Anniversary of the dropping of the world’s first atomic bomb
This week has marked the 75th anniversary of what is, unfortunately, one of many black marks against humanity: the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima followed by Nagasaki a few days later. We visited Japan in 2016 and wanted to visit both cities to pay our respects but only managed to make it to Hiroshima on our 2-week trip. We want to return to Japan and Nagasaki will be at the top of our visit list when we do.
What happened in 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Although Germany had surrendered to the Allies in May 1945, World War Two continued in Asia. The USA believed that dropping a nuclear bomb would force a quick surrender without the expense of a ground war.
The USA dropped the first bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August with a second falling on Nagasaki on 9th August. It is believed that around 200,000 lives were lost as a result of the two nuclear bombs.
The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima
B-29 aircraft, Enola Gay (as referenced by the famous OMD song), released the bomb at 8:15 am. Named Little Boy, the bomb contained 64kg of Uranium. It took just 44 seconds to fall from the airplane height of 31,000ft to detonation height of 1,900ft.
Little Boy had the power of around 13,000 tonnes of TNT. The recent Beirut blast had a yield of approx 1800 tonnes of TNT.
Hiroshima bomb target
The target for the Hiroshima nuclear bomb was Aioi bridge. An easy to see point in the city. However, the bomb missed the target by around 800ft, believed due to crosswind. The bomb detonated directly over Shima Surgical Clinic.
The Genbaku Dome can be seen in the centre-left of the above panorama. The original target for the bomb was the “T”-shaped Aioi Bridge seen in the middle of the image.
As a result of the bombing, Japan surrendered on 14th August 1945.
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