The smallest nuclear device ever created, a missile launcher bolted to the roof of an armored vehicle. Its the only nuclear device ever to be manned by mere US infantry. The Davy Crockett M-388 Nuclear Device was a devastating unused weapon that could kill anything in a quarter mile radius. It was the main attraction in "Little Feller I," tested on July 17, 1962, in the Nevada desert, during the last phase of Operation Sunbeam.
Enhanced radiation battlefield weapon
"Named after the famous American folk hero, this defense apparatus was based on the tried-and-true recoilless rifle, a launcher similar to the shoulder-fired tubes used in the Second World War. Such weapons were designed to counteract much of their recoil by routing some expanding gas out the rear end, thereby producing forward thrust at the same moment that the projectile pushes the gun backwards. But the Davy Crockett Weapon System did improve on the concept in one important way: it paired this dead-simple launch device with a tiny fission bomb, making it the most convenient nuclear bomb delivery system ever developed." (Damn Interesting)
Our nuclear rocket launcher was made for the purpose of delaying or halting "endless" lines of troops pouring out of the USSR and East Germany. Weighing seventy-six pounds, the fireable shell vaguely resembled a watermelon with fins. It was too big to fit inside of the gun, so it perched on the tip. The warhead was a terrible explosive, missing its target by hundreds of feet typically. However, while you may not get blown up by this ridiculous weapon, you will feel the radiation. The radiation is spewed far across the intended battlefield. The secret to the warhead is still unknown to the public, but it is speculated that a thirty pound hollowed-out wad of plutonium was wrapped in beryllium and shape charges. A pretty dang good atom splitter device. It could be fired only four times the distance of the radius explosion, (1 mile firing power, 1/4 mile radius explosion).
My handmade table of the nuke's abilities. The Range is in meters.
Range Radiation (REM) Blast (PSI)
300 1,350 2.5
100 10,300 7
The maximum range that exposed troops would experience 3rd degree flash burns from the Blast Center is 90 meters (297 feet).
200 REM = possible sterility, cancer, immune system suppression.
600 REM = 50% fatality.
1,000 REM = 100% lethal. Death guaranteed within 2 weeks or sooner.
5,000 REM = Instantly incapacitated. Followed by a "walking death
" of sorts, where after collapse and death. You might live a day.
10,000 REM = Death within minutes or hours.
The Atomic Battle Group
The Atomic Battle Group were charged with defending the borders between east and west Germany, i.e. the Iron Curtain, between 1961-71. The Davy Crockett launcher was actually deployed during these ten years! 2,100 devices were created for use. "The Davy Crockett Atomic Battle Group Delivery System was born of a time where the US Army felt it needed some 151,000 nuclear weapons for deployment in a protracted conflict with the Soviet Union. Of this total, 106,000 would be for tactical battlefield use, 25,000 for air defense of US Army units and installations, and 20,000 to support our Allies. All of this was predicated on the thought at the US Army would use an estimated 423 atomic warheads in a single day of intense atomic combat - not to include surface-to-air missiles." (Gun Truck)