On August 9, 1945, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan by the United States in Nagasaki, ultimately resulting in the unconditional surrender of Japan.
The devastation wrought in Hiroshima was not enough to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop its second atomic bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man”, on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but the bad weather expected that day pushed the date back to August 9. Thus, at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called “Bockscar”, named after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Major Charles W. Sweeney.
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Nagasaki was a center of shipbuilding, the very industry destined for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 am, 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion set off the equivalent of 22,000 tonnes of TNT. The hills surrounding the city were more successful in containing the destructive force, but the number of fatalities is estimated between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, as the explosion erased bodies and disintegrated records).
READ MORE: The bombing of Hiroshima didn’t just end World War II – it started the Cold War
General Leslie R. Groves, the man responsible for organizing the Manhattan Project, who solved the problem of the production and delivery of the nuclear explosion, estimated that another atomic bomb would be ready for use. against Japan on August 17 or 18 – but it wasn’t necessary. Even though the War Council remained divided (“It is far too early to say that the war is lost”, estimated the Minister of War), Emperor Hirohito, at the request of two eager War Council members. to end the war, met with the Council and declared that “the continuation of the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people …” The Emperor of Japan has given permission for an unconditional surrender.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOMBS OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI:
The Inside Story of Harry Truman and Hiroshima
Hiroshima, then Nagasaki: why the United States deployed the second A bomb
The man who survived two atomic bombs