Ever Hear of Davy Crockett? No, the other one!


Have you ever wanted your own person Atomic Weapon? Why bother with missiles and bombs when this little beauty will allow you (with help from a couple of friends) lay the smack down on your neighbors, stray cats, or that pesky town down the road that never has enough parking when they put on their farmers market.

What you see above is the M29 Davy Crockett.

This 155MM short-range nuclear weapons system allowed the infantry to get into the atomic fun at a maximum range of 2.5 Miles and warhead that was equivalent to 40 tons of TNT.

It could fire both directly at targets or be lobbed for greater range. It was designed to be used against enemy infantry, armor or against fortified positions.

Two versions of the system were deployed. One was mounted on a jeep and could be fired from that platform. The other was deployed in an armored personnel carrier, when at the firing location the launcher would be set up on a tripod. A later variant was employed at the end of its service by the  US 82nd Airborne Division. This version was attached to 1/2 ton truck and could be airdropped wherever it was needed.

Production of this piece started in 1956 and in the just over 2,000 were made and were deployed in units from 1961 through 1971.

Tested several times with live rounds (read as atomic warheads), and more often with depleted uranium rounds,  they suffered from very poor accuracy and while they did provide a big boom, their most devastating effect was radiation. From the point of detonation to 500 feet the radiation dosage would be lethal, and probably lethal out to about a quarter-mile. Which really gave the crews very little margin for error.

That just goes to prove, close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and portable atomic warhead launchers. Like its namesake though, I am fairly certain it could take down a bear.