On the morning of July 16, 1945, in the heart of the New Mexico desert, the world entered the nuclear age.
For months, the scientists of the Manhattan Project had been working on a weapon of unparalleled capability, harnessing the power of the atom to unleash a colossal explosion. Now, at exactly 5.29am, they saw the results.
As a ball of blazing fire rose above the desert, wrote the project’s director, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the mood was ‘entirely solemn. We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent’.
As the fireball became a mushroom cloud, Oppenheimer thought of a line from the Hindu scriptures: ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’
That was almost 80 years ago, and since then only two nuclear weapons have been used in anger. One was Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, which killed at least 100,000 people. The other was Fat Man, dropped on Nagasaki three days later, which killed about another 80,000.
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Source: Daily Mail