Short-Term Effects of the Atomic Bomb
The United States dropped the atomic bomb, called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Another atomic bomb, called “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki three days later on August 9, 1945. These two bombs had many short term effects. About 75,000 people died immediately in Japan. The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki took fewer casualties because it was dropped off target and the blast was stopped by hills. The radiation fallout from the two explosions was even more deadly than the initial atomic bomb. The waste caused genetic mutations and cancers. Many more people died in the coming years due to the diseases from radioactive waste exposure in the two cities. Lack of medical resources made exposure of radiation almost a certain death. Radiation sickness is still causing trouble to this day because of the people passing it on to their children. The total number of deaths related to the bomb was approximately 210,000 people. The atomic bomb caused a lot of destruction to the cities as well. 62,000 buildings were destroyed.


Masakazu Saito (pictured below), a survivor of the atomic bomb, was stationed in Hiroshima the day the bomb detonated. He was a communications platoon leader for the Japanese Army. He describes the explosion, "With 6,000°C of heat, it immediately burnt the city and all living things in it. Stones, rocks, and trains were melted, the train tracks curved in and warped under the heat, and the woods were set ablaze as well. Buildings were blown apart under 50t/m² of pressure from the blast." His whole platoon was killed immediately. A lot of damage was done to Masakazu Saito from the bomb. He has many illnesses due to burns, the explosions, and the radiation.

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All communications to the cities went dead on detonation of the bombs which prevented the government from fully understanding what had happened. Japan was forced to surrender after the destruction. The Emperor announced the surrender on August 15, 1945. However, President Truman wanted Japan's formal surrender to take place aboard the USS Missouri, a battleship involved in the fight in the Pacific. The ceremony was postponed until the representatives of all the major Allied powers arrived on September 2, 1945. This brought an end to the Second World War. Overall, there were many short term effects from the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that have changed Japan forever.