ATOMIC BOMB DETONATED OVER NAGASAKI August 9, 1945

Fat ManBecause of poor visibility this second atomic bomb (“Fat Boy”) missed its intended detonation point over Nagasaki by almost two miles, and the damage was less extensive than that in Hiroshima. An estimated 40,000 people were killed outright, less than half the number of the more than 80,000 people that were killed in the devastating firebombing air raids on Tokyo during the night of March 9/10, 1945.

 

My Father worked on the Burma Railroad (the Bridge on the River Kwai) as a POW of the Japanese and after the completion of the Burma Railroad the end of October 1943, was shipped from Thailand to Japan to labor in a coal mine in Nakama, Fukuoka, about 150 km (93miles) north of Nagasaki. Being a teacher of physics and chemistry, he knew that something had occurred of such a huge scale that he did not presume to guess what. He was familiar with the work of Frederic and Irene Curie on the radioactivity of atoms and the developing theories of nuclear fission in the late 1930’s, of course, but the connection to what happened in Nagasaki did not become clear to him until he made his way to Nagasaki a number of weeks later.

I will cover this story of my Father in a later blog post.

On Aug. 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

We did not learn this until a week later when the Japanese Commandant of Camp Banyubiru 10 climbed on a wooden box and announced that the War was over. We  had survived, we were free.

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3 Responses to “ATOMIC BOMB DETONATED OVER NAGASAKI August 9, 1945”

  1. Kendra Shipp September 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Can I just say what a comfort it is to discover somebody that actually knows what they are talking about on the internet.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people need to read this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised that you are not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

    • Leo Keukens September 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks very much, Kendra. Yes, more people need to know this story.

      Leo

  2. Lynne Lloyd January 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    I believe it was justified in military terms because the Japanese would not have stopped fighting for many long years as they don’t believe in surrender which is dishonor to them. In moral terms, killing one innocent person cannot be justified, let alone hundreds of thousands of civilians. But overall, to break the imperialism and fanaticism of the Japanese, dropping the A-bomb was justified. Whether the US should have dropped two of them is very doubtful. WW2 opened the Pandora’s Box of bombing civilian populations mercilessly. At least in WW1 the fighting was mostly by armies in the field and in the trenches.

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