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Crazy Cold War Projects, Part 1
"The Cold War was a time of hysteria and paranoia for many key players, and those feelings led to some of the most insane government ideas of all time."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
In the late 1950s, the United States government was fed up with losing the Space Race. The Air Force decided the best way to prove American dominance to the world would be to demonstrate the potential of their military might - by detonating a nuclear bomb in space, where everyone would see. What exactly did they want to nuke?
The nuclear space project dubbed "Project A119" envisioned creating a nuclear mushroom cloud clearly visible to all. Despite the arguments of the US Air Force, the government decided instead to simply send astronauts to the moon before the Soviets to prove their dominance. What obvious flaw did the Air Force's plan have?
The bomb would explode so close to Earth that everyone that saw it would die or be seriously injured
Nothing, the plan seemed reasonable
If anyone was actually watching the explosion they would be blinded
A mushroom cloud would not form in space
Biological attacks are nothing new to the world, but the United States' "Operation Big Buzz" in 1955 was a step towards the insane. The operation was a test to see the feasibility of attacking an enemy using yellow fever to infect a large population. How was the virus to be delivered to the target area?
Infected mosquitoes would be released upwind of the target area
Several people would be infected and then sent to the target area
An aerosol attack would be conducted upwind of the target area
Local wildlife would be infected hoping that people in the target area would eat some and become infected
Operation Big Buzz was conducted in May 1955 by releasing over 300,000 uninfected carriers over United States territory to determine their dispersal patterns. Where did this test take place?
The city of Washington, D.C.
The Panama Canal Zone
The state of Georgia
The territory of Guam
The threat of nuclear war was ever-present during the Cold War, and both the United States and Soviet Union were looking for any advantages. The US Army Corps of Engineers constructed the underground facility Camp Century in 1960, and it was possibly going to be the home of "Project Iceworm." Where was Camp Century built?
Project Iceworm was supposed to be an extension of the underground Camp Century. The plan proposed building a system of tunnels underneath the ice totaling around 4,000 kilometers. What exactly did the US plan on doing with these tunnels?
They were to house hundreds of mobile nuclear missile launch sites
They were trying to eventually tunnel straight to Russia
They were to connect to the ocean as an underwater submarine base near the Arctic Ocean
They were creating a massive sonar system to detect Russian submarines in the Arctic Ocean
In the event of World War III, Britain was not going to be left in the dust. The British created "Blue Peacock" - the use of land mines to be placed in Germany in order to stop a Soviet invasion. What was special about these land mines?
They incorporated a sarin gas dispenser
They were 10-kiloton nuclear mines
They were mobile mines that actively sought targets once activated
They included an electromagnetic pulse to destroy any nearby electronics
The Blue Peacock mines would be set to an eight-day timer (unless triggered), but during winter the temperature could cause electrical failures. This led to the craziest part of Blue Peacock, and it was the reason the project was later nicknamed "the chicken-powered nuclear bomb." What exactly were the chickens supposed to do?
Their body heat would keep the bomb at acceptable temperatures
They would run on a small treadmill inside the bomb to create energy for a heater
They would be trained to set off the bomb if activated
The mine would be placed inside the chicken and then released into advancing troops
In the 1970s, the Aral and Caspian Seas were shrinking. The Soviet Union depended on the use of these bodies of water for transporting food, oil, and other supplies, so they made a plan to fill the seas back up. How exactly did they plan on doing that?
Digging a new canal to flow directly from the Mediterranean into the Caspian Sea
Diverting rivers that normally flow into the Black Sea through new canals
Diverting the flow of multiple rivers that normally flow into the Arctic Ocean through new canals
Digging canals from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea and from the Caspian Sea to the Aral Sea
The Caspian/Aral plan would require massive amounts of manpower in order to finish, but there were always easier ways to handle that. Instead of having thousands of people dig for endless hours in order to finish the project, what method did the Soviet Union plan to use accelerate the digging of the necessary canals?
Releasing hordes of groundhogs to honeycomb the ground, and later sink the weak surface
Battalions of corkscrew tanks going back and forth over the area
Small nuclear bombs placed hundreds of meters apart
Controlled flooding to lower the land naturally
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Compiled May 21 13