1950's ... 'military effects' test

... my guess is that this a 20 kiloton 'Hiroshima size' weapon detonated from a tethered balloon. Those little specks are various unoccupied tanks and other armored vehicles being sacrificed.


Hugh Walter said...

There is a beautiful book (I say 'beautiful' in that the images ooze the full majesty of Hell), called One Hundred Suns (or 'A Hundred Suns'...maybe just 'Hundred Suns'?) which has remastered images of all the tests detonated from the forties to the seventies. Well worth tracking down...although I haven't yet, which is why I'm not sure of the title!!


Atropos19 said...

100 Suns by Michael Light

I picked up a copy when it was new for about $45, wished I'd bought a couple!


Anonymous said...

That is the Upshot-Knothole Grable 15 kt atomic cannon test shot, IMO the most incredible test footage ever.


From wikipedia:

The detonation of Grable occurred 19 seconds after its firing.[1] It detonated over 11,000 yards (over 10 km, 6.25 mi) away from the gun it was fired from, over a part of the Nevada Test Site known as Frenchman Flat. The explosion was an air burst of 160 m (524 ft) above the ground (7 m (24 ft) above its designated burst altitude), 26 m (87 ft) west and 41 m (136 ft) south of its target (slightly uprange). Its yield was estimated at 15 kilotons, around the same level as Little Boy.

An anomalous feature of the blast was the formation of a precursor, a second shock front ahead of the incident wave. This precursor was formed when the shock wave reflected off the ground and surpassed the incident wave and Mach stem due to a heated ground air layer and the low burst height.[1] It resulted in a lower overpressure, but higher overall dynamic pressure, which inflicted much more damage on drag sensitive targets such as jeeps and personnel carriers. This led strategists to rethink the importance of low air bursts in tactical nuclear warfare.