The Atomic Bomb- An Anniversary
“On the morning of August 6, 1945 the United States Army Air Forces dropped the nuclear weapon “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima, followed three days later by the detonation of the “Fat Man” bomb over Nagasaki, Japan. In his 1999 book Downfall, historian Richard Frank analyzed the many widely varying estimates of casualties caused by the bombings. He concluded “The best approximation is that the number is huge and falls between 100,000 and 200,000.” Most of the casualties were civilians.
The role of the bombings in Japan’s surrender, as well as the effects and justification of them, have been subject to much debate. In the U.S., the prevailing view is that the bombings ended the war months sooner than would otherwise have been the case, saving many lives that would have been lost on both sides if the planned invasion of Japan had taken place. In Japan, the general public tends to think that the bombings were needless as the preparation for the surrender was in progress in Tokyo.”