Hiroshima file photo

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

6 Aug 1945 - 9 Aug 1945

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

This article covers the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For details on the conventional bombing of Japan, please see the article Bombing of Tokyo and Other Cities.

On 16 Jul 1945, while President of the United States Harry Truman was at Potsdam, Germany to meet with his Allied counterparts, long-waited results reached him: The Manhattan Project, the American effort at building the atomic bomb, successfully detonated the first bomb during a test at Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States. Truman, unwilling to risk the huge amount of lives that might be lost on both sides should the Allies invade the Japanese home islands, ordered the usage of the new technology. The scientists presented them with two such weapons, while the military sought uranium to produce a third.

Target Selection

Between 10 and 11 May 1945, Oppenheimer led a committee which came up with a list of cities most potentially suitable as targets of atomic attacks. The committee eventually arrived at the recommendation of four targets: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and Kokura.

Hiroshima was chosen as the first target due to its military and industrial values. As a military target, Hiroshima was a major army base that housed the headquarters of the Japanese 5th Division and the 2nd Army Headquarters. It was also an important port in southern Japan and a communications center. The mountains surrounding Hiroshima also contributed to Hiroshima being among one of the top choices among the short list of potential targets, for that the mountains might contain the destructive forces of an atomic blast in the target area, increasing the level of destruction.

US Secretary of War Henry Stimson voiced successfully against the selection of Kyoto as a target, arguing that the city held cultural importance to the world; he also had a personal attachment to the city as he and his wife traveled to Kyoto on their honeymoon many years prior.

Prior to the bombing, the United States Army conducted many missions over Japanese cities that were composed of very few B-29 bombers. The purpose of such flights were to wear down the alertness of Japanese anti-aircraft defense crew, whether gunners or fighter pilots, so that when the atomic bomb attacks arrived, perhaps some of the Japanese would let their guards down.

Hiroshima
6 Aug 1945

The B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay of USAAF 393rd Bombardment Squadron, commanded by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 509 Composite Bombardment Group, XX Air Force, lifted off from North Field of Tinian of the Mariana Islands on 6 Jun 1945 with their cargo code named "Little Boy". The crew was instructed that Hiroshima was to be their primary target; if Hiroshima could not be reached for any reason, including foul weather, Kokura or Nagasaki was to be chosen as alternate targets. They were accompanied by two other B-29 bombers which carried instrumentation and photography equipment. US Navy Captain William Parsons armed the bomb en route, and 30 minutes prior to reaching Hiroshima 2nd Lieutenant Morris Jeppson removed the bomb's safety devices. Enola Gay was accompanied by two other B-29 bombers: Great Artiste, with scientific instruments, was piloted by Major Charles Sweeney; Necessary Evil, with photography equipment, was piloted by Captain George Marquardt.

About 60 minutes before the American bombers reached Hiroshima, they were detected by Japanese radar. Air raid warnings were sounded in several cities, including Hiroshima, but when it was determined that there were only three bombers, thus it was likely to be only a reconnaissance mission, some of the cities lifted the alarm. The Japanese military determined that aviation fuel was so precious that interceptors would not be launched just for three bombers. This might be caused from the regular visits that the US Army had been sending for the very purpose of making the Japanese lower their guards.

When the bombers reached Hiroshima, they found the weather conditions to be ideal. At 0815 hours local time, from an altitude of 9,855 meters, "Little Boy" was released by bombardier Thomas Ferebee. 57 seconds later, at the predetermined altitude of 600 meters, the bomb detonated directly over Shima Surgical Clinic; the original aiming point was the Aioi Bridge, but wind blew it off course. The resulting blast was measured at 13 kilotons of TNT, reducing an area of one mile in radius to total ruin. Fires were started across an area 11.4 square-kilometers in size. Tibbets recalled:

A bright light filled the plane. The first shockwave hit us. We were eleven and a half miles slant range from the atomic explosion but the whole airplane cracked and crinkled from the blast.... We turned back to look at Hiroshima. The city was hidden by that awful cloud... mushrooming, terrible and incredibly tall.

Yoko Ota, a Japanese writer at Hiroshima at the time, could not comprehend what had happened to the city.

I could not understand why our surroundings had changed so greatly in one instant. I thought it might have been something which had nothing to do with the war, the collapse of the earth which it was said would take place at the end of the world.

About 70,000 to 80,000 people were killed immediately, many of whom probably had no idea what had happened. The 560 grams of Uranium 235 took about 10 nanoseconds of fission before a flash of light burst out of the bomb casing, releasing the first wave of gamma rays that traveled nearly at the speed of light. In 1/10,000 of a second, a second burst of gamma rays was released. In 3 milliseconds, a plasma fireball began to form. In 91 milliseconds, the bottom of the plasma fireball began to reach the top of the tallest buildings beneath the detonation. Soon after, a shock wave which traveled at twice the speed of sound came. The human nervous system required 1/30 of a second to register, and 1/10 of a second to flinch, thus for those who were close to the detonation, the blood in the victims' brains were likely evaporating before they could feel anything.

They were the lucky ones. Many of the about 70,000 who were injured by the bomb suffered much worse fate.

Many who survived the initial flash became severely burned, even though the flash only lasted for a fraction of a second. Many people who were burned so quickly and so severely that, as survivors told, they resembled living pieces of charcoal, wandering mindlessly unless they collapsed and died. Many people were miraculously saved by shock cocoons, thick concrete walls, or other opportune defense against the gamma rays, fireball, and shock wave, but many of them would fall victim of radiation poisoning, some dying violently while vomiting out their insides while others simply slipped away. While doctors and other medical professionals could do little for the radiation poisoning that they knew nothing about, they could do little even with the more traditional injuries. Most of the city's hospitals were located in the area of Hiroshima that was destroyed, thus over 90% of medical professionals were killed at the moment of detonation. On top of that, medical equipment, medicine, and most other things that they needed to treat their patients were destroyed. To make matters worse, radiation was at dangerous levels even days after the explosion, thus some of those who escaped harm without even a single bruise would suddenly lose all their hair and suffer unstoppable nosebleeds seemingly out of nowhere. By the end of 1945, Hiroshima's atomic bomb victims would increase to somewhere between 90,000 and 150,000.

A significant portion of those who were killed at Hiroshima were Korean workers. It was estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 Koreans made up of the total 70,000 to 80,000 who died in the initial few days of the bombing.

As Hiroshima suddenly turned into a manifestation of hell on Earth, with an estimated 69% of the city destroyed, it was difficult for anyone to believe that "Little Boy" actually misfired: only 1.38% of its Uranium fissiled.

It was unknown who first reported the terrible news to Tokyo, but it certainly did not come from Hiroshima. One of the first military reports came from the naval base at Kure, fifteen miles south of Hiroshima. From the civilian side, the Tokyo facilities of the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation noticed that the Hiroshima station had gone off the air, and attempts to reach the station by telephone had failed. Since no large formations of bombers were detected, Japanese leadership generally thought that, despite rumors of a horrible explosion, whatever had happened probably was not as serious as the rumors suggested. An Army pilot was dispatched to fly a staff officer over Hiroshima to provide an accurate report. While still 160 kilometers from Hiroshima, they observed thick black smoke rising from the city. As they got closer, the level of destruction could no longer be denied. "Practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death", reported a Japanese radio station hours later.

With all communications capability and infrastructure destroyed in the Hiroshima area, reports with exact details flowed in extremely slowly delaying any kind of decision process. The Japanese government, completely in a state of shock, did not communicate with the Allies. Truman initially ordered a halt of bombings on Japan, but as he received no words from Tokyo, he took the lack of response as a sign of Japanese arrogance and a sign of the refusal to surrender. "If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth", he said. He later gave the go-ahead to drop the second atomic weapon on Japan.

Nagasaki
9 Aug 1945

The second bombing was originally planned to be against the city of Kokura, which housed a major army arsenal, on 11 Aug. The schedule was moved up by two days to 9 Aug, however, due to predicted bad weather moving in on 10 Aug. The atomic bomb "Fat Man" was loaded onto B-29 Superfortress bomber Bockscar, commanded by Major Charles Sweeney of USAAF 393rd Squadron, who had piloted the bomber Great Artiste during the Hiroshima atomic bombing. Similar to the Hiroshima attack, two other B-29 bombers accompanied Bockscar; the Great Artiste, piloted by Captain Frederick Bock (who usually flew Bockscar, named after himself), with scientific instrumentation and Big Stink, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel James Hopkins, Jr., with photography equipment. Unlike the Hiroshima attack, "Fat Man" was already armed when the bomber took off due to the complexity of the Plutonium bomb. This concerned Sweeney, as this meant that a big jolt, not overly rare during takeoffs, might detonate the bomb if the electrical safety plugs failed; as history would show, an accidental detonation did not happen. As Bockscar began its approach toward Japan, fuel would be his only concern; the bomber had a problem with the transfer pump with his reserve fuel tank, and the mission was deemed too important to be delayed simply for a malfunctioning pump.

When Bockscar and Great Artiste reached the rendezvous point, however, Big Stink was nowhere to be found. Unable to locate him after 40 minutes, Sweeney decided to proceed with the mission without Big Stink.

Sweeney had hoped that, despite better defended by the Japanese, the skies over Kokura would be clear enough for them to conduct the bomb run. He knew the Kokura was a much greater military target when compared to the secondary target, Nagasaki. To his disappointment, Kokura was 70% cloud covered. He was ordered that the bombardier must be able to visually identify the target point before releasing the bomb, thus he made three runs over Kokura, expending the precious fuel that he had little of. All three runs failed to give them the chance to properly identify their target, and Sweeney made the decision to go for the secondary target, Nagasaki. Had he had enough fuel, he would have flown in a northwestern direction, then circle back for an eastward approach for Nagasaki; given his fuel situation, Sweeney had his navigator plot a straight line for his target. A quick calculation revealed that, even if they only make one run at Nagasaki and head straight to Okinawa, rather than Iwo Jima as originally planned, they already had too little fuel to make the trip.

The city of Nagasaki was one of the most important sea ports in southern Japan. Although it was not among the list of potential targets selected by Oppenheimer's committee, it was added later due to its significance as a major war production center for warships, munitions, and other equipment. This was the very reason why Sweeney hoped that Kokura would have clear weather for the attack, thus avoiding an attack on Nagasaki which housed a greater civilian population.

At 0750 hours in the morning of 9 Aug, the presence of American bombers in the general area in southern Japan caused the city of Nagasaki to sound the air raid alarms, but the "all clear" signal was given at 0830. The two attacking bombers were visually detected at Nagasaki at 1053, but like at Hiroshima many radar station commanding officers thought this small flight must be on a reconnaissance mission; a few radar station operators who had learned about Hiroshima, however, knew what was coming, and braced for impact. As Bockscar approached, US Navy Commander Frederick Ashworth, the weaponeer, approved Sweeney's request to drop the bomb by radar, rather than by establishing visual contact with the aiming point, should weather once again interfere.

At about 1100 hours, bombardier Captain Kermit Beahan aboard Bockscar, previously unable to find his original aiming point near the center of Nagasaki, found a break in the clouds directly over another aiming point. This aiming point was over the Urakami Valley that housed the namesake district in the Nagasaki suburbs, which hosted industrial complexes devoted to war production. Beahan signaled that he was ready to proceed with the attack.

At 1100 hours, the Great Artiste, the scientific aircraft, dropped instruments attached to three parachutes. Also inside this package was an unsigned letter to Professor Ryokichi Sagane, a leading nuclear physicist of Japan who had befriended American nuclear physicists prior to the war, urging him to advise Japanese leadership to surrender to avoid further atomic attacks.

At 1101 hours, Beahan released the bomb over Urakami. 43 seconds later, the "Fat Man" bomb containing about 6.4 kilograms of Plutonium 239 detonated at the altitude of 469 meters over the halfway point between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works in the south and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (a factory producing torpedoes) in the north. Ground Zero was about 3 kilometers northwest of the original aiming point near the center of Nagasaki. The resulting blast was much greater than the "Little Boy" blast that devastated Hiroshima three days earlier. Somewhere between 40,000 to 75,000 people were immediately killed by the explosion equivalent to the detonation of 21 kilotons of TNT, and everything within 1 kilometer from Ground Zero were reduced to total ruin. Fires were started as far as 3.2 kilometers from Ground Zero. The heat generated by the bomb was estimated at 3,900 degrees Celcius, and the blast created winds up to 1,005 kilometers per hour in speed. Because the detonation had taken place in a valley, the center of Nagasaki was shielded by the mountains and hills that surrounded Urakami, thus large parts of Nagasaki proper were relatively unharmed by the initial blast. By the end of 1945, death tolls directly related to "Fat Man" reached 80,000.

About 2,000 of the deaths at Nagasaki were Korean workers.

As Bockscar flew toward Okinawa after the bombing, Sweeney did everything he could to conserve fuel. He lowered the speed of his propellers, while he lowered his altitude periodically to gravity to increase his speed rather than using his fuel. When he had Okinawa in sight, one of his engines gave out. After he was not able to get any control tower's attention, he fired off every single emergency flare he had in Bockscar, and his apparently strange act finally got someone attention, and made a safe landing quite literally on the last drops of fuel. As the B-29 aircraft was surrounded by fire trucks and ambulances (his display of flares signaled all kinds of emergencies), a high-level order came from Tinian Island, requiring the crews at Okinawa to give whatever Bockscar required for a return trip to Tinian.

George Weller, one of the first reporters to reach Nagasaki after the attack, and certainty the first western journalist to do so, compiled a report that was censored and would not become published until Jun 2005. In it, he noted:

Look at the pushed-in façade of the American consulate, three miles from the blast's center, or the face of the Catholic cathedral, one mile in the other direction, torn down like gingerbread, and you can tell that the liberated atom spares nothing in its way.

Epilogue

On the very same day of the Nagasaki bombing, Russia tore up her non-aggression pact with Japan and invaded the Japanese-held Chinese territory of Manchuria. The triple shock of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the new front against Russia finally pushed Japan definitively toward settling for peace. Should Japan choose to continue the war, however, the United States expected to complete a third atomic bomb by late Aug or early Sep, with three more in Sep, and plans to use them were certainly being considered.

Recall that during the Nagasaki bombing, American scientists inserted an unsigned letter to Professor Ryokichi Sagane in the instruments that were dropped just prior to the bomb to record scientific data. The letter urged Sagane to advise Japanese leadership to surrender to avoid further atomic attacks. This letter actually did not get delivered to him until a month later. In 1949, American nuclear physicist Luis Alvarez who had been a friend of Sagane's from before the war revealed himself to be one of the authors of this letter; he met with Sagane and signed the letter.

Sources: Mainichi Daily News, the Last Train from Hiroshima, the Pacific Campaign, Wikipedia.

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Interactive Map

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Timeline

10 May 1945 Manhattan Project Target Committee met at Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States to compile a list of potential atomic weapon targets in Japan.
11 May 1945 The Target Committee of the Manhattan Project, led by Robert Oppenheimer, decided the best targets of the atomic bomb were Kyoto, Niigata, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and Kokura.
18 May 1945 Specially-modified American B-29 bombers arrived at Tinian, Mariana Islands in preparation of future atomic bomb missions.
20 Jul 1945 The US Army Air Force began launching B-29 bomber raids, each with very few planes, against Japanese cities. The goal of such missions was to make such small raids a frequent occurrence to increase the success rate of the planned atomic bomb missions.
24 Jul 1945 General Henry Arnold, head of the USAAF, was presented with a top-secret memorandum specifying possible targets recommended for attack with atomic bombs.
25 Jul 1945 US General Carl Spaatz was ordered to prepare for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, or Nagasaki in Japan; the target date was set for some time after 3 Aug.
5 Aug 1945 The US Twentieth Air Force's meteorological service predicted good weather, on the following day, over the four targets (Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki in Japan) selected for attack with atomic weapon "Little Boy".
6 Aug 1945 Hiroshima, Japan was destroyed by the first atomic bomb, "Little Boy". About 70,000 to 80,000 were killed immediately, while about 70,000 were injured.
8 Aug 1945 US President Truman threatened Japan with further nuclear devastation during a radio address.
9 Aug 1945 B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb "Fat Man" on the city of Nagasaki, Japan, killing 40,000 to 75,000 immediately.
6 Aug 2010 US Ambassador to Japan John Roos became the first US official to attend the annual atomic attack memorial ceremony at Hiroshima, Japan. He did not speak at the ceremony.
9 Aug 2011 Deputy chief of the US embassy in Tokyo James Zumwalt became the first US official to attend the annual atomic attack memorial ceremony at Nagasaki, Japan. He offered a wreath of flowers to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Photographs

Harry Truman diary entry regarding meeting with Joseph Stalin, 17 Jul 1945Harry Truman diary entry, 18 Jul 1945, page 1 of 2Harry Truman diary entry, 18 Jul 1945, page 2 of 2Letter from US War Department to Carl Spaatz, ordering the use of atomic weapons, 25 Jul 1945
See all 274 photographs of Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Maps

Map showing extent of fire and blast damage to Hiroshima, Japan by the atomic bomb dropped on 6 Aug 1945Aerial photo of Hiroshima, Japan shortly after the atomic bombing, Aug-Sep 1945Aerial photo of Nagasaki, Japan shortly after the atomic bombing, Aug-Sep 1945




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    16 Jun 2005 04:50:41 PM

    This was the best thing that the us could ever do kill the ****
  2. Anonymous says:
    1 Jul 2006 08:22:51 AM

    No way, looking back such a devastating bomb shouldnt have been used. The side effects were far too hellish. God! it was like hell on earth and we, humans unleashed it onto another human being. If the allies could take down the vast superiority of the Germans then the Japanese already greatly crippled would have been a walk over for them. The US were just too lazy or too eager to use their new found toy. There is always another way, we have brains and we can think.
  3. Anonymous says:
    7 Mar 2007 02:43:58 PM

    I think that during wartime, the country that started the war should be the one that gets nuked. That would be Germany, in this case. Most likely, the only reason Japan was hit instead of Germany was because Japan hit us first. Its playground rules.

    Also, the first person to comment on this is a total dick (or lack thereof)
  4. Anonymous says:
    18 Apr 2007 02:52:18 PM

    The A-bomb was necessary. If it wasnt used, Curtis LeMay would have continued his B-29 firebombing campaign against Japan and in the end it would have killed more people.
  5. Anonymous says:
    19 Apr 2007 12:49:51 PM

    Thats pretty insensitive, Anonymous #1. It was necessary but horrible,but in the end less deadly than the firebombing campaigns.
  6. Anonymous says:
    21 May 2007 10:21:37 PM

    One purpose of the bomb wasnt just to end the war, it was to show the Soviet Union we had such a weapon. They were our allies, but they were still communist, and we all know what we think of them. Too bad a scientist on the Manhattan Project gave the Soviets plans for the A-bomb. And that, kids, is why the cold war happened.
  7. Anonymous says:
    27 Sep 2007 06:11:02 PM

    referring to the first persons remarks, it is actually true that Klaus Fuchs, a nuclear physicist that fled Nazi Germany gave secrets and blueprints of the a-bomb to the Soviet Union.
  8. Anonymous says:
    27 Feb 2008 06:28:41 AM

    Ti answer anonymous 2, Truman had ordered the use of the atomic bomb because the Japanese were very loyal soldiers to the emperor who they revered as a god. It was the ultimate disgrace for one to surrender and looking back to the other battles of the Pacific theatre, the Japanese soldiers had not given up. Some fighting in places already conquered many months before. This is why it would not have been easy to fight on the mainland and this is why they used the bomb.

    Now to answer Anonymous 3, I think that isn't a very nice way to judge. the bomb was used against Japan for two reasons. The first being the US had not developed such a bomb until later on after the European theatre had finished and for the second, refer to the first paragraph.

    And finally, to comment on Anonymous 6, I advise you back up your ASUMPTIONS with fact and research more on the causes of the cold war and the dropping of the A-Bombs before making such dangerous comments. Be wiser next time and watch what you write. Tread carefully for your footsteps are clearly seen in the sand.
  9. Anonymous says:
    2 Mar 2008 01:42:06 PM

    the bomb was an important part of history, however horrible it wass, it was neccessary for that siituation.cuold you imagine what our life wuold be without that turning point in history? would we have defeated the japanese? if not what would our life be like now? what snowballed effects wuod have happened? all of these are inportant to think about before criticicing the u.s.'s chioce
  10. Anonymous says:
    2 Mar 2008 01:50:40 PM

    i agree with number 9, although it has many spelling errors, it makes a good point.
  11. Anonymous says:
    5 Apr 2009 05:26:33 PM

    I do not agree. The US would have beaten Japan either way! It was a coward choice, mainly because it hit mostly civilians no mather what you say. And if you doubt that America could win just check this website closely...
  12. Anonymous says:
    5 Apr 2009 05:30:58 PM

    I dont agree with anonimous 4. An A bomb is far mor letal than a 1000 B52
  13. BILL says:
    9 May 2009 04:30:33 PM

    If I had to make a decision to continue a war that was killing thousands every day, or end it with the A-bomb, and save thousands or millions of lives, I would say DROP THAT SUCKER TWICE! I can't understand all the bleeding hearts, war is a filthy, rotten business, and if you have not been in a war, I can't explain it to you. However, a World War should never, ever happen again, but tell me, how many people have died in wars since the end of World War II? Are Governments looking the other way again? People feel its not going to happen again? And once again will it be the United States of America to stand alone, and face another enemy worldwide.
  14. BILL says:
    13 May 2009 05:28:59 PM

    Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century than the rapidily with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the Atomic Bombs burst in their fumbling hands.

    Herbert George Wells, The World Set Free, 1914
  15. BILL says:
    18 May 2009 05:44:08 PM

    The Atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass, and beyond there is a different country.

    J.Robert Oppenheimer.
  16. Dan Phantom says:
    22 May 2009 05:18:43 PM

    We were dreading an invasion of Japan. after Iwo Jima and Okinawa, we knew Japanese soldiers would fight to the death. Japan was weak, yes, but still determined to fight to the last man. They knew they couldn't win, but hoped to make us pay such a high price that we would agree to an easier peace.

    Even optimistic projections estimated half a million American lives lost, with anywhere from several million to tens of millions for the Japanese. So while it wasn't an easy thing to do, I think the atomic bombs saved lives. Something like 250,000 people died in the bombings. Horrible, but compared to what kind of losses both sides would have suffered in an invasion, that's nothing.

    Also, take a look at the Eastern Front if you want to know what fighting in cities looks like. And we made so many Purple Hearts in preparation, we still have an abundant supply.
  17. Paul says:
    28 May 2009 08:08:04 PM

    Let me see... over 100,000 dead America's on an invasion of Japan... probably over a million dead in Japan from the invasion. Two bombs - 250,000 dead (or what ever that number was). War over for a season. Sounds like the right choice to me.

    The atomic era was here with us already. That is not really the issue. The bomb is showing up every now ... like Korea.
  18. Steve B says:
    6 Aug 2009 07:36:33 AM

    The two atomic bombs also saved Japanese territorial integrity. If they
    were not used then the home islands would have been invaded with
    Hokkaido invaded by the Soviets. There would have been a communist
    North Japan and a free South Japan. It is possible that Russia, even
    now, would still be holding that part of Japan.

    Using the bombs was a terrible necessity and the best choice for both
    the United States and Japan. A radical idea here, but I would propose
    that Japan adopt a holiday "Atomic Bomb" day celebrating how the bombs
    saved their country from absolute destruction and kept Japan a whole
    nation.

    Steve B
  19. Anonymous says:
    1 Oct 2009 03:08:48 AM

    good
  20. Anonymous says:
    10 Jan 2010 01:02:32 PM

    ATOMS FOR PEACE!
  21. Anonymous says:
    10 Jan 2010 07:37:48 PM

    Steve B brings up a comment which never occurred to me - there would have been a communist faction of Japan had the bombs not been dropped.
    And think. Without them, B-29's would continue to firebomb Japan's cities. This had already caused more death than the A-bombs, and would have caused further deaths. Curtis LeMay would not have relented on this tactic, as aggressive as he was, knowing that precision, high-altitude pinpoint bombing of Japan's factories was virtually impossible. Besides which, components of military parts were manufactured in nearly every Japanese home at this time, so destroying factories was only a small part of the solution.
    American plans to invade Kyushu were already in the making. We were expecting the 2nd Marine Division, which would spearhead the attack, to be completely wiped out - it isn't mentioned after Day 3 of the invasion. It is estimated that half a million Americans would die, not just on land, but at sea - Japan had 5,000 Kamaikaze planes in the home islands. While most would be shot down en route, it is obvious that some would get through. Japanese civilians would commit suicide, possibly by the millions, as we had seen on a smaller scale on Okinawa.
    As horrible as this sounds, I agree with others in that the A-bombs were a necessary evil, though it's a shame they led to the cold war. In the end, lives were saved. And face it, soft-hearted folks: without them, you may not have your Toshibas or your Sony Playstations today.
    Sorry for the length of this, but one more comment: I heard somewhere that the bombings were a matter of racism. We bombed the Japanese instead of the Germans. Okay, learn your facts: the bombs WERE NOT READY by the time Germany surrendered, and anyway, they WERE NOT NEEDED. The German army was wavering,as early as March 1945, and most Germans weren't suicidal fanatics who would fight to the death.
  22. Anonymous says:
    1 Feb 2010 06:26:11 PM

    As the droppings of the atomic bombs worked, it was a better option than to lose an aproximated 1,000,000 lives in a land invasion. It wouldnt be a walk in the park for the Americans. Second, Truman had atleast 8 other options beside bombing and invasion. He could have invited the Japenese leaders over to America to see a testing of the bomb. That, in my opinoin is the best option, because it might be extremely effective in convincing the Japanese to surrender.
  23. Anonymous says:
    10 Feb 2010 05:43:00 PM

    The Japanese leaders wouldn't have come. They would have refused any invitation and sat in Tokyo, confident that when the US came, they would die gloriously and take as many Americans with them as they could. And anyway, that's just not how war works. You don't say to your enemy, "Hey, come on over and see the frightening new weapon we have in store for you. Does this convince you to surrender?"
    Also, before dropping the bombs, leaflets were dropped all over the cities, basically saying "Evacuate now because your city is going to be destroyed".
  24. Anonymous from AZ says:
    16 Feb 2010 05:05:53 PM

    great, uhhhhhhh we need to read up on better history, such as in a textbook rather than just websites
  25. Anonymous says:
    20 Apr 2010 03:21:04 PM

    i don't agree with the methods but it was necessary we bomb them if we hadn't many more would have died, the Japanese had developed submarines that could carry planes and they were near America the continued conflict would have taken more lives, but i wish we hadn't had to use a nuke.
  26. Anonymous says:
    25 Apr 2010 09:12:31 AM

    just looking at all of the destruction and damage caused by Little Boy and Fat Man is pretty scarring. i mean all the radioactiveness that the civilians contracted is disgusting. i hope that we never have another nuclear war.
  27. Anonymous says:
    29 Apr 2010 08:10:07 PM

    I won't say it was a good thing that we nuked them, but I will say that there were other approaches to it. Still, what had to be done had to be done, and the nuke worked. Now, they won't underestimate us anymore. (I still think it was very wrong though to kill so many civilians. If they did it to us, I know you guys would say it was wrong.)
  28. Brad says:
    18 May 2010 01:50:42 PM

    it is true that the United States should never have used such a devastating weapon. I agree with a few of the other comments I have read. The only reason the US would have ever applied this weapon to anything but a demonstration to the world, was because of their want to show the Soviet Union who the big kid on the block still was. It was a terrible demonstration of power just to concrete the fact that the US was not to be trifled with. As a result possibly 150,000 were murdered. A sad waste of life for an unnecessary act.
  29. realperson says:
    19 May 2010 05:09:57 PM

    I wonder if those against using the bomb would have held the same opinion as the troops who were to be deployed against Japan? Some units were to be dead meat in feint attacks away from the main beachheads. The huge numbers of civilians killed in the fire bombings of Tokyo had absolutely no effect on the Japanese including on the Emperor who was driven through the ruins and piles of corpses. Only the A bombs had a desired immediate reaction of calling for peace. Any other suggestions for ending the war quickly and with less pain are not sustainable.
  30. Bill says:
    23 Jun 2010 06:36:30 PM

    To all the bleeding hearts, try to remember
    it was ancient history for some, life and
    death for others, It was before the Atomic Age. Oh,say it was World War II!,that killed millions and I say, and for the record.

    No Pearl Harbor, No Hiroshima or Nagasaki, as I've said, to put an end to it, I say
    "DROP THAT SUCKER TWICE", and stop the whole
    rotten business. What part of war do you have
    a problem understanding?
    Without World War II, the world would have
    moved from one crisis to another.
    I'm sure the United States,would pursue more
    peaceful directions.
    Not building the greatest military machine in
    the world, with such power,that has not been seen since the Roman Empire.

    That didn't happen its when darkness fell, and changed the lives of millions, and cost the lives of millions because of evil and
    evil never sleeps, not even today.

    Some people have no idea what the U.S. Armed Forces do today.
    To some, in order to ensure you keep your uppity liberal lifestyle, your greed and your freedom to protest against the Greatest
    Nation in the World some mock our freedom's the very freedom we enjoy today, that cost blood and lives defending, and some even
    defend the enemy, that wants nothing else,
    but to destroy you,your family and your way
    of life.
    Drive your BMW's and have your ipods and
    other electronic goodies, your able to sleep sound and peaceful in your bed at night just remember another generation of American GI's are paying the check.
  31. Bill says:
    24 Jun 2010 07:26:18 AM

    Japan's aggression against the people of
    Asia, was unparalleled, every nation that
    was invaded, saw its people murdered, raped buried alive, brutally tortured and beheaded
    the death toll, exceeded the two Atomic bombs
    dropped on Japan.

    Over 140,000 pow's died in Japanese prison
    camps, but we will never really know the total number, they were worked to death, starved, beaten, died from disease and beheaded. The treatment of pow's under
    Japanese brutally, was the most brutal ever recorded.

    American soldiers and B-29 crewmen who were captured, were murdered, tortured to death
    beheaded and used for medical experiments still alive!

    Those atrocities raise questions not only about Japanese Militarism, but the very
    psychology of a people.
    History shows many sides, the student must
    be aware of Mankind's inhumanity and to what
    end he is capable of.

    "The First Casualty of War, Is The Truth."

    Even today the Japanese try to keep their
    aggression in World War II buried as much as
    possible.

    Road sign, on the way to Manila the Capitol of the Philippines read.

    "Kill The Bastards".

    War is a dirty filthy rotten business, just what part of war, do you have a problem
    understanding?
  32. Bill says:
    24 Jun 2010 09:04:45 PM

    "Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night, only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

    -George Orwell-
  33. Bill says:
    26 Jun 2010 02:38:52 PM

    What other nation in the world, would have
    had a bloodless occupation, not an invasion
    of a totally defeated country, provide food,
    medical care.
    Rebuild its destroyed infrastucture later
    become an Ally and a Industrial giant in the world, Japan.
  34. Bill says:
    26 Jun 2010 03:11:02 PM

    "There is a certain blend of courage,
    intergrity,character and principle which has
    no satisfactory dictionary name, but has been
    called different things in many different countries.
    Our American name for it,is "GUTS"

    -From Louis Adamic, A STUDY IN COURAGE-
  35. Bill says:
    5 Jul 2010 08:43:49 PM

    Between 1937 to 1945 the Japanese murdered
    about 6,000,000 Chinese,Indoeasians,Filipinos
    Koreans and Indo-Chinese. Some Historians
    estimate as many as 10,000,000 people died
    under Japanese brutality.
    During World War II it is estimated that 4%
    of Allied soldiers died in captivity 30% died
    as a result of brutal mistreatment.
    Crimes against Allied Pow's used as slave labor men died from starvation, exhaustion,
    beating and being worked to death.
    1,000 Japanese soldiers were executed after
    war crimes trials, but many more escaped justice. Many questions need to be answered
    to this day, were there cover-up's? and if so
    why? The murder of millions is a Holocaust.
    Conspiracies exist, cover-up, sabotaged real
    justice.

    Take for example The 1951 Peace Treaty that
    was drafted by John Foster Dullas,and pushed
    down the throuts of America's allies, that
    let Japan off the hook for crimes, and ruled
    out any rights victims might have to sue,
    the Japanese Government, Japanese Companies
    and Industrial Corporations.
    Many of the people involved have died, but
    those still alive, still prusued their cases
    against Japanese Corporations like
    Mitsubishi and Sumitomo in California state
    courts.
    Many members of the US Congress object that
    the US Government has no right to prevent an
    American citizen from suing for damages and
    compensation in cases involving human rights
    and slave labor. The US Government continues
    to stonewall just were is its human rights agenda? and for whom, and for justice.
  36. Jon says:
    6 Aug 2010 12:09:05 PM

    I think it was an important decision and that it was appropriate. In the time of war that bomb might have saved more lives for the rest of Asia even Japan and the US than lost. But I could never in my life put myself into the shoes to be the one to say 'drop the A-Bomb'. I couldn't even comprehend.
  37. Anonymous says:
    23 Aug 2010 10:18:37 AM

    History books (U.S) state "the invasion would have cost us 1 million casualties and many more Japanese the bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered".

    65 years later, with many declassified documents having been made available in the last 10 years, it should be about time to edit those books.

    In short:
    Japan had started peace overtures since end of spring '44
    Japan asked to surrender since March '45
    Truman delayed his appearance at Potsdam in July '45 until he received confirmation from the Alamogordo test
    At the same conference, his prepared declaration included one essential sentence pertaining to the retaining of the Japanese dynasty, the only condition Japan was waiting for
    The day he made his declaration (the morning after Alamogordo) he withdrew this sentence
    Thus he choose not to end the war BEFORE having dropped the bombs

    Plans for Olympic (invasion of Kyushu) had not reached operational status (11 weeks before D date)
    The CinC for Olympic and his staff were the same people whom planned and implemented Blacklist (surrendering procedures and ocupation of Japan) and whom were given the green light in August
    The Red Army attacked (as planned) in August, on a 5,200km front, and in the lapse of 10 days wiped off the Kwantung Army, were only 1 day from Korea and its forward units had gained as much as 820km
    Interrogations of Japanese high ranks including Ministers and closest advisors of the Emperor and other intelligence sources in Sep/Oct '45 show that both the Soviet intervention and the bombs (not even identified by Japan as "atomic") triggered the public intervention of the Emperor
    The source of the 1 million casualties have never been identified, official estimates by US military range from 35,000 to 105,000 casualties (at D + 120)
    Coronet, scheduled for March (invasion of Honshu/Tokyo plain) had not been planned
    Before H (and N as a confirmation), the USA had strategically lost the after-war
    H turned the table and started the cold war era, under the same guidance (Paul Hinze) for the next 4.5 decades
  38. Anonymous says:
    9 Dec 2010 04:55:09 AM

    saved more lives?killed 200000 women and kid to save maybe 1 or 2 million man's live,all right.
  39. Anonymous says:
    19 Dec 2010 01:12:25 AM

    That was the "war of terror" that US wanted.
    They just wanted to take control over Japan instead to fight for it with Soviets, again as happened in Germany.
  40. Anonymous says:
    30 Dec 2010 01:30:07 PM

    Has anyone noticed that the U.S. can not go
    1 century without having at least 2 wars. Pretty insane,if you ask me. I doubt we could have world peace forever, but could we at least 1 century of it? We are already at 2 wars now and it has only been 1 decade into the century.
  41. Anonymous says:
    30 Dec 2010 01:51:39 PM

    please name one major nation that did not participate in at least two wars each century... not too many huh?
  42. Anonymous says:
    8 Jan 2011 06:47:50 PM

    I have calculated the total time in seconds that it took for Little Boy to detonate. It took 0.0941 seconds and the human nervous system needs 0.034 seconds to feel anything. So actually those that were there Felt their Deaths (awful).
  43. Anonymous says:
    9 Jan 2011 06:45:56 AM

    Inflicted pain and suffering always leads to more pain and suffering. The tragedy of being human.
  44. Anonymous says:
    25 Jan 2011 03:22:31 PM

    There was absolutely no reason as to why someone would ever need to drop a bomb on civilians!!!!! You have no right to nuke another countries citizens because you want to end the war. You may have saved countless American lives but your sure as heck didn't spare any Japanese citizens doing their job to Japan as citizens should do. the definition of citizen is to be a part of that country and have pride or it. So don't go nuking every country that fights for their country!
  45. Janny Wong says:
    7 Feb 2011 07:52:25 AM

    if that bom did not happen who knows how long that war would have lasted
  46. That Guy says:
    10 May 2011 02:14:20 PM

    That bomb, as horrible as it was, was a effective event. Im sure the US would have won the war in the end, but when one takes into account the amount that would have died other measure, not only men, but the normal causualties of war as well, it may have been less of a body count in the end. So long as people take into acount the effect it had on many places around the world, war may have started up again if it wasnt for the mass devistation the bombs caused.
  47. Claude says:
    13 Jun 2011 08:13:50 AM

    If we hadn't dropped those bombs trhe war would have continued until the Soviets attacked Manchuria and threatened to cut apart or swallow Japan. They wouldn't have surrendered until August 10.
    Which, by coincidence, is when they did surrender, but that's a different story.
  48. Anonymous says:
    22 Oct 2011 02:54:59 AM

    what about the old world order??????????
  49. Anonymous says:
    22 Jan 2012 05:36:04 PM

    Everyone talks about how many American lives were saved by dropping the atomic bomb. They never seem to notice that we saved Japanese lives too. The estimated number of American lives that would have been lost was 500,000 (at the most, I think). But if you at Japanese lives to that, that does, unfortunately, top the number of lives lost by dropping the bombs. If you look at it by how many human lives we saved, regardless of race, we made the right choice. That doesn't make it any easier to accept.
  50. Anonymous says:
    24 Jan 2012 01:28:05 AM

    Have a look at what happened between the 2 atomic bomings= There, one will find not only the reason for the atomic bombings,But the REAL reason for the Japanese Surender!!! Dig in and do your research! History channel doco's dont count either! they are one sided American doco's! Most even leave out the barbaric fire bombing campaign that targeted mostly women, children and elderly,since men of fighting age were at war. Because the screwed up Japanese army decided there were no civilians in Japan,the U.S agreed.. Im sure this is not what Rosevelt meant by ''RIGHTGEOUS MIGHT''. The Fire bombings are in my opinion up there with the worst war crimes in human history. 500,000 civilans or more burnt alive!!;In Curtis Lemay's(the man in charge of the firebombings) words;We Burnt,scorched, boiled and baked more people in Tokyo in 1 night than went up in vapour at Hiroshima. And then he went on to burn up 66 other Japanese citys. All before the atomic bombs!!. This must never be forgotten. Like Japan's Imperial Army's attrocites in China and their horrific treatment of our POW'S we can not sugarcoat burning alive hundreds of thousand of innocent civilans.The invasion reason(kill japanese civilans to save U.S soldier lives) I believe was partly invented to make the atomic bombing appear less inhumane(not that they had any reason to care after the firebombings)Why would we invade Japan and give them a chance to kill our soldies?. they had no navy or sufficent airforce left. why not starve them, blitz real army targets(not women sewing patches on army pants etc) The answer I believe as stated above ly's between the 2 atomic bombs-Operation August storm
  51. Anonymous says:
    8 Feb 2012 02:56:11 PM

    #3 it was because germany was already out of the war
  52. Anonymous says:
    16 Jul 2012 05:54:16 PM

    Everything happens for a reason, if that bomb didnt happen then we wouldnt all be here today.
  53. Anonymous says:
    1 Aug 2012 08:53:57 AM

    Dropping of the atomic bombs were necessary, just and swift end to the war. Japanese Imperial Army killed 10 million Chinese, mostly women and children, 5 million more from South East Asian countries like Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Indonesia, Burma, Netherlands India, Borneo and Thailand. More if not for the dropping of A-Bomb. These figures excluding the American, British, Australian soldiers. One minute under Japanese occupasion is hell-like. There is no way Japanese will stop fighting in short notice due to thier blind loyalty to their emperor who is number 1 war criminal gone unpunished. 200,000 civilian is small price to pay for Japan to invade many countries without any reason and provocation.
  54. Anonymous says:
    9 Aug 2012 10:09:25 PM

    I agree with the bombs being dropped. but disagree severly of the targets. A bomb dropped in a much less populated area would have allowed Japanese leadership to see the destructive force without the mass killing of innocent civilians and children. America has made alot of bad decisions in it's time and this was one of the worst.
  55. Anonymous says:
    27 Aug 2012 08:14:43 PM

    Then why did it take two seperate bombings seperated by days. Even then, they almost did not surrender after Nagasaki. When tens of thousands of Japanese citizens commit suicide at the behest of their Emporer, you are dealing with a stubborn people that will not admit defeat. Lets also not forget that Japan had a history of bombing cities in Asia and Australian. They actually tried to bomb Oregon. How easily we forget or choose not to know.
  56. Anonymous says:
    1 Oct 2012 09:53:18 AM

    In all of history, there has never been any weapon which at least one version was not used. Only after chemical weapons were used did countries sign agreements to not use them. The same for biological weapons. That the atomic bomb was used when only two existed is what gave the world the respect for the atomic bomb when thousands existed.
  57. Anonymous says:
    12 Oct 2012 11:26:50 PM

    I believe that the bombs were horrific, although they did end the war, I'm positive the US could have found an alternative that din't kill terns of thousands of people. Also you people saying kill the Japanese -think about if you were someone living in Japan, or if you knew someone. It's amazing how different people react when they have no idea about the tru experiences of an event.
  58. Anonymous says:
    29 Oct 2012 03:41:42 AM

    American are savages , they built there nation on the native American bodies , only cowered would do this horrible bombing by this "devil" bomb , I think USA will disappear by the same weapon ..

  59. Anonymous says:
    23 Nov 2012 10:57:38 AM

    Japanese Imperial Army killed 10 million Chinese, mostly women and children, 5 million more from South East Asian countries like Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Indonesia, Burma, Netherlands India, Borneo and Thailand. More if not for the dropping of A-Bomb.

    Sorry sir, but you seem to have made some slight errors so i shall correct them here
    1. the **** had already retreated from most of their islands when the bombs were dropped
    2. the chinese casualties suffered by **** included guerrilla fighters as well; furthermore, the total number you give is most likely the total number of casualties suffered by chinese soldiers and civilians due to the civil was AND the invasion of the ****
    3. if you are ever going to talk about casualties in history, i would suggest you post a link (wikipedia is not the best, but it's better than nothing) to show where you got your information from

    One last word- don't worry, everyone makes mistakes; do not let this prevent you from further exploring through the fields of history.
  60. Anonymous says:
    1 Feb 2013 06:50:11 AM

    anonymous #2 i disagree with you, the bomb was necessary to save many lives, because the U.S. was preparing to invade Japan. do you know how many people would have died in an invasion? a hell of a lot more than the people that died in the bombings. before you say something, make sure that it is right or get corrected by somebody that knows what they are talking about. in my opinoin, the bombs were the best way to go, especially because they were detonated in the air to maximize collatoral damage and lessen deaths. the U.S. knew what they were doing, and they did it just right.
  61. derpyderp says:
    1 Feb 2013 10:30:30 AM

    the bombs were pretty much the only way to avoid killing hundreds of thousands of people from firebombing and an invasion of japan by the U.S. the russians were already moving on the japanese, so the bombs saved a few russians too.
  62. Anonymous says:
    25 Mar 2013 02:06:19 AM

    I am so scared that i will be bombed know!
  63. i says:
    25 Mar 2013 02:07:35 AM

    This was the safest way to stop the japanese!
  64. Anonymous says:
    23 Apr 2013 01:19:21 PM

    As an Asian, I will say this:

    The A-bombs were necessary. The Japanese had the mentality of not giving up and tearing up the whole civilian population.

    Have you seen what they did in Manila in 1945? In a span of three weeks, they managed to kill 100,000 civilians.

    A lot were burned, bayoneted, machine gunned, raped, beheaded.

    In Okinawa as the Japanese militrary were losing, they ordered the Okinawans to commit suicide!

    Now, translate that to an invasion instead of the two bombs which scared the **** of their emperor because he will have no subjects to fight for him, just getting toasted.

    There is a big possibility that the Japanese people will go into extinction if the bombs were not dropped. The Japanese military would massacre their civilians or order them to commit suicide.
  65. Victor says:
    25 Jul 2013 03:18:01 AM

    The Atomic Bomb was a horrible weapon. It shouldn't have been used. But the alternative was worse. A conventional invasion of Japan would have cost millions of Allied lives and perhaps almost the entire Japanese nation. The military leaders of Japan were suffering from delusions of grandeur? or maybe just desperation. They were ready tosacrifice millions of civilians acting as pepole's militia by arming them with swords and bamboo spears to fight off invaders and even bomb packs (like the one terrorists of today use.) USing those 2 bombs ended the war; maybe not cleanly.. but it stopped the fighting the way it had to.
  66. Anders Björkman says:
    9 Oct 2013 03:12:05 AM

    Actually no atomic bomb ever exploded anywhere, which I am happy to explain at http://heiwaco.tripod.com/bomb.htm .
  67. Anonymous says:
    15 Oct 2013 09:29:22 PM

    May I add my two cents . I think it was H.T.Roper who said that the Nazi party was " a new religion" they believed their own propaganda! Same thing with the Soviet regime, who the Nazis were reacting against! Chairman Mao and the little Red Book?? The Nippon nation were and are slightly ignorant ,they are in danger off crashing and burning again soon as a result of their policies , a birth rate that will not provide the bodies to nurse and care for a fast ageing population, and a reluctance to allow inexpensive workers to immigrate and thus head off that demographic time bomb! The extreme right refuse to admit to WWII war crimes and deny the Korean "comfort slave " battalions ever existed! It is against the law to deny the Holocaust in Germany , but under the protective wing of the American Eagle they can can continue !?? I would deny all of that era's despots an easy death and would ensure they had the maximum amount of time suffering radiation burns prior to there demise.Hitler, Stalin, and all their crony's plus the weak
    Emperor of Japan and his Bushido adherent thugs! Yes I would push the button in a heart beat!!!


    Bushido thugs
  68. Anonymous says:
    25 Nov 2013 02:22:59 PM

    what changes were put into effect so this wont happen again
  69. Anonymous says:
    9 Jan 2014 09:47:00 AM

    first of all not getting bias the two big wars were fought just for sake of few aggressive European powers' guarding and their imperialism expansionist policies. South America, Huge Africa, Vast Asia were all living like hell under European imperialism. So I don't feel bad when Hitler find a way out for revenge. British French Portuguese were no far less than monsters rulling half the globe for centuries. Rise of Autocrats power those time is from the seeds they sow for decades and centuries. Iam going round in a long way because the whole story is about some vested interest of few nation. I don't know why the allied power would worry to count the number of casualties in Asia or African nations in the war.. in real they genocide the people in those nation ruining for centuries! now these people are like egg between stones, die either way! yeah I strongly oppose dropping of those two bombs.. and to me its hard to digest the whole war was not fought for a good cause
    .. concerning the topic the war was surely ending, lone **** can't hold for that long, forget that suicide an all that **** theories..well allied don't want to mobilize vast already tiring resources long way to Japanese shore so they looked for a quick alternative to end the war.. plus to test its new cracker as well.
  70. Anonymous says:
    16 Mar 2014 07:48:30 AM

    To commit atrocities to punish others for the same or similar atrocities is a moral failure. The bombing of civilians has become and American specialty. As America declines, it will not end nicely.
  71. Anonymous says:
    20 Mar 2014 06:01:44 PM

    I do believe that the # of allied forces of all nations,that would have been killed in a invision ,and the japanse citizons,woman children ,would have been a million + seen it in email last week.you will have to admit if same here all but the socialist would protect the home land. run with that...
  72. Anonymous says:
    14 Apr 2014 04:17:20 PM

    comment number 3 shows what is wrong with the internet. this clown commented and didn't know the germans quit on may 8th and the bomb wasn't even tested until july. if you are going to comment on a site like this a minimum of knowledge is required.
  73. Anonymous says:
    10 May 2014 03:47:27 AM

    Atomic bomb is a better way to end the war. Because japanese is **** ing insane, they will not surrender until tokyo fall to allied force.
  74. WW II Historian says:
    17 May 2014 06:34:49 PM

    The Japanese were training women and children to kill the invaders. An invasion would have amounted to genocide to the Japanese people. In addition President Truman was very concerned about the psychological impact of killing women and children would have on the average U.S. Soldier/Citizen. Given all of the estimated casulaty figures, both Japanese and American, Truman felt the atom bomb was the humane solution. It avoided the invasion avoided the millions of casualties that would have resulted and ended the war quickly. As one veteran stated "If there had not been a Pearl Harbor there would have been no Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
  75. Knight of the KKK says:
    20 May 2014 06:18:25 AM

    I think that those **** suffered greatly and within ourselves we cannot imagine the pain and suffering these people felt as that A-bomb hit.
  76. Anonymous says:
    29 May 2014 04:24:56 AM

    Tokyo also burned with such ferocity because they made their houses out of PAPER.

    Everyone always lumps "the bombing of Hiroshima &Nagasaki" together, as if it was the same day. But remember that 3 days passed ( with the bombing of Tokyo in between) and the Japanese command still din not want to surrender. Japanese generals toured the destruction of Tokyo and did not show any simpathy for the citizens... expecting them to fight on and die.
  77. Anonymous says:
    29 May 2014 07:00:43 AM

    The Japanese were very currupted in power. yea they were traing women and children to kill the invader they would most likely attempt any thing to end the war.The A-bomb ended that. i think it was the right thing to do in that situation that they were in. even though the soviets came and swept the area anyways. it prevented lots of casualties thus ended the war very quickly. If the A-bomb hasnt occured then millions of lives would have been lost in the war






























  78. Anonymous says:
    6 Jun 2014 11:23:06 AM

    I think what we are all forgetting is that what happened to human rights? What so America deserved rights when it comes to them being attacked yet Japan doesn't even get a single warning and hundreds of people who probably didn't even want anything to do with the war were murdered.
  79. Shadowofears says:
    28 Jun 2014 01:46:11 PM

    Most of the Americans are giving excuses of using nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki First they saved lives BS Thousands hv perished in nanoseconds Secondly it was differet than usual bombing because there was radition sickness unborn retarded Babies thirdly Hirohito the true mastermind behind chinese invasion and massacres were protected by US Trauman Shame on you Americans
  80. Anonymous says:
    1 Jul 2014 11:29:41 AM

    why do we have to learn about dead people? I mean what does history got to do with our lives? In a non-offensive way
  81. Gerry says:
    13 Jul 2014 01:15:09 AM

    Finally the war in Europe was over, but it was not until 6th August 1946 that the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki put an end to the terrible loss of life that had been going on in the Pacific, and to which we were expecting to be sent within a year.

    There has been a lot of doubt cast upon the use of the atomic bombs, but believe me they were welcomed with great relief at the time. The total death toll by the two bombs is estimated at about 200,000 within the first 4 months. In the relatively short period that American planes were within reach and able to attack the Japanese mainland, 250,000 had already died, largely by the effect of incendiary bombs on their fragile houses.

    It was estimated that it could cost a million allied lives to invade the enemy mainland, and with the Japanese preference to die rather than be captured, many millions of Japanese military and civilians would die before it was over.

    Compare this with the 4,000,000 Chinese soldiers and 18 million Chinese civilians killed entirely by the Japanese army when they attacked China. They had killed a further 4 million civilians in the Dutch East Indies.

    Think also of the British prisoners of war captured by the **** which totalled over 50,000, and of these over 12,000 died - nearly 7,000 on the Railway of Death alone. When I first started work, two of my friends in the service department had worked on the railway and came home looking like walking skeletons – even a few more months and they would have died.

    So if you think we were wrong to stop the war in the way we did, think again
  82. David Stubblebine says:
    13 Jul 2014 04:18:22 PM

    Gerry:

    Excellent, excellent assessment. Some may question your death toll figures and casualty estimates a little bit, but even with some reasonable “adjustments” your overall analysis holds up extremely well. The most important part of your comment was that you made your assessment based on information and values OF THE TIME rather than the Post Facto judgments we have become used to.

    Also, you speak in the first person about some of the harsh times during the war. Thank you for your service and for the hardships you endured on our behalf.
  83. Anonymous says:
    29 Jul 2014 09:59:59 PM

    Five years after the bomb was dropped, I as a member of the 19th Bomb Wing of the 20th USAF & stationed on Guam had to go to Japan on TDY. Because the 20th USAF reputation of what happened on Aug 1945, we were told to remove our 20th patches from our uniforms so that we would not be recognized and possibly incite Japan' citizens. Strange feelings, one of many.
  84. psytreasure says:
    5 Aug 2014 11:43:38 AM

    The nuclear attack in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a curse of human civilization.. http://psytreasure.com/nuclear-attack-hiroshima-nagasaki-curse-human-civilization/
  85. Anonymous says:
    9 Aug 2014 10:56:05 AM

    My father was a POW of the Japanese and slaved on the infamous Thai-Burma Railroad. If this bomb had not been dropped, even how horrendous it was, the Japanese would never have surrendered and hundreds/thousands more people would have lost their lives. My father is still alive and I am sorry to say will never ever forgive the Japanese for what they did. Successive governments in Japan have never apologised for all the suffering they caused and their descendants do not seem to know about their war crimes. I do have guilt feelings about those bombs but if it had not happened I would not have been born.
  86. Anonymous says:
    11 Aug 2014 10:27:30 AM

    YA all **** s who said japan should have been nuked just think if i nuked your town instead just for saying those **** words
  87. Anonymous says:
    11 Sep 2014 04:33:38 PM

    Truman saved American lives this way - which should be his top priority being the President of the United States. Right decision.
  88. Anonymous says:
    19 Sep 2014 08:13:09 AM

    Well if everyone at the Pentagon and white house payed attention to the warnings that the Japanese was going to bomb pearl harbor we could have been ready, but some idiots thought otherwise. It might have been wrong to use the a bomb but little do people know even though it killed many of thousands it also did extensive damage to enemy military bases, weapon industries and communications which could have in sued to more attacks on us. So by crippling Japan we had the advantage... what was silly about the attack is we were in trade to them with oil and food, we quit supplying them with oil.that is what set it off.
  89. Anonymous says:
    2 Oct 2014 10:56:39 AM

    That nations refuse to be held hostage by other countries, or groups, is the real lessons of the atomic bomb, lessons too long forgotten?
  90. John says:
    6 Oct 2014 04:25:11 PM

    Japanese pilots purposely pulverized civilian cities in countries like China, Phillphines, Singapore, Australia, and other nations within the Asian and the Pacific sphere, many of them without military and industrial significance. An estimated 434,670 non-Japanese women, children, and elderly men (most of them Chinese) were killed in Japanese air attacks during World War II.

    If the enemy women, children, and elderly men were churning out weapons of war that were used to equip the enemy combatants in their fight against U.S. forces, then they deserved to be killed, so that weapons of war wouldn't be properly made and reduce the ablity of the enemy to inflict severe mental and physical pain to the U.S. Armed Forces. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki we dropped nukes on, had military bases and war production centers in them, most of them happened to be positioned in the middle homes of urban populated areas, which was no surprise, considering that unlike the U.S., the Japanese had done to recruit residents in order to increase arms production.

    We have every right to use whatever in our disposal to destroy the enemy's organized physical and mental will to fight as possible - and the atomic bombs were the results of that. Japan should have surrendered when it was their pastime to do so, but they didn't, thus requiring us to impose overwhelming force on Japan's strategic targets until they agreed to surrender, which includes the use of the atomic bombs.

    I don't feel sorry for what happened to Japan, and I will not make apologies for ending the war the nation of Japan perpetrated against us and that they should have done so earlier when it was their past time, even they knew they were not going to win. Don't blame something that actually worked at the end, you just don't, period.

    World War II was the time where we can fight the enemy that was clearly recognized and had its own recognizable, distinctive insignia, unlike Al-Qaeda and terrorist organizations in our war on terror.

  91. Steve B's bestest buddy says:
    15 Oct 2014 10:25:40 PM

    Omg I would like to just say a big,fat thanks to Steve B... he helped me with this so much and gave a really good idea..
    "The two atomic bombs also saved Japanese territorial integrity. If they
    were not used then the home islands would have been invaded with
    Hokkaido invaded by the Soviets. There would have been a communist
    North Japan and a free South Japan. It is possible that Russia, even
    now, would still be holding that part of Japan.

    Using the bombs was a terrible necessity and the best choice for both
    the United States and Japan. A radical idea here, but I would propose
    that Japan adopt a holiday "Atomic Bomb" day celebrating how the bombs
    saved their country from absolute destruction and kept Japan a whole
    nation. "

    And my other anonymous buddy:
    "Steve B brings up a comment which never occurred to me - there would have been a communist faction of Japan had the bombs not been dropped.
    And think. Without them, B-29's would continue to firebomb Japan's cities. This had already caused more death than the A-bombs, and would have caused further deaths. Curtis LeMay would not have relented on this tactic, as aggressive as he was, knowing that precision, high-altitude pinpoint bombing of Japan's factories was virtually impossible. Besides which, components of military parts were manufactured in nearly every Japanese home at this time, so destroying factories was only a small part of the solution.
    American plans to invade Kyushu were already in the making. We were expecting the 2nd Marine Division, which would spearhead the attack, to be completely wiped out - it isn't mentioned after Day 3 of the invasion. It is estimated that half a million Americans would die, not just on land, but at sea - Japan had 5,000 Kamaikaze planes in the home islands. While most would be shot down en route, it is obvious that some would get through. Japanese civilians would commit suicide, possibly by the millions, as we had seen on a smaller scale on Okinawa.
    As horrible as this sounds, I agree with others in that the A-bombs were a necessary evil, though it's a shame they led to the cold war. In the end, lives were saved. And face it, soft-hearted folks: without them, you may not have your Toshibas or your Sony Playstations today.
    Sorry for the length of this, but one more comment: I heard somewhere that the bombings were a matter of racism. We bombed the Japanese instead of the Germans. Okay, learn your facts: the bombs WERE NOT READY by the time Germany surrendered, and anyway, they WERE NOT NEEDED. The German army was wavering,as early as March 1945, and most Germans weren't suicidal fanatics who would fight to the death."
    Thanks to you all!

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More on Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Participants:
» Eatherly, Claude
» Sweeney, Charles
» Tibbets, Paul
» Yi, Woo

Location:
» Japan

Notable Aircraft:
» B-29 Superfortress

Documents:
» Messages between Cavert and Truman
» Truman's Diary Entry, 17 Jul 1945

Related Books:
» Bomb
» The Last Train from Hiroshima


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Harry Truman diary entry regarding meeting with Joseph Stalin, 17 Jul 1945
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