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.
Thank you. I sometimes feel forgotten in these discussions.
My wife’s aunt was General Groves’ secretary. She took her oath to secrecy so seriously that we only discovered her Manhattan Project job after her death, some 40 years later.
The third bomb would have possibly 'fizzled'.
Thanks indcons. If we’d have had 50 more, and Japan had continued to refuse surrender, and we’d used the bombs to wipe Japan off the face of the Earth, the rest of the world, particularly the victims of Japan in the Far East, would have cheered so loud we’d have heard them over here.
BTW, I just mentioned your list on my profile page. :’)
Time to sit back and reflect on a very good bombing day long long ago.....
My dad was in the European Theater, but they had already told him his unit was going to the Far East when Truman dropped the bomb.
On the other hand, my father in law was on Iwo and his orders had been cut for the invasion of the mainland. He was Signal Corps, and he'd already had his jeep blown up on Iwo (wasn't even scratched though).
So neither of us or our siblings would be here at all, but for Truman!
It's an amazing museum. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area, but plan to spend at least a whole day, maybe two.
Good morning, SunkenCiv.
I understand what you are saying. My grand-uncle, a planter in Burma, had his land confiscated and his labor force killed during the attempted Japanese invasion of Burma and NE India. After he lost everything to the Japanese, the man moved to Singapore after that city-state was liberated and made his second million.
Thanks for adding the list to your profile page; gives it a lot of visibility. As “undocumented Americans” (/sarc) say, Muchas Gracias.
I will never forget.
The Last Mission:
The Secret History of World War II's Final Battle
by Jim Smith
and Malcolm McConnell
GOD bless them all!
He knew a lot of folks at the Pentagon (he continued in the Reserves after the war and retired as a bird colonel) and he said so far as he could determine that story was accurate.
Didn't surprise him one bit. He said the Japs were fanatics to a degree we couldn't even imagine.
Yes, I believe so. There was a test in the desert that I’m sure we’ve all seen pictures.
Similar here. My grandfather was a Marine trained as a forward artillery spotter. He would have been in on of the first waves ashore and my mother probably would not have been born.
Towards the end of the war, Japanese Army factions led by Col. Tsuji tried to kidnap the Emperor so that he wouldn’t accede to demands of surrender. This was supposed to have been foiled at the last minute on the initiative of the palace.
Some historians claim that Emp. Hirohito tried his level best to prevent war with the Allies but was overruled by the Army. I don’t know what to make of this claim for various reasons.
On a related note: the world seems to be ignoring China’s militaristic behavior at the current time as it ignored Japan’s in the early part of the last century (even after Japan completed a comprehensive victory over Tsarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905).
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