After a nuclear program was launched in 1939, the first country to have a nuclear weapon was United States. On July 16, 1945, Americans make their first nuclear test under the code name “Trinity”, before totally destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Until 1949, the United States engaged in numerous tests in the Pacific Ocean islands under their control. Following the acquisition of a nuclear bomb by the Soviets, who make their first test August 29, 1949, the two countries intensified their nuclear activity. This is indeed the beginning of the confrontation between the two world superpowers: a period known as the Cold War.
The Americans and the USSR had a vast territory to conduct nuclear testing. In 1952, like their allies, the British are testing in the Pacific Ocean. The French meanwhile made their first two tests on the African soil. In 1964 it was the turn of the Chinese to conduct their first test. The Soviets and the Americans, however, remain the main actors in nuclear testing although less frequent than in the 50s, the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 that led to the period of relaxation.
The first nuclear test the United States, “Trinity”:
The biggest Tsar nuclear bomb exploded by the Soviet Union:
Despite this apparent lull, Soviets, Americans, French, British and Chinese continue to test their nuclear material in the 60s as well as 70s. In 1979, the United States and Great Britain perform nuclear tests together, which shows the will of the Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher, to approach the Americans to stand together against the USSR. The nuclear tests also lasted into the 80s. However, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990 coincides with the cessation of nuclear tests on its part.
Starting in 1992, no country is testing, which marked the end of the Cold War. In 1998, India and Pakistan perform some tests. The latest nuclear explosions in 2006, 2009 and 2013 were performed by North Korea.
During the Cold War, the Americans and the Soviets made numerous nuclear tests:
If nuclear tests are lower today is due to the fact that wars are fought in an entirely different way. Since the end of the Cold War, conflicts are mainly local and affect developing countries, countries that are not endowed with the nuclear bomb. In writing, we are captivated by this video and hope Orbital Mechanics would make more videos like this. And you, do you like that history be told through new technologies like videos or do you prefer to learn from books?