Top 9 Hiroshima Bombing Facts You Might Not Know

In August 6th, 1945, the US Air Force dropped an atomic bomb in Hiroshima, a city of Japan. The event was either extraordinary or disastrous. Hiroshima was the first city in the world to suffer from a nuclear attack. This event also marked the first time a nuclear weapon was deployed in warfare. These 9 Hiroshima bombing facts below would help you have a grasp on this famous historical event.

Top 9 Hiroshima Bombing Facts To Arouse Your Curiosity

1. The Codename Of The Bomb Was Taken From The Film “The Maltese Falcon”

The Little Boy bomb

The Little Boy bomb (Source: wikipedia)

Robert Serber, the creator of the bomb, drew inspiration from The Maltese Falcon – a film by John Huston. “Little Boy” is a nickname that a character, Spade, calls another character Wilmer. Actually, Spade only calls Wilmer “boy”, not “little boy”. There is another theory that Seber made the codenames for 3 bombs, the “Little Boy”, “Fat Man” (this bomb was dropped in Nagasaki) and “Thin Man”. He named “Little Boy” so it was antonymous with “Thin Man”.

2. The “Little Boy” Has A Different Design Compared To The “Fat Man”

The diagrams of "Little Boy" and "Fat Man"

The “Little Boy” bomb, made of uranium-235, is a gun-type bomb while the “Fat Man”, enriched with Plutonium-239, is an implosion-type device. (Source: historyhit.com)

The designs of “Little Boy” and “Fat Man’ may be mentioned in many atomic bomb facts. The “Little Boy” bomb, made of uranium-235, is a gun-type bomb while the “Fat Man”, enriched with Plutonium-239, is an implosion-type device. “Fat Man” was the more powerful and had much more complicated design. By contrast, the design of the “Little Boy” was technologically more conservative and simple. The explosion force of “Little Boy” was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT which was 6,000 tons less than that of “Fat Man”. Therefore, the efficiency of the bomb on Nagasaki was 10 times as much as that on Hiroshima.

3. The Bomb Was Finally Assembled In The Air

It turns out to be the air crew having to do the assembly of the bomb during a nerve-wracking flight.

Enola Gay plane

The plane which carried the “Little Boy” bomb was named Enola Gay (Source: gizmodo.co.uk)

If the plane had something wrong with the take-off, the bomb would explode and kill all US soldiers on Tinian, a Pacific island where the plane took off. Therefore, to avoid this disaster, the air crew assembled the bomb while the plane was flying over enemy’s airspace.

4. Prior To The Attack, US Warned The Citizens

Before the bomb attack, the U.S Air Force had dropped leaflets to warn the Japanese cities in these cities to evacuate to save their lives. Not only that, they also broadcasted the warning message on an American station every 15 minutes.

The warning leftlet

A leftlet to warn Japanese citizens (Source: Time Magazine)

This may be not the most surprising fact as there are many more unbelievable Hiroshima bombing facts waiting to blow your mind.

5. The Bomb Was Exploded 2000 Feet Above Hiroshima

The height of the explosion was highly likely to be calculated based on the force of the blast. There are many documents stating that the bomb was detonated approximately 2000 feet (600 meters) over the ground. When it was dropped, the blast destroyed immediately 5 square miles.

Hiroshima bombing facts

A giant mushroom cloud appeared over Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped (Source: bbc.co.uk)


6. The Death Toll Caused By The Bombing Was Nearly 200,000

The destructive power of the bomb was too large including four types: the blast, the heat rays, the initial radiation, and the residual radiation. The US also predicted the damage when they were making the bomb. The bombing attack caused the initial death of 80,000 people. After decades, thousands of people who suffered from radiation exposure died, making the total number of victims being nearly 200,000.

hiroshima bombing facts

Victims of the attack in a shelter hospital.

7. A Man Called Tsutomu Yamaguchi Survived The Attack

Actually, he also survived the bombing attack in Nagasaki. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an employee of Mitsubishi and he worked in Nagasaki. On 6th of August, 1945, he was going on a business trip in Hiroshima. Unsurprisingly, he was caught in the blast but somehow he still managed to survive. Next day he went back to Nagasaki. Unlucky for him, 3 days later in this city the American dropped “Fat Man”.

hiroshima bombing facts

Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived both of attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Source: gizmodo.co.uk)

Despite being caught in two attacks, he was alive. In fact, he died in 2010, at the age of 93. He was the only person who survived both atomic explosions.

8. The Oleander – The Flower Of Hiroshima

Oleander was the first thing to bloom after the atomic attack so it was chosen to be the official flower of Hiroshima.

9. The Flame In Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park Has Been Lit Continuously Since 1964

Hiroshima bombing facts

The Peace Flame has burned continuously since 1964. (Source: topyaps.com)

You may find this information in many articles or books about Hiroshima facts. Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park was built on the field where the nuclear attack happened. It is to commemorate the direct and indirect victims in the explosion but it also has another meaningful purpose. The flame has burned since the first time it was lit in 1964, and it will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on earth are destroyed and our planet is free from the threat of nuclear weapons and wars.


Despite emphasizing the consequences of the attack, those fascinating Hiroshima bombing facts will certainly provide people who are not good at history with a comprehensive and interesting lesson.



About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.