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The American Bomb in BritainUs Air Forces' Strategic Presence, 1946-64$
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Ken Young

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086755

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086755.001.0001

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Rehearsing for war

Rehearsing for war

Chapter:
(p.78) 4 Rehearsing for war
Source:
The American Bomb in Britain
Author(s):

Ken Young

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719086755.003.0005

Having achieved the basics of what was referred to as a ‘force-in-being’ on the British bases, this chapter explains how SAC units underwent an intensive process of training to establish their readiness for combat. The regular alerts and exercises raised concern among both politicians and the public, particularly with the carriage of thermonuclear weapons by aircraft deployed to Britain. A number of flying accidents occurred over a space of years, and two in particular, recounted here, raised issues about the release of radioactive contamination. Such concerns sustained the growth of an anti-nuclear movement. That movement gained strength as the UK appeared to become more vulnerable when American ballistic missiles, the Thor IRBM, were installed in Britain under joint USAF/RAF control.

Keywords:   Alerts and Exercises, Accidents, Ballistic Missiles

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