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View Full Version : Russia Declassifies Video From 1961 of Largest Hydrogen Bomb Ever Detonated



Aragorn
30th August 2020, 11:53
Source: Smithsonian Magazine (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/russia-declassifies-video-1961-largest-hydrogen-bomb-ever-detonated-180975669/)



The blast was over 3,000 times bigger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima



https://thumbs-prod.si-cdn.com/b8ouNWmfeIxdgns8kLaGulgA7X8=/800x600/filters:no_upscale()/https://public-media.si-cdn.com/filer/84/76/847615f5-9845-4333-8214-4d2e959e349d/2020_aug26_hbomb.png

The mushroom cloud from Tsar Bomba was 42 miles high, about seven times the height of Mount Everest



Hydrogen bombs are so destructive, their impact has been described as unthinkable (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/09/19/why-trumps-threat-to-totally-destroy-north-korea-is-extraordinary-even-for-him/) throughout history (https://www.nytimes.com/1971/06/20/archives/most-of-the-traditional-causes-of-war-have-disappeared-a-talk-with.html). Recently declassified Russian footage of the 1961 Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb test shows why.

The 40-minute documentary, which was posted on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbC7BxXtOlo) on August 20, shows footage of the largest bomb ever detonated on Earth, Thomas Nilsen reports for the Barents Observer (https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2020/08/rosatom-releases-previously-classified-documentary-video-50-mt-novaya-zemlya-test). Video footage shows the blast from several angles, sometimes struggling to show the entire mushroom cloud in the frame. Later, the documentary compares the ice-covered archipelago before the blast to the scorched, red and brown landscape left behind afterward.

The Soviet Union tested the 50-million-ton hydrogen bomb, officially named RDS-220 and nicknamed Tsar Bomba, in late October 1961, Matthew Gault reports for Vice (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/935mx3/russia-just-declassified-footage-of-the-largest-nuke-ever-tested). This test occurred during the height of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union and the United States competed to build the largest and most destructive nuclear weapons.

“There was a megatonnage race — who was going to have a bigger bomb,” atomic age historian Robert S. Norris tells the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/25/science/tsar-bomba-nuclear-test.html)’ William Broad. “And the Soviets won.”

The bomb was 26 feet long and almost seven feet tall. It was so large that engineers had to modify the bomber aircraft used to carry it by removing the plane’s bomb bay doors and some of its fuel tanks, according to Vice. The documentary adds to other information that Russia has declassified, but nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein tells the New York Times that the video carefully avoids revealing technical details “despite appearing to show the innards.”

The bombers used a parachute to slow Tsar Bomba’s descent to Earth so that they could detonate it relatively high in the atmosphere and reduce its impact on the ground, according to the video. But the blast created a mushroom cloud 42 miles high, about seven times the height of Mount Everest.

"A mushroom cloud forms when an explosion creates a very hot bubble of gas. In the case of a nuclear detonation, the bomb emits a blast of x-rays, which ionize and heat the surrounding air; that hot bubble of gas is known as a fireball,” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist David Dearborn told Scientific American (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-are-the-processes-th/) in 1999 of smaller blasts.

“The fireball from an H-bomb rises so high that it hits the tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere… [then] the fireball flattens out; it can no longer expand upward, so it expands to the side into an exaggerated mushroom cap.”

But the Tsar Bomba mushroom cloud expanded through the stratosphere and formed its cap in the atmospheric layer above it, the mesosphere (https://scied.ucar.edu/atmosphere-layers).

The Soviet Union detonated Tsar Bomba just months after the construction of the Berlin Wall, and days after a tense 16-hour standoff between U.S. and Soviet troops at the wall’s Checkpoint Charlie (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/24/berlin-crisis-standoff-checkpoint-charlie).

The Tsar Bomba detonation went in history as the largest bomb ever detonated on Earth. It had a destructive force over 3,000 times as destructive as the bomb used by the U.S. to destroy Hiroshima. And it was three times as large as the biggest bomb ever detonated by the U.S., dubbed Castle Bravo (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/02/27/castle-bravo-the-largest-u-s-nuclear-explosion/).

The Barents Observer reports that military border guards on Jarfjord Mountain in northern Norway reported seeing the flash. The documentary claims that the flash could be seen about 620 miles away, about the distance between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois.

The documentary also claims that radiation levels around the blast site were negligible, and it even shows people getting out of their vehicles and walking around the scorched landscape. But as the Barents Observer reports, radioactive fallout swept over Scandinavia and drew international condemnation on the Soviet Union.

But the United States was largely dismissive of the development of the giant bomb, Norris tells the New York Times. Days before the test, the 1961 deputy secretary of defense Roswell Gilpatric said in a speech that American nuclear experts had determined that the value of such a large weapon was “so questionable that it was not worth developing.” Instead, nuclear development continued on a path toward miniaturization, which allowed weapons to be placed on the tips of missiles and transported on trucks and submarines.

From a different perspective (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/when-carl-sagan-warned-world-about-nuclear-winter-180967198/), as Carl Sagan wrote in former President Jimmy Carter's farewell address, this same technology has been used to launch rockets into space.

"Nuclear weapons are an expression of one side of our human character,” Sagan wrote at the time (https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/farewell-address-the-nation-0). “But there's another side. The same rocket technology that delivers nuclear warheads has also taken us peacefully into space. From that perspective, we see our Earth as it really is—a small and fragile and beautiful blue globe, the only home we have. We see no barriers of race or religion or country. We see the essential unity of our species and our planet. And with faith and common sense, that bright vision will ultimately prevail."


Source: Smithsonian Magazine (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/russia-declassifies-video-1961-largest-hydrogen-bomb-ever-detonated-180975669/)

Wind
30th August 2020, 12:55
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't modern nukes even more devastating?

Aragorn
30th August 2020, 13:15
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't modern nukes even more devastating?

Well, there was a series of treaties (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Arms_Limitation_Talks) to limit the proliferation of both nuclear weapons and their power, but a certain Orange Man™ has pulled out of them now... :hmm:

Lord Sidious
30th August 2020, 17:51
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't modern nukes even more devastating?

Yes and no.
Singularly, no.
The ICBM's have multiple MIRVs on them, so one missile can contain 10 warheads, not just one bomb.

BeastOfBologna
30th August 2020, 17:59
It occurred to me once that 4 of those biggies could devastate a good portion of the United States.

Wind
30th August 2020, 18:00
The ICBM's have multiple MIRVs on them, so one missile can contain 10 warheads, not just one bomb.

Damn. I wonder if all of those are directed to just one city or to multiple ones at a time?

BeastOfBologna
30th August 2020, 18:02
I was suppose to be receiving issues of that but they cut me off for non payment, even after I paid them. I lose that one, doesn't usually happen that way. :)

good question, it seems they scatter at a limited proximity... don't really remember though

Wind
30th August 2020, 18:02
I was suppose to be receiving issues of that but they cut me off for non payment, even after I paid them. I lose that one, doesn't usually happen that way. :)

What are you referring to?

BeastOfBologna
30th August 2020, 18:03
Smithsonian...the first few were boring as hell.

BeastOfBologna
30th August 2020, 18:51
I looked it up ... for the mirv - 1500 kilometers... that's a wide area.

Aragorn
30th August 2020, 18:57
The ICBM's have multiple MIRVs on them, so one missile can contain 10 warheads, not just one bomb.

Damn. I wonder if all of those are directed to just one city or to multiple ones at a time?

It depends on the missile. They usually scatter ─ with the spread of the individual warheads determined by the altitude and speed of the missile ─ but the most recent Russian nukes can not only carry multiple warheads, but also have each warhead designate its individual target with great precision. Basically, the main nuke acts as a kind of mothership for the actual (and smaller) missiles with a warhead inside.

They don't need a whole lot of those in order to turn the USA into a pile of radioactive ashes, but I believe that they are mainly intended for taking out the US Navy's fleet. :hmm:

Lord Sidious
31st August 2020, 12:50
Damn. I wonder if all of those are directed to just one city or to multiple ones at a time?

Multiples

Dreamtimer
31st August 2020, 14:23
I wonder if Russia is that stupid? It appears that Trump is indeed stupid enough to launch nukes. But Putin? :hmm:

BeastOfBologna
31st August 2020, 16:26
DR. STRANGELOVE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB QUOTES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-X_D2JUAAY

Gen. "Buck" Turgidson: Your average Ruskie doesn't take a dump without a plan.

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen! you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

Dr. Strangelove: Mein Fuhrer, I can walk
Dr. Strangelove: Mein Fuhrer, I can walk.

President Merkin Muffley: General Turgidson. it is the avowed policy of our nation never to strike first with nuclear weapons!
Gen. Buck Turgidson: Well sir, I would say that General Ripper has already invalidated THAT policy!

Dr. Strangelove: The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost... if you [President Muffley] keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?!

Lt. Lothar Zogg: Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American People than with your image in the history books.
Gen. "Buck" Turgidson: Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American People than with your image in the history books.

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is a war room!

Dr. Strangelove: Last line in film, Sellers getting up out of wheelchair " Mien Fuher, I can walk!"
Dr. Strangelove: [last line in film, Sellers getting up out of wheelchair] Mien Fuher, I can walk!

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room
President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

Maj. T.J. "King" Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

Col. Bat Guano: Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: What?
Col. Bat Guano: You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.

Gen. Buck Turgidson: I don't think it's quite fair to condemn the whole program because of a single slip up.
Gen. Buck Turgidson: Well, I, uh, don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.

Gen. Jack D. Ripper: I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Gen. Jack D. Ripper: "I-I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love...Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I-I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake. But I do deny them my essence."
Gen. Jack D. Ripper: I-I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love...Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I-I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake. But I do deny them my essence.

Gen. Jack D. Ripper: It occurred to me... ,[Embarrassed and slightly reluctantly]] While I was in the act of physical love...
Gen. Jack D. Ripper: It occurred to me, [embarrassed and slightly reluctantly] While I was in the act of physical love...

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Mein Führer! I can walk!
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I can walk!

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

Dr. Strangelove: Mein Führer! I can walk!
Dr. Strangelove: Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!

President Merkin Muffley: Hello?... Uh... Hello D- uh hello Dmitri? Listen uh uh I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!... Well now, what happened is... ahm... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri... Let me finish, Dmitri... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... *Of course* I like to speak to you!... *Of course* I like to say hello!... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly... you probably wouldn't have even got it... They will *not* reach their targets for at least another hour... I am... I am positive, Dmitri... Listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador. It is not a trick... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your air staff a complete run-down on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes... Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to recall the planes, then... I'd say that, ah... well, ah... we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dmitri... I know they're our boys... All right, well listen now. Who should we call?... *Who* should we call, Dmitri? The... wha-whe, the People... you, sorry, you faded away there... The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters... Where is that, Dmitri?... In Omsk... Right... Yes... Oh, you'll call them first, will you?... Uh-huh... Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dmitri?... Whe-ah, what? I see, just ask for Omsk information... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.
President Merkin Muffley: [to Kissoff] Hello?... Uh... Hello D- uh hello Dmitri? Listen uh uh I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!... Well now, what happened is... ahm... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri... Let me finish, Dmitri... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... *Of course* I like to speak to you!... *Of course* I like to say hello!... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly... you probably wouldn't have even got it... They will *not* reach their targets for at least another hour... I am... I am positive, Dmitri... Listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador. It is not a trick... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your air staff a complete run-down on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes... Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to recall the planes, then... I'd say that, ah... well, ah... we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dmitri... I know they're our boys... All right, well listen now. Who should we call?... *Who* should we call, Dmitri? The... wha-whe, the People... you, sorry, you faded away there... The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters... Where is that, Dmitri?... In Omsk... Right... Yes... Oh, you'll call them first, will you?... Uh-huh... Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dmitri?... Whe-ah, what? I see, just ask for Omsk information... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.

Dr. Strangelove: Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious.
Dr. Strangelove: Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious. [last lines]

Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Führer. Nuclear reactors could - heh, I'm sorry, Mr. President - nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely.
Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Fuhrer. Nuclear reactors could. I'm sorry, Mr. President... nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely.

Dr. Strangelove: Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the FEAR to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the Doomsday machine is terrifying and simple to understand... and completely credible and convincing.

Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you *keep* it a *secret*! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?
Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you *keep* it a *secret*! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?

Gen. Buck Turgidson: Mr. President! We must not alloooooooooow a mine shaft gap!!

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen! you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

President Merkin Muffley: Yes, I can hear you know Dmitri. Clear and plain and coming through fine. I'm coming through fine too, eh? Well then, as you say, we're both coming through fine. Good. Well, it's good that your fine, and that I'm fine. Oh, I agree with you, it's great to be fine. (laughs)

Dr. Strangelove: My Fuher, I can walk!!