It was not always so well looked after. For decades after the war, the B Superfortress bomber was left to rot. It was disassembled, its pieces were scattered, birds nested in its engines, and someone smashed its gun turret. Behind the neglect lay a deep national ambivalence about what it represented, a quandary which endures today: was this the aircraft that finally ended the second world war, saving hundreds of thousands of lives — or the instrument of the mass killing of civilians, which heralded a new age of nuclear terror? When the Enola Gay was part restored and plans were made to put in on display at the National Air and Space Museum in , historians agonised over how the exhibit might look at its legacy from all sides. It did not go well.
Robert A. Lewis
Hiroshima: Enola Gay Pilot Had No Regrets About Dropping First Atom Bomb
Early in the morning of Aug. Paul W. Tibbets Jr. At approximately a. It was the first time a devastating nuclear device had been unleashed upon a populated target.
"Little Boy" Atomic Bomb
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This turned out to be an extremely useful tool for bombarding atomic nuclei. Two years later, Enrico Fermi bombarded uranium with neutrons, hoping that it would cause the uranium to emit a beta particle and become a new, artificial element above uranium in the periodic table. It seemed he had done this and in the process showed that slow-moving neutrons were more effective than high-energy neutrons for the task.