Hiroshima Day 2021: 76 years of two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki- All you need to know

Hiroshima Day 2021: On August 6, 1945, two atom bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Know the history behind the atom bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and why Hiroshima was chosen in particular for atom bomb. 

Created On: Aug 9, 2021 13:13 IST
Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hiroshima Day was observed on August 6 to mark the anniversary of two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today is the 76th year of destruction that led to the surrender of Japan during World War II. 

Hiroshima day aims at raising awareness about the devastating power of the two atom bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which led to the ending of the Second World war.

On August 6, 1945, an atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan by an American B-29 bomber killing nearly 80,000 people instantly while tens of thousands died later due to the radiation exposure.

Three days later, a second B-29 dropped an atom bomb on Nagasaki killing another 40,000 people. These bombings, on the two Japanese cities, were the first time that the atomic bomb was used.

The atom bombings on Japan forced the country on August 15, 1945, to announce that it was surrendering unconditionally during the Second World War.

During the war, Japan was part of the Axis Group, which included Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy, along with other small and significant regions.

History of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945

On the morning of August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped an atom bomb, called ‘Little Boy’, with a force of 12-15 Kilotons of TNT on Hiroshima. The city was the manufacturing hub of more than 3,50,000 people and about 500 miles from Tokyo.

The blast destroyed 500 square miles of the city immediately. The bomb was dropped by an American plane by parachute in the morning at 8.15 and exploded 2,000 feet above the city.

That day, it was the first time when most industrial workers had reported to work and were in transit. Children were also en route to school and some had even arrived.

What happened in Nagasaki?

Even after the devastation that took place in Hiroshima due to the atomic bombing, Japan did not surrender from the Second World War.

Three days later, on August 9, 1945, the United States sent another B-29 to the primary target of the city of Kokura. However, thick clouds over the city, prevented the pilot from dropping the atomic bomb so he flew to the secondary target, Nagasaki, which was nestled between the mountains.

The pilot dropped ‘Fat Man’ over the city at 11.02 am. This plutonium bomb was even powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, three days earlier. The bomb produced 1 22-Kiloton blast.

Why Hiroshima was chosen for bombing?

During the Second World War, Japanese fighters, who were in alliance with Germany, deployed the Kamikaze tactics and pilots undertook suicide missions to hit the US Warships directly.

In order to prevent more damage from such attacks and to force Japan to back down, the then President of the US Harry Truman authorized the use of the devastating nuclear weapon.

Hiroshima, in Japan, was chosen because the US not just wanted to force Japan to back down but also planned to end its ability to fight wars.

The seventh-largest city of Japan then served as the headquarters of the Second army and also had strategic military supply depots.

When Japan surrendered?

On August 15, 1945, 6 days after the Hiroshima bombings, emperor Hirohito announced the surrender in a radio broadcast, and the formal agreement was signed on September 2.

As most of the infrastructure from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped out, the actual number of deaths because of the atomic bombings was never known.

Hiroshima Day: Why is it in news?

As the Olympic Games 2020 are being held in Tokyo, Japan, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui had sent a letter to the President of the International Olympics Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, asking for a moment of silence to be observed to mark Hiroshima Day on August 6.

However, reportedly, IOC has no plans to call for a moment of silence during the games on August 6 but has been planning to honour the day during the closing ceremony of the Olympic games.

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