'A' bomb

By the end of 1944, Allied air raids over Japan had become more common and prisoners of war (POWs) in Japan saw regular Allied reconnaissance flights over their camps. Allied aircraft dropped incendiary bombs causing widespread fire damage and casualties in the major cities and some of the POWs were removed to different camps around the cities of Kobe and Hiroshima.

On 6 August 1945, a United States B-29 bomber known as the 'Enola Gay' dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima killing more than a third of the city's population of 350,000. Three days later on 9 August 1945, a second atom bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki killing more than 70,000 people. Both cities were destroyed and more than 200,000 people were killed. The Japanese Government, convinced of the futility of continuing to fight, accepted an unconditional surrender on 15 August 1945.

Atom Bomb Damage, Hiroshima. [AWM F07489]

The atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima exploded at 8.15 am on 6 August 1945. The bomb destroyed about 60% of the city.


Last updated: 1 February 2019

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DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2019), 'A' bomb , DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 12 May 2021, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/world-war-ii-1939-1945/events/victory-8-may-194515-august-1945/bomb
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