Economic effects of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The morning of 6 of August 1945 a single atomic bomb called “Little Boy” exploded over the city of Hiroshima at 8:15, devastating almost the entire metropolis. “Little Boy” was 10 feet long, weighted 9,000 pounds, and was dropped from a height of 31,600 feet, exploding at 2,000 above Hiroshima with the force of 20K tons of TNT.
A conventional bomb would have destroyed only the wooden structures within a 40 meters radius, but the atomic bomb that smashed Hiroshima was able to affect everything within a radius of 2 kilometers of the point of explosion. Altogether an area of 13 square kilometers was reduced to ashes and 80% of the 76,000 buildings in the city were burned down. 60,000 buildings over 90,000 were completely demolish, leaving about 140,000 citizens homeless, causing, in some cases, even death. 5,000 feet northeast of ground zero great damages could still be seen. To be able to rebuild the city, Japan had to invest many years and billions of dollars.
The “fire-wind” gave a roughly circular shape of 4.4 square miles which were completely burned. More than half the bridges in the city were destroyed, along with heavy damages to roads and railroads, which impeded communications with other cities, making it really hard to make a recount of the damages and figure out what to do. Transportation systems in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely crushed, along with electrical signal systems. Before the atomic bomb struck the city of Hiroshima, its population was about 310,000 civilians, plus 40,000 military and 20,000 daytime workers, the entire explosion of the atomic bomb killed about 140,000 persons. For the ones left it was almost impossible to find a job, so the Japanese economy was stuck on its knees. (This caused the Japanese economy to get stuck on its knees) Three days after the Hiroshima attack, the B-26 bomber hit Nagasaki with a second atomic bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man”, it had the power of 22 kilotons of TNT and weighted 4, 50 kg. The bomb exploded about 500m above a residential area, full of schools, factories, and houses. Within a radius of 1 kilometer, the explosion of pressure and heat smashed immediately houses and other structures, turning them into ashes. The Mitsubishi Steel Works complex bent and twisted like jelly and the concrete roofs of the National Schools collapse. 22.7% of the 51,000 buildings in the entire city were completely destroyed or severely damage such that Mitsubishi company, many others big corporations were destroyed by this second atomic bomb, leaving Japan with less industry than before and nowhere to rely on. The surveys done afterwards estimate the number of persons affected by the Hiroshima to be between 70,000 and 80,000, with an equal number injured, while the number of victim at Nagasaki was over 35,000. The economic impact of both attacks required many decades for Japan to recover the financial status it had always own. It was an expensive rehabilitation but they made it, and now Japan is back into the top ten more economically influent countries.
By: Analucia Castagnino
Even after they found out about the events at Hiroshima, the Japanese government censored reports about the atomic bomb, vehemently denying that it had been dropped on the city. The morning newspapers of August 8 revealed nothing more than that a “few enemy planes” had severely damaged Hiroshima with “a wholly new type of bomb” (The Pacific War Research Society). Citizens were kept in the dark about the situation and were simply instructed to wear white clothing in case of another attack (Priddy). Stalin also sent 1.6 million soldiers into Manchuria, threatening the already weakened Japanese forces there. In addition, the Office of War Information ran off millions of leaflets calling Japan to give up or face nuclear attacks “again and again” until they ended the war at once...