Several different high explosive driven shock tubes have been developed as sources of short duration, supersonic, high pressure pulses which can be used to load large, massive objects with accelerations up to many thousand g's. These shock tubes are particularly appropriate for simulating strong blast effects on hardened structures. An important characteristic of these shock tubes is the use of detonation products as the primary working fluid. Therefore, this represents one of the few instances in which the ``cold flow'' of a shock tube has been used for aerodynamic testing. Extensive design calculations are presented, and experimental measurements in a number of configurations are in good agreement with the calculations. The facilities tested have produced peak dynamic pressures of 70 to 2000 bar for half‐time durations from a few hundred microseconds to several milliseconds. Tube diameters have varied from 0.6 to 2 m, and the lengths have ranged between 3 and 15 m. All of the shock tubes are, at least in part, expendable. However, they can be quickly constructed to meet given flow requirements at costs quite modest when compared with those of competitive techniques for producing high accelerations of large objects.