Tag Archives: Einstein

Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Enola Gay & Bockscar, Little Boy & Fat Man… National Museum of the Air Force

Today, August 6th, in 1945 the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” dropped over Hiroshima (Japan) the first nuclear bomb, “Little Boy“, used in combat. I guess you have had the chance to read about it in several places along the day. A couple of years ago I wrote a post about that story touching it from different points of view that I had experienced in the previous years: Hiroshima Peace SiteManhattan Project, Einstein’s “The World as I see it“, Genbaku Dome, Sadako Sasaki’s origami,  the  “Enola Gay“, Enola Gay’s Navigator’s Log replica at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson…

… last November, we visited the National Museum of the Air Force (1) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. That museum enables the visitor to get more close-up experiences to the story of that August 6th of 1945.

As several other aerospace museums it counts with its own B-29 Superfortress… however, if the Enola Gay is displayed at National Air & Space Museum at Dulles, this one displayed at the National Museum of the Air Force (Dayton) is Bockscar, the aircraft which dropped the Fat Man” atomic bomb on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the atomic attack against Hiroshima. You can read about Bockscar in the site of the museum, here.

Bockscar, the B-29 which dropped "Fat Man" atomic bomb over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Bockscar, the B-29 which dropped “Fat Man” atomic bomb over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

At Pima Air and Space Museum (Tucson) you could see a replica of Little Boy, however at National Museum of the Air Force (Dayton) they have in display a full size (a 4.4 tonnes, 3m-long bomb) replica of it:

Full size replica of atomica bomb Little Boy, launched over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Full size replica of atomic bomb Little Boy, launched over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Seeing the bomber B-29 Superfortress from up close is impressive, even more if they are either the Enola Gay or Bockscar, but a completely different experience is going inside the cabin of a B-29. At the National Museum of the Air Force (Dayton) they have at the exhibit dedicated to the Korean War a B-29 walk-through fuselage in display. See here its virtual tour.

B-29 fuselage.

B-29 fuselage.

See below some of the pictures we took of the inside:

Actually, you can get very close to experiencing that by going to the virtual tour at the National Museum of the Air Force (Dayton), where you can go through all sections of the bomber B-29 Superfortress Bockscar. Find the link here.

B-29 Superfortress Bockscar virtual tour.

B-29 Superfortress Bockscar virtual tour.

Finally, see a map displaying US Army Air Forces operations in the Pacific at the time:

Map of US Air Force Pacific operations.

Map of US Air Force Pacific operations.

(1) I haven’t yet written a post about that museum in this blog but my brother Jaime has, find it here; a superb piece of aeronautics information.

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Einstein’s: The World as I see it

Yesterday I finished reading Einstein’s book “The World as I see it” (in Spanish “Mi vision del Mundo” -205 pgs.-, Ed. Tusquets, from the original “Mein Weltbild”).       

I firstly came across this book many years ago in Casa del Libro, when searching for his books on special and general relativity. Then I wasn’t very interested in this book, I looked for science. Later on, I grew curiosity for it driven mainly by the desire to know what was his explanation of his connection with the Manhattan Project, his defence of Zionism, how he based his religious believes…     

  • He explains his resolution for writing the letter to F. D. Roosevelt telling the necessity of conducting experiments to study the possibility of building the A-bomb. The only reason: the danger of the Germans working toward the same. He says he was completely conscious of the horrendous outcome for human kind but found no other way out despite his solid pacifism.

Einstein's letter to F.D. Roosevelt. Hiroshima Peace Memorial.


  •  In the book, there are several other letters and speeches in favour of pacifism, the creation of supranational organizations to which nations shall transfer sovereignty, the disarming of the nations, shows criticism against the creation of mandatory military service for the youth (he continuously called for insubordination) …
  • He explains in his book that he understands Judaism more as a tradition centred in moral issues concerning practical matters than a religion based on faith. He defends the creation of a nation for the Jews because of the hostility found in other countries, admits the nationalistic approach of that creation and says that if the situation was different he would be the first one in rejecting all forms of nationalism calling for a universal human community. He joined Zionism as a consequence of the anti-Semitism he found in Germany. The majority of his letters on this issue come from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Einstein died in 1955, before the Suez-Sinai and the Six-Day wars. 
  • Religion: he rejects the concept of a God that rewards and punishes every action of humans. He uses the term Cosmic Religiosity and writes:

“I am of the opinion that all the finer speculations in the realm of science spring from a deep religious feeling, and that without such feeling they would not be fruitful. I also believe that, this kind of religiousness, which makes itself felt today in scientific investigations, is the only creative religious activity of our time.”      

I definitely recommend the book; though I warn the reader that it is not an easy read, it is quite dense, there isn’t a spare word…


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