The anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on the 6th August 1945 and Nagasaki, three days later, on 9th August, will have special resonance this year following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The days and months that have followed the mega-earthquake and tsunami of March 11 and the subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima reactor have brought stories of increased radiation in the affected area, radioactive cesium being found in local cows and school yards suffering from dangerous levels of radiation.
Japan's first nuclear disaster occurred on this day 66 years ago and ceremonies take place in Hiroshima Peace Park and throughout Japan to remember the approximately 140,000 recorded victims.
At 8.15am on August 6 1945 the US B-29 bomber "Enola Gay" dropped the world's first atomic attack on a populated area.
The 3m long, 4 ton "Little Boy" bomb unleashed on Hiroshima carried 50kg of uranium 235 and the fission of 1kg of uranium released the equivalent of 16,000 tons of high explosive, well-nigh flattening the southern port city.
An interesting side story to the end of the war is this account of downed American airmen being saved from execution, just after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
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Japan Tokyo Hiroshima atomic bomb Enola Gay