68 years ago, high above the city of Hiroshima, the crew of the 509th Composite Group B-29 Enola Gay, led by the Group Commander, 29 year old Colonel Paul Tibbets, unleashed a single bomb.
The devastation unleashed upon Hiroshima by this single blast was unprecedented in all of human history. Other cities, Tokyo in particular, had seen more damage, but never so instantaneously.
Three days later, a similar fate would befall Nagasaki. And 8 days later, Japan would sue for peace. The cataclysm of the 20th century, World War II, would come to a sudden halt. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, who knew in their bones that the invasion of Japan was just ahead, were suddenly free to consider that they might actually live, return home, and possibly even grow old.
Warfare would be forever changed. Every conflict since has seen the major powers strive to fight and win, and yet not so decisively that another major power would feel the need to resort to the ultimate in conflict resolution.