As many know, the atomic bomb has been used only twice in warfare. The first was at Hiroshima. A uranium bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” (despite weighing in at over four and a half tons) was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945. The Aioi Bridge, one of 81 bridges connecting the seven-branched delta of the Ota River, was the target; ground zero was set at 1,980 feet. At 0815 hours, the bomb was dropped from the Enola Gay. It missed by only 800 feet. At 0816 hours, in an instant, 66,000 people were killed and 69,000 injured by a 10-kiloton atomic explosion.
This week marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Today marks the anniversary of an even more grotesque event – the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Three days later the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. These remain the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare.
Some 12 km² of Hiroshima were destroyed, as were around 69% of the city’s buildings. The images above, which were taken by the US military on the day, show Hiroshima before and after the bombing. Some 66,000 people are thought to have died in Hiroshima on the day; probably a similar number again died over the next four months as a result of their injuries or from radiation sickness. So fierce was the heat that people were vaporised but their shadows left upon the walls.
In the years since the…
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