35 - End of World War II

The B-29 Superfortress «Enola Gay» standing on the tarmac at the Marianas Islands preparing for take off

Take-Off with the first atomic bomb in the belly. (The spinning propellers are achieved by blowing at them with a vent)

The atomic explosion over Hiroshima.

The bomb was dropped from 31,060 feet (9,470 m) and detonated at 2.000 feet (600m).

Of course, it would be impossible to make a diorama with the actual dimensions. I therefore have placed the B-29 far too low in the picture above, but this is the only way to capture the plane, the explosion and the city in the same picture.

The picture below is perhaps a little more realistic.

End of WWII

a diorama by Bjørn Jacobsen

The Timetable:

 

August 6: Hiroshima bomb dropped.

August 8: Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.

August 9: Nagasaki bomb dropped.

August 10: Emperor Hirohito breaks the cabinet deadlock and decides that Japan must surrender.

August 14: Japan agreed to unconditional surrender

August 15: Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender in a radio broadcast.

September 2: Japan formally surrender in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri

This diorama was initially a Group Build with the title “End of WWII”. I felt this was an interesting task and soon realise that the atomic explosion over Hiroshima was (at least in my opinion) the one single incident that represent the end of this global war.

I have tried to make a diorama to commemorate this terrible event.

 

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress

 

The big four engine Boeing B-29 Superfortress

was one of the most complicated and expensive

airplane produced by the United States during

World War II.

 

The first B-29 was delivered to USAAF in May

1944 and nearly 4.000 were built before the plane

was retired in 1960.

 

In WWII, the B-29 was used in the Pacific theatre

as a high-altitude strategic bomber, but the B-29

also excelled in low-altitude night time incendiary

bombing missions.

 

It was very advanced for its time and featured a

pressurized cabin, all dual wheeled, tricycle landing gears, and a remote, electronic fire-control system that controlled four machine gun turrets. A manned tail gun installation was semi-remote.

 

The B-29 had a crew of eleven.

It had a length 99 ft. (30.18 m), a wingspan of 141 ft 3 in (43.06 m) and a range of 3.250 mi (5.230km), the ferry range was 5,600 mi (9,000 km) and had 10 × .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning M2/ANs in remote-controlled turrets and the standard bomb load was 20,000 lb (9,000 kg)

 

One of the B-29's final roles in World War II was carrying out the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

Enola Gay

 

The B-29, which dropped the atomic bomb over

Hiroshima August 6 1945, became World War II's

most famous airplane.

 

The bomber was one of 15 B-29s with the

"Silverplate" modifications necessary to deliver

atomic weapons. These modifications included

an extensively modified bomb bay with pneumatic

doors and British bomb attachment and release

systems, reversible pitch propellers that gave

more braking power on landing, improved engines

with fuel injection and better cooling, and the

removal of protective armour and gun turrets.

 

The pilot of the atomic bomb mission, Col. Paul

Tibbets, named the plane “Enola Gay” after his

mother.

 

The decision to drop the bomb was a difficult one

for the new President Harry S. Truman.

 

That single blast from the bomb – codenamed

“Little Boy” was the equivalent of 16.000 tons of

T.N.T. The force of the blast had the potential to

shorten the war and reduce the number of

American and Japanese causalities.

 

But that single blast also had the potential to kill

hundreds of thousands Japanese civilians.

 

Truman decided to go ahead and Col. Tibbets

and the crew of Enola Gay dropped the first

atomic bomb, which exploded 2,000 feet (600m)

above Hiroshima, destroying five square miles

of the city and killing 80,000 people immediately.

The final death toll was calculated at 135,000.

 

 

Why Hiroshima?

 

Hiroshima was chosen because it had not been

targeted during the US Air Force's conventional

bombing raids on Japan, and was therefore

regarded as being a suitable place to test the

effects of an atomic bomb.

It was also an important military base.

 

The Allies feared that any conventional attempt to

invade the Japanese home islands would result

in enormous casualties, and the bomb was seen

as a way of bringing the war against Japan to a

swift conclusion.

In addition, it may also have been a way of

demonstrating American military superiority over

the Soviet Union.

 

Nagasaki

 

However, Hiroshima’s devastation failed to elicit

immediate Japanese surrender and three days later, on August 9 Major Charles Sweeney flew another

B-29 bomber with a plutonium bomb, even more powerful than the one used at Hiroshima. The bomb weighed nearly 10,000 pounds and produced a 22-kiloton blast.

 

The target was the city of Kokura, but thick clouds over Kokura, drove Sweeney to the secondary

target, Nagasaki.

 

The topography of Nagasaki, which was nestled in narrow valleys between mountains, reduced the bomb’s effect, but still about 40,000 people were killed instantly and a third of the city was destroyed. The final death toll was calculated as at least 50,000.

 

The day after the Nagasaki bombing Emperor Hirohito breaks the cabinet deadlock and decides that Japan must surrender. On the 14th of August, Japan agreed to the Allies' terms of surrender and on August 15, 1945, the Japanese Emperor announced his country’s surrender in a radio broadcast.

It brought six years of a global conflict to an end. A war that had accounted for the death of more than 60 million people.

 

The World War II was over at last

Boeing B-29 Enola Gay on Tinian in the Marianas Islands. The 509th’s distinctive tail code of an arrow inside a circle was changed to that of the 6th Bomb Group’s “circle R” by Tibbets after Tokyo Rose noted the tail codes of the newly-arrived aircraft in two separate radio broadcasts.

Little Boy” exploded with the energy equivalent of 16,000 tons of TNT

The enormous devastation of the city of Hiroshima

 

 

 

The B-29 model of

Enola Gay

 

The model is a 1/72 from Academy,

which was the only one I found of

the Enola Gay.

 

It is almost completely impossible to

see inside the fuselage when the

fuselages are glued together and I

therefore choose not to put any

energy in doing a nice interior.

 

It was quite obvious that the model

would be a “tail sitter” if not weighted

heavily in the front.

 

The kit consists of very few parts

and was very easy to put together.

 

The propeller shafts were easy to

lubricate and would hopefully spin

when I blow at them.

 

The plane was all in aluminium, so

the painting was easy enough,

except that it needed some patches

with different aluminium colours to

appear as the original plane.

 

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

"Enola Gay" is displayed at NASM's

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Cente in

Washington, USA.

There is therefore no lack of pictures

and videos of this plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The atomic

explosion over

Hiroshima

 

It would be impossible to recreate

the actual atomic explosion in a

diorama, and I therefore had to

make a painting of the explosion

and photograph the Enola Gay in

front of the painting (which was

mostly done on the computer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ =

Here are my pictures of "Enola Gay" and the "End of WWII":

On its way to Hiroshima... In the background, one of "Enola Gay"’s two B-29 escort planes

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this website! Thank you for visiting!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments

(bjorn@dioramas-and-models.com)

 

Bjørn Jacobsen

 

 

 

August 2015