Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [nuclear-weapons]

Questions about the history of nuclear weapons.

10
votes
4answers
367 views

Public knowledge of hypothetical nuclear weapons before Hiroshima?

The following is an account of an impromptu conversation aboard the Enola Gay while in flight toward Hiroshima. According to Rhodes, The making of the atomic bomb, p. 707, the pilot, Colonel Paul ...
1
vote
2answers
280 views

Did Soviet Union really consider using atomic bomb against US aircraft battlegroup?

In this video youtube narrator says that: "During Cold War Soviet Union considered American battle-group such a dire threat that they predicted the only way to defend against them would be by use ...
2
votes
3answers
688 views

Why aren't ICBMs (and missiles in general) built using stealth technology?

I read this question and was struck by something "obvious": why are not ICBMs built using "stealth" technology? A rocket, basically a pipe, must be much easier to "stealthify" than a irregular vessels ...
2
votes
0answers
240 views

Why did many scientists spy for the Soviet Union and contribute to their atomic program?

I want to understand why some scientists collaborated with the Soviet Union and its atomic program during and after the WWII. What I want to know is if there were some specific characteristics or ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Why did the movement that initiated the Stockholm appeal never condemned Soviet atomic experiments?

The Mouvement mondial des partisans de la paix, or Comité permanent mondial des intellectuels pour la paix according to Touchard in Le Siècle des Excès, stood for "the absolute prohibition of atomic ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

Could the nukes involved in the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash have detonated?

According to Wikipedia on the 1966 Palomares B-52 Crash: The first weapon to be discovered was found nearly intact. However, the conventional explosives from the other two bombs that fell on land ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

How did the US plan to use nuclear shells for naval guns?

Acoodring to wikipedia: The W19 nuclear system was adapted into a nuclear artillery shell for the US Navy 16 inches (410 mm) battleship guns, the W23. Production of the W23 began in 1956 and they ...
39
votes
5answers
14k views

Why did the Soviet Union name their strongest bomb Tsar Bomba?

The Soviet Union has/had the most powerful (Hydrogen) Bomb ever, the Tsar Bomb. Why did they name it Tsar Bomb, when they had freed themself from the Tsars before, and even executed Tsar Nicholas II?
6
votes
2answers
258 views

Did the Allies' attacks on Germany's heavy water supply lead to any reevaluation of its nuclear goals?

It is well-known that throughout much of WWII the Allies made persistent attacks on Norsk Hydro's Vermork heavy-water plant, and on the transportation of heavy water from there, up until the point ...
11
votes
1answer
365 views

1985 magazine cover about Strategic Defense Initiative - Who is Darth Vader?

Here is a the cover of the French magazine "Science&Vie", dated February 1985. The lead article, "La Paix des Étoiles" (Star Peace) is obviously about the Strategic Defense Initiative. February ...
3
votes
1answer
480 views

What were the plans to use the atomic bomb if it had been in time for the war in Europe?

The United States, Britain and Germany started to research of the atomic bomb at the beginning of World War II. When Americans got it, the war in Europe was over and the bomb was only used against ...
-7
votes
1answer
159 views

Was there an official name for the bomb detonated in the Manhattan Project [closed]

In 1939 the Manhattan Project was started. The Manhattan project eventually gave us the precedents to the incredible and terrifying weapon known commonly as "a nuke" or "a nuclear bomb" During the ...
5
votes
4answers
271 views

Were there films or literature that lampooned Mutual Assured Destruction made by non-Americans?

Dr. Strangelove is a 1964 film by American director Stanley Kubrick that lampooned Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). In the 1960's was this film a phenomenon singular to America, or were there ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Did Truman really believe that Hiroshima was a military base?

Harry Truman claimed, in his July 25, 1945 diary entry, that: I have told [Stimson] to use [the first nuclear bomb] so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women ...
3
votes
1answer
293 views

Who made these comments relating to the use of the atomic bomb?

I recall that someone, possibly in Truman's cabinet, noticed that many of Truman's advisers had visible injuries from long-ago fights. This individual commented that their rough upbringing including ...
1
vote
2answers
437 views

Why is the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima so much more infamous than that of Nagasaki? [closed]

I am not American, so this might just be something in my country, but growing up everyone knew about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. However, when we began studying this in high school everyone was ...
0
votes
1answer
457 views

Unknown Symbol on an Atomic Bomb [closed]

A 1997 czech movie Knoflíkáři depicts a "Fat Man" atomic bomb that should have been dropped on Kokura town, but the target has been changed to Nagasaki for a bad weather conditions (which is ...
11
votes
2answers
635 views

RAF Vulcan nuclear missions - returning to base planning

Having seen several documentaries and interviews with Vulcan crew & pilots regarding their nuclear flight plans and proposed missions, there's a reticence to discuss the post-mission plan. It's ...
52
votes
1answer
7k views

Why were there no nuclear detonations in 1959?

According to this visualization there were no nuclear detonations in 1959, and only 3 by France in 1960. Why were there no nuclear detonations by the USA or USSR in 1959 and 1960 but over 50 in each ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Why was Hiroshima selected to be the city in Japan on which the first atom bomb was dropped? [closed]

What were the reasons that the U.S. government selected Hiroshima to be the city in Japan on which the first atomic bomb was dropped, other than the obvious reason that Hiroshima was a large, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What were the reasons for Japan's surrender in WWII? [closed]

I have read this Quora answer with 400+ upvotes that claims that Japan surrendered not because they were nuked but because Russians were about to land on their soil and then never leave like they do. ...
-1
votes
1answer
651 views

Is there any evidence that Mileva Marić (first wife of Albert Einstein) had the knowledge to build an atomic bomb herself?

Mileva Marić was the subject of the episode "Out of Time" of the TV show DC's Legends of Tomorrow. I'd like to know if her portrayal is historically accurate. As a result of a rogue time traveler, a ...
6
votes
1answer
502 views

Did US and Soviet nuclear war policies allow for a pause?

In the HBO made-for-tv movie "By Dawn's Early Light", the commander of the navy (codename "Harpoon") explains to the US President that USAF nuclear bombers are at their positive check points and await ...
5
votes
2answers
795 views

Were US decision makers aware of the destructiveness of the Bomb of Nagasaki?

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped on August 6th and 9th respectively. According to this answer, the second bomb was tested once. Must I assume that US leaders were well aware of the ...
8
votes
1answer
573 views

Is there a record of the times the nuclear brief case or its Russian counterpart have ever been actually opened?

So, it's a pretty simple question. When, and how many times has the nuclear brief-case or it's Russian counterpart ever been opened with the intent of use for a nuclear launch? Are there records of ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

How quickly did the term “nuclear fission” spread?

In The Nuclear Express by Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman, they explain that the term "nuclear fission" was first used in Physics by Lisa Meitner in a letter to Otto Hahn on December 19, 1938. ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Is it true that Hitler led to the invention of the Atomic Bomb by the Americans?

I am reading The Nuclear Express by Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman and on page 8, it describes the forced immigration of Jewish scientists involved in "Jewish Physics" to the United States and ...
6
votes
3answers
535 views

What were China's thoughts on the possibility of a nuclear exchange, during the Cold War?

What were China's thoughts on the possibility of a nuclear exchange, during the Cold War? We know, sorta, what the Soviets, and Americans thought, what about China?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War?

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War? Or were there times where there wasn't such a fear? Possibly during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente, or ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why didn't the Allies wait for the nuclear bomb before invading Normandy?

Congruent to the argument that dropping the bomb on Japan saved US and axis lives.
35
votes
3answers
6k views

Was there a plan to use nuclear weapons for terrain modification in North America?

I remember reading a story once about a plan to build a seaport and modify a significant amount of the coastline at once by using a nuclear explosion. I can't find anything about it now when I try ...
1
vote
2answers
854 views

Did the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki contribute to Japan's surrender?

Even before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war situation had developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage. Allied forces had been taking island after island, and were firebombing ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
-1
votes
1answer
452 views

Why is there less public attention on the firebombing of Japan compared to its atomic bombing? [closed]

Virtually everybody has heard of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the firebombing of Japan is nowhere near as well known, or talked about, at least by non-Japanese. Why is there ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believe this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
1
vote
1answer
853 views

End of WWII: potential U.S. atomic bomb production rate

Inspired by Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?. Imagine Japan did not surrender after 2 bombs (just preferring to die), or a war with the Soviet Union breaks out, or for ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Have there been any nuclear accidents in the US at nuclear facilities which were not “commercial”?

In a feature called "On This Day," the March 28th, 2015 issue of the New York Times recounted how "On March 28, 1979, America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor ...
12
votes
4answers
16k views

How far away could one be and still see the atom bomb explosions?

In the film Empire of the Sun (1987), the Nagasaki atom bomb explosion is depicted as being visible (albeit faintly) from Shanghai. Would that really have been possible? According to Google, the two ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What relief efforts did the Japanese attempt after the atomic bombings?

Obviously, once the atomic bombs dropped in 1945, the war was almost over. There wasn't much time to rebuild, or even offer aid, to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before the Japanese ...
8
votes
3answers
741 views

Why would the heads of the Manhattan Project have been imprisoned in the event of its failure?

In The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, Secretary of War Henry Stimson is quoted as saying, after the Trinity test and Potsdam declaration but before the bombing of Hiroshima: I have ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did so many countries agree to the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

The Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 contains (among others) provisions that amount to the following: There are five countries (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China) that ...
34
votes
7answers
13k views

Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?

The United Kingdom has nuclear weapons. All the [major] political parties support this policy. A common justification heard is that they are a deterrent against foreign aggression. For example: UK ...
38
votes
7answers
46k views

Why didn't the US choose to demolish Tokyo with an atom bomb?

Tokyo was Japan's capital. Why didn't the US choose Tokyo to demolish with Atom Bomb? Bonus Question: What factors decided to bring Hiroshima and Nagasaki on table?
26
votes
9answers
29k views

What do the modern Japanese people think about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Japan has been an ally of the USA for a long time now. On the other hand, every year they observe Hiroshima Day. Moreover, Japanese people visit Yasukuni Shrine. Then what is the catch?