Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Plutonium Experiment

 1945: Nagasaki

    A piercing flash and supernatural thunderclap announce the world's first plutonium bomb in the skies over Nagasaki. At ground zero there are no screams or moans: for 1000 yards around the unsheltered perish before they can react.

    The swath of destruction roars through the northern part of the city at 9000 miles an hour, making it rain debris. Houses and buildings are smashed, crushed, and burned. Stone is pulverized and tiles shoot through the air like bullets. The sturdy beams of the Mitsubishi Steelworks twist and turn like silly putty while roofs of reinforced concrete buildings crumple and collapse. Trees are ripped from the ground, utility poles snap like broken matchsticks, and a hurricane of shattered glass embeds countless shards in human flesh.

    Stunned survivors cup detached eyeballs back inside their skulls.

1945: Washington

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts . . . it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

------The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey

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