CAIRO – 7 August 2022: On August 6, 1945, the United States became the first and only country to use atomic weapons in wartime when an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing nearly 80,000 people as a direct result of the explosion.
Another 35,000 people were injured and at least 60,000 more people died by the end of the year from the aftermath.
Although dropping the atomic bomb on Japan marked the end of World War II, many historians argue that it also ignited the Cold War.
Since 1940, the United States had been developing a nuclear weapon after being warned that Nazi Germany was already researching nuclear weapons. By the time the United States conducted its first successful test (an atomic bomb was detonated in the desert of New Mexico in July 1945), Germany had already been defeated and yet the war against Japan in the Pacific continued.
President Harry S. Truman received warnings from some of his advisers that any attempt to invade Japan would result in horrific American losses and ordered the use of the new weapon to end the war quickly.
On August 6, 1945, the American bomber Enola Gay dropped a five-ton bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. An explosion equivalent to the force of 15,000 tons of TNT destroyed four square miles of the city and instantly killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands died in the following weeks from injuries and radiation poisoning.
Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 more people and a few days later, Japan announced its surrender.