The World’s Smallest Nuke- Detonation Clip
Secrets of the Arsenal
Many say that the Cold War didn’t accomplish anything but it did heat up the world of weapon development. The United States and Communist Russia went head to head in the race to develop the most powerful nuclear weapon. However, sometimes the most powerful weapon is not the most efficient one, so the United States took a different approach.
The result was the development of a small, powerful, portable nuclear warhead, the W54. The small nuke earned the nickname “Davey Crockett” was intended for by ground troops and operated via rocket launcher.
“The test seen up top had a yield equivalent of 18 tons of TNT, coming from a warhead that weighed only a little more than 50 pounds. Later, a variant of the warhead saw use in the Special Atomic Demolition Munition, also known as the backpack nuke.”
A portable nuclear warhead was an incredible development for United State Military, however, it had a major flaw. The firing range of the W54’s rocket was a mere three miles, exposing its own gunner to radiation. Despite the flaws the Davey Crockett helped to avoid nuclear conflict by simply acting as a threat against the Soviets. Footage from the original W54 detonation in Nevada can be viewed in this clip.