Entrance to Yuma Proving Ground, Atomic Cannon on left.
Entrance to Yuma Proving Ground, Atomic Cannon on left.

Atomic Cannon

Field review by the editors.

Yuma, Arizona

Atomic cannons, designed and deployed at the white-hot height of the Cold War (1953-1963) but never fired in battle, are displayed at a number of military installations and museums in the US. The intent of the 280mm cannon was to hurl a nuclear shell a tactical distance so the artillery crew -- which took cover during firing in slit trenches -- wouldn't be killed by blast and radiation, the Atomic Cannon resides in that sweet spot between nightmarish nuclear missiles and really dumb atomic hand grenades. An atomic cannon was test fired in 1953 in Nevada.

The Yuma Proving Ground, north of the city of Yuma, offers easy viewing of an M65 280mm atomic cannon at the entrance gate, along with other retired weaponry that includes tanks, rockets, and a 200mm gun-howitzer.

Atomic Cannon

Yuma Proving Ground

Address:
US Hwy 95, Yuma, AZ
Directions:
I-8 exit 12. North on Fortuna Rd for two miles, then north on US 95 for 10.5 miles. The cannon is on the southbound side, at the entrance to Yuma Proving Ground.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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November 13, 2018

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