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The anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 07:59 pm
Learning about this event in high school changed my out look on life. In my senior year we read Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse. I, of course, was shocked, horrified, humbled, and disgusted. I saw the events vividly, the shadow-prints on the wall of someone's vaporized body, the skin slipping off the flesh of a hand reaching from the contaminated river, the black rain, melted twisted metal.

Around a third of Hiroshima's population was dead within a week of the attack. That's somewhere above 100,000 people. Many more suffered through life and death from radiation sickness for years. Between 2,000 and 6,500 children were orphaned.

Brrr. I can't even kill ants. Imagine.

What was it like to be alive on that day? To actually remember it happening would be appaling to me. Not just from the perspective of any survivors in the area, but from the perspective of an American at home or at war.

Then and now images can be seen at the link below.....

From the BBC
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 08:28 pm
Wow, amazing pictures. I saw some article about it in Time or Newsweek last week. It had pictures of actual survivors who are still alive today, and little blurbs about them. Some of them were within a mile of where it hit and survived. I'll go see if I can find which mag it was in.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 08:36 pm
littlek wrote:
Around a third of Hiroshima's population was dead within a week of the attack. That's somewhere above 100,000 people.


It has taken Bush a little longer to reach the 100,000 mark, but he finally did manage to kill over 100,000 Iragi people.

And they weren't even near Pearl Harbor.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 08:41 pm
I couldn't find the exact pictorial/article that I was looking for online, but it was definitely the August Time magazine. It's worth checking out. Very interesting.

It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that even after teh unbelievable destructive power and death toll of the first bomb, they still had to bomb Nagasaki to force a surrender.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 08:51 pm
Some who know me here know that my dad took a lot of a bomb pics, or organized them. I am not antagonistic to him, though he and I should, could, and would've talked, but we didn't have time.

I am always interested in threads on these matters.

I have my own point of view which I am quite emotional about.


So, in order to have dialog progress, I'd rather direct discussion away from myself and my opinions, and on to everybody's else's point of view.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 09:29 pm
Osso, it's an emotional issue for all of us, I'd imagine. Much more personal for you than for me.

Kicky, after we read the book, we watched a short documentary with interviews of survivors (this was the mid-80s). My teacher is (was?) a vietnam vet.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 09:42 pm
Gus, let's hope there aren't any lingering toxins after the iraq qar - besides insurgents.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 09:58 am
Littlek, I was also hit hard when I learned about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in high school (about 10 years before you did). I can't recall if the book we read was Black Rain, but it may have been.

My dad was stationed on Guam for the last six months of WWII, and his perspective on that time helped me a lot.
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 10:07 am
My father was in a unit that was being transferred from the European theater (after 2 1/2 years) to the Pacific theater in August 1945. He never had a problem with the bombing. My problem with it is that in MHO it was unnecessary. The Japanese were folding and the dropping of those bombs was more of a test, to see how they would work in combat that a necessary strategic strike. We go around and around about this on these threads.


edited for spelling
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 10:46 am
No need to go around and around on this thread - it's not meant to be a debate.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2005 10:36 pm
A BBC article talking about the survivors and the lessons learned from studying them for 60 years:

the hibakusha
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 08:23 am
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4748027.stm
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 08:38 am
Littlek, if you want to get a first hand account, read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0553205986/102-2802182-0136965

The Nagasaki bombing was the really horrible one, and totally unnecessary. I have been given to believe that it was a test for the plutonium bomb. Crying or Very sad
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 08:43 am
Letty, the book I mentioned earlier is a first hand account. I dunno if I can handle reading 2 of those.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 08:45 am
letty, i've always felt that the Nagasaki bombing had no legitimate justification. incidentally, the physicists who signed onto the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb did so believing that it would be used against Germany, and did not all support its use against Japan.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 09:47 am
I was 16 and remember it vividly. At that time my brother almost all my cousins and many friends and acquaintances were in service. A the same was true of every family in the nation. How did people feel about the bombing? I will give it to you in a nutshell. They were elated since in meant the defeat of a hated enemy and the end of the war. Remember also that Pearl Harbor was still fresh, the atrocities that the Japanese had committed throughout the war were well known. Bombing of cities was a feature WW2 and last but not least the casualties sustained in our island hopping fighting a fearsome and stubborn enemy were horrendous. And we were looking at a similar cost [casualties] an invasion of Japan would bring.
And to those who say it was not necessary That is an opinion I do not share. There are millions of people who survived the war both allied and Japanese because of the use of the bomb.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 10:05 am
LittleK, Hersey's book is really small and can be read in a day.

Yit, Thanks for that info. I believe that it's accurate, too.

au, of course. Hindsight is an exact science.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 11:02 am
littlek, I won't derail your thread but for a moment

A month ago I would have disagreed with you Au, but recently declassified files show that you are correct.

"This brings us to another aspect of history that now very belatedly has entered the controversy. Several American historians led by Robert Newman have insisted vigorously that any assessment of the end of the Pacific war must include the horrifying consequences of each continued day of the war for the Asian populations trapped within Japan's conquests. Newman calculates that between a quarter million and 400,000 Asians, overwhelmingly noncombatants, were dying each month the war continued. Newman et al. challenge whether an assessment of Truman's decision can highlight only the deaths of noncombatant civilians in the aggressor nation while ignoring much larger death tolls among noncombatant civilians in the victim nations.

There are a good many more points that now extend our understanding beyond the debates of 1995. But it is clear that all three of the critics' central premises are wrong. The Japanese did not see their situation as catastrophically hopeless. They were not seeking to surrender, but pursuing a negotiated end to the war that preserved the old order in Japan, not just a figurehead emperor. Finally, thanks to radio intelligence, American leaders, far from knowing that peace was at hand, understood--as one analytical piece in the "Magic" Far East Summary stated in July 1945, after a review of both the military and diplomatic intercepts--that "until the Japanese leaders realize that an invasion can not be repelled, there is little likelihood that they will accept any peace terms satisfactory to the Allies." This cannot be improved upon as a succinct and accurate summary of the military and diplomatic realities of the summer of 1945."

We don't recognize the anniversary of the rape of Nanking. But we should. In all fairness we should.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=5894&R=C62A29C91
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 11:06 am
some pandoras boxes are better off left unopened.
There should never have been an atomic bomb developed. by anyone. period. much less used. IMHO.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 11:14 am
blueveinedthrobber
I can think of many things that should never have been but are. In any event I am greatful that we the US developed it and the Germans who tried did not. Can you imagine how much worse the outcome would have been if the Germans and Hitler had won the race.
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