Today marks the anniversary of that fateful day in 1945 when 'all hell broke loose'.
By the time the atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the Second World War had raged for six years. Germany had been defeated and Europe lay in ruins.
Focus turned to Japan, the last Axis Power country. US President Harry Truman and his military commanders knew that an invasion of Japan would be extremely costly in terms of Allied lives - up to a million casualties were predicted. So they resolved to use the newly developed atomic bomb to reduce Japanese cities to rubble without setting foot on land.
So it was that a B-29 Superfortress nicknamed Enola Gay after the pilot's mother, dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Between 129,000-226,000 people were killed, mostly civilians. About half died instantly when the bombings happened, and the rest died from radiation sickness and other illnesses in the days and weeks after. Days after the attacks, Japan surrendered to the Allies, and came under a US-led military occupation.
The moral, legal and ethical issues of the bombings are still debated today.
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