US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima

On this day in 1945 …
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The first atomic bomb has been dropped by a United States aircraft on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

President Harry S Truman, announcing the news from the cruiser, USS Augusta, in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 times more powerful than the largest bomb used to date.

An accurate assessment of the damage caused has so far been impossible due to a huge cloud of impenetrable dust covering the target. Hiroshima is one of the chief supply depots for the Japanese army.

The bomb was dropped from an American B-29 Superfortress, known as Enola Gay, at 0815 local time. The plane’s crew say they saw a column of smoke rising and intense fires springing up.

more at the bbc

By the way, there is a very interesting discussion of the politics surrounding the dropping of this bomb, and the subsequent cold war and east/west relationships, over on Primate Diaries: Intimidating the Soviets: A Hiroshima Anniversary Memorial. It is a very interesting read.

Comments

  1. #1 MadScientist
    August 6, 2009

    We need to see photos of these awesome devices in action and the devastation and suffering they cause. I think most people alive today are absolutely clueless about these terrifying weapons; they hear the occasional story, but they have no idea what it means.

  2. #2 José
    August 6, 2009

    I suppose you’re against my Second Amendment right to posses an A-Bomb?

  3. #3 José
    August 6, 2009

    @MadScientist
    Trinity and Beyond is good if you’ve never seen it. It’s hypnotic, beautiful, and disturbing at the same time.

  4. #4 Eric Michael Johnson
    August 6, 2009

    Thanks for the link Greg (and for your comment on my post). The politics of the nuclear era has always been endlessly fascinating for me. It appears that your Dad learned the correct lessons from the war, because he clearly raised you right.

  5. #5 dprosenthal
    August 6, 2009

    Where is good old Harry when we need him? If the US had continued to fight later wars with the same force as WWII the world would not be in the shape it is today. Now we’re going to sit back and do nothing while the fanatics continue to build their nuclear arsenal. You can be sure that they don’t consider what we did to stop the enemy as wrong–they plan to follow in our footsteps.

  6. #6 José
    August 6, 2009

    @dprosenthal
    Yes. We’d be living in a post apocalyptic paradise where mutants roam the land and people like Mel Gibson are allowed outdoors.

  7. #7 Spiv
    August 6, 2009

    This is one of those things that will endlessly be questioned as to whether we “did the right thing.” I get both sides and all, but of course I have my own opinions.

    Hint: Ends and Means are the same thing.