Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"A rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth."

Yesterday, my wife and son went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum where I saw for the first time, the Enola Gay -- the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima.

This got me to reading up on the history of the war with Japan and the dropping of the only nuclear weapons in history. The Hiroshima bomb immediately killed 70,000 people -- just 70,000, poof!, gone in a minute. What is even more chilling is the statement released by Harry Truman the day after:
"If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth."
Fucking hell, man. I had forgotten that basically, the United States had planned to drop nuclear bombs on Japanese cities continuously until they surrendered. If that meant killing every human in Japan, so be it. From wikipedia:
"The U.S. expected to have another atomic bomb ready for use in the third week of August, with three more in September and a further three in October."
Five days after the Nagasaki bombing, Emperor Hirohito announced:
"The enemy now possesses a new and terrible weapon with the power to destroy many innocent lives and do incalculable damage. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."
Then the war ended.

Damn, Democrats sure were hawks back then, eh? I support the nuclear bombing of Japan. I've read estimates that a ground war would have cost up to a million US casualties with MULTIPLE millions of Japanese lives lost. Incredible, that a US president made such a major decision. Words fail me.
You state that the Enola Gay was the only plane to drop a nuclear Bomb. "Bockscar" was the plane that dropped that Bomb on Nagasaki By Maj. Sweeney.

No no. Re-read what I said: "the Enola Gay -- the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima."
I've always had a softspot for Truman, that old haberdasher.

The scale of such a thing is unimaginable to me… To the point where the last card Truman had in his pocket was the threat of "the total extinction of human civilization". Fuckin' hell is right, man.

Thanks for the great post.
"This got me to reading up on the history of the war with Japan and the dropping of the only nuclear weapon in history"

Yes, I forgot the "s" in "weapon". Corrected now.
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desperate time require desperate measure
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Actually, if I remember my history (it's been a while since I read this, so it may have since been discredited) the threat to use more nuclear weapons was a bluff. Not that they wouldn't, but Fat Man And Little Boy used nearly all the weaponized Uranium and Plutonium available at the time.
Pete -- I have no idea.
Interesting is the response of General Curtis Lemay when asked about the lethality of the atomic bombs - he shrugged it off and said what has been taking him hundreds of planes can now be done with one plane and one crew. The atomic bombs of WWII (small ones by todays standards)often overshadow the horror of incendiary bombing methods of WWII. The numbers of lives lost to these, especially in Japan, are surprising if I remember correctly.
The atomic bombs are historically significant no doubt. But anyone interested in the use of these should also look up the incendiary bombing campaigns of WWII.
The bombing was justified. It saved both american and japanese lives. Had there been an invasion, it would have resulted in over 1,000,000 american servicemen losing there lives. Also we would have had to kill almost everybody anyway as the japs were not willing to surrender at all. they would have fought to the last man. It was projected that upwards of 5,000,000 japanese would lose there lives in an invasion. The bombing brought an end to 6 long years of bloodshed and murder.
The japs were given many chances to surrender. There was a ultimatum given at the Postdam conference warning that we had a new powerful weapon. This was rejected. Another warning was given after Hiroshima. This too was rejected. It was the stuborness of the jap leaders that caused the bloodshed.
obviously this guy has not researched much about WWII. If he had he would know of the atrocities committed by their military and government. Look up any pacific battle and you will see that they deserved it. Baatan death march, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Guadalcanal. etc.etc
anyway we only had one more bomb to use. We had used up all the available plutonium and uranium that was available at the time.
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