On August 6th, 1945, the Japanese city of Hiroshima suffered the devastation of the world’s first nuclear attack. A uranium bomb codenamed Little Boy was dropped at 8:15 AM. The United States expected Japan to immediately surrender, but the Japanese High Command mistakenly assumed assumed the US had only one such bomb. At 11:02 AM on August 9th, a plutonium bomb codenamed Fat Man was dropped. Five days later, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally to Allied forces. With this, the second world war ended. Approximately 200,000 lives were lost due to the bombings, and decades later, the world is still not free from the threat of nuclear destruction with nine countries possessing roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons.
What if the Fat Man bomb were dropped on your city? What would be the impact? Designed by Alberto Lucas Lopez with source data from Nukemap, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, this infographic illustrates the impact of the bomb on modern cities from around the world, including New York, Moscow, Berlin, Dubai, London, Tehran, Tokyo, and more. The radii of the immediate destruction is indicated with different bands of color:
Fireball Radius: 0.2km (0.13km^2)
The nuclear fireball. The effect of its impact depends on the height of detonation. If it touches the ground, the amount of radioactive fallout is significantly increased. Minim burst height for negligible fallout is 180m.
Air Blast Radius: 0.76km (1.82km^2)
Concrete buildings are severely damaged or demolished; fatalities approach 100%. Optimal height of burst to maximize this effect is 490m.
Radiation Radius: 1.31km (5.42km^2)
Mortality rates of between 50% and 90% are expected after exposure to radiation doses of 500 rem. Death follows between several hours and several weeks.
Air Blast Radius: 1.72km (9.26km^2)
Most residential buildings collapse, injuries are universal, fatalities are widespread. Optimal height of burst to maximize this effect is 0.85km
Thermal Radiation Radius: 2.12km (15.4km^2)
Third-degree burns extend throughout layers of skin and are often painless because they destroy the pain nerves. They can cause severe scarring or disability, and can require amputation.
To learn more about the atomic bomb and its place in military history, listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast: Logical Insanity.
To drop a simulated nuclear bomb anywhere in the world, visit NUKEMAP.