War Museum and Nuclear Weapons – No Excuse for This Much Ignorance

Steve Staples notes below that a sign in the War Museum explains that the massive nuclear “overkill” during the Cold War was due “in part to the decades of military and scientific miscalculation about the effects of nuclear explosions”

It’s difficult to imagine a statement more erroneous or misleading. The precise effects of nuclear weapons were well understood by the early 1950’s, and this information was declassified with the publication of the Glasstone Report in 1957. So the effects of nuclear weapons in all their horrid detail have been known for half a century.

The real reasons for the Cold War nuclear arms race and its consequent massive overkill lie in the self-feeding interaction between the military-industrial complexes in the U.S. and the Soviet Union. (A tale of woe too long and complex for a blog).

In the debate over some of the displays at the War Museum, it has been rightly noted that the first job of any museum is to get the facts right. Often they do, but they really dropped the ball here.


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