Declassified: B-52 Unleashes Powerful Hydrogen Bomb – Massive Explosion Above The Clouds
(CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
The conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War escalated to a tipping point with the development of powerful nuclear bombs. By 1956 islands in the South had seen big bomb tests for the better part of a decade, but nothing like this. The United States Military stepped up their destructive power with the introduction of the hydrogen bomb.
Operation Redwing was a series of weapons tests by the United States Military conducted at the Enewetak Atoll and Bikini Atoll. The introduction of the hydrogen bomb was a huge game changer because it was estimated to be at least 1,000 times more powerful that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. To deploy this massive new bomb the US Air Force used the new Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.
“The shot was rather a demonstration that the United States could air-deliver multimegaton-yield thermonuclear weapons using B-52 jet bombers. The device, designed and developed by Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL), was airdropped from a B-52 and exploded at a height of 5,000 feet (1.5 km) above Nam on 21 May 1956.”
It was the explosion that rocked the world. Although it was brief it was still a huge moment in history, which can be viewed in this declassified clip.