B-29 Drops Atomic Bomb From 30,000 In An Effort To Understand The Effects


B-29 Drops Atomic Bomb From  30,000 In An Effort To Understand The Effects

JULY 1--Operation Cross Roads--Tests to determine effects of atomic bombs on naval targets were conducted at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. In the first test, a Nagasaki-type bomb, dropped from a B-29 at 30,000 feet on ships anchored in the lagoon, sank five of them outright and did heavy damage to nine others. 



A shallow underwater burst on the 25th raised the total number sunk directly or indirectly to 32 of the 83 ships of all types used in the tests. Among them were the aircraft carriers Saratoga, sunk in shallow water on the 25th after 19 years of active service, and Independence which was so heavily damaged and contaminated that she was no longer fit for use. Although these tests had broad national impact, to the Navy and to naval aviation they not only made clear the importance of nuclear weapons in control of the sea but they also provided much detailed data on the effects of nuclear blasts and a sound technical basis for intensification of efforts to develop tactics and equipment whereby the damage of such attacks against a naval task force could be held to a minimum.

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