WPCNR MILESTONES. August 6, 2012:
Sixty-seven years ago, the Enola Gay, a single American bomber dropped an Atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The terrible effects of that single bomb are a horror that has never been repeated
A second bomber, Bock’s Car on August 9, dropped a similar bomb on Nagasaki. Unknown thousands of Japanese citizens’ lives were vaporized, burned, and maimed and two cities leveled to the ground in an instant in both bombings.
To grasp what one atomic bomb did to Nagasaki. Readers may see the photographs Japanese photographer Yosuki Yamato took of the aftermath of Nagasaki the day it happened at http://www.exploratorium.edu/nagasaki/photos.html#journey/63.jpg
The decision to drop the bombs was made after the United States, Great Britain and the Republic of China demanded Japan surrender in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26 or face "prompt and utter destruction". The Japanese government did not.
The United States deployed two nuclear weapons dropping one on Hiroshimi today, 67 years ago and one on Nagasaki on August 9.
Over four months the bombs resulted in the deaths of 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, half dying the day the bombs fell.
The Hiroshima prefecture health department estimated that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizeable garrison.
The horror of those two bombings and the aftermath, the injuries have created an effort and reluctance on the part of nuclear-armed powers to avoid any nuclear attacks since that date.
Within a few days of those bombings, Japan surrendered unconditionally, officially ending World War II.
The decision to use the bombs by the United States has long been debated. A dialogue on what the bombs did, why the decision was made was collected in 1995, the fiftieth year since the bombings. It is available at http://www.exploratorium.edu/nagasaki/commentary/decision.html