Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen? The First ever use of Atomic Power

Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen to be attacked by the United States of America? We will cover this up as we proceed further in this Article. Let us first understand the beginning. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two Japanese cities that were devastated by the US atomic bombing in August 1945.

On the morning of 6th August, 1945 an American B 21, dropped the first ever atomic weapon used in conflicts, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Again, after three days on 9th of August 1945, the Americans dropped the second and even larger atomic weapon at Nagasaki.

It has to be noted that there were unimagineable large scale destruction and loss of life on both the cities by the destructive weapon. At Hiroshima between 60,000 to 80,000 people were killed instantly. But the final death toll was calculated at about 135,000. About Nagasaki, the attack took the life of about 40,000 people instantly.

Even here the final death toll was calculated at atleast 50,000. Since the courses and consequences of the atomic bomb dropped on Japan are briefed above, let us now move into the question as to why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen to be attacked by the Americans.

Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen to be destroyed?

The Allies were looking for a way as to how they could bring the war with Japan to a hasty end. They also feared that invading Japan’s island by conventional war means, would result in high casualties on their part. The Atomic power was also a way of demonstration of military superiority of America over the Soviet Union.

Hiroshima was basically chosen as a target to be bombed because American Air Force had not targeted Hiroshima in its conventional bombings of Japan. Thus, it became a suitable target for the Americans as they could test the effects of an atomic bomb.

Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen
Hiroshima : Wikimedia Commons Images

Some other factors include, Hiroshima was also very important from a military perspective. It was the home to the 2nd Army Headquarters, which were responsible for the security and defense of Southern part of Japan. Hiroshima was also a very important center of communication.

Nagasaki : Wikimedia Commons Images

Nagasaki, on the other hand was never a target to be attacked by the Americans. The original target to be attacked was Kokura. On the morning when Kokura city was to be attacked, there was clouds obstruction over the city. It can be considered as the luckiest city of the war.

Due to obstructions of clouds over the city of Kokura, the target was reconsidered and Nagasaki, an important nearby port, was atomic attacked. Kokura was of great military importance for Japan. It had one of the largest factory in Western Japan that produced aircrafts, missiles and other weapons.

Overview to the buildup as to why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen for the deadly attack

On the mid of July 1945, The President of The United States of America, Harry Truman, was informed that the atomic bomb was ready for use in war. The first test of the Atomic weapon had been successful. Targeting was finalized by the 25th of July 1945.

The attack order was, the US Air Force would drop the first weapon somewhat around, after, 3rd of August 1945, on one of the targets, taking into account the current weather conditions of the targets. Hiroshima had a clear sky on the 6th of August and the plan was forwarded and then attacked. Kokura, the next target had a cloud cover above it, thus it got spared and Nagasaki was devastated instead. Therefore we come to a clear understanding as to why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen and destroyed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When was the first atom weapon ever dropped and where?

First atomic weapon was dropped in the Hiroshima city of Japan on the 6th of August 1945.

When was the Nagasaki attacked with atomic weapon?

It was attacked on the 9th of August 1945.

Why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen?

Hiroshima was a city of military importance and Nagasaki was actually never a target. It was attacked because Kokura city had cloud cover above it on the morning of August 9, 1945.

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The world today

Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan has urged the international community to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. According to PM Kishida, the path to a nuclear free world has become more complex. With conflicts going on between countries, it is high time to be alert of possible danger.

To Conclude :

Today the world we live in has grown and evolved in all aspects. There should be a realization among the international community as to what a catastrophic situation nuclear weapons can bring. History itself speaks for its evidence.

It is important to bring an understanding and known to all as to how and why were Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen and attacked with atomic weapon so that history doesn’t get repeated again until humanity exists.

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