Blast From The Past: The Neutron Bomb

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A neutron bomb, officially defined as a type of enhanced radiation weapon (ERW), is a low yield thermonuclear weapon designed to maximize lethal neutron radiation in the immediate vicinity of the blast while minimizing the physical power of the blast itself. The neutron release generated by a nuclear fusion reaction is intentionally allowed to escape the weapon, rather than being absorbed by its other components. The neutron burst, which is used as the primary destructive action of the warhead, is able to penetrate enemy armor more effectively than a conventional warhead, thus making it more lethal as a tactical weapon.

The concept was originally developed by the US in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was seen as a “cleaner” bomb for use against massed Soviet armored divisions. As these would be used over allied nations, notably West Germany, the reduced blast damage was seen as an important advantage.

The weapon was once again proposed for tactical use by the US in the 1970s and 1980s, and production of the W70 began for the Lance missile in 1981. This time it experienced a firestorm of protest as the growing anti-nuclear movement gained strength through this period. Opposition was so intense that European leaders refused to accept it on their territory. President Reagan bowed to pressure and the built examples of the W70-3 remained stockpiled in the US until they were retired in 1992. The last W70 was dismantled in 2011.

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We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron, gonna drop it all over the place
Yer gonna get it on yer face
Foreign aid from the land of the free
But don’t blame me
We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron, don’t understand you don’t know what you mean
We don’t want you we want your machines
United Nations and NATO won’t do
It’s just the red, white and blue
We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron bomb
We got the neutron, that’s the way it’s gotta be
Survivial of the fittest is the way it’s gonna be
We don’t want it, we don’t want it
Don’t blame me
We don’t want it, we don’t want it
Don’t blame me

I’m glad they stuck with the old run of the mill atomic bombs.

 

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