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The Story of The Atom Bombs

Every year on the 6th of August thousands of people gather at the Peace Memorial Park, a small portion of the totally demolished area in Hiroshima in memory of the 140,000 people killed with the most deadly bombs in human history during the World War II- the Atom Bombs.

With the magnitude of destruction it created, any race other than human race would have decided to put an end to the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But we are still successfully having endless peace talks and negotiations to avoid a third disaster due to nuclear fission.

The idea to develop a nuclear weapon dates long before the beginning of the Second World War, when there were speculations that the Nazi Germany might be developing a nuclear weapon.

This motivated the United States to develop its own arsenal and it carried out the activities secretly under the code name ‘The Manhattan Project’.

Less than a month before throwing it over the clouds of Hiroshima, on July 16, 1945 a Plutonium bomb was successfully tested at Alamogordo in the state of New Mexico. This test was named Trinity Test. 

By the time when the nuclear weapon was detonated from 2000 ft above the strategically important city of Hiroshima, Germany had already lost to the allied powers, but Japan just hanged on and continued fighting besides clearly knowing that it is a war lost.

Even then Japan was able to create some serious damage to the Allied powers, posing a greater threat. 

Hence, President Harry Truman decided to put an end to the war quickly to save more lives and resources by wiping off some geographies from Japan, instead of an invasion.

He believed that the bombs would save more lives on both sides than it kills in the event of invasion codenamed as ‘Operational Downfall’. The attack was also seen as a retort to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japan.

Sticking to the plan, on the sixth morning of August, 1945, a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay piloted by brigadier general Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr., carrying 9000 pound of Uranium 235 bomb, known as Little Boy and dropped it over the city of Hiroshima at around 8:15. Around 70,000 people died instantly with another 70,000 seriously injured.

Enola Gay was supported by two other B-29 carriers, The Great Artiste offering instrumentation and Necessary Evil, the photography carrier. 

Even after the first attack Japan was reluctant to give up its fight and hence a second attack, this time on the sea port of wartime significance, Nagasaki.

The city of Kokura was initially the primary target but due to bad weather conditions, the carrier turned towards the ill-fated city of Nagasaki.

There was more cloud and haze over Kokura and hence the dropping of the bomb had to be recalled, because bombs must be dropped under clear vision. 

Named Fat Man, another bomb weighing 10,000 pounds was carried by another B-29 carrier named Bockscar, flown by Major General Charles Sweeney and was dropped over Nagasaki, three days after the first attack that is on the ninth of August at 11:02 am.

Roughly 44% of the city was wiped off, killing more than 35,000 people and injuring 60,000. In fact, the attack was planned on the 11th of August, but was preponed due to bad weather.

Almost a week after the second bomb, at the noon 15th of August, 1945 Japanese emperor Hirohito declared his country’s surrender and on 2nd September, a formal agreement was signed.

This officially marked the end of the Second World War, despite Germany surrendering on the 8th May of 1945, after Hitler’s suicide.

Hence 8th of May is celebrated as V-E day, that is Victory in Europe day and 2nd September as V-J day, Victory in Japan day. 

After all these horrors of the nuclear bomb albatross, world leaders have never found a reason to make disarmament a mandate.

But there is good reason to do more politics with nuclear weapons and warfares at the disposal, killing apolitical, innocent lives. 

Anyhow, if at all it happens, a Fourth World War can be fought only with sticks and stones, as Sir Einstein suggested, as technology sophistications for bad can only bring the worst, even to the one who deploys it.

Image Source: History.com

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