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Battlefield of the Cold War The Nevada Test Site: Volume I Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Testing 1951-1963 By United States Department of Energy
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Charlie promised to be a “Big Shot,” as the press dubbed the nation’s twenty-fifth nuclear weapons test. With a projected explosive yield equivalent to thirty-three kilotons of TNT,... More > Charlie would be the largest test conducted to date at the Nevada Proving Ground, formerly—and again to be—the Nevada Test Site. Charlie also was big in the sense that for the first time a nuclear weapons test would be held as an “open” shot that allowed a significant degree of public access. For the first time, as well, ground and airborne troops would conduct military maneuvers on a simulated nuclear battlefield following the shot. By 9:00 a.m. on April 22, 1952, at H-hour minus thirty minutes,* all was ready and in place for Charlie. Hundreds of observers, dignitaries, and reporters, previously banned from the site, had gathered on a small hill newly christened “News Nob,” about nine miles south of ground zero, to await the blast.< Less