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The Story of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima

by Jack Guy

Jan 14, 2020

© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

Destinations / Asia

Hiroshima has become a young vibrant city, but the nuclear bomb dropped on the city in 1945 left an indelible mark.


Aug. 6 is a day the city will never forget, when a U.S. Air Force plane dropped an atomic bomb that destroyed 90 percent of the city and killed 80,000 people immediately. Tens of thousands died later from radiation exposure.


U.S. President Harry Truman ordered the bombing with the aim of bringing World War II to a swift end after Japan announced it would never surrender. He achieved that goal, with Emperor Hirohito announcing unconditional surrender on Aug. 15 after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


The morality of the decision has been debated extensively in the decades since. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, but proponents of the bomb say many more would have died if the Allies invaded Japan using ground troops.


In Hiroshima today there are many ways of remembering the bomb. Visitors can go to the A-bomb dome, the cenotaph for atomic bomb victims and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which tells the story of the bomb and the city it left behind.


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