Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6, 1945, over the sleepy town of Hiroshima in Japan, a single American bomber flew over the city and released the large uranium bomb it was carrying.  The slender bomb was nicknamed "Little Boy."  It exploded nearly 2,000 feet above the city.  With initial heat registering the same as the surface of the sun, this was the first atomic bomb ever used on human targets.  In an instant, some 80,000 people were killed and 4.7 square miles of the city was destroyed.

On August 9th a second bomb, this one made from plutonium and nicknamed "Fat Man," was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, instantly killing 50,000 people.

In response to the bombings, the emperor of Japan addressed the nation for the first time ever, asking the military to surrender.

Japan announced its surrender on August 15 and the official surrender agreement was signed on September 2, 1945.

World War II was over.

The bombing of Hiroshima

The destruction of Hiroshima
(Public Domain)
The destruction of Nagasaki
(Public Domain)