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Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Men who helped drop the second war-stopping atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, study a map of their objective shortly before the take off of the B-29 “77” which dropped the bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. Left to right: Capt. Theo J. Van Kirk, navigator, who also made flight aboard the ‘Enola Gay’ when it dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima; Major Sweeney, commanding officer of the 393 bomb squadron and pilot. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

At 11:02 a.m. on Aug. 9, 1945, the bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” exploded approximately 500 meters above Nagasaki, Japan. It instantly killed an estimated 70,000 of the city’s population. Three days earlier, on Aug. 6, 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress bomber called Enola Gay dropped a uranium-235 bomb on Hiroshima, eventually killing at least 140,000 people. It was the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over.

On the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki and amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, here’s a look back at that fateful event. (AP/Getty images)

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