What was the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the time when, on two separate days in August of 1945, the United States dropped one atomic bomb each on these two Japanese cities.  These two bombings were the only time in history that atomic/nuclear weapons were ever used by one country against another.  The bombings helped to hasten the end of World War II.

By August of 1945, the United States had conquered all important Japanese possessions outside of the home islands.  The country then had to face the idea of invading Japan itself.  It was clear that this would be an exceedingly bloody operation.  The Japanese had fought practically to the last man on islands such as Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.  In the process, they inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans.  American leaders feared a much worse bloodbath if they invaded the home islands.

It was for this reason that the US decided to use the newly-developed atomic bombs on Japan.  It was hoped that the bombs would so shock the Japanese that they would agree to surrender, which was something that they had not been willing to do before.  This worked in that 6 days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan surrendered.

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