Synopsis: Visiting dignitaries to the Nevada Test Site, which included U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Presidential Military Advisor General Maxwell Taylor, were introduced to the Army's Davy Crocket, a recoilless launcher designed to fire nuclear artillery shells. Developed to counter Soviet Armor doctrine which emphasized overwhelming adversaries with sheer numbers, the U.S. Army, with it smaller number of units, needed a potent weapon of last resort to blunt such mass attacks... (read more)
The Davy Crocket fires a W-54 nuclear projectile warhead and has a sub-kiloton nuclear yield. The projectile is 30 inches long, 11 inches in diameter, and weighs 76 pounds. The l55 mm version of the launcher has a maximum range of 13,000 feet, while the lighter 120 mm version can reach a distance of 6,561 feet. Special artillery of this type were phased out as nuclear missiles became more and more accurate.
Participating in the tactical exercise were members of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Division from Ft. Lewis, Washington who staged a mock battle between a large simulated enemy armored force and a smaller U.S. force consisting of conventional artillery pieces. On the verge of being over run, special U.S. Army troops arrive in armored personnel carriers arrive on scene, set up both versions of the Davy Crocket and fire a series of live nuclear rounds down the testing range which completely decimates the mock opposing force.