Followed by the nuclear bomb dropping of ‘Little Boy’ on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, by the United States, another nuclear bomb ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki city of Japan on August 9 that is observed as Nagasaki Day every year.
The bomb detonated at 11:02 am on August 9, 1945. Residents thought it hit the ground and exploded, but it detonated mid-air above the city, making the impact more severe.
The atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima forced Japan to surrender, thus ending World War II and ‘Victory in Japan’ or ‘V-J Day’ celebrations broke out across the United States and other Allied nations. Nagasaki and Hiroshima continue to feel the impact of the destructive bombing even today.
Why did the US choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The United States dropped the bomb to end the Second World War quickly and effectively with the least amount of casualties on the US side. The US chose Nagasaki as the population was only two-thirds of Hiroshima’s population. The city was industrially more important. Nagasaki was a port for the trans-shipment of military supplies and embarkation of troops in support of Japan’s operation in China. Nagasaki had industrial suburbs of Inase and Akunoua.
Hiroshima was primarily a military target with a population of about 318,000 people. Hiroshima at the time was also the seventh-largest city of Japan and served as the headquarters of the Second Army and the Chugoku Regional Army, making it one of the most important military command stations in Japan. It was also the site of one of the largest military supply depots and the foremost military shipping point for troops and supplies.
According to The Daily Star, Tommy Yang, an 85-year-old survivor in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki said in an interview that “Nuclear weapons are not just weapons. It’s a devil’s tool. It cannot co-exist with mankind.”
Those who survived the bombings were facing the immediate impacts of mysterious ailments the bomb has left around, which is now known as radiation poisoning. No one knew what to do to help the victims.