M*A*S*H takes place during the Korean war, basically 5 years after the world's first nuclear strike and at a very tense time where everyone was arming with nuclear weapons.

I understand from a brief study of the history of the time that there was some discourse, at least at the political level, about using nuclear weapons in Korea.

Was that ever addressed in M*A*S*H?

If so, when and in what context? If not, is there any particular reason?

  • 1
    Different show, but I recall Hogan's Heros, set earlier than M*A*S*H was, definitely had mentions of nuclear weapons in at least one episode (Carter ironically commented on how more powerful explosions weren't really needed)
    – Michael
    Nov 21, 2019 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


I will not go into much detail (where on what episode and how many times). It was mentioned in Season 5 Episode 6, Abduction of Mayor Houlihan.

Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce: [about Flagg's plan] Why stop there? Why don't we just drop an atomic bomb.
Colonel Flagg: Hey, don't try to make friends with me.

Just from this exchange you can see that it was viewed by "normal" people as unnecessary overkill. And that only "bonkers" people would think that an atomic bomb is a solution.

MASH in general has very strong peaceful undertones, painting war as a thing worse than hell. The nuclear bomb is the pinnacle of this terrible thing. It is used in the series to either point out people who are cruel and want to use it or further ridicule such people to show that they would use the "end all weapon" to solve any problem.

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    "War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse." - Hawkeye
    – Anoplexian
    Nov 21, 2019 at 19:00

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