The USA, Russia and China conducted these Nuclear Tests involving troop motion
after the detonation. I never heard of similar experiments by France or Britain.
Those experiments were made for several reasons.
1. Propaganda.. to show a nations soldiers does not fear a nuclear attack.
2. Making the soldiers familiar with a nuclear battle field.
3. Observing the behaviour of soldiers after a nuclear explosion.
4. Developing Strategies/Tactics for the Nuclear Battle Field.
I´ve never heard of soldiers going directly to ground zero.
From the interviews I´ve seen an red they went as close as their Geiger Counter
let them. This applies at least for the USA. But I´m sure no other Nation .. not even Russia or China let them walk to the end to see what would
happen... cause that´s widely known since Hiroshima.
If you want first Hand information check this Nuclear Veteran Site.
Regarding the Desert Rock Exercises (Troops involved) check this
You can download a video about a Desert Rock Exercise here
If you want more Videos, you can order declassified Nuclear Test Films directly from the DOE here
Some of them are allready digitized at archive.org
I´ll make a link list at the end of this post.
The soviets conducted a Test near Totsk called "Scalpel". The location of Totsk was
choosen because it was a middle european (especially germany) like environment.
With this excercise they trained for an Invasion into Germany after a nuclear attack.
You can find more info and a video of the Test here
(scroll down to Joe-8)
Actually the initial radiation of a Nuclear Explosion isn´t the problem when beeing close to an explosion. It reaches just as far as the fireball
Radiation cannot be transported by air !! So if you would be close enough to a nuke
to get into the range of direct radiation you could "choose" from beeing grilled by the fireball, atomized by the shockwave or killed by the
radiation. The real problem are all the fine particles after the explosion (fallout). If you have an airproove suite you have good chances to survive
after walking close to ground zero without any effect at all... As long as you don´t stay there to long, you don´t touch anything "hot" and you do
not breath the (particle filled) air.
For example you can make a tour through the Nevada Test Site.. a Place were
about 900 Nukes explodes until the early 90´s. As long as you don´t camp there
and you don´t eat sand .. it won´t harm you.
I´m not a physicist so I can just tell this from the knowledge I gathered (and filtered)
Please correct me if this is wrong.
If you read the the eyewitness accounts on the veterans site (I linked above) you
will notice that some people have absolutely no health problems at all, while others suffer from strange forms of cancer.
The cold war was in my eyes the strangest period in human history.
First I want to make clear that it really was war.
The battlefields were the nuclear tests sites. And the countries involved
bombed themselfes (Semipalatinsk, Nevada Test Site) to show the other nation
how much better they are. Strange.. isn´t it ?
A lot of civilians had and still have to suffer.. but I´m also sure
without these extremely scarry weapons WW3 would allready have been fought
and it would have been way worse than WW2. Many people say.. "We humans are most stupid to build these bombs." I think it´s not stupidity. It´s
the human nature
to do what can be done. I find it much more interresting.. that we (humans) didn´t allready use these weapons to destroy ourselfs completely.
Not even dangerous man like Stalin or Khruschev was willing to do so.
But... let´s see what the future will bring. The danger is bigger than ever.