Atomic Bomb: a Tremendous Tragedy

The world was forced into a nuclear age after the first detonation of nuclear bomb, named “Trinity.” Nuclear weapons have immense power that could wipe out humanity if ever taken into play. The Manhattan Project was the making of the first nuclear bombs during World War II, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer and were crazily expensive. The atomic bomb has a destructive power created by the fission of either uranium or plutonium. On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base where the death toll rises to 90,000-166,000. Three days later, on August 9th, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, with a death toll of 60,000–80,000. In total, between 50 to 80 million people lost their lives during the duration of the World War II. From the atomic bombs alone, roughly 150,000-246,000 people died. These blasts marked the end of the largest armed conflict in all of history. The effects of the atomic bombs still live on to this day, shown in newborns with birth defects and increased amount of diseases and radioactive material on Earth. The making of the atomic bomb pushed the world into a nuclear age.   Discovering how powerful it was was an enormous scientific triumph. However, it was a tremendous human tragedy when the bomb was dropped on two cities in Japan, killing hundreds of thousands.


About Nuclear Weapons


A nuclear weapon is a device using nuclear fission, fusion or both to release energy in an explosive manner. Fission weapons are commonly known as atomic bombs and fusion weapons are referred to as hydrogen bombs. Nuclear weapons triggers giant amounts of explosive energy. The estimated cost for the current U.S nuclear arsenal is about 1 trillion. Due to the fact that nuclear weapons are dangerously powerful, 189 parties subscribed to the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.


About the Atomic Bomb


The atomic bomb, also known as atom bomb, is a nuclear weapon with great explosive power that results from the rapid release of energy caused from splitting the nuclei into two smaller fragments by a neutron. Nuclear weapons (atomic bombs) work by releasing large amounts of energy by splitting apart the nucleus of an atom.  A single free neutron must strike the nucleus of an atom so it knocks two or three more neutrons free. This process is called fission. This causes a chain reaction that proliferates almost instantly. During World War II, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on two different cities in Japan nearing the end of the war


About Nuclear Radiation Works


A blast, a fireball, visible light and radioactive ionizing rays are how energy is emitted from a nuclear bomb. When an atom loses a neutron, it escapes through the form of radiation. 15% of the energy from an a nuclear bomb comes in the form of radiation.  Nuclear radiation has detrimental effects on living things such as humans and plants. Cells can be impaired or destroyed by ionizing radiation directly or indirectly, depending on the type of atoms affected. A person exposed to an excessive amount of radiation may suffer from painful symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, skin burns, hair loss, hemorrhage, inflammation all over the body and cataracts. Massive cell damage can lead to death because of organ failures.


Triumph for Science


The atomic bomb was a massive science triumph. It had immense power that could destroy almost anything. When a uranium atom splits apart, it releases a burst of energy 10 million times more intense. Such output made the scientists alert the how powerful the bomb actually is. The bombs were very expensive. Even designing the bomb required inventing whole new technologies.  The first bomb exploded on a tower in a New Mexican desert on July 16, 1945. It was then in which the scientists had realized what they have made, and they were extremely proud.


Triumph for the Allies


World War II involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939-45. The Axis powers consisting of the countries Germany, Italy, Japan and The Allies were France, Great Britain, The United States, The Soviet Union, China and other counties were the main superpowers fighting in the war. The United States dropped two atomic bombs in Japan, causing Japan to surrender, making the Allies win the war. This was a mighty triumph, considering that WW2 was the bloodiest conflict in all of history, and it was all ended the detonation of the atomic bombs in Japan.


Tragedy for Humanity


Hiroshima was the first city to be attacked by an atomic bomb. The city had a population of 350,000. The bomb was called “Little Boy.” They were targeted by the U.S. because it was a large military center. They were hit on August 6, 1945 at 8:16 A.M. The bomb exploded 2,000 feet above Hiroshima and was equal to 12-15,000 tons of TNT. Immediately, 80,000 people were killed and a significant number of others had died that day or later on due to radiation poisoning. 90% of the city was demolished. Hiroshima underwent reconstruction beginning in 1950.


Nagasaki was a major shipbuilding center, which led to it being chosen as a second target for an atomic bomb. The bomb was called “Fat Man.” It was dropped at 11:02 A.M. on August 9, 1945. The bomb was more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. It weighed nearly 10,000 pounds and was built to produce a 22-kiloton blast. Between 40,000 people were killed as a result of the direct blast. Over the next 2-4 months, between 39,000-80,000 people died due to injuries. Due to the terrain and smaller size of Nagasaki’s, it reduced the demolition of life and property compared to the explosion in Hiroshima. Initially, there were five Japanese cities the U.S wanted to hit and Nagasaki was not one of them. 6 days after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s surrender.


Survivor Stories


Takato Michishita is a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. His testimony states that his mother had told him and his sister that she didn’t want them attending school because she had a ‘bad feeling.’ They went grocery shopping that day when all of a sudden, an old man yelled “Plane!” Everyone ran to their homemade bomb shelters. Him and his mother ran to a nearby shop and went under the floorboards. Everything’s turned white. They were too stunned to move for around ten minutes. When they got out from the floorboards, there was glass everywhere, tiny bits of dust and debris floating in the air, and the sky’s had turned a shade of purple and grey. His sister was fine, just shell-shocked. Later, they discovered the bomb was dropped a few meters away from their school. Every person at their school died. His mother had saved him and his sister life that day.


Fujio Torikoshi is a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. His testimony states that he heard engines rumbling overhead. He knew it was a B-29 immediately, but when he looked outside, he saw no planes. As he glanced at the sky, he saw a black dot. Suddenly, it burst into a ball of blinding light that filled his surroundings. A strong blow of hot wind hit his face and he closed his eyes. He passed out. When he woke up, he felt an intense burning sensation on his arms. His mother began crying his name in the distance and he clung to her telling her how much it burns. He was in and out of consciousness for the next few days. He could not open his eyes because his face swelled so badly. He was treated at an air raid shelter and later at a hospital in Hatsukaichi. When he was brought home, he was wrapped in bandages all over his body. He was unconscious for the next few days trying to fight a high fever. He was told that he would live to age 20, yet he seven decades later he is here at age 86.


Ryouga Suwa entered the affected area after the bombing and was exposed to radiation. His parents remain missing to this day and his sister was pronounced dead. He was evacuated in Miyoshi-shi, 50 kilometers away from the hypocenter. He is what you call a genbaku-koji, which translates to atomic boy orphan. Since the bombing, he became a generation chief priest and practices anti-war and anti-nuclear weapons philosophy at Johoji Temple, the temple he serves at.


After the Bomb


The making of nuclear weapons and the detonation of the atomic bombs were truly a turning point in history. It will forever change people’s views on wars and the way we conduct war. There hasn’t been a nuclear weapon used on a human population for 73 years.  With many lives being lost in Japan in 1945, we can now be protected due to the fact that nuclear weapons are extremely deadly. The bombs being dropped in Japan is an unforgettable moment in history, known by many people around the world. This resulted in more people participating in nuclear development. The world has made clean energy and advancement in technology. Nuclear weapons started a revolution. Since the war, many countries have unified and found peace for years. The mistakes war has caused in the past create for a better future, and we should never forget the millions of lives lost in WW2.

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Atomic Bomb: A Tremendous Tragedy. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved October 24, 2021 , from

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