Today in History: Japan marks 75th Anniversary of World’s first Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima

Japan, today mark the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The event which is usually marked with gatherings, was observed solemnly this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In was a day like this, 6th of August,  1945, that a US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city of Hiroshima, killing around 140,000 people.

This was followed in three days later when a second nuclear weapon was dropped on Nagasaki. This events led to Japan surrendering in two weeks later, to ending World War Two.

A moment’s silence was held today at 08:15, the exact time the bomb was dropped on the city.

The Event That Led To It

Prior to the Bomb incidence, Germany had already surrendered to the Allied forces in May 1945, but World War Two continued in Asia as the Allies fought imperial Japan.

This prompt the United States to believed that dropping a nuclear bomb – after Tokyo rejected an earlier ultimatum for peace – would force a quick surrender without risking US casualties on the ground.

According to several reports, on the 6th of August, the US dropped the first bomb – codenamed Little Boy – on Hiroshima. The attack was the first time a nuclear weapon was used during a war.

At least 70,000 people are believed to have been killed immediately in the massive blast which flattened the city. Tens of thousands more died of injuries caused by radiation poisoning in the following days, weeks and months.

“When no immediate surrender came from the Japanese, another bomb, dubbed “Fat Man”, was dropped three days later about 420 kilometres (261 miles) to the south over Nagasaki.

The recorded death tolls are estimates, but it is thought that about 140,000 of Hiroshima’s 350,000 population were killed, and that at least 74,000 people died in Nagasaki.”

They are the only two nuclear bombs ever to have been deployed outside testing. The dual bombings brought about an abrupt end to the war in Asia, with Japan surrendering to the Allies on 14 August 1945.

“Before “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima, more than 60 other Japanese cities had already been destroyed by American fire bombing. The largest death toll from a single attack (in any war) is not Hiroshima, but the fire-bombing of Tokyo in March 1945. The attack created a fire storm which took 105,000 civilian lives. That ugly record stands to this day. Then there is the little-known fact that several more atom bombs were being prepared for shipment to Tinian Island. If Japan had not surrendered on 15 August, the US air force was prepared to keep dropping atom bombs until it did.

Key Facts About The Bomb

According to a BBC report,

The first bomb was nicknamed “Little Boy” and was thought to have the explosive force of 20,000 tonnes of TNT

Col Paul Tibbets, a 30-year-old colonel from Illinois, led the mission to drop the atomic bomb

The Enola Gay, the plane which dropped the bomb, was named in tribute to Col Tibbets’ mother.

The final target was decided less than an hour before the bomb was dropped. Good weather conditions over Hiroshima sealed the city’s fate

On detonation, the temperature at the burst-point of the bomb was several million degrees

The blast generated a vast shockwave which flattened buildings

Thousands of people on the ground were killed or injured instantly

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