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Hiroshima & Nagasaki Day

The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th & 9th, 1945, respectively. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people.

In the final year of World War II, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of the Japanese mainland. This undertaking was preceded by a conventional and fire bombing campaign that devastated 67 Japanese cities. The war in Europe concluded when Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, and the Allies turned their full attention to the Pacific War. By July 1945, the Allies' Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs: "Fat Man", a plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon; and "Little Boy", an enriched uranium gun-type fission weapon. The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces was trained and equipped with the specialized Silver plate version of the Boeing B-29 Super fortress, and deployed to Tinian in the Mariana Islands. The Allies called for the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". Japan ignored the ultimatum and the war continued.

The consent of the United Kingdom was obtained for the bombing, as was required by the Quebec Agreement, and orders were issued for atomic bombs to be used against Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki on July 25. On August 6, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped a Little Boy on Hiroshima, an embarkation port and industrial center that was the site of a major military headquarters. Three days later, to take advantage of favorable weather, the B-29 Bockscar dropped a Fat Man on Nagasaki, a major military port, one of Japan's largest shipbuilding and repair centers, and an important producer of naval ordnance. Over the next two to four months, the effects of the atomic bombings killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half occurred on the first day. For months afterward, large numbers of people continued to die from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 15, six days after the Soviet Union's declaration of war and the bombing of Nagasaki. The Japanese government signed the instrument of surrender on September 2, effectively ending the war.


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