Today, 71 years later, the world remembers one of the most lethal bomb attacks in world history. In the immediate aftermath of the atomic blast at Nagasaki, anywhere from 45,000 to 75,000 lives were lost.
In many ways, Nagasaki is a more realistic – and thus alarming – case study of what a modern nuclear strike might look like. Hiroshima was considered an ideal military target: a medium-size population center that had been untouched by conventional weapons with a sizable troop concentration. Nagasaki, on the other hand, had no major troop concentration. It did have the Mitsubishi industrial complex, but the main reason it was chosen as the target that day was because the primary target – Kyushu – had poor visibility. Nagasaki’s hilly geography, unsuited for a nuclear strike but suitable for surviving one, accounted for the minor difference in the loss of life between the two blasts.