Catalogue


Vanguard of American atomic deterrence : the Sandia pioneers, 1946-1949 /
James L. Abrahamson, Paul H. Carew ; foreword by Richard G. Hewlett.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
description
xxiii, 181 p. : ill.
ISBN
0275978192 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
isbn
0275978192 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4744420
 
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
James L. Abrahamson, a retired army colonel and now an adjunct professor at the American Military University Paul H. Carew is a retired Defense Department executive who served 38 years with the department
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œVanguard offers interesting insights into relations among the services, conflicts with the civilian entities established to control atomic energy after WWII, and the way in which innovative units and schools are created to meet changing techinical and political demands. It is also a belated tribute to a group of amazing individuals who just happened to be Army officers as well.'' Assembly
"This slice of history ably and interestingly written, is the story of the contribution made by sixty young Army officers to the continued development, testing and use of atomic weapons from the end of World War II until the onset of the Korean War....What readers with a military background will appreciate is that the work illustrates the fact that military personel proved fully capable of aquiring the scientific knowledge and the engineering skills to assemble, test and even improve on the initial design of atomic weapons, something the scientific community believed was way beyond their ken." - The Journal of Army History
'œThis "slice of history" ably and interestingly written, is the story of the contribution made by sixty young Army officers to the continued development, testing and use of atomic weapons from the end of World War II until the onset of the Korean War....What readers with a military background will appreciate is that the work illustrates the fact that military personel proved fully capable of aquiring the scientific knowledge and the engineering skills to assemble, test and even improve on the initial design of atomic weapons, something the scientific community believed was way beyond their ken.'' The Journal of Army History
"In chronicling the contributions of an equally dedicated and professional military command, Abrahamson and Carew have made an invaluable contribution in exposing an importnat chapter in our history." - Army Magazine
"^IVanguard^R offers interesting insights into relations among the services, conflicts with the civilian entities established to control atomic energy after WWII, and the way in which innovative units and schools are created to meet changing techinical and political demands. It is also a belated tribute to a group of amazing individuals who just happened to be Army officers as well." - Assembly
'œ[T]he authors have filled a gap in our understanding of the evolution of deterrence. And, to their great credit, they did so in a literate manner without burying the layman in technical detail. Well done! Your reviewer commends the book to the reader of these pages.'' Parameters
"[T]he authors have filled a gap in our understanding of the evolution of deterrence. And, to their great credit, they did so in a literate manner without burying the layman in technical detail. Well done! Your reviewer commends the book to the reader of these pages." - Parameters
'œ...a fine job of crafting the first public account of this interesting time in our history...a valuable contribution to the public understanding of Cold War history.'' The Chapel Hill News
"...a fine job of crafting the first public account of this interesting time in our history...a valuable contribution to the public understanding of Cold War history." - The Chapel Hill News
'œ...[a]n intersting and informative book.'' AmericanDiplomacy.org
"...[a]n intersting and informative book." - AmericanDiplomacy.org
'œIn chronicling the contributions of an equally dedicated and professional military command, Abrahamson and Carew have made an invaluable contribution in exposing an importnat chapter in our history.'' Army Magazine
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
In August of 1946, General Leslie Groves, Chief of the Manhattan Project, ordered 60 young officers to Sandia, New Mexico. In a project so wrapped in secrecy that few know of it even a half-century later, Groves charged them to learn how to assemble the early and highly complex atomic bombs. With that goal accomplished, they established a school to train additional assembly teams and the weaponeers and bomb commanders needed for the services' atomic-capable aircraft. Although the wartime atomic scientists believed such tasks lay beyond the ken of military personnel, the Sandia Pioneers soon maintained even the bombs' fissionable cores and assisted the Atomic Energy Commission scientists and technicians in their pursuit of improved bomb designs. The secret history of the young officers who replaced the scientists that had assembled the first atomic bombs, proving that the military was capable of building and maintaining the atomic stockpile, is told here. Possessed of a very special skill, the Pioneers also contributed to the construction and assembly facilities aboard aircraft carriers and at airbases in the United States and England. With the AEC lacking enough technicians to conduct the 1948 atomic tests at Eniwetok, Groves sent many of the Pioneers to assist scientists testing improvements in the design of bombs' fissionable cores. Those tests demonstrated that the new designs increased the bombs' yield while making better use of scarce plutonium, thereby permitting a dramatic increase in the size of the atomic stockpile.
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Abbreviationsp. xix
Chronology of Eventsp. xxi
Introduction: Totally Elatedp. 1
A Purposeful Destructionp. 7
This Laboratory Monstrosityp. 23
Everything Was Criticalp. 35
Back in Business Againp. 57
The Best Army Schoolp. 79
Totally Unimpressivep. 91
Our Captain Barnes Can Show You Howp. 113
Operation SANDSTONEp. 129
Reaching Maturity in Atomic Operationsp. 149
Epilogue: A Radically New Erap. 159
Bibliographyp. 163
Name Indexp. 171
Subject Indexp. 177
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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