The REAL Mace Missile

Edfilho

Cry some more!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIR-2
I really thought the Mace was a crazy idea, but it seems that a very similar weapon was in the USAF and the Canadian Air Force for decades! A nuclear unguided rocket which would be fired into big strategic bomber formations... Wow.

I hope that it is relevant enough to merit a WCCZ thread.

Are there any other "crazy" WC concepts that actually existed?
 

d3r3k

Spaceman
I just don't get weapons like that. They seem utterly wasteful. Nuclear-tipped torpedoes...Why?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Because nuclear-tipped weapons create a lot of damage over a wide area.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the idea behind the mace missile similar to what MacArthur had wanted to do with Korea at one point? Something to the effect of droping very, very small nukes in military strategic areas? Or was that something I misunderstood...
 

powell99

Aviation Junkie
MacAruther wanted to drop 15 nukes on Japan in the even they refused to surrender, then the US was going to invade. Which is really stupid considering the fact that Japan would be a radioactive wasteland. You can probably tell by now Im not like the idiot who thought Japan was about surrender before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I just don't get weapons like that. They seem utterly wasteful. Nuclear-tipped torpedoes...Why?

You're forgetting the times. One of the biggest 'media stories' in the 1950s was the claim that the United States was falling behind the "bomber gap" with the Soviet Union. There was a very real perception among the American populace that the Soviet Union was building a fleet of modern bombers to deliver nuclear weapons en-mass by flying over the pole and bombing American cities in the same manner that the US and England did in Europe during World War II.

This period gets overlooked a lot when reviewing the Cold War, because the "missile gap" of the next decade is a lot sexier... we also generally refuse to believe that nuclear weapons were ever a 'serious' military option. That is to say, we tend to forget that there was a period between the end of World War II and the sixties where the expectation was that nuclear weapons would simply be the next military technology. It comes to a head, as LeHah touched on for some reason, when the US refuses to deploy them in Korea... but before that point, many, many people expected nuclear weapons to simply be the next kind of bomb in the next war: there was a serious possibility that we would be attacked by Russian bombers dropping atomic bombs on our cities and we could fight off their formations with nuclear torpedoes.

Incidentally, there ultimately was no 'bomber gam' -- we now know that the Russian bomber force that the public was terrified of in the 1950s was actually full of rat-tag piecemeal bombers that were decades out of date technologically.
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
As for McAruther's plan , look into "operation up shoot" and "big flash" .
Thats where the U.S. Army got around to "testing" the practicality of tactical
nukes . By marching troops through ground zero less than an hour after
setting off a little nuke . You have to remember , this was before all the effects
of radiation was known. It was a sound plan for the era .
 

Wulf

Vice Admiral
Actually, MacArthur's plan was broader than the situation in Korea. Since China was sending in its troops to reinforce the North, he proposed at least 50 dropped on North Korea and China. At that point, Truman stepped in and fired his ass. There are many what-if scenarios floating around about what could have happened if decisions like this were approved, but I think the planet as a whole really benefited by the way things actually turned out.

The Korean War and Cold War has to be one of the scariest, if not the scariest, times for mankind. A lot of people I know don't really appreciate or grasp the things that went down during that era, which either drew us closer to nuclear conflict or preventing that possibility. It was a dog-eat-dog situation for everybody, one example being that of even the Soviets being afraid of the Chinese. The Soviets buried several hundred of its most powerful nukes along its border with China, so if the Chinese got too proud and started their own conquest rampage, a supercomputer linked to the warheads would blow them right in their faces as they would make their way across. Things like that just blew my mind when I found out about them!
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
Well, this weapon was developed to bridge another gap too, the one between cannon weponry and reliable guided missiles. During the 60's, those Soviet "super-bombers" (which, as LOAF explained, were more propaganda than a real threat) were too fast to be downed by jets with guns. And missiles were still far from having a decent PK (probabilty of Kill), so they invented this unguided nuclear rocket: Fire it at a big bomber formation and it will kill them even if it's innacurate.

Crazy times indeed. I wouldn't be too calm to fly above one of those...
 

Wulf

Vice Admiral
Surely not. Why risk the chance of an air burst in harm's way of your own (which is deadlier than explosion on impact/ground level) when the enemy is way waaaay up there?
 

Dahan

Rear Admiral
The age of nuclear warheads is long gone isn't it?
Arent they developing different and more dangerous weapons that a bunch of nuclear missiles and all?
I am sure there are other weapons more dangerous than nuclear weapons
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Theoretically a matter/anti-matter weapon would be much more deadly than a nuclear weapon.

In real life there are weapons like bunker busters and other smart bombs which are more dangerous in the sense that one cannot hide their military facilities in a civilian area and hope to be safe from attack.
 

Wulf

Vice Admiral
Russia and the USA are definitely exploring EMP on a large scale from tactical weapons right down to infantry. Not necessarily lethal, but the vulnerability left in its wake...OH YEAH.
 
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