[FoRK] Sam Cohen, inventor of the Neutron Bomb

Damien Morton fork
Tue Aug 16 22:38:17 PDT 2005

via: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2003/08/082603.html

Nuclear weaponeer Sam Cohen's memoir "Shame: Confessions of the Father 
of the Neutron Bomb" is "not a good book in any conventional sense,"

"It is long, whiny, profane, and self-indulgent. It seems to have 
escaped editing altogether. Part reminiscence, part crank manifesto, it 
is a mess. But it is an honest and compelling mess that students of 
nuclear history will not want to miss."

It is now available online here:


Supposedly to get a better idea on how SAC approached the problem, they 
posed a hypothetical bombing example to the SAC analysts, involving a 
non-existent city of a certain size and physical makeup. How many bombs 
of what bang would be required to produce a specified level of damage to 
this city, they wanted to know.

The SAC analysts got to work. They put the Pentagon query into their 
mathematical model, pushed some computer buttons and out came the 
answer. To produce this level of damage would require three bombs whose 
bangs were almost ten times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The 
Pentagon group now confessed that this non-existent city actually 
existed. It was Hiroshima, before the Little Boy bomb was dropped on it.

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