the Friend, 7 August 2015
SEVENTY YEARS AGO
6 August 1945
American pilots dropped the world’s first atom bomb on Hiroshima.
Approximately 80,000 people were killed as a direct result of the explosion.
At least 60,000 more were dead by the end of the year.
Many of those who survived suffered long-term illness and disability
from the radiation, including cancers, tumours and birth defects.
Three days later a second nuclear bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.
The bomb killed 74,000 people.
President Harry S Truman said Hiroshima had been chosen so that ‘soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children.’
But over ninety-five per cent of the combined casualties of the two cities were civilian.
‘Japan was at the moment seeking some way to surrender
with minimum loss of “face”.
It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.’
General Dwight D Eisenhower