Rumour at the time had it that 'nothing will grow here for 75 years,'" Mayor Kazumi Matsui said. The United States said the bombings hastened Japan’s surrender and prevented the need for a U.S. invasion of Japan.

(U.S. Air Force) BOTTOM LEFT: Bodies of people who were thrown from a tramcar when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The largest death toll from a single attack (in any war) is not Hiroshima, but the fire-bombing of Tokyo in March 1945.

But any visitor to the Hiroshima Peace Museum might justifiably ask, where is the context? For decades after the war, the B-29 Superfortress bomber was left to rot.

Hordes of zombie like people, their skin melted and hanging in ribbons from their arms and faces; mournful cries from the thousands trapped in the tangle of collapsed and burning buildings; the smell of burned flesh.

That's how the bombs got into the belly of the planes, he says.I back up the rental car to the edge of the bomb pit. "If he's busy or not around, there are several other locals who will give you a free tour of the grounds with all the historical details.But Mito's passion and experience are worth waiting or returning a second day for.The 74-year-old turns to a page in one of his binders with a large quote Pope John Paul II made during a visit to Hiroshima in 1981, one that's"To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future. Survivors have a higher risk of developing cataracts and cancer.

The attack created a fire storm which took 105,000 civilian lives. Many people exposed to radiation developed symptoms such as vomiting and hair loss. Sitting and talking with any "hibakusha" (survivor) is a deeply moving experience. Think of the roads and freeways you drive on, how potholes develop and surfaces crumble in within your short-term memory. "And yet, Hiroshima recovered, becoming a symbol of peace. They became a symbol of peace because of a 12-year-old bomb survivor, Sadako Sasaki, who, while battling leukemia, folded paper cranes using medicine wrappers after hearing an old Japanese story that those who fold a thousand cranes are granted one wish. And so, to many Japanese, Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand oddly alone, detached from the rest of history, symbols of the unique victimhood of Japan, the only country ever to experience a nuclear attack. About 136,700 people certified as “hibakusha,” as victims are called, under a government support program are still alive and entitled to regular free health checkups and treatment.

Some historians today say Japan was already close to surrendering, but there is still debate in the U.S.A. At 8:15 a.m., the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a 4-ton “Little Boy” uranium bomb from a height of 9,600 meters (31,500 feet) on the city center, targeting the Aioi Bridge. "Germany surrendered to Allied forces in May 1945, but World War Two continued in Asia as the Allies fought imperial Japan. The bike is loaded down with documentation of the bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath. The pavement below us hasn't been touched in more than seven decades. Two glass structures, maybe four or five feet high, are visible at separate corners on the same side of the small pad.My guide is Don Farrell, a California native who moved to the Pacific islands in the 1970s. The path we're driving emerges into a clearing about the size of a supermarket parking lot. These are external links and will open in a new windowBells have tolled in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the world's first atomic bomb.But memorial events were scaled back this year because of the pandemic.On 6 August 1945, a US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city, killing around 140,000 people.