The Americans were in a hurry to finish the war.
They did not intend to share governance of Japan with any of the
other Allies, wanting it to remain totally within the sphere of
American influence. Stalin
declared war on Japan on the 8th of August, as promised, and the
Red Army attacked the Japanese in Manchuria. Despite the dropping
of the first bomb on Hiroshima and the Russians now battling against
them, the Japanese still did not surrender.
The delivery of the second bomb was ordered by
Groves. This bomb, called "Fat Man," was a plutonium implosion
bomb. The first mission, flown by Tibbets, had perfect, but this
mission would prove to be riddled with problems, largely due to
the date being brought forward, which didn't allow time for proper
preparation of the mission.
The pilot, Major Charles W. Sweeney, had to use
a different aircraft, "Bockscar." At 3.49am on the 9th of August
1945, Bockscar - carrying "Fat Man"- headed toward Japan. Immediately
after take off, Bockscar flew into a storm, and the rendezvous
point with the other aircraft had to be changed. Upon reaching
the new meeting point, Bockscar found Great Artist already there,
but a third aircraft -- a camera place -- didn't make it. After
waiting 45 minutes, using precious fuel, Sweeney decided to continue
on toward the target without the missing plane.
On reaching the original drop site, Sweeney's
ability to gain a good fix on the target was hampered by low clouds.
The Japanese sent up fighter planes and opened up with antiaircraft
fire, so it was decided to move on to the secondary target, Nagasaki.
The weather was hardly any better at Nagasaki, but it was now
essential to drop the bomb, particularly to lighten the load,
as fuel was running low.
The Fat Man plutonium bomb, with a 22,000-ton
explosive yield -- nearly twice the power of the Little Boy uranium
bomb that had destroyed Hiroshima -- exploded over Nagasaki at
11.02am on 9 August 1945. Sixty thousand were killed, but because
the bomb missed its target by 3 miles, the surrounding hills shielded
many from the blast... otherwise the death toll would have been
Bockscar, due to the lack of fuel, could not
reach base at Tinian. Sweeney headed for Okinawa, the closest
friendly base, two hours away. Bockscar had barely enough fuel
to make it, but make it they did.