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Review
Pen & Sword: M65 Atomic Cannon
CMOT
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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 07:41 AM UTC


Darren Baker takes a look at a visual delight covering the M65 Atomic Cannon from Pen and Sword.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
Taeuss
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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 01:46 PM UTC
I have to admit up front that I know little about the M65 though anything called the Atomic Cannon is sure to garner some attention. That being said, the very idea of a cannon being used to hurl atomic shells would have made everyone in Europe very nervous. The French Pluton IRBM with its paltry 300 km range was another example as its use was sure to kill anything in Germany; a shortcoming that initially didn't seem to faze the French government unduly. Clearly the idea is to hit the ENEMY and the best place without irradiating yourself is to hit them on THEIR soil and marshaling areas. A cannon doesn't do that very well...
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 02:14 PM UTC
The M65 is a very interesting part of the Cold War. When I was at the Chemical School training as a Nuclear Targeting Officer, I was assigned to write a paper on the M65 and itís employment in Europe and the Pacific. Itís deployment to The Pacific in 1953 figured prominently in contributing to the Korean Armistice. As the first practical Nuclear capable Artillery piece, it brought a new dimension to the battlefield, which likely contributed (for a while anyway) to peace in Europe as well. But the M65 pales in comparison to the yield of later Artillery and air delivered weapons. I for one have been awaiting this book with great anticipation.
VR, Russ
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 08:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I have to admit up front that I know little about the M65 though anything called the Atomic Cannon is sure to garner some attention. That being said, the very idea of a cannon being used to hurl atomic shells would have made everyone in Europe very nervous. The French Pluton IRBM with its paltry 300 km range was another example as its use was sure to kill anything in Germany; a shortcoming that initially didn't seem to faze the French government unduly. Clearly the idea is to hit the ENEMY and the best place without irradiating yourself is to hit them on THEIR soil and marshaling areas. A cannon doesn't do that very well...



You may want to read about this handly little device.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)
I don't think that the engineers at Bantam or Ford could ever have imagined that the descendants of their Jeep would be able to pack such a punch.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fReCrjZ6iVc
2850 meters ......

Atomic Annie fired at 20 miles .....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M65_atomic_cannon

/ Robin
barkingdigger
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 02:05 AM UTC
If you can observe the fall of nuclear shot, you're way too close!

The biggest casualty of the M65 was John Wayne, after they filmed his Ghengis Khan film at Frenchman Flats following that test-shot. Oh, and it was very effective at demolishing buildings on bends in the road...
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 04:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If you can observe the fall of nuclear shot, you're way too close!

The biggest casualty of the M65 was John Wayne, after they filmed his Ghengis Khan film at Frenchman Flats following that test-shot. Oh, and it was very effective at demolishing buildings on bends in the road...



Tom, during the bad old days of the "Cold War" we'd end every major exercise with a "Nuclear" scenario. After that, we figured it was all over anyway! I still have my manual for "The Employment of Atomic Demolition Munitions (also known as the "suitcase" nuke-- designed as a demolition weapon)-- that weapon was emplaced within "walking" distance-- way way to close! The Jeep mounted "Davy Crocket" was a very low yield weapon. Comparatively speaking (to more modern artillery or air delivered weapons), the round fired from the M65, was also low yield. The M65 also fired conventional ammunition. There is credible evidence (at least in the timing) that when the M65 was deployed to Okinawa, the Russians used their influence to get the Chinese and N. Koreans to the negotiating table in 1953. A nuclear weapon delivered from Artillery was a pretty frightening concept for the battlefield, as it had the ability to change tactics and strategy simultaneously. The original gun concept was based on the German WWII railway guns (AKA Anzio Annie). But putting a smaller version on wheels was even more intimidating. But, like many weapons of the Cold War, without firing a shot in anger, it had some impact. It's a fascinating weapon for an interesting time. This book looks like a great photo pictorial. Now, if only we can get some manufacturer to give us a quality kit....
VR, Russ
barkingdigger
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 05:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Now, if only we can get some manufacturer to give us a quality kit....
VR, Russ



From your keyboard to [insert manufactur]'s inbox! Built the Renwall kit recently but would love to have a new-tool 1:35 one.
Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 06:03 AM UTC
Wim Vink's (scratch)built of the Renwal 1/32nd scale dinosaur (1958...) :

http://www.mil-mod.nl/atomic-annie/

H.P.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 07:27 AM UTC
Yes, I've seen Vink's Atomic Annie, it's an excellent model. AFV magazine also had a scratch-built 1/72 one a few years ago which was truly exceptional. I've built two Renwal kits myself, (one of the original releases back in 1961 with my Dad!), and I have the Dragon kit in the stash. I still have the box art from my first Renwal kit-- it Is almost as impressive as the real thing! But the Renwal kit is 1/32, has some dimensional problems, and fine details (where there are any) are rather heavy-handed. The Dragon kit was a "good" start in 1/72 scale, but the cost (for that scale) and poor execution of some nice details (all the folding troop steps and platforms are molded in place) make it "Black Label" typical. A lot of depictions show the gun tube raised "in trail", but it couldn't be fired that way, and was only done for servicing if at all. I once wrote Eduard about an aftermarket set for the Dragon kit. The answer I got was "we don't intend to make 1/72 military PE anymore" (they had done the Academy Dragon Wagonup to that point). But I see they've changed their tune with TAKOM's new M1070 and M1000 HET. We have all kinds of stuff for 1/35 German WWII guns and Rockets--Even paper Panzers-- so an up-to-date M65 is way overdue I think.
VR, Russ
Bravo1102
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 08:00 AM UTC
You know what's odd, when the Dragon 1/72 came out, on a goof I priced the old Adams/Life-like 1/40 scale kit and found one for around the same price as the Dragon atomic cannon.

The same way you can find a 1/40 Honest John for around the price of the Afv-club M54 truck.

So we've gotten to the point where new releases are the same price as a "collector's " kit of the similar item.

Afv-club has a Nike Hercules displayed at their stand in the on-going hobby show. Hopefully they will tackle some more American missiles, but the M65? One can only hope.

We'll probably see it after Takom decides to do an M55. It's only logical after M47, M46 and that super heavy-- why not the next thing based on that chassis?
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 08:59 AM UTC
The limit between 'plausible' and 'no fricking way will never happen' has moved quite a lot the last few years so an Atomic Annie might turn up. There is a lot of kits now that were only dreams 10 years ago.

As long as it isn't Black Label ....

/ Robin
Bravo1102
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 04:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The limit between 'plausible' and 'no fricking way will never happen' has moved quite a lot the last few years so an Atomic Annie might turn up. There is a lot of kits now that were only dreams 10 years ago.

As long as it isn't Black Label ....

/ Robin



The Dragon 1/72 M65 Atomic Annie was a Black Label kit.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 04:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The limit between 'plausible' and 'no fricking way will never happen' has moved quite a lot the last few years so an Atomic Annie might turn up. There is a lot of kits now that were only dreams 10 years ago.

As long as it isn't Black Label ....

/ Robin



The Dragon 1/72 M65 Atomic Annie was a Black Label kit.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncbEucjsNFU
;)
Kevlar06
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 05:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The limit between 'plausible' and 'no fricking way will never happen' has moved quite a lot the last few years so an Atomic Annie might turn up. There is a lot of kits now that were only dreams 10 years ago.

As long as it isn't Black Label ....

/ Robin



The Dragon 1/72 M65 Atomic Annie was a Black Label kit.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncbEucjsNFU
;)



Pretty funny! Yes, the 1/72 scale M65 was a "dreaded" Black Label kit. But to be fair, It isn't an unequivocal monstrosity like many other Dragon Black Labels are. It just couldn't be built in the firing mode (well, it can with extensive modification tho the side frames to lower the crew platforms) Other than that, I can't see a lot of other "negative waves man..." except for the really negative pricing. But comparing it to newer 1/72 Takom releases (M1070) I guess it's on par. I haven't seen a lot of them built yet though, and I thinks it's largely because of the pricing. You can buy a couple of good 1/35 kits for the price of the Dragon M65 ($70). But I bet a 1/35 M65 would be closer to $130. Again-- those negative waves....😆
VR, Russ
brekinapez
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 05:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text



You may want to read about this handly little device.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)



My wife's paternal grandfather was an engineer on that project.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 07:04 AM UTC
Another interesting weapon that lay within its own CEP (not exactly, but it's fun to think that). In reality, at the time these small yield weapons were developed, they were designed to break up enemy formations. Their mere existence was the deterrence. On another note, I dug out my Jan/Feb 2011 issue of AFV modeler, with an article on Paul Gaertner's amazing scratchbuilt M65 M250/M249 combination. What a great model that is. But the bonus was David Doyle's excellent 8 page article on the M65-- if this book is as good as that article, we're in for a real treat!
VR, Russ
Bravo1102
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text



As long as it isn't Black Label ....

/ Robin



The Dragon 1/72 M65 Atomic Annie was a Black Label kit.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncbEucjsNFU
;)



Moriarty is my idol. Spent a whole gunnery cycle down on my hole thinking "crap".
Kevlar06
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Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 08:09 AM UTC
For those interested, here's another excellent modeling site for the Atomic Cannon --Paul Gaertners excellent research site and scratchbuilding of a 1/72 scale M65. He sells plans for the M65 in various scales too. Paul also links his site to Wim Vink' superb site (which Frenchy linked above)--Wim has re-built several old Renwal kits into masterpiece models, including the M65. Here's Gaertners site:

https://theatomiccannon.com/contact

VR, Russ