SAHARA: Cloud over the Desert

The desert settlement of Hammoudia, some 25 miles down the sand track from Reggan in the southwest French Sahara, is the front gate of a huge military reserve where 4,500 French technicians and troops work among the intricate gadgets of the Atomic Age. Near by are underground workshops, rows of air-conditioned huts, and an airstrip fit for jets. To the south is the emptiness of the Tanezrouft—the "thirst country" of the central Sahara —where France will most likely test its late starter in the atomic race: a model T bomb too big for their airplanes and too crude even...

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