Picture of the Day: The Bomb Before It Exploded Over Nagasaki

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It seems so obvious that before the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki it had to exist, whole, somewhere, yet seeing a picture of it in that pre-exploded state, with all its attendant destructive power still locked inside, is shocking, horrifying, in a way distinct from the more familiar images of the mushroom cloud. The picture above, from the National Archives contribution to Wikimedia, shows three men as they transport Fat Man, as the bomb was called, on the island of Tinian in August of 1945. U.S. Air Force pilot Charles Sweeney flew over Nagasaki on August 9th and dropped it on the city, killing some 39,000 people and injuring thousands more.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: National Archives/Wikimedia Commons.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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