A planar shock wave with a peak pressure of 6.2 GPa and duration of 1.7 mu s followed by a lateral release wave generates profuse dislocations in single crystalline tantalum. Three orientations , ,  were tested to examine the orientation dependence of the dislocation generation. The dislocations were characterised by transmission electron microscopy. The Burgers vectors and morphology of the primary dislocations in the specimens with different orientations showed a distinct orientation dependence and will be discussed in light of the model of slip behaviour in one-dimensional strain of C.S. Smith .