Little Boy failed to detonate

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Eleven11, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. Eleven11 Banned

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    Imagine the Enola Gay reporting back to base that the bomb failed to explode.The Americans want their bomb back but the Japanese are infuriated and have seized the device and hidden it in the mountains. Japan, a former ally of Germany, recruit former NAZIS scientists to reverse-engineer and reassemble the bomb. The US government has decided not to say a word to the public about the failed attempt and loss of the device because the project was secret anyways. The Japanese end the war without suffering another single loss, the American naval fleets and assets in the Pacific returned home and the war was over. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never bombed.
     
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  2. Geordie NAME OF OWNER

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    How do the Japanese get hold of these scientists? The Soviets and Americans have seized them all, and aren't going to let them walk off to help an enemy.

    Why would the Japanese end the war just like that? They have no idea what this bomb is supposed to do.

    The earliest that the war can end is with the Soviet attack into Manchuria, Sakhalin and the Kuriles.
     
  3. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

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    Why wouldn't the second bomb be droped 2 days later? How do the Japanese know the significance of what fell upon Hiroshima at all, let alone so quickly? A war can't be turned off like a water faucet!

    Also, as Geordie87 asked...
    How do the Japanese get hold of these scientists? Why would the Japanese end the war just like that?

    This whole scenario is too ASBish IMO.
     
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  4. EmptyOne Re-Booted

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    Even if there was no atomic explosion, the conventional explosion used to set of the bomb would destroy it.

    I don't remember, was Little Boy dropped with a parachute? If it wasn't, the impact alone would likely destroy it.
     
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  5. Eleven11 Banned

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    The Americans were unaware that some of the German scientists they captured were Japanese spies. At the time the German scientists were supposed to steal American secrets but when the bomb failed to explode these Japanese assets were FAKE murdered and smuggled into Japan to study the device and repackage it.
    Sure they did, the German scientists spying for the Japanese had copied plenty of Manhatten Project papers and documents. The Japanese knew the US was developing a superweapon and they understood the theory but they did not know about the impending bombing of Hiroshima because that information was not made available to those German Jap spies. So, the US knew the Japanese might be able to reverse engineer the simple uranium hammer configuration so they sued for peace instead of risking a harsh Japanese reprisal with atomic weapon in hand. The US decided to stop dropping atom bombs from airplanes out of fear another would be lost and become an asset to the enemy. The war ended because Japan became a nuclear superpower.
    The Soviets were informed of Japan's new status and they backed out of Manchuria. The Soviets had their own wounds to lick and a nation to rebuild so they got on with that.For the longest time thereafter the Japanese were confused that the US had no backup plan for the unexploded nuke. How could the US be so sure that the bombs would go off that they made no backup plans. They mused as they tried to imagine anything on earth THAT PERFECT.
     
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  6. Douglas Restored

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    I believe this merits a WTFWI label.
     
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  7. Eleven11 Banned

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    Actually, if the bomb did not go off it is because the conventional explosive intitiating it failed because the altimeter failed. Murphy's Law. Shit happens.
    Freefall I believe. From 30,000 feet, set to explode at 2000 feet above ground level.
    The Japanese found one end of the bomb in one place and the other end at another area close by. The tail end contained the detonator and smallest portion of the uranium mass while the other half contained the biggest portion of fissionable material. Both half were placed on trucks and relocated to secret labs in the mountains surrounding Hiroshima. When the bomb impacted the ground it split in two so the portions of fissionable material never combined. Due to the density of the uranium the parts conserved their basic shape. When the Japs studied the mechanism they soon understood how it works.
     
  8. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

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    Sorry Eleven, your scenario needs the intervention of alien space bats in order to happen.
     
  9. Eleven11 Banned

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    The US feared the second bomb might fail to explode so they scrubbed all the airborne nuke scenarios. Japan had become a nuclear superpower because the US had no backup plan. People never knew about the second bomb because they never found out about the lost first one.
    Well, it is true that the US had no backup plan for little boy.
     
  10. Eleven11 Banned

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    Actually, all that needed to happen was that the Little Boy bomb fail to explode. The US did not have a backup plan. Billion-dollar weapon and they don't have a backup plan, lol. Are you saying there are things on earth that are PERFECT?
     
  11. Geordie NAME OF OWNER

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    Right, so German scientists had been turned to feed information about Nazi science projects to the Japanese?

    How on earth does this mean that the Japanese end up with Manhattan Project paperwork, as you appear to be suggesting?
     
  12. Shimbo The Whisper of Death

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    OK, a couple of things:

    The chance of Little Boy not exploding is very low, a gun type uranium bomb is incredibly simple conceptually and practically, the only real (huge even) issue is getting enough U235. The allies were so confident that Little Boy would work that they didn't even bother testing it (unlike the Plutonium Implosion weapon, Fat Man). Fat Man was far more complex, there might be a chance of it not exploding.

    As above, a gun type uranium bomb is conceptually simple. The problem is getting enough U235; so, even if the Japanese receive an intact and unexploded bomb and reverse engineer it, they are basically no further forward towards making more bombs. The hard bit is separating U235 from U238.

    Even if the Japanese have Little Boy they have no means of delivering it. They could I suppose hide it on a probable invasion beach ready to explode. But really one Uranium bomb and no means of delivery does not make Japan into a 'Nuclear Superpower'.

    I have read quite widely on this subject and I have never heard any suggestion that the Germans had spies in the Manhattan Project. The Russians did, but not the Germans.

    The German nuclear scientists did not have a full understanding of how to build nuclear weapons; they were also all in Allied custody. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm_Hall

    The Allies have a production line of plutonium bombs. If one fails then IMO they will keep building them, shipping them out and dropping them until one does work.

    So, sorry, but if you want a PoD that gives Japan nuclear weapons and enables them to survive WW2 without surrendering, then 'Little Boy doesn't explode' isn't it.
     
  13. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    :confused:
    :confused:Wha:confused:

    How do the Germans become Japanese spies? How do the most valuable German prisoners that exist escape from the Allies and get into Japan AFTER the German surrender? Why don't they just take Goering while they're at it?

    How does possession of ONE bomb make Japan a nuclear superpower?
     
  14. kojak Well-Known Member

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    I smell Diocletian Mandella, or one of his ilk.
     
  15. Eleven11 Banned

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    They were paid handsomely for their work by the Japanese. A few were awarded the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun for services rendered to Japan during the war and after.
    This confusion arises from not having read my post correctly. I said that certain German scientists captured after Germany collapsed and before by the US were spying for Japan while the Manhatten Project was underway. While they were in Germany they were helping Japan's ally but keeping an eye out for Japanese interests. The Emperor wanted to be INSIDE his ally's bedrooms and inside the Manhatten Project. Did I confuse some dates, is the chronology off?
     
  16. bard32 Banned

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    Ever read the Tom Clancy novel The Sum of All Fears? It's about former
    Communists and Palestinian terrorists working together to bring down the United States. In the book, Palestinian terrorists get their hands on an Israeli
    nuclear bomb. They persuade an East German scientist to go to the West Bank
    and work on the bomb. They also get their hands on Soviet uranium. The terrorists then smuggle it into this country, bring it to Denver, and set out in
    front of the stadium where the Super Bowl's being played. They hope it explodes and irradiates the city. However, the bomb fails to explode and it's a
    spectacular failure. The results, however, are the same.
     
  17. Adam Tengen Toppa Union Jack!

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    0.o

    No really, 0.o
     
  18. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

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    Fat Man

    Eleven11, the USA did have a backup plan: Fat Man.

    Since Fat Man HAD been tested, it would likely be used, IMHO. And more were on the way. I can't see one failed bomb making the war go away...end a bit later, perhaps, but peace breaking out because of one bomb failing to explode? I doubt it.
     
  19. Geordie NAME OF OWNER

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    I read your post with all the intelligence that God gave me. I am sorry that it is insufficient to understand your higher plane of thought.

    German scientists were, to the best of my knowledge, irrelevent to the Manhattan Project. The Project had been running for years, and by the time Germany surrendered, was nearing completion.

    Also, as many have already pointed out: if neither the conventional nor nuclear explosions occur, the bomb itself will be destroyed when it reaches the earth. There will be nothing to reverse engineer, no bomb to rebuild.
     
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  20. Blue Max Game Designer

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    OK, the results of this happening is that Japan loses Nagasaki to a nuclear attack a few days later--with all of the devastating effect that Hiroshima would have had.

    Realistically, if Japan understood the effect of the bomb, they would probably attempt to detonate it as a suicide detonation if and when a downfall like invasion occured. This would be quite the twist. But I think the Japanese would only get the smashed up remnants of the bomb (which would be highly radioactive and almost certainly result in scattered deaths)

    Much more likely, the USA's third A-bomb destroys another major Japanese city, possibly Hiroshima, one month later than OTL. This might not even be needed; the Japanese Emperor would still be moved to surrender because of the suffering of his people.

    The change in score is considerable--you might have a late surrender resulting in the Soviet Occupation of all Korea, and you probably have thousands more deaths from incendiary bombing. But this changes little more than dates and perhaps a different Japanese City pays a terrible price. Japan is still gone, and the Japanese Surrender is likely to occur just as it did OTL.
     
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