Posts Tagged ‘Fat Man Atomic Bomb


Fat Man Atomic Bomb

Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender.

The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop their second atom bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but bad weather expected for that day pushed the date up to August 9th. So at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called “Bock’s Car,” after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Maj. Charles W. Sweeney. Nagasaki was a shipbuilding center, the very industry intended for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records).

General Leslie R. Groves, the man responsible for organizing the Manhattan Project, which solved the problem of producing and delivering the nuclear explosion, estimated that another atom bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18-but it was not necessary. Even though the War Council still remained divided (“It is far too early to say that the war is lost,” opined the Minister of War), Emperor Hirohito, by request of two War Council members eager to end the war, met with the Council and declared that “continuing the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people….” The Emperor of Japan gave his permission for unconditional surrender.

“Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Aug 2008, 04:20

fat man

The thing I have always found morbidly fascinating about this bomb is that it doesn’t explode.  It implodes.  Inside the bomb is a central core of plutonium 239 and formed around that core is a soccer ball-like shaped charge of alternating fast and slow burning detonators.  When it detonates the soccer ball collapses in on the plutonium core compressing it until it implodes.  A split second after imploding a massive release of energy results in devastating destruction, which, when used on August 9, 1945, convinced Emperor Hirohito that Japan faced annihilation if it continued the war.


The Fat Man atomic bomb can be found at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

For more information about this weapon and others follow these links:



Fat Man


On August 9th, 1945 a lone American B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb like this one on Nagasaki, Japan.  The instantaneous destruction of that city and roughly eighty thousand of its inhabitants brought about an immediate decision by the Japanese government to bring an end to World War II.  It also caused US planners to change their minds about the post-war world.  Europe under the Allies; United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union and France had been carved into zones of influence with the Soviet Union dominating huge parts of eastern Europe.  Six months later US leadership realized the Soviet Union would do the same thing in post-war Asia.  The race was on to see who would control what.  The United States decided, after having previously stated that it had no intentions toward Korea, that Korea would be divided at the 38th parallel.  The Soviet Army, then invading North Korea, halted at the the 38th parallel and waited while the United States tried to find a military unit to establish American control over the zone now known as South Korea.  The first American ground troops didn’t enter South Korea until over a month after the war had ended.

Since then, millions of Koreans have died because their country was divided between a Communist North Korea and a Capitalist South Korea.  There was precedence for such a division elsewhere in the world.  After all Germany had been divided into East Germany and West Germany.  And why not?  Germany had caused the untold suffering of millions of people, started a war that had destroyed dozens of countries, enslaved whole peoples and murdered millions of so-called undesirables (untermenschen).  With the end of the war in Asia it was fair to divide Korea because the Koreans had attacked dozens of countries, the Koreans had started a war that led to the deaths of millions of people and the Koreans had bombed Pearl Harbor.

Oh wait, that was the Japanese.

What did the Koreans do to deserve being divided?  They had been enslaved by the Japanese to work in Japanese labor camps, forced to fight in the Japanese Army, and tens of thousands of Korean women were forced into the “joy brigades.”  “Joy brigades” served the comforts of Japanese soldiers.  So these Koreans deserved to be punished? Their country deserved to be split.  Families divided.  Their nation occupied by foreign armies.  Why?  Because the Korean peninsula is strategically located as a staging area to invade mainland Asia.  Surrounded by water on three sides, the United States, with control of the seas, is able to control Korea with a minimal amount of troops.  So millions of Koreans have suffered because of the aggressively expansionistic policies of the Soviet Union, American strategic greed to maintain a staging area on the Asian mainland, and Chinese desire to rid itself of a threatening foreign army pointed like a dagger at its back.

World War II, for the United States, started when hundreds of bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor, and ended when two bombs dropped on two different days compelled the Japanese to surrender, which created a situation that continues to cause Korean suffering and provide for further world political tension.  Apologist historians have tried to assuage Japanese anger because of the total destruction of the Japanese cities, saying it was excessive force.  Well, if you don’t want the United States to drop bombs on your country, don’t drop bombs on the United States.  America has justified the occupation of South Korea because the United States was trying to stop the spread of Communism.  In case you folks have forgotten, Gorbachev took a walk on Broadway and Communism disappeared from most of the world.  It has stopped spreading.  So why is Korea still divided?

May 2019
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