A History Of War

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The Atomic Cannon:


The Atomic Cannon, at 280 mm, was the largest nuclear capable mobile artillery piece manufactured by the United States. On May 25, 1953, a 280 mm cannon fired an atomic projectile a distance of 7 miles at the Nevada Test Site. Twenty 280 mm cannons were manufactured. None were used in battle.

  •     Operation: Upshot Knothole
  •     Shot Name: Grable
  •     Shot Number: 10
  •     Date: May 25, 1963
  •     Detonation: Airburst
  •     Yield: 15 Kt
  •     Location: Frenchman Flat - Nevada Test Site
  •     Weapon: Mark 9 Gun
  •     Sponsor: Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory

Within milliseconds of the detonation, the fireball is formed. The smoke trails are visible to the right. The small box at bottom left indicates the area covered on the bottom frame.

This frame shows the precursor which is formed by the blast. The boxed area indicates the area covered on the bottom frame.

This frame is an enlargement of the frame above and shows a train and bus. The device in the background is a very tall tower containing cameras and instruments. The precursor is visible in the upper right of frame.

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