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24 Disturbing Pictures From The Aftermath Of Nuclear Warfare

In August 1945, the United States detonated atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing a combined 129,000 people and bringing WWII to an end. Warning: graphic images.

Posted on August 9, 2017, at 5:36 p.m. ET


View of the radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, as seen from 9.6 kilometers away in Koyagi-jima, on Aug. 9, 1945. The US B-29 Superfortress Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man," which detonated above the ground on northern part of Nagasaki just after 11 a.m.
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View of the radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, as seen from 9.6 kilometers away in Koyagi-jima, on Aug. 9, 1945. The US B-29 Superfortress Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man," which detonated above the ground on northern part of Nagasaki just after 11 a.m.

A Japanese citizen walks through the damaged lands of Nagasaki, two months after the atomic bomb was dropped over the city.
Bettmann Archive

A Japanese citizen walks through the damaged lands of Nagasaki, two months after the atomic bomb was dropped over the city.

The devastation in 1945 after the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
Bernard Hoffman / Getty Images

The devastation in 1945 after the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.


Japanese soldiers in Nagasaki assess the damage after the nuclear blast in 1945.
Galerie Bilderwelt / Getty Images

Japanese soldiers in Nagasaki assess the damage after the nuclear blast in 1945.

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Left: The skeleton of a Japanese victim is found in 1945 after the flesh was cooked off the bones by the heat of the blast. Right: A damaged cross lies in the devastation after the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

A Japanese baby sits cries in the rubble following the explosion in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A Japanese baby sits cries in the rubble following the explosion in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

Hiroshima in ruins after its atomic bombing during World War II in 1945.
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Hiroshima in ruins after its atomic bombing during World War II in 1945.

Left: A watch in the Hiroshima rubble is stopped at 8:15 a.m., the moment of the atomic detonation. Right: A human shadow scars the steps of a bank in Hiroshima, imprinted by the extreme heat of the blast.
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Left: A watch in the Hiroshima rubble is stopped at 8:15 a.m., the moment of the atomic detonation. Right: A human shadow scars the steps of a bank in Hiroshima, imprinted by the extreme heat of the blast.

The Hiroshima Chamber of Industry and Commerce was the only building remotely close to standing near the center of the atomic bomb blast of Aug. 6, 1945.
John Van Hasselt - Corbis / Getty Images

The Hiroshima Chamber of Industry and Commerce was the only building remotely close to standing near the center of the atomic bomb blast of Aug. 6, 1945.

Galerie Bilderwelt / Getty Images

A man with burns over his entire body is treated at the Army Transport Quarantine Station on Ninoshima Island. This man was exposed within 1 kilometer of the hypocenter of the atom bomb dropped on Aug. 6, 1945.

Left: A bandaged survivor tries to comfort a Japanese baby who was badly burned when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Right: A Japanese doctor is seen standing in front of a makeshift hospital at Hiroshima.
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Left: A bandaged survivor tries to comfort a Japanese baby who was badly burned when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Right: A Japanese doctor is seen standing in front of a makeshift hospital at Hiroshima.

A victim of the Hiroshima bombing displays his wounds for the camera in 1945.
Keystone / Getty Images

A victim of the Hiroshima bombing displays his wounds for the camera in 1945.

Survivors hospitalized in Hiroshima in 1945 reveal their skin covered with burn scars caused by the atomic bomb dropped on the city.
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Survivors hospitalized in Hiroshima in 1945 reveal their skin covered with burn scars caused by the atomic bomb dropped on the city.

John Van Hasselt - Corbis / Getty Images

Sumiteru Taniguchi is treated for horrific burns he suffered in 1945 from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. He survived and lived to be an old man.

A young couple survey the devastated city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1946.
Stf / AFP / Getty Images

A young couple survey the devastated city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1946.

Left: Officials of Hiroshima, meeting in the once opulent conference room of City Hall, discuss how to repair the ruined city in 1945. Right: People inspect the vast devastation from the Hiroshima bombing.
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Left: Officials of Hiroshima, meeting in the once opulent conference room of City Hall, discuss how to repair the ruined city in 1945. Right: People inspect the vast devastation from the Hiroshima bombing.

Students attend class in a bombed-out Hiroshima classroom, one year following the atomic blast.
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Students attend class in a bombed-out Hiroshima classroom, one year following the atomic blast.

A group of homeless children warm their hands over a fire on the outskirts of Hiroshima after the end of World War II.
Alfred Eisenstaedt / Getty Images

A group of homeless children warm their hands over a fire on the outskirts of Hiroshima after the end of World War II.

Two people walk on a cleared path through the destruction of Hiroshima.
/ ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two people walk on a cleared path through the destruction of Hiroshima.