The luckiest city of World War 2

It’s August 1945. It’s been almost 6 years since the Second World War started. The terror regimes of Germany, Japan and its allies were fighting the United States, Russia, Great Britain and many more. Germany had surrendered several months ago, but Japan was still very much in the fight.

President Harry Truman had just been informed that the atomic bomb tests in New Mexico were successful. The new types of bombs were so powerful that a single device could raise a large city to the ground. Truman asked the Japanese to surrender their armed forces (with no mention of the Emperor), but somehow the plan backfired and was interpreted as weakness. The Japanese kept on fighting. Truman therefore decided to use the new atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6. Despite the huge devastation, the Japanese still did not unconditionally surrender. On August 9, the city of Kokura (now part of Kitakyushu) was the primary target for the second bomb. The crew flew over the city with orders only to drop the bomb if they actually saw their target. It was too cloudy. The plane flew over Kokura 3 times and still could not see anything. An earlier fire-bombing of another city close-by and bad weather made it impossible to see anything. The crew decided to fly to their secondary target Nagasaki, where the second bomb was eventually dropped and caused the death of tens of thousands. Kokura’s citizens did not know it at the time, but the city just might have been the luckiest city of World War 2.

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Information sources:
Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II

Photo Credits / Sources:

663highland [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons