Photograph of a U.S. developed M-388 Davy Crockett nuclear weapon mounted to a recoilless rifle on a tripod, shown here (1961) at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in March 1961. It used the smallest nuclear warhead ever developed by the United States.


The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System was the tactical nuclear recoilless gun (smoothbore) for firing the M-388 nuclear projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War. It was one of the smallest nuclear weapon systems ever built. It is named after American soldier, congressman, and folk hero Davy Crockett.

The planEdit

It was to create a tactical nuclear recoilless gun for firing the M388 nuclear and small battle field nuke that could be used to hit advancing Soviet troops/armoured colombs, captured bridges and forward bases with. it had a 20 to 100 tonne (0.02 to 0.1kt) yield warhead.

The deviceEdit

M65 Recoiless Nuclear Rifle01:57

M65 Recoiless Nuclear Rifle

M65 Recoiless Nuclear Rifle. The real steel version of the weapon that Colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin used in Metal Gear Solid 3.

The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapons System was a tactical reconciles gun launcher systems that used the M-388 round used a version of the W54 warhead. The Mk-54 warhead weighed about 51 lb (23 kg), berylium wrapped fission device with a 10 or 20 tonne yield which was very close to the minimum practical size and yield for a fission warhead. It was officially in US army use from ~1961 to ~1967.


The Little Feller I and Little Feller II were a set of low yield nuclear tests with the Davy Crockett Weapon System undertaken by the US army at the Nevada Test Site on July 7 and July 17, 1962, as part of Operation Sunbeam.

Service in S. Korea and GermanyEdit

It did service in both, especially in and about Germany's Fulda Gap. Thankfully the atomic gun's mushroom clouds did not push up over the Korean Peninsular or Germany.


Davy Crockett was a recoilless gun on a tripod for firing the M-388 atomic round. It was a major concern that a heat of the battle, combat related, chain of command issue could occur which meant that repetitively junior field commanders were likely to be given the responsibility of authorising it's use!


The World's Smallest Nuke02:30

The World's Smallest Nuke

The West Point Museum stores a dangerous weapon sent to Europe during the Cold War meant to stop an invasion from the Soviets with an extremely powerful punch. For more, visit Watch full episodes: Subscribe to American Heroes Channel:

M388 Davy Crockett Operational Test04:13

M388 Davy Crockett Operational Test

One of the smallest nuclear weapons ever built, the Davy Crockett was developed in the late 1950s for use against Soviet troops had war broken out in Europe. Small teams of the Atomic Battle Group (charged with operating the device) would be stationed every few kilometers to guard against Soviet attack, using the power of their nuclear artillery to kill or incapacitate advancing troop formations and irradiate the area so that it was uninhabitable for up to 48 hours, long enough to mobilize NATO forces.

M388 Davy Crockett Nuclear Projectile01:27

M388 Davy Crockett Nuclear Projectile

The M-388 Davy Crockett was a tactical nuclear recoilless rifle projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War. It was named after American soldier, Congressman and folk hero Davy Crockett (1786-1836).

Also seeEdit

  1. The Cold War
  2. 1950–1953 Korean War
  3. Korea



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