Wikijunior:World War II/Nuclear Weapons

Effects of the atom bomb on Hiroshima

During the war both the United States and Germany were working towards nuclear weapons. Each knew that having a powerful weapon would give them the upper hand in the war.

It was the USA who developed the first working nuclear weapons, with the help of British and Canadian scientists. The USA was the first nation to ever use nuclear weapons and is still the only nation to use them.

On August 6 1945 the first ever nuclear bomb, named 'Little Boy' was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Shortly after, on August 9 1945, a second nuclear bomb, named 'Fat Man', was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Both of these cities were in Japan and the utter devastation inflicted caused the surrender of Japan, who feared more attacks. The Japanese emperor also expressed concerns that if they continued fighting the new weapons could also lead to the destruction of humanity.

Whilst there are no reliable numbers that state how many people were killed by these two attacks, some estimates say that around 214,000 people were killed by the bombs. The radiation released by the bombs contaminated the ground around the cities for many years making the areas dangerous to enter.

Hundreds of people were killed through radiation related illnesses in the following years.