The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Bogdan U. April 14, 2017 3
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Throughout the history of modern warfare, only 2 atomic bombs have been used. The Hiroshima bombing happened on the 6th of August 1945. The bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy”, was a uranium gun-type. Only three days later, on the 9th of August, the Nagasaki bomb blasts took place. This time, a different type of bomb was used, a plutonium implosion-type called “Fat Man”. The total death toll is considered to be somewhere between 129,000 – 246,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians. Half of the deaths happened on the days of the bombings, while the other half died in the course of the next days due to burns, radiations and other injuries.

The top secret program for the development and testing of the atomic bombs was called “The Manhattan Project”. In the morning of July 16, 1945, the project saw its first successful test in the Trinity test site, located in Alamogordo, New Mexico. However, by the time this project could be called a success, the German forces have already surrendered and the war in Europe was over.

The Japanese forces wowed to fight until the bitter end, even though their chances at victory were getting smaller as the time passed. During April and July 1945, the Allied forces suffered nearly half of the casualties they had suffered during the last three years of war, showing that the Japanese forces would not take into account surrendering. The Japanese government even rejected the option of surrendering when faced with the Potsdam Declaration, a statement that threatened with complete and utter destruction if they refused to surrender. Harry Truman, the American president at that time, had two options. The invasion of Japan – option which could see the Allies suffer close to 1 million casualties and the nuclear weapons attack – option which would see close to no casualties for Allied forces, but was considered highly immoral due to a big number of civilians being victims. The latest option was chosen also due to the fact that it would put the USA in a position of power following the years after the war. On the 2nd of September, the war was finally over and the Japanese government surrendered.

America and Japan history still have conflicting views on the morality of what has happened during the war, the Americans considering the attack on Pearl Harbour a cowardly display, while the Japanese and the rest of the world are still wondering if the uses of nuclear weapons attack were justified.


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