Tag Archives: Nuclear weapon

this day in the yesteryear: First Test of a Nuclear Weapon (1945) One of the darkest day in human history!


First Test of a Nuclear Weapon (1945)

Called the Trinity test, the first test of a nuclear weapon was conducted by the US in New Mexico on what is now White Sands Missile Range. The detonation of the implosion-design plutonium bomb—the same type used on Nagasaki, Japan, a few weeks later—was equivalent to the explosion of approximately 20 kilotons of TNT, and is usually considered the beginning of the Atomic Age. It is said that the scientists who observed the detonation set up a betting pool on what the result would be. Who won? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)


Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)

The Tybee Bomb is a 7,600-pound (3,500-kg) nuclear bomb containing 400 pounds (180 kg) of conventional high explosives and highly enriched uranium. During a simulated combat mission, the B-47 bomber carrying it collided with an F-86 fighter plane, and the bomb was jettisoned and lost. It is presumed to be somewhere in Wassaw Sound, off the shores of Georgia’s Tybee Island, but recovery efforts have been unsuccessful. In 2004, a retired air force pilot made what discovery in the case? More… Discuss

Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945


Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945 Read more: Hiroshima: Portrait of a Mother and Child in an Atomic Wasteland, 1945 | ( Click to access story) LIFE.com http://life.time.com/history/wasteland-mother-and-child-hiroshima-1945/#ixzz3PwqnNLSp

Alfred Eisenstaedt
’40s

“Japanese doctors said that those who had been killed by the blast itself died instantly. But presently, according to these doctors, those who had suffered only small burns found their appetite failing, their hair falling out, their gums bleeding. They developed temperatures of 104, vomited blood, and died. . . . Last week the Japanese announced that the count of Hiroshima’s dead had risen to 125,000.” — From “What Ended the War,” LIFE magazine, Sept. 17, 1945

Four months after the American B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, killing roughly 70,000 men, women and children outright and dooming tens of thousands more to either a torturous recovery or a slow death by radiation poisoning, burns or other injuries and afflictions, Alfred Eisenstaedt made this portrait of a Japanese mother and her child amid the ruins of the city.

Beyond the eternal debate about the “morality” of the bombing of Hiroshima and, two days later, Nagasaki; beyond the political and scientific factors that led to the development of nuclear weapons in the first place; beyond the lingering shadow cast by the Atomic Age and the Cold War—beyond all of those considerations, Eisenstaedt’s picture quietly commands us, at the very least, to pay attention.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: PAUL WARFIELD TIBBETS, JR. (1915)


Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (1915)

A US Air Force colonel during World War II, Tibbets is best known for piloting the Enola Gay—named for his mother—on August 6, 1945, when it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The bomb, code-named Little Boy, was the first atomic weapon deployed in the history of warfare and killed tens of thousands of people. Initially hailed as a hero in the US, Tibbets became a target of controversy in the debate over the ethics of atomic warfare. What was his stance on the bombing later in life? More… Discuss

 

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“Fat Man” Detonated over Nagasaki, Japan (1945)


“Fat Man” Detonated over Nagasaki, Japan (1945)

During WWII, Nagasaki became the target of the second atomic bomb ever detonated on a populated area. Three days after the US dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima, a more powerful plutonium device, code-named “Fat Man,” was dropped on Nagasaki. Approximately 40,000 people were killed outright, and a total of 75,000 were killed or wounded. More than a third of the city was devastated. The necessity of the attack is still debated. The “Fat Man” was supposedly named after a character in what film? More… Discuss