Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK 'Had Plan for Cold War N-Mines'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK 'Had Plan for Cold War N-Mines'

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Von Radowitz

Britain had secret plans at the height of the Cold War to bury 10 nuclear landmines in Germany, it was claimed yesterday.

The weapons were designed to cause mass destruction and radioactive contamination over a wide area in the event of a Soviet invasion.

Each seven-tonne mine had about half the explosive power of the atom bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki in 1945.

A former employee of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, Berkshire, found details of the project in unclassified Army documents from the 1950s.

David Hawkings, who retired from the AWE two years ago, said the "Blue Peacock" mines were to be left buried or submerged by the British Army of the Rhine.

They would have been detonated by wire from up to five kilometres away, or by an eight-day clockwork timer. If damaged or disturbed, they were primed to explode within 10 seconds.

In July 1957, Army chiefs ordered 10 of the mines and gave instructions to station them in Germany, New Scientist magazine reported. …

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