The bodies of Japanese civilians create a carpet of the dead.
On this day in 1945, the United States expended the last of its nuclear arsenal over Nagasaki, which city was chosen because the primary target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud. The ordinance used, a hollow plutonium sphere crushed to critical mass by chemical explosive implosion, ('Fat Man') became the general model for the 50,000 or so more nuclear weapons we built thereafter. The bomb was dropped from the B-29 Bockscar. At least 45,000 men, women and children were instantly killed in the blast, far less than Hiroshima because, even though the bomb was more powerful, the hilly topography of the city shielded some sections. Nagasaki had been the center of Christian (Roman Catholic) activity in Japan for nearly four centuries. The war effectively ended the next day when the Emperor voted with the majority of his ministers to surrender to the Allies.
Labels: Nagasaki, WWII history; Pacific theater