Though most Americans learn about the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in standard history classes, very few actually seem to realize the significance of this event. Many dark moments in history are preserved and remembered by photographs of destruction and despair, but very few images of the atomic bomb's sheer power exist. As stated in this article on Design Observer, the U.S. Government imposed a strict code of censorship with regards to Japan's destruction just over a month after their surrender. This was obviously put in place to lessen the realization of America's pure destructive power, and to lessen the human side of the conflict. Fortunately, some photographs survived.
Flickr user afigallo posted a comment on the previously aforementioned article, bringing to light a series of photographs taken by the user's grandfather just after the bomb dropped. These photographs, found in this Flickr set, were "smuggled" via shoe boxes, as the images were not meant to be leaked at the time. And thanks to Flickr's services decades later, these photographs can be shown to the world.
Nagasaki, victim of the world's second atomic bomb attack, was destroyed on August 9, 1945 at 11:02am. The American strike resulted in 73,884 fatalities, as well as another 74,909 injured and several hundred thousand diseased and dying as a result of radiation. Another 140,000 were killed in the attack on Hiroshima. The vast majority of these deaths were civilian casualties, as well as Allied POWs, Korean and Chinese laborers, students, and Japanese American citizens. Though defenders of the attack claim that the death toll of the war would have been much higher had an invasion been planned, opponents consider this claim illogical and the attack inherently immoral.