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Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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Lisa Wolfe
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« on: November 19, 2009, 02:28:31 am »

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column. Six planes of the 509th Composite Group, participated in this mission; one to carry the bomb Enola Gay, one to take scientific measurements of the blast The Great Artiste, the third to take photographs Necessary Evil the others flew approximately an hour ahead to act as weather scouts, 08/06/1945. Bad weather would disqualify a target as the scientists insisted on a visual delivery, the primary target was Hiroshima, secondary was Kokura, and tertiary was Nagasaki.
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 02:29:26 am »

During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After six months of intense strategic fire-bombing of 67 Japanese cities the Hirohito regime ignored an ultimatum given by the Potsdam Declaration. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945,[1] [2] followed by the detonation of the bomb Fat Man over Nagasaki on August 9. These are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.[3]
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 02:29:45 am »

The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945,[4] with roughly half of those deaths occurring on the days of the bombings. Amongst these, 15–20% died from injuries or the combined effects of flash burns, trauma, and radiation burns, compounded by illness, malnutrition and radiation sickness.[5] Since then, more have died from leukemia (231 observed) and solid cancers (334 observed) attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs.[6] In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.[7][8][9]
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 02:30:01 am »

Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II. Germany had signed its unavoidable[2] Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in Europe. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan adopting Three Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding the nation from nuclear armament.[10]
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 02:31:23 am »



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
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 02:32:34 am »

The Manhattan Project

The U.S., in collaboration with the United Kingdom and Canada, with their respective secret projects Tube Alloys and Chalk River Laboratories,[11][12] designed and built the first atomic bombs under what was called the Manhattan Project. The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Hiroshima bomb, a gun-type bomb called "Little Boy", was made with uranium-235, a rare isotope of uranium. The atomic bomb was first tested at Trinity Site, on July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The test weapon, "the gadget," and the Nagasaki bomb, "Fat Man," were both implosion-type devices made primarily of plutonium-239, a synthetic element.[13]
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 02:33:21 am »

Choice of targets

On May 10–11, 1945 The Target Committee at Los Alamos, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, recommended Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and the arsenal at Kokura as possible targets. The target selection was subject to the following criteria:

    * The target was larger than three miles in diameter and was an important target in a large urban area.
    * The blast would create effective damage.
    * The target was unlikely to be attacked by August 1945. "Any small and strictly military objective should be located in a much larger area subject to blast damage in order to avoid undue risks of the weapon being lost due to bad placing of the bomb."[14]
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 02:34:04 am »



Map showing the locations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan where the two atomic weapons were employed
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 02:34:32 am »

These cities were largely untouched during the nightly bombing raids and the Army Air Force agreed to leave them off the target list so accurate assessment of the weapon could be made. Hiroshima was described as "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target."[14] The goal of the weapon was to convince Japan to surrender unconditionally in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. The Target Committee stated that "It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released. In this respect Kyoto has the advantage of the people being more highly intelligent and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that a large fraction of the city may be destroyed. The Emperor's palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value."[14]
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 02:34:49 am »

During World War II, Edwin O. Reischauer was the Japan expert for the U.S. Army Intelligence Service, in which role he is incorrectly said to have prevented the bombing of Kyoto.[15] In his autobiography, Reischauer specifically refuted the validity of this broadly-accepted claim:

    "...the only person deserving credit for saving Kyoto from destruction is Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary of War at the time, who had known and admired Kyoto ever since his honeymoon there several decades earlier."[16]
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 02:35:14 am »

The Potsdam ultimatum

On July 26, Truman and other allied leaders issued the Potsdam Declaration outlining terms of surrender for Japan. It was presented as an ultimatum and stated that without a surrender, the Allies would attack Japan, resulting in "the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland". The atomic bomb was not mentioned in the communique. On July 28, Japanese papers reported that the declaration had been rejected by the Japanese government. That afternoon, Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki declared at a press conference that the Potsdam Declaration was no more than a rehash (yakinaoshi) of the Cairo Declaration and that the government intended to ignore it (mokusatsu lit. "kill by silence").[17] The statement was taken by both Japanese and foreign papers as a clear rejection of the declaration. Emperor Hirohito, who was waiting for a Soviet reply to noncommittal Japanese peace feelers, made no move to change the government position.[18] On July 31, he made clear to his advisor Kōichi Kido that the Imperial Regalia of Japan had to be defended at all costs.[19]

In early July, on his way to Potsdam, Truman had re-examined the decision to use the bomb. In the end, Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. His stated intention in ordering the bombings was to bring about a quick resolution of the war by inflicting destruction and instilling fear of further destruction in sufficient strength to cause Japan to surrender.[20]
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 02:35:50 am »

Hiroshima
Hiroshima during World War II


At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of some industrial and military significance. A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. It was one of several Japanese cities left deliberately untouched by American bombing, allowing a pristine environment to measure the damage caused by the atomic bomb.
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 02:36:05 am »

The center of the city contained several reinforced concrete buildings and lighter structures. Outside the center, the area was congested by a dense collection of small wooden workshops set among Japanese houses. A few larger industrial plants lay near the outskirts of the city. The houses were constructed of wood with tile roofs, and many of the industrial buildings were also built around wood frames. The city as a whole was highly susceptible to fire damage.

The population of Hiroshima had reached a peak of over 381,000 earlier in the war, but prior to the atomic bombing the population had steadily decreased because of a systematic evacuation ordered by the Japanese government. At the time of the attack the population was approximately 340,000-350,000.[4] Because official documents were burned, the exact population is uncertain.
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2009, 02:36:40 am »



The Enola Gay and its crew, who dropped the "Little Boy" atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2009, 02:39:45 am »

The bombing

Hiroshima was the primary target of the first nuclear bombing mission on August 6, with Kokura and Nagasaki being alternative targets. August 6 was chosen because clouds had previously obscured the target. The 393d Bombardment Squadron B-29 Enola Gay, piloted and commanded by 509th Composite Group commander Colonel Paul Tibbets, was launched from North Field airbase on Tinian in the West Pacific, about six hours flight time from Japan. The Enola Gay (named after Colonel Tibbets' mother) was accompanied by two other B29s. The Great Artiste, commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney, carried instrumentation; and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil (the photography aircraft) was commanded by Captain George Marquardt.[21]

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