Nothing 5:29a.m the bomb nicknamed “The Gadget”

Nothing in the world is has the devastation power as the nuclear
bomb also known as the atomic bomb. Within a fraction of a second the fission
or fusion chain reaction create an explosion equivalent to 50 million tons of
TNT. This technology has shaped the history of war and has been the biggest
show of force since the first bomb was drop in Hiroshima Japan during World War
II. The bomb has had the ability to end World War II, be the driving force
behind the Cold War and even to this day strike fear into people’s hearts when politically
unstable countries threaten to use them as toys. The power that this weapon possess
as well as the political power it holds has had the biggest impact in diplomacy
between countries that has been unrivaled compared to any other weapon in
history.

 

August 2nd 1939 would be the day that the Manhattan
Project take off. A letter from Leó Szilárd and Albert Einstein was sent to the
United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The letter contained information
that Nazi German scientists were working on an atomic weapon using uranium that
would yield bombs beyond anything seen today. The letter suggested that the
United States start its own nuclear program. The biggest military project to
day would be launched, The Manhattan Project lead by Nuclear physicist Robert
Oppenheimer. After the potential for the atomic bomb was learned nearly
limitless resources would be used to guarantee the Unites States would be the
first to weaponized nuclear power.

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After 6 years of development and 2 billion dollars (70
billion dollars today) the first nuclear bomb test was conducted. At a testing
site in the New Mexico desert on July 16th 1945 the Trinity test was
performed. At 5:29a.m the bomb nicknamed “The Gadget” exploded with the force
of 22 kilotons of TNT. The design of the bomb was an implosion-design plutonium
device, the same design as the Fat Man bomb that would be detonated over
Nagasaki Japan. The fear of an unsuccessful test was so high and the scarcity
of nuclear fuel was so rare that a 214 ton “coffin” called Jumbo would be
placed around The Gadget. Jumbo would protect the nuclear fuel in the event of
an unsuccessful test.

 

A month after Trinity test the first atomic bomb was used on
August 6th 1945. The Japan military was relentless in their defense.
Japan would never surrender under normal circumstances and the United States
calculated a mainland invasion would have too high of casualties for both side
so an alternative was needed. Hiroshima Japan was selected as the primary
target with Kokura and Nagasaki being alternatives. Hiroshima was selected
because it was an industrial and military significant target. The city also
contained a large amount of military stockpiles. The city was also unaffected by
the country wide fire bombings that had been taken place. The Enola Gay, a B-29
aircraft that had been modified to carry the weapon took off late at night
August 5th. At 8:15 local time the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy”.
Little Boy was a uranium-based destination. Little Boy containing 64kg of
unrandium-235 took approximately 44 seconds to its destination height of 1,900
feet. The detonation released the amount of energy equivalent of 16 kilotons of
TNT. With only 1.7% of its material being used in the fission reaction, the weapon
was considered very inefficient. The blast radius was about one square miles
with fire storms across 4 square miles.

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