Friday, July 27, 2007
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks during World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States of America under US President Harry S. Truman. On August 6, 1945, the first choice target, Hiroshima, was having clear weather. At 8:15 a.m. (local time), the Enola Gay's door sprang open and dropped "Little Boy." The bomb exploded 1,900 feet above the city and only missed the target, the Aioi Bridge, by approximately 800 feet. Staff Sergeant George Caron, the tail gunner, described what he saw: "The mushroom cloud itself was a spectacular sight, a bubbling mass of purple-gray smoke and you could see it had a red core in it and everything was burning inside... It looked like lava or molasses covering a whole city..." The cloud is estimated to have reached a height of 40,000 feet.
Hiroshima's population has been estimated at 350,000; approximately 70,000 died immediately from the explosion and another 70,000 died from radiation within five years. A survivor described the damage to people: "The appearance of people was... well, they all had skin blackened by burns... They had no hair because their hair was burned, and at a glance you couldn't tell whether you were looking at them from in front or in back... They held their arms bent [forward] like this... and their skin - not only on their hands, but on their faces and bodies too - hung down... If there had been only one or two such people... perhaps I would not have had such a strong impression. But wherever I walked I met these people... Many of them died along the road - I can still picture them in my mind -- like walking ghosts..."
|Japan was expanding its territory following the precedent set by Dutch, French and the US Manifest Destiny occupation of Southeat Asia and its resources,notably rubber and oil. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a forcibly occupied territory of the US. The decision to drop the A bombs was by Truman to thwart the imminent Soviet expansion into Asia and to maintain US dominance in the area. Hence Guam, Marshall Islands, etc are US territories to this day.|
|Claire, given the facts that you present, why do you still say US was wrong for ending the war in this manner? You say yourself that these bombings ultimately saved lives.|
Also, the US was attacked by Japan... Although, I feel the Japanese people were duped by their leaders just as I feel the Germans were. However, for some reason I still find it hard to comprehend what the Germans did.
The Japanese people were told that the Americans were savages that would rape all the women and torture the people and kill them. The people were terrified, it is (was) the Japanese dictator and his upper level military that is (was) to blame for their fate.
|Claire [Read first :)]|
|[Sorry about leaving so many comments, i had a lot to say :)]|
I’m an A-Level history student and we have recently been studying the end of WWII and the cold war. We studied in depth this situation. I’m aware that people have their own opinions on this matter, and by no means am I trying to argue that the American government made the correct choice. I am as disgusted as the next person at the events of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. But many people are unaware of the facts behind the bombings.
The Japan of 1945 was a hellish one, Japanese soldiers were trained to fight to the death, as surrender was seen as dishonourable. Up until 1941 America has maintain a policy of Isolationism, meaning they refused to join in political disputes, and therefore remained out of WWII. However, the Japanese altered this policy when they attacked Pearl Harbour, unprovoked. This dragged American into a war with Japan and allied, Germany.
|Claire [Read Second :)]|
|At first the American army tried force Japanese surrender, by occupy island close to Japan, hoping that the Japanese would feel the threat of invasion and withdraw troops from French-Indo China. Whilst the occupation of these islands was successful, Americans had failed to threaten Japan. Their next move was to rain down bombs upon important cities, hoping to cause damage and bring about Japanese surrender. Again this failed leaving American with little decisions left. The decisions was made that an attack on the Japanese main land would have been too costly of American lives, and could have continued and already brutal war, for many more months, possibly years.|
|Claire [Read Third :)]|
|As a last resort the Americans turned to the Atomic bomb. President Truman stated that the dropping of this bomb was to save lives. Whilst this seems contradictory, as hundreds of thousand Japanese civilians died, in long term numbers it saved millions of lives. Hiroshima was picked not because America wanted to prove they could kill, American wanted to end the war to save lives not kill lives. Hiroshima was picked because it had military and industrial importance during WWII. And anymore who A) knows history or B) has a brain, can figure out that bombing an important industrial or military city during a war will devastate that country.|
The dropping of the nuclear bomb had nothing to do with Russia, as at this point relations with the two countries were stable. The reasons from dropping the bomb were for Japanese surrender, nothing to do with the USSR. Also Japan's army was still strong in both numbers and force.
|Claire [read last :)]|
|Again I am in no way condoning what America did to the Japanese, thousands of innocent men, women and children died. And thousands more lived terrible and sad lives due to radiation poisoning. And it does make me sick to think that anyone could cause so much suffering to the innocent.|
But unfortunately war is what war is. Innocent will die.
Think if the nuclear bomb hadn’t of been dropped the world could have been VERY different. Japanese forces would have resisted an invasion and possible dominance of Asia, then who know from there. The Japanese government and Hitler were of a similar mid-set. World domination.
I am here merely to give facts and correct mistakes that people have commented with.
America was wrong to do this.
|These pictures confirm the bestiality that is within us. |
I am appalled and ashamed of us humans. So, we still
think (atomic) weapons are such a good idea?
|"Oh God, What have we done?"|
|At the time of dropping the bombs Japan had no army to speak off left and America had firebombed most of the cities around the country. The dropping of the bombs had little to do with Japan and a LOT with the USSR...|
|*sighs* It is indeed sad that he has to live like that, but we did what we did to end the war as quickly as possible.|
Japan at the time was of the mindset that surrender was dishonorable. To quit was dishonorable. We chose the citys that we did, 1 to get the point across that we could kill everyone if we wanted and two to keep the civilain casualties as low as possible to still prove point 1. The dropping of the bombs potentially saved millions of lives. So watch what you say about that decision.
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