August 6, 1945
At 08:15 on this date in 1945, an atomic bomb was for the first time used against a wartime target – the city of Hiroshima on the island of Honshu, the largest of the Japanese Home Islands. At the time, the population of Hiroshima is estimated to have been 300-350,000.
Ever since the end of WWII, America has been excoriated for being the only nation to have used nuclear weapons in warfare, especially for using those weapons against civilian targets – cities – rather than strictly military targets. Most recently Jon Stewart expressed such an opinion, and essayist and now video star Bill Whittle took some time to explain to him how many ways he was wrong.
I want to do something similar, but I don’t have days to do interviews, much less access to quality video recording and editing hardware. However, via Blackfive I discovered that the Rome, Georgia Rome News-Tribune had done extensive video interviews with surviving WWII vets in their town, and produced some damned fine documentary shorts of those interviews. Fine enough that they ought to win that publication some prizes. Here are two of them, of survivors from the Pacific Theater. Watch and listen, and hear how these men felt about the atomic bombing of Japan.
The two atomic blasts killed between 250,000 and 300,000 people, but they ended the war. Estimates of American casualties alone, had we invaded the Japanese Home Islands, were on the order of 1 million. Japanese casualties, given the grim statistics of Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Okinawa, would have been at least 3-5 times higher, and would have included women, children, and old men.
My only question is when and where will the third atomic bomb used in war be detonated? Tel Aviv? Los Angeles? Paris? London? New York? Because it is going to happen, sooner or later.