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US troops carried 'backpack nukes' for 25 years

US troops carried 'backpack nukes' for 25 years

(NEWSER– The US kept quite an arsenal of nuclear bombs and missiles during the Cold War, but not everyone knows about its plans to use "backpack nukes," reports theSmithsonian via Foreign Policy. Elite troops learned to use the bombs—called B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADMs)—in case Communists attacked US-friendly countries like former West Germany. Although heavy, SADMs could fit in a backpack and be transported by parachute-drop, scuba mission, or even on skis. The trick was setting the timer (which was unreliable) and getting far enough away before they went off (although some commanders wanted men to stay behind and protect them).

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