What would you do if you had six A-bombs?

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    It is not unrealistic to me that the threat of incarcerating or executing a sailors family might be used against sailors of “questionable” status to ensure their cooperation. Or perhaps freeing an already incarcerated family member if the sailor agrees to the mission.

    Forcing military personnel to go on a suicide mission by threatening to imprison or kill their relatives would undoubtedly work with some individuals, but this method also runs the risk of backfiring spectacularly.Â

    It worked in some ways for the Germans. But as you said CWO Marc, it might be a diffrent story if you trust forced men to a suicide run with a weapon like the a-bomb for a suicide mission.
    But I just wanted to mention that there had been ways by the German used to send you for a suicide run, they just called it by a other name.  😉

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    A Luftwaffe suicide squadron (the Leonidas Squadron) was set up in the last year of the war, with the backing of such people as Otto Skorzeny and Hanna Reitsch, but it’s interesting to note that its own commander (Werner Baumbach) regarded the unit as wasteful and unnecessary, that Baumbach’s boss (Hermann Göring) was uninterested in the concept, and that Göring’s boss (Adolf Hitler) dismissed as “un-Germanic” the idea of suicide attacks despite his well-known proclivity for ordering entire armies to stand their ground and face annihiliation rather than allowing them to retreat.  Other than flying a handful of suicide missions in the last days of the war, the squadron wasn’t used.  One odd fact connected to this outfit is that it was supposed to be equiped with a piloted version of the V-1 flying bomb, the Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg, which would make an intriguing addition to HBG’s line-up of German miracle weapon plastic sculpts.

  • @Aretaku:

    Russia: Petlyakov Pe-8
    Germany: Heinkel He 177
    Britain: Avro Manchester
    France: Farman F.220
    Japan: Mitsubishi Ki-20
    USA: Boeing B-17
    Italy: NONE

    These are your only airborne options for weapon delivery at the onset of war in 1939.

    Great post! 🙂

    In the closing days of the war, Germany was in the process of designing a different payload delivery option: the Aggregate Series rockets. The rocket commonly known as the V2 was part of the Aggregate Series. (In addition to being known as the V2, it was also known as the A4.)

    Toward the end of the war, the Germans were in the process of designing the A12. This rocket would have been capable of putting 10 tons of cargo into low Earth orbit. This might well have proved an excellent delivery weapon for nuclear payloads: the world’s first ICBM.

  • I would hold the world ransom demanding $1 million and hold my pinkie finger to my mouth.

  • It is not my normal policy to gravedig, but I wanted to address this point.


    Forcing military personnel to go on a suicide mission by threatening to imprison or kill their relatives would undoubtedly work with some individuals, but this method also runs the risk of backfiring spectacularly.  Anybody coerced by such a method is going to be extremely resentful (to put it mildly) and some individuals placed into this position might respond by simply pretending to agree to take the atomic weapon into enemy territory on a suicide mission; upon arrival, they might well be brave enough or resentful enough to turn the weapon over to the other side and to urge them to use it to destroy the capital city and the leaders of the dictatorship which has threatened them and their families.  Some might be idealistic enough to sacrifice their family members to accomplish this; some might not believe their government’s promises that their relatives will not be harmed if they cooperate (governments who rule at gunpoint don’t score very highly on the credibility and trust scales); and some might conclude that the best chance their families have of surviving is to eliminate the dictatorship before the dictatorship can eliminate them. Personally, an atomic weapon is something I’d only place in the hands of people in whom I have absolute trust, not in the hands of people I’ve threatened and antagonized.

    All of this is certainly true. However, there is a way around the problem.

    Naval mine technology of the era could easily be adapted to utilize a nuclear weapon, with a timed detonator, and towed to the target by a fully manned (and fully loyal) submarine crew.

    It would take some specialized training for deployment in shallow water. It would also require some technological modifications, as the mine would need to surface just prior to detonation. These challenges are easily manageable by any navy of the war.

    So forget all about those suicide missions.

  • I got 6 A-Bombs ? I would nuke Sweden

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