- Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Why the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima
- Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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Southeast Asia. Southwest Pacific. North America. Manchuria and North Korea. The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, , respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between , and , people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. In the final year of the war, the Allies prepared for a very costly invasion of the Japanese mainland.
For many, the horrors inflicted by an atomic attack are so devastating and widespread that there will never be any justification. Others, however, will claim that war invariably demands unpalatable actions to bring about an end to conflict. To better understand whether atomic action was justified in , we must first consider the likely motivations behind it.
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For years debate has raged over whether the US was right to drop two atomic bombs on Japan during the final weeks of the Second World War. The first bomb, dropped on the city of Hiroshima on 6 August , resulted in a death toll of around , The second, which hit Nagasaki on 9 August, killed at least 50, people and according to some estimates, as many as 74, died. But was the US justified? We put the question to two History Extra readers Was the US justified in dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
When Harry Truman learned of the success of the Manhattan Project, he knew he was faced with a decision of unprecedented gravity. The capacity to end the war with Japan was in his hands, but it would involve unleashing the most terrible weapon ever known. American soldiers and civilians were weary from four years of war, yet the Japanese military was refusing to give up their fight. American forces occupied Okinawa and Iwo Jima and were intensely fire bombing Japanese cities. But Japan had an army of 2 million strong stationed in the home islands guarding against invasion. For Truman, the choice whether or not to use the atomic bomb was the most difficult decision of his life. First, an Allied demand for an immediate unconditional surrender was made to the leadership in Japan.
Why the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima
Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Soon after arriving at the Potsdam Conference in July , U. President Harry S. In fact, while Truman himself had first learned of the top-secret U. Igor Kurchatov was the nuclear physicist who headed up the Soviet atomic bomb projectóthe Soviet equivalent, in other words, of Manhattan Project mastermind J. Robert Oppenheimer. On August 6, , just days after the Potsdam Conference ended, the U. Then on August 8, Soviet forces invaded Japanese-occupied Manchuria, violating an earlier non-aggression pact signed with Japan.
CNN On this date 74 years ago, the US dropped the first of two atomic bombs on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing more than 70, people instantly. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park.
The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80, people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40, people. Even before the outbreak of war in , a group of American scientistsómany of them refugees from fascist regimes in Europeóbecame concerned with nuclear weapons research being conducted in Nazi Germany. In , the U. The U.