The atomic bombs: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On 6 August 1945, a lone plane flew over the city of Hiroshima in an apparent reconnaissance mission. It was 8:15AM ... a blinding flash like a thousand suns, followed by a startling explosion covered the city. Three days later without further news or warning about what happened in Hiroshima, the same type of aircraft flew over the city of Nagasaki ... It was 11:01AM.

 

They were only two bombs, but with a final figure of 110.000 killed instantly and nearly 400.000 more in the following days, weeks and months due to the wounds and the radiation received. Never before, two war devices caused so much devastation and death.

 

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, set within the horrors of the Pacific War represented a turning point in the weaponry used until then by the armies at war. Before the first atomic strikes, mankind was unaware of their actual destruction capability, but certain secret tests had anticipated their dramatic effectiveness. However, the effects of the nuclear bombings exceeded the expected power of devastation. Nevertheless, the most immediate militar objective for their use was achieved: the end of war. 

 

These two bombs also represented the beginning of the use of the extraordinary powerful nuclear fission as the new aim of the world’s superpowers investigation efforts, giving birth to the most destructive arms’ race known to Man. Thousands of these new weapons, altogether capable of destroying our planet several times, were stored, and gave way to a new and even more frightening weapon: the fusion, or Hydrogen Bomb. Ironically, in fear of a massive atomic escalation in the military field the superpowers finally agreed to ban experimental detonations and to inspect and limit the mutual nuclear arsenals, favoring the use of nuclear energy for peaceful applications.

 

This book, written by Javier Vives Rego, and part of the collective work on Japan titled Japan, the archipelago of Culure, aims to pay homage to these two Japanese cities whose bombing ended a cruel war and their subsequent role in educating mankind about the enormous dangers of nuclear weapons. Through its pages readers will learn about the most significant historical events, as well as about the museums and parks of Peace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These buildings and monuments were erected as an invitation to friendship and harmony between human beings, and their facilities and installations will warn the visitors on the enormous risks of nuclear arsenals.

 

Julián Fernández, editor