The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Introduction

Statement by the President of the United States:

"Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. 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".

These fateful words of the President on August 6th, 1945, marked the first public announcement of the greatest scientific achievement in history. The atomic bomb, first tested in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, had just been used against a military target.

On August 6th, 1945, at 8:15 A.M., Japanese time, a B-29 heavy bomber flying at high altitude dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. More than 4 square miles of the city were instantly and completely devastated. 66,000 people were killed, and 69,000 injured.

On August 9th, three days later, at 11:02 A.M., another B-29 dropped the second bomb on the industrial section of the city of Nagasaki, totally destroying 1 1/2 square miles of the city, killing 39,000 persons, and injuring 25,000 more.

On August 10, the day after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese government requested that it be permitted to surrender under the terms of the Potsdam declaration of July 26th which it had previously ignored.

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