Impact & Short Term Effects of Hiroshima & Nagasaki


On both August 6th and August 9th in 1945, the United States showed the world what damage it could do to its enemies. Two bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and killed tens of thousands instantly. These two economic centers were chosen by the United States government to be targets for several reason: because they had been less affected by the world war occurring at that time, and because Japan had large amounts of war factories in these cities. The devastating impacts upon both these cities are depressing when looking at the diseases and deaths caused by the nuclear bomb. The first nuclear bomb was deployed in the middle of an average day in Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945. This devastating impact left the entire city of Hiroshima in ruins. On August 9th, 1945 another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, leaving great amounts of people dead and injured.


The following is the picture of the frightful impact of the Nuclear Bomb on Nagasaki.
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This picture shows the immediate impact of the Nuclear Bomb in Nagasaki. It is an excellent picture that shows how widespread the damage was. As you can see above, a great proportion of the land completely destroyed or burned down, or both!

Casualties of the First Bomb, Aug. 6th, 1945:
The numbers range and could be categorized in different ways. First of all, there is the deaths within the day of the bomb, secondly there would be the number of deaths within the next year and even later.

The numbers range from:
The estimated amount of immediate deaths: 60,000

Total: 60,000 – 156,000

When looking at such statistics one must keep in mind that Nuclear Weapons, may and most probably will kill instantly yet in many cases, as seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it may also kill over time. The amounts of radiation released by these nuclear bombs were extensive and superfluous. The people often got radiation poisoning which basically interferes with the division of cells and damages the tissue and internal organs. Along side this, came the very late effects, which came in the children of the people who were affected by the radioactivity. It may mutate some genes, causing problems in newborn infants.
external image Victim0.gifThis is a picture of a young school girl burnt by radioactive heat! This shows the extensiveness of the impact on the people. There were many just like her...

Casualties of the Second Bomb, Aug, 9th, 1945:
The numbers range from:

Although this number is less than Hiroshima, there was still just as great an affect.

Social Effects
When the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, instantly “Little boy” destroyed 90% of the city, even though it exploded at an altitude of 580 meters. Hiroshima itself had a huge medical personnel problem after the dropping of the nuclear bomb. Since the city only had 298 doctors, and 270 of them died, this had a terrible consequence for the medically effects citizens of Hiroshima since the people. The A-bomb destroyed 18 hospitals and 32 first aid clinics. Due to the lack of medicine, medical facilities, and medical personnel, Hiroshima was left in despair, a desperate situation for the survivors of the bomb.
Furthermore, all means of necessities for a human to live were destroyed. Thus leaving the survivors behind with no medical help, no food, clean water, or shelter.
When the atomic bomb was dropped and exploded on Nagasaki, there was total destruction within a 2 km radius. Thus the main medical facilities of the city were destroyed. In the whole city, after the atomic bomb exploded, only 30 medical trained doctors were able to help thousands of wounded victims. However Nagasaki was a naval port, thus some medical help came from the naval hospitals. However food, medicine, and clothing were very rare. Furthermore, just like in Hiroshima, in September the huge amounts of rain made it harder for the victims to recover themselves and the city.

Economical Effects:

The economic effects of the two atomic bombings were quite big, for example, the non-military economic loss was 65 billion yen. In Hiroshima, the costs, 884 million yen was higher than the cost of Nagasaki, 380 million yen. Furthermore, the two cities were chosen because they were stable and had military factories. So, when the two cities were destroyed, all the economy in the area in every market went down: agriculture, industry, service, and military. This was a small disadvantage to Japan in WWII as factories were destroyed.

Political Effects

Before dropping atomic bombs, Japan was refusing to surrender and their Emperor insisted on fighting. US became anxious because although everyone thought that Japan lost, but Japan refused to surrender and kept fighting, so more and more Americans were losing their lives. Also, Soviet Union came down through China after defeating the Japan army and reached at North Korea. Thus, US became more desperate because although they were beating Japan for quite a long time, they could not finish the war, and Soviet Union was expanding their influence in Asia. US thought that if they don’t defeat Japan soon, then Soviet Union will gain more advantage in Asia or even in Japan. Then, president Truman was reported that Manhattan project concluded successfully and decided to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end the war as quickly as possible.

Japan surrendered shortly after US dropped two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was then occupied by the allied powers under the American general, MacArthur. The occupation of Japan ended up unsuccessfully but lasted about 7 years, from 1945 to 1952.

After Word War II, Japan basically lost all their territories abroad and islands were distributed to different countries. Also, the remains of Japan's war machines were destroyed, and war criminals were executed. It is estimated that over 500 Japanese officers committed suicide after Japan surrendered. But ironically, Japan’s emperor, who insisted on fighting, was not chosen as a war criminal since Japanese worshipped their emperor as a god during that time. The Emperor lost all his power, politically and economically, and became the symbol of Japan which continues till today.

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Picture above :Japanese Emperor, signing the official Instrument of Surrender

MacArthur tried to break down zaibatsu, large companies in Japan, into small pieces. He broke down zaibatsu because many of it supported the Japanese government with weapons and money. In addition, he tried to make Japan into an agricultural country so that Japan will no longer have a power to start another war. Also, MacArthur tried to modify Japan’s education system. He tried to change Japan’s education system because during that time, Japanese students were forced to value “we” more than “I.” That was why Japanese sacrificed themselves because it was for “we.” So MacArthur tried to change the system so that Japanese will think more about themselves rather than their country. Finally MacArthur tried to demilitarize Japan to make sure that nothing will happen in Japan. But MacArthur’s policy failed due to the Korean War. During the Korean War, US built factories in Japan since it is close and militarized Japan in order to protect Japan from communism. During this period of time, Japanese established their self-defense force and went back to the Japan before the war.


This is made by Pieter van Klompenburg, Karim Hassan, Yoonjae Chung