|Just set that dial, load, drop and -- boom or BOOOM!|
I was joking around with someone about a bad 1960s sci-fi novel called “The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles” by Robert Moore Williams. Who was bombing LA? While our government, of course, trying to contain a plague caused by a rogue protein molecule turning humans into howling zombies. But our hero and his friends live to tell the tale after the City of Angels is H-Bombed three – count 'em – three times.
I joked the government must have been using low-yield H-Bombs.
And while I was Googling to see what was out there for low-yield A-Bombs I came across a reference to variable yield or dial-a-yield nukes. Some nukes can be adjusted before they're loaded on bombers. There was the Mod-10 B61 bomb that had four dial settings: 0.3, 5, 10 or 80 kilotons.
So what would happen if the technician setting the dial was upset, the-wife-had-a-headache-last-night scenario? The dial is supposed to be at its lowest yield but the technician says screw it, ramps it up to 80 kilotons.
Dialing for destruction. The greatest idea since the neutron bomb that would slaughter people but leave buildings standing.