On this day in 1945, the United States used a nuclear weapon in a war for the second and (knock on wood) last time ever. The bomb, dubbed “Fat Man” for its resemblance to William Conrad, was one of three nuclear weapons produced by the Manhattan Project. The first one was called “The Gadget” and it was detonated 0n July 19, 1945 in New Mexico. The second bomb was named “Little Boy” and it was detonated over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. That bomb was the one that made the whole world sit up and take notice.
Fat Man gets no respect. But it was Fat Man and not Little Boy that ended the war. After Hiroshima was incinerated, the Japanese war council was still holding out. But after Nagasaki got blowed up Emperor Hirohito ordered the war council to surrender.
I have to wonder whether the Japanese would have surrendered if they had known that the US had used up all our weapons-grade fissile material in those three bombs?
For a brief period, the United States was the world’s sole nuclear power. Then in August 1949 the USSR successfully detonated a nuclear weapon. Seven more countries have joined the club since then, and we put a lot of effort into keeping membership at nine. And by “we” I am referring to sane, patriotic Americans. I am not referring to insane and unpatriotic individuals who think Iran should have The Bomb.