Back In Time: ‘Little Boy’ And The Japanese Trauma

Back in Time is a newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

For this incident, we go back in time to 1945.

 Hiroshima, Monday, 6th August: As the Second World War goes on, at 8:15 am, Japanese time, an American B-29 Superfortress known as Enola Gay, dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.



At 2000 feet above the ground, the 9700 pounds “Little Boy”, built to produce a 22-kiloton blast, detonated killing approximately 80,000 as a direct result of the explosion. Almost 35,000 are injured and another 60,000 are speculated to be dead by the end of the year as a result of the fallout.

Of the 90,000 buildings in town, only 28,000 remain while the rest have been demolished as a consequence of the explosion.

A survivor remarked, “The ball of fire appeared brighter than the thousand suns. The atmosphere was incandescent and the temperatures soared exponentially. The fireball took the form of a mushroom shaped cloud and the heat ignited many flammable substances for miles around. Wooden houses, clothes, human bodies, everything caught fire.”


By early afternoon, the police and volunteers established evacuation centres in hospitals, tram stations and schools and a morgue at the library. Tremendous bodies of unidentified corpses are piled up and many have been cremated on the spot. Hiroshima appears as a scorched and charred plain as far as the eyes go.

President Truman of the United States said prior to the attack, “The Potsdam Declaration issued 10 days ago, which calls for the unconditional surrender of Japan, is the last chance for the country to avoid utter destruction. If they do not accept our term they should expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on Earth before.” Japan had been warned in time!

Multitudes of reasons have cropped up for detonation of a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima. It is being said that USA took this extreme said so that it could limit its own casualties and because in the long run, the opportunity cost of this feat wasn’t huge. At the same time, it wanted to emerge stronger before USSR after the war.

Whatever the truth may be, it, definitely, is a black day for Japan and puts this country in a vulnerable position to surrender as quickly as possible and end the World War lest it should face disastrous consequences.

Post Scriptum: Nagasaki, Japan was bombarded with another atomic bomb on 9th August, 2015 bringing doom upon the natives. They surrendered nine days after the Hiroshima attack.

On this 70th year of the blatant attack on Hiroshima, let it be an opportunity to raise awareness about the torment caused by nuclear energy and also to urge our governments for nuclear disarmament.




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