As World War II wore on, America was faced with a terrible decision: should they use the latest in military technology against the Japanese, a bomb capable of killing more people than any other weapon ever devised… or should they rely on traditional methods to advance the fight in the Pacific, regardless of the cost to their own troops. Despite military legends about the massive number of purple hearts manufactured in preparation for an American invasion of Japan, President Harry S. Truman ultimately decided to side with technology, giving the order to drop America’s new atom bombs on targets in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
The destructive power unleashed on the people of Japan on August 6, 1945 was unlike anything ever before seen in war. An American B-29 bomber, dubbed the “Enola Gay,” dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in combat, called the Little Boy, on the city of Hiroshima, unleashing the equivalent of 15,000 pounds of TNT and immediately reducing four square miles of the city to ruins. 80,000 people died in the blast with thousands more succumbing to radiation poisoning in the days to follow. Three days later, another atomic weapon, “Fat Man,” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 more.
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