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Command and Combust

America's Secret History of Atomic Accidents

Author: Gregory D. Koblentz
January/February 2014
Foreign Affairs


Between 1950 and 1980, the United States experienced a reported 32 "broken arrows," the military's term for accidents involving nuclear weapons. The last of these occurred in September 1980, at a U.S. Air Force base in Damascus, Arkansas. It started when a young technician performing routine maintenance on a Titan II missile housed in an underground silo dropped a socket wrench.

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