The atomic bombs and the end of the war

period: August 6, - September 2, 1945

J. Robert Oppenheimer, the inventor of the atomic bomb: Now, I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

While the war in Europe had officially ended on May 8, this was by no means the case on the other side of the world. The Japanese had been on the losing side since 1943, but they fought doggedly on.

To put an end to the war without invading Japan itself, Harry S. Truman, the newly elected President of the United States, decided take drastic measures. On August 6, 1945, US bombers dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, and three days later on Nagasiki. The bombs killed a total of about 300,000 people. Emperor Hirohito decided to capitulate on August 15 and the surrender was signed on 2 September.

The Second World War had officially ended and the world would never be the same. An estimated 60 million people died during World War II, the vast majority were civilians.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, August 9, 1945
Source: Public domain

The Japanese delegation arrived on September 2, 1945 on the USS Missouri to sign the surrender
Source: Public domain

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