- An extraordinary and sobering collection of artefacts from the US’ 1945 atomic bomb strike on Hiroshima, including a melted sake bottle
On August 6, 1945, the US B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was the first use of an atomic bomb in warfare. Some 20,000 soldiers and 70,000 inhabitants - 30% of the population - died instantly as the city was destroyed. Thousands more would later die from exposure to radiation.
Three days later, the US launched a further atomic bomb attack on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
Japan surrendered on August 15, bringing an end to the second world war.
The two attacks remain, to date, the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare.
The collection comprises:
- A sake bottle from Hiroshima. The bottle’s glaze has melted and debris is embedded in it from the blast of the atomic bomb - 5 inches high
- Glass from Hiroshima, melted by the atomic bomb blast. The glass has roof nails embedded in it - 5 inches high
- Original British Air Ministry photographs of Hiroshima - (provided to the UK by the US Air Force) - 9 x 7 inches
- A British four-page typed confidential report on the effects of the Hiroshima bomb - 13 x 8 inches
- A British damage assessment diagram of Hiroshima, compiled after the attack - 17 x 13 inches
The damaged bottle and melted glass were acquired by a British government scientist, who visited Hiroshima in November 1945 - just three months after the attack - to conduct a confidential report into the effects of the bomb on the city and its infrastructure.
The scientist’s confidential report, damage diagram and photographs were likewise owned by the scientist.
The scientist later became a university professor, and gave the collection to one of his university students. It was then acquired by Winston Ramsay, the editor of After the Battle magazine, who gifted it to the present owner.
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