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This 1954 film from the U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration stresses the importance of the Civil Defense programs and the need to be prepared for an atomic attack through organization, training and rehearsals, and testing. The film opens with a shot of a hydrogen bomb mushroom cloud billowing in the sky, followed by a shot of a newspaper announcing that Russia has detonated an H-bomb. Viewers see signs of the atomic age and dawn of the Cold War nuclear shelter and air raid rehearsal signs are plenty. Air raid sirens sound during a drill (01:25). The film shows two people driving a convertible, a man in an office, and a man welding. People rush to the air raid shelters during the exercise. A nurse shows people how to administer first aid (02:12). Fire trucks pull up to a burning building. Men load supplies into a Civil Defense rescue truck (02:40). Broadcasters read updates over the air. A woman takes a small hand-help radiation detector and turns it on (03:32). A civil defense official directs traffic on a highway. Civil Defense men carry a wounded person on a stretcher at a makeshift hospital camp (04:10). Footage shows a tornado then the destruction caused by the detonation of one of the atomic bombs in Japan (appears to be Hiroshima). An aerial view shows a compound where structures are tested against the force of an atomic blast at Eniwetok Atoll (05:00). Viewers see buildings and structures that have been damaged from the test blasts. Men build units for a test city at the Nevada Test Site in Nevada’s Nye County (06:41). Steel girders are placed to create a bridge for a test. A man puts a dummy into a car. Men fasten different cover materials onto boards for testing the materials against the power of an atomic blast (07:57). Viewers see some of the different instruments used to collect data during a test blast. An aerial view shows the test “city” prior to detonation (08:44). Observers, scientists, and technicians stand around “News Knob” to watch the test detonation, while military personnel dig in foxholes closer to the blast site. An atomic bomb is detonated (09:40), and footage shows the soldiers peek out from their foxholes as the mushroom cloud develops. Footage shows the blast tear apart buildings and structures. The smoke ring fades into the sky. A scouting party flies in a helicopter over the center of the test site, taking in the destruction. A radiological safety team measures radiation from a helicopter (11:48). Troops move in toward ground-zero with Geiger counters to measure levels of radiation. Viewers see the wreckage of cars and buildings as men examine the various objects still present following the blast. The film concludes with a shot of an H-bomb detonation in the Pacific and the silhouettes of people watching the formation of a mushroom cloud.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit m