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Three complementary approaches, analytical, numerical and experimental, presented here provide a better understanding of the dynamic behavior of power transformers under axial short circuit forces. The most general and rigorous theories for predicting the dynamic loads and displacements in the winding and in the clamping structure are developed. Both the winding and the clamp are discussed individually in Part I to develop a full understanding of their individual responses before discussing the combined system in Part II. Both parts take a major step forward in the art of the short circuit strength of power transformers.