Number 3 - “Top secret Chiefs of Staff Committee, 20th May 1953.”

This is number 3 of a 15 part blog series, created by Mr Roy Sefton, Chair of the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association.

The disturbing information in this document are…

“The Navy requires information on effects or various types of atomic explosions on ships and their content and equipment”.

(There is opinion that the 'contents' are a veiled reference to the crew).

“The army must discover the detailed effects of various types of explosion on equipment, stores and men with and without protective clothing”.

When you link this document to the purposeful irradiation of ships of the 'Special Squadron' and the ill-fated HMS Diana, at the Australian Monte Bello detonations, you can only conclude that these requirements were taken to the absolute extreme.

The late Colonel Blackie Burns, was a NZ officer who, at the Australian tests, along with other Commonwealth officers, was ordered to march and crawl through radiation contaminated soil. The purpose was to test any radiation protection afforded by the normal battlefield clothing they were wearing. This experience rested heavily on Blackie Burns. He was a member of NZNTVA and greatly concerned about the dangerous use of servicemen at the British nuclear tests.

John Crawford the past NZ Defence Force historian revealed in his investigation of the RNZN frigates at Operation Grapple that NZ ships were placed closer to Ground Zero, and the protective clothing reduced, as the programme progressed… Why would a Government, the military, or the Task Force Commander, do that?

Roy Sefton QSM Chair New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association.

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