Forty-three seconds after releasing the bomb nicknamed "Little Boy," the Enola Gay pilot, Col. Paul Tibbets, was alerted to the blast by radioactivity tingling in his teeth and the metallic taste from electrolysis on his tongue. Ten and a half miles away, tens of thousands had already vanished. A massive firestorm would grip the city within minutes and kills thousands more. This photo taken minutes after the blast at a distance of six miles was found in a suburban Hiroshima grade school in 2013:
As the first use of an atomic weapon against an enemy, the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima - and Nagasaki three days later - was controversial. The decision assuredly brought a very quick end to the war with Japan and in the eyes of most historians and military experts saved the lives of millions of combatants and civilians. For more on this historic event and its aftermath readers should visit a fascinating Harry S. Truman Library and Museum archive of primary sources relating to the story.
|U.S. Army poster preparing Americans for the Japanese campaign|
For a three minute assessment of the event by Col. Paul Tibbets, commander of the Enola Gay, visit this history.com link.
Ground photo, gizmodo.com.au
Poster, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Hiroshima aftermath, U.S. Navy Public Affairs Website, chinfo.navy.mil