Damage and Destruction - Nuclear Test Film (Silent)
Courtesy: U.S. Department of Energy 0800014 - Damage and Destruction - DASIAC - No date given - 17:00 - Black & White/Color, Silent, Sanitized - "Damage and Destruction" Video is a collage of scenes from the first several nuclear weapons testing operations which graphically show the destructive forces of nuclear weapons and the damages they can inflict. Specific military and civilian effects tests were conducted in these operations to gain experimental data on objects placed various distances from ground zero. For the military effects tests, jeeps, trucks, aircraft, tanks, artillery pieces, and fuel tanks were placed in the destructive paths of nuclear shots, which produced vast amounts of heat, blast, and radiation. Of a more controversial nature, thousands of military personnel were placed in foxholes and trenches about six miles from the center of the blast. The soldiers were there to help determine if military tactics and techniques at the time were adequate for the new environment created by a nuclear blast. Also, military leaders wanted to see if servicemen could function and withstand the psychological stress while participating in a nuclear weapons exercise. To gain experimental data for the civilian Civil Defense Agency, houses, rows of trees, wood and plastic products, warehouses, railroad tracks and cars, and bridges were placed in harm's way. The information gained from these tests was used to help develop the nation's strategies for protecting the civilian population, industries, businesses, schools, and hospitals in case of a nuclear attack. At this point in history, the U.S. and its allies were engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and an all-out nuclear attack on America was regarded by most as a distinct possibility.
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