WW3: Here is what would happen if a nuclear bomb dropped on Birmingham during World War Three

The US President has sparked fears of a new 'arms race’ that potentially could lead to WW3 after announcing plans to build ballistic missiles.

Saturday, 16th March 2019, 4:24 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th March 2019, 5:26 pm
Nuclear bomb

Donald Trump announced last month that he intends to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (IRNFT) with Russia. 

Claiming that the former Soviet Union had been in breach of the treaty. 

The landmark IRNF treaty, signed by America and Russia in 1987, eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometres (310–620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi). 

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President Trump wants to start building ballistic missiles. Picture: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

While nuclear war remains extremely unlikely - the doomsday clock, which estimates how close the world is to apocalypse, is the closest to midnight it has been since 1953. 

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Earlier this year The News revealed that Portsmouth was one of the key Russian targets during the cold war along with many other cities across this country.

But what if the UK’s second city – Birmingham – was targeted by a nuclear bomb in event of World War Three? 

NUKEMAP calculates the predicted number of fatalities and injuries that would be caused - based on the size of a the bomb dropped on the city – for this story we have selected the option of the bomb exploding as an airblast. 

So if the ‘Little Boy’ 15 kiloton bomb, which was dropped by the US on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in WW2, fell on the city centre it is estimated that 55,950 would be killed and 127,260 would be injured. 

The fireball would have a radius of 180m, the air blast radius - which would severely damage buildings – would be 340m and the radiation radius – where death rates would be between 50% and 90% - would be 1.2km. 

However the ‘Little Boy' hasn’t been used since WW2, so if a 350kt W-78 nuke – currently the largest option on NUKEMAP – was used on Birmingham it would be much more devastating.

With an estimated 278,120 fatalities and an estimated 639,340 people injured. 

The fireball radius would be 0.63km, the air blast radius - which would severely damage buildings – would be 4.95km, the thermal radiation radius – causing third degree burns, scaring, disablement, and can require amputation - would be 7.67km. 

All of this is hypothetical and the risk of a nuclear bomb falling on Birmingham or anywhere in the World is extremely low.