6th August 1945, the USA dropped the 1st Atom Bomb, Little Boy on Japan, above Hiroshima..
At 8:15am on the 6th August 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
This bomb was nick-named “Little Boy”, and weighed 4,400kg, it was 3.0 metres long and had the destructive force of 16 kilotons of TNT.
In 1945 it was stated that about 66,000 people were immediately killed with about 69,000 injured, and about 70% of the city was destroyed. It is estimated that about 140,000 had died from the bombs effects by the end of 1945. Source: www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp.
The then President, Harry S Truman, said that this bomb was over 2,000 times more powerful than the largest bomb used so far to date.
Original Target Sites for “Little Boy”
Hiroshima was actually only one of five possible targets, selected for this bombing mission, by the Target Committee at Los Alamos. The other options were the cities of Yokohama, Kokura, Niigata and Kyoto. These four cities were spared from destruction by the final choice of Hiroshima.
To place these deaths in some form of perspective:
Conventional bombing of Japanese cites had already caused the deaths of over 500,000 people with another 5 million made homeless.
More than 100,000 Japanese were killed in a single bombing raid on Tokyo on March 10, 1945. Source: www.japan-press.co.jp
Total Civilian Japanese deaths from WW2 have been stated at between 500,000 and 1,000,000. There were also 2,120,000 Japanese Military deaths.
It has been officially recognised by Japan, that the Japanese government should have surrendered as soon as losing the war was inevitable. In 2007 the Japanese Prime Minister, when apologising for Japan’s guilt in the bombing of Chinese cities and civilians from 1938, also wrote that an earlier surrender would have prevented Tokyo from being firebombed in March 1945, and the two following bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
It is estimated that the Japanese killed up to about estimated 10 to 20 million Chinese civilians during the Sino-Japanese war immediately preceding Japans entry into WWII. Nanking alone, resulted in massive civilian deaths, when Japanese troops slaughtered an estimated 300,000 civilians and raped 80,000 women, and later excused any excesses by saying ” these things happen in times of war.”. www.bbc.co.uk
Total worldwide civilian deaths caused by World War 2 are estimated at between 37 million and 55 million.
Hiroshima in 1945:
The official population in 1942 was 419,182. This dropped to about 137,000 after 1945, with most having fled the area.
Hiroshima is the largest and the Capital City of the Hiroshima Prefecture. The city covers about 339 square kilometres while the prefecture covers about 8,479 sq kilometres. There are Nine Cities in the Hiroshima Prefecture.
Population figures for Hiroshima City have been:
- 1950: 200,000 (est)
- 1970: 430,000 (est)
- 1980: 731,000 (est)
- 1995: 1,117,117 Hiroshima City. Source: www.pref.hiroshima.lg.jp
- 2000: 1,134,134
- 2005: 1,154,391
- 2010: 1,173,843
- 2015: 1,194,034
Population figures for Hiroshima Prefecture have been:
- 1985: 2,819,200
- 1995: 2,881,748
- 2000: 2,878,915
- 2005: 2,876,642
- 2010: 2,860,750
- 2015: 2,843,990
Before and After Little Boy
- 16th July 1945, The US carried out a successful test of the first Atom bomb, “The Gadget”.
- 24th July 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Harry S. Truman and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin all gave unanimous, automatic, unquestioned agreement to the use of Atom Bombs on Japan.
- 26th July 1945, Churchill (British Prime Minister), Truman (US President), and Chiang Kai-shek (Chinese Leader) issued the “Potsdam Declaration” which threatened Japan with “prompt and utter destruction” if it did not immediately surrender.
- 6th August 1945, the USA dropped the 1st Atom Bomb, Little Boy Japan, above Hiroshima.
- 8th August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on the Empire of Japan, effective 9th August 1945.
- 9th August 1945, the USA dropped the 2nd Atom Bomb on Japan, above Nagasaki.
- 15th August 1945 Japan announced its surrender.
Map for Location of Hiroshima in Japan
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