Why did Hiroshima happen
On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 a.m., an atom bomb fell on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The then American President Harry S. Truman had ordered them to be dropped from an American bomber.
Three days later, a second bomber dropped another atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
These were the first two atomic bombs in human history to be used in war. And so far - fortunately - they have remained the only ones. They immediately killed over 80,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands died of radiation exposure in the years that followed.
Why were the atomic bombs dropped?
It was the time of the Second World War. In Europe the war was over. In the Pacific, the US was still fighting Japan. The US decided to drop atomic bombs on Japan if Japan did not surrender immediately. The Japanese emperor did not know what the American government was planning. He refused to surrender his country because he was afraid of losing his power. The US government then ordered an atomic bomb to be dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
What consequences did the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have on the population?
The shock wave destroyed both cities within a radius of five kilometers. A fireball with a temperature of 6,000 degrees Celsius set everything up in flames. A huge white cloud rose. The smoke and streak darkened the sky. A pitch-black rain fell from the clouds. Everyone was taken by surprise when the atomic bomb was dropped and the fire that followed. Many people still remember a flash of lightning and fire and a loud bang. Then for most of them there was nothing but chaos.
About 150,000 people died immediately. Over 20,000 people evaporated in the heat of the bomb. There was no trace of them left. Shadows burned into stone were later discovered. In the years that followed, another 100,000 people died of radioactive contamination.
The surviving people often had large burns. Many lost a part of their body, e.g. an arm or a leg. Many babies born soon after the atomic bomb was dropped had physical or mental disabilities.
The atomic radiation from the atomic bomb contaminated the groundwater and the fields. But even many years later, people repeatedly fell ill with radiation sickness, as blood cancer was called, which often led to death.
In addition to the physical damage, the people primarily had to deal with the loss of loved ones, their shock and their grief. Every survivor lost at least one family member. The houses and apartments were destroyed.
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