View Full Version : (pics) Hiroshima

February 13th, 2007, 09:25 PM
I thought it was a good find. Some new pics to me.


February 13th, 2007, 10:31 PM
One way to end a war, but pretty ghastly.

February 14th, 2007, 07:24 AM
They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 14th, 2007, 08:00 AM
As a Japanologist I still find these photos fascinating and ghastly.

As for the decision to use atomic weapons, well, that was a debate which was fiercely conducted in the White House at the time (although note that the fire bombing of Tokyo probably caused more casualties than the atomic bombings)

I am reminded of the film Thin Red Line, when General Quintard (Travolta) asks Colonel Tall (Nolte) on the deck of the marine landing ship off the shores of Guadalcanal.

Quintard: "Do you have a son Colonel?"

Tall: "Yes Sir I do"

Quintard: "Good, because we don't want our sons and grandsons fighting this war 30 years from now do we?'"

That's how they saw it. It was almost literally the "War of the Worlds".

I also note that someone accurately made this comment on that website:

"During World War II, nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the abandoned invasion of Japan, Operation Downfall. As of 2005, all the American military casualties of the following sixty years - including the Korean and Vietnam Wars - have not exhausted that stockpile."


February 14th, 2007, 09:13 AM
And, to show how mature the world is, everyone on the comentary is calling everyone else stupid.

February 14th, 2007, 10:15 AM
When WWII was still over the horizon for the U.S., my father, a teenager at the time, enlisted in the Army to take some of the burden of poverty off his family.

He had three choices for his overseas tour-of-duty: Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, and the Philippines. He greatly admired the work of Paul Gauguin, and saw this as the only opportunity he might get to be near the places of Gauguin's work - he chose the Philippines.

It was a colonial paradise for a Depression era Brooklyn boy; most of his pay was unneeded and was sent back home.

All was shattered the day after Pearl Harbor, when crack Japanese troops invaded the Archipelago, and the artist-soldier was swept up in the maelstrom of total war. His experiences over the next 5 months of combat earned him several citations, including a Silver Star.

After surrender in April 1942, he survived the Death March (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_death_march), and later when the noose was tightening around the Japanese Empire, transportation to Japan in hell ships. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_Ship)

He was interned on Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan, at a camp called Fukuoka #1, one of several in the area containing American, British, Dutch, and Australian POWs, who were forced to work in the coal mines and the airfield at Fukuoka (now the international airport).

The camps were less than 50 miles from Nagasaki, just over the horizon. The sounds of American air-raids were frequent at the time. Camp #1 was partially damaged during a raid. On the morning of Aug 9, 1945, my father saw a bright flash over the horizon, followed by a rising cloud. Thinking something big had gone up, he turned to a guard:


The guard nodded, "Nagasaki."

Over many conversations I had with him over the years, he said the the POWs were convinced that the Japanese had intended to commit national suicide, and he would not survive an Allied invasion (codenamed Operation Olympic).

And the Japanese were incredibly brutal; a mere insult like not bowing properly could quickly escalate into a life and death situation. There was symbolic resistance - some of the POWs taught each other words such as asshole in different languages.

Not all of the guards were sadistic; a few were very kind, probably at their own peril.

Any ill-will he felt toward the Japanese was abated during a train ride to a USMC camp that was quickly established after the surrender. Seeing the massive devastation along the route, he felt sorry for the Japanese, but not for what was done to them, for what they did to themselves.

I don't think I'd be writing this if those bombs weren't dropped.

The webpage commentary is an insult to Americans and Japanese.

Cadets of the graduating class’ – the students arose and saluted – and then changed it to ‘Boys,’ making this statement: ‘I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here.

‘Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is hell!’
William Tecumseh Sherman

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 14th, 2007, 06:45 PM
Hats off to Zippy's dad.

We might think that we all have difficult jobs, but what he did - that's a whole different ballgame - it's real "stuff".


PS I didnt read all of the comments. Im guessing it has turned into a slanging match between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese about how brutal the Japanese Nazis were. Has anyone mentioned the Yasukuni Shrine yet? I wouldn't doubt it. I just noticed that one comment about the Purple Hearts which I happened to know was true and thought it worthy of sharing. No offense intended.