On August 6th, 1945 the world’s first atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The Atom bomb was dropped by an American B-29 bomber. The atom bomb was described by a Japanese journalist as a glaring pink light in the sky that burn people’s eyes out. Anyone within a mile of the explosion from the atom bomb became a bundle of smoking black charcoal within seconds. About 90,000-140,000 people were killed those who were still alive writhed in agony from their burns.
The atom bomb obliterated more than 10 sq km/4 sq mi and there was very heavy damage outside that area.
Three days later the USA dropped another atom bomb on Nagaski. About 60,000-80,000 people were killed by this atom bomb. On August 14 Japan surrendered and World War II was finally over.
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When Harry Truman the American president heard of the bombing he said “This is the greatest thing in history”. But even now people are still dying of the effects of the Atomic Bomb. These effects are so awful it is necessary to ask the question “Why did they drop the bomb?” when the war was so nearly over.
The Americans had pushed Japan out of all the land they had occupied in the Pacific region. In Europe Hitler was defeated. So why did the Americans drop the bomb?
Here are some reasons that I can think of.
- The Americans believed Japan would never surrender. If the bomb had not been dropped thousands of American lifes could have been lost in an invasion of Japan
- The Bomb had cost a lot of money to develop and the Americans wanted to use it. The bomb cost $200 million. It would have been difficult to justify not using after such as vast financial investment
- The Japanese had been very cruel to prisoners of War. Some Americans thought they deserved to be taught a lesson.
- It was used to show the USA’s military superiority to the USSR
Truman’s Announcement on Hiroshima
Announcement on Hiroshima August 6, 1945
Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped on bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British “Grand Slam” which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare.
It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East…
We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war.
It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. 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.
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