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This is the now famous "T-Bridge" which was the epicenter of the August 6, 1945 Bomb drop. This was the second bridge in the same location and the photo is from the 1920's.




Hiroshima before 1920

Critical questions regarding the use of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This writer has always thought that the use of the Atomic Bomb, or for that matter, any bomb on civilian population centers is, barbaric. Many people, including this writer's father, who was in Japan from September 1945 till August 1946, have suggested that a demonstration of the power of the bomb should have been conducted, prior to the use of the bomb on a population center. According to documents in the Truman Library, this was in fact considered,but then it was decided not to demonstrate the bomb but rather to use it on a select target. There were actually many reasons given for this including the fact that there was some concern that the bomb would not work or that it would not be as powerful as it was or that the spectacle of the demonstration would have been sufficient enough to bring about a surrender. Almost every person felt that a direct warning should have been given so that the population had time to evacuate. A number of warning were in fact given and various leaflets were dropped, including over Hiroshima, but, as best to this authors knowledge, the true nature of the bomb was not mentioned. When this writer traveled to Hiroshima in 2002 and walked throughout the city and spoke with survivors, a gradual different opinion was formed, that what had seemed so unchangeable. This writer still feels that the bomb was and is a hourendous device, but a number of questions gradually came to mind, that to this day, adequate answers have not been received.

Questions and points to consider regarding Hiroshima:

1. If Japan had it, would they have used it? Consider that they were so desperate and fanatical, that they used suicide pilots.

2. If a country is the first to bomb, for example Japan bombing and killing 17,000 in China in 1937, is it fair if their enemies develop and use an even more powerful bomb in the future?

3. Some say that Japan was about to surrender, though most question this since Japan started to arm the old and very young as well as women. Some say that Japan would have surrendered if the US would have started to invade one of the four main Japanese Islands (Kyushu). Is it fair that if the means is available, that even one soldier on the other side dies, for example allied soldiers, if this can be prevented?

4. Was it truly necessary for Japan to have been forced to unconditionally surrender. Recently, some books and articles have stated the war could have ended much sooner if the western allies would have openly stated that the Emperor could continue to be the head of Japan. To the best knowledge of this author, the Japanese never offered to stop fighting and withdraw from China and other Asian countries and apparently thought that its sphere of influence would continue after an agreement of surrender. Further, certain abuses, such as the 80,000 comfort women (forced prostitutes) continued to be held in servitude (Japan to this day, denies the existence of forced prostitution, and states that the comfort women freely joined the field for economic gain). Japan certainly did not offer to have an occupational government, on their home territory. But again, was this necessary?

5. In the three days between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 1,700 US soldiers died and almost 20,000 Chinese soldiers died. Further, it is estimated that there were 80,000 Korean, Chinese and other comfort women (forced prostitutes) in the service of Japan, at this point. The rapid end of the war, stopped the slaughter.

6. Hiroshima was the equivalent of America's Westpoint. It was also a center of militarism and was the staging ground for the 1895 invasion of China, the 1905 attack on Russia and the attack on Korea.

7. This writer has been to Hiroshima and interviewed survivors. The survivors told the author that very little help reached Hiroshima from the other Japanese cities and areas and that the local people had to rely on their own efforts. It was not until 1955, that the central government finally acknowledged the plight of Hiroshima and built a hospital. The Japanese government was apparently partially motivated to set up the hospital, after 50 or so "Hiroshima Maidens" were invited to the United States in 1955 to be treated by plastic surgeons, for their injuries. This is also outlined in the Hiroshima Peace Museum, which focuses primarily on the suffering of the people of Hiroshima, immediately after the bombing and in the days that followed. The Americans set aid stations immediately after the war, but the Hiroshima residents complained that all that the Americans did was to study the effects of the bomb, rather than treat the afflicted.

8. Some say that it was to America's advantage to play up the destruction of Hiroshima, particularly with the looming Cold War, essentially to make America seem invincible. This author was shocked to learn in Hiroshima that there were people who survived the bombing, who were only 300 ft from the hypcenter. Further, a substantial portion of the destruction seen in photographs were a result of the fires that consumed the city over the next 3 days. Such things as the melted glass, melted asphalt and snapped telephone poles was apparently a result of the subsequent fires, and the 170mph winds (similar to Dresden) that resulted from the firestorm. What we now call radiation sickness was referred to as the bomb sickness and was believed, at the time, by many Japanese doctors, to be a virus. The reason for this belief was that some people very close to the center did not get this sickness while others, far away did. This is a source of continuing debate in Hiroshima.

9. Strangely, it would seem that the use of the Atomic Bomb gave the Emperor and other members of the leadership an "honorable" excuse to end the war.

Still it goes against one conscience to use a barbaric act to stop other barbaric acts. Can two wrongs make a right?

August, 2002

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