world war ii: hiroshima

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Lanterns for peace: Japan marks 70th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bomb | Video

On 6 August, Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In the city’s Peace Memorial Park, people floated dozens of colourful paper lanterns onto the Motoyasu river – releasing messages of peace into the world.

Boeing B-29 superfortress bomber “Enola Gay” named for Enola gay tibbets, the mother of the pilot Colonel paul tibbets. On the 6th of august 1945 Enola Gay became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb, codenamed little boy on the city of Hiroshima, japan. 

“My god, what have we done”

                                                 - Cpt Robert Lewis, co pilot of Enola gay 

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August marks 70 years since the nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These photos capture some of the devastation and the echoes. What is remarkable is just how common it is to hear people describe the decision to use the bombs as absolutely necessary because in the minds of U.S. leadership the Japanese would have never surrendered. However, there is considerable disagreement among historians as to whether that assertion is true. In fact, Japan’s surrender may have already been underway. A second problem with the account is of course the glaring fact that it is a narrative that attempts to paper over the plain fact that a decision was made to unleash the horror of two nuclear bombs on a population of civilians, who were no more interested in fighting a war than American civilians.

As the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approaches, several people have been asking me to share my thoughts about those days in 1945, when our world changed forever. The first thing that comes to mind is an image of my four-year-old nephew Eiji – transformed into a charred, blackened and swollen child who kept asking in a faint voice for water until he died in agony. Had he not been a victim of the atomic bomb, he would be 74 years old this year. This idea shocks me. Regardless of the passage of time, he remains in my memory as a 4-year-old child who came to represent all the innocent children of the world. And it is this death of innocents that has been the driving force for me to continue my struggle against the ultimate evil of nuclear weapons. Eiji’s image is burnt into my retina.
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Peace activist Setsuko Thurlow was a 13-year old schoolgirl when an exceptionally destructive new weapon, the atom bomb, was used against her hometown, Hiroshima, Japan, 70 years ago today.

Three days later, there will undoubtedly be similar remembrances in Nagasaki, the second city against which an atom bomb was used, and so far in this world, the only two cities ever to be destroyed by such.

Let’s hope there are no others. It’s not worth it. Also: Today’s nuclear weapons make Fat Man and Little Boy, the informal names of the bombs dropped on Japan, look like squirtguns.

Do click through to Huffington Post and read the rest of this piece.

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Today marks 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. 

About 140,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the world’s first nuclear attack, including those who survived the bombing itself but died soon afterward due to severe radiation exposure.

The bomb’s destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people. It left lifelong physical and emotional scars on survivors.

“On Monday, August 6, 1945, a mushroom cloud billows into the sky about one hour after an atomic bomb was dropped by American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, detonating above Hiroshima, Japan. Nearly 80,000 people are believed to have been killed immediately, with possibly another 60,000 survivors dying of injuries and radiation exposure by 1950.”

(AP)

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‪On This Day‬ in 1945, Col. Paul Tibbets took flight on a B-29, named Enola Gay after his mother, with the 509th Composite Group to drop an atomic bomb known as ‪‎Little Boy‬ on the Japanese city of ‪‎Hiroshima‬. This action was the beginning of the end of the war and the dawn of the atomic age.

Pictured here is Tibbets’ flight log from August 1945 that shows his history-making flight which occurred today on August 6, 1945.

“An allied correspondent stands in the radioactive rubble in front of the shell of a building that once was an exhibition hall in Hiroshima, Japan, one month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped on the city by the U.S. The explosion took place almost directly above the dome.”

(AP)

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70 Years Later; After the A-bomb: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Then and Now 

At the time, none of them knew anything. The radio, telephone, and telegraph in Hiroshima had gone dark. That was all the information the members of the Army General Staff in Tokyo had. And it was met only with confusion. Then, as strange, scattered reports surfaced, concern crept in. So, a small crew was dispatched to Hiroshima to survey the area and report back. After three hours of flying, and still about 100 miles from the city, they noticed the cloud of smoke.

The destruction heralded by that cloud of smoke can hardly be grasped with statistics or torrents of dire adjectives (the same, of course, goes for the bombing of Nagasaki three days later). Photographs probably can’t even truly do it. But these photographic comparisons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki then and now might be a start.

(Continue Reading)

Letter received from General Thomas Handy to General Carl Spaatz authorizing the dropping of the first atomic bomb, 7/25/1945

Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations, 1900 - 2003

Less than 2 weeks before this authorization, the first Atomic bomb had been successfully tested at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico on July 16, 1945.