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    / Main Archive / USA /

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    Date: 23:16 UTC 05/08/1945 | Type: Airburst @580m | Yield: 15 Kt

    Codename "Little Boy", the first atomic weapon used in war was dropped on Hiroshima from the Enola Gay piloted by Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets. The design used a gun arrangement to explosively force a sub-critical mass of uranium-235 and three U-235 rings together into a super-critical mass, initiating a nuclear reaction. This weapon was not tested prior to the attack as it was a considered a conservative design. Once armed, the weapon was extremely unsafe, with a crash, fire or emersion in water causing a full yield explosion. For this reason "Deke" Parsons the weaponeer, placed the cordite in the gun in-flight with no gloves in subzero temperatures. Approximately 70,000 people were killed as a direct result of the blast, and a similar number were injured. A great number more would later die as a result of exposure to the prompt radiation and from fallout. The weapon was highly in-efficient from a design perspective - of 64kg of enrighed uranium used, only 760 grams (1.2%) actually fissioned before the bomb blew itself to pieces.

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