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Davy Crockett gives good head.
March 2, 2006 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Invincible Defense Technology. When the U.S. developed the nuclear rifle in the 1950s —and then refined the technology with the backpack-sized nuclear weapon in the 1960s— our fate was probably sealed. Karma is a bitch after all, and small-scale nuclear terrorism is seen by many as inevitable. Just like Osama Bin Laden —and Mechano before him— America seems destined to create monsters which will turn against us. Our military's only hope, it seems, is Transcendental Meditation.
posted by If I Had An Anus (23 comments total)

 
The Davy Crockett appears in King Kong vs. Godzilla though the project was still classified at the time of production. Some people believe the film was funded by Warren Buffet.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:27 AM on March 2, 2006


Invincible Defense Technology? Boy, that Maharishi guy has his fingers in a lot of pies. And this was published in Tikkun?!
posted by kozad at 10:36 AM on March 2, 2006


What the...? Wouldn't the "nuclear rifle" be a death sentence for anyone who fired it? From the radiation, if nothing else?
posted by PlusDistance at 10:38 AM on March 2, 2006


How could this go wrong? Each of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on our backs.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:41 AM on March 2, 2006


i love you, thanotopsis.
posted by keswick at 10:51 AM on March 2, 2006


Wouldn't the "nuclear rifle" be a death sentence for anyone who fired it? From the radiation, if nothing else?

I don't think so. It's low yield (0.01 kiloton), and the test fire detonated almost 2 miles a way. The radiation might make cancer more likely for those that fired it, at some point down the line. If they had to occupy ground that they had detonated this on, I bet that would be a radiation problem.

But I doubt the radiation would kill you when it was fired. Long term, though, a battlefield upon which these were deployed would pose some major health risks, I bet.

But hey, the Pentagon must have known and planned for that. Right? Or maybe it was a weapon of last resort, against the unstoppable might of the Red Menace unleashed on Europe. A sort salt the earth strategy. I dunno.
posted by teece at 10:52 AM on March 2, 2006


There is speculation on the Davy Crockett's health risks to soldiers on this page linked from the wikipedia article.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:00 AM on March 2, 2006


Right? Or maybe it was a weapon of last resort, against the unstoppable might of the Red Menace unleashed on Europe. A sort salt the earth strategy. I dunno.

It was a weapon for Europe, but not of the salt the earth variety. The idea was this: Russia during the cold war had tons of men, and tons of tanks. A lot more than NATO did. Furthermore, they weren't inferior to NATO's tanks the way that they are now. Therefore, a surefire winning strategy for Russia would be to basically send huge masses of tanks into West Germany. The idea of the tactical nukes was that they could be used to destroy the large divisions of armor and infantry invading Western Europe. Long term radiation was actually a minus; since the bombs would probably be used on Allied soil.
posted by unreason at 11:11 AM on March 2, 2006


Wouldn't the "nuclear rifle" be a death sentence for anyone who fired it?

Yes, especially considering the range is "1.24 miles (120 millimeter) to 2.49 miles (155 millimeter)." I wouldn't want to be 120 millimeters from that thing when it went off.
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on March 2, 2006


Just don't cross the streams.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:17 AM on March 2, 2006


Wow, that link IIHAA gives makes the Davy Crocket out to be a completely ineffective weapon. It can't hit targets at long range, if you turn the yield up high, you kill the operators, and if you hit targets at close range you might kill the friendlies with radiation damage.

I can see why this one was retired. It's useless as an actual battlefield weapon.

With one important caveat -- that is with 1950s or 1960s guidance tech. Today, you could actually put this thing to use, I suppose, with better guidance systems.
posted by teece at 11:17 AM on March 2, 2006


A great book about this type of stuff (strange and wacky armaments) is The Men Who Stare at Goats.
posted by mrbill at 11:23 AM on March 2, 2006


Interesting, mrbill. I'll check it out.

In the meantime, something in that review placed the Burroughs in my head, and I must go see about removing them.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:44 AM on March 2, 2006


Pah! I spit on your "nuclear rifle". Kids' stuff! Over here in the Polish Household Cavalry of the Elite Guard of His Royal Majesty Ogorki Wyborowa, we have carried nuclear hand grenades for 50 years! (We're pretty sure they work, but we can't seem to get any of the test result reports from the range.)

And next week, our elite helicopter AirCav unit is taking delivery of a new ejector seat.

Nuclear rifle... pffffft.
posted by Mike D at 11:55 AM on March 2, 2006


Hmm.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:56 AM on March 2, 2006


Now that we have ship and submarine launched cruise missle and drones flying around controlled by remote control, the 50's-60's tech seems rather lame.
posted by skeeter1 at 12:46 PM on March 2, 2006


No one else finds it ironic that the acronym for the backpack-sized nuclear mine is "SADM?"
posted by FormlessOne at 2:04 PM on March 2, 2006


Ignoring the VooDoo, it would be pretty rad if all soldiers meditated on peace once a day. I'd pay taxes for that. Maybe douchebags who like to torture people would have a change of heart or such sadists would just get so incredibly bored that they'd go AWOL.

Pretty please?
posted by Skwirl at 2:39 PM on March 2, 2006


Note that the same guys featured here are some of the same in the awesome and not-at-all ridiculous film "I Don't Know Bleep About Anything But Here's Some Fuzzy New Age Bullshit For You to Bug Your Friends About."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:40 PM on March 2, 2006


(Ah ah ahem, the First Amendment's Establishment of Religion clause doesn't apply to soldiers, right? I mean, they were reckless enough to sign away their freedom in just about every other way.)
posted by Skwirl at 2:41 PM on March 2, 2006


Darpa are going to experiment with sharks by giving them brain implants and releasing them into the ocean off the coast of Florida as spies.
posted by tellurian at 2:55 PM on March 2, 2006


Optimus Chyme, you should have linked this story.

Meh. Despite the cult connections and the selectively quoted science and the creepy JZ Knight/Ramtha lady, I still have a soft spot for Bleep. If only because Marlee Matlin is hot, the overall idea is fun to think about and (potentially) empowering and it was darn trippy watching it at the Baghdad Theater, where many of the scenes were filmed.
posted by Skwirl at 2:56 PM on March 2, 2006


The general idea of the Davy Crockett Rifle was that you didn't fire it at a target across a plain - you fired it off of a cliff or onto a cliff or in some other manner that put a whole hell of a lot of rock between you and the blast.

That having been said, it was still a stupid idea. Or compounded stupidity when you factor in using nuclear weapons at all.

If you browse through the Nuclear Weapon Archive you can find plans by a Russian nuclear weapons expert to make a true suitcase-sized nuke using a radical new form of cylindrical compression, but apparently this never got past the conceptual stage and would likely have never worked. If someone can dig it up in there, I remember it as a fascinating read - much like the entire site.
posted by Ryvar at 4:07 PM on March 2, 2006


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