Hiroshima Day: the view from the skies, and the ground view
The dropping of the Bomb as seen through the eyes of the pilot, Paul Tibbetts, and a young schoolboy, Yoshitaka Kawamoto, who was the only survivor from his school.
In 1945, on this day, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. In the twinking of an eye, it ballooned like a giant mushroom with a perimeter of 2.5 km. 90,000 buildings collapsed in a matter of seconds. Hundreds of thousands of people died. After several days of the bombing, the impact was still felt.
Bird's eye view
August 5 1945
Tinian Naval Base in the Pacific. Lots of fighter jets parked. Paul Tibbetts, the pilot of the B-29 bomber, was silent. All his thoughts were focused on Dr. Ramsey's instructions.
Paul Tibbetts had trained dozens of times and knew what he had to do. But tomorrow's bomb was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT.
TNTs of 100 tons is damaging. 20,000 tons?
Even the noise of the sea seemed to make him uneasy. Theodore van Kirk had been told, "This bomb will end the war."
Theodore Kirk's [Tibbets' navigator] thoughts were churning. He had heard these words many times. But for the first time, he had no idea what was going to happen.
For Paul Tibbets, the hardest part of his task: flying at 25,000 feet, the plane must be deflected 159 degrees and within 42 seconds.
At 8.15 am, the world's first bomb would be dropped on Hiroshima. The B29, Enola Gay, would take off, set course and fly on auto pilot to Hiroshima.
At exactly 8.14, the B-29 flew over Hiroshima. The countdown has begun.
9 ..... 8 ..... 7 ..... 5 ...... 6 ....... 4 ....... 3 ...... 2. ... 1
Paul Tibbetts dropped the bomb and sped away. The bomb was dropped from over 30,000 feet.
Tibbetts looks back slowly. No mushroom yet. This is how he describes the scene he saw later.
“It's a big black figure. Like hell! ”
To the eye, the smoke looked darker than ever. Then a little bit of eye-catching light. Tibetts kept flying.
The speed is to protect itself from acid rain after the atomic bomb detonates.
He was asked later (2003), was there any reluctance to perform such a great destruction?
“Of course not. This is why I joined the mission. I was well aware that I was doing this for the safety of my countrymen. ”
Do you regret this disaster?
"No. If this bomb did not happen this battle would have cost many more lives. I feel that it saved people's lives.”
The view from the ground
Yoshitaka Kawamoto sits near the window of his classroom, about half a kilometer from Hiroshima. A friend Bijimoto points to the sky and says, "Look, there's a plane."
Yoshitaka gets up from his seat and looks outside and asks, "Where's the plane ?"
Extreme light in the next two to three seconds. Not sure what happened. Smoke surrounds the eye. The roofs of the building are all collapsed.
Yoshitaka is trapped in the rubble of a building. It is not known how long he was unconscious. Can't even move a little. Like him, the other students in the rubble are singing the school song to signal each other of their whereabouts.
Somewhere, a student screams for his mother.
It is only when someone hears them singing that someone from the outside will come to rescue them.
The boys sing. Someone will come. Surely someone will come. Singing was their only hope.
Keep singing. Singing.
A voice stops singing. The boy has died. But they never stop singing.
For the next two days the voices of the boys singing keep decreasing. But the song never stops. At last Yoshitaka's voice is the only one. No one else sings. Everyone is dead.
Yoshitaka is the only survivor.
[Autotranslated from Tamil]