Home > F. Politics & the Velvet Revolution > Never Again–The Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings, August 1945

Never Again–The Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings, August 1945

File:Hiroshima aftermath.jpg

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These are the facts: at 8:15 a.m., on August 6, 1945, the United States military dropped an atom bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, located near the southern end of Japan’s largest island, Honshu. The city’s population before the bombing was 340,000; Some 70,000–80,000 people, or 30% of the population, were killed by the blast and resulting firestorm; another 70,000 were injured. More than 90% of the city’s doctors and nurses were killed or injured—most had been in the downtown, near ground zero. Of the dead, 20,000 were soldiers. (Most elements of the Japanese 2nd General Army were at physical training on the grounds of Hiroshima Castle.) Barely 900 yards from ground zero, the castle and its residents were vaporized. By the end of 1945, injury and radiation sickness brought total casualties to between 90,000 and 140,000.

Why did the United States drop the bomb? The atom bomb was used to prevent an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, an invasion that the U.S. military estimated would result in 1 million American casualties (and as many Japanese casualties). Radiation sickness was unknown at the time of the bombing, and most of the people killed on the first day died in less than a second. The normal radio broadcast warning was issued to the city’s people, advising them to go to air-raid shelters if B-29s were sighted. For a variety of reasons, most logistical, the warning was ignored.

Three days later, on August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and a significant military target because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, and military equipment. Between 40 and 75 thousand people were killed instantly; deaths may have reached 80,000 by the end of the year.

On September 2, 1945, the Japanese Empire surrendered to the United States.

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How can we make sure this never happens again? There are no perfect solutions in the world, but RT feels that democratic, limited world government comes pretty close to filling the bill. The World Federalist Movement, created in 1947, is a good place to begin finding resources to build a united world free of nuclear weapons.   RT

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Photo: Hiroshima Aftermath; United States Military. WikiCmns; Public Domain.

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  1. August 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    It may never be resolutely determined, but I feel the bomb was dropped not to prevent an invasion, but to avoid it. Truman had a tough decision but the Home Front was tired of war. Public sentiment would not have supported another one-year plus of war.

    As you said, something like this should never happen again. In addition, a number of Korean laborers forcibly removed from their homeland plus an unknown number of American POWs perished – as well as my father’s high school.

    Nice, thoughtful post.

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