Atomic Artillery Weapons Effects Computer

Fort Sill nuclear artilleryFrom the early 1950s the US began developing nuclear artillery. The first  was the Honest John  missile with a range of 15 miles and  a W7 nuclear warhead with a yield of 20 kilotons. There was also the M65 Atomic Cannon delivering 280mm nuclear shells with yields of 15 to 20 kilotons. Both date from 1953.

280mm M65 Atomic Cannon

280mm M65 Atomic Cannon

The first M65 was named Atomic Annie. On May 25, 1953, Annie fired an MK-9 atomic shell. It flew seven miles before exploding at a height of 524 feet above the ground.

Later systems included the Corporal missile, the M110 and M115 howitzers and the Davy Crockett missile.  The Davy Crockett had a disconcerting [to its users] range of only 1.25 to 2.5 miles and a yield equivalent to 10-20 tons of TNT.

W54 Nuclear Warhead for Davy Crockett

W54 Nuclear Warhead for Davy Crockett

MGR-3 Little John Nuclear Rocket

The MGR-3 Little John was a free flight artillery rocket system designed and put into service by the U.S. Army during the 1950s and 1960s. Carried on the XM34 rocket launcher, it could carry either nuclear or conventional warheads. It was primarily intended for use in airborne assault operations and to complement the heavier, self-propelled Honest John rocket systems. It had a W45 warhead with a yield of 1–10 kilotons of TNT.

The weapons were intended for US use in the western European battlefield.  Other countries also developed nuclear artillery.

Most of the training for the US systems appears to have been done at the Fort Sill Artillery School in Oklahoma.  The Atomic Artillery  Weapons Effects Computer shown below may have been produced  there.  A October 1958 school publication mentions the computer as being available from the Army Artillery and Missile School Bookstore.

The computer consists of three disks with two cursors. It is 14″ [355mm] in diameter and is made of some stiff material [probably card].

Atomic Artillery Weapons Effects Computer 01

Atomic Artillery Weapons Effects Computer

Atomic Artillery Weapons Effects Computer 03

Atomic Artillery Weapons Effects Computer 04

For more posts about Cold War calculators click on the Cold War Calculators category on the right.

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