WWII was the most devastating conflict the world has ever had. Millions had died in the span of six years, with many left homeless. Even survivors did not have an easy time, as most of the world's economy was left in shambles, and it was not until the 1950's that things started to improve and get on track. Today, we're going to learn about the story of one of the worst days in WWII - The Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the final act which brought about Japan's capitulation.
He Was Just 16 Years Old
Sumitery Tanigchi was just 16 years old when the attack happened but his body was scarred forever. He had burns on over 60% of his skin tissue, and just barely survived the nuclear radiation that followed the attack.
At 86 Years Old He is Still Going Strong
Today even though he is an 86-year old man, he is still healthy and forever grateful for the doctors that saved his life. Due to the nature of the attack, a large number of people he knew had perished, and he was one of the only few to survive.
It Took Out 70,000 People
The bomb was called "Fat Man", and it was a five-ton nuclear warhead made out of plutonium. The blast radius and heat wave was several miles in diameter, and the initial explosion took out over 70,000 people.
It Took 21 Months to Heal His Wounds
The blast ripped apart his back and dented the ribs in his chest in several places. The wounds took over 21-months to heal, and doctors had to work round the clock to save his life, which was not easy to do during the greatest war the world has ever had.
His Wife Still Takes Care of Him
His wife has to moisturize his skins every day in order to stop any further deterioration. This did not help to save three of his ribs, which sadly rotted away as the years went by. This is what happens when bones are exposed to the elements and not protected by skin.
Fighting Against Nuclear Weapons
Today Sumitery is a member of Nagasaki's Survivor Group, which fight for a world without nuclear or other types of atomic weapons. We can only hope they succeed in this endeavor, as the world does not need another Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Nagasaki Was Never the Same
The devastating blast of a five-ton plutonium charged bomb changed the face of Nagasaki forever. Every building and street you could see for miles was either demolished or burned to the ground. This is something we do not want to witness again.
Today it is a Hotbed of After-Hours Fun
Who would have thought that a city ravished by such tragedy can today be called one of Japan's most famous nightlife spots? This is indeed true, just check out the picture above and tell me the city is simply not sizzling with life.
The Fat Man Used Several Different Types of Explosives
Few people know how nuclear weapons work. The underlying technology is different today than how the bombs of WWII worked, but suffice to say Plutonium was not used alone - it was in fact combined with Uranium 238 and the blast was initiated by a Polonium-Beryllium charge.
Why Was it Shaped This Way?
You might have noticed the bomb looks vastly different to how rockets and bombs look today - this was in effect created due to the way the bomb dropped - it didn't have any sort of navigation on its own, so it had to use drag to fall more slowly through the air.
Everyone Was Harmed
A nuclear blast does not choose its victims - everything from schools to temples and churches were harmed in the attack. It is sad that it had to come to this in order to achieve world peace again - who knows what would have happened in WWII continued.
The Nazis Also Worked on a Bomb
Little is known about the Nazi Hydrogen Bomb project, but most of the facilities were located on the shores of Norway. We can only be grateful they never succeeded in developer the bomb, as the damage would be what happened to Japan times ten - at least.
The Nuclear Howitzer
After the success the US army had in defeating Japan, there were even plans to develop Nuclear artillery, capable of lobbing tactical nukes for miles across the battlefield. They were never produced on a mass scale though.
The Heatwave Went on for Miles
The dust above Hiroshima and Nagasaki was so tall that the local population of Japan could see it for miles - even those that did not live in the affected cities could get radiation poisoning from the bombings. Thousands more were affected by this radiation poisoning.
About Radiation Poisoning
This type of systemic complication, caused by ingesting large amounts of radiation can have an effect on your entire body. From your eyes to your thyroid, lungs, stomach, skin, bone marrow and reproductive organs - and worse yet - it is in many cases untreatable.
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