Library of Congress

This US Army photo clearly shows the amount of devastation after the bomb was dropped.

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On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped a nuclear weapon on Hiroshima, marking the first warfare use of such a device. According to the American government’s own after-action report, roughly 70,000 people were killed instantly by the blast. Buildings collapsed, a firestorm broke out, and an equal number of individuals were estimated to have sustained injuries from the aftermath.
Soon after the bomb was detonated, the American government distributed Japanese-language leaflets over various cities:
Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the Emperor now to end the war. Our President has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender; we urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace loving Japan.
When Japanese authorities did not respond, the United States dropped a second bomb on the port city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. In light of those attacks and a Soviet declaration of war, Japan finally surrendered on August 15, 1945.
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