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Home > Learning Point > Tragedies And Disasters > Attacks > Atomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, 1945

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Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945

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Date:  August 6 and August 9, 1945

Place: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Empire of Japan

Result: Allied victory (Casualties and losses 20 British, Dutch, and U.S. prisoners of war killed.)          

Hiroshima: 20,000+ soldiers killed, 70,000–146,000 civilians killed

Nagasaki: 39,000–80,000 killed

Total: 129,000–246,000+ killed


On August 6, 1945 the US dropped a nuclear bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima in Japan. Three days later a second nuclear bomb "Fat Man" was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. These were the only moment atomic weapons have been used in war.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Japanese city, stable some 8M km. (500 mi.) from Tokyo, on which the first operating atomic bomb was dropped at 0815 on 6 August 1945.  Nicknamed ('Little Boy’)—a reference to Roosevelt—the bomb was 3 m. (9 ft. 9 in.) long, used uranium 235, had the strength of 12.5 kilotons of TNT, and weighed 3,600 kg. (Nearly 8,000 lb.).

Much discussion by a Target committee had preceded the judgment to make Hiroshima the first target. To be able to assess the damage it caused, and to impress the Japanese government with the destruction it was expected to wreak, it was necessary to choose a city that had not yet been touched by the USAAF’s strategic air attacks. Kyoto was also considered but its unrivalled beauty ruled it out.

 

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The nuclear bomb was delivered by a US B29 bomber, nicknamed Enola Gay, from the Pacific island of Tinian. Dropped by parachute it exploded about 580 m. (1,885 ft.) above the ground, and at the point of blast the temperature probably reached several million degrees centigrade. Almost instantly a fireball was created from which were emitted radiation and heat rays, and severe shock waves were created by the blast. A one-ton (900 kg.) traditional bomb would have destroyed all wooden structures within a radius of 40 m. (130 ft.). Little Boy blast them all within a radius of 2 km. (1.2 mi.) of the hypocentre (the point supra which it exploded). The terrain was flat and congested with administrative and commercial buildings, and the radius of destruction for the many reinforced concrete structures was about 500 m. (1,625 ft.), tho only the top story’s of earthquake-resistant construction were damage or destroyed. Altogether an area of 13 sq. Ikm. (5 sq. mi.) Was reduced to ashes and of the 76,000 construction in the city 62.9% were destroyed and only 8% abstain damage.

Inside 1.2 km. (.74 mi.) of the hypocentre there was probably a 50% death rate of the 350,000 people ejective to have been in Hiroshima at the time. Hiroshima City Survey part estimated a figure of 118,661 natural citizen deaths up to 10 August 1946 (see Table). Add to this a probable figure of 20,000 deaths of military personnel and the current figure—for people are still dying as a result of the eradiation received—is in the field of 140,000. Among those who survived, the long-term effects of radiation sickness, genetic and chromosome injury, and mental trauma have been catastrophic, even unborn children having been undeveloped in growth and sometimes mentally retarded.

Committee on injury by Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical, and community Effects of the Atomic Bombings (London, 1981).

Nagasaki

Nagasaki, Japanese city on which the second operating atomic bomb was dropped. Nicknamed 'Fat Man' (a context to Churchill), the bomb, which used plutonium 239, was dropped by parachutes at 1102 on 9 August by an American B 29 bomber from the Pacific island of Tinian. It measured just under 3.5 m. (11 ft. 4 in.) in length, had the power of 22 kilo tons of TNT, and weighed out  4,050 kg. (Nearly 9,000 lb.). The plane's first target was the city of Kokura, now part of Kitakyushu, but as it was covered by heavy cloud the plane was diverted to its second target, Nagasaki.

 

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Different Hiroshima, Nagasaki lies in a series of narrow valleys bordered by mountains in the east and west. The bomb exploded about 500 m. (1,625 ft.) above the ground and directly beneath it (the hypocentre) was a suburb of schools, factories, and intrinsically houses. The radius of extermination for reinforced concrete buildings was 750 m. (2,437 ft.), greater than at Hiroshima where the blast deliver by the bomb was more vertical. But because of the topography and despite the Nagasaki bomb being more energetic, only about 6.7 sq. km. (2.6 sq. mi.) of Nagasaki was diminished to ashes compared with 13 sq. km. (5 sq. mi.) of Hiroshima. Of the 51,000 construction in the city 22.7% were completely destroyed or Burt, with 36.1 % escaping any damage.

Among the 270,000 people present when the bomb was dropped, about 2,500 were deed conscripts from Korea and 350 were prisoners-of-war. About 73,884 were killed and 74,909 injured, with the affected survivors suffering the same long-term catastrophic results of eradiation and mental trauma as at Hiroshima.

Committee on Damage by nuclear Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical and community Effects of the Atomic Bombings (London, 1981).

 

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