Little Boy ready to drop a year early:

Oct 2015
1,120
California
#21
How long were Hiroshima and Nagasaki uninhabitable for?
Well that's what I'm confused about. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was a Uranium 235, the one on Nagasaki was Plutonium 39 both with a half life of 700, million years and 24,000 years respectively. Yet today both cities are thriving. I believe when the bombs dropped both cities were radioactive for several weeks but not uninhabited because people just didn't understand the long term effects of radiation. Both bombs detonated in the air, I believe which could be a reason why both cities are now habitable with near negligible radiation. I guess in this tl, little boy and fat man would detonate much in the same way in Berlin and possibly another German city, unless these bombs actually detonated right on the ground which would be more devastating.
 
Jul 2016
9,476
USA
#22
Well that's what I'm confused about. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was a Uranium 235, the one on Nagasaki was Plutonium 39 both with a half life of 700, million years and 24,000 years respectively. Yet today both cities are thriving. I believe when the bombs dropped both cities were radioactive for several weeks but not uninhabited because people just didn't understand the long term effects of radiation. Both bombs detonated in the air, I believe which could be a reason why both cities are now habitable with near negligible radiation. I guess in this tl, little boy and fat man would detonate much in the same way in Berlin and possibly another German city, unless these bombs actually detonated right on the ground which would be more devastating.
There was still a lot of fallout despite it being an airburst. They're just not as dirty as the environmentalists tried selling everyone on during the height of the Cold War coinciding with the rise of the Green Movement. Not to suggest they're not highly radioactive, but the negative effects were grossly misrepresented, purposely, and in some cases done in conjunction with the Soviet KGB, looking to use public pressure about nuclear winter and other bogus theories to weaken western nuclear arsenals.

Surface detonation calls for a bomb casing and firing mechanism much sturdier than what was available in 1945, especially with the plutonium implosion devices. They probably could have built one but they hadn't at the time.
 
#23
Well that's what I'm confused about. The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was a Uranium 235, the one on Nagasaki was Plutonium 39 both with a half life of 700, million years and 24,000 years respectively.
The initial fissile materials isn't what's to worry about, but the far more dangerous short half life materials, and onlyba fraction of both Little Boy and Fat Man core actually fissioned, and both were airbursts, the yield was low enough that the fireball did not touch the Earth, so no Fallout.

At Alamogordo, the fireball did touch the ground, and created Trinitite, the Green Glass, as sand was sucked up into the reaction, melted, and rained back down.
Visting the site today, a one hour time will result in 0.5 to 1 milliroentgen. 10x 'normal' backgoumd radiation. Flying from NY to LA will give you 4 to 5.
 
#24
Surface detonation calls for a bomb casing and firing mechanism much sturdier than what was available in 1945, especially with the plutonium implosion devices. They probably could have built one but they hadn't at the time.
The only thing Little Boy would have needed was different fuzing. It was almost a bunker buster as it was, with tons of steel and tungsten carbide making up most of the weight of the bomb.
Hardening Implosion devices would take.much longer
 
Jul 2016
9,476
USA
#25
The only thing Little Boy would have needed was different fuzing. It was almost a bunker buster as it was, with tons of steel and tungsten carbide making up most of the weight of the bomb.
Hardening Implosion devices would take.much longer
I agree in basic premise that Little Boy would have been better, but its not just a matter of taking a standard point detonating fuse. They would need failsafe after failsafe, which means at the end a completely different bomb casing. I'm not saying it couldn't be done. It just couldn't be done with the bombs we designed, which were designed for airbursts. They could have tickered a bit and made surface and even subsurface types, but it would have required more development, to include more test shots.
 

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