Anne’s Quiz #9

The Atomic Bomb

The BOMB changed the nature of warfare dramatically. In the last 50 years, we have lived through the Cold War and the policy of MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. We have taken sides, declaring nuclear weapons a necessary evil or a totally unacceptable means to an end. But what do we know of the events that culminated in the only wartime use of an atomic bomb?

I recently read "Enola Gay" by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts, 1977. This book could only have been written many years after the facts, since it relies heavily on de-classified material. Here are some of the things I learned. Although it's currently out of print, lists some used copies.

1. The name of the bomber used to drop the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima was Enola Gay. Where did this name come from?
a) It was the name of the island from which the mission was launched.
b) It was the name of the town where the commander was born and grew up.
c) It was the name of the commander's mother.
d) It is Navajo for "thunder and light".
2. Two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. The first was detonated over Hiroshima on August 6th at 8:16am. How much time separated the two explosions?
a) 3 days
b) 2 weeks
c) 1 hour
d) 30 seconds
3. Why was Nagasaki chosen as the second target?
a) There was a major munitions plant there.
b) The weather was clearer there that morning.
c) There was a high-level military meeting there that off-the-coast radio receivers had detected.
d) It was close enough to Hiroshima.
4. The men responsible for deciding to use the bomb firmly believed that Japan would not surrender without the prod of this here-to-fore unimaginably destructive weapon. When did Japan surrender?
a) September 5th, 1945
b) August 14th, 1945
c) August 5th, 1945
d) August 7th, 1945
5. The bomb tested on July 16th at Alamagorda, NM was a plutonium bomb. What kind was dropped on Hiroshima?
a) plutonium
b) hydrogen
c) helium
d) uranium
6. What nickname was used for the Hiroshima bomb?
a) Little Boy
b) the gadget or gimmick
c) the beast
d) all of the above
7. Of the estimated 320,000 soldiers and civilians in Hiroshima on August 6th, how many were killed by the explosion?
a) almost all of them
b) 160,000
c) 100,000
d) 80,000
8. How much did the Hiroshima bomb weigh?
a) 1 pound
b) 200 pounds
c) 5 tons
d) 1 ton
9. What did the devolopment of the first atomic bomb cost?
a) $13 million
b) $13 billion
c) $2 billion
d) $1 trillion
10. What was the function of the Japenese soldiers called Kaiten?
a) reserve troops to defend the homeland
b) human suicide torpedo pilots
c) human suicide plane pilots
d) intelligence officers

Photos are of damage in Hiroshima and the luminous cloud from the Trinity test at Alamagorda
(Ref: "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons", Glasstone).
Glasstone's book is currently out of print; it was published by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1962 and revised in 1977. A few copies are available through's zShops.


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quiz 9 created 1996