The US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
The nuclear bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was dropped at 11:02 a.m. from a B-29 bomber.
It instantly killed an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 people (the exact death toll is unknown), and led Emperor Hirohito to announce Japan’s unconditional surrender on August 15th.
“Fat Man” was the second and final atomic weapon that the US used in World War II, the first coming just three days before on Hiroshima, which killed an estimated 150,000 people. It would be the last time any country used a nuclear weapon in war. Today’s thermonuclear weapons have hundreds and sometimes thousands of times more powerful than “Fat Man.”
The use of nuclear weapons on Japan (especially the second on Nagasaki) is still debated in the US today, with critics arguing that the number of civilians killed initially and from nuclear fallout was immoral, while defenders argue that it saved thousands and thousands of American lives from a land invasion against an enemy unaccustomed to surrender.
What is not in dispute – the horrific destruction “Fat Man” wreaked on Nagasaki, which is shown in this rare color photo.