Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source1

Film footage of crew on the two bombing raids, 1945, and photos of the results
(Film courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, USA 8; other sources catalogue ref: FO 371/59640)

Source 1b

Figure 6

The Atomic Bomb Explosion over Hiroshima

Source 1c

Figure 5

The atomic bomb explosion over Nagasaki, taken from about 8 miles distance. The height of the top of the cloud is about 40,000 feet.

Source 1d

Spectators’ accounts, whether of the New Mexico, the Hiroshima, or the Nagasaki explosion, describe similar pictures. At Nagasaki, for example, the bomb exploded at 1102 with a tremendous flash of blue-white light, like a giant magnesium flare. The flash was accompanied by a rush of heat and was followed by a huge pressure wave and the rumbling sound of the explosion. Curiously enough, this sound was not distinctly noted by those who survived near the centre of the explosion, although it was heard as far as 15 miles away. People on the hillsides in the country at a considerable distance from Nagasaki told of seeing the blue-white and then multi-colored flash over the city, followed some seconds later by a tremendous clap, like thunder very close overhead. A huge snow-white cloud shot rapidly into the sky and the scene on the ground was obscured first by a bluish haze and then by a purple-brown cloud of dust and smoke.

The survivors were not aware at the time that a radically new bomb had been used. They were conscious of an explosion of tremendous power, but even the government had no conception, until President Truman’s announcement was broadcast, of the new principle of operation.

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