Scandinavia and the World
Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9464830:

Cold War Games 12 3, 11:07am

@UnluckyKitty13 - Are you referring to the Megaton load of the bombs? That is referring to how much TNT it would take to create an explosion of equal size to the bombs themselves. You can't launch something that actually weighs 50 megatons (50 million tons) into orbit to wipe out an enemy city on another continent, nor can you fly something that weighs 5 megatons across an ocean. The bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki were measured in kilotons of TNT, rather than megatons, as they were very much smaller than later constructs.

The most powerful bomb detonated by the US was 22-25 megatons (intended to be 15, but turned out stronger due to materials used) while the Soviet Union built Tsar Bomba, a 50 megaton bomb (originally intended to be 100 megatons, but not even the USSR had balls big enough to go for that scale of weapon) and was too powerful - the shockwave deflected the explosion back up into the atmosphere, and nearly took out the plane that dropped it.

Hope that helps :)