Modern Marvels

Season 12 Episode 17

Deadliest Weapons

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 16, 2005 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Deadliest Weapons
In this fiery hour, we profile five of the world's deadliest weapons, focusing on the inventors, battles, and dark technology behind their lethality. Beginning with the deadliest bomb ever created, the Tsar Bomba--a 50-megaton nuclear bomb--we move on to the deadliest weapons ever used on people, the atomic bombs exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. During WWI, the machine gun led to the deaths of over 8-million, and in WWII, the use of incendiary bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people. Another deadly invention of WWII was the proximity fuse, or VT fuse, that allowed artillery to detonate within a predetermined range of an enemy target. Finally, we examine VX nerve gas--a deadly chemical agent used twice by Saddam Hussein with devastating results--and visit Edgewood Chemical BioCenter, where suspicious items in the current war in Iraq are examined for traces of VX.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • In 1980, a United Nations convention banned the use of napalm and other incendiaries against civilian populations. The United States refused to ratify the treaty and continues to use incendiaries.

      • Because Hiram Maxim patented his machine gun in Britain, Germany was forced to pay a fee to the British government for every Maxim machine gun it produced.

      • According to the Center for Defense Information, there are approximately 30,000 intact nuclear warheads worldwide. All but 200 are retained by the United States and Russia.

      • The most effective antidote to VX is a mixture of drugs that includes atropine, pralidoxime, chloride and diazepam. Auto-injector kits containing these drugs are given to U.S. soldiers in case of a VX attack.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: They're designed for a single purpose, to kill with maximum efficiency. From flying shrapnel to rapid fire flying bullets. From radiation to incineration, to a microscopic drop of a lethal chemical agent. These weapons all have one thing in common, if you're in their crosshairs, there's nowhere to hide. Now, Deadliest Weapons, on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (2)

      • Bruce T. Goddwin, PhD
        Lawrence Livermore National Lab

        Dr. Harry Salem
        Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

        Jim Zarzycki
        Director, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

        Jeffrey K. Smart
        Command Historian, U.S. Army

        Doran Cart
        Curator, Liberty Memorial Museum

        Pierre Sprey
        Former Pentagon Systems Analyst

        Col. Malcolm Muir, PhD
        Virginia Military Institute

        Richard B. Frank
        Military Historian, Author, "Downfall"

        Ralph Baldwin
        VT Fuze Program, Engineer

        Thomas W. Sheppard
        VT Fuze Program, Project Supervisor

        Matt Schroeder
        Federation of American Scientists

      • Cast:

        Ivan Oelrich, PhD
        Federation of American Scientists

        Executive Producer: Don Cambou
        Writer: W. Scott Goldie
        Producer: W. Scott Goldie
        Line Producer: Paul Dzilvelis
        Editor: Robert Lattanzio
        Narrator: Max Raphael
        Music: Alan Ett Music Group
        Producer: Bruce Nash
        Creator: Bruce Nash
        Production Manager: Shelia Collins
        Post Producer: Tim Knauff
        Clearance Supervisor: Katie Del Core
        Director of Research: Anthony Lacques
        Production Controller: Dani Eslin
        Accountant: Sheridan Liu
        Coordinator: Melinda Esquibel
        Coordinator: Brad Skiles
        Researcher: Mikki Del Monico
        Researcher: John Knapp
        Researcher: Sean Heckman
        Researcher: Tom Barclay
        Clearance Coordinator: D.W. Blakeslee
        Voice Over Coordinator: Mikki Del Monico
        Assistant Editor: Laura Steinhoff
        Assistant Editor: Josh Beckham
        Assistant Post Coordinator: Alexander Rubinow
        Post Assistant: Gaylen Kobayashi
        Camera: Craig J. Campbell
        Camera: Michael Ford
        Camera: Robert Mark
        Camera: Robert McWilliams
        Camera: John Paluzzi
        Camera: Warren Watson
        Camera: Paul Young
        Field Audio: Bryan Baeta
        Field Audio: Joe Biesterfeld
        Field Audio: John Bogley
        Field Audio: Daniel Cook
        Field Audio: Eric Kruize
        Field Audio: Bernie Ozel
        Field Audio: Glen Piegari
        Online Editor: John Price
        Sound Mixer: Ed Thacker
        Animation: Red Gypsy Animation
        Historical Consultant: Doran Cart
        Historical Consultant: Malcolm Muir
        Historical Consultant: Ivan Oelrich

        Special Thanks:
        Federation of American Scientists
        The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
        Liberty Memorial Museum
        Malcolm Muir
        Deborah Shapley
        Virginia Military Institute

        Executive Producer: Beth Dietrich-Segarra

        Produced by: Actuality Productions, Inc

    • ALLUSIONS (0)