The WWII Bombing of Japan

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The WWII Bombing of Japan

The WWII Bombing of Japan Ashley Bushman, Period 1, Feburary 2015

After six months of firebombing Japanese cities with no surrender, President Truman declared a nuclear attack. On August 6, 1945, America bombed a city in Japan called Hiroshima. This attack killed more than 80,000 instantly. Three days later they bombed another city, Nagasaki. This killed more than 40,000. The two bombs were nicknamed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. The building of the bombs is known as the Manhattan project and employed 130,000 people. The atomic attacks on Japan remain the only nuclear attack to this day.

The first bomb was called “Little Boy” and was named after Franklin D. Roosevelt. It used mainly Uranium. It was 3 meters long and had a diameter of 0.7 meters. It was dropped at 8:15 am by a plane called Enola Gay. It exploded 2,000 feet above Hiroshima. The blast ranged from 12,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT. “Little Boy” destroyed 5 miles of the city. 40,000 people were killed instantly. Due to radiation from the bomb and disease 60,000 died in the following months. Hiroshima was a prime target because it had the army base that controlled all of Southern Japan and communication centers.

The second bomb was called “Fat Man” and was named after Winston Churchill. It used mainly Plutonium. It was 3.5 meters long and had a diameter of 1.5 meters. It was dropped at 11:02 am by a plane called Bockscar. The original target was not Nagasaki. Instead it was a city called Kokura, but the clouds were too thick to see through so they moved to Nagasaki. The bomb let off a 22-kiloton blast and weighed 10,000 pounds. When the bomb exploded the destruction was limited to 2 miles because the city of Nagasaki was set between mountains in a small valley. In the blink of an eye 40,000 people were killed and 25,000 were injured. Later 75,000 people died from injury, disease, and the radiation.

Because this is the only atomic bombing ever, it’s a very important part of history. It is still debated on whether the bombs should have been used or if we could have defeated them without the atomic bombs. Also, it is very important to remember this because we could have to use more atomic bombs in the future and we could learn from this experience. Looking at the bombing of Nagasaki, we could decide that the target should be in a flatter area. The bombings caused terrible casualties too. So, maybe in the future it will be decided not to use these terrible explosives and eliminate the number of casualties in war.

A couple years ago, my dad was watching a show about WWII and Japan. It showed hundreds of people scared of being captured by the Americans and unfortunately taking very big measures to avoid them. This show did not portray the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but ever since I have been very interested in Japan during WWII. When I mentioned Japan in class and someone suggested the atomic bomb I knew it was a good topic for me. It’s interesting, unique, and Japan based. I also was interested in the new weapon dry that was used in WWII.


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