The Atomic Bombs on Japan By Anthony Valdez

What was the bomb made of and how much did it weigh?

Little Boy

Weight: 9,700 lbs Length: 10 ft.; Diameter: 28 in. In this gun-type device, the critical mass is achieved when a uranium projectile which is sub-critical is fired through a gun barrel at a uranium target which is also sub-critical. The resulting uranium mass comprised of both projectile and target becomes critical and the chain reaction begins. Dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, it was the first nuclear weapon used in a war.

Fat Man

Weight: 10,800 lbs Length: 10 ft 8 in.; Diameter: 60 in "Fat Man" was the second plutonium, implosion-type bomb. The first was the "Gadget" detonated at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945. In the implosion-type device, a core of sub-critical plutonium is surrounded by several thousand pounds of high-explosive designed in such a way that the explosive force of the HE is directed inwards thereby crushing the plutonium core into a super-critical state. Dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, it was the second nuclear weapon used in a war.

How many more bombs were produced after?

Two more Fat Man bombs were detonated during the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Some 120 Fat Man units were produced between 1947 and 1949, when it was superseded by the Mark 4 nuclear bomb. The Fat Man was retired in 1950.

After the war ended, it was not expected that the inefficient Little Boy design would ever again be required, and many plans and diagrams were destroyed, but by mid-1946 the Hanford Site reactors were suffering badly from the Wigner effect, so six Little Boy assemblies were produced at Sandia Base. The Navy Bureau of Ordnance built another 25 Little Boy assemblies in 1947 for use by the Lockheed P2V Neptune nuclear strike aircraft (which could be launched from but not land on the Midway-class aircraft carriers). All the Little Boy units were withdrawn from service by the end of January 1951

What were the long term effects of the atomic bomb?

People inside buildings or otherwise shielded will be indirectly killed by the blast and heat effects as buildings collapse and all inflammable materials burst into flames. People in underground shelters who survive the initial heat flash will die as all the oxygen is sucked out of the atmosphere.However most of these will suffer from fatal burns, will be blinded, bleeding from glass splinters and will have suffered massive internal injuries. Many will be trapped in collapsed and burning buildings. The death rate will be higher than in a normal disaster since most emergency services will be incapable of responding due to their equipment being destroyed and staff killed. The sheer scale of the casualties would overwhelm any country's medical resources.

How big was the blast radius?

The bomb dropping of Little Boy

the Heroshima bomb It generated a blast yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT. Although the destruction was observed till a radius of about 1.6 km but shock-waves must traveled even longer as the plane that dropped the bomb, Enola Gay, felt the shock-wave after flying for 18.5 km. While the Nagaski bomb had a blast radius of 2 km (massive destruction) can be assumed for Nagasaki as the bomb detonated at a height of 503 ± 10 m, generating blast yield equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT

How many people died?

The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history. (Fat Man) bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizable military garrison.

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