Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Hiroshima & Nagasaki: A Glimpse of What was and What Could be.
World War II was coming to a close. Most of the Axis Powers had surrendered to Ally forces, however Japan was not willing to give in. Months and months of brutal war with Japan accomplished nothing for the US. The USA needed to end the war quickly, the atom bomb, offered a way out.
On August 6, 1945, the US B-29 bomber, Enola Gay, set course for Hiroshima, Japan. Hiroshima was a key military stronghold for Japan, hosting over 40,000 soldiers and almost 300,000 civilians. Enola Gay carried an unpleasant package: a 5 ton plutonium fission bomb nicked named "Little Boy", similar in design to Trinity. Once the bomber was centered over Hiroshima at 8:00 am, she dropped her deadly load. The bomb detonated about 2000 feet above ground level and massive fireball formed. The temperature under the fireball was over 8000 degrees fahrenheit, it instantly vaporized any one who was caught directly under the fireball. A supersonic shock wave, or blast wave propagated from the blast center, and leveled virtually all structures in it's path. Only buildings of modern steel reinforcing survived, though many were severely damaged. Once the initial blast concluded, a massive firestorm engulfed Hiroshima, which raged for days. The death toll from the initial blast was approximatly 70,000. The yield of the blast was around 15 kilotons of TNT.
On August 9th (my birthday unfornately), Nagasaki suffered a similar fate. Another plutonium fission bomb was dropped. The target, was missed because of a shortage of fuel, and crummy weather conditions. It was exploded in a valley next to Nagasaki, though was still able to cause untold amounts of destruction. Around 40,000 died from the initial blast.
As devastating as the explosions were, the worst was yet to come. Fission bombs, such as the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were known as 'dirty bombs'. This much of the bomb's power was derived from the its fallout and radiation. High amounts of radiation, are lethal for human beings and have two costly after affects: Birth defects and cancer. Radiation penetrates the outer stucture of the cell causes the cell to go haywire, replicating beyond control Over half of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were due to radiation poisoning and cancer.
All the chaos, was causes by miniscule bombs by today's standards. The effects of modern Nuclear weapons, are far worse
Posted by G-Man at 5:14 PM