There was a time when this plane brought a whole nation to its knees, ending an entire war at once.
It was September 21, 1942, Boeing inaugurated the first flight of the B-29 Superfortress bomber. A story that has always fascinated me and the echo of his deeds still take me back to those unforgettable days.
Today 78 years have passed since the inaugural flight so I decided to make a little special to tell a little about the story of this bomber unfortunately remembered for having ushered in the nuclear age …
… and for our diehard visitors, a download with some dedicated Commodore 64 games could not be missing.
The B-29 Superfortress was a strategic, four-engine propeller, medium-wing bomber, famous for taking part in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bombing campaign on Japan during World War II. It could reach almost 600 Kl / h, and an altitude of 9000 meters, had a range of over 6000 kilometers and could carry a load of over 5 tons. It was the largest and heaviest of the aircraft to have served operational in World War II.
Born as a high altitude day bomber, it was however often used for low and medium altitude nocturnal incendiary bombings on Japan, as well as for the release of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On the morning of August 6, 1945 at 8:15 am the US Air Force dropped the “Little Boy” atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, a populous port city in the south of the island of Honshu and after 3 days threw another on Nagasaki.
The fate of World War II was now sealed, but the Japanese Empire did not want to surrender. Although the nation was nearly collapsed and the mighty Japanese fleet had been decimated, vast territories of the Pacific and the Asian continent were still under their control.
The aim of the leaders of the Rising Sun was to resist as long as possible, in the hope of imposing a dignified and honorable armistice. But the tenacity of the Japanese and the memory of the terrible sacrifice of human lives paid a few weeks earlier in the conquest of Okinawa led President Truman and the American military forces to give the okay to release the two nuclear weapons.
Their power was devastating. On Hiroshima the apocalyptic mushroom in a few seconds razed everything within a radius of 8 km to the ground, causing the immediate death of 80,000 people. The number of victims is estimated between 100,000 and 200,000, almost exclusively civilians.
The two Boing B-29s that carried out the atomic bombing were called “Enola Gay” and “Bockscar“.
A curiosity, on 9 August 1945, the day when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the crew of the B29 Bockscar was not the usual one but that of another B-29, in command was Major Charles W. Sweeney.
The primary target was Kokura, but that day the sky was obscured by clouds; since the commander was ordered to release in conditions of maximum visibility, it was necessary to proceed towards the secondary objective, Nagasaki. The sky was cloudy there too, but as the fuel was rapidly dwindling, Major Sweeney did not want to abandon the bomb at sea, so he decided to go ahead with a radar bombardment.
Suddenly, however, there was an opening large enough in the clouds to allow visual identification of the city, so the bomb was dropped in the industrial area of Nagasaki above the Urakami valley which was about 4 km west of the urban core. and exploded 400 meters high. This caused relatively fewer casualties (around 40,000 people) than in the first bombing.
The B-29 did not have enough fuel to return to the Tinian or Iwo Jima base and the commander was forced to make an emergency landing on the island of Okinawa.
Many believe that the two atomic bombings gave a great boost to the Japanese surrender, definitively ending the Second World War. Others argue that the Japanese were already organizing the surrender, asking the Soviet Union to intervene as mediator, and that the two bombings had the only result of accelerating the surrender.
I hope I haven’t bored you too much with this little special. Remember to subscribe to our Facebook group in order to stay updated on all our news …
I leave you a small download below with a nice collection of games for Commodore 64 dedicated to air simulation with particular attention to B-29 bombers
- B1 Bomber Game
- B1 Nuclear Bomber
- Dive Bomber v1
- The Dam Busters
- Dive Bomber v2
If you have files you want to share, you can send them to our email firstname.lastname@example.org in the upload section.
See you soon.