Tactical Employment of Atomic Weapons

In these 1951 appendices, the authors investigate the viability of nuclear weapons in the 1950 Korean War. Assisting their efforts to understand the enemy forces is a Chinese defector who gave the location and unit sizes of the Chinese Army. American strategists then consider the area and elevation of detonation, consideration for friendly troop positions, and general training and preparation for such an event. Lastly, possible shortcomings in the plan are examined.

With the tremendous size of Chinese forces in the Korean War, the United States had begun to consider the implications of using atomic weapons. In this set of appendices, strategists consider where and when to use such a weapon.

The authors write:

“With new developments in atomic warheads and means of delivering them, an integrated system of tactical employment of atomic weapons is possible. The subject of means of delivery, including medium and light bombers, fighter aircraft, guided missiles and artillery is discussed in detail in Appendix E.” [page 85]

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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