The Top Secret History of America’s Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Warfare Programs and Their Deployment Overseas
At its peak in 1967, the U.S. nuclear arsenal consisted of 31,255 nuclear weapons with an aggregate destructive power of 12,786 megatons – more than sufficient to wipe out all of humanity several hundred times over. Much less known is that hidden away in earth-covered bunkers spread throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, over 40,000 tons of American chemical weapons were stored, as well as thousands of specially designed bombs that could be filled with even deadlier biological warfare agents.
The American WMD programs remain cloaked in secrecy, yet a substantial number of revealing documents have been quietly declassified since the late 1970s. Put together, they tell the story of how America secretly built up the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The documents explain the role these weapons played in a series of world crises, how they shaped U.S. and NATO defense and foreign policy during the Cold War, and what incidents and nearly averted disasters happened. Moreover, they shed a light on the dreadful human and ecological legacy left by decades of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons manufacturing and testing in the U.S. and overseas.
This collection contains more than 2,300 formerly classified U.S. government documents, most of them classified Top Secret or higher. Covering the period from the end of World War II to the present day, it provides unique access to previously unpublished reports, memoranda, cables, intelligence briefs, classified articles, PowerPoint presentations, military manuals and directives, and other declassified documents. Following years of archival research and careful selection, they were brought together from the U.S. National Archives, ten U.S. presidential libraries, the NATO Archives in Brussels, the National Archives of the UK, the National Archives of Canada, and the National Archives of the Netherlands. In addition, a sizeable number of documents in this collection were obtained from the U.S. government and the Pentagon using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) requests.
This collection comes with several auxiliary aids, including a chronology and a historiographical essay with links to the documents themselves, providing context and allowing for easy navigation for both students and scholars.
• The papers in this collection detail how America’s stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were developed, the staggering costs that were involved, the network of laboratories where the bombs and their components were designed and developed, new details about the dozens of secret factories spread across the U.S. where these lethal bombs and warheads were built, the sites where they were tested, and even newly released information about some of the storage depots where the weapons were deployed in the U.S. and overseas.
• This collection contains for the first time ever a comprehensive set of declassified documents which quantify the size and destructive power of the American nuclear, chemical and biological weapons stockpile throughout the Cold War era, including new details about the many different types of weapons in these arsenals, such as nuclear landmines (Atomic Demolition Munitions) and even a nuclear-capable recoilless rifle system.
• This collection contains hundreds of pages of declassified Defense Department and State Department documents concerning the secret negotiations between the U.S. government and over fifteen foreign governments concerning the deployment of nuclear and chemical weapons to their countries (complete biological weapons were never deployed overseas), as well as the even more difficult task later in the Cold War of trying to get permission to remove these weapons after they had outlived their usefulness. In some instances, the U.S. government deliberately did not inform the host nations that they had deployed nuclear and chemical weapons to their countries, as in the case of Japan, which was shocked to learn in 1969 that the U.S. was storing large numbers of nuclear and chemical weapons on the island of Okinawa without their knowledge or consent.
• Also included are over a hundred declassified documents regarding U.S. nuclear war plans, detailing how the American nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were to be used in wartime, including lists of their targets inside the USSR and the People’s Republic of China; newly declassified documents containing the details of all known nuclear, chemical and biological weapons accidents, some of which produced fatal results; and incidents involving attempts by foreign governments (Greece, Turkey and South Korea) to pressure the U.S. government by threatening to seize American nuclear weapons stored on their soil. Finally, there are recently released files concerning an attempt by a terrorist group to penetrate a U.S. nuclear weapons storage site in West Germany.
Number of documents: 2,374
Number of pages: ca. 21,212
• Introductory essay
• Glossary of acronyms
• MARC21 catalog records
• U.S. National Archives, Legislative Archives Branch, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. National Archives. Military Records Branch, College Park, Maryland
• U.S. National Archives, Civilian Records Branch, College Park, Maryland
• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Archives, Brussels, Belgium
• National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
• National Archives of the Netherlands, The Hague, The Netherlands
• National Archives of the UK, Kew, Great Britain
• Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
• Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri
• Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
• John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts
• Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas
• Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California
• Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
• Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California
• George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Houston, Texas
• William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, Arkansas
• Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.
• DOD FOIA Reading Room, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. Army Center for Military History, Washington, D.C.
• Naval Historical Center Operational Archives, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
• Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, Washington, D.C.
• Douglas MacArthur Library, Norfolk, Virginia (Douglas MacArthur Papers)
• George C. Marshall Library, Lexington, Virginia (George C. Marshall Papers)
• Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (George W. Ball Papers)
• National Security Archive, Washington, D.C. (Chuck Hansen Collection)
• Maryland Historical Trust, Annapolis, Maryland
This collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba, including a complete run of
Heraldo Cristiano, the church’s newsletter, 1919 – 2010, which provides a framework for the history of the church, its work and history. Also included are the periodicals
Su Voz, early mission records, originally maintained in English and then in Spanish as the congregations took over management of their churches and schools from the mission workers. These include session minutes and membership/baptism/marriage/death records, as well as minutes of men’s, women’s, and youth groups, including their mission work in their communities.
Size of the collection: 52,000 scans, approx. 80,000 pages.
Languages: Spanish (main), English.
This publication was realized with the support of the Kenneth Scott Latourette Fund, Yale Divinity School Library.
Historical background The Archives of the Presbyterian Church of Cuba Online collection consist of the records of the National Presbyterate of Cuba (1904- ), the First Havana Congregation founded in 1901 (including a group made up exclusively English-speakers), and the records of eleven other Presbyterian congregations located in or around Havana: Guanabacoa, Güines, Güira de Melena, Luyanó, Nueva Paz, Palos, Regla, San Antonio, San Nicolás, Vega, and a small church that served Havana’s Chinese population. These records are in Spanish, begin in the first decade of the twentieth century and go up to the 2010s. The collection also includes fairly complete sets of Presbyterian periodicals: Heraldo Cristiano (1919-2010), the official monthly publication of the Cuban Presbyterian Church; Juprecu (1961-2009), the bimonthly publication of the Unión Nacional de Jóvenes Presbiterianos (Presbyterian Youth Union), and a collection of quarterly Su Voz (1961-2010).
While there had been a Protestant presence on the island as far back as the early colonial era, the first formal Protestant congregations emerged only in 1871, following a short-lived declaration of religious tolerance for Spain and its colonies. These first legal non-Catholic congregations served primarily Havana’s established and floating English-speaking Protestants. At the time, tens of thousands of Cuban political exiles resided in various U.S. locations from Key West to New York City. Following the end of the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878) against Spain, Cuban Protestants returned to the island and began to spread the work of various Protestant denominations. Cuban layman Evaristo Collazo established the first Presbyterian works in Havana in 1890 but had to close them five years later, when Cubans launched yet another war of independence against Spain.
The Presbyterian Church was officially established in Cuba in December 1901, during U.S. military occupation. Three years later, Cuba’s Presbyterians founded the Presbyter of Havana. During the Republican era (1902-1958) the church experienced growth and expanded its religious, educational, and charitable work. Much reduced in numbers and freedoms, the Presbyterian church persisted during the Revolutionary period that began in 1959. In 1967, Cuba’s Presbyterian churches became independent, and formed the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC; Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba). During the 1990s and first decades of the twenty first century, this and other Protestant denominations experienced significant growth.
The bulk of Cuba’s Presbyterian Church records consist of scores of libros de actas (books of minutes) of each of the churches’ consistory meetings, regular meetings that included clergy and church elders. It also includes the minutes books of different committees and associations, among them those kept by men’s, women’s, and youth organizations, as well as Sunday Schools, Christian Education, and Benevolence groups. These books provide important information on a variety of topics ranging from clergy appointments and membership lists to budgets and the various roles played by Presbyterian women over the decades. Of great value to historians and genealogists are the records of baptism, marriage, and death. Because these records span over one hundred years, they allow scholars and other individuals to recognize and track changes over time. For example, one can trace the growth of various congregations and gather important sociodemographic data on gender, ages, and socioeconomic composition.
These records also provide insights on the participation and church activities of various ethnic and racial groups. There is a book of minutes of the consistory of an English-speaking congregation in Havana (1919-1926) and a particularly interesting set of bound volumes of the Chinese congregation in Havana. These materials are rich in information; they provide a historical sketch of these congregations, a complete list of members, records of baptism and marriage, and a revealing list that states the reasons why particular individual members left the church: “indifference,” “moved to the US,” or “joined a Pentecostal church.”
Besides books of minutes, the collection includes a wide range of historical documents and ephemera such as photo albums, church bulletins, lists of offerings pledges, and various other materials that offer information on the congregations, including the existence of a church-affiliated Boy Scout troop, lists of individuals served by church-run dispensaries, etc. These materials complement the microfilmed Princeton University Library collections of materials on religion in Cuba, among them, “Cuba Protestant Serials” and “Protestant Churches in Cuba.”
The Heraldo Cristiano magazine is particularly useful for anyone seeking a good understanding of the church’s development since 1919. Each edition consists of between fifteen and thirty-six pages of articles and regular sections. These include family devotionals, Sunday school curricula, news from around the world, and up to the mid 1930s, a section called “Cuba Seca” (dry Cuba) devoted to the subject of temperance. Both Cuban authors and US-based clergy and laypeople contributed to the magazine. The Heraldo Cristiano included information on church happenings, clergy appointments, and a social notes section announcing births, baptisms, and marriages, as well as obituaries. The monthly publication also carried photographs of clergy, church buildings, and benevolent work at orphanages and retirement homes. One particularly telling photograph showed a half-burnt Bible, victim of the intolerant zeal of a Catholic priest. The Heraldo Cristiano also carried ads for bookstores selling Christian books, Protestant schools, and other products and services.
The Heraldo Cristiano is also a valuable source to trace the relations of the denomination with various Cuban governments, particularly the revolutionary government since 1959. The February 24, 1959 issue, for example, carried a jubilant editorial entitled “La fiesta de la Patria liberada.” With the passing of time, the Presbyterian Church increased its support for the state and its official magazine included titles such as “Presencia del hombre protestante en la revolución.”
While students of Latin America demography have, for many decades, made good use of Catholic baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records, few have consulted similar records generated by Protestant denominations. Such records, included in this collection, can shed much light on demographic questions and social realities. For example, the role of women in various leadership positions and as educators; and the rapid Cubanization of the clergy in the early years of the twentieth century. Genealogists and individuals putting together family trees will also find these records useful.
This collection offers multiple possibilities for those interested not only in the history of Protestantism on the island but for individuals in search of windows to Cuban culture and society. It will stimulate scholars to venture into a number of historical questions such as: Protestant positions vis-à-vis Catholicism and Afro-Cuban religions; the effects of the Cuban Revolution on Protestant churches and the impact of the consequent massive exile on church membership, attendance, and finances; and the role of the Presbyterian church during the profound economic and moral crisis of the Special Period that began in the early 1990s.
University of Central Florida
An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600
The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600 is a near-comprehensive, 2.1 million-word online annotated bibliography of historical work covering the entire span of U.S. foreign relations. It aims to jump-start the research of both students from high school to graduate school as well as the most advanced scholars.
The SHAFR Guide Online, created by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and helmed by General Editor Alan McPherson, should be the first place to which researchers turn when establishing a bibliography, whether it be about US-Latin American relations in the 19th century, World War II, or US-China/East Asia relations since the Vietnam War.
The SHAFR Guide Online’s thirty chapters cover all eras in U.S. history from colonial days through the Barack Obama presidency as well as all geographical areas of the world. A specialist of the topic has expertly organized and annotated each chapter’s entries. The latest edition also includes four new thematic chapters—on economic issues; non-governmental actors; domestic issues, the Congress, and public opinion; and race, gender, and culture. Entries include every type of historical source, from collections of government documents to biographies, monographs, book chapters, journal articles, web sites, and much more.
The SHAFR Guide itself has a long, illustrious history. Since 1983, SHAFR has published several previous editions, under different names, edited by Richard Dean Burns, Robert Beisner, and Thomas Zeiler. Henceforth,
The SHAFR Guide will be primarily an online tool. The addition of keywords for each entry is meant to make searches as effortless as possible. It is destined to become the preeminent bibliography in the field and an indispensable research tool for historians of U.S. foreign relations—amateurs and professionals alike.
The purpose of this unique online collection is to provide students and researchers with the declassified documentary record about the successes and failures of the U.S. intelligence community in the Far East during the Cold War (1945-1991). Particular emphasis is given to America’s principal antagonists in Asia during the Cold War era: the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam. However, countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia are covered as well.
Number of documents: 4,285
Number of pages: ca. 23,500
- Introductory essay
- Glossary of acronyms
- MARC21 catalog records
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland
- CIA-CREST database
- Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
- John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas
- Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California
- Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California
- Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Army Center for Military History, Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
- Naval Historical Center Operational Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Douglas MacArthur Library, Norfolk, Virginia
- National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, UK
- National Archives of Australia, Canberra, Australia
- Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
- Archives of the National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
- Archives of the Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania