Remembering Nagasaki 69 Years Later

August 9, 2014

Saturday, August 9, marks the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki that left more than 70,000 dead only days after 130,000 were killed in Hiroshima. It’s difficult to put into perspective the destruction and horror that resulted from these events, however,the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sums it up well, saying:

At the end of the day, it can be worthwhile on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries to think about the personal and the emotional—while keeping such clinical data in mind and ready to hand when it is necessary to debate proponents of ideas such as “battlefield nuclear weapons,” “limited nuclear war,” and the use of select nuclear strikes as a form of “de-escalation.” 

To mark this day, we found it pertinent to share this unedited, silent video of the bombing of Nagasaki originally posted by Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology. The video, which came from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, shows the final preparation and loading of the “Fat Man” bomb into “Bockscar,” the plane which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, and the explosion from the window of an observation plane.


Photo: The picture was taken by Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack.