At approximately 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a United States B-29 bomber named Enola Gay, piloted by Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan. The target for the drop, Hiroshima, was decimated. Three days later on August 9, 1945, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki by another B-29 bomber called Bockscar. “When the first atomic bomb was dropped, President Truman said that it was to make Japan surrender without losing large numbers of American lives in an invasion." Today, scientists and historians continue to argue whether or not the bombings of Japan were justified. Either way, dropping the two bombs left an everlasting impact on every country's war efforts. (1)
Video by: WatchMojo
Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Numbers: Civilian Estimates
The major causes of death in Hiroshima was 60% burns, 30% falling debris, and 10% other.
The major causes of death in Nagasaki was 95% burns, 5% other. (2)
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1. What happened to the human body once it was contaminated with radiation?A: It depends on the dose. Many Hiroshima victims suffered sever burns and eventually leukemia and other blood cancers a few years later.
2. How quickly did the radiation spread? What caused the spread overseas?A: I don't know, all of the spreading would be dependent on atmospheric conditions such as rain fall, winds and prevailing currents.
3. Do you think that the cost of the Manhattan Project outweighed the benefits of what followed (Japanese surrender)?A: I am not aware of the cost, but given our situation at the time any cost was worth it.
4. What was the chemistry behind the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb that made them work so well?A: I think both bombs were fission bombs, I think the technology for the H bomb (fusion) came later. In both cases energy levels have to get high enough to penetrate the nuclear force and eventually causing a mass loss, Re: E = delta mc2
5. In your opinion, was there a better alternative to dropping the two bombs?A: Given the information at the time yes. Also, you are getting answers form a person who had a father in Germany, Africa and France during WWII and two uncles in Japan.