1945

President Truman says, use ‘em as you wish.

August 6th 1945.

A US B-29 Superfortress bomber, Enola Gay, named after pilot Colonel Paul Tibbets’ mother, drops the atomic bomb, Little Boy, onto Hiroshima.

Moments later, between the Red Cross Hospital and the centre of the city there is nothing that isn’t burned to a crisp. The insides of streetcars standing at Kawaya-cho and Kamiya-cho are filled with dozens of bodies, blackened beyond recognition. 

Water reservoirs are filled to the brim with dead people who look as though they have been boiled alive. In one reservoir a man, horribly burned, crouches beside another man who is dead, and drinks blood-stained water from the reservoir. 

In another reservoir there are so many dead people there isn’t enough room for them to fall over. 

In the remains of a ruined building there are untold numbers of incinerated corpses. In the air there’s a fishy smell – human beings burned alive smell the same as grilled dried squid. 

Black rain falls. People desperate for water open their mouths and turn their faces towards the sky to try and catch the large drops of black sticky rain in their mouths. The rain sticks to everything. As it lands it turns everything black: people’s clothing, people’s hands and feet, their faces. It won’t wash off. People drink the rain. Their tongues are black. 

A boy holds one of his classmates in his arms. The injured boy’s skull is cracked open – flesh dangles around the crack. With his one good eye the boy looks for help.

The pilot of Enola Gay looks back and says, that’s their tough luck for being there.

An unknown number of survivors of the explosion at Hiroshima escape to Nagasaki.

August 7th 1945

At 07.50 Japanese time, US B-29 Superfortress Bockscar drops the bomb named ‘Fat Man’ onto Nagasaki. The mushroom cloud rises to eleven miles. The immediate deaths are estimated at forty to seventy thousand people.

On this day, in America, US Billboard has Perry Como’s ‘Till the end of Time’ at number one in the charts. 


© Phil Cosker 2020
Phil Cosker has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved; no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted by any mean, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.


 

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