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Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversary

Date: 07 August 2020 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

On August 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and three days later, on August 9, it dropped another bomb on Nagasaki.

 

Background

The blasts killed hundreds of thousands of people and affected many more who would suffer the effects of the radiation from the blast and the “black rain” that fell in the aftermath of the explosions.

 

Details

  • After the conclusion of World War II in 1945, the relations between Japan and the US worsened, especially after Japan forces decided to take an aim at Indochina with the intention of capturing the oil-rich areas of the East Indies.

  • Therefore, US president Harry Truman authorised the use of atomic bombs in order to make Japan surrender in WWII, which it did.

  • On the morning of August 6, a B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb called “Little Boy” with a force of over 20,000 tonnes of TNT on the city of Hiroshima, when most of the industrial workers had already reported to work, many were en route and children were in school.

  • The US Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946 notes that the bomb, which had exploded slightly northwest of the centre of the city, killed over 80,000 people and injured as many.

  • Three days later, another atomic bomb called “Fat Man” was dropped over Nagasaki around 11:00 am local time killing more than 40,000 people.

  • The 1946 survey notes that due to the uneven terrain of Nagasaki, damage there was confined to the valley over which the bomb exploded.

  • Truman decided that only bombing a city would make an adequate impression and, therefore, target cities were chosen keeping in mind the military production in the area.

  • It was made sure that the target sites did not hold cultural significance for Japan, like Kyoto did. This was because the aim was to destroy Japan’s ability to fight wars.

  • Hiroshima at the time was also the seventh-largest city of Japan and served as the headquarters of the Second Army and of the Chugoku Regional Army, making it one of the most important military command stations in Japan.

  • It was also the site of one of the largest military supply depots and the foremost military shipping point for troops and supplies.

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