No thermonuclear device can destroy an entire country. True or false?

At best, a thermonuclear weapon has a maximum range of 50 miles radius, which isn't wide enough to destroy an entire country of 200 million people.

Ultimately, total annihilation is the CUMULATIVE RESULT of multiple well targeted bombs directed against all the military, industrial and civilian targets across the entire country.

But one bomb cannot accomplish such a feat.

For the "Inverse Square Law of physics" can be overcome by multiple strikes against multiple targets; either, sequentially or simultaneously such multiple strikes can destroy an entire nation of 1 billion people.

True or false?

17 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    No single nuclear detonation would physically destroy anywhere close to an entire state.

    That said, THERE well place detonations would take out the entire electric grid in the US and ultimately kill more than the direct destruction of even nuclear device ever constructed.

  • JJ
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    They could use that atom smasher thing in Europe on full blast to create a black hole that will swallow the entire planet!

  • 1 month ago

    It is enough to destroy the Vatican or Monaco or some of the other very small nations.    I doubt a nation that has nukes is just going to shoot one of them off at an enemy,  they will probably shoot a bunch and they multiple the effect.  

  • jimmy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No but Russia detonated the Tzar bomb which was the biggest nuclear bomb. It would probably take out the whole of New York city.

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  • Zack
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you consider Vatican City a country, that could be destroyed by one.

    Otherwise, not really. Not even the Tsar Bomba would be powerful enough to destroy a whole country.

  • 1 month ago

    false, nukes just aren't that powerful

    there are no nukes that can destroy a 50 mile radius

  • 1 month ago

    Your premise is correct.  But your math and physics suck.  Oakland which lies just across the Bay from San Francisco will have some survivors if SF were bombed with the airburst of a 1 MT weapon.  Dr. Bob Squire, a colleague of mine while I worked at a National Lab came up with an approximating relationship for lethality based on the yield of a nuke.  

    It looks like l = L(Y/Y0)^(2/3); where l is the 50% lethality range for a weapon with Y yield (in megatons) and L is the test 50% lethality for a Y0 test yield.  50% lethality range is just a metric that allows us to do some relative lethality studies.  But by definition it's the range within which half the total deaths will occur.EX:  Assume L = 5 miles lethality range for a test yield of Y0 = 1 MT.  Then we drop a 250 KT = .25 MT reentry vehicle atop of San Francisco, the 50% lethality range would be 5*(.25/1)^(2/3) = 1.98 miles.  If you look at a SF map you'll find that 2 miles radius from the center of the city barely reaches the Bay Bridge.  In other words half the deaths from a .25 MT weapon will occur in the City itself.  The remaining half will die outside the City.

    So we'd expect all the working population of San Francisco to be killed by heat, blast, and prompt radiation.  That's roughly 900,000 people.  The other half would die from fall out radiation, projectiles and shrapnel, and other more delayed effects.  The total deaths would be 1.8 million based on the Squire model.  As I said, it's an approximation, but it's useful for order of magnitude estimates.  And this example serves to show that one weapon won't even come close to killing all the people in the San Francisco Bay Area, let alone the entire USA.

  • 1 month ago

    It depends upon the size of the country, doesn't it?

    For example, Israel's size is 260 miles N-S and a maximum of 71 miles E-W, encompassing a total of some 8,000 square miles.

    A bomb dropped in between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with a 50 mile radius of destruction would encompass most of Israel's major population centers, as well as its seat of government.  

    It would be quite devastating.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    A cobalt bomb. Russia has one. It would scatter cobalt around the world and kill every human being. 

  • Rick
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    depends on how big this 'country' is .............................

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