AUTHORMoran, Barbara
TITLEThe Day We Lost the H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes, and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster in History
PUBLISHERBallantine Books
CITYNew York, NY

The author, a science journalist, uses interviews and declassified data to form a comprehensive, readable account of the Cold War’s greatest nuclear weapons accident. The collision of a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber and K135 tanker during an aerial refueling operation over Palomares, Spain in 1966 resulted in four H-bombs falling on the surrounding coastline. The narrative recounts the recovery of three bombs on land as well as the difficult search for the fourth bomb, which fell into the sea and initiated one of the largest search and salvage operations in U.S. military history. The recovery operation occurred during the height of the Cold War and involved delicate diplomatic negotiations among the U.S., Spain, and other European nations. The book also highlights the tense environment for bombers carrying thermonuclear weapons, as they were kept on airborne alert 24 hours a day.

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