor (defined here as the reduction in casualties possible by modern city buildings or WWII type air raid shelters of (1.3/0.12)^2 = 117.

That means that the simplistic CND and related casualty rates calculated by assuming people are exposed outdoors to the thermal pulse, nuclear radiation and blast (or standing behind windows in homes without duck and cover) may be over 100 times higher than the reality for simple, well established, second world war civil defense (USA) or civil defence (UK).

100,000 casualties would be reduced to under 1,000 casualties. That's a worthwhile result, and greatly affects the "collateral damage" issue which influences the credibility of nuclear weapons for deterrence of invasions (Belgium in 1914, Poland in 1939) and military surprise attacks (Russia 1941, Pearl Harbor 1941).

However, I disagree with your extremely low figure: even with good shelters against heat and blast, in a surface burst the cratering effects and close-in very high neutron radiation doses on a civilian target will probably produce hundreds or thousands of casualties, depending on the time of day. Obviously a night time attack on the city of London will encounter a much lower population density - just a handful of night workers, cleaners, etc. - than a daytime attack when offices are full staffed. However, seeing that Russians who are friends of Putin have bought up a lot of expensive property in London, it's more sensible to focus on military attacks.

In the 1930s, the pro-fascists like the British "scientific" Socialist Eugenics fanatics (Haldane and friends) exaggerated the scale and type of opening attack, not just the effects of weapons (while disparaging effective shelters and gas masks that had been well and truly proved under horrific attack conditions in WWI, 1914-18, prolonging that war by preventing a simplistic "knockout blow"). The 1930s "disarmers" claimed WWII, when it came, would be open with hundreds or thousands of planes dropping explosives, incendiaries and gas bombs. In reality, it opened, like most wars, with a military invasion (Poland)!

 
At 10:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"in a surface burst the cratering effects and close-in very high neutron radiation doses on a civilian target will probably produce hundreds or thousands of casualties, depending on the time of day." For a 1MT burst on soft rock, the crater radius is 58 meters. For the .05MT surface burst scenario (eg. A North Korean attack on Guam, Britain, or the US), the crater radius would be between 58×.05^.25=27 m and 58×.05^.3333=21 m. regardless of civil defense, a modern city is already very well protected against nuclear effects. The lethal radius is maybe 10 times smaller for any given yield than it used to be, and this means that it takes 10×10×10=1000 times as much yield to cause a given amount of damage. In the case of a missile, attack, the protection is even more, due to the amount of warning. If properly trained, people can go indoors, shut off gas and electricity (to prevent fires) and "duck and cover" away from windows. The people who survived in cement buildings near Hiroshima Ground Zero had no warning, but many still survived. With a few minutes of warning, there probably would not have been 50% mortality in any of those buildings, not even if they were right under the explosion! The only way there could be an attack without warning would be if a weapon were smuggled in. In that case, the yield would be less, leading to even less harm. Even if a 10 kt burst happened in the basement of a large skyscraper, the radius of the crater would only be 12.5 to 18 m, according to the calculation method used above. Of course, the physical mass of the device plays a role as well, and could at least theoretically increase the radius a little. Even in this extreme case of a 10kt weapon inside a large building, exploding in the middle of a workday, without warning, the casualties would probably be confined to a few floors near the burst point. Fallout or fire might escape around those floors, but the effects would generally be localized.

 
At 10:52 pm, Blogger nige said...

Thanks, but while I obviously share your appreciation of the CND type gross exaggeration of nuclear weapons effects for political propaganda, including crater radii - see my posts on this blog about Glasstone and Dolan ignoring gravitational potential energy in cratering (a massive exaggeration of crater sizes especially for very high yields), I will point out that the close-in cratering effects do extend to several times the crater radius.

Missile silos are now hardened to survive in the crater region (sticking up within the crater like chimneys), but need powerful mechanisms to open the hatch despite a covering of crater throw-out. In the old days, missile silos were hardened to withstand less than 100 psi peak overpressure (690 kPa or 0.69 MPa in SI units), so would only survive outside the crater. This is similar to good underground construction, like reinforced concrete buried subway tube tunnels for underground railways (used in London during Blitz bombing in 1940).
However, the ground shock near the crater would cause casualties by throwing people against the inside of the tunnels (unless they were well padded, or the people were protected with cycle type helmets, etc.). The crater ejecta, or throw-out, effect will cause damage. On the other hand, as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an air burst might be expected on soft civilian targets (if attacked at all) to maximise the range of damage by the Mach blast reflection effect. Surface bursts in cities would probably be restricted to suspected underground command, control and communications bunkers, if at all. After all, most dictators have had bunkers, but they are not easy to locate exactly due to secrecy (think of Hitler's Führerbunker was an air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, which survived repeated air raids), let alone to destroy. Nuclear weapons with high x-ray yields only create very small craters in hard rock (similar to the reinforced concrete of a bunker, or for that matter, the reinforced concrete of a nuclear reactor's core containment structure).

What I think should happen is a move away, based on factual evidence, from countervalue nuclear deterrence, to tactical enhanced neutron weapons for the credible nuclear deterrence of the real sources of major wars: the invasions of countries (Belgium 1914, Poland 1939, Russian 1941). This will be possible if people know the facts so are prepared to take shelter in modern buildings or subways, to deter terrorist attacks in cities.

 
At 11:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think we are going to have a nuclear war start at the nuclear level. More likely,it would start with a normal war. At some point, nukes would be used, and every country involved would be partially disappointed, and partially relieved when the damage turned out to be less than anticipated. The effects of tactical nuclear weapons has also been exaggerated. When large invasion forces are deployed, the men, vehicles, weaponry and supplies are dispersed over some area, and the highly limited effects of a few nuclear impacts on a few areas will not make a big difference. Even if there are a few groups of soldiers which are denser, their exact locations are often unknown This is what was shown with conventional bombing in Vietnam. Relatively huge areas were devastated by blast, defoliants, and incendiaries, but most of these areas lacked enemy combatants. In addition, even when hit by a tactical nuclear weapon, an invasion force would likely have good protection. While tanks are notorious for catching fire in normal combat, they will only be ignited by a nuke if their hatches are open and they are within the actual fireball. The reason for this is explained in my first comment. For lower yields, tank crews would be vulnerable to initial radiation. However, this effect would have very limited range due to the effect of atmospheric shieldng combined with the protection factor of the tanks. The combination of low profile, high weight, and thick armor makes tanks resistant to blast. Troops can be defended quite effectively with earthworks. As a result, none of the effects would have the ability to have an overarching impact on an invasion. The best tools to counter such a force are small arms to target individual enemies, and artillery, small rockets, remotely controlled mines, and machine guns to target groups and vehicles.
An interesting side effect of the exaggerations of nuclear damage is that some people believe that nuclear weapons are pretend, a form of propaganda which is used to deter or coerce other nations inspite of not being real. These people see pictures of buildings standing in hiroshima, people living there in perfect health, and buildings at the NTS whichwre scorched but not incinerated. They assume that nuclear weapons do not even exist. I think they exist, but I think they're kinda overrated for any real military use. By the way, what is the peak overpressure 58 meters from a 1mt surface burst?

 
At 6:14 pm, Blogger nige said...

"By the way, what is the peak overpressure 58 meters from a 1mt surface burst?"

Good question, and it has no simplistic answer, because at that range the case shock (which depends on bomb design) usually predominates over air blast, and the air blast versus bomb vapour (case shock) energy partition depends on the actual mass of the bomb and the metal used for the outer casing (e.g. Mike had a steel case, whereas Bravo had aluminium). The heavier the bomb design for a given yield, the smaller the x-ray yield (and air blast) and the bigger the case shock (and close-in case shock, thus crater and silo/bunker damage).

However, the peak overpressure at 58 metres from a 1 megaton surface burst (or 5.8 m aka 19 feet from 1 kiloton, using the cube root law if it applies accurately to the case shock rather than air blast, since case shock predominates at very short ranges), is way beyond structural survival, despite its short duration (being so close-in). Many, many thousands of psi, the exact figure depending on which revision of EM1 you use, or - more sensibly (less "authority", more scientific) - what the partition between air blast and case shock pressure pulse you use, which is a function of weapon design. It's not x-rays or blast compressed air that digs the crater and destroys silo/bunker reinforced concrete, it's the close-in case shock from the nuclear warhead's metal case (whatever design is used).

What I meant by surviving underground near the crater was entirely different, I meant the roughly 100 psi air blast peak overpressure near the dry earth crater radius in the Glasstone and Dolan books (1957-77, which ignore gravitational potential energy in cratering). This 100 psi has been demonstrated to be survivable by the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment in TNT tests on underground reinforced car park designs (see their paper published in 1965 book "Protective Shelters for Civilian Populations"), and the same overpressure is cited by Glasstone's 1957 edition as the the pressure that underground reinforced concrete shelters survived in nuclear tests at the Nevada test site.

 
At 6:15 pm, Blogger nige said...

(See the last chapter in the 1957 edition of Glasstone's "Effects of Nuclear Weapons", which was removed from subsequent editions, unhelpfully!)

 
At 6:16 pm, Blogger nige said...

(For the case-shock pressure versus air blast pressure energy partition equation, please see Harold Brode's article "Review of Nuclear Weapons Effects", pages 152-202 of the 1968 Annual Review of Nuclear Science, volume 18.)

 
At 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that an underground shelter would hold off 100 psi. If it's buried 1 m below the surface, the dirt acts as a wall 1 m thick! It may be soft, but it's also sheltered due to the fact that it doesn't stick up into the blast. Even an open ditch gives great protection, as shown in the Russian texts. There are simple, cheap face creams and fabric sheets that block the flash (see dtic ad460309, thermal protection of the individual soldier), and the aforementioned ditches also block the heat and nuclear radiation. All of these add to the ineffectiveness of nuclear warfare in both tactical and strategic uses. Maybe everyone should have thought about that, before investing in costly nuclear proliferation.

 
At 3:42 pm, Blogger nige said...

"All of these add to the ineffectiveness of nuclear warfare in both tactical and strategic uses. Maybe everyone should have thought about that, before investing in costly nuclear proliferation."

I agree with you regarding the use of nuclear weapons against properly defended targets, and I also agree that the exaggerations of nuclear weapons drive nuclear proliferation (e.g., Kim Jong-Un wants to deter anyone who opposes his regime from interfering with his agenda), but I think you are missing one point.

Although nuclear weapons are of limited utility against good earthwork or reinforced concrete defensive fortifications or a modern reinforced concrete city where people know that ducking and covering will stop them being blown out of buildings,
unless the floors are skating rinks (dummies lying on the ground in British tests were not moved by 9psi blast), they are of great, excellent utility in stopping an army actually on the move (tanks in the open, not dug into blast-wind-resistant shallow trenches, where they survive 30psi blast without being blown along as for the caterpiller tracked road grader photos of the 1955 Teapot-Met nuclear test in the 1957 edition of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons [photos which were removed from all later editions!]).

My point is that we need tactical nuclear weapons to deter offensive military invasions, tank Blitzkrieg offensives which are really behind all the world's problems

(1) Russia's Brezhnev launched a Blitzkrieg offensive on Christmas day 1979 in Afghanistan (militarising the Taliban and giving experience of insurgency which continues to trouble the region to this day),

(2) Hitler launched one in Western Poland on 1 September 1939, which Stalin followed 17 days later with his own invasion of Eastern Poland (as agreed in the secret annex to the August 1939 USSR-Nazi pact), resulting in WWII in the European Theatre,

(3) Japan launched an invasion of China which eventually triggered off US sanctions on Japan and then the military surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Theatre of WWII,

(4) Saddam launched a Blitzkrieg offensive of Kuwait which resulted in the first Gulf War in 1992,

(5) Putin launched a Blitzkrieg offensive in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea in 2014, using camouflaged stealth tactics (unmarked tanks and so on, to confuse international observers and to allow propaganda media to claim that hostile acts were done by Ukrainian rebels using similar Russian made military equipment!).

If we can deter invasions (military equipment actually on the move, not dug in, or in defensive fortifications) using the threat of the neutron bomb, then all these wars can be deterred, and peace will be forthcoming.

 
At 3:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Russian concept for the Swan design is very interesting. It almost appears as if the depression in the side closest to the core is supposed to be close to the actual tamper. I would expect a diagram to be out of scale, with some parts placed slightly closer or further away from the end, but having the outer shell be in direct contact with the tamper seems like an intentionally included detail. Perhaps the outer shell is a lot thicker than it appears in the diagram? Really, the diagram was made based on speculation about secret hardware of another nation, so any (or every) part of it could be wrong. One strange thing about this design is that it theoretically could be designed to work without any electronic parts. During the Manhattan project it was suggested that a normal implosion device could work with primer cord, but this idea was discarded due to problems with timing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Man). I would assume that these would be caused by varying amounts of air void in the cord. By incorporating the timing into the actual implosion charge, this hypothetical Russian concept would make one point implosion a lot more precise. This entire concept- an explosive lense which essentially turns part of a shock front around by 180 degrees and makes a converging spherical front-is genius if it works.

 
At 9:17 pm, Blogger nige said...

Thanks for your comment. Yes, the timing inconsistency problem is proportional to the length of the detonation cord or timer cord as you put it. Primacord containing PETN burns (or rather explodes) at about 6400 m/s, so if you use it for a 32 point implosion weapon like "Fat Man", you have 32 lengths of primacord, each say a metre long, and joined at the ignition point. Each of the 32 pieces of 1 m long cord then burns for 156 microseconds before reaching its anchor point on an outer lens of high explosive on the implosion system. An error of 1% in the burning time will therefore cause a error of over 1.5 microseconds in the supposedly simultaneous start of the implosion system. That could cause a non-uniform core compression with a detrimental effect on yield.

I am interested in one and two point implosion systems. I don't know if you are aware that the USA has actually published the design drawings, practically blueprints (not a sketch or a cartoon) of a proof tested two-point implosion system invented, unclassified US patent number 5450794, filed on 29 November 1963 and granted on 19 September 1995:

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=05450794

This contains a diagram for an implosion system relevant to compact nuclear shells, although the patent makes no mention of nuclear applications, but is passed off as merely a more efficient way of detonating conventional explosions!

The inventor named on the patent security cleared military physicist Bernard E. Drimmer (who worked in the Explosives Division in the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and died on 3 December 2008), an expert with patents for shaped explosives.

The patent shows the designs of two "inert barriers", or steel discs, which are thicker in the middle (pointing towards the core) in Figure 3 (showing the linear implosion system). Linear implosion of this sort was first used successfully in the first successful Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon, Teapot-Tesla (7 kilotons, detonated in Nevada on 1 March 1955) soon followed by an even smaller linear implosion weapon, Teapot-Post (2 kilotons, detonated in Nevada on 9 April 1955).

Now what is amazing about this patent is the way it was uncovered (along with a lot of other formerly secret patents): the researcher simply looked for all patents with a decades long difference between the date the patent was filed (in this case 29 November 1963) and the date the patent was granted and published (19 September 1995). In this example, 32 years elapsed during which the patent was kept secret.

 
At 9:39 pm, Blogger nige said...

By the way, the person who found that US patent number 5450794 with the linear implosion design in it was controversial nuclear weapons data compiler Yogi Shan, who is two ebooks on Amazon,

"The Secret World of U.S. Nuclear Weapon "Design Data", and

"The Secret World of U.S. ICBM's, Re-entry Vehicles, and Dynamic Strategic Nuclear Forces Control".

He states that he has been researching this subject since the 1960s and that he found errors in Chuck Hansen's "Swords of Armageddon" and has dug up a large number of other patents which, with careful study, reveal a range of other former secrets concerning weapons and delivery systems. We need to start making small one or two point implosion tactical weapons to deter the invasions that trigger major, costly conventional wars.

 
At 7:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see that Russia had much of the same propaganda as the US and Britain, as shown in the poster said to show the effects of a 1 megaton blast on a city. The poster shows what appears to be total destruction to 4 km, with a peak overpressure of what appears to be .5 kg/cm2. It shows ignition of fires, and other damage, past 5.4 km. This is all very reminiscent of the scaremongering in the US, and is probably a result of propaganda of either side, or both, spreading exagerrated data to try and discourage an exchange. Obviously, that's not an effective approach, but in the day, lying to the citizens of your own country, and the government of your rival, must have seemed like a brilliant idea. All it did, really, was encourage people to proliferate more nuclear weapons, which is roughly the opposite of what was desired.

 
At 12:20 am, Blogger nige said...

Thanks, Irving Janis analysed the "groupthink" errors involved in this kind of problem. There is a great deal of hypocrisy over scientific ethics, with blatant lying done by people like Carl Sagan on the "nuclear winter firestorm soot" going unchallenged due to secrecy.

In a 1962 issue of the Restricted journal "Fission Fragments" (published by the UK government's Home Office), for British civil defence scientific advisers, George Stanbury - who had attended the first British nuclear test and had done the research on thermal flash shadowing by city skylines - debunked the use of Nevada desert thermal data for firestorm and thus soot induced nuclear winter myths, and bemoaned eminent "academic" scientists who put out lies on TV. That was in 1962. Note again, he wrote in a Restricted journal.

Carl Sagan is criticised in Professor Brian Martin's nuclear winter analysis papers online: Richard Feynman also criticises - without naming him directly - Sagan (a popular "astronomer friend" of his) for being deceitful to get funding by pretending to the public that there are loads of wonderful applications of abstruse science, when there might not be. Again, this is done tactfully, without naming and shaming, so has no effect whatsoever.

If you do try to get some interest in the facts and fail, then name and shame media and "academic" liars on nuclear weapons effects, instead of apologising and retracting their lies, they merely take it personally as a way to ignore you again, and go on peddling myths. There's no way around it. Whatever is done, gets ignored. Exaggerations of weapons effects prior to WWI by "pacifists" encouraged enemies to attempt knockout blows! Lying backfired! Again, they did it in the 30s, resulting in appeasement and WWII!

 
At 12:26 am, Blogger nige said...

I do believe that it's fascist to peddle myths that undermine credible deterrence and cause wars or "peaceful" genocide.

It's got to stop. The popular myth that effective civil defense is more expensive than ineffectual regime change attempts that cost many times more money and mortality, needs to be discredited now.

It's an irrational cult, a modern day version of medieval witchcraft delusion! People need to know the facts, and put pressure on liars to stop their deceitful money-making anti-deterrence, anti-civil defense campaigns!

 

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