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Pat Shingleton: the bombing and a typhoon

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago August 09, 2016 Aug 9, 2016 Tuesday, August 09 2016 August 09, 2016 4:15 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

Following the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, resulting in 140,000 deaths, the Makurazaki Typhoon hit the city one month later killing 1,200. The second bombing of Japan was scheduled on August 11 but was moved up two days due to expected bad weather and the originally selected city of Kokura was later changed to Nagasaki. Convinced that twp atomic bombs would need to be dropped over major Japanese cities in quick succession to force Japan to surrender, President Harry Truman sanctioned and ordered the implementation of the plan in July, 1945 on his return trip from the Potsdam Conference with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.  On this date, August 9, 1945, a B-29 bomber, nicknamed Bockscar, after its commander, Frederick Bock, took-off from the island of Tinian carrying a 9,000 pound plutonium bomb named Fat Man with a blast equivalent of 21 kilotons of TNT.  Two weather observation planes scouted conditions over both target areas.  At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945 the nuclear inferno was unleashed 500 meters above the surface.

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