Thursday, January 30, 2014

How the U.S. Army planned to use nuclear backpacks to halt Soviet invasion in the Cold War.

The ALICE Pack from Hell.


Anonymous said...

The Army tried to talk me into ADM, I was slated for OCS and they had too many volunteers. "Give up your slot to OCS and go to ADM, you can get any job in the nuclear industry after you get out".

I said no thanks.

Chaplain Tim said...

I actually maintained the SADM and a few other nuclear systems when I was in the Army. MOS 55G20- look it up. Due to laws that date back to the first atom bombs, I can neither confirm nor deny technical specifications of individual systems, nor can I discuss where they were stored or their intended targets. The Natural Resources Defence Council put out a series of books in the early- to mid-80s titled "Nuclear Weapons Databooks", and I'd love to be able to finish out my collection. Open source information that I can use as a reference without breaking my oath or the law.
The SADMs were all scrapped after 1989 when our government got rid of tactical nuclear weapons at the end of the Cold War.
The article got some things blatantly wrong. It was not strapped to the back of a jumper, it was on the font of their harness attached to a long shock absorbing tether. Once they had cleared the airplane, they deployed the tether so the bomb actually hit the ground before they did. This is common practice for any heavy load being carried by airborne troops.
The pictures are also deceiving, intentionally so. The shape and size of most warheads are still classified.
If you mounted a rocket engine to the ass-end and put it in a Jeep, you had the Davy Crockett system. Something about giving a 2LT control of a nuke bothered even the US Army, so it got scrapped.
The Financial Times article that the Mail Online piece was based on is much better and has some interesting video attached.

AJ said...

Soviet invasion. That's a good one.

Unknown said...

yep a good one, maybe we discontinued our operations a little early to deter the threat?? just a thought.