On this day in History, an attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan took place. On 6th August 1945 and 9th, August 1945 a mushroom-shaped humongous monster covered Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. While some of you might be aware of this historical event, others would like to know about it. So, for your knowledge, here is a glimpse of what happened back then and what was the reason behind it.
A Brief History of 6th August
So, it all started back in 1940 during World War II. Many countries were involved in this fight but initially, the USA was not at all a part of it. In World War II, there were two opponents. One was the Axis powers i.e. Germany, Italy and Japan and the other were the allies. The allies included the USA, Britain, France, Soviet Union and China.
Why did America enter World War?
World War II was started in 1939 when Germany invaded many countries in Europe, Germany conquered most of Europe. Moreover, Great Britain was almost on the verge of collapse. Germany suddenly entered Soviet Union boundaries. And on the other end, in Asia, Japan tried to rule over all of Asia and also invaded China.
On September 27, 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin. This led to the formation of the Axis powers. Under this pact, if any one of these three countries was attacked by another nation not already involved in the war, all three will fight against it.
But America did not enter World War II. America was neutral and only supplied weapons for war. However, Americans were concerned about this attacking approach of Japan. And Japan also knew if they want to rule, then one day they would have to counter America because of the Pacific Ocean. But later on December 7, 1941, Japan did a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii which was the naval base of the United States. Around 2403 United States personnel and 68 innocent civilians were killed in this attack. Moreover, 19 Navy ships of U. S., including 8 battleships got destroyed. This strike from Japan worsens the relation between Japan and the USA. And within four days, Germany and Italy declared war on the USA as these three countries already signed a pact.
Why did America attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The same year when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, US President Roosevelt declared that the US will enter World War II. With the support of Great Britain, France and Russia, the USA fought the Germans in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific area. Then the Manhattan project morphed into a military attack and the scientists came into action.
The research on atomic weapons started long back during World War I. As there was a doubt that Adolf Hitler is preparing for a nuclear attack, the US decided to do the same. This committee was known as the advisory committee on uranium and the name was later changed to National Defence Research Committee in 1940. Later, in 1941, it was officially named the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Then it was further developed as the Manhattan Project.
The Manhattan Project
On December 28, 1942, the Manhattan Project formation took place under the leadership of President Roosevelt. It has the goal to combine the efforts of various researchers and in order to weaponise nuclear energy. The research locations were in New Mexico, Tennessee, Washington and some other sites in Canada. And the researchers performed atomic tests on these remote locations.
However, the Germans started facing heavy losses in Europe and were about to surrender. So, the US had to think of another plan to limit further destruction. The consensus was that the Japanese will keep on fighting and it would lead to casualties on both sides. The US had to stop Japan anyhow.
Then on July 26, 1945, the Potsdam Conference took place. Then Japan was given an ultimatum to surrender and accept the rules written in the Potsdam declaration. One of the conditions included the formation of a new democratic and peaceful government in Japan or else they would face utter destruction. Since the Potsdam declaration had no role for the Emperor of Japan, so the ruler was unwilling to accept it and thus they continued to fight.
Now in order to encourage the Japanese to surrender the leaders of the Manhattan project identified Hiroshima as an ideal target. Firstly, Hiroshima was much bigger in size and secondly, there were no American prisoners of war in that area.
Attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On 6th August, at 8:15 a.m., an atomic bomb popularly known as the Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima by an American bomber. The bomber dropped its payload estimated at 15 thousand tons of TNT over Hiroshima, Japan and destroyed around 5 square miles of area. Hiroshima was Japan’s site for all its important military communications, thus the bomb led to severe loss. Not only this, the bomb killed around 70 thousand people as soon as it was dropped. Later, after two to four months, the effect of this atomic bomb killed around 140000 people in Hiroshima.
Three days later, the same humongous mushroom monster cloud again covered the skies in Japan. This time it happened in another city of Japan, some 185 miles South-West of Hiroshima. On 9th August 1945 at 11:02 a.m., another American bomber dropped its payload on Nagasaki. However, initially, the US military planned to drop the bomb on Kokura but due to the clouds, they dropped it on Nagasaki. This plutonium-based bomb was known as the Fat Man. Around 80 thousand people died over a period of time. While some died due to burns, others died due to the side effects later. And few days after this bombing, Japan surrendered and World War II ended.
Mushroom-shaped Cloud after the nuclear blast
These atomic bombs produce a huge amount of energy and radiation. As a result, a cloud of smoke, debris, and usually water vapour (resulting from this huge explosion) forms in the shape of mushrooms. Whenever any significantly huge amount of detonation takes place, one can observe this phenomenon.
Some also call this cloud a cauliflower cloud, of course, because of its shape. However, later many people started calling it a mushroom cloud. Since just like nuclear energy, a mushroom has a connection with both life and death; sometimes poison some time food. Basically, the creation of nuclear energy is not for destruction but for growth. However, it can take the lives of almost 2,50,000 people with just two blows.
Attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is still a big event in the world. People still remember this horrific attack and it scares people. The citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are facing severe side effects and their children are born with disabilities. We hope that nobody has to face such a horrific incident ever in the coming future.