Aug 022012

By Andrew Battista

This week is the 67th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb attack in human history.  On August 6, 1945, a U.S. Air Force pilot named Paul Tibbets flew a plane nicknamed Enola Gay over Hiroshima, Japan and dropped an atomic bomb that instantly killed about 80,000 people, almost all of them civilians.  They were burned alive by a fireball estimated to be 1200 feet in diameter, with a temperature as hot as 7200 ºF at its core.  In the subsequent months, many more people suffered a slow death, either because of burn injuries or because of the lingering damage caused by radiation exposure.  A retrospective report by the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1960s guessed that within five years, over 200,000 people had died from the Hiroshima bomb.  Three days after the attack, another 70,000 people would be killed when the U.S. dropped a second nuclear weapon on Nagasaki.  The casualties from that attack would also eventually surpass 200,000. Continue reading »