The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki - 9th August 1945
Date: Thursday, August 09 @ 04:02:00 MDT
Codename "Fat-Man", detonated over Nagasaki, it was the 2nd and last nuclear weapon to be used in combat. The bombing of Nagasaki on August 9th was the last major act of World War Two and within days the Japanese had surrendered. |Read More|
By the time the B-29 'Bockscar' got near to its primary target, Kokura, it became clear that the city was covered by cloud and not a viable target. After three runs over the city, and with fuel running low because a transfer pump on a reserve tank had failed before take-off, they headed for their secondary target, Nagasaki.
A last minute break in the clouds over Nagasaki allowed the Bockscar to visually sight the target as ordered. The weapon was dropped over the city's industrial valley, and at 11:02 local time (02:02 GMT) it detonated 500 meters above the city with a yield equivalent to 21,000 tons of TNT.
The bomb exploded nearly 3 kilometers northwest of the planned hypocenter. As a result of this aiming error, the blast was confined primarily to the Urakami Valley with a major portion of the city was protected by the intervening hills.
Fat-Man was bigger than Little Boy, but its impact was reduced by the natural topography of the city. Where the bomb blast hit at its peak, massive damage was done. An area about 3.7km by 3km was destroyed but other parts of the city were saved from the blast.
Curiously, the city's train service was not interrupted and the fire damage that followed Hiroshima did not occur in Nagasaki as many parts of the city were broken up by water. The fires simply could not cross these gaps and they burned out.
One survivor, Sadako Moriyama, had gone to a bomb shelter when the sirens sounded. After the bomb had gone off, she saw what she thought were two large lizards crawling into the shelter she was in, only to realise that they were human beings whose bodies had been relieved of their skin by the blast.
As in Hiroshima, many in Nagasaki died after the immediate impact of the bomb had gone away from mysterious ailments which we now associate with radiation poisoning. No-one, understandably, knew what to do to help the victims of this newest of illnesses.
About 70,000 of Nagasaki's 240,000 residents were killed instantly, and up to 60,000 were injured. The radius of total destruction was about 1.6 km (1 mile), followed by fires across the northern portion of the city to 3.2 km (2 miles) south of the bomb. The total number of residents killed may have been as many as 80,000, including the few who died from radiation poisoning in the following months.
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The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki