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Nassau Agreement falls through

Hood

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The three main factors for me are;

Britain has striven since 1945 to possess nuclear weapons, even if Nassau fails there is little chance of giving up that crown, especially in the face of humiliation if the USA had withdrawn offers of support again after the post-1945 breakdown of cooperation and the very recent resumption of cooperation in 1958. So a national effort would have to be maintained somehow, the US can't get the genie back in the bottle now we have the designs of their warheads to improve our own. It could restart the work on national warheads based on those efforts that led to the Grapple tests but with refinements using US practice. Also, Macmillan wants to join the EEC, CdG isn't about to let Britain join his nuclear programme so to maintain parity with France to prevent them being the only nuclear power in Europe and to be seen to be equal in status, Macmillan would have to press on.

Why would the US let Nassau fail? Kennedy loved the idea of the MLF - the US wants all NATO warheads under its SIOP lists and to tightly control the use of nuclear weapons. They don't want another Suez situation that might lead to an excuse for the Soviet to send their arsenal westwards and across the pole and end up trigging MAD on the USA. Perversely the reverse of that concern drives the UK ambitions, they want their own weapons to make sure the US doesn't withdraw the umbrella to save their own skins and to deter the Soviets from hitting the UK or France if the Americans get liberal with their instant sunshine somewhere else (shades of Macarthur). So the US has every incentive to not only protect their nuclear IP now in UK hands but also to limit their allies freedom of operations, to risk the UK walking away risks loss of control. And has never lost it to this day.
 

Purpletrouble

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Hugely interesting take - but a bit conspiratorial/paranoid? I suspect in the large number of influencers and decision makers in the US of this period there were a lot of (competing) views and reality is the chaotic outcome of those happening/not happening, and of course as we see today, the ever present impact of “events”.
 

Archibald

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The great missed opportunity was of a "Super Black Knight" - the size of Blue Streak but running on Black Arrow propellants.
Both used kerosene, but a key difference between their oxidizers - LOX and H2O2 - is the later is liquid at room temperature (silo temperature, I should say) when LOX is deep cryogen (-190°C).

Atlas-F and Titan I proved (in 1961-62) that a LOX ICBM could be emplaced in underground silos - only to be swept aside from 1965 by McNamara beloved Titan II and Minuteman - storable and solid fuel being more practical.

The Super Black Knight could have fulfilled the roles of a) Blue Streak / Europa b) Blue Streak IRBM (replacing both Skybolt and Polaris) and c) Black Arrow national civilian booster.

There is also the intriguing concept of a "Skybolt / Black Arrow" - that is, air-launching a Black Arrow with a nuclear warhead from an Avro Vulcan. It could have been done. On top of that, the propellants were the same as Blue Steel - keroxide once again.

Just like the French did from EA41 to Ariane, through Veronique and Diamant - stick with the same rocket engine tech all along, improving it.

With perfect hindsight - turn Black Arrow or Black Knight into
- a british Skybolt, and screw Polaris - keep the V-force Vulcan B2 as long as needed. no Blue Steel, no Victor B2 except as tankers.
- for the IRBM role - forget Blue Streak, go all out on a "Super Black Knight" running on kerosene/ H2O2. Problem is silos on British soil, plus I readily agree keroxide is a bastard onboard submarines (HMS Exploder ?)

Keroxide and Skybolt never got a chance as IRBM / ICBM. Great Britain had the technology to repair this and develop a truly unique nuclear deterrent.
 
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Purpletrouble

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“unique”.
Something else that should strike terror into programme decision makers.

With hindsight, and indeed, just obviously, Polaris was the best choice by a long, long way. We’d have needed a replacement bomber program, the SSBNs as the only reason we still have SSNs and land based is completely unworkable for the UK.
 

Archibald

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"Get out of CNH body, NASAspaceflight Jim !"
 

zen

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Back to plot.
Hugely interesting take - but a bit conspiratorial/paranoid? I suspect in the large number of influencers and decision makers in the US of this period there were a lot of (competing) views and reality is the chaotic outcome of those happening/not happening, and of course as we see today, the ever present impact of “events”.
Paranoia has it's place along with cynicism. After all the UK went to war over Poland, only for the entirety of that country and all of eastern Europe and the eastern half of Germany to be handed to the USSR.
It was driven to hand over everything it had technology wise. Spent itself deep into debt after emptying it's reserves and holdings.
Factor in the loans issue and the Bomb and then being shut out.
Well you might grasp that from here in the UK it's not all a bed of roses.
 

CNH

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" "Get out of CNH body, NASAspaceflight Jim !" "

Um ... okay.
 

kaiserd

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Hugely interesting take - but a bit conspiratorial/paranoid? I suspect in the large number of influencers and decision makers in the US of this period there were a lot of (competing) views and reality is the chaotic outcome of those happening/not happening, and of course as we see today, the ever present impact of “events”.
Paranoia has it's place along with cynicism. After all the UK went to war over Poland, only for the entirety of that country and all of eastern Europe and the eastern half of Germany to be handed to the USSR.
It was driven to hand over everything it had technology wise. Spent itself deep into debt after emptying it's reserves and holdings.
Factor in the loans issue and the Bomb and then being shut out.
Well you might grasp that from here in the UK it's not all a bed of roses.
The tens of million of USSR war dead (amongst many other aspects of actual reality) would indicate that WW2 wasn’t a giant conspiracy against the UK.
And neither was the aftermath of WW2, up to and including the Nassau Agreement (and events subsequent.......)
 

zen

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Back to plot.
Hugely interesting take - but a bit conspiratorial/paranoid? I suspect in the large number of influencers and decision makers in the US of this period there were a lot of (competing) views and reality is the chaotic outcome of those happening/not happening, and of course as we see today, the ever present impact of “events”.
Paranoia has it's place along with cynicism. After all the UK went to war over Poland, only for the entirety of that country and all of eastern Europe and the eastern half of Germany to be handed to the USSR.
It was driven to hand over everything it had technology wise. Spent itself deep into debt after emptying it's reserves and holdings.
Factor in the loans issue and the Bomb and then being shut out.
Well you might grasp that from here in the UK it's not all a bed of roses.
The tens of million of USSR war dead (amongst many other aspects of actual reality) would indicate that WW2 wasn’t a giant conspiracy against the UK.
And neither was the aftermath of WW2, up to and including the Nassau Agreement (and events subsequent.......)
Well now you're putting words in others mouths and taking what's said off to some extreme not intended.
I assume some moralising and virtue signaling is next?
States have neither friendships or emnities nor any inherent morality.
 

CNH

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" land based is completely unworkable for the UK "
Well, no.
Well, yes.
Silos for the likes of a Black Arrow MRBM would be much smaller than the original K11 silo. Given that these might be supplemented by an airborne deterrent, not that many would needed.
France did it in the Massif Central. What's wrong with the Pennines and Yorkshire moors? Spadeadam, for example.
 

Archibald

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" land based is completely unworkable for the UK "
Well, no.
Well, yes.
Silos for the likes of a Black Arrow MRBM would be much smaller than the original K11 silo. Given that these might be supplemented by an airborne deterrent, not that many would needed.
France did it in the Massif Central. What's wrong with the Pennines and Yorkshire moors? Spadeadam, for example.

Plateau d'Albion indeed, but Massif Central is quite a long way from Vaucluse... ;)

Thanks CNH that was the point I was trying to make. Black Arrow air-launched from a Vulcan, and Blue Streak with H2O2 in place of LOX to make the silos simpler.
 
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zen

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" land based is completely unworkable for the UK "
Well, no.
Well, yes.
Silos for the likes of a Black Arrow MRBM would be much smaller than the original K11 silo. Given that these might be supplemented by an airborne deterrent, not that many would needed.
France did it in the Massif Central. What's wrong with the Pennines and Yorkshire moors? Spadeadam, for example.
Granite.

Ideally silos are located in soil and rock that doesn't undergo liquifraction or propagate shocks vibrations.
This rules out hard but fracture-able granite or soft liquify-able sand.

It was a surprisingly narrow strip of land in the UK that had the right geology.
 

Hood

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Floating barges in the Norfolk broads with retractable launching gantries?
 

RanulfC

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Now for the bit where I ask those who don't like British daydreams to leave the room or at least tolerate our musings.
Ok, I mean JUST because we let you all use ".uk" in the address it's not like we didn't invent this whole 'internet' thing and let the rest of the world play along... :)

As a note on keroxide propellants I could also wish the Brits had noted it's ability to not decompose, (at all) when stored at 5c/40f which you'd be able to do pretty well in a silo :)

Having the decision to go with a rocket for main propulsion on the Blue Steel flip/flop back to having ramjets (as was proposed for BS-II) so as to increase stand-off range

As I understand it though the main issue with British deterrence was essentially that barring a few place in the UK itself the survivability of those deterrents was marginal at best. Aircraft would have to be on airborne alert most of the time, (both expensive and dangerous as the US pretty much proved during Chrome Dome) there wasn't enough "room" to have mobile capability for survival so the only "real" possible deterrence was SLBM forces which is where it went OTL.

England has some geographical as well as political issues that are a bit different than anyone else in the area but as noted above also had to deal with political and social issues relating to which side of the Atlantic (US or Europe) they 'favored' working with.

Randy
 

Archibald

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*France is 550 000 squared kilometers, Great Britains is merely half of that, so not easy to dug silos. I do no contest Polaris was probably the right way to go.
Just trying to make Blue Streak / Black Knight - Arrow less redundant / wasted, not for military but rather the civilians later on.
Incidentally, the alt-history where the French and British screw Concorde and do Europa instead (WITHOUT the ESRO / ELDO quagmire) remain to be written as a "low end" to the one I linked upthread.
On paper, it might be possible to get a "proto Ariane" out of Blue Streak by strapping four Diamant as boosters. For second stage, go "Diamant" first but LOX / LH2 ASAP. Blend together Roll Royce RZ-20 and SEP "HM-4 / HM-6 / HM-7 / HM-20".
If all goes perfectly well, and considering OTL Europa, the end result might be a "proto Ariane" or "Atlas II look-alike" right from 1971. Just in time to send robotic probes to the Moon and enter the space race, Grand Style.
 

zen

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This has always got me, since not only is HTP easier to store, it's 'easier' to put an HTP fire out compared to LOx. Which makes it much safer.

Now obviously there is a penalty in that kerosene and HTP rocket motors are less efficient than kerosene and LOx.

But the benefits outweigh this and the scope to develop both chemically is clear.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, the UK did fund HTP kerosene rocket technology.
 

Purpletrouble

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Floating barges in the Norfolk broads with retractable launching gantries?
Submersible barges that one can move from Norfolk to other places... :)

Although I suspect you were intimating that anyway!?

With SSBNs developed as a capability then unless the oceans could get crowded if everything was in there, I can’t see the point of any land based nukes. Airborne has a role because of sub-strategic options plus the platform is very handy for conventional purposes. SSBNs also help sustain the SSN fleets which arguably are the true kings of the sea (or is it queens?).

Surely if you have these types of weapons, a critical aspect is they can’t be threatened with loss, ie forcing a “use or lose”. These need to be the ultimate ace up the sleeve?
 

zen

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Submarine building drumbeat is critical, the UK took a pause from the 1990's and the effect was nearly catastrophic. Ending up in a bunch of nuclear submarine design staff being kept in kicking their heels until the whole process started up again. Risking the loss of the living knowledge and experience of how these things are done.
 

zen

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Not so small matter on "use or lose".

Command and Control over such systems is dependent on a series of fixed sites connected by both landlines and microwave communications links.

These are not just targets but subject to shock loads and vibrations as well as flash, radiation, fire and EMP effects.

Result is Command and Control degrades under nuclear bombardment with alarming speed.
Use it or lose the power to use it rapidly becomes the choice.

This is part of the justification of ABM. Buying time before retaliation and buying time for the ultimate decision to fire everything or not.
 

CNH

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If 'fixed sites' are such a bad idea, why have the USA, Russia, China, France, Iran [India?] spent so much money on them?
 

Purpletrouble

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Because they need a mass of weapons.
Because they don’t have viable sub/air launched platforms or nuclear capable missiles.
Because they dont want to rely on one type even if that appears optimum and have the resources to skin the cat in multiple ways.
Because they were further away and that gave them a bit more time.
Because they came first and military industrial institutional inertia and politics prevents change.

Pick nation, pick the options :)
 

RanulfC

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This has always got me, since not only is HTP easier to store, it's 'easier' to put an HTP fire out compared to LOx. Which makes it much safer.

Now obviously there is a penalty in that kerosene and HTP rocket motors are less efficient than kerosene and LOx.

But the benefits outweigh this and the scope to develop both chemically is clear.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, the UK did fund HTP kerosene rocket technology.
The "problem" though is at the time (late-50s/early-60s) none of this was as 'clear' as it would be since by that time several high-profile events had soured HTP's image greatly. HTP was NOT 'easy-to-store' until the late-70s when a company in the US found out, quite bay accident, that when stored in an AC-cooled storage unit the HTP did not decompose as ALL HTP had always done!

The UK rocket work was exceptionally better and safer than anywhere else in the world likely because they treated it with respect. By contrast in the US during WWII scientist ordered by the Army to study HTP, (since we knew the Germans were using it) didn't want to 'waste-time' with the stuff. So after complaining long-and-loud how dangerous the stuff was finally commissioned a storage tanks to be built and filled it with HTP to sit over the weekend and be ready for Monday testing.

Did I mention they specifically left off any type of venting or relief system on the tank? No? Well they did and so come Monday when they and the Army higher-ups come to visit the crater where the storage tank was they again, politely mind you, remind the higher-ups how dangerous this stuff is and can we please work on something safer like Aniline, Nitric Acid or maybe Hydrazine instead? They were so confident they "knew" HTP after WWII that they poured a layer of jet fuel over a pool of HTP and lit the fuel on fire. No problems so what could go wrong with doing the same thing for some VIP's? Bit more windy today and OH MY GOD! Ya, not good stuff :)

HTP almost always "loses" to LOX simply because of the performance hit and the ease of getting LOX on top of all the "well known issues" with HTP that over-shadow its capabilities I'd love to see it get more lovin but I'm guessing it's not going to happen any time soon :(

Randy.
 

RanulfC

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If 'fixed sites' are such a bad idea, why have the USA, Russia, China, France, Iran [India?] spent so much money on them?
The USA and Russia have a lot more 'space' to play with than most nations. While the US has pretty much stuck to fixed and hardened silos, Russia, China, France and India among a few others are investing more into mobile systems using either "shell-game" hardened shelters or if they have the room actual mobile ICBMs. The idea for most of the super-hardened silos is the 'strike-from-the-grave' deterrence but really a majority is they were built initially and it doesn't make a lot of sense to try and build brand new ones due to cost.

Barring a super-hardened, or deep-hardened type silo a hole-in-the ground is relatively cheaper than air-or-sea borne deployment.And if you have the room it can be 'out-of-sight/out-of-mind' for most of the public which helps political. It usually boils down to costs which is why the next American ICBM will likely require to fit into an existing Minuteman silo.

Randy
 

zen

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If 'fixed sites' are such a bad idea, why have the USA, Russia, China, France, Iran [India?] spent so much money on them?
Because they do give a limited period of time of control, which thanks to the distance from their enemies gives them more time and more opportunities for decisions.

Also fixed launch sites provide a much greater accuracy for targeting. Better for first strike scenarios.

But this is also why the US pursued ABM, to buy even more time when Command and Control remained functional.

For the UK the cost to benefit of all that is questionable. Hence why SSBN became the preferred system.

For France the silo'd missiles deliver accurate effects but the choice France had was fire when the Soviets started rolling or fire when they reached the Rhine.
 

zen

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Hmmmm.... I'm given to understand that the UK got quite thoroughly acquainted with HTP and felt you can store it. Though I imagine attention was paid to storage, venting etc...as the UK had a very thorough approach to such things back then. Just as they did the materials used, and their purity.
Hence the overkill on Ikara storage or for that matter the safety of nuclear weapons......

Pure aluminium tanks were planned for HMS Eagle to supply P.177 Fighters.

The story goes there was quite some surprise and consternation when the US started sharing nuclear weapons design and UK staff found out how safe some US weapons were.....
 

Archibald

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France land-based deterrent is gone since 1997. Plateau d'albion nowdays has more moles than missiles in the holes there.

Airborne deterrent got there first (Mirage IV) but very much like the British, it gradually faded away and finally, SSBN triumphed.

Nowadays airborne deterrent is a handful of ASMP-A under Rafales.
 
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CNH

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This has always got me, since not only is HTP easier to store, it's 'easier' to put an HTP fire out compared to LOx. Which makes it much safer.

Now obviously there is a penalty in that kerosene and HTP rocket motors are less efficient than kerosene and LOx.

But the benefits outweigh this and the scope to develop both chemically is clear.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, the UK did fund HTP kerosene rocket technology.
The "problem" though is at the time (late-50s/early-60s) none of this was as 'clear' as it would be since by that time several high-profile events had soured HTP's image greatly. HTP was NOT 'easy-to-store' until the late-70s when a company in the US found out, quite bay accident, that when stored in an AC-cooled storage unit the HTP did not decompose as ALL HTP had always done!

The UK rocket work was exceptionally better and safer than anywhere else in the world likely because they treated it with respect. By contrast in the US during WWII scientist ordered by the Army to study HTP, (since we knew the Germans were using it) didn't want to 'waste-time' with the stuff. So after complaining long-and-loud how dangerous the stuff was finally commissioned a storage tanks to be built and filled it with HTP to sit over the weekend and be ready for Monday testing.

Did I mention they specifically left off any type of venting or relief system on the tank? No? Well they did and so come Monday when they and the Army higher-ups come to visit the crater where the storage tank was they again, politely mind you, remind the higher-ups how dangerous this stuff is and can we please work on something safer like Aniline, Nitric Acid or maybe Hydrazine instead? They were so confident they "knew" HTP after WWII that they poured a layer of jet fuel over a pool of HTP and lit the fuel on fire. No problems so what could go wrong with doing the same thing for some VIP's? Bit more windy today and OH MY GOD! Ya, not good stuff :)

HTP almost always "loses" to LOX simply because of the performance hit and the ease of getting LOX on top of all the "well known issues" with HTP that over-shadow its capabilities I'd love to see it get more lovin but I'm guessing it's not going to happen any time soon :(

Randy.
The UK had no major incidents with HTP. Yes, it's less energetic than lox, but it is storable and not cryogenic.
 
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Purpletrouble

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The story goes there was quite some surprise and consternation when the US started sharing nuclear weapons design and UK staff found out how safe some US weapons were.....
I assume you imply US weapons weren’t as safe?

I don’t know for nukes, but on conventional weapons they are well ahead of the UK in terms of insensitive munitions. Hence why their procedures often appear slack with armed stuff, and that safety has come from a lot of investment over a long time that the UK is only now starting to catch up.
 
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Volkodav

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Back to plot.
Hugely interesting take - but a bit conspiratorial/paranoid? I suspect in the large number of influencers and decision makers in the US of this period there were a lot of (competing) views and reality is the chaotic outcome of those happening/not happening, and of course as we see today, the ever present impact of “events”.
Paranoia has it's place along with cynicism. After all the UK went to war over Poland, only for the entirety of that country and all of eastern Europe and the eastern half of Germany to be handed to the USSR.
It was driven to hand over everything it had technology wise. Spent itself deep into debt after emptying it's reserves and holdings.
Factor in the loans issue and the Bomb and then being shut out.
Well you might grasp that from here in the UK it's not all a bed of roses.
The tens of million of USSR war dead (amongst many other aspects of actual reality) would indicate that WW2 wasn’t a giant conspiracy against the UK.
And neither was the aftermath of WW2, up to and including the Nassau Agreement (and events subsequent.......)
Well the USSR did sign a treaty with Germany and partition Poland, they weren't exactly innocent bystanders or neutral parties to what occurred. Naively opportunistic is a term comes to mind where the USSR was concerned. It is also well understood that while some in the US had good intentions, seeing the defeat of totalitarianism as paramount, other elements saw the colonial powers as little better and took the UK for everything they could.
 
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Archibald

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It is also well understood that while some in the US had good intentions, seeing the defeat of totalitarianism as paramount, other elements saw the colonial powers as little better and took the UK for everything they could.
Classy. So classy. And complete bollocks.

As far as racism go, in the 30's USA's Mississipi, France's Algeria and Great Britain India (or Rhodesia, whatever) were pretty evenly matched... one could also add Belgium and their Congo.

All three countries were democracies (guess why they fought nazi together in WWII ?) BUT with serious unequalities (black, natives, arabs, indians, whatever, you get the point).

GB empire Rhodesia colonists; French empire Algeria colonists; or KKK - same violence, same rotten ideology (lynchings...)

Also, the USA wanted the end of the French and British colonial empires, not only because of the horrors there, but also for more down-to-Earth, sordid matters like *spheres of influence*.

Finally, Indochina is case in point of USA mixed attitude on colonialism. What you mention was somewhat true between 1945 and 1950. Yet as soon as communism raised its ugly head (hint: 1950, Korea), colonialist France bush war was granted support by Uncle Sam. P-63, Privateers, A-26, Hellcats, Bearcats... well poor Vietnamese got their first taste of napalm from the French (no question about this) but that napalm was dropped from US aircraft straight out of MAP.
 
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CNH

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The story goes there was quite some surprise and consternation when the US started sharing nuclear weapons design and UK staff found out how safe some US weapons were.....
I assume you imply US weapons weren’t as safe?

I don’t know for nukes, but on conventional weapons they are well ahead of the UK in terms of insensitive munitions. Hence why their procedures often appear slack with armed stuff, and that safety has come from a lot of investment over a long time that the UK is only now starting to catch up.
Apologies for 'Liking' your post; I meant to hit the reply button.

As to the sensitivity of American explosive:

'R.O. 106 (to be used in Blue Water and Seaslug Mk. II). This is a British version of the US Tsetse, which has been tested successfully. It differs from the American device in that it uses the British explosive EDC.11, and not the US PBX9404, which has high graze-sensitive and which, when once initiated, almost always proceeds to detonation. R.O. 106 is one point safe, and its yield is estimated at 8½ +/- ¾ kT. R.O. 16 has been considered as the primary for the Skybolt warhead, but it has been concluded that its yield is not adequate to ensure reliable functioning of the secondary.'

In other words, the US explosive was deemed too sensitive for the Ordnance board to approve. I can give you the PRO reference if you really want it, but since the archives are not open for several weeks, there doesn't seem much point.
 
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Purpletrouble

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Does it say that? It just says there is a difference but not what or why, I see no reference to a lack of safety. And the UK variant doesn’t work!

The US one going from initiation to detonation is what high explosives are supposed to do. Otherwise they aren’t!

The issue with insensitive munitions is how they initiate. Having dealt extensively with UK weapons, including in and with the US, we are not in the same place as them, although getting there.
 

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It is also well understood that while some in the US had good intentions, seeing the defeat of totalitarianism as paramount, other elements saw the colonial powers as little better and took the UK for everything they could.
Classy. So classy. And complete bollocks.

As far as racism go, in the 30's USA's Mississipi, France's Algeria and Great Britain India (or Rhodesia, whatever) were pretty evenly matched... one could also add Belgium and their Congo.

All three countries were democracies (guess why they fought nazi together in WWII ?) BUT with serious unequalities (black, natives, arabs, indians, whatever, you get the point).

GB empire Rhodesia colonists; French empire Algeria colonists; or KKK - same violence, same rotten ideology (lynchings...)

Also, the USA wanted the end of the French and British colonial empires, not only because of the horrors there, but also for more down-to-Earth, sordid matters like *spheres of influence*.

Finally, Indochina is case in point of USA mixed attitude on colonialism. What you mention was somewhat true between 1945 and 1950. Yet as soon as communism raised its ugly head (hint: 1950, Korea), colonialist France bush war was granted support by Uncle Sam. P-63, Privateers, A-26, Hellcats, Bearcats... well poor Vietnamese got their first taste of napalm from the French (no question about this) but that napalm was dropped from US aircraft straight out of MAP.
I don’t think you two disagree. Stating some elements saw the UK as no better and acted accordingly does not conflict with the facts of US behaviour as the obvious answer is those people could be (a) hypocrites and/or (b) equally critical of their “own” side.

All it says is people disliked the UK for what it did.
 

Volkodav

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fair enough
I was trying to be diplomatic and not delve into the controversial area of US aspirations around the Pacific rim. A former colleague and history buff (as well as mathematician and naval architect) walked me down a very convincing analysis of US actions that undermined European Colonial powers with the express aim of opening trade opportunities for American companies, that in reality were little different to colonialism in many ways. Its not an area I have delved into that deeply myself so I am careful in what I say and how I say it, so as to avoid having to spend scarce free hours researching it to justify what sounds reasonable but I have no real references to support.
 

CNH

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Does it say that? It just says there is a difference but not what or why, I see no reference to a lack of safety. And the UK variant doesn’t work!

The US one going from initiation to detonation is what high explosives are supposed to do. Otherwise they aren’t!

The issue with insensitive munitions is how they initiate. Having dealt extensively with UK weapons, including in and with the US, we are not in the same place as them, although getting there.
The US explosive was not used because the Ordnance Board regarded it as unsafe.

The UK explosive, which the Ordnance Board accepted as being safe, was less effective, and the design had to be modified.

Of course, if you like flying around aircraft which have dodgy atomic weapons on board, that's fine.
 

zen

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fair enough
I was trying to be diplomatic and not delve into the controversial area of US aspirations around the Pacific rim. A former colleague and history buff (as well as mathematician and naval architect) walked me down a very convincing analysis of US actions that undermined European Colonial powers with the express aim of opening trade opportunities for American companies, that in reality were little different to colonialism in many ways. Its not an area I have delved into that deeply myself so I am careful in what I say and how I say it, so as to avoid having to spend scarce free hours researching it to justify what sounds reasonable but I have no real references to support.
Sadly while I have heard similar rumours shall we say. This potentially seriously strays. But then the very nature of the topic of this thread is unavoidably political.

What I have said, which is less political, and highly relevant. Is that in the end it doesn't matter why your enemy or ally does what they do, ultimately it's what they do and it's effect on you that matters. Not words but deeds matter.
The UK has to look to it's own interests first, otherwise it is not an independent state.

The obvious danger in understanding is sympathy and subversion of allegiance. It should always come as no surprise that the act of measurement of something is also the act of being measured by that other object.
Thus the general concern with the FCO that it's staff can "go native".
 

Purpletrouble

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Does it say that? It just says there is a difference but not what or why, I see no reference to a lack of safety. And the UK variant doesn’t work!

The US one going from initiation to detonation is what high explosives are supposed to do. Otherwise they aren’t!

The issue with insensitive munitions is how they initiate. Having dealt extensively with UK weapons, including in and with the US, we are not in the same place as them, although getting there.
The US explosive was not used because the Ordnance Board regarded it as unsafe.

The UK explosive, which the Ordnance Board accepted as being safe, was less effective, and the design had to be modified.

Of course, if you like flying around aircraft which have dodgy atomic weapons on board, that's fine.
Except your quote evidences nothing of the sort.

Given the sheer number of aircraft of those generations that fell out of the sky vs zero nukes that even partially exploded - I‘d be far more concerned about the airworthiness and flight safety of the aircraft.
 
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