Chilling Photographs of Preparation of Atomic Bombs to be Dropped On Hiroshima and Nagasaki

These previously unseen photos reveal the preparations leading up to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6th and 9th of 1945, the atomic bombs were dropped on the two cities.

Here are the chilling pictures of the final preparations:

Soldiers checking the casings of the “Fat Man” atomic bomb

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National Archives

Geophysicist Francis Birch (left) marks “Little Boy” L-11 while Norman Ramsey, who would later win the Nobel Prize in Physics, watches. This is the actual bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

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National Archives

Final bomb assembly

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National Archives

Fat Man nearly assembled and about to be placed inside its casing.

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National Archives

A technician applies putty to the forward polar plate of “Fat Man.”

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National Archives

Sealant is now being applied using a spray gun.

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National Archives

A frame taken from a colored movie, showing the color of the device and sealant/putty.

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National Archives

Soldiers and workers sign their names and other messages on the “Fat Man.”

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National Archives

A closer look.

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National Archives

“A Second Kiss for Hirohito!” signed by Rear Admiral W.R. Purnell, USN on the side of the “Fat Man”.

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National Archives

Fully-assembled “Fat Man” is loaded onto a transport trailer.

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National Archives

The bomb is now transported to the airfield, under cover with an escort.

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National Archives

One of two bomb pits on the airfield.

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National Archives

The pits for the bombs, measuring roughly 8 feet by 12 feet, still exist today.

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(L) National Archives/ (R) Jeffrey Tripp/FLICKR

Soldiers proceed for the preliminary pit alignment.

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National Archives

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National Archives

The bomb’s alignment was checked over carefully by eye and hand.

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National Archives

They made sure everything’s in place while the MPs kept watch.

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Using a hydraulic lift, they carefully lowered the bomb and its trailer into the pit.

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Workers check “Little Boy” one last time. Still covered with tarp for security reasons.

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National Archives

Once the bomb is ready, the aircraft Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, is backed up slowly over the pit.

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National Archives

The cover is removed and the bomb is readied for loading.

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“Little Boy” is carefully raised using a hydraulic lift and loaded into the belly of the Enola Gay.

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National Archives

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Once the bomb is secured inside the plane. All connections and equipment are checked again.

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National Archives

From there, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were flown over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, and detonated. World War II ended shortly afterwards.

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National Archives / Charles Levy / AP

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