. . . detonated.

…a powerful white flash over the horizon and after a long period of time I heard a remote, indistinct and heavy blow, as if the earth has been killed!” —a distant observer on 30 October 1960, when Tsar Bomba was detonated

ysar-bomba-scaleTsar Bomba was designed by Russian scientists to have a power equivalent to 100 megatons of explosive. They scaled it down for a test to 50 megatons, but the explosion remains the greatest man-made detonation to this day. It was dropped on Novaya Zemlya Island, near the Arctic Ocean.

The explosion was the equivalent if you took every every conventional bomb dropped in World War Two and multiplied the effect by ten. Or take the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs combined, and multiply by fourteen hundred. The two tiny blips in the far right scale that are circles and have to blown up show those two detonations compared to the two largest by the Americans and then Tsar Bomba.
The Russians claim only one Tsar Bomba was ever built. In Nine Eleven, I speculate there were two. And the second one . . .  well, it’s in the book.Tsar Bomba was never developed as a weapon of the Cold War simply because it was too big. Even the plane that carried it, the largest bomber the Russians had, needed to have its bomb bay doors cut away. Also, the Russians were uncertain that even with the delay and the high altitude parachute drop, that the plane would be able to escape the blast. It was too big to fit on a missile.

blast-radiusTo the right is what would happen if Tsar Bomba was detonated in the center of New York City. The red circle indicates everyone is dead.In fact, it was speculated that at the time, the United States only had three targets that could merit the scale of such a weapon: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.In Nine Eleven, I speculate what would happen if the world’s largest bomb was loaded onto the world’s largest plane, the An-225 and . . .