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The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.

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Hiroshima: History and Legacy

08/06/2020 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join us as we reflect on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 75 years later. The Museum’s Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian, Dr. Rob Citino, will host a discussion on the history, artifacts, and Museum’s educational initiatives about the atomic bomb and Hiroshima.

A LIMITED PODCAST SERIES FROM THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM

"To The Best of My Ability"

Episode 6 – 883 Killed

In July 1945, after the success of the Trinity Test, President Truman ordered that the new atomic bombs be ready for assembly and potential use as quickly as possible. Truman, who was at the Potsdam Conference at the time, wanted the bombs prepared should the leaders of Japan refuse the final opportunity offered to surrender. In the midst of the conference, a number of ships sent parts for the new atomic bombs to the island of Tinian. Among the ships sent to Tinian was the USS Indianapolis, which carried key parts for the bomb codenamed “Little Boy,” including the enriched uranium core and gun-trigger method needed to detonate the bomb. After completing this mission, the USS Indianapolis moved away from the front line of fighting and halted defensive maneuvers, as the captain and crew had not received any reports of enemy submarines in the area. This decision proved catastrophic on July 30, 1945, when a Japanese submarine launched a torpedo strike against the Indianapolis, sinking the heavy cruiser in twelve minutes. The sinking left nearly 900 men in the water for days, as the US Navy did not know the location of the Indianapolis when it sank, or that the ship had been sunk at all.

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