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Atomic Bomb & Its First Use In War | History of Atomic Bomb


August 6th 1945 and August 9th 1945 are not the days to be forgotten. It marks the world's first use of an atomic bomb, which was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US military.

August 6th 1945 and August 9th 1945 are not the days to be forgotten. It marks the world's first use of an atomic bomb, which was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US military. The events on these two days left a deadly scare on the face of humanity. It was for the first time that atomic bomb was used in war, which was dropped on two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively by the United States of America. During the end of World War II (WWII), the United States called for the surrender of Japan, but Japan had ignored the ultimatum which was made by the US as it will meet destructive force if Japan does not comply. By the executive orders of the then President Harry S. Truman, the United States dropped two atomic bombs Little Boy over Hiroshima and Fat Man over Nagasaki. This act of destruction resulted in the death of innocent civilians in large numbers.

It is estimated that around 90,000 – 166,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 people were killed in Nagasaki within first two to three months. Most of the deaths occurred from flash burns around 60% while the rest of the death were from radiation sickness and debris falling. Instant man made destruction on such a large scale have never been witness in the history of mankind. What followed was the surrender of Japan on the condition that their Kings authority should not be compromised.

History of atomic bomb:

The discovery of the nuclear atom dates back to 1898 by French physicist Pierre Curie, but it was in 1933 that Leó Szilard a German physicist discovered the potential power of atomic bomb through chain reaction. In 1938 two German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann conducted experiments regarding nuclear reactions. In 1939 Leó Szilard alerted United States about atomic bomb research and the intentions of Nazi Germany, but it was rejected. Later on with the help of Albert Einstein a letter was written to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to inform him of the potential power of an atomic weapon. It was only then that the government of the United States began a serious undertaking known as the "Manhattan Project". The project was designed to research and create a usable atomic bomb. The initial threat was the Nazi Germany, but after the fall of the Nazis the focus was Japan.

By 1945 the project had nearly 30 laboratories and factories, which employed 130.000 people at a cost of US $2 billion. That was more than the American Automotive Industry employed at the time.

The Atomic Bomb:

On August 6 1945 a brilliant flash changed the world. The first atomic bomb Fat Boy was tested. This was the very first time the world witnessed a nuclear explosion. President Harry S. Truman had already made the decision to use it on Japan. Although the war was almost over, Truman still decided to use a weapon of such large devastation. The United States occupied many of the islands of the pacific, and all that remained was an invasion of Japan. But, the United States realized that the Japanese wouldn't surrender easily. They would fight to the very end. The loss of American lives would be too great if they do not use the bomb. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the treatment of American prisoners caused the biter resentment among Americans against Japan. The Americans wanted revenge. On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped a 9,700 pounds (4,400 Kg) nuclear bomb named Little Boy over Hiroshima, Japan.

Little Boy Over Hiroshima, Japan

Three days later a 10,213 pounds (4,633 Kg) bomb Fat Man was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan.

Fat Man over Nagasaki, Japan

This made Japan to surrender and World War II finally ended. The atomic bomb's initial explosion may have been devastating, but it also had many after effects. Those who didn't die suffered severe burns. Acute radiation after the explosion caused nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, hair loss, and even death in thousands of people for months. After-effect of radiation such as keloids, leukemia, cancer, and birth defects still appear even today. Black Rain containing large amounts of nuclear fallout fell as much as 30 km from the original blast site.

Some particles of fallout are still floating around in the atmosphere from the explosion that happened more than 50 years ago, possibly affecting countries all over the world. The bombing didn't only affect Japanese. It also affected the United States. The Manhattan Project that developed the bombs then cost US $2 billion, which is roughly equal to US $26 billion today. But the atomic story does not end here. In the summer 1949 during the cold war, the soviets detonated their first nuclear device. During the cold war, many Americans lived in fear of a nuclear attack. Two years later, the United States responded by developing the Hydrogen Bomb,

which was 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb. Since then, many other countries have produced nuclear weapons, including United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. If any one of these weapons is fired, a chain reaction of retaliations would give life to the fear that mankind is facing with the possibility of a nuclear war, which could destroy civilization. Because of this threat, many nations have signed treaties restricting nuclear weapons. Testing is now mostly conducted underground to prevent fallout, and there is less of a threat of nuclear attack, due to fear of consequences known as "Mutually Assured Destruction" The struggle for atomic power has left the world scarred. Recently the United States has taken steps to prevent further nuclear contamination, but the environment has already suffered greatly.

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