1952 ... country music goes atomic!

1952...'The Great Atomic Power'- Louvin Brothers



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1950 ... 'conventional' forces!

... while the US and it's allies 'De-mobilized' after WW2 the Soviets did not. Two very different economic systems. The West wanting a prosperous consumer future in the suburbs; the USSR looking to secure it's future through expansion and increased dominance. A big Communist military bureaucracy, built up through the horrific pain of battling Nazi invasion, was not about to let itself be dismantled in favor of 'Howdy-Doody' and Rock and Roll. 
note: the count of surface ships is inaccurate as it does not reflect that most of Russia's surface fleet were coastal patrols and not a true 'blue-water' fleet. A fact that nagged Khrushchev in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

1950 ... 'ASW'

... with the early Cold War rapidly getting hot, the American Navy perceives a growing threat from Soviet subs. In both World Wars the danger from 'undersea-boats' was hugely underestimated. Lesson learned; for WW3 Russia builds a large fleet of diesel powered attack subs to counter NATO's larger surface ship dominance. Counter-measure against counter-measure brings Anti-Submarine Warfare 'ASW' to a fine art. 

Where would cold-war movie drama be without the classic scene of the technician-dweeb intently 'staring' into his sonar headphones? Listening for the return echo ....... 'BLIINNGGG!'

1950 ... jet powered artillery!

... it's 1950 and the shooting part of the Cold War gets underway. It's a 'test of wills' using 
'conventional weapons' on the far away Pacific peninsula of Korea. American leaders realize that the short lived comfort of being the only ones with atomic bombs has given way to an unhappy balance of 'mutual assured destruction' between them and the newly nuclear USSR. It is the evaporation of the dream an American 'pax-atomicus' - where we can fearlessly vaporize all evil foes. 

The US must turn to modern and expensive upgrades of the old fashioned blood and guts weapons. The war in Korea is a rude 'wake-up call' to the fact that America and it's Allies must commit to a large 'peace-time' 'conventional' military in addition to it's nuclear forces.

1946 ... big chins are grim!

... it's only sixteen months after the end of WW2. The 'Cold War' between America and the Soviets has not officially started yet. That's coming in the next year of 1947 with the Berlin Blockade and Airlift. 
But already American pilots are grimly posing by their new, futuristic jet fighters.

1961 ... Atlas ready!

... early US ICBM 'Atlas'. After being filled with tons of temperamental, highly dangerous liquid fuels, the rocket is elevated out of it's reinforced underground 'silo'. Getting an Atlas ready to fire was a process that took hours. Not exactly the 'quick response' nuclear planners were looking for. The pointy thing at the top is the thermonuclear warhead. Take that off and pop-on a Mercury Capsule and presto-chango... you've got NASA's first manned orbital 'launch vehicle'.

1960 ... cartoons find shelter!

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1953 ... The Other House

... this is 'The Other House'. Not the house that we have seen being flattened time and again in newsreels [see film below]. That house was at a mere 2500 feet from ground zero of a 16 Kiloton test. 'The Other House' was built at a more respectable distance of 7500 feet from the center of the blast. It is still standing to this day. "The Other House' lost it's windows and had a little paint charring. But it owes it's current dilapidated state more to the Nevada weather than nuclear tests. UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE- Annie- Operation Doorstep

... actually, if you had been in the basement of the closer house [maybe we should call it 'The Dumb House'] and protected by a lumber lean to, you would have survived. Several test dummies did. Two of them are still alive, have 12 grandchildren, and are living in a trailer camp outside of Phoenix!

1951 ... family foxhole

... 1951; two years after the Soviets tested their first A-Bomb. Only six years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. American Civil Defense is more concerned with protecting from blast effects than huge amounts of fallout from the monster H-Bombs to come.

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... UK 'V Bombers'

... British H-Bomb

... UK 'Blue Streak' ICBM

... part of a nifty series on England's efforts to be a nuclear Superpower.
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... nuking bombers!

... it might seem excessive to use an air-to-air missile with a nuclear warhead- but. When the alternative is letting an enemy bomber get through to drop a hydrogen bomb and kill millions of people a baby atomic bomb is just the ticket.

... Red Love!

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... at your hobby store!

... Snark!

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Snark test footage

... Titan ICBM silo

Satellite view of 'hole in the ground' for a 'Titan' Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in Somewhere, Arizona.

                  "Look Dahlink, Moose and Squirrel sell me super-secret 
                   satellite picture photograph of big hole in ground where 
                   atomic missiles is kept!"

                  "Boris, Moose and Squirrel pull wool down over eyes! 
                  That is Google Earth picture from imperial internetski. 
                  Dis nothing but old retired silo full of toursits and mutant prairie dogs!"

1947 ... Atomic Energy Commission

... the Atomic Energy Commission was a civilian arm of the Federal Government which took over control of the development of atomic power and atomic weapons from the military. For America's 'Atomic Age' they were the guys who built bigger and better bombs, tried to talk us into atomic power plants in our backyards and kept an eye on all those giant mutant radioactive ants and fifty-foot women wondering around the American Southwest. For awhile, before the planners got a little more practical, the AEC owned all of our atomic bombs. The Air Force would have to call them and ask to borrow a few if they wanted to fight a nuclear war.

Sadly, by 1974 grim white guys with crew cuts who smoked Camels were no longer in fashion. The agency was split up into several other organizations with less threatening more modern names like "The Department of Overkill and Snuggly Kittens' and "Milk, Cookies and Radiological Waste'