An estimated 70,000 people were killed 70 years ago in Hiroshima, Japan: the highest death toll ever caused by a single weapon in history. Many others were killed in Nagasaki and in the days to follow. Did the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Japan bring an end to World War Two? What are the risks of nuclear war today?
August 6th, 1945 was the first wartime use of a nuclear bomb. It unleashed incredible power and wiped out the city of Hiroshima in an instant. Survivors of the U.S. attack say it was hell on earth where the bomb hit. Tens of thousands were injured and died later. Those who survived suffered from cancer and other diseases.
Three days after Hiroshima, another nuclear bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki by the U.S.
Many say the bombs brought an end to World War II when the Japanese Army surrendered. Some argue the bombings were not necessary or justified. The Heat spoke to a panel of experts:
- Peter Kuznick, professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University
- Victor Gao, director of the China National Association of International Studies.
- Shihoko Goto, the senior Northeast Asia associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.