President Harry Truman made the fateful decision to drop a massive atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On August 6, , this atomic bomb, known as " Little Boy ," flattened the city, killing at least 70, people that day and tens of thousands more from radiation poisoning. This bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man," was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40, people immediately and another 20, to 40, in the months following the explosion. In order to carry such a heavy load as an atomic bomb, the Enola Gay was modified: new propellers, stronger engines, and faster opening bomb bay doors.
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President Harry Truman made the fateful decision to drop a massive atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On August 6, , this atomic bomb, known as " Little Boy ," flattened the city, killing at least 70, people that day and tens of thousands more from radiation poisoning.
This bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man," was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40, people immediately and another 20, to 40, in the months following the explosion. In order to carry such a heavy load as an atomic bomb, the Enola Gay was modified: new propellers, stronger engines, and faster opening bomb bay doors.
Only 15 Bs underwent this modification. Three other planes had left earlier in order to ascertain the weather conditions over the possible targets. Since Parsons had been instrumental in the development of the bomb, he was now responsible for arming the bomb while in-flight. Approximately 15 minutes into the flight a. Parsons thought while arming "Little Boy": "I knew the Japs were in for it, but I felt no particular emotion about it.
Nor had any atomic bomb yet been dropped from a plane. Some scientists and politicians pushed for not warning Japan of the bombing in order to save face in case the bomb malfunctioned. The cities were chosen because they had been relatively untouched during the war. The Target Committee wanted the first bomb to be "sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it was released.
At a. The Explosion at Hiroshima Staff Sergeant George Caron, the tail gunner, described what he saw: "The mushroom cloud itself was a spectacular sight, a bubbling mass of purple-gray smoke and you could see it had a red core in it and everything was burning inside. It looked like lava or molasses covering a whole city. Captain Robert Lewis, the co-pilot, stated, "Where we had seen a clear city two minutes before, we could no longer see the city.
We could see smoke and fires creeping up the sides of the mountains. Within three miles of the explosion, 60, of the 90, buildings were demolished.
Clay roof tiles had melted together. Shadows had imprinted on buildings and other hard surfaces. Metal and stone had melted. Unlike other bombing raids , the goal for this raid had not been a military installation but rather an entire city. The atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima killed civilian women and children in addition to soldiers. A survivor described the damage to people: The appearance of people was.
They held their arms bent [forward] like this. If there had been only one or two such people. But wherever I walked I met these people.
Many of them died along the road - I can still picture them in my mind -- like walking ghosts. The first choice target for this bombing run had been Kokura. The atomic bomb exploded 1, feet above the city. Fujie Urata Matsumoto, a survivor, shares one scene: The pumpkin field in front of the house was blown clean.
I looked at the face to see if I knew her. It was a woman of about forty. She must have been from another part of town -- I had never seen her around here. A gold tooth gleamed in the wide-open mouth. A handful of singed hair hung down from the left temple over her cheek, dangling in her mouth. Her eyelids were drawn up, showing black holes where the eyes had been burned out.
She had probably looked square into the flash and gotten her eyeballs burned. Approximately 40 percent of Nagasaki was destroyed. The decimation, however, was still great. With a population of ,, approximately 40, people died immediately and another 30, by the end of the year. I saw the atom bomb.
I was four then. I remember the cicadas chirping. William S. Bibliography Hersey, John. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Kurzman, Dan. Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima. Liebow, Averill A. New York: W. Lifton, Robert Jay. Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima. New York: Random House, Nagai, Takashi. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Takaki, Ronald. New York: Little, Brown and Company,
The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki