Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
A Look Back at the Destruction Caused by the A-Bomb
Atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima
On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. And so on August 5, while a “conventional” bombing of Japan was underway, “Little Boy,” (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded onto Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets’ plane on Tinian Island in the Marianas. Tibbets’ B-29, named the Enola Gayafter his mother, left the island at 2:45 a.m. on August 6. Five and a half hours later, “Little Boy” was dropped, exploding 1,900 feet over a hospital and unleashing the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT. The bomb had several inscriptions scribbled on its shell, one of which read “Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis” (the ship that transported the bomb to the Marianas).
There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. Of the city’s 200 doctors before the explosion; only 20 were left alive or capable of working. There were 1,780 nurses before—only 150 remained who were able to tend to the sick and dying.
According to John Hersey’s classic work Hiroshima, the Hiroshima city government had put hundreds of schoolgirls to work clearing fire lanes in the event of incendiary bomb attacks. They were out in the open when the Enola Gay dropped its load.
There were so many spontaneous fires set as a result of the bomb that a crewman of theEnola Gay stopped trying to count them. Another crewman remarked, “It’s pretty terrific. What a relief it worked.”
Enola Gay and Hiroshima
The Enola Gay flew the very first mission targeting a city - Hiroshima – with an atomic bomb. A flight log for the Enola Gay on its journey to Hiroshima was kept by the co-pilot Robert A Lewis. The following are extracts from it.
Lewis kept the log as he knew that the mission would be eventful but was not fully aware why it would be as he knew little about the bomb’s explosive power. He knew it was different as did the rest of the crew but they were pilots and bombers not scientists.
“Everyone will be relieved when we have left our bomb and get half way home, or better still all the way home.”"At 07.30 a.m. we are loaded, the bomb is now alive and it’s a funny feeling knowing it’s right in back of you.”
“For the next minute no one knew what to expect. The bombardier and the pilot forgot to put on their dark glasses and therefore witnessed the flash which was terrific.”“The Colonel and I are standing back and are giving the boys what they want. There’ll be a short intermission while we bomb our target.”
“Fifteen seconds after the flash there were two very distinct slaps and that was all the physical effects we felt. We turned the ship so we could observe results and there in front of our eyes was without a doubt the greatest explosion man had ever witnessed. The city was 9/10 covered with smoke and a column of white cloud, which in less than three minutes reached 30,000 feet and then went up to 50,000 feet. I honestly have the feeling of groping for words to explain this or I might say, my God, what have we done? Everyone on the ship is actually dumbstruck, even though we had expected something fierce.”
Facts about the flight:
The Enola Gay left Tinian at 02.45 a.m.
The bomb – Little Boy – was dropped at 08.15 a.m.
Little Boy detonated at 08.16.02 a.m.
At 08.16.17 a.m., the Enola Gay was hit by the first of two shock waves from the bomb.
The bomb aimer was Major Tom Ferebee.
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Tracing Knowledge Notification | Ειδοποίηση Στα ίχνη της Γνώσης
of the original post, out of respect to the source and readers.
Please follow the links for references and more informations.
της πρωτότυπης δημοσίευσης με σεβασμό στην πηγή και στους αναγνώστες.
Παρακαλώ επισκεφθείτε τον σύνδεσμο για περισσότερες πληροφορίες.
History Learning Site
- Hiroshima marks anniversary of atomic bombing (thehimalayantimes.com)
- National › Hiroshima marks 67th anniversary of atomic bombing (japantoday.com)