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This Happened

This Happened — August 9: Second Atomic Bomb Is Dropped On Nagasaki


Nagasaki was bombed on this day in 1945, towards the end of World War II.

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Was Nagasaki the first choice for the bombing?

The primary target for the second atomic bomb was the city of Kokura. However, due to poor visibility caused by clouds and smoke from a firebombing raid on another nearby city, the B-29 bomber named Bockscar, which was carrying the bomb "Fat Man," diverted to the secondary target of Nagasaki. The city was chosen as an alternative target because it had not been heavily bombed previously and was considered a valuable industrial and military center.

What was the impact of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki?

The atomic bomb caused immense destruction and loss of life in Nagasaki. The blast killed an estimated 70,000 people, with many more suffering injuries and radiation-related illnesses. The city's infrastructure and buildings were devastated, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

How does the bombing of Nagasaki relate to the bombings of Hiroshima?

The bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were both conducted by the United States near the end of World War II. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945, followed by Nagasaki on August 9. These bombings marked the first and only use of nuclear weapons in warfare.

Did the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima lead to Japan's surrender?

The bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima played a significant role in Japan's surrender. The devastation caused by the atomic bombs, coupled with the Soviet Union's declaration of war on Japan, contributed to the decision by Emperor Hirohito to announce Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945.

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Mideast War, Day 4: Israel’s Ground Assault On Gaza May Be Imminent

The Israeli army has secured its own territory, and is now focused on what all believe is an impending ground assault into Gaza. The ground war now appears more a question of when rather than if.

Photo of Israeli forces nearing the Israeli-Gaza border

Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border

Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

Four days after Hamas’ brazen and deadly assault, an Israeli military spokesman announced early Tuesday that all enemy troops had been either killed or pushed back over the border into Gaza. "Since last night we know that no one came in ... but infiltrations can still happen," military spokesman Richard Hecht said, adding that Israel's army had "more or less restored control" over the border.

With its own territory back in control, the Israeli army is now focused on what all believe is an impending ground assault into Gaza. At this point, following multiple declarations of the most senior Israeli officials, it appears more a question of when rather than if.

Within 48 hours,” “TONIGHT…” The speculation online has begun about the precise timing of a ground assault, though officials from the Israeli Defense Forces will undoubtedly hold on to some element of surprise about exactly when, where and how such an operation.

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Still, signs are everywhere that it is coming: The mobilization after Hamas’ attack Saturday of more than 300,000 reservists, some of whom are already joining the troops near the border of Gaza. Israel also said it had fully deployed 35 military battalions and four divisions and was “building an infrastructure for future operations,” according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

While the rationale for a ground war includes the goals of inflicting retribution on Hamas for the attack that has killed some 900 civilians, Israel would also be aiming to disarm the militant organization, track down its leadership and ultimately destroy them. French political analyst Pierre Haski asks: "Will Israel's objective be achieved? It depends on what is meant by the eradication of Hamas. After all, in the past Israel has been able to decapitate terrorist groups without being able to eradicate them."

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