Skip to comments.This day in History 1945: Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
Posted on 08/09/2007 3:18:57 AM PDT by abb
On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan's unconditional surrender.
The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference's demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop their second atom bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man," on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but bad weather expected for that day pushed the date up to August 9th. So at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called "Bock's Car," after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Maj. Charles W. Sweeney. Nagasaki was a shipbuilding center, the very industry intended for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records).
General Leslie R. Groves, the man responsible for organizing the Manhattan Project, which solved the problem of producing and delivering the nuclear explosion, estimated that another atom bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18-but it was not necessary. Even though the War Council still remained divided ("It is far too early to say that the war is lost," opined the Minister of War), Emperor Hirohito, by request of two War Council members eager to end the war, met with the Council and declared that "continuing the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people...." The Emperor of Japan gave his permission for unconditional surrender.
I am one of those offspring! My father was a drill sargent at Camp Pendleton getting our recruits and himself ready for the invasion of Japan. From people I have talked to who have seen the defenses of Japan's shores, it would have made D-Day look like a picnic.
Years later I found out a friend's dad was a POW near Nagasaki when the bomb went off. He said the Japanese were preparing to fight to the last person standing and assumed he would be killed as soon as the invasion started by his guards. His guards had already killed many of his buddies. Compare that to what we do now with 'enemy combatants'
If the bombs had not been dropped, it would have been as one US Admiral said 'Japanese is a language only spoken in Hell'.
They were under construction.
Document 67: General L. R. Groves to Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, August 10, 1945, Top Secret
Source: George C. Marshall Papers, George C. Marshall Library, Lexington, VA (copy courtesy of Barton J. Bernstein)
While Groves was making plans for the use of a third atomic weapon sometime after 17 August, depending on the weather, Marshalls note on this memo shows that he was following Trumans instructions to halt nuclear strikes: It is not to be released over Japan without express authority from the President.
Almost makes you forget that they were in the middle of an imperialistic war that they declared against the US, China, and other nations, partnered with Nazi Germany.
And what of the German scientists who were working on their own nuclear device? Weren't some at work in Japan after the fall of Nazi Germany?
"So innocent". I don't think so.
Or if they had successfully managed to launch their bubonic plague attack against the American west coast.
“The Japanese have only themselves to blame for what ultimately happened.”
This is when we knew how to win and finish the job. Dimmocrats were different then.
Wasn’t there a third that was tested in the US prior to the missions in Japan?
Yep... and GOD bless your Dad! You nailed it!
And the subsequent Cold War with the USSR lasted nearly 50 years and led to a continued US presence in Europe.
We are no longer fighting against "Iraq" but some claim that it is all the same war.
The Civil War in the US must not have ended so quickly either because the KKK "insurgency" that rose up during Reconstruction continued to be a terrorist threat in the US for over 100 years.
War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
William Tecumseh Sherman
He received the surrender of what was left of the city in his wardroom. I only found out about when I ran across some pictures in his house showing some really haggard Japanese sitting at a table.
They presented him with a tea set which is now in a marine museum in Maine.
He never talked about but after 4 years in the Pacific he turned down a chance at advancement in DC and retired.
Point being that the first and possibly second nukes were dropped stateside.
I read another article that made the claim that the bombs used in Japan were the last nukes ever dropped. Except there were decades of nuclear tests that followed around the world. They were the first, last, and only nukes used in combat. And perhaps it was their use in Japan that prevented their use in Korea.
If the nuke had been developed and not used in WWII, we likely would've seen it used by some nation at some point.
And just for history's sake, I'll remind readers that the Soviets almost launched a Mutually Assured Destruction attack against the US in the early 1980s because of some faulty equipment readings that indicated the US had "launched". The operator denied the readings he say and refused to launch. He was reprimanded but later his action was celebrated. It wasn't acknowledged until after the fall of the USSR.
You neglected to mention training to repel invaders with bamboo pikes and satchel charges. When I was in Japan I had some very sobering discussions with a guy who was 12 when the war ended. He credited Harry S with saving his life.