The Atom Strikes


July 16, 1945: The first explosion of an atomic bomb.

Three cameras, stationed six miles away, captured images of the explosion.


Another camera view of the explosion.

Hiroshima housed some military facilities and factories, but had not suffered regular bombing during the war. (This was to help the military determine the actual effectiveness of the atomic bomb.)

Some of the destruction in Hiroshima.

“Looking north from zero point, this is what was left.” Zero point was where the bomb exploded.

Looking east.

Looking south.

Looking west.

A tenth of a mile from zero point, the trees that are still standing have been stripped of all their leaves.

The Hiroshima Gas Company building on the right.

What's left of a reinforced concrete bank building.


Two tenths of a mile from the blast point, stripped trees and a destroyed Shinto shrine.

The American soldier is pointing out how you can tell the angle of the bomb blast. Notice the lighter colored material on the left, fading into darker colored material on the right. The blast was from the left.

What's left of a museum. The dome still stands today, pretty much as it was then. It was two tenths of a mile from the blast, which came from the left. Notice how the garden wall is bowed in on that side.

Towards the east, complete destruction.

The remains of a school a quarter mile from zero point.

The remains of another reinforced concrete building.

Three-tenths of a mile from zero point. This is what remains of the Japanese military headquarters. Most of 20,000 military personnel there were killed.

A building a half mile from zero point, also reinforced structure, isn't in too bad of a shape, comparatively.

Six-tenths of a mile from zero point. Wooden structures were collapsed by the blast. What is shown is what is left of Hiroshima castle.

The Hiroshima City Hall, which was at an angle to the blast.

Shadows of the post on the bridge indicate the direction of the explosion. This is also six-tenths of a mile from zero point.

The shadow of a pedestrian, vaporized by the explosion.

One mile from zero point the damage due to the bomb is less, but there were secondary fires and those did major damage.

One mile from zero point, the remains of a hospital.

Windows facing the blast were blown in.

Looking towards zero point from the roof of the hospital.

Looking south from the roof.

Looking west from the roof.

The city had consisted of buildings of various different construction and purpose all crowded in with each other and not separated by type.

Wooden buildings 1.5 miles from zero point. Much damage was done by fires of secondary origin.

A railway station 1.5 miles from zero point.

This shows the damage inside the station.

A high school about the same distance from zero point as the railroad station.

A building four miles from zero point that had been partially protected by a small hill.

A Jesuit who was teaching at that building describes what happened. He describes the flash of the explosion, and how the window frame of the room he was in was splintered. He also talks about seeing wounded people walking from the area of the blast. He estimated the number of dead at 100,000. He also says there was no one to take charge in the city, as all the high-ranking people had been killed. He sees neither he nor any of the other fathers heard any Japanese speaking hatefully of the Americans in the days after the blast.

He says that, at the start of the war, people looked down on the Americans, but after the American military successes, they began to admire them. He talks about how the Jesuits felt about the use of the bomb. He says some of them felt it was like using poison gas on the civilian population. Others felt that it was a total war, and the use of the bomb was just another weapon.

In the northeastern potion of the city, temporary homes are being constructed of whatever can be found.

Another newspaper headline.

Yet another headline, and a warning from President Truman.

Nagasaki was the next target. The film says almost every one was involved in making war products.

Where the force of the explosion was felt. The topography of the two cities was different.

The explosion from above.

Some of the damage.

What had been the steel and arms company.

More damage to buildings.

Another scene of the damage. The total area of damage was 42.5 square miles. Damage happened as far as 12 miles from zero point.

What remains of a church about a mile from zero point.

A residence 1.5 miles from zero point.

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