Thursday, August 9, 2007

Nagasaki Remembered

Sixty-two years ago today, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki Japan, killing an estimated 74,000 people. It was the second and last ever use of such a weapon on a civilian population. Like the bomb that had been detonated over Hiroshima three days prior, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki had been similarly loaded aboard a plane on the island of Tinian in the Pacific Ocean. The primary target was actually Kokura, but the plane was diverted to its secondary target of Nagasaki due to cloud cover. The Nagasaki bomb was also different in that its design was an implosion-design plutonium bomb, tested only weeks earlier in New Mexico. A third bomb had been scheduled for use on either August 17 or 18, but was called off when Japan finally capitulated on August 15.

Click here to watch a portion of the BBC’s documentary, “Hiroshima,” which details the bombing of Nagasaki and provides accounts of the American justification for dropping a second bomb in Nagasaki.

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