Difference Between Hiroshima Atomic Bomb and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb

During World War II, the allied powers, which included the United States and the United Kingdom, developed two powerful atomic bombs. The bombs were designed to detonate near the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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Such two catastrophic nuclear missiles were unleashed on the unfortunate cities on the orders of American President Harry S. Truman in August 1945.

Nevertheless, there are a few distinctions between the two explosives, and this article will explain them to you.

Key Takeaways

  1. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a uranium-based bomb named “Little Boy,” while the one on Nagasaki was a plutonium-based bomb called “Fat Man.”
  2. The Hiroshima bomb resulted in approximately 135,000 casualties, while the Nagasaki bomb caused around 64,000 deaths.
  3. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to Japan’s surrender in World War II. They contributed to the development of international laws and treaties to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb vs Nagasaki Atomic Bomb

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb nicknamed “Little Boy,” was a gun-type bomb that used uranium-235 as its fissile material, was 13 feet long, and weighed 4.5 tons. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was an implosion-type bomb that used plutonium-239 as its fissile material at 10 feet long.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb vs Nagasaki Atomic Bomb

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The bomb in Hiroshima detonated in the city center, which was densely populated with wooden housing developments and commercial establishments.

Because of these reasons, the mortality and damage in Hiroshima were exceptionally great. Hiroshima’s firestorm damaged 13 square kilometers (five square miles) of the entire city.

Almost 63 percent of Hiroshima’s structures were utterly destroyed, and more were heavily damaged.

In Nagasaki, 20,000 people perished that day, out of a total population of 174,000, with another 17,000 dying over the next four months.

And the warhead that destroyed the city was named ‘Fat Man,’ and it was a plutonium-based atomic bomb with a much more complex structure compared to the former.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHiroshima Atomic BombNagasaki Atomic Bomb
DescriptionThe bomb in Hiroshima detonated on the city centre, which was densely populated with wooden housing developments and commercial establishments. Because of these reasons, the mortality and damage in Hiroshima were exceptionally great.Despite the fact that the Nagasaki nuclear bombardment was catastrophic, with roughly 22.7 percent of Nagasaki’s structures burned by flames, the death toll and devastation were lower than in Hiroshima.
MechanismThe Hiroshima atomic bomb was made up of Uranium 235 and had a simpler structure.The Nagasaki atomic Bomb was made up of Plutonium with a complex structure.
ImpactThe impact of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb wiped approximately 74000 citizens of Hiroshima city that included military personnel as well.The impact wiped around 20,000 of Nagasaki’s population.
Bomb NameThe Hiroshima Warhead was labelled as ‘Little Boy’.The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb was dubbed as ‘Fat Man’.
Time and Date6 of August 19459th August 1945.

What is Hiroshima Atomic Bomb?

Hiroshima, located on the southern coast of the Japanese island of Honshu, was indeed a city of around 350,000 people in the region of the atomic explosion (including military people).

The overall number of deaths in Hiroshima has been estimated to be somewhere between 100,500 and 180,000 out of a populace of 350,000. Thousands and thousands were killed right once, with many more dying in the days and months following.

The ‘Little Boy’ was the name given to the atomic weapon that was detonated in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. It was constructed from highly quantified and enriched Uranium-235.

This specific Diffusion Enrichment Approach was utilized in the creation of this warhead. Slight variations in the weight of the two fundamental isotopes U-235 (initially 0.7 percent of uranium) and U-238 (which occurs in bulk naturally), were focused on.

As with UF 6, there is just a 1% variation in weight between the two molecules. This attribute contributed to the extremely high abundance of the rare isotope.

More than 60 kilos of greatly enriched Uranium were utilized in the bomb, which resulted in the utter annihilation of 90% of Hiroshima.

These two tragedies continue to reverberate today and serve as the most powerful warning of chemical weapons‘ devastation.

In addition to the enormous death toll, individuals who survived the first blast and firestorms were sick with radiation sickness, with signs including serious burns, hair loss, vomiting, and bleeding.

This was exacerbated by the fact that 90 percent of medical personnel across both cities were killed or injured, and also, what medical needs were available rapidly ran out.

What is Nagasaki Atomic Bomb?

According to Nagasaki’s steep nature and the bombing’s emphasis being distant from the central city, the bombing’s extreme destruction was restricted to the Urakami Valley and a portion of central Nagasaki.

Steep hills surrounding the Urakami River sheltered Nagasaki’s core, the harbor, as well as the old area from the bomb.

Even though the nuclear bombardment was catastrophic, with roughly 22.7 percent of Nagasaki’s structures burned by fire, the death toll and devastation were lower than in Hiroshima.

Predictions of Nagasaki’s losses vary from 50,000 to 100,000, with so many dying instantly and others slowly dying and excruciatingly as a consequence of burns and radiation.

The Fat Man was indeed the name given to the second atomic bomb that’s been detonated in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. This was built with 8 kilos of plutonium-239 (>90% Pu-239).

Furthermore, the creation of this weapon necessitated the methodical running of specific cases of nuclear reactors.

Main Differences Between Hiroshima Atomic Bomb and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb

  1. The Hiroshima atomic bomb was constructed using highly enriched uranium Uranium-235, whereas the Nagasaki atomic bomb was constructed of plutonium.
  2. The former bomb used a considerably simpler chemical design, but the latter used a far more complicated chemical design.
  3. The Hiroshima bomb was dubbed “Little Boy,” whereas the Nagasaki weapon was dubbed “Fat Man.”
  4. The Hiroshima Bomb killed around 74,000 people in Hiroshima, while the Nagasaki Bomb killed 20,000 people in Nagasaki.
  5. Although the Hiroshima Bomb was theoretically less powerful than the Nagasaki Bomb, the death toll in Hiroshima was higher because the city was more densely inhabited.
Difference Between Hiroshima Atomic Bomb and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb
  1. https://www.ctbto.org/specials/testing-times/6-and-9-august-1945hiroshima-nagasaki
  2. https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-II/Hiroshima-and-Nagasaki

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