70 Years on from One of the Worst Acts in World History

Paper lanterns float down the Motoyasu River in Hiroshima, in the annual August 6 memorial event, in memory of the lives lost.

70 years ago on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first every nuclear weapon, affectionately known as, “Little Boy,” over the Japanese city of Hiroshima during WWII. In the blink of an eye, 70,000 mostly women and children perished. Another 140,000 would die by year’s end. An additional batch of people would die over the next 70 years to cancer.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/EPA
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/EPA

In a sane world, such an event would be seen as one of the worst terror acts in not just American history, but world history. Unfortunately, most Americans still defend the use of not just this one, but the one that would then hit Nagasaki three days later.

Let me allow Rad Geek to takeover:

It exploded about 200 yards above ground, creating a 13 kiloton explosion, a fireball, a shock-wave, and a burst of radiation. On the day that the bomb was dropped, there were about 255,000-300,000 people living in Hiroshima.

Keep in mind, this was after the U.S. had been firebombing over 60 Japanese cities and leveling most of them, killing hundreds of thousands in the process. And this was just the first one.

There was a sudden flash, brighter than the sun, and then sky went dark, buildings were thrown to the ground, and everything began to burn. People were burned alive and nothing left but a shadow on the wall. People staggered through the ruins, their eyes blinded, their clothing burned off their bodies, skin burned off in the heat. Everyone was desperate for water, everything was unbearably hot. They begged soldiers for water from their canteens; they drowned themselves in cisterns. Later, black rain began to fall from the darkened sky. People escaping from the city center thought it was a miracle. They tried to catch the rain on their tongues, or they caught it and drank it out of cups. They didn’t know that the rain was fallout. They didn’t know that it was full of radiation and as they drank it it was burning them away from the inside. There was no refuge, no sanctuary; there was nobody to help.

Some say, yeah, but what the Japanese did to us during Pearl Harbor or the untold number of atrocities against the Chinese…yeah. It shouldn’t have to be said, but just because the Japanese government perpetrated horrific acts in no way justifies our own government’s horrific acts.

The city was burning; the doctors and nurses were almost all downtown. The bomb exploded directly over one of the major clinics, and over 90% of the doctors, and over 90% of the nurses, were killed or injured in the bombing. Because the U.S. bomber targeted the city center, about 85% of the people killed in Hiroshima were civilians.

We purposefully targeted a civilian area to test out our nuclear bomb for the Soviets’ attention. It’s deplorable.


4 thoughts

    1. And the issue today is how the U.S. government counts civilian deaths. Any male of military age is considered a combatant unless somehow proven otherwise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s