DID THE BOMB ON NAGASAKI HAVE TO FALL? PART I
Was it necessary for the U.S. to end World War II by dropping two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Seventy years later this question remains unanswered by both the Americans and Japanese.
Was there no other choice to end the second World War this way? Was there an alternative? Was it unavoidable? Immoral? Did it save more lives then it sacrificed?
The following information is taken from an article, published 20 years ago. It was written exactly fifty years after the war ended and translated to English in 2015.
On Monday morning, August 6, 1945 at 8:15, the B-29 Bomber ‘Enola Gay’ dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. Forty-three seconds later and 9020 meter lower this 20-kiloton weighing projectile exploded. It caused a blinding flash of light and a hellish heat, somewhere between 3000 and 4000 degree C. The ones close by the place of explosion were lucky: they died immediately. They dissolved in smoke and when the smoke lifted they remained just a small heap of ash. Further away the streams of heat burned eyes and caused serious mutilations. Women moved around with their skin hanging around them as kimonos. Burned people in shock kept their arms stiff ahead of them to avoid touching someone else, creating a macabre picture of walking ghosts. They moaned for water.
An eyewitness account of someone in jail in Fukuoaka14, a Japanese prison camp south of Nagasaki testified: ‘Lying flat on my belly, I saw a sharp light flash over my back and I felt the burning heat of the light go over my body. It didn’t touch me anywhere since I had pressed myself forcefully against the bottom of the ditch. The light was immediately followed by thunder, which seemed to rumble tenfold in the ground. It became pitch black… When I saw the devastation, I thought I witnessed the end of the world. I saw people with cloths in shreds ripped off their bodies and when I could see better I saw people with pealed off skin, bleeding and crying. They walked like chickens without heads, falling over and through heaps of rubbish’.
Eighty thousand people died instantly and around fifty thousand succumbed in the months that followed. Tens of thousands suffered immensely afterwards with the results of radioactivity.
This was August 6, 1945. President Truman, Commander in Chief of the United States, issued a serious warning to Japan and demanded surrender. But the Japanese Army didn’t believe the bomb on Hiroshima was an atom bomb and if by chance the bomb could have been an atom bomb, they didn’t think America possessed a second.
They did not surrender!
The gruesome results of the bomb on Hiroshima is bringing up the urgent question if the bomb on Nagasaki was necessary.
There are two issues to consider
Would Japan, after realizing that they had actually already lost the war, have surrendered without the second atom bomb?
And second, was America’s motivation aimed at Japan, or an effort to intimidate the Soviet Union and achieve a better negotiating platform over Europe, which was still suffering from after-war depression?
To be continued…