Originally published in 1956, atomic policy overshadowed political considerations in the same way that ‘the balance of power’ had mesmerized European politicians for so long. Admiral Biorklund here makes a general survey of the whole problem. He traces the development of the atom and hydrogen bombs and the history of international atomic policy as revealed by post-war conferences, by official statements, and in official and unofficial publications. His thirty years study of Russia and complete command of the language have enabled him to give a more thorough and authoritative account of the Soviet attitude than has so far appeared in English. He also presents fully the American point of view that the preservation of force is vital to the democracies of the world.
Admiral Biorklund makes an expert contribution to a full appreciation of the primary question of the day. He feels that it is unrealistic to attempt a total prohibition of atomic weapons. But it is not therefore necessary to sit with folded arms. By starting with what is politically possible now, he outlines a solution which recognizes that the smaller tactical weapons would have to be tolerated while the heaviest bombs are strictly controlled.
Clearly written, his book is extremely readable and of absorbing interest. It presents, soberly and objectively a great deal of information in a readily assimilable form. A large map (available online) plots the position of the world’s fissile material (uranium, thorium, lithium, etc.). Assessing every known scrap of information, it has been the most complete map yet published.
Table of Contents
Preface. 1. Fundamentals 2. The Post-War Period 1945-50 3. The Hydrogen Bomb Period 1951-55 4. The Problem from the Viewpoint of the Western Powers 5. The Problems from the Viewpoint of the Eastern Powers 6. The Technical Development of Atomic Weapons 7. The Possibility of International Control 8. Limitation of all Atomic Weapons or Only Large Ones? 9. Absolute or Conditional Prohibition of Use? 10. Biological and Chemical Weapons 11. Robot Weapons 12. The Connection Between ABC Weapons and Conventional Armaments 13. Atomic Energy in Peace and War 14. Summary. Appendix 1: Sources. Appendix 2: Important Deposits of Fissionable Material. Appendix 3: Map of Sources of Raw Materials.
Admiral Elis Biörklund