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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1945 - In the News - Nagasaki
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1945!
On August 9, 1945, at 3:49 am., just three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, another B-29 superfortress named "Bock's Car" left Tinian headed toward its intended target--Kokura.

Weather interfered with the B-29's initial target, so they proceeded to their secondary target--Nagasaki.

Nagasaki immediately after the bomb drop
At 11:02 a.m., the crew of Bock's Car released their atomic bomb, "Fat Man," over Nagasaki. At 1,650 feet above the city, the bomb detonated.

Although this bomb had been intended to create an even larger explosion and cause even more devastation than the one used at Hiroshima, the terrain in and around Nagasaki saved much of the city.

The detonation resulted in the same mushroom cloud, instant fire ball, and heat so intense that shadows were, once again, left as impressions on buildings and metal as those seen in Hiroshima three days earlier.

Approximately 40 percent of the city was destroyed by the blast and resulting fires. With a population estimated at 270,000, nearly 70,000 would be dead by the end of the year from radiation poisoning, burns, and related sicknesses.

"Careful scholarly treatment of the records and manuscripts opened over the past few years has greatly enhanced our understanding of why the Truman administration used atomic weapons against Japan. Experts continue to disagree on some issues, but critical questions have been answered. The consensus among scholars is the that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it."

-J. Samuel Walker
Chief Historian
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

"I had been conscious of depression and so I voiced to (Sec. Of War Stimson) my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.' "

-General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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