Impressive, unedited footage shows preparation and nuking of Nagasaki

Raw video shows the final preparation and loading of the bomb, and the subsequent explosion on Nagasaki.

This footage comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was edited by Alex Wellerstein just to add some interesting notes on the bomb and what can be seen in the video.

It’s pretty long but it is the first film to show the final preparation and loading of the “Fat Man” bomb into “Bockscar,” the B-29 Superfortress bomber which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.

It also shows the Nagasaki explosion from the window of an observation plane.

But, read the notes, as they are really interesting.

H/T to Bjorn Broten for the heads-up


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Interesting. I’ve seen some of this over the years. Check out the guy at 20 seconds casually leaning against the door. I was in Osaka on the 50th anniversary of both bombs.

  2. For the question at 1:18: the plutonium core gives off plenty of radiation–but it’s alpha particles, which can be stopped by 2 inches of air, the outer dead layer of your skin, or a single piece of paper. If you eat it or inhale it, that’s when you’ll have real problems.

  3. The comments on the video were very well done. I find it interesting that there were plans for a 3rd atomic bomb to be dropped. That’s something you don’t read in the history books, it’s typically implied that nuclear material for two bombs is all we had.

  4. i enjoy reading about military stuff, but i have a hard time with this described with the word “impressive”. Thousands of largely unaware citizens dying is “impressive”? Whether at war or not the point never has been to be “impressed” by death. A jet fighter ripping over the landscape at 100 foot….that’s impressive, standing on the lift of the USS Midway that too is impressive. This…not so much.

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