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Enola Gay returns after strike at Hiroshima, 1945. Photo from the National Archives, Identifier 76048622

Thursday, Aug. 6th marks the 75th anniversary of the first time an atomic weapon was used in an attack in war. 

The uranium device used in the attack, nicknamed Little Boy, was an untested atomic bomb. It was dropped at 8:15 a.m. Hiroshima time from the Enola Gay, a specially modified B-29 commanded by Col. Paul Tibbets.

Following the explosion tens of thousands of residents of the city were killed. A second atomic attack came days later using the plutonium implosion device, Fat Man. 

The ensuing debate about the justification of the bombs' use are still being argued today.    

According to a story by the National Archives, "Many Americans viewed the bombing as a necessary means toward an end to the conflict with Japan. When Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (the scientist in charge of the program to develop the bomb) was briefed on the bombing, he expressed guarded satisfaction. He, more than any other, understood  the power of the weapon he helped produce and the destruction that was unleashed on humanity. 

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