The bombing of Nagasaki....

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Three days after an atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima 60 years ago, another atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Nagasaki. At 11:02 AM, a B-29 Stratofortress with the name Bockscar and piloted by Maj. Charles Sweeney, dropped the device known as Fat Man.

With a core containing 18 lbs (8 kg) of Plutonium-239, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki at an altitude of 1,540 feet. Its explosive force was equivalent to 25,000 tons (25 kilotons) of TNT, almost double the power of Little Boy, the bomb dropped over Hiroshima. The blast instantly killed approximately 40,000 people. Thousands more would die as a result of radiation sickness. Estimates place the final death toll at 73,884, with 74,909 people injured.

This was the last time that a nuclear device had been used against people in the course of a war.

The use of the atomic bombs against Japan ushered in Japan's surrender and brought the war in the Pacific to an end. To this day there is still much debate on whether the use of the bombs was actually necessary or not. While the necessity is arguable, the effect is not. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the massive toll on human life have virtually eroded what little will to fight remained with the Japanese people.

Hopefully this dark chapter of history will never be repeated, and the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction never to be justified ever again.


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