Hiroshima Insight

Background of the atomic bombing

Toward the end of World War II, at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.

That morning, the sky above Hiroshima was bright and clear. The atomic bomb exploded about 600 meters in the air over today’s Shima Surgical and Internal Medicine Hospital (then Shima Surgical Hospital), located near the A-bomb Dome in Naka Ward. The T-shaped Aioi Bridge, to the north of Peace Memorial Park, had been the actual target.

Why was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima? One key reason was Hiroshima’s role as an important military city of the time. During the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), the Imperial Headquarters was located on the grounds of Hiroshima Castle to command the war effort. Many soldiers were sent off to fight from Ujina Port (now Hiroshima Port).

As Japan’s ability to wage war deteriorated in 1945, air raids by U.S. forces were carried out repeatedly in various parts of the country. Many people wondered why Hiroshima had been spared, despite the city’s many military facilities.