The nuclear devastation of Hiroshima 71 years ago.

during the war that is cold how many and on average what kind of yield did they have? Also how big was the difference between the regular big bombs they dropped and the bomb that is atomic? You have two ...

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  • during the cold war, how many and on average what kind of yield did they have? Also how big was the difference between the regular big bombs they dropped and the atomic bomb?
  • You've got two classifications of weapons - tactical and strategic with the strategic weapons. Strategic weapons are the ones with the big yield but a substantial number of the warheads in the field are tactical. Whenever you hear about nuclear torpedoes or atomic artillery that's all tactical and the yield is a delicate balance against "how far can we lob this thing." Everything else is strategic and that's about "what's the biggest hole we can make when this goes off and still fit it on a missile or in a bomber?" So strategically you're talking thousands or up to tens of thousands of weapons with a yield between 100 kilotons and 5 megatons. The USSR set off a 50 megaton super bomb and the USA a 15 megaton device but neither were seriously considered for actual use on account of them being physically huge. It's hard to give more information without having a specific year in mind because the weapons and their deployment changed so fast.
  • Yeah, Tsar Bomba needed a parachute or something to slow its descent, I think.
  • Lots of them did. Weapons like Tsar Bomba suffer from the inverse square law though and that's primarily why you didn't see a larger commitment to building them. Remember, the goal here is to destroy the enemy's ability to use their own weapons or to destroy their cities. A bomb that's 16 times bigger is only 4 times more destructive. If you can produce or deliver several smaller bombs for the same price in blood or treasure, it makes a lot more sense to do that. So especially once you see missile guidance becoming more effective, the average yield starts dropping in favor of reduced warhead weight. Tsar Bomba is a special case though, propaganda being an important part of the Soviet governments legitimacy efforts.
  • Yeah, they did that so the pilots would have enough time to make it to a safe enough distance. Interesting fact about Soviet ICBMs, though. Because Russia never mastered miniaturization like the US did, it took 24 hours for Russia to fuel a single ICBM. So if someone ever decided to lob nukes, it would be Russia starting it. Conversely, the US' Atlas ICBM, IIRC, only took minutes to prepare for launch.
  • The B-41 was a 25MT bomb fielded between 1961 and 1976. I imagine it'd have made quite a big hole one had ever been set off.
  • Why were survivors shunned?
  • Ignorance on the part of the Japanese. They believed the radiation sickness was hereditary and possibly contagious (many still believe this). Not only this, but the children of Hibakusha are also discriminated against.
  • Chernobyl refugees faced a similar discrimination. I had childhood cancer and the number of people who's first question about my diagnosis was 'Is it contagious?' was entirely too high. Physical threats are much easier to cope with psychologically than a supposed invisible threat that you could neither see nor fight.
  • Yeah, Hibakushas didn't start getting aid from the government until after there was an incident involving... I want to say it was Operation Crossroads and nearby Japanese fishing boat that was close enough that they got dosed, but far enough away that the blast didn't do too much. At that point, the Japanese gov. was forced to officially recognize Hibakusha.
  • I've always been under the impression that exposure to radiation often led to disabilities being passed to children. Have I been completely wrong?
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