Everyone’s heard of the horrific annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the hands of the atomic bomb. In fact, most people wouldn’t have heard of the two cities at all if it weren’t for their destruction in 1945. The attacks remain the only two incidence of atomic bombs being used during war-time. Hopefully they will be the last.
Hiroshima’s plutonium bomb, named ‘little boy’ killed 90,000 to 106,000 people in the first 2-4 months and Nagasaki’s uranium bomb dubbed ‘big boy’ (pictured below) killed between 60,000 and 80,000 people in the same time frame, half of the deaths were in the first day. Those are some horrific stats, unsurprisingly Japan surrendered just days after Nagasaki was razed to the ground.
The number of deaths in the first few months don’t take into account those that got sick afterwards, or those that died of malnutrition, or those that got cancer many months or years down the line. One University professor wrote that “the atomic bomb killed people three times over.”
It’s difficult to imagine the terror and destruction that the bombs caused by reading the figures alone. The difference between 1000 people dying and 2000 people dying is difficult to comprehend from the comfort of our sofas. You can’t hold that amount of suffering in your imagination, and that’s a good thing for our mental health.
It’s only when you read eye-witness testimonies from the people who actually saw the bloody end of the stick and felt its wrath that reality becomes slightly more palpable. I found a Japanese website that’s dedicated to telling the stories of these survivors in the hope that future generations don’t make the same mistakes again. So I thought I would relay a couple to you here in brief form. They’re fairly hard-hitting, and I guess that’s their point.
â˜› Look Next: The Biggest Explosions Ever