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The RAF had no nukes until the Early '60s

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The RAF had no nukes until the Early '60s

Old 17th Aug 2010, 12:24
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Hi John.

Based on what you're saying could the Germans have made the Me 1102 a successful 'swinger?'

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Old 17th Aug 2010, 13:44
  #62 (permalink)  
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Swept wing thread anybody?

The point I was trying to make is that its much easier and cheaper to test wing forms mathematically, there's no need to build expensive ground rigs for measuring until the designs are more finalised if at all (these days). You can test mathematically a wider variety of forms and tweek the best forms to improve stability, drag, lift etc.

These are the well understood advantages of calculation over a real model. Therefore , before the advent of the digital computer running FEM software the Soviets had an advantage in that they could crunch more numbers than certainly the UK could and so their swept wings were in advance of those in the West, as is plain if you look at Soviet wings of this period they resemble more closely wings we see on commercial A/c today than do the UK's crescent or delta.

Maybe I should have said that the development of swept wing technology was hindered in the West because of these limitations in the numbers of 'calculators' available particularly in the UK.
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 13:47
  #63 (permalink)  

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Noyade

That question is a bit outside my salary grade.

The Germans were amazingly well advanced re swept wing aircraft towards the end of WWII - so I suppose it could have been possible.

The trouble with the experimental route to design is that it does tend to be a bit heavier than is possible later with a fully optimised maths based solution. The weight of the hinge assembly and the poor range of materials available to the Germans at that stage would also not have helped produce an efficient and reliable combat aircraft.

PS

RIH popped up as I posted this. Seems to be some agreement there!
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 15:09
  #64 (permalink)  
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bral

"Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information."

"Secondary sources interpret, analyze or summarize."

Other peoples books are the later.
I don't think it's quite as unambiguous as you describe,

Wikipedia has this.
Primary source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources, which cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources, though the distinction is not a sharp one. "Primary" and "secondary" are relative terms, with sources judged primary or secondary according to specific historical contexts and what is being studied.
So in the case of Margret Gowing's 2 Volume work

The primary sources are described here

The National Archives | The Catalogue | Full Details | ES

And Gowing's work is listed there under "Finding Aids", which means her work acts as a catalogue of the Primary Sources.

Here's an interesting case in point and relevant to this discussion I feel.

Wikipedia (free and worth every penny!) includes this description of a Primary Source. A thing is a Primary Source....

If created by a human source, then a source with direct personal knowledge of the events being described .. serves as an original source of information about the topic.
So how would you describe this 1957 Sunday Graphic Article? Primary or Secondary? (Hipper sent me this, his dad is in the picture, thanks again Hipper )




Larger Image here for an easier read
http://zkt.blackfish.org.uk/XD864/images/Graphic.jpg

It's a description of events created by a human source with direct personal knowledge of those events. So a Primary Source. Now is it accurate?

"I have just touched down after flying with the RAF's ever-ready H-Bomb Force" Really Gavin? in 1957 how many H-Bombs did the UK actually possess? Even Lyle's opening line implies with the phrase: 'H-Bomb Force' that the entire fleet had H-bombs enough. The reality was there was no viable weaponised H-Bomb available to the RAF at that time.

Lyle goes on

'When I asked where the H-Bombs were. I was told: "You've already seen an aircraft with one aboard. Standing there tuned up, ready to go" Well Gavin you were being lied to we know that now.

So here a Primary Source that's not an accurate description of the things it purports to be about. In fact it's down right misleading a lie, propaganda.

Last edited by RIHoward; 17th Aug 2010 at 18:29.
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 15:42
  #65 (permalink)  
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It's a description of events created by a human source with direct personal knowledge of those events.
It's a description of events - true, he's been on the flight he describes. He then comments on matters 'beyond his expertise'. He is reporting - for, after all, he is a reporter - what he is told about the capabilities of the V forces. That may or may not be true.

Any competent historian would have no difficulty in distinguishing between the two.

Not quite the same as reading VCAS's files in the PRO. But then, if you don't know the difference, you end up saying silly things like the UK assassinated Franz Ferdinand ...
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 16:55
  #66 (permalink)  
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Hmmnnn CNH

"you end up saying silly things like the UK assassinated Franz Ferdinand ..."
Is that what I actually said CNH? Or are you deliberately misrepresenting what I said, I find your approach dishonest CNH. You just come on here with slurs and ne ne ne ne ners and aren't actually contributing anything of value to the thread. It begs the question what are you actually here for?

He [Lyle] then comments on matters 'beyond his expertise'.
No he asks a question and is deliberately lied to, don't you know the difference?

The Sunday Graphic article is PURE PROPAGANDA designed not only to mislead the 'enemy', but also the British people. Three of the guys in that picture gave their lives so that you and I can come on here and express our dumb opinions CNH.

And in answer to CNH's WW1 diversionary side thread...
The Allies strategy was to prevent the Axis forces (Germany, Ottoman Turks) linking up and then beginning the 'March East' into the Caspian area - Baku etc, and dominating rumoured Mesopotamian (Iraqi) oil riches. This is not a WW1 thread.

Yes both sides (East and West) were being lied to in fact the entire planet was being lied to, honesty is something you don't seem to value CNH?

Not quite the same as reading VCAS's files in the PRO.
Have you done that CNH? If so then give us the benefit of your knowledge. Or at least contribute something.
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 17:59
  #67 (permalink)  
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New Wikipedia sub thread

bral

If you are going to start quoting Wikipedia at us then you will get the respect you deserve.
I agree you have to be careful about Wikipedia, but the article I pointed to just gives a definition of what is meant by 'Primary Sources' a definition I agree with on the whole.
Especially this bit which is pertinent to the Lyle article above

Primary source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm not interested in gaining 'respect' bral I'm interested in widening my understanding and gaining knowledge.

If you're so unhappy about that article why don't you change it?

Last edited by RIHoward; 17th Aug 2010 at 18:23.
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 18:24
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Go back to RIH’s first post. This is a statement of unsupported allegations, not only the general statements that “the RAF had no nukes until the early 1960s” and “The UK's cold war effort was purely propaganda” but some details about the production of fissile material.

Now the statement about “nukes” imprecise though it is, has been comprehensively trashed on this forum. The statement about “propaganda” is so inclusive that it has to be untrue. Refer to Prof Carl Popper, “Der Logik der Forschung”. (Did you like that – it is one of RIH’s favourite gambits, to throw in an impressive reference that may or may not be true

So why did RIH start the thread in the first place? Clearly he is no universal expert. He thought the Thor was a defensive missile, and his statement that you had to have supercomputing power to develop swept wings was politely dismissed by John Farley (and RIH’s retreat into Finite Element Analysis and FEM software simply shows he was wrong in the first place) And didn’t you like the way he tried to put down JF with “On the Application of Oblique Co-Ordinates to Problems of Plane Elasticity and Swept-back Wing Structures" (ARC R&M 2745) - Hemp (1950)” He got the title straight from the net.

So why? The tone of RIH’s posts is sort of vaguely student left wing, anti-capitalist, anti the “military/industrial complex. I think, and as RIH has said, I am entitled to my opinion, that he is a student wind-up merchant with a 21inch screen using the internet to show he knows all that we plebs don’t know.

Dick
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 22:49
  #69 (permalink)  
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@ Dick

Dick is trying to psychologically profile me! how weird, why not just present the facts as he sees them? who knows what motivates these bluff merchants! He ain't very good because my age is under my name! Me a student eh Dick? mature student then?

Anyway just to waste more of ones valuable time Dick comes up with a series of demonstrable bluffs and here they are.

Dick
Go back to RIH’s first post. This is a statement of unsupported allegations,
Dick that's an unsupported allegation!

Hoist with your own petard

Well lets re-examine those alleged allegations shall we?
RIH
The first production run at Winscale lasted 35 days and produced 135 grams of fissile material
Actually it was 132 grams oops 3 grams out. Memory's obviously going!

See The BBC documentary "Winscale, Britain's Biggest Nuclear Disaster" 2007

The description is given by Tom Tuohy the Deputy General Manager of Winscale.

Thomas Tuohy: Windscale manager who doused the flames of the 1957 fire - Obituaries, News - The Independent

A Bloody Hero!

@ 28' 54'' into the film
Narrator ...
and in August 1952 the first Plutonium left Winscale to become part of Britains Atom Bomb
Tom Tuohy
"I broke down the reaction vessel myself, personally opened it up, scrambled around amongst the Calcium Fluorides to see if I could find anything, and there I found a piece of Plutonium ... about the size of a 50 pence piece, 132 grams and that was our first piece. So all this vast industrial complex and 6 years of activity came down to 132 grams of Plutonium"
The 35 days comes from here
Britain's Nuclear Weapons - From MAUD to Hurricane

They had enough for the first Hurricane Test by 15th of September, as a previous poster pointed out it used some material from Canadian reactors. Any one know anything about these Canadian reactors?

The point here is that it's not a straight forward thing producing any of these materials it takes time and a lot of energy. Los Alamos used more energy than the 5 biggest US corporations combined.

For the other alleged unsupported allegations in Post 1
http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post1.html
See
http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post12.html
http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post40.html
http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post52.html

See below for the Orange Herald 'allegation'

Dick
not only the general statements that “the RAF had no nukes until the early 1960s”
I've now changed the title of the thread to

New Title
"The RAF had no nukes until the Early '60s ?"
As this is a "rumour network" I thought I'd start the thread off as a 'rumour' sorry, if that upsets you so much, anyway I've changed it so now it's a query any objections?

Dick
and “The UK's cold war effort was purely propaganda”
Well it was largely a propaganda effort like some crusty old war horse demanding attention from the world by just making some loud bangs, and the spin machine does the rest.

See the Gavin Lyle Sunday Graphic Article, it's typical.
http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post67.html

Dick
but some details about the production of fissile material.
You mean this?

RIH
Given that the UK's fake 'H Bomb', 'Orange Herald' used virtually all the available fissile material in it's manufacture,
This comes from the same BBC Winscale documentary
@ 49' 00''

Narrator ...
but Penny had a back up plan, another bomb, it was called 'Orange Herald'
Dr Bryan Taylor, Theoretical Physicist, Aldermaston 1955-62

"I thought Orange Herald was a stupid device, it wasn't elegant, it couldn't be developed any further, a dead end design and it consumed an enormous amount of very expensive fissile material, It's not what I would have recommended, but I wasn't in charge".
Narrator
It wasn't an H-Bomb at all, just a massive atom bomb they were convinced would produce a megaton, it needed huge quantities of Plutonium and the magic ingredient, Tritium.
Dick
Now the statement about “nukes” imprecise though it is, has been comprehensively trashed on this forum.
Has it? I think your bluffing flat foot! though of course you are entitled to your opinion!

Let's see ...

20 Obsolecent Fat Boy style weapons? Sir Norman Brook's, (Cabinet Secretary and chair of the Home Defence Committee) assessment not mine.

and some dangerous (to the RAF I mean) Yellow Sun Mk 1's

Dick
The statement about “propaganda” is so inclusive that it has to be untrue.
So if some thing is 'so inclusive' it can't be true? Is that logic? Dick?

Refer to the Gavin Lyle article above, PURE PROPAGANDA and deliberate lies! And obviously Lyle's article isn't unique.

http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post67.html

See also Chapman Pincher's "Inside Story"

Dick
Refer to Prof Carl Popper, “Der Logik der Forschung”. (Did you like that – it is one of RIH’s favourite gambits, to throw in an impressive reference that may or may not be true
Gambits? what's this a game of chess? WTF?

Dick
So why did RIH start the thread in the first place?
Rather than let Dick answer his own question, I'll answer it for him

I'm interested in widening my understanding and gaining knowledge.

Dick
Clearly he is no universal expert.
Who is Dick?

Dick
He thought the Thor was a defensive missile,
We all make mistakes.

Dick
and his statement that you had to have supercomputing power to develop swept wings
This is a misrepresentation of what I actually said, I just said digital computers you know a von Neumann machine, the need for these came from the West's need to crunch more numbers than the Soviets.

Dick
was politely dismissed by John Farley (and RIH’s retreat into Finite Element Analysis and FEM software simply shows he was wrong in the first place)
Again a misrepresentation of the facts

Here the facts of the matter

http://www.pprune.org/5875295-post65.html
and
http://www.pprune.org/5875300-post66.html

Here's what Albert Kitchenside said about the use of computers in an e-mail exchange

In the early 50s papers were published on 'energy methods' of structural analysis, in this country it was largely the works of Argyris, who was Professor of Aircraft Structures at Imperial College when I graduated in 1951. These together with improved calculators, matrix algebra and eventually digital computers enabled the more complex 'redundant' structures required for the design of efficient fail safe designs to be analysed. Albert Kitchenside
Dick
And didn’t you like the way he tried to put down JF with “On the Application of Oblique Co-Ordinates to Problems of Plane Elasticity and Swept-back Wing Structures" (ARC R&M 2745) - Hemp (1950)” He got the title straight from the net.
I downloaded and read the paper from the very useful on-line Aerade Archive at Cranfield University

AERADE

The paper is here (there's a typo in the original post [which is now fixed] and in the quote above I have slight dyslexia hte documnet refeernce is 2754 not 2745, to err is Human!)

AERADE

I was discussing with Albert Kitchenside, the transfer of fatigue data from a Vickers design with 'straight wings' to the Valiant with lets say, more swept wings.

Dick
So why?
Well some one has to do it! Why the stress this was going on 50-60 years ago. Its History!

Dick
The tone of RIH’s posts is sort of vaguely student left wing, anti-capitalist, anti the “military/industrial complex.
Oh Dick that's just soooo cold war! Hmmn start with Human Being, the rest is trivial IMO.

Dick
I think, and as RIH has said, I am entitled to my opinion,
Indeed you are!

Dick
that he is a student wind-up merchant with a 21inch screen using the internet to show he knows all that we plebs don’t know.
Basically you're wrong Dick please don't have another stab at it it's trivial and life is too short after all!
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 22:59
  #70 (permalink)  
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I find your approach dishonest CNH. You just come on here with slurs and ne ne ne ne ners and aren't actually contributing anything of value to the thread. It begs the question what are you actually here for?
Oh, you mean like pointing out that Orange Herald used U235 and not Pu? I notice you've edited your original post on that. I can also tell you that the U235 cost £2 1/2 million. My source? Not Wikipedia but AVIA 65 1193.

I also said:
He is reporting - for, after all, he is a reporter - what he is told about the capabilities of the V forces. That may or may not be true.
And it wasn't true, and it's not a primary source.

Further, you haven't given a date for your cutting other than saying 1957. I think the fault lies with the newspaper rather than the RAF, since it was well known - even to the British public! - that we didn't start testing H bombs - let alone put them into service - until mid 57. Operation Grapple, as it happens.

And Orange Herald was not intended for the V bombers - it was the Blue Streak warhead. A reduced version went into service in 1958 as Violet Club. Yes, we did have nukes in the 1950s. And that was one of them. It did give the RAF some trouble, and I can point you to the relevant PRO files if you're interested.
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Old 17th Aug 2010, 23:16
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I must say that I think the originator of this thread is probably taking the p*** out of all of you.
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 01:20
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Reading Glasses

I do believe the mojority of posters to this thread have lost their reading glasses and are just imagining what is appearing in print on their pc screen.

Let me elaborate.

In post 67 there is an extract from the Sunday Graphic with an article by Gavin Lyall. In all subsequent threads he is referred to as Lyle with many derogatory remarks about his article.

Any student of modern literature will know that Gavin Lyall was well educated i.e. Cambridge University, and an ex RAF Pilot. He has authored many books with an aviation theme and achieved recognition for same. He would have known what was happening around him however he had a story to write for the Sunday Graphic and a family to feed so he wrote what the public wanted to read.

By the way, was there a fall back plan if the bomb doors didn't open? Thank you Stanley Kubrick.
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 10:31
  #73 (permalink)  
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@Sultan and the Gavin Liar sub thread.

I do believe the mojority [sic] of posters to this thread have lost their reading glasses and are just imagining what is appearing in print on their pc screen.
Not averse to the odd derogatory remark yourself then Sultan? Only it's "the mojority [sic] of posters to this thread" that get it from you. Smack of Hypocrisy ?

I did post a link to a large print version of the document for those who'd lost their reading glasses.
http://zkt.blackfish.org.uk/XD864/images/Graphic.jpg

Yes Gavin Liar

I had given him the benefit of the doubt, thinking he didn't know any better, but your post Sultan puts things in a different light, your're saying that he was a wilful and professional liar.


Not really my kind of 'journalist' one who peddles lies and I don't care where he was educated or how you spell this liars name from now on I'll be calling him Gavin Liar O.K. Cambridge University taught him how to lie then? Cambridge University taught him how to know "what the public wanted to read"? Gavin Liar 'Journalist' and Mass Mind Reader! Cambridge University is quite some place if it teaches Mind Reading has Randi been informed? maybe it's a case for 'Sceptics in the Pub?'

he had a story to write for the Sunday Graphic and a family to feed
Sultan is now an apologist for Gavin Liar you know the Cambridge University educated mind reading professional liar. As illustrated in this piece of PURE PROPAGANDA

http://www.pprune.org/5875430-post67.html

student of modern literature.
Ha! don't make me laugh!

Generally 'Modern Literature' means literature from the Enlightenment to about the late Victorian period, as any student of modern literature should know!

Gavin Liar isn't included.

Literature in the sense Sultan means it here I think refers to written works especially those with superior or lasting merit.

Here's one that made me laugh, it's PG Wodehouse's backhanded 'compliment' of G. Liar's famous work.

The Wrong Side Of The Sky

PG Wodehouse, no less, proclaimed it
"Terrific: when better novels of suspense are written, lead me to them."
In other words there will be better novels of suspense written.
Lyall's niche in the thriller marketplace had all but disappeared by the time he returned with Spy's Honour, the first in a series of novels which were set against the background of the nascent British Secret Service in the years immediately before the first world war. These were a splendidly entertaining mix of early Ambler with a dash of Bulldog Drummond escapism.
Still it's bad to speak ill of the dead

Gavin Lyall | Books | The Guardian

Last edited by RIHoward; 18th Aug 2010 at 10:43.
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 12:25
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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rih: the purpose of your posts here, I think, is: a) to note that RAF deployed (no, now modified to) few nukes before 1960s; b) to note that from Valiant, even from Canberra introduction to Service, it was bruited about that UK was now nuclear-armed, but that was not so, hence lie/propaganda.

Drums and alarums accompany all Formed Force; deception is fair dos...but can have unintended consequences. USSR at the Tushino Air Show, 1953 flew some formations of Badger nuclear jet bombers. That triggered Ike to buy many hundreds of such things to plug the "Bomber Gap": we now know but did not then it was one near-experimental unit, circling. During our Suez foray, 1956, Khrushchev rattled a rocket threat at us: we now know but did not then that he had none. Sputnik, 10/57 was launched by an evidently ginormous ICBM: we now know but did not then that it would prove militarily useless, but Ike responded to the "Missile Gap" with vast spend on the Triad.

To write in 1957 that Vulcan was UK's H-Bomber had been correct after Churchill's 1954 decision that UK should develop such a thing: we now know that RAF was, ah, previous in implying an H- operational capability in 1957. So, if you wish, a lie. Or, if I wish, a legitimate ploy to give pause to a potential aggressor. London's airports are patrolled by police officers, some, ah, mature, some female, toting Uzis: they're inert, yes? and those ancients/totties would not/could not shoot anyway, no?

Your point ("few") was public in the Official History of RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces, H.Wynn, HMSO,1994:Deployed and armed bomber V-Craft: 31/12/58: p.251: 82; 8/59: p.266: 96; 13/7/60: p.327: 96. By dredging around the entire text it can be deduced these totals included upto 67 US weapons.

So, has this thread now run its course?
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 12:50
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, RIH will post "On mature reflection I now see my original two assertions were wrong. Sorry."

Or not

Dick
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 13:24
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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...and finally.....

"The truth should be protected by a bodyguard of lies...."
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 16:58
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Have to say I'm with ColinB on this one!
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 17:49
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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If i may interject.....

A very interesting thread has been sullied by pedantic urges of the third kind, by people who are old enough and hopefully wise enough to know better This isn't a school classroom and we do ourselves no favours with such poppycock. Leave the put downs to other internet participants and let's argue the (known) facts. Is there sufficient evidence to suggest the RAF had little or no useable atomic weaponry before the early 1960's ?



SHJ
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 20:57
  #79 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the interjection SHJ

It depends what you mean by usable I guess.

Blue Danube bombs weren't that safe though not as scary as Yellow Sun Mk1's. The dates when more stable military grade weapons started to come on stream vary and this is due in large part to the secrecy surrounding this subject, but pre about '61 the RAF's 'independent' 'serviceable' A-bombs can't have been more than 25 Blue Danubes.

I don't think Thor was ever credible and was a US system.

At this time 61-62 it seems Red Beard tactical bombs were coming on stream as well as Yellow Sun Mk2s.

All the other atomic weapons available to the RAF were in effect US controlled. though officially designated as 'shared'.

My initial thoughts as to why there were so few British (if you like) bombs was because the rate of production of weapons grade material was so low.

But I now think what the record shows is that because of the '54 decision to embark on developing the H-Bomb brought on by the US Ivy Mike '52 and the Soviet Joe 4 '53 detonations, production of weapons slowed or stopped.

It is clear to me at least that the status of the UK as a Nuclear power was more spin than substance, of course the detonations of test devices were real enough, but I see them as largely symbolic ground thumping affairs.

My assessment is that it was the Sputnik launches that finally allowed the UK to get its hands on 'real' (military grade) weapons through co-operation with the US (though the Grapple tests may have played a role)

This is at odds with what the public were being told at the time and to a large extent what is commonly thought today, both about the real threat posed by the Soviets and the real capability of the UK of having its own independent deterrent.

Some free downloads that might be of interest.

Donald Mcintyre The Development of Britain's Megaton Warheads
Roy Dommett Blue Streak Weapon

1950 CIA Docs

Last edited by RIHoward; 18th Aug 2010 at 21:41.
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Old 18th Aug 2010, 22:30
  #80 (permalink)  
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I would think the situation with regard to deployable devices in the UK in the mid 50s was similar to that in the US in the late 40s or the USSR in the early 50s.

On the other hand, 25 Blue Danubes in Valiants or Vulcans could have made a very considerable mess of Russia.

Another factor is the way we view nuclear weapons today is different from the way they were viewed in the mid 50s. 25 Blue Danubes would have been regarded as a very considerable deterrent then, if not now.

There's no real evidence that nuclear weapon deployment diminished as a result of Grapple. The Violet Clubs/Yellow Sun Mk I devices were of an order of magnitude greater than Blue Danube, whatever might be said about their safety.

On the other hand, the USAF deployed some very similar devices in the early 50s, although I think the safety device was chain rather than ball bearings.

To single out the UK for an inadequate deterrent is unfair. Perhaps a few years later than the USSR, but not by many.
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