Today in History: Atomic Bomb Decimates Nagasaki (1945)

On this day, six decades ago, Japan suffered a second atomic bombing from US forces during the last leg of the Second World War.

Just three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during the final leg of the World War II, US forces dropped the a-bomb on another Japanese town. Nagasaki, a coastal town and important shipbuilding center situated on southern Japan, became the second target for an atomic bombing to force Japan into unconditional surrender.

On August 9, 1945, at 11:02 a.m., a B-29 bomber specially adapted for the occasion dropped the atomic bomb codenamed “Fat Man” 1,650 feet over Nagasaki. It was expected to be more powerful than the “Little Boy” that decimated Hiroshima, but since it was dropped in a valley, the hills contained the destructive force and dealt damage equal to “Little Boy.” Nevertheless, the a-bomb demolished much of the coastal town, killed 74,000 people, and injured 75,000 more.

The “Fat Man” dropped on Nagasaki. Photo via Wikipedia
Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki after the bombing. Photo via Atomic Archive

Harry Truman, the new president of the United States at the time, was an ardent defender of the two bombings and released statements shortly after the bombings. On Hiroshima, he said, “The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold.” On Nagasaki, he said, “We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.”

Emperor Hirohito of Japan, putting the welfare of his people into consideration, gave his permission for unconditional surrender, and said, “continuing the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people…” With this, the Second World War was over at last.

While the two atomic bombings remain a subject of debate to this day, the haunting photos are undoubtedly important documentations that will always remind the world of the tragic wartime events. Let’s say a little prayer as we take a look at some of them:

First photo: Nagasaki before and after the bombing; Second photo: Nagasaki rubble after the bombing; Third photo: Remains of a temple against the rubble; Fourth photo: Remains of Urakami Cathedral; Fifth photo: Dark portions of a victim’s clothing burned the skin during the flash.

Text/Photo Sources and Additional Readings:
Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki on History.com
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb on About Japan
Hibakusha: The Story of Fumiko Miura on Voices in Wartime
Atomic Archive
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Wikipedia
On This Day on BBC
President Harry Truman

You can also read more Today in History articles here!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2011-08-09 in #lifestyle #bombing #wwii #atomic-bomb #analogue-lifestyle #history #today-in-history #world-war-ii #japan #lomography

More Interesting Articles

  • Captivating Photographs of People Reading

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-24 in #world #lifestyle
    Captivating Photographs of People Reading

    April 23 marked World Book Day, a UNESCO-designated annual event held in celebration of books and reading all over the globe. To commemorate, here are fascinating images of people from several decades ago, reading not on Kindles or iPads as many are wont to do today, but actual books, newspapers, and other forms of the written word.

    1
  • Upcoming Book by TASCHEN Features Norman Mailer's Photographs of the Apollo 11 Mission

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-03 in #world #news
    Upcoming Book by TASCHEN Features Norman Mailer's Photographs of the Apollo 11 Mission

    July 20, 1969 marked one of the most historic events in the history of mankind: on this day, the Apollo 11 crew finally landed on lunar soil. It was the culmination of a decade's worth of hard work, one that was witnessed by the whole world and remembered for the rest of time.

  • 'The Photographer' Showcases Edward Weston's Life and Work

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-02 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    'The Photographer' Showcases Edward Weston's Life and Work

    Edward Weston is one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. From his lifetime up until today, several decades after his death, Weston and his body of work hold an important place in the history of photography.

    1
  • Shop News

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Want to push your limits in the field of photography? Go large format! This camera uses a 4x5” film and can capture all the subjects you want with this pinhole camera in large format!

  • Star Wars Mania 2015: The All-New Trailer

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-04-17 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Star Wars Mania 2015: The All-New Trailer

    The second trailer for "Star Wars:Episode VII - The Force Awakens" has the internet abuzz in the last last few hours. To join in on the fun, we scoured our archives and the cyberspace for some Star Wars treasures. Think Princess Leia and her double in that glorious gold costume, plus a photo of the new cast in roundtable discussion.

    1
  • Behind the Picture: The Fifties in 3D

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-16 in #world #lifestyle
    Behind the Picture: The Fifties in 3D

    In 1951, the Festival of Britain was organized as a way of boosting the morale of its citizens just a few years after the Second World War ended. The festival opened on May 4 and was basically a celebration of the British arts, science, and history. One of its most popular attractions was the Telekinema, described as a "state-of-the-art" cinema operated by the British Film Institute and seated up to 400 viewers.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Police Games (A Tribute to Leonard Freed)

    written by sirio174 on 2016-01-30 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Police Games (A Tribute to Leonard Freed)

    This article is dedicated to Leonard Freed's important reportage of the difficult and dangerous daily work of New York policemen, published in his 1980 book. Here I'll show you photos of public games organized by the various police forces of my hometown Como during last year's Christmas festivities. Take a look!

  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Lantern Slides From the 'Psychic Photography From a New Angle' Series

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Lantern Slides From the 'Psychic Photography From a New Angle' Series

    Mysterious apparitions and other inexplicable phenomena on film, or generally speaking, for that matter, are as highly debated topics today as they were many decades ago. In 1934, a certain Mr. C.P. MacCarthy of 15 Wilkinson Street, Sheffield held a lecture at 76 Clarkehouse Road located in the same city to "demonstrate under test conditions Fake Psychic Photography" before an invited committee. MacCarthy's demonstration was accompanied by a series of photographs titled "Psychic Photography From a New Angle."

  • A Salute to the Masters: The Temple Bar (A Tribute to Roger Mayne)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-12-19 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Temple Bar (A Tribute to Roger Mayne)

    This is a tribute to a great English social street photographer, Roger Mayne, who passed away last year. His masterfully documented photographs of the working class life on the streets of London after World War II are poetic and humanitarian.

    2
  • Photo of the Day by moshbot

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-13 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by moshbot

    This minimalist photograph by moshmot reminds us of a scorching day when everything in the horizon looks hazy from heat.

    1
  • Shop News

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Prepare your overwhelming panoramic views and capture them with this ultra-wide panoramic 35mm gear. Start sharing your great memories with family and friends the analog way!

  • Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-28 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    Ever since it opened in the '60s the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan has been visited by people from all over the world to observe the famous snow monkeys, or the Japanese Macaque. Lomographer ihave2pillows had the wonderful opportunity to see the snow monkeys up close a couple of years ago, and here are some of the photographs that he had shared with the community.

    1
  • Explore Osaka with Yamanaka Yuko's AM Renault

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-24 in #gear #lifestyle #locations #reviews #lomoamigos
    Explore Osaka with Yamanaka Yuko's AM Renault

    As a core member of Yamanaka Yuko, a local hiking group based in Hong Kong, AM Renault is deeply in love with nature. He is also part of the creative photography group Six Dimen Boy and is good at intertwining photography with art and design elements -- making photos not only useful for documenting what we see, but also as a means to tickle the imagination. The young and talented AM tried out the New Russar+ lens while traveling in Japan with his father. He talks about his experience and shares the sights from his journey in this Lomography Magazine exclusive.

  • The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the Lunar New Year Parade

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-06-13 in #gear #lifestyle
    The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the  Lunar New Year Parade

    Since Lomography launched its new Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens project on Kickstarter, we've been seeing a variety of pictures, from images of snow monkeys in Japan to behind-the-scenes shots of New York Fashion Week. Many of these pictures were shot with digital cameras, but we've yet to see how the Petzval 58 performs on an analog Canon Rebel camera loaded with black and white, and x-pro film. Join us on a trip through the heart of New York's Chinatown during the Lunar New Year Parade.