Photograph taken milliseconds after detonation of nuclear device from the "Tumbler-Snapper" test series. (The shot tower is faintly visible below fireball; downward spikes are termed "rope tricks").
|Test site||Nevada Test Site|
|Number of tests||8|
|Test type||Atmospheric tests|
|Max. yield||31 kt|
|Previous test series||Operation Buster-Jangle|
|Next test series||Operation Ivy|
Operation Tumbler-Snapper was a series of atomic tests conducted by the United States in early 1952 at the Nevada Test Site. The Tumbler-Snapper series of tests followed Operation Buster-Jangle, and preceded Operation Ivy.
The Tumbler phase, sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission consisted of three airdrops which were intended to help explain discrepancies in the actual and estimated blast shock wave damage noted on previous detonations, and to establish more accurately the optimum height of burst.
The Snapper phase, sponsored by the Department of Defense consisted of one airdrop and four tower shots intended to test various new weapons developments.
The detonations[Table 1] in Operation Tumbler are listed below:
|Name[Table 2]||Date Time (UT[Table 3])||Location||Elevation + Height[Table 4]||Delivery[Table 5]||Purpose[Table 6]||Device[Table 7]||Yield[Table 8]||Venting[Table 9]||Notes|
|Able||April 1, 1952 17:00:07.5||NTS Area 5||940 m (3,080 ft) + 240 m (790 ft)||Air drop, free fall||Weapon effect||Mk-4||1 kt||Vent (I131), 140 kCi (5,200 TBq)||U-235 core, same as Ranger/Able.|
|Baker||April 15, 1952 17:29:57.1||NTS Area 7||1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 340 m (1,120 ft)||Air drop, free fall||Weapon effect||Mk-4||1 kt||Vent (I131), 140 kCi (5,200 TBq)|
|Charlie||April 22, 1952 17:03:10.0||NTS Area 7||1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 1,050 m (3,440 ft)||Air drop, free fall||Weapons development||Mk-4||31 kt||Vent (I131), 4.6 MCi (170 PBq)||Proof test of new core (?). First blast broadcast live on TV. Desert Rock IV.|
|Dog||May 1, 1952 16:29:59.1||NTS Area 7||1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 320 m (1,050 ft)||Air drop, free fall||Weapons development||TX-7||19 kt||Vent (I131), 2.9 MCi (110 PBq)||Tested deuterium (without tritium) gas fusion boosting. Investigate rope trick. Desert Rock IV.|
|Easy||May 7, 1952 12:14:59.3||NTS Area 1||1,294 m (4,245 ft) + 90 m (300 ft)||Tower||Weapons development||Mk-12 "BROK-1"||12 kt||Vent (I131), 1.8 MCi (67 PBq)||First use of beryllium as tamper.|
|Fox||May 25, 1952 11:59:59.6||NTS Area 4||1,300 m (4,300 ft) + 90 m (300 ft)||Tower||Weapons development||TX-5 "XR1", TOM initiator||11 kt||Vent (I131), 1.6 MCi (59 PBq)||Designed to test the initiation/yield curve. Calibration test for TOM polonium/beryllium internal initiator. Desert Rock IV.|
|George||June 1, 1952 11:54:59.8||NTS Area 3||1,229 m (4,032 ft) + 90 m (300 ft)||Tower||Weapons development||TX-5 "XR2"||15 kt||Vent (I131), 2.2 MCi (81 PBq)||Tested an external betatron initiator that shot x-rays into the core, which induced neutrons by photo-fission. Desert Rock IV.|
|How||June 5, 1952 11:00:55.3||NTS Area 2||1,370 m (4,490 ft) + 90 m (300 ft)||Tower||Weapons development||TX-12 "Scorpion"||14 kt||Vent (I131), 2.1 MCi (78 PBq)||First test to use a beryllium neutron reflector/tamper.|
- A bomb test may be a salvo test, defined as two or more explosions "where a period of time between successive individual explosions does not exceed 5 seconds and where the burial points of all explosive devices can be connected by segments of straight lines, each of them connecting two burial points and does not exceed 40 kilometers in length". Mikhailov, V. N., Editor in Chief. Catalog of World Wide Nuclear Testing. Begell-Atom, LLC.
- An appended number represents a member of a salvo test. They usually all have the same name, like Tub-A, Tub-B, ..., but early on had separate names, so other members are denoted by "(with xyz)".
- Universal Time at the Nevada National Security Site is 8 hours after local time; UT dates are one day after local date for UT times after 16:00.
- Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel or other contrivance. For air bursts it is the absolute altitude of the explosion disregarding ground level (though the ground level is given for comparison), and for rockets the ground level is "N/A".
- Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, barge and cratering are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT.
- Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
- Designations for test items where known, nicknames for individual bombs in quotes.Names are "Mark #" or "B#" for bombs, "W#" for rocket warheads, "X#" for experimental, plus code names like "Piccolo". "Primary" refers to a test of only the primary (fission) stage of a multi-stage bomb.
- Estimated energy yield in tonnes, kilotonnes, and megatonnes (and yes, they are all metric units).
- Emissions to atmosphere, where known. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, and the maximum amount released, in Curies ("Ci") with metric prefixes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Operation Tumbler-Snapper.|
- Robert Standish Norris and Thomas B. Cochran. United States Nuclear Tests July 1945 to 31 December 1992. NRDC NWD 94-1. Retrieved 12/11/2007.
- Griggs, D. T., and Frank Press (1961). ""Probing the earth with nuclear explosions"". Journal of Geophysical Research. 66(1): 237–258.
- United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (Revision 15). Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office. December 2000. Retrieved 10/26/2013.
- Yang, Xiaoping, Robert North, and Carl Romney (August 2000). CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3). SMDC Monitoring Research. Retrieved 10/26/2013.
- Hansen, Chuck (1995). The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8. Chukelea Publications (Sunnyvale, CA). ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0.
- Operation TUMBLER SNAPPER Fact Sheet. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Retrieved 10/26/2013.
- Rough place name and a Latitude/Longitude reference. Some are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. '~' indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
- "Troops shown three miles from 'ground zero' of bomb"
- The short film Nuclear Test Film - Operation Tumbler-Snapper (1952) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film A-Bomb Blast Effects (1959) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Video clip: Historic footage of troops observing airdrop "Dog" from Camp Desert Rock