Although Nagasaki has become infamous as the site of the second atomic bombing of Japan, the proposed site of this bombing was actually Kokura. The bombing of Hiroshima originally had a secondary target location of Kokura, incase the pilot was unable to accurately locate Hiroshima. On August 9th 1945 the Americans planned to bomb Kokura with Nagasaki as a secondary target following the pilots inability to locate Kokura.
On August 9th 1945, just three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a B-29 bomber took off from a US air-base in the East Pacific island of Tinian at 3:47 am. This American war plane was carrying a five tonne nuclear bomb the US military had dubbed “the fat man”. The plane arrived over Kokura at 10:45 am, but due to the level of smoke coverage from the firebombing of neighbouring city of Yahata the previous day, the crew were unable to clearly locate Kokura’s military arsenal, the specific target for the bombing. After forty-five minutes of circling Kokura trying to locate their target the pilot set course for the secondary target of Nagasaki.
Having thus far been airborne for 8 hours, the B29 entered Nagasaki airspace with only two hours of fuel left, and conditions were not clear above Nagasaki either. However a break in cloud cover allowed for clear site of the targeted Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, the bomb was dropped and detonated at 11:02 am.