A formula for the initial buckling loads for clamped, shallow spherical shells under uniform external pressure is obtained by combining the solutions of two linearized versions of the original nonlinear problem. One of these versions is a linear eigenvalue problem, while the other is the bending problem for a shallow cap in the linear theory of elasticity. The formula, which is obtained in a simple manner, yields buckling loads that are in better agreement with experiments than previous approximate solutions to the nonlinear problem.

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