Davey, Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier

So, I’m making my morning rounds of the internets this morning, and see YouTube recommended this video for me:

It’s a bit of a long watch, at 17 minutes and change. But it is interesting on a couple of different notes.

Ivy Flats

First, it has just about the only footage I’ve ever seen of a real Davey Crockett shot. The M65 Davey Crockett was a man portable recoilless rifle that fired a sub-kiloton nuclear projectile. It was conceived in an era when it was just assumed that small nuclear weapons would be used on the battlefield. By the time it was actually fielded, people began to realize that using any nukes would soon lead to larger and larger exchanges, until Armageddon was at hand. Plus, the range of the Davey Crockett was so short, friendly troops were as likely to be endangered as the enemy.

I was surprised by just how small the blast was. And I was really surprised by just how ineffectual it was. Tanks almost directly at the site of the blast could survive. With that minimal damage, what’s the point of shooting it?

It was a  bit of a trip to see M113s running around with troops armed with the M1 rifle. You’d think for a high visibility test like this, they’d pick a unit that also had the M14. Still, seeing M113s rolling around brought back some fond memories.

Finally, it was fun to see 1st Bn, 12th Infantry in action. I spent four very fun and rewarding years with The Warriors. It was then, and indeed, always has been, a good unit.

2 thoughts on “Davey, Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier”

  1. The standard radioactive decomtamination techniques were a hoot. GI with a broom. Not exactly, Heinlen stuff. Interesting Blast from the past, though. Thanks.

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