1986 ... Soviet Civil Defense!



... more from this endless series of Soviet Civil Defense posters. No way around it; digging slit trenches and then covering them with a layer of earth looks way too much like digging your own grave!

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1950 ... "How to Protect Yourself in an Atomic Attack"



... Grim - that was the mood of Civil Defense advice at the start of the Cold War. Five short years after the end of WW2 and many people felt that an atomic slug-fest with the 'Reds' was inevitable.

Here's a helpful film to prepare us for what is coming in 1951 - in grim black and white narrated grimly by Edward R. Murrow.

1946 ... "the wing will fly!"


... the swirl of controversy and regret about the Flying Wing and it's ill-fate attempt to become America's first true intercontinental bomber will never fade! Plenty of evil doing and dooers by Convair and corrupt politicians. But the long and short of it was that without modern computerized controls the tailess design would have been hell to control at the high altitudes that would be required for the nuclear mission.


90 min docu. tells the whole dramatic tale.


 

1958 ... cold-war soap opera!



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1953 ... "blowin' the chickens around the barnyard!"


... results of a fun little project of my photo-illustration work. In cooperation with professional model maker Guy Pernetti and diorama artist extraordinaire Michael Paul Smith. LINK

... not that this sort of thing didn't really happen!




 

... USSR: CD practice!


... this looks like one of those "insert caption here!" contests.


 

1954 ... a fine pickle!


... I think this is a fictional account; but no doubt inspired by the run-away Castle-Bravo test earlier in 1954 - LINK


 

1955 ... stuff of nightmares!


... Operation Teapot: Turk shot, 43 kiloton - Nevada testing site.

... many more: LINK





... bring US your Mig!


...Korean War leaflet dropped by America 'behind enemy lines' offering a reward for Communist pilots willing to defect - with their aircraft. 
 (including example of happy Soviet pilot that did)

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1960 ... Bell XF-109




 

1954 ... a big ol' son 'a bitch!


... the Mk-17 was the first mass-produced American Hydrogen bomb. At over 25 feet in length and weighing 21 tons it could only be carried by the B-36 bomber (shown here).

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... B-52 - sunset - slight bank to starboard


... recent examples of my illustration work.


... you may purchase prints of my work here


 

... B-1Bs - afterburner climbout!


... some of my recent illustration work. B-1 LINK


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... no big red button - more!


... as the 2nd entry in my dissertation on the control that the President of the United States has over the use of nuclear weapons I am going to defer to a much better authority: Alex Wellerstein and his excellent blog "Nuclear Secrecy". It is a rather prickly topic - given the current political climate - and I find it hard to keep the level of objectivity needed. Alex can explain it much better in a 3 part series starting here

 

1964 ... the genius of 'Failsafe'


 Important men need dramatic important rooms to make their decisions in. The set for the War Room at the Pentagon is well appointed mid-century corporate - but a little claustrophobic. It lends to the drama of the debate. Is this room in a hardened bunker below the Pentagon building?
 


William Hansen as Sec. of Defense Swenson listens silently to the debate between the think tank advisor and the Air Force General. I am trying to figure out why the Secretary was portrayed as a 'cripple'. ( We see him enter the conference room late- on the type of steel crutches often used by Polio victims in those times.) Was it a dramatic device of was the actor Hansen actually disabled at that point in his life?
 

1952 ... World War III comics!



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1962 ... Grennbrier Bunker- W. Virginia


... one of several entrances to the massive bunker built to house members of Congress in the event of nuclear war. Unlike the secret underground lairs of movie super-villains; the landscape of the Cold-War is mostly like this. Dark, cold and very hard.