Today in History

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on the city of Nagasaki in southern Japan at the end of the Second World War. Japan surrendered only a few days later, with the development of nuclear weapons, the success of the US blockade of the Japanese home islands, and the entry of the USSR into the Asian theater making Japan’s position completely hopeless. The bombing on Nagasaki is also very important because it used a plutonium bomb rather than the same uranium bomb design used to attack Hiroshima. Plutonium bombs are reportedly considerably more difficult to design but need less than 10 kg of plutonium. Thus, the development of plutonium bombs like Fat Man would have helped start research into the minimization of nuclear weapons (i.e. packing as much explosive power into as small a package as possible). Fortunately for the rest of the world, this also marks the last time that a nuclear weapon was actually used during a war. Every other nuclear explosion has been for testing and research purposes/