Atomic Bombs Destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The United States dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities with consequences, both human and environmental, of unprecedented proportions.
Summary of Event
At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the first atomic weapon ever released over a human population exploded in the air above Hiroshima, Japan. The blast energy and destruction on a scale hitherto unknown and heralded the beginning of the atomic age. Three days later, on August 9, a second atom bomb was released over the city of Nagasaki at about 11:00 a.m. That weapon, originally planned for the city of Kokura"a strategically important location that housed a Japanese army base located only one hundred miles west of Hiroshima"was delivered to Nagasaki instead. The weather observation aircraft accompanying the bomber directed the attack toward Nagasaki because of heavy clouds over Kokura. Nagasaki might have escaped destruction on that day had it not been for a small break in the clouds that permitted the crew to release the weapon over a munitions plant.
It has been estimated that the total explosive power of the weapon released over Hiroshima by the B-29 bomber Enola Gay was equivalent to 12.5 thousand tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT). Its explosive power was derived from the fission of uranium 235. The bomb delivered to Nagasaki was almost twice as powerful; its energy came from the fission of the element plutonium. Each of the...
(The entire section is 2134 words.)
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