On the morning of August 6, 1945, at 8:16 and two seconds, the dream of the superweapon became reality. The first atom bomb exploded without warning over Hiroshima with the force of 12,500 tons of trotyl. A new kind of war had begun. The events of the first second of this new war unfolded like this:
0.00 The bomb was detonated at approximately 600 meters above the Shima Hospital in central Hiroshima, during the peak of the morning rush hour. The temperature at the point of detonation rose to several million degrees in a millionth part of a second.
0.10 A fireball fifteen meters in diameter with a temperature of about 300,000 degrees was formed. At the same time, neutrons and gamma rays reached the ground and caused direct radiation injuries to living organisms.
0.15 The fireball expanded, and the blast wave expanded even more rapidly; the air was heated until it glowed.
0.20-0.30 Enormous amounts of infared energy were produced and caused most of the direct burn injuries to people.
1.00 The fireball reached its maximum dimensions, about 200-300 meters in diameter. The blast wave, which spread the fire, advanced at the speed of sound.
When the rescue teams managed to get into the area later in the day, they did not find many to rescue. Their task consisted primarily in gathering and removing tens of thousands of corpses. Those who had died immediately were left in the ruins. Those who had lived a few minutes or a few hours longer lay in heaps on bridges and the shores of the river or floated in the water, where they had tried to save themselves from the firestorm.
About 100,000 people (95,000 0f them civilians) were killed instantly. Another 100,000, most of these civilians as well, died long, drawn-out deaths from the effects of radiation. ......................................
The first the Americans heard of the atomic weapon exploding in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, forty-four months to the day after Pearl Harbor, was President Truman's announcement: "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base."
He forgot to mention that Hiroshima was not only a military base, but a city of more than 400,000 civilians, and that the bomb was aimed not at the base but at the heart of the city.
The following day, Truman expanded on the explanation. A military base had been selected for the attack, he said, "because we wished in the first attack to avoid, as much as possible, the killing of civilians." But if the Japs," as he called them, did not surrender, the consideration would soon have to be set aside, and "unfortunately thousands of civilian lives would be lost."
This left the impression that thousands of civilian lives had not been lost in Hiroshima. As Truman well knew, that was a lie.
Above excerpts take from Sven Lindqvist's masterwork,A HISTORY OF BOMBING