Monday, June 07, 2010

A chicken-powered nuclear bomb

There were some strange things contemplated in the Cold War, and among them was Blue Peacock, a somewhat ill-thought-through plan to protect Europe from invading Communists by ... exploding ginormous nuclear weapons across Germany.

I was reading about rockets today, which got me onto reading about Black Knight, a British rocket, which got me on to reading about Rainbow Codes, which got me glancing through a list of weird and wonderful code names ('Green Cheese' for a submarine weapon system is marvellous), eventually depositing me at Blue Peacock.

Now, if you're thinking it's a good idea to defend Europe by covering swathes of it in nuclear fallout, you might also be the kind of inventive person who thinks nothing of sacrificing the lives of innocent chickens to keep the electrical innards of your devices at the correct operating temperature.  So, not exactly powering the weapon with chickens, so much as ensuring it worked, but that's almost good enough, right?

And here I was, thinking that Charles Stross' Laundry novels described an outre and surreal version of the British Establishment's organs.  Maybe it's just a series of careful leaks of the more believable parts.

But without chicken-powered nuclear bombs.  Oh well.


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