Tuesday, 6 August 2013

On this day:

Over on twitter I post an ‘On this day’ in history post every day (catch me @ JedCullan). I thought I would expand on today’s post.

On this day in 1945, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The bomber took off from North Field airbase on Tinian, accompanied by two other B-29s, and made the historic journey to Japan in a little over six hours.

Although Japanese early warning radar did detect the approaching bombers, no fighters were despatched to intercept them, and Hiroshima’s anti-aircraft guns, although on alert, were ordered not to fire.

At 08:15am local time, the bomb, known as ‘Little Boy’, was released from a height of 31,060 feet. 43 seconds later it detonated at a pre-determined height of 600 meters, causing instant devastation. It is estimated that 70,000 people were killed within one second of the blast, with the number of casualties doubling soon after.

Three days later, on the 9th of August, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.