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U.S. Army logoAtom bomb test at the barren flats near Desert Rock, Nevada in the 1960s.Atomic Battlefield

This 1960s special takes a look at the barren flats near Desert Rock, Nevada, where the atom bomb was tested. Since this was the early age of the atom, the importance of the Army and its mission, seizing and retaining control of the land took on a new meaning.

And while the land may be scarred and seared by weapons which stun the power of reason, as long as it remains vital to victory ... it is the task of the soldier to secure it and hold it. The battlefield of the future, if it exists, may well be an atomic battlefield.

As explained in this film presentation, the brutal fact forced the Army the absolute necessity of testing both men and tactical concepts under atomic conditions. In test blasts over these years, the Army learned much about the response of the individual soldier. Out of the special needs imposed by atomic conditions ... the need for wide dispersion of forces, for instance ... the structure of a combat force in the field has been developed to provide a mobility and a fluidity which troops in warfare have never had before.

Episode from The Big Picture series (1950-1984)
Video courtesy of U.S. Army / Department of Defense

U.S. Army

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