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75 years ago – atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

This is a picture of a picture, taken at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum. It displays the complete destruction brought about by the atomic bomb on August 6 1945 at exactly 8:15 am. (Maarten Heerlien/Flickr)

Aug. 6, 1945

A-Bomb dropped on Japan in World War II

President Harry Truman announced to the world that the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

In his announcement, Truman said “it is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.”

The force of the weapon was the same as if 20,000 tons of TNT were dropped on Hiroshima. The population of the city was 318,000.

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The president also revealed that the weapon had been under development since 1942 at three top secret locations in the United States — Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Richland, Washington. The estimated cost to develop the weapon was $2 billion.

Truman delivered this address while returning from a meeting in Potsdam, Germany, with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.

As part of the meetings in Potsdam, a declaration was issued to Japan on July 26 saying “we call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.”

Japan didn’t respond to the declaration.

In addition to dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the U.S. Army Air Forces conducted a series of bombing raids on other parts of the country on Aug. 5. The War Department estimated that 3,850 tons of demolition bombs were dropped on industrial war centers across Japan.

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© 2020 The Times-Tribune