Hiroshima Insight

A-bomb damage in Nagasaki

At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the United States dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. The city of Kokura (today, Kitakyushu) in northern Kyushu was the primary target that day, but because of poor visibility above Kokura, due mainly to smoke from an air raid carried out on the Yahata District the previous day, the B-29 bomber known as Bockscar headed toward the second target on its list, Nagasaki. It carried a plutonium bomb dubbed “Fat Man.”

The target in Nagasaki was a point between Nigiwai Bridge and Tokiwa Bridge, which spanned the Nakajima River and flowed through downtown. However, the clouds above the city made the target difficult to spot. When the chimney of a factory was glimpsed through a momentary break in the clouds, the atomic bomb was dropped.

The atomic bomb exploded at a height of about 500 meters above 171 Matsuyama-machi, roughly three kilometers to the northwest of the target. According to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, by the end of 1945, the death toll was 73,884. At that time the population of Nagasaki was about 240,000, and it is estimated that another 75,000 people suffered minor or major injuries.

The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims (in Naka Ward, Hiroshima) has checked a total of 131,397 A-bomb accounts and found that 321 describe the disasters of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as of March 6, 2014).