Cautionary Tales

Nagasaki, 64 Years Ago

Last week we covered the horrific events of August 6th, 1945, where the nuclear weapon “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan. This was the first atomic bombing the world had seen.

Yesterday marked the 64th anniversary of the second atomic bombing, this time on the city of Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945, the 4,630 kg the plutonium bomb nicknamed Fat Man, was dropped from a B-29 bomber, Bockscar, and in similar fashion to Little Boy, it detonated at an altitude of about 550 m over the city. The explosion generated heat estimated at 3,900 degrees Celsius and winds estimated at 1005 km/h. The fireball created rose to a height of approximately 6 km (20 ooo feet), forming the ominous mushroom shape.

Nagasaki’s mountainous topography meant that the destructive effect of the bomb was not as great as Hiroshima but it resulted in 73,884 deaths, 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation.

Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on August 15th 945, thus ending World War II.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3.

BONUS: Did you know that 93-year old Tsutomu Yamaguchi happens to one of the few people who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings?

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