Aug 05, 2020
Harrowing images reveal horrific atomic bomb devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 75 years ago this week
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HARROWING pictures show the true extent of the devastation left in the wake of the world's first atomic bomb 75 years on.
The nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6th and 9th in 1945 flattened both cities, killing an estimated 135,000 people.37They detonated with a force equivalent to 15,000 and 21,000 tonnes of conventional explosivesCredit: AFP 37A child cries in the rubble left behind in HiroshimaCredit: Corbis 37Such was the ferocity of the blast, eerie shadows of incinerated humans were left imprinted on steps, pavements and wallsCredit: Getty - Contributor 37A close-up of a victim of the Hiroshima bombingCredit: Rex Features
In July 1945 US President Harry Truman gave the order for atomic bombs - developed by Manhattan Project scientists - to be dropped on six Japanese cities after endless conventional bombing proved fruitless.
The Americans were desperate for a way to put a stop to the conflict, calculating an invasion of Japan would drag on for years and cost a million Allied lives.
But the decision to detonate the devastating bomb remains shrouded in controversey, with Adm William Leahy, who presided over the combined US-UK chiefs of staff writing of his regret.
He said: “[T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."
What has never been debated, however was the sheer destruction and tragedy left in the bomb's wake.
At 8.15am on August 6, 1965 the Little Boy uranium bomb, 9ft 10in long and weighing 9,700lb, from a height of 31,060ft detonated directly above Shima hospital in Hiroshima after blowing 820ft off course.
After 43 seconds the bomb detonated 1,970ft off the ground, directly above Shima hospital, with a force equivalent to 15,000 tons of high explosives.
It created a blinding flash of light and a fireball 1,200ft across with a core temperature of more than 1,000,000C.
Victims in the immediate blast zone were vaporised, leaving only their shadows on the scorched walls and pavements where they were standing as a shockwave faster than the speed of sound obliterated virtually every building within a mile.
The fireball also sparked devastating infernos that lasted three days. In total an area of more than six square miles was levelled.Most read in NewsHORROR SCENE‘Cult mom’ Lori Vallow’s daughter’s 'skull & teeth found near melted bucket'NEW FORT HOOD TRAGEDYBase investigating death of a FOURTH soldier as body pulled from lakeHOT WARUS & China war a genuine threat and no longer inconceivable, Aussie PM warnsPREZ VS PREZTrump rips Obama's 'terrible speech, angry speech' at John Lewis funeralHORROR SHOWTerrifying moment BBC journalist sent flying live on air by Beirut blastDREAM JOBCouples offered $3,000 to have SEX on different mattresses to find perfect one
Three days after the Hiroshima blast, the Fat Man plutonium bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing around 50,000.
Six days later Japan surrendered and the war was over, however it is hotly debated where this was anything to do with the two devastating blast.
The bombings remain a controversial subject to this day, with so many lives lost - either as a direct result of the bombings, radiation poisoning or illnesses and cancers linked to the nucluer weapons.37A victim in a make-shift hospital bed after the atomic bomb detonated directly above the city's hospitalCredit: Reuters 37A nuclear bomb victim, badly burnt, lies in quarantineCredit: AP:Associated Press 37An infant burn victim receives medical treatmentCredit: Rex Features 37Medics attend to a Hiroshima victimCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37Some of the countless victims pictured in 1945Credit: Getty Images - Getty 37A mother and her child sit in the rubble of Hiroshima, four months after the atomic bomb was detonatedCredit: Getty - Contributor 37The explosion caused a blinding flash of light and a fireball 1,200ft across with a core temperature of more than 1,000,000CCredit: Alamy 37A victim shows scarring from the extensive burnsCredit: AP:Associated Press 37Japanese air raid workers help to carry a victim to safetyCredit: Reuters 37These aerial pictures show the before and after of the Hiroshima bomb, with the lower picture showing almost no buildings left Credit: Reuters 37The bomb detonated 1,970ft off the ground, directly above Shima hospitalCredit: Royston Leonard / mediadrumimages.com 37The death toll is estimated at 135,000Credit: Getty Images - Getty 37Thousands died of radiation poisoning from the nuclear weaponsCredit: AFP 37The bombings are shrouded in controversy, with some US soldiers voicing their regret and horror at the destruction caused 37Victims in the immediate blast zone were vaporisedCredit: PA:Press Association 37A shockwave faster than the speed of sound obliterated virtually every building within a mileCredit: Reuters 37The nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6th and 9th in 1945 flattened both citiesCredit: Time Life Pictures 37A former army chief described the bomb as a 'barbarous weapon' 37The 'Little Boy' bombCredit: AFP 37Both cities were flattenedCredit: Reuters 37Devastating infernos followed, razing entire cities to the groundCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37Many victims died of radiation poisoningCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37In many areas homes and businesses were completely destroyedCredit: Reuters 37it is the 75th anniversary of the bombingsCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37The bombings devastated Hiroshima and NagasakiCredit: Corbis 37Buildings were completely vaporised Credit: Reuters 37Nothing remained in many areasCredit: Rex Features 37The Hiroshima bomb was initially blown off courseCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37It is hotly debated whether the twin bombings 'ended' the warCredit: AP:Associated Press 37Nothing but rubble was left in many areasCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37Barack Obama was the first US president to visit the site in 2016Credit: Getty Images - Getty 37The true extent of the devastation is pictured on the 75th anniversaryCredit: Getty Images - Getty 37In total an area of more than six square miles was levelledCredit: Getty Images - Getty Japanese Prime Minister joins memorial for anniversary of Hiroshima
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