A Brief History
On November 1, 1951, the US Army conducted nuclear tests in the Nevada desert that included a diabolical exercise in which 6500 US Army troops were exposed to the effects of a nearby nuclear detonation and its associated radiation.
Called Operation Buster–Jangle, the US conducted a series of 7 nuclear tests, that included the November 1 test in which the 6500 troops, of which participation was not voluntary, were dug in foxholes and trenches only 6 miles from an air burst nuclear bomb of 21 kilotons yield, about that of the Nagasaki bomb. After having the hot nuclear wind blast over them, depositing desert dust in choking clouds upon the men, the troops were ordered to get up and march across the blast site to within 900 meters of “ground zero.”
While the medical ramifications of exposure to radiation to our troops is not well reported, the fact that the US government passed the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to compensate the military veterans exposed to nuclear testing in the 1950’s is tacit acknowledgment of the culpability of the US government in long term health problems experienced by those troops.
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For more information, please see…
Futter, Andrew. The Politics of Nuclear Weapons. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
Olmsted, GB. Operation BUSTER – JANGLE. PN, 1952.
The featured image in this article, a photograph of Operation Buster-Jangle – Dog test — with troops participating in exercise Desert Rock I, is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain in the United States.
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