Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Part of the Pacific War of World War II
Two aerial photos of atomic bomb mushroom clouds, over two Japanese cities in 1945.
Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over
Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)
Date August 6 and August 9, 1945
Location Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Empire of Japan
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
 United States
Manhattan Project:
 United Kingdom
 Canada
 Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
United States William S. Parsons
United States Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
United States Charles Sweeney
United States Frederick Ashworth
Empire of Japan Shunroku Hata
Units involved
Manhattan District: 50 U.S., 2 British
509th Composite Group: 1,770 U.S.
Second General Army:
Hiroshima: 40,000 (5 Anti-aircraft batteries)
Nagasaki: 9,000 (4 Anti-aircraft batteries)
Casualties and losses
20 British, Dutch, and American prisoners of war killed

Hiroshima:

  • 20,000 soldiers killed
  • 70,000–126,000 civilians killed

Nagasaki:

  • 39,000–80,000 killed
Total: 129,000–226,000+ killed
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dropping of Little Boy
The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter.

The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks on the Empire of Japan during World War II (WWII). The United States and the Allies were fighting against Japan and slowly winning. Two nuclear weapons were dropped on Japan, one on the city of Hiroshima and the other on the city of Nagasaki. The generals wanted to bomb Kokura instead of Nagasaki, but it was too cloudy over Kokura that day. U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered these attacks on August 6 and 9, 1945.[1] This was near the end of WWII.

The atomic bombs had been created through the Manhattan Project. They created two bombs. The first bomb was called Little Boy, and was to be dropped on Hiroshima, and the second bomb was called Fat Man, and was to be dropped on Nagasaki. [2]Nuclear bombs are much more powerful than other kinds of bombs.[3] Estimated number of deaths are given in the infobox opposite. Six days after the explosion over Nagasaki, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers on August 15. Japan signed the surrender paper on September 2. This officially ended the Pacific War and World War II.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen for several reasons. First, both cities were unsuitable for firebombing targets, mainly due to the river deltas preventing the firestorms from being very effective. Second, both cities had terrains which provided a good measurement for damage caused by the nuclear bombs.[4] Third and finally, both cities contained strategic personnel and installations; Hiroshima was the headquarters of the 2nd General Army and 5th Division with 40,000 Japanese combatants stationed within the city's limit, and Nagasaki contained two large Mitsubishi armament factories and many other medium-to-small workshops and plants providing vital war components for Japan's war machine. In both cities, as with other Japanese cities, these targets were mixed in with civilian homes, schools, and temples. For example, at least 54% of the deaths in Hiroshima were combatants and slave laborers while 72% of the deaths in Nagasaki were war industry employees and slave laborers.[5]

The vast majority of the people say that the atomic bombs actually saved many lives in the long run because it prevented the invasion of Japan. After the bombs, Japan wanted to surrender, but on one condition. Their leader had to stay in charge. But America said that the leader could stay in power, but had to take orders from American soldiers placed in Japan. America then invaded Japanese island Kyūshū, so they could do that. This was called Operation Olympic.[6] More people would have been killed on both sides in a full battle in Japan. Some say that the bombings were not necessary. People still argue about this. No nuclear weapon has ever been used in combat since August 9, 1945.

The decision to use nuclear weapons on Japan was made after an analysis showed that more than a million people—combatants of both nations and civilians—would die if Japan was invaded by Allied forces. The nuclear bombings, while shocking and unprecedented, actually paled in comparison with the Operation Meetinghouse firebombing of Tokyo on March 9/10, 1945, which killed 100,000 civilians and destroyed 16 square miles in a single night. Had it not been for the nuclear weapons, the U.S. would have resorted to firebombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki which would have caused equal amount of damage, but did not produce the shock value that nuclear weapons have.[7] In addition, doing nothing or waiting it out for surrender was not an option because hundreds of thousands of combatants, civilians, and prisoners of war were dying each month in Japanese-occupied lands.[8][9]

Partly because of the atomic bombings, after the war Japan adopted the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. These principles said that Japan could not create or try to get nuclear weapons.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Truman announces bombing of Hiroshima". PBS. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  2. Browne, Ryan. "Why did the U.S. bomb Hiroshima?". CNN. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  3. "Atomic bombs - WWII". History. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  4. Summary of Target Committee Meetings May 10 and 11, 1945
  5. Crane, Conrad C. (1994). The Cigar that brought the Fire Wind: Curtis LeMay and the Strategic Bombing of Japan. JGSDF-U.S. Army Military History Exchange. p. 145. ASIN B0006PGEIQ. 
  6. "Operation Downfall" (in en). Wikipedia. 2018-03-04. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Operation_Downfall&oldid=828744238. 
  7. Compton, Karl (1946). "If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used". The Atlantic. Retrieved 1 June 2016.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  8. Miller, Henry I. "The Nuking Of Japan Was A Tactical And Moral Imperative". forbes.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  9. Keck, Zachary. "How Hiroshima and Nagasaki Saved Millions of Lives". http://thediplomat.com/. Retrieved 1 June 2016.  External link in |work= (help)