The war with Japan was intensified yesterday at precisely 8:16pm, as an American bomber code-named the "Enola Gay" released a one megaton atomic bomb, equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT, on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.
As Britons started their daily routine little did they know of the Horrors in Hiroshima, where people were being obliterated by the world's first "nuclear" blast.
What Happened? The American B29 bomber, the "Enola-Gay" which was carrying the "nuclear" bomb lifted off North Field at 2:45am with the pilot, Paul Tibbets, and his crew of eleven men on route for Hiroshima. Two observation planes carrying cameras and scientific instruments followed behind her. The three planes flew to Japan smoothly, and by 7:00 o'clock, the Japanese radar net had detected an unidentified aircraft heading toward Japan. At 7:25, the Enola Gay, at 26,000 feet, was cruising over Hiroshima. At 8:00 the Japanese detected the American bomber the radio stations quickly started to broadcast a warning for the people in Hiroshima to take shelter.
At 8:09, the crew of the bomber could see the city appear below; it was ready for them to drop the bomb. The bomb was released over Hiroshima at precisely 8:16am.
What did the bomb do? The bomb made a terrible, strong and unimaginable explosion occur near the central section of the city. The crew of the Enola Gay all saw a column of smoke rising fast and intense fires springing up all over the city. The tail gunner of the American bomber, George Caron described what he saw below him as "Smoke with a fiery red core and fires everywhere, far too many to even or two wide and half a mile in height. It is growing up and up, it is nearly level with us. It is a dark cloud but has a consider counting. A great big mushroom cloud is coming this way, its maybe a mile or two wide and half a mile in height. It is growing up and up, it is nearly level with us. It is a dark cloud but has a purplish tint to it. Everything seems to have disappeared underneath it.
After the explosion, every living thing within a six-mile radius was totally annihilated by the intense heat and shock waves the bomb produced. Figures for the total number of casualties in this incident are still very imprecise, but of approximately 350,000 people in Hiroshima, approximately 80,000 of them were killed instantly or mortally wounded by the bomb. Out of a total 76,000 buildings, an estimated 48,000 of them were completely obliterated by the "nuclear" blast.
What now? The world awaits a response from Japan although it will be sometime before this country will be able to come to terms with the dramatic events of yesterday.