under which Atomic Annie
could be used created a conundrum
strategists. Given Annie's short range
, lack of mobility
, difficulty to hide
, and no first strike capability
, what was the correct set of rules of engagement
for this weapon?
The only viable military solution was not politically acceptable. Given the fears of a Soviet blitzkrieg, Annie would be most useful in the role of Parthian, covering the retreat of surviving NATO forces from West Germany, interdicting the advance of Soviet troops by a scorched earth bombardment of West Germany. This bombardment would corral the Soviet troops in eastern West Germany, where aerial counterstrikes could be effective.
Politically, Annie's best use was as a deterrent. By ensuring that the only viable US response to a Soviet invasion was nuclear, the Soviets could clearly see the negative consequences - for them and the world - of that invasion.