While tens of thousands of Japanese citizens were killed in seconds, just days apart, near the end of World War II, it can be argued that the bombings — which led to the Japanese surrender — saved hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides, lives which would have been lost in the eventual Allied invasion of Japan.
To this day, thankfully, these bombs are the only time nuclear weapons have ever been used by one nation to attack another in wartime.
Now, thanks to this astonishing 11-minute long silent footage, you can experience some of the behind-the-scenes moments preparing the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki as well as the detonation of the weapon itself.
While there is no sound or narration, the uploader has provided text annotations that pop up on the screen describing what is happening.
Take a few minutes to reflect on the extreme and terrifying power unleashed on the world in the summer of 1945 while remembering the lives lost — and those possibly saved. – AJW
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan (1945)
Nagasaki, Japan showing destruction after the atomic bomb (1945)
Unedited footage of the WWII bombing of Nagasaki
From the video’s uploader: This silent film shows the final preparation and loading of the “Fat Man” bomb into “Bockscar,” the plane which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.
It then shows the Nagasaki explosion from the window of an observation plane.
This footage comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory. I have not edited it in any way from what they gave me except to improve the contrast a little — it is basically “raw.”