The U.S. Army's Early Search For Relevancy in the Nuclear Age

Date of Graduation

Spring 1993


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Harold Rood


This thesis describes the development of the tactical nuclear arm of the United States Army from the days of the World War II "Manhattan Engineer District." The thesis concentrates on the formative years of the Army's nuclear arm that roughly coincided with the two Eisenhower administrations, 1953-1961. The reason for the concentration on the Eisenhower years ws because during President Eisenhower's two administrations, Army creativity and interest in tactical nuclear weapons hit both the heights of enthusiasm and the depths of disillusionment. This "whipsaw" effect occurred more than once before the Army "denuclearized in 1919-1993. The paper imparts an appreciation for the political climate existing at the beginning of the "tactical nuclear weapon era" and describes the fielded weapons systems and organizations during the "heyday" of the Nuclear Army. Finally, in the conclusion and prospectus, the paper describes the end of the U.S. Army's tactical nuclear arm. The final conclusion is that the nuclear battlefield may yet be a prospect for which our army should prepare itself and an organic nuclear warfighting capability is the only way to prepare for such an eventuality.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© James W Stewart


Open Access