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Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Overview
During the final stages of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s in war to date.

For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

 on July 26, 1945.
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Encyclopedia
During the final stages of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s in war to date.

For six months before the atomic bombings, the United States intensely fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

 on July 26, 1945. The Japanese government ignored
Mokusatsu
is a Japanese word meaning "to ignore" or "to treat with silent contempt". It is composed of two kanji: and . The government of Japan used the term as a response to Allied demands in the Potsdam Declaration for unconditional surrender in World War II, which influenced President Harry S...

 this ultimatum. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

, the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

 "Little Boy
Little Boy
"Little Boy" was the codename of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 393rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, of the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first atomic bomb to be used as a weapon...

" on the city of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

 on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed by the detonation of "Fat Man
Fat Man
"Fat Man" is the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States on August 9, 1945. It was the second of the only two nuclear weapons to be used in warfare to date , and its detonation caused the third man-made nuclear explosion. The name also refers more...

" over Nagasaki
Nagasaki
is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District...

 on August 9.

Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness
Radiation Sickness
Radiation Sickness is a VHS by the thrash metal band Nuclear Assault. The video is a recording of a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, London in 1988. It was released in 1991...

, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a U.S. estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.

Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

 to the Allied Powers
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

, signing the Instrument of Surrender
Japanese Instrument of Surrender
The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that enabled the Surrender of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist...

 on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 and therefore World War II, as Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 had already signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in Europe
European Theatre of World War II
The European Theatre of World War II was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the end of the war with the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945...

. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan
Post-Occupation Japan
Post-Occupation Japan is a phrase used to describe the period in the history of Japan which started at the end of the Allied occupation in 1952.During this period, Japan re-established itself as a global economic and political power....

's adopting Three Non-Nuclear Principles
Three Non-Nuclear Principles
Japan's are a parliamentary resolution that have guided Japanese nuclear policy since their inception in the late 1960s, and reflect general public sentiment and national policy since the end of World War II. The tenets state that Japan shall neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor...

, forbidding the nation from nuclear armament. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s ethical
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 justification for them, as well as their strategic
Strategy
Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked...

 importance, are still debated
Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the ethical, legal and military controversies surrounding the United States' atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August 1945 at the close of the Second World War...

.

Manhattan Project



The secret U.S. project to create the first atomic weapon was known as the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

. Working in collaboration with the United Kingdom and Canada, with their respective projects Tube Alloys
Tube Alloys
Tube Alloys was the code-name for the British nuclear weapon directorate during World War II, when the development of nuclear weapons was kept at such a high level of secrecy that it had to be referred to by code even in the highest circles of government...

 and Chalk River Laboratories
Chalk River Laboratories
The Chalk River Laboratories is a Canadian nuclear research facility located near Chalk River, about north-west of Ottawa in the province of Ontario.CRL is a site of major research and development to support and advance nuclear technology, in particular CANDU reactor...

, the project designed and built the first atomic bombs. The scientific research was directed by American physicist
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 J. Robert Oppenheimer, and the overall project was under the authority of General Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

. The Hiroshima bomb, a gun-type
Gun-type fission weapon
Gun-type fission weapons are fission-based nuclear weapons whose design assembles their fissile material into a supercritical mass by the use of the "gun" method: shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another...

 bomb called "Little Boy", was made with uranium-235
Uranium-235
- References :* .* DOE Fundamentals handbook: Nuclear Physics and Reactor theory , .* A piece of U-235 the size of a grain of rice can produce energy equal to that contained in three tons of coal or fourteen barrels of oil. -External links:* * * one of the earliest articles on U-235 for the...

, a rare isotope
Isotope
Isotopes are variants of atoms of a particular chemical element, which have differing numbers of neutrons. Atoms of a particular element by definition must contain the same number of protons but may have a distinct number of neutrons which differs from atom to atom, without changing the designation...

 of uranium extracted in giant factories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Oak Ridge is a city in Anderson and Roane counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, about west of Knoxville. Oak Ridge's population was 27,387 at the 2000 census...

. The atomic bomb was first tested at Trinity Site, on July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Alamogordo is the county seat of Otero County and a city in south-central New Mexico, United States. A desert community lying in the Tularosa Basin, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains. It is the nearest city to Holloman Air Force Base. The population was 35,582 as of the 2000...

. The test weapon, "the gadget", and the Nagasaki bomb, "Fat Man", were both implosion-type devices made primarily of plutonium-239
Plutonium-239
Plutonium-239 is an isotope of plutonium. Plutonium-239 is the primary fissile isotope used for the production of nuclear weapons, although uranium-235 has also been used and is currently the secondary isotope. Plutonium-239 is also one of the three main isotopes demonstrated usable as fuel in...

, a synthetic element
Synthetic element
In chemistry, a synthetic element is a chemical element that is too unstable to occur naturally on Earth, and therefore has to be created artificially. So far 30 synthetic elements have been discovered—that is, synthesized...

 created in nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s at Hanford, Washington
Hanford Site
The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government. The site has been known by many names, including Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works or HEW, Hanford Nuclear Reservation...

. Preliminary research began in 1939, originally because of fear that Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 would develop atomic weapons first. In May 1945, the defeat of Germany
Victory in Europe Day
Victory in Europe Day commemorates 8 May 1945 , the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not...

 caused the focus to turn to possible use against the Japanese.

Choice of targets


On May 10–11, 1945, the Target Committee at Los Alamos
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security , located in Los Alamos, New Mexico...

, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, recommended Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

, Niigata, Hiroshima, Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

, and the arsenal at Kokura
Kokura
is an ancient castle town and the center of Kitakyūshū, Japan, guarding, via its suburb Moji, the Straits of Shimonoseki between Honshū and Kyūshū. Kokura is also the name of the penultimate station on the southbound Sanyo Shinkansen line, which is owned by JR Kyūshū and an important part of the...

 as possible targets. The target selection was subject to the following criteria:
  • The target was larger than three miles (5 km) in diameter and was an important target in a large urban area.
  • The blast would create effective damage.
  • The target was unlikely to be attacked by August 1945. "Any small and strictly military objective should be located in a much larger area subject to blast damage in order to avoid undue risks of the weapon being lost due to bad placing of the bomb."


These cities were largely untouched during the nightly bombing raids and the Army Air Force agreed to leave them off the target list so accurate assessment of the weapon could be made. Hiroshima was described as "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focusing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary
Incendiary device
Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus....

 target." The goal of the weapon was to convince Japan to surrender unconditionally in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

. The Target Committee stated that "It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released. Kyoto had the advantage of being an important center for military industry, as well an intellectual center and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. The Emperor's palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value."

During World War II, Edwin O. Reischauer
Edwin O. Reischauer
Edwin Oldfather Reischauer was the leading U.S. educator and noted scholar of the history and culture of Japan, and of East Asia. From 1961–1966, he was the U.S. ambassador to Japan.-Education and academic life:...

 was the Japan expert for the U.S. Army Intelligence Service
Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army)
In the United States Armed Forces, Military Intelligence refers specifically to the intelligence components of the United States Army...

, in which role he is incorrectly said to have prevented the bombing of Kyoto. In his autobiography, Reischauer specifically refuted the validity of this claim:
"...the only person deserving credit for saving Kyoto from destruction is Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

, the Secretary of War at the time, who had known and admired Kyoto ever since his honeymoon there several decades earlier."

Potsdam ultimatum


On July 26, Truman and other Allied leaders issued the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

 outlining terms of surrender for Japan. It was presented as an ultimatum
Ultimatum
An ultimatum is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests...

 and stated that without a surrender, the Allies would attack Japan, resulting in "the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland". The atomic bomb was not mentioned in the communique. On July 28, Japanese papers reported that the declaration had been rejected by the Japanese government. That afternoon, Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki
Kantaro Suzuki
Baron was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, member and final leader of the Taisei Yokusankai and 42nd Prime Minister of Japan from 7 April-17 August 1945.-Early life:...

 declared at a press conference that the Potsdam Declaration was no more than a rehash (yakinaoshi) of the Cairo Declaration
Cairo Declaration
The Cairo Declaration was the outcome of the Cairo Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present...

 and that the government intended to ignore it (mokusatsu
Mokusatsu
is a Japanese word meaning "to ignore" or "to treat with silent contempt". It is composed of two kanji: and . The government of Japan used the term as a response to Allied demands in the Potsdam Declaration for unconditional surrender in World War II, which influenced President Harry S...

, lit. "kill by silence"). The statement was taken by both Japanese and foreign papers as a clear rejection of the declaration. Emperor
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

 Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

, who was waiting for a Soviet reply to noncommittal Japanese peace feelers, made no move to change the government position. On July 31, he made clear to his advisor Kōichi Kido
Koichi Kido
Marquis served as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal from 1940 to 1945, and was the closest advisor to Emperor Showa throughout World War II.Kido was the grandson of Kido Takayoshi, one of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration...

 that the Imperial Regalia of Japan
Imperial Regalia of Japan
The , also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword Kusanagi , the mirror Yata no Kagami , and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama...

 had to be defended at all costs.

In early July, on his way to Potsdam, Truman had re-examined the decision to use the bomb. In the end, Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. His stated intention in ordering the bombings was to bring about a quick resolution of the war by inflicting destruction and instilling fear of further destruction in sufficient strength to cause Japan to surrender.

Hiroshima during World War II



At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of some industrial and military significance. A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. It was one of several Japanese cities left deliberately untouched by American bombing, allowing a pristine environment to measure the damage caused by the atomic bomb.

The center of the city contained several reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete is concrete in which reinforcement bars , reinforcement grids, plates or fibers have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in 1849 and patented in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is...

 buildings and lighter structures. Outside the center, the area was congested by a dense collection of small wooden workshops set among Japanese houses. A few larger industrial plants lay near the outskirts of the city. The houses were constructed of wood with tile roofs, and many of the industrial buildings were also built around wood frames. The city as a whole was highly susceptible to fire damage.

The population of Hiroshima had reached a peak of over 381,000 earlier in the war, but prior to the atomic bombing the population had steadily decreased because of a systematic evacuation ordered by the Japanese government
Evacuations of civilians in Japan during World War II
About 8.5 million Japanese civilians were displaced from their homes between 1943 and 1945 as a result of Air raids on Japan by the U.S. Air Force . These evacuations started in December 1943 as a voluntary government program to prepare the country's main cities for bombing raids by evacuating...

. At the time of the attack, the population was approximately 340,000–350,000. Because official documents were burned, the exact population is uncertain.

The bombing



Hiroshima was the primary target of the first nuclear bombing mission on August 6, with Kokura and Nagasaki being alternative targets. August 6 was chosen because clouds had previously obscured the target. The 393d Bombardment Squadron
393d Bomb Squadron
The 393d Bomb Squadron is part of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.-History:Activated as a B-29 Superfortress squadron in early 1944; trained under Second Air Force. Training delayed as engineering flaws being worked out of the B-29...

 B-29 Enola Gay
Enola Gay
Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of the pilot, then-Colonel Paul Tibbets. On August 6, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war...

, piloted and commanded by 509th Composite Group
509th Operations Group
The 509th Operations Group is the flying component of the United States Air Force 509th Bomb Wing , assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. It is equipped with all 20 of the USAF's B-2 Spirit stealth bombers...

 commander Colonel Paul Tibbets
Paul Tibbets
Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force, best known for being the pilot of the Enola Gay, the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare. The bomb, code-named Little Boy, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima...

, was launched from North Field airbase on Tinian
Tinian
Tinian is one of the three principal islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.-Geography:Tinian is about 5 miles southwest of its sister island, Saipan, from which it is separated by the Saipan Channel. It has a land area of 39 sq.mi....

 in the West Pacific, about six hours flight time from Japan. The Enola Gay (named after Colonel Tibbets' mother) was accompanied by two other B-29s. The Great Artiste
The Great Artiste
The Great Artiste was a U.S. Army Air Forces Silverplate B-29 bomber , assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, that participated in the atomic bomb attacks on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Flown by 393rd commander Major Charles W...

, commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney, carried instrumentation; and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil (the photography aircraft) was commanded by Captain George Marquardt.

After leaving Tinian the aircraft made their way separately to Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima, officially , is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo...

 where they rendezvoused at 2440 metres (8,005.2 ft) and set course for Japan. The aircraft arrived over the target in clear visibility at 9855 metres (32,332.7 ft). During the journey, Navy Captain William Parsons
William Sterling Parsons
Rear Admiral William Sterling "Deak" Parsons was a naval officer who worked as an ordnance expert on the Manhattan Project during World War II...

 had armed the bomb, which had been left unarmed to minimize the risks during takeoff. His assistant, 2nd Lt. Morris Jeppson, removed the safety devices 30 minutes before reaching the target area.
About an hour before the bombing, Japanese early warning radar detected the approach of some American aircraft headed for the southern part of Japan. An alert was given and radio broadcasting stopped in many cities, among them Hiroshima. At nearly 08:00, the radar operator in Hiroshima determined that the number of planes coming in was very small—probably not more than three—and the air raid alert was lifted. To conserve fuel and aircraft, the Japanese had decided not to intercept small formations. The normal radio broadcast warning was given to the people that it might be advisable to go to air-raid shelters if B-29s were actually sighted. However a reconnaissance mission was assumed because at 07.31 the first B29 to fly over Hiroshima at 32000 feet (9,753.6 m) had been the weather observation aircraft Straight Flush that sent a morse code message to the Enola Gay indicating that the weather was good over the primary target and because it then turned out to sea the 'all clear' was sounded in the city. At 08.09 Colonel Tibbets started his bomb run and handed control over to his bombardier.

The release at 08:15 (Hiroshima time) went as planned, and the gravity bomb
Gravity bomb
An unguided bomb, also known as a free-fall bomb, gravity bomb, dumb bomb, or iron bomb, is a conventional aircraft-delivered bomb that does not contain a guidance system and hence, simply follows a ballistic trajectory....

 known as "Little Boy", a gun-type fission weapon
Gun-type fission weapon
Gun-type fission weapons are fission-based nuclear weapons whose design assembles their fissile material into a supercritical mass by the use of the "gun" method: shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another...

 with 60 kilograms (132.3 lb) of uranium-235
Uranium-235
- References :* .* DOE Fundamentals handbook: Nuclear Physics and Reactor theory , .* A piece of U-235 the size of a grain of rice can produce energy equal to that contained in three tons of coal or fourteen barrels of oil. -External links:* * * one of the earliest articles on U-235 for the...

, took 43 seconds to fall from the aircraft flying at 31060 feet (9,467.1 m) to the predetermined detonation height about 1900 feet (579.1 m) above the city. The Enola Gay had traveled 11.5 miles (18.5 km) away before it felt the shock waves from the blast.

Due to crosswind
Crosswind
A crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. In aviation, a crosswind is the component of wind that is blowing across the runway making landings and take-offs more difficult than if the wind were blowing straight down the runway...

, it missed the aiming point
Aiming point
In field artillery, the accuracy of indirect fire depends on the use of aiming points. In air force terminology the aiming point refers to holding the intersection of the cross hairs on a bombsight when fixed at a specific target....

, the Aioi Bridge
Aioi Bridge
The is an unusual "T"-shaped bridge in Hiroshima, Japan. The original bridge, constructed in 1932, was the aiming point for the 1945 Hiroshima atom bomb because its shape was easily recognized from the air. A replica was constructed in 1983....

, by almost 800 feet (243.8 m) and detonated directly over Shima Surgical Clinic
Shima hospital
was a Japanese hospital destroyed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. Shima Hospital is considered to be ground zero of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima....

. It created a blast equivalent to about 13 ktonTNT. (The U-235 weapon was considered very inefficient, with only 1.38% of its material fissioning.) The radius of total destruction was about one mile (1.6 km), with resulting fires across 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²). Americans estimated that 4.7 square miles (12.2 km²) of the city were destroyed. Japanese officials determined that 69% of Hiroshima's buildings were destroyed and another 6–7% damaged.

70,000–80,000 people, or some 30% of the population of Hiroshima were killed immediately, and another 70,000 injured. Over 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured—most had been in the downtown area which received the greatest damage.

Although the U.S. had previously dropped leaflets warning civilians of air raids on 35 Japanese cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the residents of Hiroshima were given no notice of the atomic bomb.

Japanese realization of the bombing



The Tokyo control operator of the Broadcasting Corporation of Japan
NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

 noticed that the Hiroshima station had gone off the air. He tried to re-establish his program by using another telephone line, but it too had failed. About 20 minutes later the Tokyo railroad telegraph center realized that the main line telegraph had stopped working just north of Hiroshima. From some small railway stops within 16 kilometers (10 mi) of the city came unofficial and confused reports of a terrible explosion in Hiroshima. All these reports were transmitted to the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff
Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office
, also called the Army General Staff, was one of the four principal agencies charged with overseeing the Imperial Japanese Army.-Role:The was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of Military Affairs of the early Meiji government.Initially, the Army Ministry...

.

Military bases repeatedly tried to call the Army Control Station in Hiroshima. The complete silence from that city puzzled the men at headquarters; they knew that no large enemy raid had occurred and that no sizeable store of explosives was in Hiroshima at that time. A young officer of the Japanese General Staff was instructed to fly immediately to Hiroshima, to land, survey the damage, and return to Tokyo with reliable information for the staff. It was generally felt at headquarters that nothing serious had taken place and that the explosion was just a rumor.

The staff officer went to the airport and took off for the southwest. After flying for about three hours, while still nearly 100 miles (160 km) from Hiroshima, he and his pilot saw a great cloud of smoke from the bomb. In the bright afternoon, the remains of Hiroshima were burning. Their plane soon reached the city, around which they circled in disbelief. A great scar on the land still burning and covered by a heavy cloud of smoke was all that was left. They landed south of the city, and the staff officer, after reporting to Tokyo, immediately began to organize relief measures.

By August 8, 1945, newspapers in the U.S. were reporting that broadcasts from Radio Tokyo had described the destruction observed in Hiroshima. "Practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death", Japanese radio announcers said in a broadcast received by Allied sources.

Post-attack casualties



According to the U.S. Department of Energy the immediate effects
Effects of nuclear explosions
The energy released from a nuclear weapon detonated in the troposphere can be divided into four basic categories:*Blast—40-50% of total energy*Thermal radiation—30-50% of total energy...

 of the blast killed approximately 70,000 people in Hiroshima. Estimates of total deaths by the end of 1945 from burns, radiation and related disease, the effects of which were aggravated by lack of medical resources, range from 90,000 to 166,000.
Some estimates state up to 200,000 had died by 1950, due to cancer and other long-term effects. Another study states that from 1950 to 2000, 46% of leukemia deaths and 11% of solid cancer deaths among bomb survivors were due to radiation from the bombs, the statistical excess being estimated to 94 leukemia and 848 solid cancers. At least eleven known prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 died from the bombing.

Survival of some structures


Some of the reinforced concrete buildings in Hiroshima had been very strongly constructed because of the earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 danger in Japan, and their framework did not collapse even though they were fairly close to the blast center. was the closest known survivor, who was in the basement
Basement
__FORCETOC__A basement is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor. Basements are typically used as a utility space for a building where such items as the furnace, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system...

 of a reinforced concrete building (it remained as the Rest House after the war) only 170 m (557.7 ft) from ground zero
Ground zero
The term ground zero describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation...

 (the hypocenter
Hypocenter
The hypocenter refers to the site of an earthquake or a nuclear explosion...

) at the time of the attack. was among the closest survivors to the hypocenter of the blast. She had been in the solidly built Bank of Hiroshima only 300 metres (984.3 ft) from ground-zero at the time of the attack. Since the bomb detonated in the air, the blast was directed more downward than sideways, which was largely responsible for the survival of the Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome or , in Hiroshima, Japan, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The ruin serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6,...

, now commonly known as the Genbaku, or A-bomb Dome. This building was designed and built by the Czech architect Jan Letzel
Jan Letzel
Jan Letzel was a Czech architect.-Biography:Jan Letzel was born in the town of Náchod, Bohemia. The son of a hotel owners Jan Letzel and his wife Walburga Letzel, née Havlicek...

, and was only 150 m (492.1 ft) from ground zero. The ruin was named Hiroshima Peace Memorial and was made a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 in 1996 over the objections of the U.S. and China.
The Memorial monument for Hiroshima was built in Hiroshima for bombing victims.


Events of August 7–9



After the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman issued a statement announcing the use of the new weapon, and promising that:
If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware.

The Japanese government still did not react to the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

. Emperor Hirohito, the government, and the war council were considering four conditions for surrender: the preservation of the kokutai
Kokutai
Kokutai is a politically loaded word in the Japanese language, translatable as "sovereign", "national identity; national essence; national character" or "national polity; body politic; national entity; basis for the Emperor's sovereignty; Japanese constitution". "Sovereign" is perhaps the most...

 (Imperial institution and national polity
Polity
Polity is a form of government Aristotle developed in his search for a government that could be most easily incorporated and used by the largest amount of people groups, or states...

), assumption by the Imperial Headquarters of responsibility for disarmament and demobilization, no occupation of the Japanese Home Islands
Japanese Archipelago
The , which forms the country of Japan, extends roughly from northeast to southwest along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia mainland, washing upon the northwestern shores of the Pacific Ocean...

, Korea, or Formosa
Formosa
Formosa or Ilha Formosa is a Portuguese historical name for Taiwan , literally meaning, "Beautiful Island". The term may also refer to:-Places:* Formosa Strait, another name for the Taiwan Strait...

, and delegation of the punishment of war criminals to the Japanese government.

The Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 had informed Tokyo of the Soviet Union's unilateral abrogation of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on April 5. At two minutes past midnight on August 9, Tokyo time
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

, Soviet infantry, armor, and air forces had launched the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. Four hours later, word reached Tokyo that the Soviet Union had declared war on Japan. The senior leadership of the Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 began preparations to impose martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Korechika Anami, in order to stop anyone attempting to make peace.

Responsibility for the timing of the second bombing was delegated to Colonel Tibbets as commander of the 509th Composite Group
509th Bomb Wing
The 509th Bomb Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command, Eighth Air Force. It is stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri....

 on Tinian. Scheduled for August 11 against Kokura, the raid was moved earlier by two days to avoid a five day period of bad weather forecast to begin on August 10. Three bomb pre-assemblies had been transported to Tinian, labeled F-31, F-32, and F-33 on their exteriors. On August 8, a dress rehearsal was conducted off Tinian by Maj. Charles Sweeney using Bockscar
Bockscar
Bockscar, sometimes called Bock's Car or Bocks Car, is the name of the United States Army Air Forces B-29 bomber that dropped the "Fat Man" nuclear weapon over Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, the second atomic weapon used against Japan....

 as the drop airplane. Assembly F-33 was expended testing the components and F-31 was designated for the August 9 mission.

Nagasaki



Nagasaki during World War II



The city of Nagasaki
Nagasaki
is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District...

 had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials.

In contrast to many modern aspects of Hiroshima, almost all of the buildings were of old-fashioned Japanese construction, consisting of wood or wood-frame buildings with wood walls (with or without plaster) and tile roofs. Many of the smaller industries and business establishments were also situated in buildings of wood or other materials not designed to withstand explosions. Nagasaki had been permitted to grow for many years without conforming to any definite city zoning plan; residences were erected adjacent to factory buildings and to each other almost as closely as possible throughout the entire industrial valley.

Nagasaki had never been subjected to large-scale bombing prior to the explosion of a nuclear weapon there. On August 1, 1945, however, a number of conventional high-explosive bombs were dropped on the city. A few hit in the shipyards and dock areas in the southwest portion of the city, several hit the Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

 Steel and Arms Works, and six bombs landed at the Nagasaki Medical School
Nagasaki University
is a national university of Japan. Its nickname is Chōdai . The main campus is located in Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.- History :...

 and Hospital, with three direct hits on buildings there. While the damage from these bombs was relatively small, it created considerable concern in Nagasaki and many people—principally school children—were evacuated to rural areas for safety, thus reducing the population in the city at the time of the nuclear attack.

To the north of Nagasaki there was a camp holding British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 prisoners of war, some of whom were working in the coal mines and only found out about the bombing when they came to the surface.

The bombing





On the morning of August 9, 1945, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

 Bockscar, flown by the crew of 393rd Squadron commander Major Charles W. Sweeney, carried the nuclear bomb code-named "Fat Man", with Kokura
Kokura
is an ancient castle town and the center of Kitakyūshū, Japan, guarding, via its suburb Moji, the Straits of Shimonoseki between Honshū and Kyūshū. Kokura is also the name of the penultimate station on the southbound Sanyo Shinkansen line, which is owned by JR Kyūshū and an important part of the...

 as the primary target and Nagasaki
Nagasaki
is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District...

 the secondary target. The mission plan for the second attack was nearly identical to that of the Hiroshima mission, with two B-29s flying an hour ahead as weather scouts and two additional B-29s in Sweeney's flight for instrumentation and photographic support of the mission. Sweeney took off with his weapon already armed but with the electrical safety plugs still engaged.

Observers aboard the weather planes reported both targets clear. When Sweeney's aircraft arrived at the assembly point for his flight off the coast of Japan, the third plane, Big Stink, flown by the group's Operations Officer, Lt. Col. James I. Hopkins, Jr. failed to make the rendezvous. Bockscar and the instrumentation plane circled for 40 minutes without locating Hopkins. Already 30 minutes behind schedule, Sweeney decided to fly on without Hopkins.

By the time they reached Kokura a half hour later, a 70% cloud cover had obscured the city, prohibiting the visual attack required by orders. After three runs over the city, and with fuel running low because a transfer pump on a reserve tank had failed before take-off, they headed for their secondary target, Nagasaki. Fuel consumption calculations made en route indicated that Bockscar had insufficient fuel to reach Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima, officially , is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo...

 and would be forced to divert to Okinawa. After initially deciding that if Nagasaki were obscured on their arrival the crew would carry the bomb to Okinawa and dispose of it in the ocean if necessary, the weaponeer Navy Commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 Frederick Ashworth
Frederick Ashworth
Vice Admiral Frederick Lincoln "Dick" Ashworth was a United States Navy officer who served as the weaponeer on the B-29 Bockscar that dropped the atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945....

 decided that a radar approach would be used if the target was obscured.

At about 07:50 Japanese time, an air raid alert was sounded in Nagasaki, but the "all clear" signal was given at 08:30. When only two B-29 Superfortresses were sighted at 10:53, the Japanese apparently assumed that the planes were only on reconnaissance and no further alarm was given.

A few minutes later at 11:00, The Great Artiste
The Great Artiste
The Great Artiste was a U.S. Army Air Forces Silverplate B-29 bomber , assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, that participated in the atomic bomb attacks on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Flown by 393rd commander Major Charles W...

, the support B-29 flown by Captain Frederick C. Bock
Frederick C. Bock
Frederick C. Bock was a World War II pilot who took part in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, flying the B-29 bomber The Great Artiste, which was used for scientific measurements of the effects caused by the nuclear weapon. The bomber which actually dropped Fat Man was called Bockscar as it...

, dropped instruments attached to three parachutes. These instruments also contained an unsigned letter to Professor Ryokichi Sagane, a nuclear physicist at the University of Tokyo
University of Tokyo
, abbreviated as , is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be the most prestigious university...

 who studied with three of the scientists responsible for the atomic bomb at the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, urging him to tell the public about the danger involved with these weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

. The messages were found by military authorities but not turned over to Sagane until a month later. In 1949, one of the authors of the letter, Luis Alvarez
Luis Alvarez
Luis W. Alvarez was an American experimental physicist and inventor, who spent nearly all of his long professional career on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley...

, met with Sagane and signed the document.

At 11:01, a last minute break in the clouds over Nagasaki allowed Bockscars bombardier, Captain Kermit Beahan
Kermit Beahan
Kermit K. Beahan was the bombardier on the American B-29 Superfortress Bockscar, and was the one who, on August 9, 1945, targeted Nagasaki, Japan, in order to drop an atomic bomb onto it. It was his 27th birthday on the same day...

, to visually sight the target as ordered. The "Fat Man" weapon, containing a core of ~6.4 kg (14.1 lbs.) of plutonium-239
Plutonium
Plutonium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the chemical symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is an actinide metal of silvery-gray appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. The element normally exhibits six allotropes and four oxidation...

, was dropped over the city's industrial valley. It exploded 43 seconds later at 469 meters (1,540 ft) above the ground exactly halfway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works in the south and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (Torpedo Works) in the north. This was nearly 3 kilometers (2 mi) northwest of the planned hypocenter; the blast was confined to the Urakami Valley
Urakami
Urakami was an area in the northern part of the city of Nagasaki. It is the exact ground zero where the atomic bomb exploded on August 9, 1945. It is the site of Urakami Cathedral, which was the largest cathedral in East Asia before it was destroyed by the bomb and then rebuilt.-External links:...

 and a major portion of the city was protected by the intervening hills. The resulting explosion had a blast yield equivalent to 21 ktonTNT. The explosion generated heat estimated at 3,900 degrees Celsius (4,200 K, 7,000 °F) and winds that were estimated at 1005 km/h (624 mph).

Casualty estimates for immediate deaths range from 40,000 to 75,000. Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000. At least eight known POWs
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 died from the bombing and as many as 13 POWs may have died:
  • One British Commonwealth citizen died in the bombing.
  • Seven Dutch POWs (two names known) died in the bombing.
  • At least two POWs reportedly died postwar from cancer thought to have been caused by the atomic bomb.


The radius of total destruction was about a mile (1–2 km), followed by fires across the northern portion of the city to two miles (3 km) south of the bomb.

One American POW, Joe Kieyoomia
Joe Kieyoomia
Joe Kieyoomia was a Navajo soldier in New Mexico's 200th Coast Artillery unit who was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army after the fall of the Philippines in 1942 during World War II...

, was in Nagasaki at the time of the bombing but survived, reportedly having been shielded from the effects of the bomb by the concrete walls of his cell.

An unknown number of survivors from the Hiroshima bombing had made their way to Nagasaki, where they were bombed again.

The Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works, the factory that manufactured the type 91 torpedoes released in Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, was destroyed in the blast.

There is also a peace monument and Bell of Nagasaki in the Kokura.


Plans for more atomic attacks on Japan


The U.S. expected to have another atomic bomb ready for use in the third week of August, with three more in September and a further three in October.
On August 10, Major General Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

, military director of the Manhattan Project, sent a memorandum to General of the Army
General of the Army
General of the Army is a military rank used in some countries to denote a senior military leader, usually a General in command of a nation's Army. It may also be the title given to a General who commands an Army in the field....

 George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

, Army Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

, in which he wrote that "the next bomb . . should be ready for delivery on the first suitable weather after 17 or August 18." On the same day, Marshall endorsed the memo with the comment, "It is not to be released over Japan without express authority from the President." There was already discussion in the War Department about conserving the bombs in production until Operation Downfall
Operation Downfall
Operation Downfall was the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan. The operation had two parts: Operation...

, the projected invasion of Japan, had begun. "The problem now [August 13] is whether or not, assuming the Japanese do not capitulate, to continue dropping them every time one is made and shipped out there or whether to hold them . . . and then pour them all on in a reasonably short time. Not all in one day, but over a short period. And that also takes into consideration the target that we are after. In other words, should we not concentrate on targets that will be of the greatest assistance to an invasion rather than industry, morale, psychology, and the like? Nearer the tactical use rather than other use."

Tibbets, in an interview with historian Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel
Louis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War, and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.-Early...

, stated that because there was silence from Japan following both the first and second atomic bombing, he was ordered by General Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

 back to Utah from Tinian to pick up another atomic bomb. But when his crew got to California, the debarkation point, the war was over.

Surrender of Japan and subsequent occupation


Until August 9, the war council had still insisted on its four conditions for surrender. On that day Hirohito ordered Kido
Koichi Kido
Marquis served as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal from 1940 to 1945, and was the closest advisor to Emperor Showa throughout World War II.Kido was the grandson of Kido Takayoshi, one of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration...

 to "quickly control the situation ... because the Soviet Union has declared war against us." He then held an Imperial conference during which he authorized minister Tōgō
Shigenori Togo
was Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Empire of Japan at both the start and the end of the Japanese-American conflict during World War II...

 to notify the Allies that Japan would accept their terms on one condition, that the declaration "does not compromise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign ruler."

On August 10, the Japanese government presented a letter of protest for the atomic bombings to the government of the United States via the government of Switzerland. On August 12, the Emperor informed the imperial family of his decision to surrender. One of his uncles, Prince Asaka
Prince Asaka
of Japan, was the founder of a collateral branch of the Japanese imperial family and a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Army. Son-in-law of Emperor Meiji and uncle by marriage of Emperor Shōwa , Prince Asaka was commander of Japanese forces in the final assault on Nanking , then the capital...

, then asked whether the war would be continued if the kokutai
Kokutai
Kokutai is a politically loaded word in the Japanese language, translatable as "sovereign", "national identity; national essence; national character" or "national polity; body politic; national entity; basis for the Emperor's sovereignty; Japanese constitution". "Sovereign" is perhaps the most...

 could not be preserved. Hirohito simply replied "of course." As the Allied terms seemed to leave intact the principle of the preservation of the Throne, Hirohito recorded on August 14 his capitulation announcement
Gyokuon-hoso
The , lit. "Jewel Voice Broadcast", was the radio broadcast in which Japanese emperor Hirohito read out the , announcing to the Japanese people that the Japanese Government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II...

 which was broadcast to the Japanese nation the next day despite a short rebellion
Kyujo Incident
The ' was an attempted military coup d'état in Japan at the end of the Second World War. It happened on the night of 14 August 1945 – 15 August 1945, just prior to announcement of Japan's surrender to the Allies...

 by militarists opposed to the surrender.

In his declaration, Hirohito referred to the atomic bombings:
In his "Rescript to the soldiers and sailors" delivered on August 17, he stressed the impact of the Soviet invasion and his decision to surrender, omitting any mention of the bombs.

During the year after the bombing, approximately 40,000 U.S. troops occupied Hiroshima, while Nagasaki was occupied by 27,000 troops.

Depiction, public response and censorship



During the war "annihilationist and exterminationalist rhetoric" was tolerated at all levels of U.S. society; according to the UK embassy in Washington the Americans regarded the Japanese as "a nameless mass of vermin". Caricatures depicting Japanese as less than human, e.g. monkeys, were common. A 1944 opinion poll
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

 that asked what should be done with Japan found that 13% of the U.S. public were in favor of the extermination
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 of all Japanese: men, women, and children.

News of the atomic bombing was greeted enthusiastically in the U.S.; a poll in Fortune magazine in late 1945 showed a significant minority of Americans wishing that more atomic bombs could have been dropped on Japan. The initial positive response was supported by the imagery presented to the public (mainly the powerful mushroom cloud) and the censorship of photographs that showed corpses incinerated by the blast as well as photos of maimed survivors. As an example, a member of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey
Strategic bombing survey
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was a board tasked with examination and analysis of the United States' involvement in the World War II. Its primary purpose was to determine the effectiveness of Allied, and more specifically American, strategic bombing campaigns in Europe and in Asia...

, Lieutenant Daniel McGovern, used a film crew to document the results. The film crew's work resulted in a three-hour documentary entitled The Effects of the Atomic Bombs Against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The documentary included images from hospitals showing the human effects of the bomb; it showed burned out buildings and cars, and rows of skulls and bones on the ground. When sent to the U.S., it was mentioned widely in the U.S. press, then quietly suppressed and never shown. It was classified "top secret" for the next 22 years. During this time in America, it was a common practice for editors to keep graphic images of death out of films, magazines, and newspapers. The total of ft. of footage filmed by Lieutenant Daniel McGovern's cameramen had not been fully aired as of 2009. However, according to Greg Mitchell, with the 2004 documentary film Original Child Bomb, a small part of that footage managed to reach part of the American public "in the unflinching and powerful form its creators intended".

Imagery of the atomic bombings was suppressed in Japan during the occupation although some Japanese magazines had managed to publish images before the Allied occupation troops took control. The Allied occupation forces enforced censorship on anything "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility", and pictures of the effects on people on the ground were deemed inflammatory. A likely reason for the banning was that the images depicting burn victims and funeral pyres evoked similarities to the widely circulated images taken in liberated Nazi concentration camps.

Motion picture company Nippon Eigasha started sending cameramen to Nagasaki and Hiroshima in September 1945. On 24 October 1945 a US military policeman stopped a Nippon Eigasha cameraman from continuing to film in Nagasaki. All Nippon Eigasha's reels were then confiscated by the American authorities. In turn requested by the Japanese government, declassified and saved from oblivion, some black-and-white motion pictures were released for the first time to the Japanese and American audiences in the years from 1968 to 1970.

Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission


In the spring of 1948, the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission
Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission
The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission was a commission established in 1946 in accordance with a presidential directive from Harry S. Truman to the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council to conduct investigations of the late effects of radiation among the atomic-bomb survivors in...

 (ABCC) was established in accordance with a presidential directive from Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 to the National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

National Research Council
United States National Research Council
The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

 to conduct investigations of the late effects of radiation among the survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Among the casualties were found many unintended victims, including Allied POWs, Korean and Chinese laborers, students from Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 on scholarships, and some 3,200 Japanese American
Japanese American
are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

 citizens.

One of the early studies conducted by the ABCC was on the outcome of pregnancies occurring in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in a control
Controlling for a variable
Controlling for a variable refers to the deliberate varying of the experimental conditions in order to see the impact of a specific variable when predicting the outcome variable . Controlling tends to reduce the experimental error...

 city, Kure
Kure, Hiroshima
is a city in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 240,820 and a population density of 681 persons per km². The total area is 353.74 km².- History :...

 located 18 miles (29 km) south from Hiroshima, in order to discern the conditions and outcomes related to radiation exposure. One author has claimed that the ABCC refused to provide medical treatment to the survivors for better research results. In 1975, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation was created to assume the responsibilities of ABCC.

Hibakusha


The survivors of the bombings are called , a Japanese word that literally translates to "explosion-affected people." , 219,410 surviving hibakusha were recognized by the Japanese government, most living in Japan. The government of Japan recognizes about 1% of these as having illnesses caused by radiation. The memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki contain lists of the names of the hibakusha who are known to have died since the bombings. Updated annually on the anniversaries of the bombings, the memorials record the names of more than 430,000 deceased hibakusha; 275,230 in Hiroshima and 155,546 in Nagasaki.

Double survivors


People who suffered the effects of both bombings are known as nijū hibakusha in Japan.
On March 24, 2009, the Japanese government officially recognized Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Tsutomu Yamaguchi
, was a Japanese national who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings during World War II. Although at least 160 people are known to have been affected by both bombings, he is the only person to have been officially recognized by the government of Japan as surviving both...

 (1916–2010) as a double hibakusha. He was confirmed to be 3 kilometers from ground zero in Hiroshima on a business trip when Little Boy
Little Boy
"Little Boy" was the codename of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 393rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, of the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first atomic bomb to be used as a weapon...

 was detonated. He was seriously burnt on his left side and spent the night in Hiroshima. He arrived at his home city of Nagasaki on August 8, a day before Fat Man was dropped, and he was exposed to residual radiation while searching for his relatives. He was the first officially recognised survivor of both bombings. Tsutomu Yamaguchi died on January 4, 2010, after a battle with stomach cancer at the age of 93.
The 2006 documentary Twice Survived: The Doubly Atomic Bombed of Hiroshima and Nagasaki documented 165 nijū hibakusha, and was screened at the United Nations.

Korean survivors


During the war, Japan brought many Korean conscripts to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to work as forced labor. According to recent estimates, about 20,000 Koreans were killed in Hiroshima and about 2,000 died in Nagasaki. It is estimated that one in seven of the Hiroshima victims was of Korean ancestry. A Korean prince of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

, Yi Wu
Wu, Prince of Korea
Yi Wu , was the 4th head of Unhyeon Palace and a member of the imperial family of Korea.-Biography:He was born the second son of Prince Gang, the fifth son of Emperor Gojong....

, also died from the Hiroshima bombing. For many years, Koreans had a difficult time fighting for recognition as atomic bomb victims and were denied health benefits. However, most issues have been addressed in recent years through lawsuits.

Debate over bombings



The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

 and the U.S.'s ethical justification for them has been the subject of scholarly and popular debate for decades. J. Samuel Walker wrote in an April 2005 overview of recent historiography on the issue, "the controversy over the use of the bomb seems certain to continue." Walker wrote that "The fundamental issue that has divided scholars over a period of nearly four decades is whether the use of the bomb was necessary to achieve victory in the war in the Pacific on terms satisfactory to the United States."

Supporters of the bombings generally assert that they caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan: Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

 was to be invaded in October 1945 and Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

 five months later. U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

 estimated the invading Allies would suffer between 1.7 and 4 million casualties in such a scenario, while Japanese casualties would have been up to 10 million. Although thousands of Japanese were taken prisoner, most fought until they were killed or committed suicide. According to Risa Brooks and Elizabeth A. Stanley, "One scholar estimated that kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

 attacks could have sunk or damaged a full third of the invasion armada destined for Kyūshū." As the chief commander of the Japanese army, Korechika Anami was outspoken against the idea of surrender. Even after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Anami opposed talk of surrender, and proposed instead that a large-scale battle be fought on the Japanese mainland causing such massive Allied casualties that Japan would somehow be able to evade surrender and perhaps even keep some of what it had conquered. There were 2.3 million Japanese Army troops prepared to defend the Japanese home islands, another 4 million Army and Navy employees, and a civilian militia of 28 million men and women. The national slogan was “One hundred million will die for the Emperor and Nation.” The Japanese military ordered the murder of all Allied prisoners if there was an invasion
Operation Downfall
Operation Downfall was the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan. The operation had two parts: Operation...

.
Eventually, Anami's arguments were overcome when Emperor Hirohito directly requested an end to the war himself.

Those who oppose the bombings, among them many US military leaders as well as ex-president Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

, argue that it was simply an extension of the already fierce conventional bombing campaign. This, together with the sea blockade and the collapse of Germany (with its implications regarding redeployment), would also have led to a Japanese surrender - so the atomic bombings were militarily unnecessary. On the contrary, according to Kyoko Iriye Selden, "The most influential text is Truman's 1955 Memoirs, which states that the atomic bomb probably saved half a million US lives— anticipated casualties in an Allied invasion of Japan planned for November. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

 subsequently talked of saving one million US casualties, and Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 of saving one million American and half that number of British lives."

Scholars have pointed out various alternatives that could have ended the war just as quickly without an invasion, but these alternatives could have resulted in the deaths of many more Japanese.

As the United States dropped its atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, 1.6 million Soviet troops launched a surprise attack on the Japanese forces occupying eastern Asia. "The Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow's mediation", said Japanese historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa
is a Japanese historian, currently teaching at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is director of the Cold War Studies program. His current field of research includes the political history of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and Soviet–Japanese relations...

, whose recently published Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan is based on recently declassified Soviet archives as well as U.S. and Japanese documents.

Legal situation in Japan


The Tokyo District Court
Tokyo District Court
is a district court located at 1-1-4 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. -References:...

, while denying a case for damages, stated:

See also



  • Anti-nuclear protests in the United States
  • Hiroshima Maidens
    Hiroshima Maidens
    The Hiroshima Maidens are a group of twenty-five Japanese women who were young when they were seriously disfigured as a result of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945....

  • Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
    Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
    Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims is one of the National Memorial Halls in Hiroshima, Japan.-Overview:The Hall was founded by the Japanese national government to mourn the atomic bomb victims in 2002 and designed by Kenzo Tange.There is another National Peace...

  • Japan and weapons of mass destruction
    Japan and weapons of mass destruction
    The nation of Japan conducted numerous experiments in an attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction before and during World War II, but now has ceased production and abandoned experiments....

  • Japanese nuclear weapon program
  • Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
    Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
    The is in the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The museum remembers the explosion of the atomic bomb that devastated Nagasaki at 11:02:35am on 9 August 1945.The first atomic bomb museum was built in 1945...

  • Nagasaki Peace Park
    Nagasaki Peace Park
    Nagasaki Peace Park is a park located in Nagasaki, Japan, commemorating the atomic bombing of the city on August 9, 1945 during World War II.-History:...

  • Nuclear weapons and the United States
    Nuclear weapons and the United States
    The United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons, and is the only country to have used them in warfare, with the separate bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Before and during the Cold War it conducted over a thousand nuclear tests and developed many long-range...

  • Pumpkin bomb
    Pumpkin bomb
    Pumpkin bombs were conventional high explosive aerial bombs developed by the Manhattan Project and used by the United States Army Air Forces against Japan during World War II...

    , dummy atomic bomb
  • Strategic bombing during World War II
    Strategic bombing during World War II
    Strategic bombing during World War II is a term which refers to all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature between 1939 and 1945 involving any nations engaged in World War II...



Further reading




There is an extensive body of literature concerning the bombings, the decision to use the bombs, and the surrender of Japan. The following sources provide a sampling of prominent works on this subject matter. A history of the bombings, and the decision-making to use them.

Archives

  • "The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II", A Collection of Primary Sources by the National Security Archive
    National Security Archive
    The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

  • "Nagasaki Archive" Google Earth mapping of Nagasaki bombing archives
  • "Hiroshima Archive" Google Earth mapping of Hiroshima bombing archives

Commemoration


Debate