Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6th, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by a US atomic bomb. Three days later, the same happened to Nagasaki. This prompted the Japanese to surrender, ending WWII.

The atomic bomb “Little Boy”, dropped on Hiroshima by B-29 bomber “Enola Gay”, exploded with the power of 12,000 tons of TNT, killing 80,000 people immediately. At least 60,000 died later from nuclear fallout sickness.

The US only chose to bomb Nagasaki because their original target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud. “Fat Man”, dropped by “Bockscar”, killed 75,000 on impact and the same number from radiation exposure.

Although they killed over 300,000 people, the nuclear weapons may have saved millions of lives which would have been lost if the US had been forced to invade Japan.

However, many people question the US government’s motives, especially regarding the dropping of the second bomb when Japan was already devastated. It has been suggested that the US was testing its “new toy”, taking revenge for Pearl Harbour, trying to intimidate the USSR, or all three.

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One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Claire

    I want to know why the US dropped the second bomb. Japan had surrendered after the first one was dropped, there was no need to drop the second one.

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