On August 6, 2020, Japan marks the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on the city of Hiroshima.

Highlights

In 1945, the United States warplane Enola Gay dropped an atom bomb named “Little Boy” in the city of Hiroshima killing 140,000 people. Three days later, on August 9, the United States dropped another atom bomb “Fat Man” in Nagasaki that killed more than 40,000 people.

The survivors of the bomb are known as “Hibakushas”. The Hibakushas experienced long-term effects and elevated risks of thyroid cancer and leukemia.

Why the atom bomb?

The relations between Japan and the USA worsened after the end of World War II in 1945. This was mainly because, the Japanese forces decided to capture oil rich areas of the East Indies. Thus, US President Harry Truman authorised to drop the bomb to make Japan surrender in the war, which it did.

Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

The USA chose the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki targeting military production of the country. The main aim was to destroy ability of Japan to fight wars. Hiroshima was one of the army headquarters of Japan. Also, it was the largest military supply depot for troops and supplies.

Nagasaki, on the other hand was one of the largest seaports in southern Japan. It was of great wartime importance for its wide-ranging industrial activity in military equipment, production of ordnance, ships and other war materials.

Quebec Agreement

The Agreement was signed in 1943 by the US and UK to pool their resources to develop nuclear weapons. The countries under the agreement also agreed that neither of the countries would use the nuclear weapons against each other.

First Nuclear Weapon Testing

Before dropping the bomb in the cities of Japan, the US did test its nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons were tested at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945. The testing was a part of the Manhattan Project

Manhattan Project

The project was a Research and Development programme conducted by USA, UK and Canada. It was led by USA. The project aimed to develop first nuclear weapons to be used in world war II.

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