The United States bombed Hiroshima, in Japan, on 6 August 1945 with an atomic bomb. It was the first atomic bomb that had ever been dropped out of an aeroplane. The atomic bomb was the same as 20 000 tons of TNT.
A B-29 bomber was used to bomb Hiroshima. The plane was called the Enola Gray. It had a crew of twelve men and the pilot of the plane was Colonel Paul Tibbets. The plane was named after his mother. The Enola Gay took off from Tinian, an island that is in the North Pacific, in the Marinas. The island was 1 500 miles south of Japan. It had to be modified to carry such a heavy load. It got new propellers and stronger engines. Two other bombers escorted the plane and they carried filming equipment and measuring devices. When the ten foot atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, was dropped on Hiroshima it made a huge mushroom cloud that was as high as 40 000 feet. 60 000 buildings were destroyed and 70 000 people died when the atomic bomb exploded. 70 000 more people died because of the radiation in the next five years.
3 days after Hiroshima was bombed, on 9 August 1945, another atomic bomb was dropped on Japan by the United States, this time on Nagasaki. The bombing was delayed because they were waiting for more plutonium for the bomb. This B-29 bomber was named Bocks Car and it also took off from Tinian. The bomb was going to be dropped on Kokura, but there was a haze over the city and the pilot could not see his target, so he carried on flying and bombed Nagasaki, which was the secondary target. The bomb was nicknamed Fat man and it exploded 1 650 feet above Nagasaki. About 40% of the city was destroyed. It was more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, but the terrain of the city stopped it from causing as much damage. About 70 000 people had died in Nagasaki by the end of the year because of the bomb and radiation.
Six days after Nagasaki was bombed, on August 15 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allies and Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender. It was the end of the Pacific War.
© copyright Sebastian Schultz 2012