The Atomic Bombings of Japan Beth Lindly 1 st period Crowder
TIMELINE 1945 August 6- At 8:15 a.m. “Little Boy”, an atomic bomb, is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. August 9- A second atomic bomb, named “Fat Man” is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. August 15- The Japanese surrender to the Allied powers. September 2- The Japanese signed the official Instrument of Surrender, ending World War II.
In 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, a port in Hawaii, which forced the US to join World War II. Four years later, the war had not ended. The Japanese forces had been beaten, but they would not surrender, and the Americans thought the atomic bomb would bring a quick end to the war. They were right.
The United States had spent little time building the atomic bombs “Fat Man” and “Little Boy”, but years planning how to construct them. The entire effort to build the atomic weapons was called the Manhattan Project. Hiroshima was chosen as a target site because of its large size.
A Picture of one of the Manhattan Project’s Tests, Called the Trinity Test.
In the Hiroshima bombing, more than 65,000 people were killed instantly. 140,000 more were injured.
In the Nagasaki bombing, 42,000 people died and 40,000 were injured.
The Nagasaki bomb destroyed 39% of buildings in the city.
Millions of Japanese citizens were left with radiation-related illnesses and burns (see right). Even now, the children and grandchildren of the people involved are diagnosed with cancer from what happened sixty years ago.
“ The appearance of people was . . . well, they all had skin blackened by burns. . . . They had no hair because their hair was burned, and at a glance you couldn't tell whether you were looking at them from in front or in back. . . . They held their arms bent [forward] like this . . . and their skin – not only on their hands, but on their faces and bodies too – hung down. . . . If there had been only one or two such people . . . perhaps I would not have had such a strong impression. But wherever I walked I met these people. . . . Many of them died along the road - I can still picture them in my mind -- like walking ghosts.”
Harry S. Truman (he didn’t have a middle name; he had a middle initial ) was born on May 8, 1884. He was President of the United States from April 12, 1945, to January 20, 1953. When he became president the atomic bombs were already being built, and Truman was quickly briefed on the Manhattan Project. He had only been President for five months when he okayed the use of nuclear warfare on the Japanese. He died on December 26, 1972 at age 88.
Shōwa Hirohito was born on April 29, 1901. He became emperor of Japan Christmas Day in 1926. He was the emperor during World War II. He did not want Japan to surrender to the United States. He was waiting for Soviet Russia to reply to Japanese “peace feelers”. He is said to have told his closest advisor, Kōicha Kido, that Japan must be defended at all costs. After the bombing, he reluctantly signed the Instrument of Surrender, ending World War II. He died on January 7,1989. He was 88.
Paul Tibbets, Junior, was born on February 23, 1915. He joined the US military in 1937 when he was 22. In August 1945, he was assigned to pilot the bomber Enola Gay . He flew it over Japan and dropped the bomb, code-named “Little Boy”, on Hiroshima, Japan. He went on to win many military awards and rose in the ranks to become a brigadier general. He died on November 1, 2007. He was 92.