The devastation in Hiroshima was not enough to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender.
The nuclear bombs dropped in the two cities made Japan the only nation attacked with atomic weapons, forcing the country to wave the white flag at the end of the war.
The nuclear device exploded a 15,000-tonne charge of TNT, which devastated a range of 13 square kilometres. Ninety percent of the city was destroyed in the explosion.
Fat Man” was the name of the second atomic bomb, although more peculiar, as it was a hydrogen bomb.
Theoretically, this bomb was supposed to be dropped on August 11, but because the weather reported storms for that time, it was brought forward to the 9th, that is, only 24 hours after the attack order was given.
Nagasaki Industrial Center
Nagasaki was a strong industrial centre and had served throughout the war to create weapons for the Japanese army, as well as being a fairly important port for the transport of goods and personnel.
But the disadvantage was that most of the workers lived in wooden houses and next to the factories because it was a city that had been built as it grew, that is, without any architectural order.
On 9 August, the air strike began and at 11:01 a.m. the bomb was detonated, killing between 35,000-40,000 people at the time of the explosion, destroying 40% of the city’s total.
Bombing of Nagasaki
At 6:00 a.m. on 9 August 1945, the B-29″Bockscar” with the”Fat Man” atomic bomb, together with the “The Grear Artiste” equipped with measuring instruments, took off from Tinian Island, in the Mariana Islands, and headed for Japan. Shortly afterwards he also put the”Big Stink” with the cameras up in the sky.
At about 5:00 a.m. the B-29 “Bockscar” and “The Great Artiste” flew over Iwo Jima Island. Not long after that they did it about Yaku-Shima, where the”Big Stink” who had left late was supposed to meet them.
After being in the air for almost half an hour, Commander Charles Sweeney ran out of patience and ordered to continue on to Japan without the escort, as his apparatus had less fuel than usual due to a technical problem.
Meanwhile, two other B-29s had carried out two reconnaissances on possible targets, one on Nagasaki by Captain Charles McKnight’s”Laggin’ Dragon” and the other on Kokura by Captain George Marquardt’s “Gay Enola”.
It was precisely the latter who told Sweeny by radio that Kokura in Honshû was the best target to bomb.
Kokura was hit by the B-29″Bockscar” without incident at the beginning of working time in Japan, when everyone was on their way to work.
The problem for the plane was that there was no visibility, as the clouds completely covered the city. Since hitting the target was going to be impossible, Swenney switched to the second target, just as he had foreseen if the first one failed.
That’s why he set course for Nagasaki in Kyûshû. Ironically, those clouds saved thousands of lives in Kokura, but condemned thousands more in Nagasaki.
Death over Nagasaki
Around mid-morning the two B-29s “Bockscar” and “Great Artiste” arrived on time over Nagasaki. But as had happened in Kokura, the city was completely clouded and not visible.
For a while they were walking around in the hope that the sky would be clear, but it was not possible. At 11:00 a.m. the order was given to return to the plane, so just as the”Bockscar” was about to leave, the bomber Kermit Beahan, who was watching through the peephole, warned of a small gap between the clouds where some of the buildings in Nagasaki could be seen.
Without hesitation, the Bockscar made a quick approach manoeuvre and at 11:01 it broke free from its Fat Mat atomic bomb, which plummeted rapidly.
Bomb “Fat Man”
At 560 meters above the ground, the atomic bomb “Fat Man” exploded at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945.
With an initial flash ten times greater than that of the Sun that blinded all the inhabitants, the explosion had a power of 20,000 tons of TNT, a force unmatched in the world.
The epicenter of the atomic explosion, one square kilometer around the northern industrial district, was completely disintegrated by 3,000 degrees Celsius, including a Catholic church that was melted almost to its foundations.
Two kilometers further inland, the destruction of homes and buildings was also complete, such as the Sofukuji Temple and the Mitsubishi weapons factory.
Then a wind of 1,500 kilometers per hour blew up and ripped the houses off the ground, taking with it trees, warehouses and people up to four kilometers away.
Finally, coinciding with a black radioactive fallout, a fungus rose in the sky that was spectacular, as it rose to 18′ 5 kilometers high.
End of World War II
Two days after the nuclear attack, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and, the next day, a huge army of 1.5 million troops launched a very well-prepared offensive against the Japanese troops, estimated at one million men, who were stationed in China.
On 12 August, the Japanese emperor Hirohito officially announced his surrender:”The enemy has begun to use a new and extremely cruel bomb, with incalculable destructive power and which is killing many innocent people.
If we continue the struggle, we will only achieve the overthrow and collapse of the Japanese nation, and that will lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
On September 2 of that same year, Japan signed the absolute surrender to the Allies, and the end of its participation in the Second World War.
The consequences of these bombings
the surrender of Japan, whose only request was to maintain the imperial throne, once the US accepted this, the emperor himself wrote a speech explaining to the Japanese people the need to stop the hostilities, since nuclear weapons could end life as they knew it at the time.
The surrender occurred on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri.
In addition, a study on the effects of nuclear weapons on the affected population was opened in 1948.
These studies revealed that many of those affected suffered serious illnesses, such as cancer of different types, undoubtedly due to chemical reactions after the absorption of nuclear particles by the capillary layers.
Nagasaki was the final and lethal blow that would bring Japan to its knees and force it to surrender unconditionally.
The destruction of that city in Kyûshû finally confirmed all suspicions to Emperor Hiro-Hito and his dome, which made them understand that the war was more than lost.
The atomic bomb killed 70,000 people instantly in Nagasaki, which over time would increase to 170,000 due to burns or radioactive diseases. There were also 60,000 injured and 70 per cent of the buildings were destroyed.
Curiously enough, there were 8 allies who died in Nagasaki, 7 Dutch soldiers and 1 British soldier, as they were imprisoned there at the time of the explosion.
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- Denise Kiernan
- Edición Kindle
- Edition no. 0 (03/05/2013)