6 Facts To Know About The Hiroshima Bombing
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Politics and Activism

6 Facts To Know About The Hiroshima Bombing

6 Facts To Know About The Hiroshima Bombing

The first atomic bomb used for retaliation was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on Aug. 6, 1945. This being the 70th anniversary of that day, we remember the historic influence of the first nuclear weapons used in war and how the surrender of the Japanese ended the second World War at the high cost of an estimated 130,000 lives. Here are six facts you may not already know about the first bombing that lead to the end.

1. The atomic bomb took nearly three years to develop and cost approximately $2 billion to construct. Why spend all of this time and money on a bomb? It wasn't just a bomb but rather a historic and revolutionary piece of technology. The term Manhattan Project may ring a bell, but if you have forgotten from high school, it was the research and development project to create the first nuclear weapon during World War II. Albert Einstein was called upon to help with the construction and to help convince the president of its necessity as well.

2. The bomb's creation was initially meant to compete with German science once nuclear fissionable uranium was proven a success. The Germans abandoned their own atomic bomb research and surrendered in World War II on May 7, 1945 just two months before the first atomic bomb was tested and proven. This way, the United States was able to save the two remaining bombs for use against the Japanese.

3. Most major cities in Japan had already been destroyed, but both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were preserved specifically for the atomic bomb. Hiroshima was a very important military center where communication and troop assembly took place which made it a prime target first. President Truman's only warning during the Potsdam Conference was for the Japanese to surrender or face "prompt and utter destruction." Eleven days later, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

4. In Hiroshima after the detonation and instant vaporization of human bodies, a terrible issue for survivors was to find water. All water sources were contaminated, and everything was HOT. In one instance, people found a river and were so desperate to sip a drop they piled on top of one another and drowned people stuck underneath. The first rain after the bomb was characterized by giant drops of black water consisting of ashes and radioactive water, yet people drank unaware of the radioactivity leading thousands to die from consumption.

5. The men on board the Enola Gay, the B-29 carrying the atomic bomb to Hiroshima, kept cyanide pills in the cockpit in case anything went wrong with the detonation or the plane itself. They would rather die than be captured and tortured for American intelligence.

6. The aftermath of the atomic bomb's massive radioactive emission caused thousands of deaths but also caused long term illness as well. Thousands of people were diagnosed with radiation poisoning causing unconsciousness, bone marrow destruction, white blood cell reduction, and nausea and vomiting. Depending on the proximity of the person, the symptoms could be nonexistent or could cause death in as short as half an hour.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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