Now, I really want you to check out the pictures in this thread regarding nuclear weapons. Seriously, go on and look at it. The next time you look at your grandfather, think of the batshit crazy ideas his generation had when designing this stuff. Then think of how you would feel as a nineteen year old Army trooper carrying a tactical nuke on your back, and then setting it up and launching it at an enemy that you can see with the naked eye. Maybe back then they had no idea that they were exposing themselves to massive amounts of radiation in several forms, or maybe they did and didn't care. With that sort of stuff - radiation exposure, I mean - there are things associated with it that can be worse than death, like a very very slow and painful death, or even having a penis sprout out of your forehead to the laughter of your friends. But it's no laughing matter.
Browsing through the pictures I can definitely see where GI Joe came from. All of the futuristic, half-human cyborg soldiers shooting lazer beams at one another doesn't seem all that far fetched now. The Ohio class submarines are both terrifying and awesome as hell at the same time, and I'm thankful that a group of demented scientists and engineers came up with the idea while hanging out at the water cooler one day at work.
Demented Engineer - "Hey Earl, you reckon we ought to come up with something really deadly to counter the Reds? I just don't think the tanks can get it done."Having been on a few military bases myself - some of them so spooky that I walked around with every hair on my body standing up, blading 45 degrees towards anyone I came across - I can only imagine how many dudes in white labcoats are busy at work, protractors and calculators in hand, designing crazy stuff that we haven't even heard of yet. Scary huh? What could possibly be more badass than an underwater ship carrying more ordnance than was dropped in WWII?!?!
Evil Scientist - "By golly Sam, I think you may be onto something! If we could harness the power of the sun by splitting atoms, we could put it in some sort of clever technical device that can deliver it to those damned commies. Then we would be unstoppable!"
Demented Engineer - "I'm liking your zeal, Earl! If we took all that powerful scientific bullshit that you just came up with and stuffed it into a humongous tube, we could stow like fifty of them on a submersible ship that would then be capable of destroying the entire world! It would be great!!"
Evil Scientist - "And then we could put some of my scientific bullshit in something smaller, such as one of those right circular cylindrical devices you were pontificating about, one that would be portable enough for one of those warfighter drones to carry into battle."
Demented Engineer - "That would clean up the rest of the Reds that survived the evil holocaust. Good thinking; now let's get to work!"