The world has witnessed several wars, but what can be more savage than a war whose after effects are killing innocents even today! Inhumanity and insensitivity at its peak is what defines the nature of the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks on 6th August and 9th August 1945, respectively. There was a crucial role of Japan in World War II, who declined to give in to the Allied Forces, following which the two major cities of the nation watched the dance of destruction. Today which is 6th August, 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the ferocious ‘Hiroshima Nuclear Attack’ and our heart goes out to every individual who has been directly or indirectly affected by it.
Here we will discuss
- Some Facts about the Hiroshima Nuclear Attack
- Why did the US attacked Japan with a ‘Nuclear Bomb’ ?C
- Why Hiroshima was chosen Little Boy’s Target?
- The Immediate Impacts of the Bombing
- The Consequence of the Nuclear Bombing
- The Suffering which Stayed
Some Facts about the Hiroshima Nuclear Attack
- The devastating attack was authorized by the then President, Harry S. Trueman.
- It was codenamed as the ‘Little Boy’ which was a part of the Manhattan Project.
- The United States Airforce used a B29 Bomber, Enola Gay, to drop the bomb of capacity 15 kilotons.
- The horror took place at 8:15 am Japanese time on 6th August 1945.
- The bombing had the approval of the United Kingdom as required by the Quebec Agreement.
- The casualties was 70,000 immediately after the blast and several died later due to the toxic effects in the air after the nuclear attack.
- The Japanese address the survivors of the atomic attack as the [h]ibakusha.
- The US is the only country in the World till date who has used Nuclear Atomic Bombs.
Why did the US attacked Japan with a ‘Nuclear Bomb’ ?
After the surrender of Germany to the Allies in World War II, the US called for the surrender of Japan too and warned it of complete destruction if it didn’t agree. Unaware of the consequences, Japan ignored the ultimatum and the US stood by their words. The US, under the ‘Manhattan Project’ had developed two types of Atomic Bombs. The one decided to be dropped on Hiroshima by the Allies was the gun type Uranium Bomb. Why was such a brutal attack made on Hiroshima?
- A committee headed by Henry Stimson, was made by President Truman. Stimson was very determined to use the Nuclear Bomb as a demonstration of the US power.
- The US military then believed that the Japanese would fight against the Allies to their last man. To bring the results of the War in their favor, the Allies had the only option of making these nuclear attacks.
- As per Charles Maier, a professor of History at Harvard University, “The Japanese use of suicidal Kamikaze attacks had made a strong psychological impact on US military decision makers who reckoned that the whole country would be mobilized to defend their homelands.” He said “The US military was unwilling to say it could win the war without the bomb”.
Why Hiroshima was Chosen Little Boy’s Target?
The US wanted to see the potential of the first of its nature, Nuclear Bomb. They wished to exhibit their power by causing maximum destruction. After careful consideration Hiroshima was singled out for the attack.
It was a large urban centre with a population of 3,18,000. The US wanted to create a psychological impact on the people of Japan.
- It was an important army and navy base.
- It was untouched by any attack during World War II.
- The target committee analysed that the surrounding hills of the city would create a focusing effect of the explosion causing destruction of greater intensity.
- The Ota River flowing across the city increased the possibility of preserving the effects of the radiations caused by the Nuclear Bomb.
The Immediate Impacts of the Bombing
- The Planet had not witnessed a man causing destruction of such intensity in its history. The untested uranium-235 gun assembly bomb caused an immediate death toll of 70,000 and deaths kept being recorded for the next several months. The total radius of destruction was 1.6 km. About 92 percent of the total structures of the city were either destroyed or damaged by the firestorm which followed the bomb blast.
- As per the report by ‘The Guardian’ in August 1945 the response of the Tokyo radio was, “The impact of the bomb was so terrific that practically all living things- human and animals- were literally seared to death by the tremendous heat and pressure set up by the blast.
- This was not the end. The horrible consequences of the radiation of the explosion claimed more lives due to radiation sickness and cancer. As per the reports of the Department of Energy the death count reached 2,00,000 in the years which followed 1945.
The Consequence of the Nuclear Bombing
- After the ferocious attack and the damage which followed, Japan was warned again of another attack of higher intensity if they didn’t surrender to the allies. The admiral of the Japan force concluded that not more than two nuclear bombs can be readied by the Allies and declared that surrendering was not an option and the war would continue.
- Three days later, on 9th August, 1945, the US dropped another nuclear bomb, code named ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki which immediately claimed 40,000 lives.
- After the dirty politics which caused several innocents die and suffer, World War II came to an end when the emperor of Japan Hirohito announced surrender and officially signed an instrument of surrender on 2nd September, 1945.
The Suffering which Stayed
The intensity of destruction can be understood even today by the present generation of Japan who are still living the pain of the poisonous radiation of the nuclear bomb. Studies claimed that the radiation caused negative effects to those born to survivors or those living in Hiroshima. The effects ranged from smaller brain size, delayed development, blindness and increased chances of skin and other cancers.
This tragedy taught many lessons to humanity. The biggest lesson being, that no political circumstances can justify the use of nuclear weapons. The International Red Cross has warned that no humanitarian community would be ever able to deal and cope up with any nuclear conflicts if they occur in future.