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CLARA MOSCHINI

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On August 6, 1945. "Enola Gay" airplane launched "Little Boy", the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

Rome, Italy - At 8:14am. MK1 was long 3 m and 4 ton weight: between 70 and 80,000 people killed on impact

It was on April 30, 1945 when Adolf Hitler committed suicide and the Nazi Germany was led temporarily by Adm. Donitz. In the war only Japan remained to fight allies. In the following days the US President Truman (Roosevelt's vice-president, dead on April 12) learned about the Manhattan project, developped in a secret manner in the desert in Nevada and brought USA to have at disposal of the first nuclear arm of the history. Truman decided to use the new device on Japan. On July 26 the US President and the other chief of States allied tried a last time to order terms for the Japanese capitulation, that was soon rejected. None, apart from Truman and few others knew about the bomb. In Europe the Americans have performed numerous bombing against Nazi Germany and already in March 1945 have hit heavily Tokyo with a bombing that caused huge damages: then the idea to bomb Japan was not a particularly innovative, it was deeply different the used arm. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets, two very important cities, situated on the meridional Japan. To attack Hiroshima it was chosen August 6 for favourable weather conditions (the sky was partially covered). Japanese noticed the arrival of American bombers, but seeing only three airplanes (B-29 named "Enola Gay", "The Great Artiste" and "Necessary Evil") underestimated the threat. "Enola Gay" (B-29-45-MO, serial number 44-86292) belonging to the 393rd Bomber Squadron, 509th Group of USAF, was taken off together with the other two B-29 airplanes from Tinian, in the archipelago of Marianne Isles. It was one of fifteen B-29 with the change defined "Silverplate" that allow such airplanes to launch atomic bombs. The nickname of the airplane was given by the Col. Paul Tibbets, head of the mission. "Enola Gay" Tibbets (whose name was a female lead of a novel) was in fact the name of his mother. At 8:14 "Enola Gay" launched the atomic bomb MK1, with the nickname as "Little Boy". This name was given to it by Robert Serber and derived from a noir film. Also the other two nuclear bombs produced to be used on Japan derived the names from the films "Fat man" and "Thin man". "Little Boy" was 3 m long and 4 ton as weight, also if only 64 kilos were of enriched uranium. The first atomic bomb ("The Gadget") was exploded on July 16, 1945 in the Alamogordo firing range, in New Mexico, but it was a plutonium bomb. "Little Boy" was the first one of uranium and was "tested" on site. The bomb hit the center of Hiroshima at a height of about 600 m, after 43 seconds of free fall, both to maximize the impact area and to allow "Enola Gay" to keep back, thing that the airplane made immediately, diverting of 178°. The blast killed on the impact among 70 and 80,000 people; almost the whole city was destroyed from the burst. The Japanese noticed it only when an official, took off from Tokyo to find information on the interrupted communications from Hiroshima, saw about three hours later a huge cloud provoked by the explosion. But the official information arrived only 16 hours later with the announcement made from the White House. The dead people on impact were "lucky"; numerous cases of intoxication from radiations and necrosis, and many dead with terrible pains, bringing to the total to 200,000. Many other dead in the following years as consequences of the explosion. Following to the launch of the second bomb on Nagasaki and the Soviet attack against Japan, both occurred on August 9, the Japanese capitulated and on August 15 succumbed: the second World War finished.

fra/pec - 1206283

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