The Second World War it was over in Europe and only Japan remained in the fight, following Germany’s surrender among the Axis powers. The United States, which has lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Pacific since 1941, hoped to end the conflict. In the sky, the Enola Gay plane was carrying a nuclear bomb: Little Boy. Hiroshima was in the crosshairs.
It was the 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945 and the first of the atomic bombs was dropped by the United States.
In a matter of minutes, the bomb generated a heat wave of more than 4,000 ° C in a radius of about 4.5 kilometers, according to the BBC. The same day between 50,000 and 100,000 people died, product of the Little Boy explosion. Thousands more were injured, and it is unknown how many had descendants with health problems from radiation.
The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb
the United States was working on Manhattan Project, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer and with the initial support of Albert Einstein, to get hold of a nuclear bomb before Germany did. For months before the end of the war in Europe, the Americans knew that the Nazis could not count on a weapon of this caliber, but there would be no going back in the investigation.
If it wasn’t used during the war, it would serve one way or another for the coming conflict with the Soviet Union.
After the death of Franklin D Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, Harry S Truman assumed the presidency of the United States. It was up to him to put an end to World War II, approving the use of two atomic bombs on Japan in August of that year.
Despite the request for unconditional surrender, Japan remained in the fight. It was the last stretch of the expansionism that developed in the 30s, with unspeakable crimes against Chinese and Korean civilians and military. What had started as a Japanese military parade ended in a useless resistance against the allies, with the civilian population as the main victim.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two objectives of the United States
The Americans chose Hiroshima, they explain Williamson Murray and Allan Millett in The War to Win because the city had “some military value, because its T-shaped bridge was a perfect target, and because, to his knowledge, there were no Allied prisoner-of-war camps in it.”
On August 6, 1945, Colonel Paul Tibbetts piloted the Enola Gay, dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Little Boy weighed 4,400 kilograms, measuring 3 meters long and 70 centimeters wide, with a cylinder of uranium 235 that collided with the target, unleashing fission.
Three days later, and in the face of the silence of the Japanese authorities, the Americans dropped a second bomb, this time on Nagasaki. Between 39,000 and 80,000 people died.
Japan would surrender on August 14, 1945, signing its capitulation on September 2.
In two days, between 129,000 and 246,000 Japanese were killed by the two atomic bombs. After this, humanity only remained in suspense in the face of a new mortality of that order, and although the Americans, Soviets and other powers developed nuclear weapons, they have not used them since.
For the moments.