Top photo by Gail Thueson, 3AD PAO
Bottom from The Brookings Institution archives
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3AD M-109 Howitzer

  Above: The Spearhead M-109A2 Howitzer had nuclear capability in the late 1970's and 1980's when W-48 shells were under direct 3AD control (i.e., no longer limited to special V Corps artillery units). The W-48, a linear implosion plutonium weapon, had a yield of less that 0.1 kiloton. Detonation was by mechanical time-delay or proximity airburst, or contact. Only limited and specially trained small units in Division Artillery would have access to these shells.

  Above: In a 1960's photo, government scientists examine a mock-up of the warhead of a W-48 155mm nuclear artillery shell. This weapon, first manufactured in 1963, represented yet another breakthrough in nuclear miniaturization, coming on the heels of its predecessor, the W-33 203mm (8-inch), first manufactured in 1957.

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