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Newly declassified Pentagon records reveal that themilitary ordered troop maneuvers during nuclear bomb tests in the 1950'sin order to convince soldiers that radiation was not a serious threat. Concerned that American troops were inordinately afraid of nuclear radiation after reading and viewing disturbing news accounts of the radiation damage in Hiroshima, the Pentagon ordered the maneuvers to give troops "an emotional vaccination." As a result, many troops sustained serious radiation-related illness. While such a decision seems bizarre and unethical by today's standards,TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompsonsays it must be weighed in the context of the time. "The Russians had just exploded their atomic bomb, and you had all these countries, first China, then Korea and east Asia, going communist. People were really scared, and the army thought it needed to do these things in order to be prepared. And at that time, nobody really did know for sure what the effects of radiation were."