Hiroshima with a population of almost 1,044,129 people is the Japanese city on which the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped. It is situated on islands created by a river delta on the north shore of the Inland Sea, in western Honshu.
Hiroshima was at first a fishing village, but urbanized radically between 1600 and 1868 as a castle town of the Asano family. By the late 1600's, Hiroshima had become one of Japan's largest cities. Hiroshima served up as a bench of local government, and as a trade centre and a port of internal navigation. Its affluence and inhabitants increased in the late 1800's and early 1900's with its industrialized growth. By World War II, Hiroshima was an central military hub.
Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbour
- The attack on Pearl Harbor or Hawaii Operation as it was named by the Imperial General Headquarters was a surprise attack on the United States' marine base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Japanese navy, on the daybreak of Sunday, December 7, 1941, resulting in the United States becoming caught up in World War II. It was intended as a defensive action to remove the U.S. Pacific Fleet as a cause in the war Japan was about to wage against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Two airborne attack waves, counting 353 aircraft, started on from six Japanese aircraft carriers.
- The assault ruined two U.S. Navy battleships, one minelayer, and two destroyers beyond revamp, and destroyed 188 aircraft; and human losses were 2,388 killed and 1,178 injured. Damaged warships incorporated three cruisers, a destroyer, and six battleships. Very important fuel storage, shipyard, maintenance, and headquarters facilities were not hit. Japanese losses were minimal, at five midget submarines and 29 aircrafts, with 65 servicemen killed or injured.
- The aim of the hit was to protect Imperial Japan's invasion into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies — for their natural capital such as oil and rubber — by neutralizing the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Attack on Hiroshima
- To take revenge from Japan’s attack on the naval base of Pearl Harbour, during World War II, on Aug. 6, 1945, a United States Army plane dropped a single atomic bomb on the centre of the city. Three days later, the Americans dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Japan gave up to the Allied forces on Sept. 2, 1945.
- Hiroshima was the main target of the first nuclear bombing task on August 6, with Kokura and Nagasaki being substitute targets. August 6 was selected because there had earlier been cloud cover over the target. The 393d Bombardment Squadron B-29 Enola Gay, piloted and lead by 509th Composite Group commander Colonel Paul Tibbets, was launched from North Field airbase on Tinian in the West Pacific, approximately about six hours flight time from Japan. The Enola Gay was escorted by two other B29s, The Great Artiste which carried instrumentation, commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney, and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil piloted by Captain George Marquardt
- After departure from Tinian the aircraft made their way separately to Iwo Jima where they hovered at 2440 m (8000 ft) and set way for Japan. The aircraft arrived over the target in apparent visibility at 9855 m (32,000 ft). On the flight, Navy Captain William Parsons had equipped the bomb, which had been left unarmed to reduce the risks during takeoff. His subordinate, 2nd Lt. Morris Jeppson, detached the security devices 30 minutes before reaching the target area
- The discharge at 08:15 (Hiroshima time) was monotonous, and the gravity bomb known as "Little Boy", a gun sort of a fission weapon with 60 kg (130 pounds) of uranium-235, took 57 seconds to fall from the aircraft to the predetermined detonation height about 600 meters (1,900 ft) above the city. Due to crosswind, it missed the aim spot, the Aioi Bridge, by approximately 800 feet and detonated directly over Shima Surgical Clinic. It created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT. The radius of whole ruin was about 1.6 km (1 mile), with ensuing fires across 11.4 km² (4.4 square miles). Infrastructure damage was expected at 90 percent of Hiroshima's buildings being either smashed or wholly shattered.
- The atomic bomb shattered about 13 square kilometres of the city. Between 70,000 and 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed. More people died later from the effects of atomic radiation.
Hiroshima After the Bomb
Hiroshima was reconstructed after the war. The Peace Memorial Park was built where the bomb exploded. Aservice is held there each year on the anniversary of the bombing, in memory of the sufferers. The Atomic Bomb Dome, a building left unreconstructed after the war, has become a representation of the peace movement.