In Progress

The Czar Bomb

by Dennis Meredith

The Soviets secretly built the most powerful thermonuclear bomb in history... now a terrorist has it!

On October 30, 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the largest explosion in human history. The 50-megaton thermonuclear “Czar Bomb” created a mushroom cloud that rose 40 miles high, a blast felt 170 miles away, and a flash visible 600 miles away. Its shock wave circled the Earth three times.

On January 16, 1963, Nikita Khrushchev announced with great fanfare that the Soviet Union had constructed an even bigger bomb, with a power of 100 megatons—3,000 times more powerful than the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs combined. Khrushchev claimed that it was hidden somewhere in East Germany, a political hotspot during the Cold War.

Decades later, billionaire Iraqi shipping magnate, Saadallah bin Shadid—seeking revenge for the death of his family in an illegal American drone strike—learns of the purported existence of the 100-megaton bomb and hires an historian to locate it.

Bin Shadid’s lieutenant, Khalid Rasul, unearths the bomb, launching bin Shadid’s plans to restore it and wreak his revenge on his enemy, the US.

Meanwhile, an American historian, Ben Webber, on sabbatical in Berlin, receives a visit from elderly German ladies who bring him documents entrusted to them by a former East German Stasi agent who had been murdered. The agent had preserved the documents from decades ago, when he worked on the secret bunker in which the bomb was hidden.

A thief hired by bin Shadid steals the documents and in doing so, murders Ben’s wife and unborn son. Devastated, Ben vows to seek revenge on the killer. His search uncovers bin Shadid’s plot.

Ben launches a mission to stop the oligarch—working with his indefatigable sister Azariah, CIA nuclear weapons expert Carrie deLong, and teams of CIA and Israeli Mossad operatives.

To their horror, they discover that bin Shadid has enlisted North Korean engineers to restore the bomb, for which that rogue country will be given plans to build their own thermonuclear arsenal.

Bin Shadid has also used his immense wealth to bribe a Russian military officer to give him plans for a stealth, nuclear-powered drone torpedo. It would enable bin Shadid to deliver the bomb undetectably.

Working against seemingly insurmountable odds, the team must discover bin Shadid’s target and thwart his plans to detonate the bomb. And, they must prevent the plans for the bomb and the torpedo from falling into the hands of the North Koreans, who would built flotillas of nuclear-tipped, stealth torpedoes to threaten the world with annihilation.

Read the prologue and opening chapters

How Tsar Bomba works

Watch the Soviet documentary on the detonation of Tsar Bomba

Watch footage of the Tsar Bomba test

Watch video on the Status-6 (aka Poseidon) stealth torpedo

What if a thermonuclear bomb were detonated on the ocean floor?

Use Nukemap to see the effect of the 100-megaton Czar Bomb on Los Angeles