@bythewell - In some ways it is actually a wonder thing that a nuclear bomb has such horrific consequences. That is the only thing that has kept it from being used to kill billions of people, I suspect.
Because when it comes to war, killing lots of the other guy, or even lots of your own guys is not considered such a bad thing.
Potentially killing the entire world is. If there was a weapon that didn't create a nuclear mushroom cloud of radiation, but still killed just as many people, and perhaps destroyed a city or two at the same time, I'm sure they would have used it during the cold war.
Whereas, in the end, they didn't dare to use a nuclear weapon.
And thank God for that.