When we took British boffins for granted
Once watching a tiny Shetland pony stallion attempting to herd a harem of hunters of about 18hh, it was clear the thought never occurred to him that he was too small to mount them. The same applies to dogs.
So when, after having lent the US our boffins to develop the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, they declined to share the know-how with us (probably wise, given that MI6 was run by the Kremlin in those days) we saw nothing at all unusual in setting out to build our own.
The US had ten thousand square miles of desert complexes, vast primitive computers, tens of thousands of scientists and a budget that would have kept the whole of South America afloat for a decade.
We had William Penney and John Challens working in a couple of timber huts in an old chicken pasture. With slide rules. And a tea urn. Every morning as soon as they'd cracked the Times crossword, they'd crack on with building atomic bombs.
Maud, Hurricane, Mosaic, Totem and Buffalo all went bang before they started looking in the scrap bin for bits to build an H-bomb with. Fifty years ago today their first try went bang, but not in a big way. They added some bits from a Morris Minor wiper motor. In November 1957 Grapple X went bang in a big, 1.8 megaton sort-of-way.
True British heroes.