At 8:15 on August 6 1945 the first nuclear bomb in the history of warfare detonated over Hiroshima, obliterating the city within a 1.5 mile radius and killing outright some 80,000 people, with around another 70,000 dying of radiation and burns by the end of the year. Japanese pilots flying on reconnaissance missions to the city after all radio transmissions went dead said that `practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death`.
The A-bomb dome (genbaku dome, originally Hiroshima Trade Promotion Hall) was only 150 meters away from the blast hypocenter. It survived because of its strong stone construction, while almost every building around it burned to the ground.
Hiroshima A-bomb dome.
If you want more facts on the bombing of Hiroshima, there`s plenty on Wikipedia, so I won`t rehash them all here. What I will do is give you some context on it from my end of things. I`d been to Hiroshima once before, raring to see the remnants of the atomic blast, and the peace museum. That was about 6 years ago, before I`d gotten into actively seeking haikyo. I was always interested in ruins though, so the A-bomb dome seemed a natural fit.
The Genbaku Dome was originally scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the ruins, but the fact that it was mostly intact delayed these plans. As Hiroshima was rebuilt around the dome, it became a subject of controversy; some locals wanted it torn down, while others wanted to preserve it as a memorial of the bombing.
Close up on what might have been a water fountain.
Shot from a river ferry headed for Miyajima.
At first I was quite underwhelmed by it all. The small-ish Peace Park, the single remaining dome, the blandly shaped museum. I don`t know what I had expected, but probably just more. Perhaps some combination of the preservation level found in Pompeii mixed with the scope to be found at the Washington monuments. It seemed a momentous location commemorating a terrible point in human history, and I expected more of it to be on show as a reminder of the past, with a larger park to help mourn and remember.
The bomb hypocenter was almost directly above the dome – only 150m away and 600m above the ground.
Well, I didn`t know much about Japan then, and I think I know more now. I know that it was a fight to even preserve the dome- numerous people wanted to tear it down as an ugly reminder of the past. In fact most buildings in Japan don`t survive for more than even 50 years, and the past tends to be scrubbed out in favor of things that are new and shiny, especially things tainted with the failure of the pre-war and war era. I know from research that the Peace Museum and Park were instituted over objections from both China and the USA. I know that space is at a premium, so even the Peace Park as is took a lot of effort to keep from falling into the profitable hands of real estate.
Taking those things into consideration, I looked at the place through new eyes. By Japanese standards it`s one heck of a memorial. But that new perspective was also colored by other bits of knowledge I`ve accumulated in my 7 years in Japan. The Pacific war for Japan was one of aggression and imperialism. They occupied Korea for 50 years. They subjugated the Manchurian area of China. Stories abound of slaughter, sexual slavery (under the guise of `comfort women`), and brutal war crimes. Crimes, wars, and occupations that to this day (so I`ve come to understand, at least) the Japanese government has never officially apologized for nor paid reparations towards. Some of Japan`s top war criminals are still buried in one of the country`s most sacred shrines- Yasukuni, which until recently the Prime Minister himself would regularly visit and pray at. These visits without fail would enrage neighbouring Asian countries every time they happened.
To get an idea of the outrage they feel, imagine the German Chancellor going to pray at the church where German war criminals were buried. It wouldn`t happen.
About a third ofHiroshima’s 350,000 population was killed within a week of the bombing. Many more have since died through radiation sickness.
The Dome is now tended and cleaned by just three elderly ladies.
How did that color my perspective of the A-bomb dome? It`s hard to say. The necessity and efficacy of the bomb have been and probably still are being debated by people much better informed than me. I know that it`s good that Japan`s imperialist dreams were stopped short. In that they were victimizers. When the bomb fell the roles reversed and they became victims. There`s no debate that what happened in Hiroshima was terrible. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died. They were victims, not soldiers. But their country was a victimizer. When I was in the Peace Park I only felt the sense of victim. I don`t know what to say beyond that, except that maybe there should be more balance. For Japan to acknowledge their status as victim in Hiroshima is of course reasonable, but if at the same time they ignore the victims they created in China and Korea then aren`t they misrepresenting their legacy, and valuing the lives lost differently? To balance things it seems they ought to take responsibility for all their actions during the war, something I don`t think they`ve yet done.
I went back to Hiroshima because my mother is visiting. We stayed for 2 days in Hiroshima followed by 2 days in Kyoto. The trip was really great, and we had the chance to do many things I hadn`t done before, chiefly led by the fact that my mom`s partner is a vegetarian. That took us to a vegan Zen restaurant in a temple, a funky little family-owned vegetarian cafe, and a Turkish coffee bar staffed by an old collector of Persian antiquities. Great fun.
And so, onto the Peace Museum. I`ll include some photos and bits of art from the museum- all of which it is OK to photograph and reproduce here. A warning though, some of it is pretty grim stuff.
Monument to Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died of radiation poisoning. She believed that if she made enough paper cranes, she`d survive. Children around Japan still send thousands of cranes to be displayed in the glass cases. The statue is a girl holding up a paper crane.
Some of the many cranes.
Museum in back, eternal flame in the arch (which will burn until all the world`s nuclear weapons are destroyed), and line of sight to the genbaku.
A watch stopped at 8:15.
Mock-up of the dome.
Letters from the mayor of Hiroshima to various ambassadors pleading for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Model of Hiroshima before the blast.
After. he A-bomb dome is at right.
Photos of the aftermath.
Aerial reconnaissance photo before.
A model street in ruin.
Grisly model of zombie-like burns/radiation victims, walking along with arms outstretched and the skip stripping from their bodies.
Model showing the bomb hypocenter.
A tricycle that was hit by the blast then buried to remember the child who`d ridden it. Unearthed fairly recently and donated to the museum.
A water pump with the shadow of its handle burned onto the wall.
Glasses fused by the heat.
A Buddha statue melted.
Artworks, often drawn by soldiers who went into Hiroshima on relief missions. Here you can see the A-bomb dome in the background.
The final corridor of the museum had these sketches. This one tells the story of a man searching for water, who found a fire cistern that was already occupied. The picture at left shows the occupants hair spreading out over the water surface.
A well already filled with the dead and people burned down whichever side of their body had been facing the blast.
A terrible story of a young soldier`s regret. He was ordered not to give burns victims any water as it would only hasten their death (which seems it would be a mercy, then). One woman called out for water for days, but he didn`t give her any. He says he still dreams of her cries and regrets his inaction to this day.
Line of sight from the museum to the genbaku.
You can find more ruins explorations in the galleries:[album id=4 template=compact]
Nice pics Mikey. Hope to get there some day myself!
Good pictures and a thoughtful article, Mike. Hiroshima is a symbol that should make all nations stop and think.
One small quibble with one of your captions: “Satellite photo before” and “After” are obviously, due to the date in question, aerial reconnoissance photos, not satellite photos.
Scott- Cheers, and I`m surprised you haven`t made it out there yet.
David- Thanks, and good catch with aerial photos, amended.
Great pictures – the normal tourist ones usually look kind of dull, and I was never interested in going there. But maybe it’s worth to stop by…
(I actually never went there because I’m with you on your (rather unpopular) opinion about how the place / event is used to depict Japan as one of the main victims of WW2 – which it clearly wasn’t, quite the opposite…)
You almost had me! The hilarious photos of the drawings depicting people suffering tipped me off though, I almost believed this. Great April Fools joke lol! I’m still laughing haha!
Great pictures. I was at the Nagasaki Peace Park and Bomb Museum a year ago. You should take that trip also. It was quite an experience.
Made my hairs stand on end. Brilliant x
Florian- I think it`s definitely worth a visit, especially since it`s only half as far for you, being in Kansai. As for the unpopular opinion, it`s hard to feel any other way now.
Dave- Not sure what your point is. Of course it is real.
Mary- Thanks, and maybe one day I`ll get round to the other bomb museum. If I ever get out to Gunkanjima, I`ll definitely go to the bomb museum also.
Alice- It`s quite gruelling the first time you go. I didn`t take photos of any of the burns victim photos because they`re a little too grim.
I always tell people to visit Hiroshima because even if you’re too disturbed by the history, the Sadako monument and the hundreds of thousands(millions?) of individually folded paper cranes there is truly a magnificent and touching sight to behold. Plus, Miyajima is quite close by and the ferry exceptionally covered by the JR Rail Pass.
I’m kinda surprised that with your political commentary you never mentioned a certain recent otaku PM having come from a family that famously made wealth through wartime slavery. And we all know vast family wealth is a prerequisite to getting Japan’s top spot. Biggest shock I’ve had was seeing a “long lasting country to country friendship” letter one of Tokyo’s 23 sent out to its German expat residents.
Horrific…yet the world does so little to stop Iran who would do this to Israel in a second if they could.
…or to stop the USA, the only country who has ever done such a thing.
We did it to save many more lives than we ended up taking.
we had no right to bomb those cities they were civilians not military we could have bombed there fleets or dropped it in front of them as a threat. i would never use such a device against innocent people. if the us government did this again i would leave the country forever and denounce it as my country.
we saved no lives. the bomb was wrong it was never the best course we started the war you just don’t know enough world history to realize that.
stop listening to propaganda america wasn’t a total victim in the pacific.
we were heroes in europe but we cant claim an honorable victory in the pacific.
We’re the ones keeping the nuts in check with our nukes. So just come try to take them away…
My father was with the US Marines on Sipan, and watched the Enola Gay take off on this “mission”. The war was essentially over for the Japanese, beaten on every front except the homeland. With no air force, navy and much of their army reduced to old men and children. A general supply embargos would have crippled the entire populous, the US was in a position of a new war with Russia, both sides expatriating German scientists and physicists for their own gains.
To cow Russia, the order was given to test the bombs on an area of little economic value to the conquering nation. Europe was too politically and economically valuable to contaminate, and there was quite a bit of political fallout about the fire bombing of Dresden. After all, many of the US elites could trace their European ancestry. However, there were no Japanese-American tycoons, or politicians so the order was given to make a show of these new weapons to stop the advancement of the Russians taking too much of the spoils of war, and starting another.
Only “Fat-Man” was actually tested at White Plains to work, the time frame for this show of power forced the first test of “Little-Boy” to be on Nagasaki.
My father describes the air of uncertainty, rumors of the blast creating a tsunami, or fire burning up the atmosphere. They went ahead anyway.
Before you label who you think the victim and aggressor are, read history from more than a source that has an agenda to keep. All wars are awful and the depths of depravity are all but unbearable. We talk of finding mass graves of atrocities committed by barbaric terrorists, but when photos surface from Desert Storm showing the US bulldozers pushing bodies in a trench, it’s just sanitary cleaning up.
History is written by the winners….
Thank you Robert, for an analysis that relies upon multiple and wide-ranging historical, military, and geopolitical factors to support the one reasonable lesson from these events. Any American who believes that atomic bombs were a product of anything other than realpolitik demonstrates themselves to be sadly dependent upon the myth of American exceptionalism, and too dependent upon that myth to be of any value in assessing the lessons of our past.
Thank you DPP for ignoring the fact that casualty projections were in the MILLIONS in the event of a land invasion of Japan – which the US and Brits were preparing for.
Absent also from the “peace museum” are copies of the leaflets dropped over several cities warning citizens that “Our (the US) fight is with the government of Japan – not civiillians. Your city is on a list of cities that may be wiped off the face of the earth by weapons more powerful than heretofore dreamed possible. Leave the city now.”. This leaflet campaign was certainly more warning than the Imperial Japanese Military gave the citizens of Manchuria, Korea and various other conquests.
First, even if your assertions were true, those assumed facts do nothing to challenge the inherent moral problem with the indiscriminate slaughter of civilian populations. Keep in mind that one purported reason for the war was stopping precisely the same type of mechanical genocide on a different continent.
Second, your assertions are false. The United States Secretary of War’s independent commission determined in 1946 that:
“Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”
Your mythology simply isn’t true.
Take a moment of self-reflection and ponder: have you willingly recognized the horror inflicted upon others by individuals wearing the uniforms of the US Armed Forces? Or do they stand above such judgments? I find it staggering that one could value themselves in such small fashion as to find some sense of self-worth from blind allegiance to a flag, or find self worth in the absolutism of unquestioned American “exceptionalism.” As the sun sets, though, I would hope for our collective sake and in the hope of a better world that you and your like-minded peers might show the capacity for even an ounce of reflection on the horrors that our leaders have committed on our behalves and in our names.
If not, though, please continue to enjoy your storybooks.
The primary lesson to take from WWII is that peace at any price is too high a price to pay. Chamberlain returned to the United Kingdom with “peace in our time” – that went well, didn’t it? In a war that could have beel largely prevented by early military action, millions perished.
I suggest you do a little research, including interviewing those living in Japan at the time, as well as those preparing for the invasion. The invasion was a reality until the unconditional surrender in spite of what an “independent commission” far removed from the decision making loop and actual activity may have expoused. But keep believing your fairy tale.
I further suggest that you do a little first-hand research regarding the conduct of US servicemen and -women in combat. While atrocities were committed on all sides, two glaring differences stand out – one, the frequency of incidents is minescule in comparison, and two, those incidents are prosecuted. To expand your knowledge base, I would highly recommend serving a three or four year enlistment.
Come back when you have an education, but be advised: the clouds of pot smoke in which your “learned professors” reside has a tendancy to obscure reality.
I don’t understand the implication of your Chamberlain point. My point relates to unnecessary nuclear slaughter of civilian populations, not the US war effort.
As for the “but their conduct was worse than ours” argument, unless you take the position that US policy was retributive (which I don’t think you are), this is a red herring and irrelevant to the question of whether justification existed for certain actions.
You write, “The invasion was a reality until the unconditional surrender…” Again, you point out what the military’s plans were; this is a separate question from necessity, morality, or wisdom.
It’s unclear from your comment regarding prosecution of US military crimes whether you are referring only to those in WW2 or in a broader context.
I really don’t know why you would choose to make unfounded assumptions about my background or education, but you’ve succeeded in ducking the issue in favor of mudslinging.
If an atrocity is preceded by propaganda leaflets, it still is an atrocity.
your going by the assumption the japanese soldiers would have been a match for the well fed battle hardened marine corps the japanese soldiers were under fed and suffer severe illnesses that the us had medicine for. the japanese way of bushido was not gaining any ground in fact it was the worst thing they did to themselves. sinking very few ships and when u charge a squad of marines they tend to just shoot u. bonzai didnt work. the us projections were sadly mistaken probably made up by a jr officer luitenant ranks probably. the war would have been like the end days of the war in europe some medium scale battles and then no more troops. their problem was they were not able to retreat. once you win a battle you crush that entire army.
Thanks for the great pictures and stories.
As for you Johnson…losers revise history. Maybe you’d rather we be speaking Japanese, German, Russian or Chinese or Arabic?
My father was Big Red 1, my mother Royal Air Force, myself a Vietnam and SEA veteran. I worked with many nucs…that we can’t use…and that have given us 65 more years of peace.
First let me just say I love your site. And I also love ruins there so eerily beautiful. As for the Japan A-Bomb thing I agree with you %100. So many more people died at the hands of the Japanese in WWII then when the bomb fell on Hiroshima. Yes it was horrible but the bomb actually saved more lives by having Japan surrender. Millions more would have died if a D-Day style invasion of Japan took place. Im not trying to sound like im Japan bashing but they did carry out atrocitys that were more horrible then anything the bomb could have done. Like the “Death March” in the Philippines? And what about them forcing civilians to commit suicide whenever they were losing a battle? And also what about the fact that they sided with the Nazis? The most evil people who ever lived?
I know this all sounds like im ripping on Japan but in fact I am actually quite a fan of post WWII Japanese culture.
Why must we be reminded of how “evil” the japanese and their german allies when we see the brutality the United States committed by these nuclear weapons. Are we in a position to judge the atrocities of other countries in order to validate our dropping the bomb.
And the whole D-Day scenario is unrealistic, we were liberating France from Germany in Europe on D-Day. As stated before a blockade would have sufficed, Japan had no resources to continue the war. It was a tragic mistake and the United States should apologize in order to discourage any country from using this ever again.
Yes, a blockade would have sufficed – and resulted in the deaths of many more Japanese civillians as a result of starvation, lack of medical supplies, etc. Would you really have preferred that?
Japan was not willing to give in until the second bomb was dropped. Shortly thereafter, Hirohoto announced a surrender, going against the wishes of the military who actually controlled the empire.
BJL – Israel could also do this in a second to Iran. Or any other nation in the region. Let’s not go there.
AFTER the big bang .The USA turned their attention towards other things.
Only collecting radio transmission for later translation from Japanese to English.
In those long after the fact radio transmissions , the Japanese were planning a propaganda campaign to convince the world they were the victims of war.
Seems to of worked well
don’t take my word for it ..GOOGLE it
(I wont mention any family members who may of worked on those radio translations )
I’m not sure you’re using “hypocenter” correctly… I believe it refers to the point on the ground below the explosion, no the point in the air.
I hate to break it to you all, but Japan had surrended multiple times before the a-bombs were dropped, the United States just rejected them all. One such surrendarance was nearly identical to the terms of surrender that the United States accepted.
We just wanted to test our new toy, get over it lol you’re blind if you think otherwise. It was a show of force to Russia. Once we were done with Germany we had seen the beast which Germany had awoken, plus the USSR had occupied vast swaths of Eastern Europe. The atomic bomb was more about scaring the Soviet Union then it was making Japan surrender.
As for Japan never apologizing. Japan has apologized, numerous times. Your statement about Japan never paying reparations is also mistaken, Japan paid 1 trillion and 30 billion yen as reparations. They also surrendered all overseas assets which totaled $25,300,000,000.
As for whatever crimes they may have commited, war is ugly, especially in WWII. People like to talk about what Japan or Germany did but pleasantly glaze over the fact that America had a policy of firebombing Japan which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. The plan of these bombings was not to hurt the Japanese war machine, it was meant to damage morale and break the spirit of the civilian population.
There was also the American treatment of PoW’s, which was equally poor (sometimes even resulting in executing prisoners just because they could not be bothered to take the prisoners with them) as well as everything America has done since then.
How about the fact that China went on to be lead by a man who would kill over 80,000,000 of his own people, which is far more then the Japanese had killed, or the fact that Korea degenerated into a civil war after Japan had lost control over the region.
I’m not saying what Japan did was right, I’m just saying that war is terrible and that you’d have to be pretty naive to look at things in strictly black and white. Lol.
and you only talk negative about America. strange isnt it.
Great article! thanks for sharing!you now have a new reader to your blog.
i so love all of the photos..its all taken so beautifully..
People all too easily forget how horrific these events were, and pictures such as these only serve to remind us all why something of this nature should never be allowed to happen again. I am amazed it ever happened at all really, not just once but twice! They obviously knew the amount of damage and chaos that would be caused, and the amount of civilians that would perish or suffer horribly when they dropped these bombs, men, women, children and hardly any military targets for miles around, yet they did it anyway. So much for the “rules of engagement” It is so upsetting to think of all those people, women feeding their babies, children on their way to school, fathers going to work, all caught completely unawares. A lot of them died instantly, but many thousand more sufferd terribly for months and even years, often suffering slow and agonising deaths. NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING justifies the use of this kind of attack EVER again. All the people and the wildlife, everything, GONE! just like that. We are not gods, with the power of life and death over whoever we choose, it all too easily could have been one of our nations. Nuclear power is something that should be left for the history books, the horror it causes shows us that, plain as day…….
My father was stationed in Hiroshima in 45-46. I remember when I found the 35 mm contact prints that he had taken of the city. As to was it necessary, my father was a cherry in an infantry company on Okinawa. People forget what those times were like and the hate on both sides that existed. I also lived in Japan for two years and went to Sophia for poly sci part time. Japan would not have surrendered and the death toll would have been much higher. We also forget just how unpopular the war was in the U.S. by then. Without the bombing the world would be a different place.Whether that is for good or ill I for one do not know. Thank you again for the pictures. They are very moving.
What a great site, beautiful photos and fine, thought provoking articles. Very heavy, very sobering. Read all the comments with much interest. Not the usual dero comments ones sees on such a subject. I will visit your site often, I love it.
The arguments about Hiroshima (and the forgotten Nagasaki) will go on forever
BUT I see virtually no mention of Dresden. This was a totally bestial and unnecessary action which had little effect on Germany, killed huge numbers of civilians and damaged little of military value. The rulers of the Third Reich didn’t give a damn about how many people were killed, and those who planned and ordered this atrocity, mostly dead now, should be condemned for the criminals they are/were.
We must convince North Korea that the game they are playing can result in Hiroshima 2. The US andNorth Korea must back off. Your photos are graphic.
The photographs haunt me. I saw the artice and photos last week and commented. I can not get them out of my mind. Sentd the photos to all leaders.
I am amazed at the magnificent memorial that has been built to the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima. I visited the museum in in 1964 and found a very small dark building with a hand crafted map of the devastated city and a few articles that had been donated along with pictures of the devastation and a few photos of victims. There were also preserved specimens of the effects of radiation and photos of burn victims. Nothing I saw there compares with the museum of today. I wish I was able to return for one more visit. A well done to the people of Hiroshima. The Spirit of the Japanese people is amazing.
The Japanese got what they earned. The rape of Nanking–remember the picture of the young child crying next to its dead mother, the cruel and inhuman treatment of POWs (the pictures of bayoneted POWs during the Bataan death march and the picture of the British POW about to be beheaded by a Jap guard).
The supposed previous surrenders were phrased in such a way that Japan would keep its leadership and emporer-which MacArthur allowed (the emporer not leadership). The US and the allies specified unconditional surrender which Japan did not agree to until the 2 bombs were dropped. The leaflets telling the Japanese to surrender and the atrocities they dealt to those they invaded is never mentioned by them. To this date, Japanese schools are not taught they were the aggressor in WWII.
For those who wish to revise history, have a heart to heart talk with a Bataan death march survivor or a survivor of Pearl Harbor. When Japan was losing in the Philippines they took 300+ POWs and burned them alive – KILLED THEM–to prevent facts about their atrocities get out. The Cabantuan rescue mission rescued 500 POWs before the Japanese could kill them
even to this day many of the jap pilots and prison camp guards, still feel no guilt for what they did. If they had defeated America they would have shown no mercy to the civilian population. Add to that U-551 was carrying uranium U-238 from a defeated Germany to Japan so they could build an atomic bomb to use on the US. The 2 Japanese scientists committed suicide (what heroes–NOT) when the sub was caught. In a turn of fate–the U-238 was used in the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
Unterseeboot U-551 was sunk by the Royal Navy in 1941.
He probably meant this U-boat which was carrying some form of uranium:
In all honesty the firebombing of Tokyo was far deadlier than either nuclear bomb, and was probably what precipitated the unconditional surrender. But it doesn’t have the nuclear bogeyman to scare people with, so it’s largely forgotten. Whether or not the bombs were necessary will probably never be settled. Of one thing I am certain, there are no good guys in any war, just soldiers.
Thank you for taking and publishing these photos Michael, although I like your haikyo pictures much more… and I would post my appreciation there… but most of the comments have been turned off.
I didn’t know that there were still fragments of that dreadful day scattered around that city. I thought all reminders of that day would have been knocked down, especially when you consider the rate of development there. Anyway, it was tragic.
“Some of Japan`s top war criminals are still buried in one of the country`s most sacred shrines- Yasukuni, which until recently the Prime Minister himself would regularly visit and pray at. These visits without fail would enrage neighbouring Asian countries every time they happened.
To get an idea of the outrage they feel, imagine the German Chancellor going to pray at the church where German war criminals were buried. It wouldn`t happen.”
They are not buried there, they are enshrined. According to shinto, death is unclean, shrines and graves don’t mix well. Also, over 2,466,000 people who fought in Japan’s conflicts since the Boshin war and died on duty are enshrined along with the A Class war criminals. The enshrinement does not happen automatically, so enshrining them clearly questioned the decisions of the Tokyo war crimes tribunal. The shrine and the adjacent museum present a view of Japanese history that paints Japan as an innocent victim in WWII. But it’s not simply a shrine to war criminals, it’s closer to a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, except for the fact that in this case, the soldiers are known – among them, young kamikaze pilots or nurses. All this makes the situation more complex than is usually reported: a visit is interpreted as a sign of revisionist tendencies, a lack of visit is insulting to Japan’s war dead.
The 2 Atomic Bombs dropped in 1945 saved approximately 600,000 American lives as we did indeed have plans to invade Japan. The closer we got to Japan, the harder they fought as in Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, etc. If you dropped the bombs on what was left of their Naval fleet or on some remote Army installation on a remote island, no one would have admitted it and the war would have gone on until at LEAST 1946 if not longer. The USA has not used a nuclear device on another country since and it saved American lives. The Japanese ARMY ran the show ( not the Emperor ) and they would have fought until God knows when. The right decision was made. They attacked Pearl Harbor so they started it. We ended it. It’s just too bad the USA has to wear the Sheriff’s badge since the end of WW2.
Amazing images of Hiroshima’s Peace Park and Museum. I visited Hiroshima in 1982 (while serving in the Navy). I understand ALL of the arguments that the dropping of these terrible devices has triggered; many valid points have been raised in these posts. I personally, am of the school of thought that (in the end) these bombings DID save both American AND Japanese lives, in the long run. If you study the invasion of Okinawa, you will see that, through Japanese propaganda and a last a desperate attempt to protect “the home islands”. Not only was the the Japanese military but also the civilian population… was prepared to fight to the absolute, last man, woman and child.
An invasion of Japan itself was imminent! Some U.S. generals and admirals even believing that EVEN with the dropping of these 2 bombs… some aspects of the Imperial military WOULD STILL NOT SURRENDER.