JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
- Part of the very long Atomic and Nuclear Weapons History series
Here's another maim-and-blame piece of provocative semi-future/tomorrow speculation from Mechanix Illustrated (of all places) in February, 1950, hosted by the wonderful Modern Mechanix website (where the entire War-of-the-Worlds-like article is included). So February 1950 was pretty early in the development of the brand-new atomic Cold War. The Soviets had been experimenting since 1946 (thanks in large part to "intelligence received" from agents working in the U.S.) and in August 1949 successfully detonated their first atomic weapon. This came several years before most experts thought possible, with the weapon (called RDS-1, or "First Lightning", or in the West, "Joe 1"), which was a Fat Man/implosion device, generating a yield of 22kt. The news of the test took a few months to filter out to the rest of the world--as the U.S. had previously initiated a bomb/detection plan employing the B-29 Superfortress--with President Truman making an announcement regarding the test on September 23, 1949. The Soviet had hoped to keep their experimentation "quiet" so that they could have a few more years of catch-up while developing a hydrogen bomb, but that didn't work out for the evidently surprised Russians.
In any event this image fits nicely with the other 15 or so depicting a mostly pre-1960 NYC in ruins. (Check the GOogle search box at left for NYC destroyed/attacked.)
And yes Lady Liberty is facing the wrong way.