I guess most are familiar with the cartoonish "bomb icon". It is used to warn of metaphorical or literal explosive danger and shows a deep black sphere with a smaller cylinder attached. That is where the burning fuse starts.
(created by Wikimedia Commons User Nevit Dilmen, license: CC BY-SA 3.0)
I wonder if a historical background exists? When where bombs like these used in warfare and what is the origin of this symbol?
Early hand grenades looked like that:
The word "grenade" originated in the Glorious Revolution (1688), where cricket ball-sized iron spheres packed with gunpowder and fitted with slow-burning wicks were first used against the Jacobites in the battles of Killiecrankie and Glen Shiel
(Specimen made from glass, French, ca. 1740)
The grenades in Michael Borgwardt's answer are probably the earliest European examples, but in China they go much further back.
Fireworks based on a bamboo, clay or paper shell filled with an explosive mixture (a precursor of gunpowder) came into use as far back as around 600-700 BC (Tang Dynasty).
The Chinese kept improving fireworks and also developed bombs (in this shape) and rockets which culminated in the invention of classic gunpowder (black powder) around 1100 AD.
Eventually the stuff ended up in Europe through the Silk Road trade. That happened with early fireworks already in Roman times as archeological digs (the Pompeii museum displays some) have shown.
Also: The ancient Greeks already used a substance called "Greek fire" which was a highly flammable (to the point of being a weak explosive) pitch, resin and oil based mixture. Most likely it also had magnesium salts in it.
They would put it in jars which were thrown at enemy ships during combat. Fire-arrows would ignite the stuff.
They didn't use fuses. The stuff was dangerous enough without them if a sailor dropped a jar near his own brazier which he used for lighting the arrows.
Although not quite the same thing they are a bit similar to the classic cartoon-bomb.
Smoothbore cannon (of the type used at Waterloo, or in Pirates of the Caribbean) were capable of firing solid shot (a spherical lump of iron or similar) or explosive shells, as well as canister, chain-shot, etc…
The explosive shell was originally a spherical shell, filled with explosive, and with a fuse. The fuse was intended to be lit when the shell was propelled -- by the explosion of gunpowder -- out of the cannon.
Thus, you'd have exactly what you describe: a spherical bomb, with a burning fuse sticking out of it.
You can read more on Wikipedia: Shell (projectile) and Artillery fuse.
My family's Google searching got us a visit from counterterrorism police
I t was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led to six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did my husband and I know that our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things were creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in "these times" now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious, news junkie 20-year-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.
Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasn't reading those stories? Who wasn't clicking those links? But my son's reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband's search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.
That's how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.
This was weeks ago. I don't know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up, but "what the hell do I do with quinoa" and "Is A-Rod suspended yet" didn't fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches.
I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it, but I wasn't joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.
What happened was this: At about 9am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband's Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.
Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.
A million things went through my husband's head. None of which were right. He walked outside and the men greeted him by flashing badges. He could see they all had guns holstered in their waistbands.
"Are you [name redacted]?" one asked while glancing at a clipboard. He affirmed that was indeed him, and was asked if they could come in. Sure, he said.
They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son's bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.
Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.
They searched the backyard. They walked around the garage, as much as one could walk around a garage strewn with yardworking equipment and various junk. They went back in the house and asked more questions. Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren't curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.
By this point they had realized they were not dealing with terrorists. They asked my husband about his work, his visits to South Korea and China. The tone was conversational.
They never asked to see the computers on which the searches were done. They never opened a drawer or a cabinet. They left two rooms unsearched. I guess we didn't fit the exact profile they were looking for so they were just going through the motions.
They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don't know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I'm not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.
Forty-five minutes later, they shook my husband's hand and left. That's when he called me and relayed the story. That's when I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (oh my God, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.
All I know is if I'm going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I'm not doing it online.
I'm scared. And not of the right things.
This article was first published on Medium.com. It is republished here with Michele Catalano's permission.
Update: Police in Suffolk County, NY, released the following statement on Thursday evening:
Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee. The former employee's computer searches took place on this employee's workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms "pressure cooker bombs" and "backpacks".
After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk County Police Detectives visited the subject's home to ask about the suspicious internet searches. The incident was investigated by Suffolk County Police Department's Criminal Intelligence Detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature.
The Many Futuristic Predictions of H.G. Wells That Came True
Science fiction pioneer H.G. Wells conjured some futuristic visions that haven't (yet) come true: a machine that travels back in time, a man who turns invisible, and a Martian invasion that destroys southern England.
But for a man born 150 years ago, many of Wells's other predictions about the modern world have proven amazingly prescient.
Wells, born in 1866, was trained as a scientist, a rarity among his literary contemporaries, and was perhaps the most important figure in the genre that would become science fiction.
Writers in this tradition have a history not just of imagining the future as is might be, but of inspiring others to make it a reality. In 2012, Smithsonian.com published a top ten list of inventions inspired by sci-fi, ranging from Robert H. Goddard's liquid-fuelled rocket to the cell phone.
“Wells's was an imagination in a hurry, he wanted to get to the future sooner than it was going to happen. That's why he's so predictive in his writing,” explains Simon James, head of the English Studies department at Durham University and the editor of the official journal of the H.G. Wells society .
Wells’s ideas have also endured because he was a standout storyteller, James adds. No less a writer than Joseph Conrad agreed. “I am always powerfully impressed by your work. Impressed is the word, O Realist of the Fantastic!” he wrote Wells after reading The Invisible Man.
Here are some of the incredible H.G. Wells predictions that have come true, as well as some that haven't—at least not yet.
Phones, Email, and Television
In Men Like Gods (1923), Wells invites readers to a futuristic utopia that's essentially Earth after thousands of years of progress. In this alternate reality, people communicate exclusively with wireless systems that employ a kind of co-mingling of voicemail and email-like properties.
“For in Utopia, except by previous arrangement, people do not talk together on the telephone,” he writes. “A message is sent to the station of the district in which the recipient is known to be, and there it waits until he chooses to tap his accumulated messages. And any that one wishes to repeat can be repeated. Then he talks back to the senders and dispatches any other messages he wishes. The transmission is wireless.”
Wells also imagined forms of future entertainment. In When the Sleeper Wakes (1899), the protagonist rouses from two centuries of slumber to a dystopian London in which citizens use wondrous forms of technology like the audio book, airplane and television—yet suffer systematic oppression and social injustice.
Visitors to The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) were confronted with a menagerie of bizarre creatures including Leopard-Man and Fox-Bear Witch, created by the titular madman doctor in human-animal hybrid experiments that may presage the age of genetic engineering.
Though Moreau created his Frankenbeasts through more crude techniques, like surgical transplants and blood transfusions, the theme of humans playing God by tinkering with nature has become a reality. Scientists are working towards the day when animal organs could serve as long-term transplants for human patients, though today human immune systems still ultimately reject such efforts. And controversial experiments known as chimera studies create human-animal hybrids by adding human stem cells to animal embryos.
Notably, the human-animal hybrids Moreau creates eventually do the doctor in, and that ending echoes another common Wells theme. “It's often a warning about the consequences of technology, in particular when you don't think them through properly,” explains James.
Lasers and Directed Energy Weapons
Martians in The War of the Worlds (1898) unleash what Wells called a Heat-Ray, a super weapon capable of incinerating helpless humans with a noiseless flash of light. It would be more than six decades before Theodore Maiman fired up the first operational laser at California's Hughes Research Laboratory on May 16, 1960, but military thinkers had been hoping to weaponize the conceptual laser even before it was even proven practical.
Wells's description isn't accurate enough to build a working laser, but it resembles both that device and other “directed energy” weapons, such as those using microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, and radio or sound waves, which the United States and other militaries have developed in recent years.
“Many think that in some way [the Martians] are able to generate an intense heat in a chamber of practically absolute non-conductivity. This intense heat they project in a parallel beam against any object they choose, by means of a polished parabolic mirror of unknown composition, much as the parabolic mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light,” Wells wrote.
Typically, Wells was more interested in what the effects of his future ideas might be, rather than working out the technical details, James stresses.
“He'll kind of take one element of scientific understanding of the world and tweak it. So in The Time Machine, if you think of time as the fourth dimension, what if you could travel in time as freely as in the other three? Or, in The First Men in the Moon, what if you could make a material [Wells called it Cavorite] as impervious to gravity as other materials are impervious to heat? You just take that one thing, and see what follows from it,” James explains.
(Today's leading science fiction authors still use this technique while at work shaping the future of tomorrow. In fact, some companies commission “design fiction” to see how innovative ideas might work if they become fact in the future. “There is nothing weird about a company doing this—commissioning a story about people using a technology to decide if the technology is worth following through on,” says novelist Cory Doctorow, whose clients have included Disney and Tesco. “It’s like an architect creating a virtual fly-through of a building.” )
Atomic Bombs & Nuclear Proliferation
Wells reveled in the potential benefits of technology but also feared their dark side. “H.G. Wells was probably the writer who saw most clearly in the early 20th century the possibility of total war,” says Eleanor Courtemanche of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (A new physical and online exhibition there shows off an extensive Wells collection.)
Wells recognized the world-changing destructive power that might be harnessed by splitting the atom. The atomic bombs he introduces in The World Set Free (1913) fuel a war so devastating that its survivors are moved to create a unified world government to avoid future conflicts.
Wells's bombs differed from those actually developed by scientists with the Manhattan Project. They exploded continually, for days, weeks or months depending upon their size, as the elements in them furiously radiated energy during their degeneration and in the process created mini-volcanoes of death and destruction.
Wells also clearly saw the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and the doomsday scenarios that might arise both when nations were capable of “mutually assured destruction” and when non-state actors or terrorists got into the fray.
“Destruction was becoming so facile that any little body of malcontents could use it it was revolutionizing the problems of police and internal rule. Before the last war began it was a matter of common knowledge that a man could carry about in a handbag an amount of latent energy sufficient to wreck half a city,” he wrote.
Where Wells Was Wrong—At Least So Far
Wells rejected the idea that the future is unknowable, writes esteemed science fiction writer James Gunn, who also helped to pioneer university study of science fiction.
“He believed that it was possible, through the use of what he first called "inductive history" and later "Human Ecology" (defined as the working out of "biological, intellectual, and economic consequences"), to chart the possibilities of the future and to push people into making sensible use of those possibilities. He was the first futurologist, the man who invented tomorrow,” wrote Gunn in The Science of Science-Fiction Writing, published in 2000.
But Wells did have other big ideas that haven't come to fruition, though of course there's always the chance that his vision extended farther into the future than our own time. As of this writing we've not been invaded by Martians. Human invisibility also remains elusive—though science is making progress in that direction. The time machine, an invention introduced in a 1895 novella, hasn't been worked out either.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment to Wells was the failure of his idealized political vision, a world government, which he described in A Modern Utopia (1905)
Wells was a committed socialist who hoped that a global “New Republic” would assure peace in perpetuity. Wells, who died in 1946, lived long enough to learn that this imagined future wasn't likely to ever come true, so he took a very active role in fostering international cooperation wherever he could.
“After World War II broke out, it was another slap in the face to the idea of a world state ever coming off,” James says, “so Wells started a campaign for universal human rights. I believe it was Wells writing letters to The Times that started the process that eventually led to the United Nations declaration of world rights in 1947.” Wells also laid out his vision in The Rights of Man (1940), and his draft declarations on the topic were used to help write the formal UN document.
Courtemanche adds that Wells's idea of world government, while never reaching his Utopian ideal, actually did come to fruition in at least some small ways.
“Think of all the international agencies that sprang up after WWII in hopes that some kind of international framework would keep world war from happening again,” she notes. “Bretton Woods, the IMF, NATO, the European Union -- none of these were truly global, but they were definitely steps toward the more peaceful and organized world society that Wells envisioned.”
In the 1980s, a Far-Left, Female-Led Domestic Terrorism Group Bombed the U.S. Capitol
Amidst the social and political turmoil of the 1970s, a handful of women—among them a onetime Barnard student, a Texas sorority sister, the daughter of a former communist journalist—joined and became leaders of the May 19th Communist Organization. Named to honor the shared birthday of civil rights icon Malcolm X and Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, M19 took its belief in “revolutionary anti-imperialism” to violent extremes: It is “the first and only women-created and women-led terrorist group,” says national security expert and historian William Rosenau.
M19’s status as an “incredible outlier” from male-led terrorist organizations prompted Rosenau, an international security fellow at the think tank New America, to excavate the inner workings of the secretive and short-lived militant group. The resulting book, Tonight We Bombed the Capitol, pieces together the unfamiliar story of “a group of essentially middle-class, well educated, white people who made a journey essentially from anti-war and civil rights protest to terrorism,” he says.
After their formation in 1978, M19’s tactics escalated from picketing and poster-making to robbing armored trucks and abetting prison breaks. In 1979, they helped spring explosives-builder William Morales of the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN and Black Liberation Army organizer Assata Shakur (née Joanne Chesimard) from their respective prisons. (Both Shakur and Morales remain on the FBI’s wanted lists for terrorism and are thought to live in Cuba.)
Eventually, M19 turned to building explosives themselves. Just before 11 p.m. on November 7, 1983, they called the U.S. Capitol switchboard and warned them to evacuate the building. Ten minutes later, a bomb detonated in the building’s north wing, harming no one but blasting a 15-foot gash in a wall and causing $1 million in damage. Over the course of a 20-month span in 1983 and 1984, M19 also bombed an FBI office, the Israel Aircraft Industries building, and the South African consulate in New York, D.C.’s Fort McNair and Navy Yard (which they hit twice.) The attacks tended to follow a similar pattern: a warning call to clear the area, an explosion, a pre-recorded message to media railing against U.S. imperialism or the war machine under various organizational aliases (never using the name M19).
Susan Rosenberg, left, was one of M19's most central members in its early years. Starting in high school, Rosenberg spent time with members of the Black Panthers and Young Lords, and her politics remained leftist through her brief time at Barnard. Linda Sue Evans, right, hailed from the Midwest. Both women's prison sentences were commuted by President Bill Clinton in 2001. (AP Images)
Who were these domestic terrorists sought by the FBI? Rosenau writes of “self-described ‘corn-fed girl’” Linda Sue Evans, whose politics took a radical turn while attending Michigan State University in the midst of the Vietnam War. Many M19 members’ stories echo Linda’s—college activism (at schools including Cornell, Berkeley, Radcliffe and Hampshire College) shaped their far-left worldviews, and for some, their status as out lesbians put them at odds with a heteronormative, patriarchal society.
M19 membership typically followed involvement with other far-left groups. New Yorker Susan Rosenberg, one of M19’s earliest members, traveled to Cuba with the Castro-friendly Venceremos Brigade, and Italian-born Silvia Baraldini was part of a front for the militant Weather Underground. Along with several others, Alan Berkman, a Columbia-trained doctor who was one of the few men in the M19 inner circle, was involved with the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee.
Tim Blunk, seen here after time spent in Rikers Island, was one of the few male members of M19. Blunk had been involved in the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and anti-apartheid activism in college, where he met Susan Rosenberg. Blunk married Silvia Baraldini to help her obtain U.S. citizenship. Today, Blunk is a florist in New Jersey. (Courtesy of William Rosenau)
As M19’s spree turned more and more violent, M19’s members became evermore insular and paranoid, nearly cultish, living communally and rotating through aliases and disguises until, in 1985, law enforcement captured the group’s most devoted lieutenants. After that, Rosenau writes, “The far-left terrorist project that began with the Weathermen … and continued into the mid-1980s with May 19th ended in abject failure.”
Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol: The Explosive Story of M19, America's First Female Terrorist Group
In a shocking, never-before-told story from the vaults of American history, Tonight We Bombed the US Capitol takes a close look at the explosive hidden history of M19—the first and only domestic terrorist group founded and led by women—and their violent fight against racism, sexism, and what they viewed as Ronald Reagan’s imperialistic vision for America.
Smithsonian magazine asked Rosenau about the left-wing extremist group, his research process and how this case study of domestic terrorism is relevant today.
Where would you position M19 relative to groups that people may be more familiar with, like the Weather Underground?
They are sort of an offshoot of the Weather Underground, which essentially cracked up in the mid 1980s. These women decided to continue the armed struggle. Many of them had been in the Weather Underground, but they thought the Weather Underground had made important ideological mistakes, that the Weather Underground saw itself as a vanguard of revolution, when in fact the real revolutions were going on in the third world. Or in the United States itself, in places like Puerto Rico or among Native Americans.
But the real revolutionaries were these third-world freedom fighters. And it should be the job of North American anti-imperialists, as they called themselves, to support those liberation movements in whatever way they could. So if that meant bombing the Navy to protest the role of the United States in Central America in the early 1980s, they would do that. If it meant attacking the South African consulate in New York that represented the apartheid regime [which they did in September 1984], they would do that.
They really saw themselves as being as supporters and followers of these third-world struggles in the Middle East, in southern Africa and in this hemisphere particularly. They talked about themselves as being in the belly of the beast, being at the center of this imperialist monster. So they had a particular responsibility, in their view, to carry out actions to bring this monster to heel.
Given how secretive M19 was, what was your research process like?
I'm a historian by training, so I really concentrated my efforts on archives. Unlike a lot of other people who study terrorism, I really had plowed into court records. There were multiple trials involving the women and men of May 19th and fortunately those are all preserved in the Federal Records Centers, which are part of the National Archives. So I spent days going through boxes of federal court records, which have everything from transcripts to affidavits from FBI agents to grand jury testimony to evidence picked up at the various crime scenes. Those trial records were absolutely invaluable to really get inside this group.
Two of the members had donated their papers, one to Smith College and one to Columbia University Medical Center, and these were incredibly valuable—I mean everything from high school essays to photographs of trips to Vietnam in 1975 to what looks like a picture taken before a college prom, and just things like transcripts of parole hearings.
Like most terrorist groups, they tried not to leave a trail, but in fact they wound up leaving a substantial paper trail.
To maintain secrecy, M19 members wore disguises (like this red wig) and made calls from pay phones. This image shows Linda Sue Evans under FBI surveillance in Baltimore in May of 1985 the FBI tracked M19 members living there down by monitoring calls to a music store where Evans had dropped off a guitar. (Courtesy of William Rosenau)
What surprised you the most?
Towards the tail end of their life cycle as a group, they really at least debated amongst themselves quite intensely the assassination of police officers, of prosecutors, of military officers.
And while it's true that none of their bombings killed anyone, they certainly contemplated it. From the court records, [I learned that] they had these inventories of weapons and dynamite and detonation cord and Uzi machine guns, fully automatic with sawed-off barrels. They had incredible arsenals, and I guess they would probably argue that was for self-defense. But it seems like they were at least preparing for something much more kind of apocalyptic. Fortunately, it never happened.
M19 is unique in being a woman-founded and -led terrorist organization. Did that influence its objectives or shape it in any particularly distinguishing way?
They certainly were much more feminist and pro-woman than the Weather Underground, which was notoriously misogynistic. They were acutely conscious of any kind of sexism within themselves. The liberation of women, gay people, racial minorities was much more at the forefront for them than groups like the Weather Underground. It’s important to realize they didn't really believe in so-called “bourgeois feminism”, National Organization for Women, equal pay, all that stuff. Yeah, that was all nice, but they considered that a distraction women's liberation would actually come with political revolution.
And that was the important thing, right? That all these other things would flow when imperialism was defeated, when capitalism was defeated. Like a lot of terrorist organizations, what this future utopia would actually look like was left a bit vague. I think that's probably the big difference: their hatred of misogyny and their very self-conscious efforts to root out misogyny within their ranks.
You write, "Despite claims by Fox News and others that Antifa activists are ‘terrorists,’ their street brawling and harassment of right-wing extremists hardly rise to the level of the left-wing political violence of the 1960s, s and s. The same cannot be said about the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist violence." Could you talk about the parallels or lack thereof between the left-wing terrorism you write about and some of the domestic terrorism we're seeing today?
The white supremacists [today] are not obviously as structured. You do have coherent groups like Atomwaffen Division, an extremely dangerous right-wing extremist group. But one of the things they share is that ideology is extremely important to them. They have a— I wouldn't call it a coherent world view, but they have some very well-defined ideological notions about how the world works. That's very similar to May 19th and the far-left extremist groups of the s and s and the s, that they're not crazy.
Some of them are highly intelligent and articulate. They are strategic in their thinking, meaning that they have ways, ends and means. They're careful in their plotting. The idea that somehow these right-wing extremists today are just, I don't know, pissed-off young guys who hate black people and immigrants—yeah, they are. But they also have some very poisonous ideas, which actually have pretty deep roots.
Systemic terrorism has been a deep, deep part of our history. After the Civil War, it's not just the Ku Klux Klan, but outright insurgency against Republicans in Southern states by white militias and white supremacists. One of the things I'm trying to bring forth in the book is this notion, to quote [Black nationalist leader H. Rap Brown], "Violence is as American as cherry pie." Terrorism is not an exception, a one-off, a random thing. It is deeply ingrained in our politics and society and history.
Are there places where you see flawed comparisons or where parallels can't or shouldn't be drawn?
Historical context is absolutely paramount. We kind of lump terrorism together, like groups as disparate as Students for a Democratic Society, Al Qaeda, Red Army Faction, Aum Shinrikyo, but these are all products of particular times and particular places.
For example, I don't see circumstances in which left-wing, violent extremism today becomes anywhere near as it was in the early 1970s. I just don't think the conditions exist, and it's hard to imagine those conditions developing. You had the Vietnam War, a national draft.
People talk about polarization now, but just look at the early 1970s where literally thousands of bombs were set off per year. The important thing is just to realize that there are some similarities, but these are very different periods in time and each period of time is unique.
About Lila Thulin
Lila Thulin is the digital editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine and covers a range of subjects from women's history to medicine. She holds a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and wrote for Slate, Washingtonian, Nautilus and the Denver Westword before joining Smithsonian.
Survivors of America’s first atomic bomb test want their place in history
On April 1, 2017, the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico opened its Stallion gate to the public, like it does twice every year. For a few hours, visitors are free to wander the Trinity Test Site, where, on July 16, 1945, the United States tested the first atomic bomb in history, forever altering the destructive power available to humans. On the way in, the over 4,600 visitors were greeted by about two dozen protesters, whose signs bore a simple, stark message: The first victims of an atomic bomb are still living.
“I remember just like it happened yesterday,” said Darryl Gilmore, 89, then a student at the University of New Mexico, studying music and business courses. His brother had just returned from the war, and they needed to get him down to Fort Bliss in El Paso so he could process out. Gilmore borrowed the family car for the trip he drove it back from Albuquerque to his parent’s home in Tularosa along Highway 380, which goes through Socorro and San Antonio and on to Carrizozo. It’s the same road people take to visit the Trinity site today. On that day in mid-July 1945, he stopped to check his tires, and then encountered a convoy of six army trucks.
“The lead driver, a sergeant, told me ‘put your windows up on your car, and drive out of here as fast as you can, there’s poison gas in the area,’” recalled Gilmore. “I found out much later that they were prepared to evacuate a bunch of ranch families in that neighborhood from miles around. I found out they didn’t evacuate anybody.”
“My folks had gotten up early that morning, before 5 o’clock, and they saw the flash from Tularosa, that explosion,” said Gilmore, “and of course in Albuquerque I didn’t notice it at all. The only thing that came out in the paper that afternoon was a statement that an ammunition dump in the remote corner of the range had exploded, and that’s all the information that was released at that time.”
Color photograph of the Trinity Test
Apart from the convoy, and the statement about the ammunition dump, Gilmore didn’t hear any official word about what had happened in the New Mexico desert that day until shortly after the news that the A-bomb was dropped on Japan, first on Hiroshima on August 6,1945, and then on Nagasaki on August 9.
The effects of the fallout on Gilmore became clear much sooner than that. By the time he and his family reached El Paso, his arms, neck, and face were red—as if he’d gotten a bad sunburn. “I didn’t know at the time what had happened to me,” said Gilmore. “My outer skin gradually fell off the next few days, I used lotions and stuff on it, [but they] didn’t seem to make much difference. A few years later, I began to have skin problems, and I’ve had treatments ever since.”
Gilmore is the survivor of multiple cancers. His prostate cancer responded to radiation treatment and hasn’t returned, but his skin cancers remain a persistent problem to this day. And his immediate family—his father, mother, and sister—who were living in Tularosa at the time of the Trinity test, all died from cancer.
Gilmore’s story is one of many collected by the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. The organization was founded in 2005 by residents Tina Cordova and the late Fred Tyler, with the express aim of compiling information about the impacts of the Trinity test on people in the area. Tularosa is a village in Southern New Mexico, about a three-hour drive south of Albuquerque or a 90-minute drive northeast from Las Cruces. The town sits next to the White Sands Missile Range, and, as the crow flies, is about 50 miles from the Trinity Site. The White Sands Range summary of the 2017 visit says the site was selected because of its remote location, though the page also notes that when locals asked about the explosion, the test “was covered up with the story of an explosion at an ammunition dump.”
“Trinity Site,” a pamphlet available for visitors to the location, notes that it was selected from one of eight possible locations in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado in part because the land was already under the control of the federal government as part of the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, established in 1942. (Later, the Army tested captured V-2 rockets at the range, and today it houses everything from missile testing to a DARPA-designed Air Force observatory.) “The secluded Jornada del Muerto was perfect as it provided isolation for secrecy and safety, but was still close to Los Alamos for easy commuting back and forth,” notes the pamphlet.
Cordova disputes that characterization. “We know from the census data that there were 40,000 people living in the four counties surrounding Trinity at the time of the test,” she said. “That’s not remote and uninhabited.”
There is no mention in the pamphlet or the official online history page of any civilians in the area. The history contains an evacuation order report, filed July 18, 1945, detailing “plans to evacuate civilians around the Trinity Site area if high concentrations of radioactive fallout drifted off the Alamogordo Bombing Range.” From that report:
Immediately after the shot, the wind drift was ascertained to be sure the Base Camp was not in danger. Monitors were immediately sent out in the direction of the cloud drift to check the approximate width and degree of contamination of the area under the cloud. A small headquarters was set-up at Bingham, near the center of the area in the most immediate danger. The monitors worked in a wide area from this base reporting in to Mr. Hoffman or Mr. Herschfelter. One re-enforced [sic] platoon, under Captain Huene, was held at Bingham the rest of the detachment was held in reserve at Base Camp. Fortunately no evacuations had to be made.
Gilmore’s experience suggests otherwise.
To this day, he’s surprised that there was no attempt by the Army or police to block off the roads in the area downwind of the test. “They should have known better,” said Gilmore. “That radiation spread for hundreds of miles, a lot of people in Tularosa died from cancer, and people in Tularosa attribute practically all of it to the A-bomb.”
Gilmore was driving from San Antonio to Carrizozo on highway 380, at about 9am on July 16, just hours after the Trinity test. It’s the same road that visitors take to get to the Trinity site today, and only 17 miles from the test location. Representation of Gilmore’s experience, or that of any civilians in the area at the time, are missing from the experience of the site itself.
On arrival, visitors first see the large rusting remains of “Jumbo,” a massive metal container built to catch rare and precious plutonium if the “Gadget,” the first atomic bomb, failed to work as planned. (Ultimately, confidence in Gadget was great enough that the planners decided not to use Jumbo, instead placing it 800 yards away from the blast site.)
Tourists pose inside “Jumbo”
The quarter-mile path from Jumbo to ground zero is fenced in, as is the blast site itself. It’s a simple chain link, with three strands of barbed wire angling outwards from the top, and intermittent “Caution: Radioactive Materials” signs placed on the outer edges of the fence. There is a small obelisk at the site, the official Ground Zero Monument, where crowds of tourists gather for their picture in the shallow depression of the first atomic blast. Facing the inside of the fence are a handful of small signs, printed up with photography of the site and observations about life in the area. Then there are a series of stills of the blast, captured milliseconds apart, showing the formation of the mushroom cloud. Finally, there is a flatbed truck with the casing from a Fatman bomb, the same kind dropped on Nagasaki. Tourists posed with the casing, asking strangers to take their picture in front of the weapon.
“Trinity Site is explicit about the story they’re trying to tell,” said Martin Pfeiffer, an Anthropology graduate student at the University of New Mexico focused on the social impacts of America’s nuclear enterprise. “The narrative is one of a new epoch, the atomic age, in which American technological and cultural might won World War II and, by implication, won the Cold War too. The Trinity Site is overtly triumphalist in their presentation of events and erases the experiences of those removed from the land without fair compensation or who may have suffered radiation injury.”
When asked about an official history of the site, officials with White Sands Missile Range directed me to “Trinity: The History Of An Atomic Bomb National Historic Landmark” by Jim Eckles, who worked in the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office from 1977 to 2007.
“Other than a few instances, public exposure to radiation in the hours and few days after the 1945 test has largely been glossed over by officials and historians,” Eckles writes, and then says that may have changed after the 2010 publication of a study on Trinity as a source of public radiation exposure. Still, the possibility of a greater harmful impact in the area than initially reported can be seen as early as 1945, when the chief medical officer of the Manhattan Project recommended that future tests occur in a larger area “preferably with a radius of at least 150 miles without population.”
Part of the danger wasn’t just the immediate impact on people exposed to radiation the day of the blast, but also how the scattered fallout affected the people in the area.
“We have to remember what life was like in 1945 in rural New Mexico,” says the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium’s Cordova, “There were no water systems, so water was collected in cisterns and holding tanks, and that may have been contaminated after the bomb. There were no grocery stores. People bought things in a mercantile, things like flour, sugar, and coffee, but they didn’t buy meat, vegetables, food, anything that was perishable. They had orchards, they had gardens. People raised everything that they consumed meat-wise: cows goats, sheep, chickens. They hunted, and all of this was damaged. People didn’t bathe as often back then, because water was scarce, so it got on your skin and they were absorbing radiation. It did get into the water supply, and then they would consume it. It got into the food supply, then they would consume it. They would inhale the dust.”
Trinity test, 15 seconds after detonation
The secrecy around the project took the Army to some unusual places after the test and before the nature of the bomb became public.
“One of Trinity’s more unusual financial appropriations, later on, was for the acquisition of several dozen head of cattle that had had their hair discolored by the explosion.” writes nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein. Indeed, we know that in December 1945, the Army purchased 75 head of cattle at market price from ranchers in the area, and proceeded to study the effects of radiation on those cows and their offspring. The area around Trinity, before it was fenced-off as a military gunnery range, was ranching country, with enough meager grass to support grazing herds. While the Army purchased some of the cattle affected by the blast, it’s highly likely that more cattle in the area at the time of the blast, or that grazed in the area after the blast, ended up consumed by locals. When cows consume radioisotopes of iodine that the blast deposited on grass, their digestive process accumulates isotopes from the whole grazed area the cows can then pass the concentrated isotopes along through milk to humans.
This is echoed in testimony collected by Cordova on behalf of the Tularosa Downwinders. “We had this town hall meeting in Socorro when we had our report, and there were two sisters who came, and a brother, and they lived on a ranch that they said was 7-8 miles from Trinity, and said the government never paid them a visit, ever, and they said ‘our cows were wiped out we ate them.'”
Historians of the Trinity test acknowledge that, after the blast, people in the area were largely left in the dark.
“No one did real medical and scientific follow-up with these ranchers,” writes Eckles. “For a couple years after the test, Los Alamos personnel discreetly inquired about the health of these folks without cluing them in on their concern.” This is a marked difference from how the United States treated the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. In October 1945, the United States set up a joint commission to study the long-term impact of the bomb on the lives of the people in the area. That study continues to this day, under the Radiation Effect Research Foundation, tracking and monitoring the health of people exposed to the blast.
Tourists read about Fatman, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki
Those populations are the largest and best-studied cohort of atomic survivors, but some of their experience doesn’t directly apply to those downwind of the Trinity test. The Trinity test’s low blast and scattered fallout is different than the atmospheric bursts over the Japanese cities, the climate of high desert is vastly different from coastal cities, and there is the matter of diet. Milk and cattle are a major part of life in rural New Mexico, in a way that simply was not true of people living in Japan.
The Downwinder’s report highlights this dietary exposure as one of the major harms from the blast to people in the area. In 2010, the Center for Disease Control published a draft report, the Los Alamos Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment, which looked at off-site health impacts from research done by the lab that designed and built the first atomic bombs. From the LAHDRA report:
All evaluations of public exposures from the Trinity blast that have been published to date have been incomplete in that they have not reflected the internal doses that were received by residents from intakes of airborne radioactivity and contaminated water and foods. Some unique characteristics of the Trinity event amplified the significance of those omissions. Because the Gadget was detonated so close to the ground, members of the public lived less than 20 mi downwind and were not relocated, terrain features and wind patterns caused “hot spots” of radioactive fallout, and lifestyles of local ranchers led to intakes of radioactivity via consumption of water, milk, and homegrown vegetables, it appears that internal radiation doses could have posed significant health risks for individuals exposed after the blast.
The recurring theme of studies about the impact of the Trinity test on people in the surrounding area is that there is a lack of thorough assessment of what actually happened—of what knowable, traceable harms from the bomb impacted people caught in its fallout. The National Cancer Institute plans to conduct one such study. Reached for this story, the NCI declined to comment, noting that the study is not yet in the field and therefore there are no results to report.
In lieu of a published federal study specifically on the health impact of the Trinity test, the Tularosa Downwinders themselves conducted a Health Impact Assessment with funding from the Santa Fe Community foundation. Some phrasings in the study misstate the science at hand. When the study says “We want to convey the fact that one millionth of a gram of plutonium inhaled or ingested into the body will cause cancer,” it states as certain fact that plutonium ingestion will cause cancer, rather than the more accurately describing plutonium ingestion as increasing the risk of developing cancer. To make the case for radiation exposure compensation, the Downwinder Consortium wants a study to happen soon, while the first generation is still around to testify to their experience of the blast. And they want to make sure that they’re consulted for the study, so that New Mexico’s victims of radiation exposure aren’t erased from history a second time.
There is already a program paying for people exposed to radiation risk from the tests in Nevada. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, passed in 1990 and amended in 2000, provides lump-sum compensation to uranium workers in 11 states, to “onsite participants in atmospheric nuclear tests”, and also to downwinders in three states: Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Senate Bill 197, sponsored by Senator Crapo of Idaho, would among other changes expand that coverage to include Trinity site downwinders. The bill is currently in the Judiciary committee with no hearing scheduled, though according to the office of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, that could always change.
Gadget, the bomb tested at Trinity
“The Trinity test site was part of our war effort, used to defend our country and keep the American people safe. The federal government therefore has a solemn duty to compensate those injured as a result,” says Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, one of the bill’s cosponsors. “I believe that the body of evidence shows a clear conclusion: people downwind of the Trinity test site were injured as a result of radioactive fallout, and downwind communities continue to suffer the consequences, both health and economic, of the Trinity testing. They should be compensated for their hardship.”
Compensation is a central goal of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.
“I coined the phrase “unknowing, unwilling, and uncompensated,”” said Cordova, referring to the status of people impacted by the blast. “People who worked on the project were knowing, they knew what they were doing, they were willing to do it, and they were compensated at the time plus afterwards if they got sick. Those of us who gave no consent, never knew, were never willing, have never been taken care of.”
Compensation is just one part of the Downwinder’s request. “We want the government to come back and issue an apology to the people,” said Cordova. “That would go a long way in helping people to heal. There’s this trauma that’s been associated with this, that the government’s never going to come back and acknowledge it or take care of us.”
Gilmore is skeptical that an apology will ever happen. “I understand they made some settlements in Utah and Colorado, and Nevada, but nothing in the way that I know of in New Mexico, they just ignored New Mexico,” said Gilmore, “They’re just waiting for all us old people to die off so they don’t have to pay us any money for what happened to us.”
Part of the mission is to simply inform people that the downwinders exist. For five years, the Tularosa Downwinders have protested outside the road to the Stallion gate, a living addition to the story told through inanimate objects at Trinity itself.
“We decided, if people are going to go out there and celebrate the science,” said Cordova, “then we’re going to go out there, so that they know there were consequences too.”
Sign outside Trinity enclosure
Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.
Photograph: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato
When did bombs actually look like this? - History
The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 250.000 people and became the most dreadful slaughter of civilians in modern history. However, for many years there was a curious gap in the photographic records. Although the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incised into our memories, there were few pictures to accompany them. Even today, the image in our minds is a mixture of devastated landscapes and shattered buildings. Shocking images of the ruins, but where were the victims?
The American occupation forces imposed strict censorship on Japan, prohibiting anything "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility" and used it to prohibit all pictures of the bombed cities. The pictures remained classified 'top secret' for many years. Some of the images have been published later by different means, but it's not usual to see them all together. This is the horror they didn't want us to see, and that we must NEVER forget:
All the watches found in the ground zero were stopped at 8:15 am, the time of the explosion.
Within a certain distance from the site of explosion, the heat was so intense that practically everything was vaporised. The shadows of the parapets were imprinted on the road surface of the Yorozuyo Bridge, 1/2 of a mile south-southwest of the hypocenter. Besides, in Hiroshima, all that was left of some humans, sitting on stone benches near the centre of explosion, was their outlines.
The photograph bellow shows the stone steps of a Bank where a person was incinerated by the heat rays.
2. The massacre
On August 6, 1945, 8.15 am, the uranium atom bomb exploded 580 metres above the city of Hiroshima with a blinding flash, creating a giant fireball and sending surface temperatures to 4,000C. Fierce heat rays and radiation burst out in every direction, unleashing a high pressure shockwave, vaporising tens of thousands of people and animals, melting buildings and streetcars, reducing a 400-year-old city to dust.
Housewives and children were incinerated instantly or paralysed in their daily routines, their internal organs boiled and their bones charred into brittle charcoal.
Beneath the center of the explosion, temperatures were hot enough to melt concrete and steel. Within seconds, 75,000 people had been killed or fatally injured with 65% of the casualties nine years of age and younger.
Radiation deaths were still occurring in large numbers in the following days. "For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost appetite. Their hair fell out. Bluish spots appeared on their bodies. And then bleeding began from the ears, nose and mouth".
Doctors "gave their patients Vitamin A injections. The results were horrible. The flesh started rotting from the hole caused by the injection of the needle. And in every case the victim died".
This photograph shows an eyeball of an A-bomb victim who got an atomic bomb cataract. There is opacity near the center of the eyeball.
Hibakusha is the term widely used in Japan referring to victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese word translates literally to "explosion-affected people".
They and their children were (and still are) victims of severe discrimination due to lack of knowledge about the consequences of radiation sickness, which people believed to be hereditary or even contagious.
Many of them were fired from their jobs. Hibakusha women never got married, as many feared they would give birth to deformed children. Men suffered discrimination too. "Nobody wanted to marry someone who might die in a couple of years".
4. Yamahata, the photographer of Nagasaki
On Agust 10, 1945, the day after the bombing of Nagasaki Yosuke Yamahata , began to photograh the devastation. The city was dead. He walked through the darkened ruins and the dead corpses for hours. By late afternoon, he had taken his final photographs near a first aid station north of the city. In a single day, he had completed the only extensive photographic record of the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing of either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
“A warm wind began to blow - he wrote later - Here and there in the distance I saw many small fires, like elf-fires, smoldering. Nagasaki had been completly destroyed"
Mr. Yamahata's photographs are the most complete record of the atomic bombing as seen in the most immediate hours after the bombing. The New York Times has called Mr. Yamahata's photographs, "some of the most powerful images ever made".
Mr. Yamahata became violently ill on August 6, 1965, his forty-eighth birthday and the twentieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the duodenum, probably caused by the residual effects of radiation received in Nagasaki in 1945. He died on April 18, 1966, and is buried at Tama Cemetery, Tokyo.
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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden . versus 9/11. It pales.
Amazing. Just amazing. Thank you for sharing this.
No hay Dios, ni en la tierra ni en el cielo.
Bataan, Nanjing, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Warsaw. great systems they had, eh?
Thank you for publishing the pictures and text so dispassionately. It adds weight to them.
I'll post a link at my blog "A Mad World, My Masters"
These two bombs stopped the war. If we had invaded Japan, casualties on both sides would have dwarfed those suffered from the bombs.
My father was on one of those troopships heading for Japan that August. His life was spared thanks to the bomb.
Yeah, 'Nick Teab', way to sound like a total jackass. As long as you're 'paling things in comparison', go check out some of the slaughter the Japanese people perpetrated on the rest of SE Asia. These are some horrible photos of a horrible act brought on by the acts of a suicidal militarized nation. Maybe the lesson you SHOULD be looking for is in there.
Sorry but, you're father's life for a quarter of a million Japanese civilians ?!
You arrogant American Idiot !
And it's 911 that pales.
The lesson learned is that they didn't have to drop the bomb, or invade, the japanese were at the end of their leash. The Bomb drop was a devastating warning to the USSR of the day. But beleive whatever retoric you wish, it doesn't matter in the end.
Being American has nothing to do with acting like an idiot - as you're demonstrating. Since you seem to be saying that the atomic bombing of these cities had nothing to do with the fact that Japan was responsible for the events and savagery of the Pacific War. When exactly was Japan going to just fold up and surrender? You're opening your mouth and outing yourself as some dumbass in a backwards ass country.
The record shows that the Japanese were preparing even the civilians to fight the war to the last man women and child. They may have been close to their last leash but they were far from done fighting.
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.
we could argue about whether it was right or wrong thing to do. all I know is its horrendous what humans can do to other humans. Its scary to think that this could happen at any time now . Megan Davies UK
The one thing that these photos, and those that exist of the Rape of Nanjing, the Bataan Death march, the Holocaust, Stalins purges and other atrocities committed during this time period is that engaging in TOTAL WAR is a horrible sight.
TOTAL WAR is defined as using every means possible to defeat your enemy (-ies). I am not sure if we will ever see such a situation exist again on a global scale. However, it worries me that if it is manifested on a regional scale and one of the participants does have a nuclear bomb - that we might see such horrible sights again.
Never, ever make the mistake of condemning or praising the decision makers in America for making the decision to drop the bomb - it was a decision - just as the decision makers in Japan viewed not taking prisoners, or Stalin killing his own people in a time of war, or the Holocaust, or the Blitz, or the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden.
We stopped driving for Berlin at the end of the war because it was apparent Russia would beat us there, and the cost was so high - imagine the entire American death toll in Iraq - in a week - or a day - followed by another similar toll. Many question that decision as wrong - because we did not keep on going into Russia (as many German Soldiers urged our troops to do).
The decision was made, the war in Japan ended early. War is hell - no matter how many video games make it seem cool.
Czy ktoś jeszcze dziś boi się wojny atomowej? Czy ktoś dzisiaj boi sie jakiejkolwiek wojny? Wojny nam spowszedniały. Cierpienie z ekranu telewizorni wyprało nam mózgi i serca.
Could I get one dropped on San Fran??
Ameryka popełniła zbrodnię przeciwko ludzkości
US Responses to Dropping the Bomb
". the greatest thing in history."
- Harry S. Truman
President of the United States during the Atomic Bombing
"It always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse."
- General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold
Commanding General of the U.S. Army
Air Forces Under President Truman
"I had been conscious of depression and so I voiced to (Sec. Of War Stimson) my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.' "
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Japan was at the moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of 'face'. It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying woman and children."
- Admiral William D. Leahy
Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"I am absolutely convinced that had we said they could keep the emperor, together with the threat of an atomic bomb, they would have accepted, and we would never have had to drop the bomb."
- John McCloy
"P.M. [Churchill> & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace."
- President Harry S. Truman
Diary Entry, July 18, 1945
"Some of my conclusions may invoke scorn and even ridicule.
"For example, I offer my belief that the existence of the first atomic bombs may have prolonged -- rather than shortened - World War II by influencing Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and President Harry S. Truman to ignore an opportunity to negotiate a surrender that would have ended the killing in the Pacific in May or June of 1945.
"And I have come to view the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that August as an American tragedy that should be viewed as a moral atrocity."
- Stewart L. Udall
US Congressman and
Author of "Myths of August"
"Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
- U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey's 1946 Study
"Careful scholarly treatment of the records and manuscripts opened over the past few years has greatly enhanced our understanding of why Truman administration used atomic weapons against Japan. Experts continue to disagree on some issues, but critical questions have been answered. The consensus among scholars is the that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it.
- J. Samuel Walker
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
this was humane compared to what was done by the japanese in china. i'd rather lose my life instantly than watch my wife get raped to death and my children torn apart by dogs. oh, and if the japanese got the bomb first they'd have dropped 500 of them. all of you pointing fingers at americans for being evil, due to THIS, are complete morons.
to portray these bombings as an unprovoked attack by America is laughable. it was retaliation for a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. the motto is: DON'T MESS WITH THE U.S.
Great pictures. Remember who attacked who first. I'm not saying that anyone deserves this, but they attacked the US first.
Yeah, all those children deserved to die because the government they were born under bombed a naval base.
It's too bad so many people don't learn more about history than their high school history class. It doesn't make our actions good just because the actions of our enemies are evil.
It makes no sense to discuss the legitimacy of dropping the Atomic bombs on Japan. You can quote whoever you want and there will be a counter to that quote, you can bring up any evidence you want and there will be a counter to that evidence.
These pictures should not be viewed as an indictment of the US, but as evidence of events we want never to see again.
On a separate note, it is easy to look back now and say that it is wrong, especially when viewing pictures such as these. However, it is also unfair and wholly reliant on hindsight.
Who is this "they" that have been hiding these pictures? I believe I have seen many pictures and heard many stories about these events. It is not a closely kept secret and it is not something that America is proud of. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were deeply discussed in my highschool history classes and debates similar to this one raged for weeks. The one thing I know for sure is that it was a horrible event during a horrible time where there was a lot of fear and desperation and emotional distress. I believe it was neither right nor wrong, it simply was and it is something to learn from.
Note from the author: Every single justification of the bombing will be deleted. Thanks.
These images should serve as a reminder to all world governments of the effects their actions can have on their own citizens. Innocent people suffer for the mistakes made by those in power.
Huh, sneak attack on Pearl harbour ?
A little late on the news are you ?
It wasn't a sneak. it was a "gimmee", as in "now the US public won't fight our entry into the war". sheeples abound.
We need perspective, to determine our future. Let this add to the perspective.
Hannah Arendt wrote of the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichman, of which she witnessed in person. She wrote of his defense of his efforts in exterminating Jews, that, instead of appearing an evil character he instead appeared quite ordinary. He claimed that he was just doing his job. She coined the phrase 'the banality of evil' to describe it.
Hold that thought.
Now consider the social experiments of Stanley Milgram, wherein he tests how far people will go in the pursuit of their job, whether they will choose duty over the value of human life. Look it up, it's very interesting (and no people were ever harmed, BTW).
The point that I'm trying to illustrate is this-- that we are, or should be, individually responsible for what we do, even if that is under orders.
I HATE to come to this conclusion, because it might mean that my country could be in the wrong for things it did in the past. And I realize there are many conclusions to consider in the decision to go to war, and how far to take it. Perhaps (*-COUGH-*) this is precisely why we should subject the leadership of our country (whichever government that may be) to the closest scrutiny possible, and hold them accountable.
"Note from the author: Every single justification of the bombing will be deleted. Thanks."
Nice way to make your point. You sound just like what you hate.
The tragedy is that history is at great risk of repeating itself in Iran. Even a small nuclear weapon can have devastating and indiscriminate effects.
You need to understand not only the circumstanses of the war but also the political ones. It was TOTAL WAR with that you use all resources at your disposal to defeat your enemy. There were more lives lost in the bombings of Tokyo in the last months of the war than both atomic bombs. Yes the Japanese were at the end of the rope but given multiple opportunitites to surrender including after the first atomic bomb was dropped. The Japanese government at the time should bear a majority of the responsability by not surrendering and starting a war they new they could not win. They are the ones charged with the saftey and security of thier nation.
At no point should this ever be compared with the systematic slaughter of 6 million people in death camps.
As far as never seeing TOTAL WAR again we are moving toward it and quickly with Iran. The similarities between Japan and Iran are amazingly similar. Both nations ruled by a religeous elite that indoctrinate the youth into fighting for thier God.
By the way if you eliminate all post justifying the bombing your censoring one side of the debate in order to push your own opinion instead of letting people make up thier own minds about it. Much like a facist or communist state.
How many people has communism killed in thier own societies?
hmm. crispy. I'll have a lovely wank.
Just wait till you see Iraq and Iran.
Screw with the U.S. and see what you get.
Almost a week after the second blast, upon finally hearing of the events, Hirohito said, "One bomb or a thousand. the results are the same". He was unmoved. The war ended because at the same time over 1,000,000 Soviet troops were pouring onto Japan's Northern shores. Historic details missed somehow in the USA.
"Could I get one dropped on San Fran??"
I'm sure my beautiful one year old son and four year old daughter (both native San Franciscan's) must have done something deserving such enmity.
Hmmm. My daughter DID draw a rainbow last week.
There are a whole lot of people here that need to grow up
The Uranium bomb dropped on Japan was, what, 50 kilotons? Now the US, USSR, and PRC all have 50 MEGAton bombs and the population density is increasing. Oh boy.
Never let your sense of morals interfere with indiscriminately killing millions of people.
"Note from the author: Every single justification of the bombing will be deleted. Thanks."
Just delete those you don't agree with and they are sure to go away and stop bothering you. Free speech is sorry for the inconvenience.
Some peeps here I want to hug, shake their hands. other I want to send to college, but not in the US. trying to educate the mouse whilse it resides in the maze and trap is futile. Thanx for the pics. Hopefully the American People will shake things up before another trajedy unfolds.
The Japs started the whole thing- screw them. The did the rape of Nanking, committed chemical and biological atrocities on Chinese and Koreans. No tears from me for the evil Japs they got nuked and deserved it. The rest of you slap happy liberals would be living under Nazi Jap rule if it wasn't for the mighty United States. Not only that we rebuilt the entire Japanese nation with US money. Do you think the Japs would have done that if they had beat us.
Yeah, look at the pics. Horrific? Terrifing? Hmmm, I remember My Grandfather telling a story about while he was in one of there little prison. Him and his buddies would randomly get beat for no reason,They would pull out there fingernails with pliers, Not before sticking bungi sticks ,soaked in crap, Under the nails , ankles broke if escape was even whispered. I fell no pity! Even when you look at these pics ,remember we lost several young sailors 18 t o 19 in fires, explosions, drowning ,metal fragments flying aroud.History teaches us to be better.
This should have been on all major television, and radio networks for at least a half an hour of every single day since the catastrophe to remind Americans what they stand for.
I remember reading somewhere that Japan was already considering surrender -- that American military strategists knew this -- that American military commanders didn't want to use the bomb -- that American politics was the deciding factor to drop the bombs.
The world changed forever.
thank you for reminding us.
I scanned the other comments. What is truly horrifying, is that attitudes haven't really changed. This is why the killing will continue.
To quote Ghandi: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Just goes to say "don't jack with us" hasn't anyone learned yet?
Throughout history America has always overreacted, and has always engaged in war crimes and other human rights violations.
Documents uncovered since have shown that it wasn't necessary---the Japanese were on the verge of surrendering. Even if you agreed with the first bombing, what was the point of the second? No, the only reason this was done was to scare Russia and establish the U.S. as the "leader" of the free world. Its current moral decay is what is eroding its place as a leader.
My father served in the Pacific Theater during WWII and experienced the stark reality of war. Many died when his ship was bombed. Being in signals intelligence he had this to say about Truman. He was the worst president in US history. The American people have been fed a mountain of lies by the political elite. The difference is now we have the internet and can search out the truth. The new struggle is how to make our leaders obey this differently informed public.
I liked the comment by the shithead that not only couldn't spell but grouped all of us "slap happy liberals" together. . .
I consider myself a liberal and don't enjoy seeing pictures of any living thing suffering but to try and determine right and wrong with such relatively limited information would be laughable if the subject matter wasn't so horrendous. I'm also a huge fan of the "if somebody hits you, hit em back twice as hard" philosophy. . .
Oh yeah. . .the shithead censor that deletes any post he doesn't agree with is also a lovely touch. . .great for an open discussion. . .you're about as much of an Einstein as Bush. . .
We need one of those dropped on Iran, really. Islam is the end of the free world.
Pity that no one bothered to post the pictures of the murdered civilians in Hawaii from Pearl Harbor, as well as the servicemen.
Not to mention the 2.5 million Koreans slaughtered, enslaved or tortured by the Japanese. as well as the Nanking victims, brutal mass rapes, beheadings, wholesale slaughter (which the Nagasaki/Hiroshima bombs ended)
Nope, no mention, just the usual America Bashing.
Japanese soldiers were evil. Jap medical experiments and torture were worse than the Nazis.
But nothing justifies Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not even 'total war', because we were never really waging 'total war'. If we were, we'd have obviously nuked Tokyo and Berlin first. Human beings at war are still human beings.
One military target would have satisfied every argument. Two civilian targets ruins them all. 65% of the killed under 9 years old? Over 100,000 children being burnt alive was not a justified or necessary act of war, it was 100,000 fucking CHILDREN being fucking BURNT ALIVE.
If there is a Hell, Harry Truman knows about it.
yeah, now that the punk assed USA has dropped the only Nuclear device to date they're real enthusiastic about controlling the use of these devices. They never won a war that they didnt have 10-1 odds in. serve them right to get their big asses beat in Nam.
If dropping the bomb on Japan was such a great idea as all these chest beating yanks are bellowing why is there a global treaty against their proliferation ( enforced only against people we have a beef with).
The ignorance and blind partiotism of some of you disgust me beyond belief.
I think some of you need to go back to kindergarden and learn that just because someone hits you, that doesn't mean you can hit them back. Yes the Rape of Nanking was terrible, there's no debating that. However, that does not justify what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not in the least.
Also, to the person who said something about the Japanese dropping 500 bombs on us if they had the chance, that logic is hardly enough to justify killing innocent people. And also, attempting to justify using an atomic bomb based on a hypothetical question is completely idiotic.
The lesson should have been learned then, and still seems like it hasn't which is there is a moral obligation to end a war as fast as possible. Imagine how ugly the pictures of U.S. Military invasion would be? Many of you with WWII Vets as parents/granparents wouldnt even be here to cluck-cluck at these pics.
no american is under the delusion that the a-bombs were pleasent and we know the history that hundreds of thousands died. but every society will act in its own self interest. enemies be damned. japanese knew they were within bombing range of the allies.
if hitler or stalin had developed their bombs first they would have used it on targets similar to the way any war strategist would have.
war is terrible, it always has been. we've made transgressions sure, but no different than any other powerful nation in the history of the world.
america bashing is also in vogue. so argue on as you wish.
the internet is a great new invention that allows every mind to connect with each other the discuss the trials of history. perhaps in the near future, our connectedness will prevent future TOTAL wars like WW1 and WW2.
Thank God for freedom of expression. Sure makes it easy to spot the murderous and racist bastards still hiding under the Red White and Blue. Imagine if they were actually intelligent and said the opposite of what they thought, they'd be actually dangerous. Instead they'd rather try to sound cool and macho by saying bullshit like : That's what they get for messing with us. I never heard a real man utter those words, only small and petty lowlifes who see themselves as the star of the crappy D-movie that is their lives. You poor retarded children, they are messing with our USA precisely because of all of you gleefully uninformed cattle, all too willing to justify or ignore any stain in the past. You pussies talking about jerking off to those pictures already have what you deserve, the mind of an inbred four year old and a future as bright as the filling of a used condom. If you think murdering a quarter of a million civilian is an incentive for justice or peace, you are a borderline vegetable. The same irresponsibility and ignorance of those days is still going strong. "They started it. " You'd think people would know after 50 years that Pearl Harbor was a black-flag Operation. Your life must be very hard to maintain with all those facts and thruths you have to zig-zag through in a day. Normal people don't want other people dead because they think they are wrong, or even just supremely dumb. And no, they started it didn't work with your kindergarden teacher, and it surely won't work for genocides either. Sure shows where you go to discuss politic though HAHAHAHAHAHA!
The body is fragile. there are many forces. wounds and awful death can be made by many things. the mind of mankind is forgetful and indolent. the causes of war are always argued, the truth is always fabricated out of a mix of guesses, logic and lies. good luck. we are not blessed, for we have hunger and anger and a will to compel others to do as we say. We are the way and the fearful living.
Ask the 1,196 crewmen aboard the USS Indianapolis if the Japanese seemed to be on the brink of surrender.
880 of them died, at the hands of a Japanese sub captain, 11 days before the bomb was dropped.
Of course they were on their way back from delivering that same bomb, but that's not the point. The point is war is not a pillow fight. War is hell.
I can't freakin believe these posts. Seriously. It's 2007. Isn't it about time that we realize war=bad?? Why can't we (not only the people but also our governments) confess to all of the bad that our ancestors have committed in the past and learn from their mistakes? Don't deny it or try to talk it down like it was not that bad, and admit that what we did was wrong and horrific.
I am a japanese citizen, raised in the US with a sense of belonging to both countries. I am ashamed of both for what they have done, but I also know that I am not like them. I am a young woman who thinks of herself as a human being. One who lives on this planet Earth who would like to see some changes being made. It's not Japanese, or American, or Iraqi anymore. We're human beings.
Just freakin get over it and move on!! Instead of bitching about it for who knows how long, go research both sides of the story. Try to freakin understand why it happened. THEN you can come back here and say what ever the hell you want to.
I mean damn. Is anyone else tired of reading comments posted by VERY uninformed people? I am.
The US should never be allowed to possess any kind of weapons, or power in any circumstances.
Is it wrong to say that their presidents are responsible for more death in the world than all the bad guys combined?
And Islam - the end of free world? Learn your history, and pray for the Muslim leaders that they learn with you too, stupid anon.
"Remember who attacked who first. I'm not saying that anyone deserves this, but they attacked the US first."
By that logic, it should be okay for Iraq to nuke the U.S.
Thanks for posting these - what's your source? I've linked to this on my blog at KuiperCliff.
I believe the decision to drop the A-bombs was the correct. War is unpleasant and, as many commenters have noted, Japan gave a lot worse, in Nanking and all over Asia. Also, I wander how many opponents of the US decision to drop the A-bombs understand that US air force killed 4 to 6 Japanese civilians with napalm for every one filled with A-bombs.
Also, in a futile effort to try to keep facts straight, the guy who says the soviets landed 1,000,000 troops on the Japanese north islands is smoking dope or being paid by Kim Jong Il. The sovs declared war against Japan and made some land grabs, but no real fighting.
I completely agree with the last post, props to you!
The one thing that I find even a bit funny, is how the world is going down the shit-hole. Pardon the expression, but that's the single term that I found that was powerful enough to cover everything that happened since the dawn of intelligent life.
It's natural to kill, but not to mass murder your own kind
I'm sorry to say, but EVERY SINGLE ONE of your posts, including mine, is completely useless. This world is shitting on itself with so much momentum, one species doesn't stand a chance to stop it, even if we've created it.
Im sorry, in my post, I was reffering to the Japanese woman, not the guy talking about the US Air Force and the Soviets. I have no idea, im not arguing.
I'm talking to the Japanese woman: Great post!
its only just begun, the bush regime's have used thousands of tons depleted uranium killing afganys iraqis and our own troops.
its funny such a big deal is made of this when we firebombed tokyo so badly that it looked like it had been nuked, a lot more people died from that than from the A bombs yet hardly anybody cares.
Also Japan was not willing to have a fully unconditional surrender, even after we bombed them they wouldn't, thats why we dropped the second bomb, i would think that would be obvious to most people.
the fact that it took two bombs is the proof that it was absolutely necessary. the Japaneses saw the devastating power of the atomic bomb and still wouldn't give up, and only after the second one did they realize that the had no choice to surrender. a land invasion would have cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides.
and in all honesty, the atomic bomb was the best thing that could have happened for japan. its sad to think about it this way but forcing a quick surrender to the americans gave the americans total control over the island. if a prolonged land invasion had happened, the russians would have become involved and taken control of part of the island.. and we all know how well that ended up for germany.
Fantastic stories and pictures. I wish it didn't have to come to that.
Also, half the comments here make me ashamed to be an American. Thanks, guys.
Yes, the atomic bombs were a terrible decision. But as someone said, they were a decision. There is nothing that we can do to change what happened. I do not believe what my country did was right, but it happened. I have come to terms with this. What we need to do is see this, and make sure that it never happens again. Ever. It is a terrible atrocity that should never be repeated. I see people suggesting to use "nukes" on Iran and other such nations. You people disgust me. How can you be so heartless. Yes, Iran is a threat to not only the United States, but the world. But nothing can justify the the use of another nuclear device. My belief is that the use of one, would be along the lines of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the cause of World War I. This would throw the world into a sea of chaos that would most likely end with the annihilation of most of the human race. Nations would be firing nukes off left and right. Which guess what. Would most likely destroy those calling for the use of the nukes in the first place. Also, everyone who enjoys beating on the United States now really needs to take a look at the History books. No, I'm not going to ramble about how we "saved your asses in WWII." I'm going to go farther back. They need to take a look at what THEIR nations have done in the past. The slaughtering of non-Christians, the slaughtering of Muslims. The slaughter and rape of native people who had done nothing wrong. You all choose to ignore these facts to bash on us Americans. No, I'm not happy with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nor am I happy with the current state of affairs that the world is in. I believe that many things need to be changed before a real peace can occur. But dammit, this is my country you are all attacking, and I will NOT stand idly by and let it occur. Sure, call me an idiot for standing by my nation. For standing by my nation that you all loathe so much. But the truth is, you would all do the same if you were in my position.
Every politician and armed forces person in every country should be forced to watch every last documentary on war/genocide atrocities before their country is allowed into the U.N.
The few evil people with ultimate power won't care but if the people under them who give them their power can be educated about the effects of their actions, the world could be a very different place.
wow. great blog - an enlightening read. terrifying and sad pictures, though.
" Is it wrong to say that their presidents are responsible for more death in the world than all the bad guys combined? "
Yes. Such an assertion is mentally deranged:
As for the pictures, let's show some of Nanking.
wow. great blog - an enlightening read. terrifying and sad pictures, though.
For those of you who think that dropping the bombs saved the lives of Americans, you should read:
Dispelling the Myth of Lives Saved by the Hiroshima Bomb
I can't help but think that all the Americans had to do was show the Japanese film footage of what their new A-toy could do, and that would have been more than enough to get an immediate surrender. The fact that this didn't happen (either they weren't shown, or they were and declined to surrender) indicates to me that there was definitely some other motivation for dropping the bombs than simply ending the war.
How in hell anyone on any 'side' could use this as anything other than a comment on man's ability for base destruction is unfathomable. You're really arguing who started it? Or who is capable of it? Humans - that is the only unifying thread among the many many atrocities.
If all wars ended this way, it's a safe bet people wouldn't be so quick to start wars.
That's why I'm fully in favor of ending every war with an atomic bomb. That would be my policy if I were President.
Think about it - when everyone knows and expects the consequences of war to include a grand finale of atomic explosions, I'm pretty confident that we as a nation (and others from other nations) would be damned cautious about picking a fight with somebody.
TOTAL WAR. It's the only humane way to fight.
Whilst the atomic bombings cost many, many lives, the "fire bombing" of Tokyo took more lives in one night than both the bombs combined.
War is a terrible thing, but these bombings, whilst terrible, aren't, by a long shot, the worst atrocity ever committed in war.
one of the American airforce generals during the war (I think it was the army air corps then, and it was in relation to the "strategic bombing" of dresden) said that had they (allied powers) lost the war, he would have been tried as a war criminal.
"Strategic" bombing, aka.. bombing of civilian support centers is the most terrible thing war has ever produced, for those killed are not willing participants.
This happened over 60 years ago. You can't chew yesterday's breakfast. The reason it happened is 62 years ago and you can't change that. How may of you were even alive then? I wasn't. We maze-well discuss whether Rome was justified in destroying Carthage .
I do remember at High School (in Australia) our Art teacher reminding us of the anniversary of the bombings each year and asking us students to feel sorry for the Japanese.
We have all seen pictures of war. Now, we have a war that promises more nukes (US/Israel vs. Iran) that is going to happen soon, so we can all gush over up-to-date images of nuclear atrocities. ANONIBUS
Howard Zinn is a commie revisionist. Nothing he says can be believed.
Yeah, these pictures show the real face of the united states of america.
it is an evil country filled w evil doers. america is the source of all filth on this planet. it is like a whore sitting on the ocean and poisoning the whole world w its immoral values.
Well.. my grandfather was on a boat to Japan when that bomb went off. That bomb is why I am alive.
And to all you Europeans who say we are just "ignorant Americans". I feel compelled to say "[email protected]#! you". We saved England, and what did we get? signs that read "Dogs and Americans keep off the lawn"
As for the actual bombing. Terrible? no doubt. Neccesary to save countless Allied lives and protect the world from Communism? Yes.
Every war has martyrs, It's unfortunate that most of the victims of the bomb were civilian.
Do I think America is always right? No. Do I think we're always the best? No. But do I think from 1776-2003 we've always fought for what's right? Yes.
Unfortunately that sometimes comes with a cost. Something not all of you seem to grasp.
So they were bombed because they attacked us. Two wrongs don't make a right. Does the end justify the means? If someone kills one in my family, I can kill that person, too? Twisted logic.
would you rather we sit and get attacked? or in your case have our whole family get killed off before we do anything about it.
It's not a contest about who suffers the most, or which tragedy is the worst. It is about raw human suffering. It is about immense death, destruction, and unimaginable loss. These pictures demonstrate that. Thank you for posting them.
a lot of ignorant people on this board. and i mean a lot. i read somewhere that islam is the end of the free world. wrong. it is humans who are going to end up killing themselves, regardless of religion, skin color, creed, etc. humans in general aren't ready to possess such power and when they do, it is used for evil purposes. like it or not, this is how it is.
Learn your history people. It is well proven that their was NO need to use the bomb. Japan was trying to surrender weeks before it was used. This is a FACT.
Maybe they don't show these pictures in the United States, but in the rest of the world, we see them. When are you as a nation going to realize you are NOT a protector of human rights but rather an abuser.
I read through some of the arguments justifying the bomb. The real issue to me is that the end does not justify the means. War just sucks and shi*t happens. People (yes even americans) do things they would never normally do during war which many would consider evil.
I also think that whoever "wins" a war gets to (re-)write history.
Since all of us posting probably weren't in WWII, we probably shouldn't speak on behalf of those who fought on either side, or what who was more right (or wrong). This was a horrible event and should serve as a reminder this never happen again anywhere.
Lastly I _have_ to throw this in there-"Don't mess with the US" is the most ignorant statement ever said. We've gotten our asses handed to us before in other wars, and we've been wrong before. I love my country but we sure have alot of stupid aholes.
Dear author: Thank you for the pictures
Dear commenters: Thank you for your opinions
Dear haters: Thank you for your point of view
Dear diggers: Thank you for bringing this to my attention
Dear Japanese: I'm very sorry for the actions of my country
Those who say that the deaths and suffering of civilians is justified because their country "messed with the US" are more philosophically aligned with the ideals of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan than they are with those of the allied powers during WWII.
The real shame is that the US, as the most powerful and (relative to it's degree of power: certainly the US, like all powerful nations in history, has committed it's fair share of atrocities) compassionate nation the world has ever seen has the potential to lead the world into a new golden age of humanity.
Instead, many citizens of the US, like the citizens of WWII-era Japan and Germany, blindly buy into the culture of of greed and hubris that always precedes the downfall of a great power.
As horrable as these pictures are, I find that the suffering placed on these peoples pales in compairison to what it would of been if the USA had invaded and used conventional weapons to defeat the enemy that had attacked them at pearl harbor years prior.
I recently saw footage and surviving us soldiers cometary about the invasion of Okinawa, where civilians elected to jump to their death instead of continuing to live after their island had been occupied. Footage of japanese soldiers getting burnt alive by flame throwers since they culture refuses to allow them to surrender and continue to live after defeat in battle.
End of the story? How ever horrable the atomic bomb's aftermath was, they saved the lives of japanese not living in the two cities, and countless soldiers (japanese and American) who were desitined to die in battle when the US would of invaded.
some people are brighter than others know the jist of the game and can determine what their own goals should be. these enlightened are able to preserve their souls and in the press of danger, their life and limb as well. do they study books. yeah, possibly. do they ask questions of the wise. no doubt. do they watch the actions of animals and brutes. yes, very much. do they wish to be the latter??
the herd battles while the hired hands fly at each other with recommendations for peace and the princes lean into the fire to retrieve another treasure and consider the gamble of a better life. this is hell.
how do we win and keep peace and not tread hell?
For all of you haters out there, just remember one thing: the reason you are not speaking German or Japanese right now is because the United States of America stopped those fascist assholes.
God save us from the hateful and ignorant. They'll bring us all down.
Oh, BTW. for those uneducated people. The Japanese were not communist.
thanks for sharing, this fact should not be hidden or buried.
Actions like this are only possible when we de-humanize the enemy. Beware any peoples that chose to see another as less than human.
Japs. Nazis. Commies. Enemy Combatants.
Thankfully these attacks by the United States spared both sides from further bloodshed because of Japan's subsequent surrender. In a way, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a gift to Japan.
It must of been hell. Ignorance shows its presence again. Take a minute and pay attention damn it, as if the dead wasn't enough.
This board simply demonstrates the most stereotypical facets of both the Euopean and American mindset. It's either "boo hoo you shouldn't have dropped the bomb on all those poor innocent Japanese!", or "Fvck yeah screw the world we got dem der dirty Japs what was a'comin to 'em!"
You are all for the most part fvcking idiots.
Stop trying to pretend your feeble mind can sum up the complexities of WWII and it's hastening with two bu11shit sentences of hyperbole and rhetoric, or just flat out ignorant yelling as most of you are doing. As much fun as it is watching the insane level of righteousness you all seem to possess, just remember that you are a supremely ignorant being with the utter inability to empathize with anyone else's point of view but your own. What frightens me is that some if not most of you have the ability to vote. That is why we have a crazed retard in the Unites States Whitehouse, and why we have quasi-commie douchebags running the EU. Keep yelling at each other like a bunch of frenzied monkeys, you're playing your role to a tee.
Can anybody give me core evidence that the "Massacre of Nanking" actually happened?
I mean, I hear it all the time, but never actually seen any proof of it.
I go to a top 50 American university and I am a History major. I wrote a thesis about this very topic, a majority of my information coming from primary sources. Its so grand that 95% of people on both sides of this argument think they have a lease on the truth. Well, congratulations, most of you have no idea what you are talking about. New books are published every year discussing this topic, and guess what. there is still a debate among noted historians worldwide on the topic. So keep arguing amongst yourselves, I'm sure you will change the world with these dated pictures and ignorant blogging
Indeed, the Japanese would not surrender as long as the life of the Emperor was in peril. The American military know this, and as soon as the U.S. promised not to kill him, the Japanese immediately surrendered. Keep this in mind the next time you here it said that the dropping of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two preponderantly Catholic cities of Japan, reduced any American casualties. Think about it.
this is what makes me wonder yo. when we do this like this to other countries, we say they deserved it. when some country does it to us, its terrorism or they evil. america did the same thing to iraq, vietnam and all those other countries like what the japanese did to america in pearl harbor yet they say the japanese are criminals and say america ain't.
then you got america on some fight terrorism bullshit when WE the numbre uno terrorists. we terrorize countries, we bully them around, we send troops to fuck em up. i'm pretty sure that there's soliders in iraq raping women, children and men and doing war crimes but you never hear about that. we dropping bombs on countries. almost all of the wars in the world has US in them.
So people don't keep demonizing the US for the atomic bombs, I think it is important to look at the total civilian casualties in world war two. From what I've seen researching it, that comes to about 32million civilians. Now there were about 500,000 casualties caused by the atomic bombs and their after effects. That works out to a staggering 1.6% of civilian casualties. Was it a horrible thing, yes, but it fits right in with the bigger picture of World War II. Also, I ask you to consider whether there is any nation that was heavily involved in WWII that would not have used an atomic bomb on at least one of their enemies given the opportunity.
its the fact whether it is right to bomb Japan or not or what Japan did in the first place. There are so many reasons and explanations why they did the things they did. The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that the US makes it seem like they are better and more graceful than others. They arent, we are all the same. It's war. And this is what happens in wars.
i will post this exactly in my blog With adding more photos from net ..I dont understand why the hell US always wants war . Now it has moved one more war ship to the Gulf .i wants one more war on Iran which will be highly devasting . Iran has nuclear energy which if used would devast the whole earth .
Stupid politicians of US,UK who support war should think that it is none if there bussiness to poke in the matters of other countries . Who the hell wants supremacy , everyone wants peace . They have destroyed Afganistan , Iraq in the last 5 yrs , now they want to add one more to it .
To all those who believe the propaganda of "we saved lives by dropping the bomb": while this may be somewhat true for the first bomb, the second bomb was a pure act of terror and revenge a crime against humanity. If you Americans were so afraid to fight the Japanese Empire on their home island, you could have just left them to the Russians. Comrade Stalin would have been perfectly capable of dealing with them. Also: would there have been more bombs if the Germans were not Europeans (read: white)? I am convinced that yes.
In addition to that I would like to add that no matter how bad the other side was, dropping those bombs is in no case less horrible an act or more justified.
This being said: everyone should ask themselves what they would have done, had they been the decision makers at that time, after 6 years of war and over 60 000 000 people dead. Once you do that, this whole judgement thing suddenly gets a whole lot trickier, doesn't it?
but nobody ever hears of the atrocities committed by japan against other asian nations. they would rape chinese women and cut out their fetuses--alive and awake--to perform experiments like inserting needles up infants' fingers. ever hear of the rape of nanking?
vicious fanatics..whatever dragon they ride.
are not welcome.simple goodness reaches.
recovers from the trash a small destroyed
heart and rebuilds it without thinking.
inhumane human testing by japanese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731
no, let's demonize america. if you dish it, you gotta take it. i mean let's be real here. crime is crime. don't tell me that america running up in countries, blowing shit up ain't criminal activity. even in wars between other countries where we ain't the ones doing the fighting, we sending these guys weapons to kill each other so we can go over and take control of their terrorities by trying to play peacemaker when we the ones fueling the fire.
for real. how is this not considered a tragedy? it is. did those people that dropped the bomb think IF that could have been their kids or wife down there?
this is why life isn't shit anymore. motherfuckers have no respect for life.
the dude that dropped the bomb and the president should be incarcerated for life for doing that terrorist act. if this is a case of mass murder and where a life sentence without the possiblity of parole was an option, THIS is the case.
i just HOPE that another country or somebody doesn't decide to do THIS to us or anybody else. I JUST HOPE NOT! america pretty much made itself a target by doing this shit. that's one thing that makes me think and fear for a second. as sad as it sounds, america pretty much is waiting for a punishment for this. we're living in some serious times.
What I find really neat,
to stray from all of the flaming,
is that the Japanese at one point were at a crossroads-
they had a concept of a nuclear weapon of some sort,
but continued previous research on a microwave
ray project, hoping to roast the Allies as they sailed in.
Damn I love the History Channel.
How dare we, as complacent Americans, seek convenience over what's ethical. How dare we choose the economic choice over subsequent generations of suffering. It sickens me to see my countrymen justify this unholy advent of technology as "humane". Pearl Harbor was a tragedy, one wrought with conventional weapons. Nothing of that time could compare with the destructive power of the atomic bombs. People's eyes melted out of their heads if they looked to the skies on detonation, radiation poisoning killed people over the course of their lifetimes, people lay dying where they fell for days, if not weeks, after the detonation if they weren't in the epicenter of the explosion. We bear witness to violence begetting violence constantly, so let's build a weapon that does more to hinder world peace than promote it.
just imagine a world where nazi germany, pre war japan or any of the muslim nations of today was the super power, with all the bad things they did or still do. the USA is not perfect but we give our lives and money so others can be free. Its scary to think that most of the world thinks the usa is the bad guy. You should thank god that its not these previous countries or the former ussr or china with all there human rights violations. USA gives freedom all the others and more would take it away.
heh. The moral of WWII:
If you're fighting a war, make sure you win it!
The winning side would justify any evil doings as "correct" and modify history to their likings.
Remember Pearl Harbor. as if the US did not know that it was going to be attacked way in advance (and the govt didn't do anything to protect fellow Americans). Pearl Harbor was a gimmick to give the US justification for entering the pacific war. Much like the A-bombs were gimmicks - to scare the living crap out of Stalin.
the japanese were worse than nazis
Being someone from Taiwan, it is sad that the atomic bombs' inherent inability to distinguish between civilian and military target. However, I feel little remorse for them for the following reason.
For a more complete list.
Of course, it is not right to fight an evil with another evil. I won't say the people deserve it. But its a bit difficult to have sympathy when you grow up learning about the atrocities in Nanking.
japan would have nuked everyone else if they could have invented the nuke first.
"I am a citizen of the world." Diogenes 4th Century B.C.
How bout we just leave it at this, it was war, all countries on all sides killed civilians. It's not like both sides were launching guided missiles at each other. It was a whole lot of who can get more bigger better bombs and drop them on the other guy. No country involved in WWII was overly concerned with enemy civilian casualties. Don't put all of the other allied nations on a pedestal because they didn't drop an atomic bomb on anyone. They would have if they had any. You might say no they wouldn't, but remember this is over 50 years ago at the end of a war that killed over 60,000,000 people (more than half of them civilians). Everybody in WWII got their hands dirty, that is the kind of war it was. The atomic bombs were terrible, but no worse than almost every other single aspect of World War II.
Hey soldier, I see the propaganda has worked well with you.
"Remember Pearl Harbor" Your the type of idiot who watches movies and takes them as historical fact, aren't you.
Ah, to have such a simple mind. must be nice.
I have been in combat. I can't say that I understand war even though I have lived it. Bottom line: it was war.
War, in its unmitigated ferocity, makes us less than human, but it's inherently human to war. We have questioned our own humanity in this context for thousands of years, and yet we still war. We still slaughter. We still rape. We still torture. We still destroy.
. there are no innocents (sins of the father).
I won't even try to get "into the heads" of the men who made the decision to drop. I see nothing gained in trying to understand what led them to the decision. I have seen first hand what happens when someone makes a decision to unleash hell on an "enemy". What I saw in his eyes was simply war. I will carry that vision with me to the grave and pray that I never see it again in my lifetime.
poeticizing your experiences doesn't rationalize your duty.
spread the truth!! the truth that japan still denies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731
Thank you very much for dedication to meaning and sincerity towards all the lives lost. In ones opinion, I would have to agree that the photos taken were some of the most powerful, and will remain the most powerful pictures taken until the end of time.
As for those of you who have the idea "Don't mess with the U.S" caught up in your head, you probably deserve to be pushed off a cliff. Grow up, and show some respect, you egotistical, idiotic infant morons.
STFU with your statistics and percentages, can you even fathom what a 100 dead people looks like?? You distance yourself from atrocities by using cold numbers, but nobody who has the privilege who ranting here can even realize what 250 000 deaths in a single seconds means. WWII lasted for years, and in a day 250 000 is nothing.
Funny, whats the noise about 911 then.
If a quarter million dead is OK for you, just bend over and take 249 more.
It's only the beginning of what we americans deserve, because thats just FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND of the years and years of wars we have been waging.
Unless we do something about our egocentrical view of the world.
Why do people think it is so much worse to have an injury caused by a nuke than a normal bomb? I feel like some people here think everybody in the war was gently put to sleep before they died while the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died horrible deaths. Any death in war is going to be a horrible death. So if somebodies eyes melt because of a nuclear blast, is that worse than the 75 that are dismembered or are blinded from shrapnel? It seems to be for some people.
To the person who keeps on posting the wikipedia entry:
I agree. Spread the truth.
poeticizing your experiences doesn't rationalize your duty."
No where in that post was an attempt at rationalization. Yes, I had a duty. Now in place of my duty I have memories such as the one where the the brains of the man that was standing in front of me became part of my uniform for the next 36 hours. How the hell do you rationalize that by waxing poetically about my duty? Poeticizing? Where the hell did you come up with that?
It's important to use such events as the Holocaust, and the atomic bombings as lessons learned. We must not ever let such situations happen again.
hmm. this is where I wish little green men from outer space come and ruin our day. Then it would be a world united for a change instead of alot hate that seems to never end.
Or maybe its better that a rock drops from outer space and put us all out of our misery. At least the planet will survive and shake off these ticks that have infested the planet. ok back to reality.
-A single ormal bomb won't blow entire cities.
-Normal bombs don't have that extra lil'zing called radiation (both at detonation and residual)
-When normal bombs explode you are dead if you are hit. When nuclear devices explode everyone you know dies with you. And the people dumb enough to recover whats left of it all, or simply try to rebuild and live.
Geez that was easy. WTF do they teach you at school nowadays??
Oh yeah. tolerance and acceptance of other's life styles instead of history.
At around 5 years for World War II and 60,000,000 casualties, that gives us about 32,877 casualties every single day. Now, as there was most definitely not an even distribution like this, in reality it would not be unlikely for this to spike up to about 100,000 on some days. Hiroshima had about 135,000 casualties and Nagasaki 64,000. Does this deviate too far from the norm of WWII. NO! I'm not saying we shouldn't care about these people, but what about the other 59.5million casualties. Are they not as important? Were their wounds and deaths worth less because they weren't killed by an atomic bomb? Don't make this event out to be so much worse than the war as a whole.
como siempre los gringos jodiendo resto del mundo. fuck u usa!
Judging by the tenor of these comments, I am left with no doubt that this will happen again. Human nature is too infused with thanatos.
You're right, a single bomb won't. That is why they dropped thousands upon thousands of them.
Yeah, keep on puking numbers.
Yare giving averages for 24 hour time periods etc.
We are talking about a single second that killed about a million people accounting radiation deaths that came years after.
Any murder is inacceptable, any day of any war is horrible I give you that. But it IS far worse than any day of WWII, but it doesn't mean the other days were all good.
Guess at least that gives a bit more warning than a big 'shroom.
go check out some of the slaughter the Japanese people perpetrated on the rest of SE Asia
And one of the is Philippines. Japanese used to toss a child or a baby and stabbing them with their sword. They raped and killed many Filipino women and remember the Death March ? Where many Americans and Filipino were masacred.
I'm not saying that, they deserve it. It just that, it's one part of the story and many other lives,races,country were affected. I guess don't do unto other's what you don't want others do unto you.
Ah yes, I see. It's much better to spread the killing out. It's better to kill 60,000,000 over five years, but if you 60,000 die in one second. that would just be messed up.
The fact is hindsight is 20/20. All over the world you will find people who argue that the use of atomic weapons is horrible. There are debates (such as these) that the use of them was wrong and that the use of them was right. The fact is the use of them did bring to light the horrific and powerful destruction atomic weapons yield. In the end the use of them in World War II by the United States might have prevented the use of them by other countries in the future (including the United States). After World War II there were lots of tests of atomic weapons by several countries (The United Kingdom, The Soviet Union, France, China, etc.) It is sad to say that the results of the bombs gave EVERYBODY in the world an idea of their destructive power.
I have lived with people and discussed this issue with people from Japan, Australia and other countries. Most educated and informed people agree that it was a decision in the time of war and nobody truly knows what would have or what might have happened. Everything is pure speculation based on evidence but nothing is ever conclusive except for events that transpire.
A note on the use of two bombs. From my understanding, the Japanese were not going to surrender after the first bomb and the second bomb was more of a psychological effect. After the second bombing it was unknown if there were just two atomic weapons that the United States possessed or maybe two dozen or two hundred. I BELIEVE , and I stress that this is my belief that after witnessing that sort of destructive power that not only has the capability to destroy buildings but poison the area around the impact, the Japanese believed surrendering was the best option. It is one thing to dig in and fight the enemy to the last breath where your people and soldiers have a chance of survival in caves and scattered throughout the land with the ability to inflict further casualties upon your enemy. However, when your enemy posses the ability to destroy you and eliminate your possibility of seeking shelter (radiation from the detonations), surrender seems like a better option.
Looking back we now see Japan as a striving economic nation in the world, leading it in the electronics industry. I would believe this is a much better outcome then Japan not surrendering and leaving the possibility of countless more nuclear weapons being dropped on Japan making it unlivable.
The other universal fact is there are arrogant and uninformed people all around the world. It does not matter what country you come from, it is part of human nature. Enjoy and don’t get offended by the post but take a look at it and absorb it.
You are missing the point entirely friend.
You are also putting words in my mouth, I already said word for word "Any murder is inacceptable, any day of any war is horrible I give you that" Now if that translates into "It's better to kill 60,000,000 over five years, but if you 60,000 die in one second. that would just be messed up."I can't even begin to understand how wrong that is. You are not even getting your precious cold numbers right.
Guess some people are meant to argue with themselves because they just don't listen.
ok to blame the people living today in the US for the horrible bombing is akin to blaming anyone from germany for the concentration camps. its moot neither myself nor anyone under the age of 80 had anything to do with that. with that said yes the bombing was horrible but guess what its too late its done there is nothing you can do about it. the japanese have made it a point lately to put more about the bombing in thier text books good but in the same move they remove all refrences to the slaughter they commited and that is shameful. on that note the US text books should view the bombing as a horrible act also so shame on us.
every one in the world right now seems to have the "US is the reason everything is wrong" virus. a smart canadian writer said once that as much as we hate the US look at the facts of there have been terrorist attacks all over the world many more than then in the US and most of the perpetrated by people who live there but look at the attacks on the US where were they from? the US is one of the few countries that nomatter where you are from citizenship is attainable and its hard to bomb your home.
Look almost all of the people of the US under the age of 50 belive quite strongly that dropping the bomb was horrible. So like i said dont blame the citizens of modern germany for hitler or the citizens of modern rome for the crucifiction because they didnt do it. Just like i didnt help build that bomb or the plane that dropped it. The "sins" of the father or mother or grandfather should not be paid with the blood of thier children.
And getting rid of all the nukes is impossible absolutely as long as there are those who wish to kill that will be thier ultimate weapon. but remember you wont shoot at someone who can shoot back. i know its cliche'd but MAD keeps the normal round of the mill crazies from destroying the world its the absolute crazies we got to watch.
now IRAQ yes GW used false info to perpetrate that war but guess what again its too late you cannont change the outcome of that either. so how bout every one help change the future of that country so children are safe? or is it too much to ask?
in closing as long as the blame game is played war is inevitable so instead of just going your a bad country do something. you can say what ever you want about the president i dont care its your perogitive. but dont for one minute try to blame every US citizen for all of this because that is bigotry.
i know it was long but sometimes everything in your head needs to comeout im a US citizen and you know what we may not be perfect but lets see is any other country helping in darfur?? no how about any of the 8 countries in africa in war?? no hummmm guess the pot shouldnt call the kettle black untill it looks in the mirror with the lights on. not saying that the people of any one of the countries dont care but what have you and your country done to help?? anyone?? food isnt the answer because its stolen and the pepole who need it never see it. so where is the outcry the countries racing to thier aid?? nope they are all too busy complaining about iraq and iran and south korea but guess what if you stare at a bonfire for too long you can go blind and not see anything else. or anyone else.
hey, whatever makes you feel better about what you were made to do. just bc people didnt go into duty doesnt mean that their different opinions are less than yours. maybe youre clouded by war trauma or the compulsive need to obey. maybe youre brainwashed. post traumatic disorder?
War: Old Men talk while everyone else dies. Politicians of all parties, the world over, mess most everything up they lay their hands on. It's as true today as it was 60 years ago.
You're right, I should've said 60,000,000 casualties spread over 5 years. However, I said 60,000 killed in one second because I didn't remember the exact figure. But here it is, only 66,000 were killed immediately by the blast, 69,000 were wounded. Casualties include both, so there were 66,000 dead and 69,000 wounded for a total of 135,000 casualties in that one second. I fail to see where my numbers are wrong.
"We are talking about a single second that killed about a million people accounting radiation deaths that came years after"
My problem is that you focused on it being one second. My point is simply that if somebody kills 5 people spread out over a few hours or kills 5 people all at once it doesn't matter. How many people lost their lives is what you should look at, and not how fast.
People, don't ever forget who started the war! The Japs did! For the millions of civilians all across Asia who have suffered, including my very own parents, I said the Japs got it easy. It only took seconds. Conversely, the Japs ravaged China, Korea, Singapore, Phillipines, etc. for more than 10 years. Ask every WWII veterans and they will tell you the Japs were orders of magnitude worse the Nazis in terms of degree of brutality.
For those of you feeling sorry for the Japs, go read a history book about WWII in Pacific. They deserved every bit of it and then some. The Japs are very good at playing victims.
You're a US citizen, does that mean you'll lie to cover for your nation? Are you reading to blindly follow anything they say or tell you to do and believe? Too bad freedom of speech we gained but freedom of thought we lost.
I am a US citizen.
WE FUCKED UP BEFORE.
I am sorry for the sins of my father but by your logic, we should get a truckload of asskicking soon, soldier bro. Deeply hope you don't get some DU disease. damn.
Yeah the japanese convinced the US to lauch a Black-Flag Op.
You are actually preching to us about reading history?? Wow
Quote nick teab: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden . versus 9/11. It pales.
Are you fucking kidding me? 9/11 had 3000 victims. your talking hundreds of thousands of victims, dying prolonged deaths, many who were not incinerated instantly suffered their last years with a social stigmata that we cannot relate to.
Fogonazos: Thank you much for sharing these pictures: Many of them are new to me and I fancy myself an expert of the nuclear events from aug 6th - 1955, but somehow many of these photos evaded me until now.
Fantastic presentation. There is a laundry list of complaints and arguments above this comment but it is not fair for any of us to say if it was right or wrong. Justification is not the issue here. The fact of the matter is that it happened. Now what do we do with this information? Learn from it. Make a difference. Total war (as mentioned in an earlier comment) will not happen on this planet likely ever again. The fact of the issue is that there are atomic weapons still out there, many unaccounted for, or lying in stockpiles around the world. Weapons thousands of times more powerful than those used at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Iran wants to manufacture weapons like these, N. Korea has. Despots and dictators and countries bent on wars of religion or against a specific "people" are attempting to create these weapons en masse. It is disgusting. If another weapon like this is ever released again then all of the lives lost and remembered from those two cities will be for naught. And that is a truely an atrocity.
What I meant is that you are using Nagaski's death count, which is 4 times less.
But I already told you numbers don't matter, any day of any war is horrible etc. but you still try to argue that I'm saying only that day was horrible.
And before you throw more number, what I mean by they don't matter is : you have no way of verifying those as they come from Allied sources.
You really think there wasn't any fudging at all on any day?? I focus on Hiroshima because its kinda easier to number the people dead when a whole city is gone.
La foto del ojo es MUY buena.
Just like Rome. just like all other big empires, it will come crashing down, faster than the blind can see!
Hybris. Learn that word, else salvation won't be on your side, and unfortunately many of us will pay with you, insolent sheep.
That's Hubris BTW :)
But you are right as far as what it means.
LOL no he meant the computer worm :P
That's what would have saved Rome
its easy to demonize anyone in hindsight but guess what is much harder. sill guessing well that explains alot and is why there will be more war. The answer is simple its too late it happened and nothing will change that but you you! have the power to make sure it doesnt happen again. What will you do? did you make your government destroy all of its nukes?? how about thier bombs? or thier armies? darn none of the above well guess what you just proved something as we all just did for all of our ranting and positioning we have failed ourselves and those whom follow us. We still hate we still war and we still kill. so unless you can wave some magic wand and place the nuclear genie back in the bottle what are you going to do? How will you change this future? What is your grand plan? Where is your your solution? (saying just love eachother is a cop out so dont do it) love is nice but by just posting one flame about the US is evil shows that that hate lives and breathes and is having lots of babies. Until foresight becomes 20/20 we are all doomed to fight over precived dangers and false claims. Look then leap and maybe you can land on your feet. (i know my butt hurts from all the times i landed right on it)
night all i hope that one day "the (insert country here) is evil" phrase is something used only when as one we rise and see.
For some reason we feel the need to carry the burdens our forefathers left us.They are the ones who messed up and should be held accountable. But also we should be held accountable because we have made no changes to move on to a sucessful future for all mankind
Re: Throughout history America has always overreacted, and has always engaged in war crimes and other human rights violations.
If it was not for the USA the French would be speaking German, The Kuwaitis would not have a country, South Korea would be communist, Japan would still be recovering from the war, and the world would lose the largest provider of economic relief to third world countries. That is the short list of Americas contributions.
I don’t think that covering other countries ass at our expense, just because it’s the right thing to do, is overreacting or a war crime or that providing more money than any other country on the planet to help others constitutes ‘human rights violations’.
As for Pearl Harbor versus Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Japan issued no warning. “President Truman wanted to issue a letter of warning giving an opportunity to surrender before using the atomic bomb. The letter warned the Japanese government that if they did not surrender completely, Japan would suffer "complete and utter destruction." The Japanese did not reply to the official letter, but the Americans knew the answer by reading the coded messages. Japan intended to fight to the death.” http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/history20/unit3/sec2_10.html
Theodore Roosevelt said “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
I would like to first dismiss the ideas of how close (or not close) the Japanese were to surrendering. There is way too much contradictory hearsay to determine this one way or another.
Also: the Russians did not have 1 million men ready to pounce. This is insanity. The Russians couldn't have found 1 million bushels of wheat, or 1 million scraps of cotton. The Russians could barely keep the western heartland away from the Germans, so you can be sure they didn't care about the empty east.
Someone mentioned that the second bomb was dropped due to the first not eliciting a surrender. This I have heard before and seems the most reliable notion.
A ground invasion would have cost possibly millions of lives.
Even putting aside the human cost of a ground invasion, the atomic bombs provided symbolic impact that firebombings simply did not (this desipite the fact that firebombings took far more lives, routinely).
Those saying "this is war" are on the right track. Obviously the Japanese are human beings and one shouldn't drop atomic bombs indiscriminately, but the fact remains that Japan was a force that had to be stopped (from not only a western point of view, but a humanist point of view). Americans were not mass raping, pillaging, and killing as they pleased. American actions were almost always directly in response, and conduct was remarkably on the level. Like it or not the human world consists of battling idealogies. and this is not likely to change.
There is a difference in demonizing and recognizing the scars our nation left in the past. Actually the former is a function of the latter. Every nation on earth has stains. Genocide and murder may be a mostly US export these days but every land had to be taken from someone, Europe or Ameria.
In every war, there is an unfair advantage to one side, because no country gleefully invade land that they know is better defended than they can take. The natives from america and africa were not a match for europeans, but you dont see them defending those genocides by saying crap like they started it or they would have killed us if they could have. Of course they would, WTF did you expect (although by seeing the lack of spine of some fellow americans here I'm willing to believe they'd just bend over for anyone coming to invade their land).
Bottom line, every nation murdered, but at least they arent making up excuses for it trying to believe it themselves.
Its ironic how these people argue on about the right and the wrong. Its these misunderstandings that plague us in the first place, that leads to this horrible acts of war. Sad to say, wars will never go away.
I don't know what to make of the human race. we are intelligent enough to create atomic weapons. unwise enough to use them.
If the current administration in the usa is DUMB enough to actually go to war with iran and think there will be no retaliation, they must be on some strange drugs. or just insane.
I highly recommend everyone watch "The Atomic Cafe" americans.. hah lets not blame one race, I am ashamed to be human.
"Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. -Bill Hicks"
I am not arguing that these guys are so different than me that they believe that because they are evil.
Just gladly ignorant for a better night's sleep.
Comming soon to your neighborhood, the new and improved Nuke!
with things going on right now. This is soon to be repeated.
Amen to that, and that is what is dangerous, that millions of people can go to sleep and believe there was a reason to vaporize a city.
And those people truly believed they were the good guys, like they thought the japanese didnt see themselves as working for the good guys?? Does anybody know a guy who really believes himself to be evil??
Honestly. humanity without ANY kind of conscience won't last five years.
If it's true that a picture paints a thousand words - then all the words for these must be variations of sorrow, horror, tragedy, and sadness.
I like how some people are justifying the dropping of the bomb by saying "look at what Japan did. " If Japan was evil or whatever you may call it then we shouldn't justify our actions in comparison to theirs. I cannot say the bombing was necessary or not but the fact remains that many people were killed, what ever the cause.
The bigger the lie, the harder they'll try to believe it.
Research Pearl Harbor then try to sound as high and mighty. And try http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6315/pearl.html if you are too lazy.
Oh right, that's not from Fox so you'll probably have to think for yourself and take both sides into account.
You wanted freedom? You think believing what you are told is being free??
Choosing what to believe is freedom, and there is no greater freedom than having the ability to admit your own mistakes.
In a million years I never thaught I'd see so many motherf****en idiots.
You learnt absolutely nothing out of history!
9/11 was an inside job, the Nukes were unneccessary, the Holocaust DID take place, the US DID march to Berlin you moron up there!
"it was apparent the Russian would beat us there" My god, you moron, in the time of WWII the US and the Soviets were ALLIES!! The cold War developed AFTER that!
Shit man, wtf do you learn in your american retard-schools?
Are Europeans the only human beings left with some unterstanding of history in the Western World?
You are ridiculous for knowing nothing and boasting around with total bullsh*t and lies, you make me sick
With everything being said, have you caught the underlying pattern. Do you see humanity has and unfixable cancer. Underline unfixable. Now face this word - Jesus. God we need help. thank God some are going to make it through. You bloggers - get your ****** together. Figure it out all the way. The fact is humanity is not going to make it. The world is not going to make it. The best hope is that you will get your head on straight. Forget about fame fortune power and pleasure. Serve others. Big earth end is close. Judgement is coming. Laugh if you wish.
Hey, who there hell cares about some old photos from last century. What about now? There is a Nuclear strike planned on Iran. Can anyone supply some evidence that Iran poses a threat to the west? The US is the only Government to use Nukes during war and will use them again. For those who are stuck in moral judgement for one side or the other, remember 'MIGHT IS RIGHT' and your thoughts or feeling amount to naught, even mine.
"It's only the beginning of what we americans deserve, because thats just FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND of the years and years of wars we have been waging."
The irony in this statement is that you have to power to give yourself what you think "we" deserve. So I take it that since you are posting in this blog, you haven't given yourself what you think you deserve as an American.
The other irony in this line of thinking is that the poster must believe that "we" as citizens should be doing more to control the "evil" actions of our government (which would justify why we "deserve" something to happen to us). If this is the case, the same could be said of all the Japanese citizens who died by the bombs as a result of not controlling the "evil" aggression of their government.
"Sins of the Father. " BS. The father is responsible for what the father did, no one else.
Ahh, the apologists. It's sickening when people try to gain some personal kudos for apologizing for some action done by other people many years ago that they had absolutely nothing to do with.
No apology from me would be of any value for the actions done by people years ago that I didn't know. Nor would the apology of any Japanese person today be of value to me for the actions of the generations before them. I judge any person TODAY according to THEIR actions, not the actions of those who preceeded them.
The most intelligent things said on this blog so far are that we should understand the nature of war, and to understand that there are those who will not simply behave themselves and play nice. War is often a necessary self-defense response to an attack.
"War is evil." The concept "war" is neither good nor evil without consideration for the specific context of the specific war.
Maybe if you cared about the photos. nah hopeless
Let's say your parents had seen the pictures, maybe they would have thaught you to care about genocide. Then you wouldnt have to even try to pretend Iran can even scratch you pussies just so you can do the dirty job blissfuly once again. Really Americans can't even take on a country without WMDs like Irak and Nam and now they're going after Iran because they might in 10 years do the same thing they did.
I'd be pissing my pants too thinking I might be getting a nuke in my sleep if I had such a guilty mind too :P
the comments in this thread are human war.
We have not paid the full price of our collective ignorance yet but i'm afraid it is ahead of us.
Just remember when it's time to pay up, no ammount of illusion and narrow-mindedness will save you then.
Yes, 'some old photos'. We have much bigger problems facing the world than stuff that happened before we were born. I dont wish harm or radiation poisoning on anyone, why some people lash out, i dont know .
But the fact remains a lot of you are living in the past. WHAT ABOUT NOW? DU weapons, mini nukes, come-on people, what about now? Does it take 62 years to learn a lesson.
I didn't mean to sound uncaring. I hate the idea of NUCLEAR WAR. But i can only act now, in my lifetime. What are we gonna DO about it? Thats the Question. thanks
"We have not paid the full price of our collective ignorance yet but i'm afraid it is ahead of us."
Speak for yourself regarding ignorance.
"Just remember when it's time to pay up, no ammount of illusion and narrow-mindedness will save you then."
Making a comment or threat vague does not make it wise. When it's time to "pay up", what will win will be superior firepower and/or numbers and/or strategy.
The properties and effects of atomic bombs
When a neutron strikes the nucleus of an atom of the isotopes uranium-235 or plutonium-239, it causes that nucleus to split into two fragments, each of which is a nucleus with about half the protons and neutrons of the original nucleus. In the process of splitting, a great amount of thermal energy, as well as gamma rays and two or more neutrons, is released. Under certain conditions, the escaping neutrons strike and thus fission more of the surrounding uranium nuclei, which then emit more neutrons that split still more nuclei. This series of rapidly multiplying fissions culminates in a chain reaction in which nearly all the fissionable material is consumed, in the process generating the explosion of what is known as an atomic bomb.
Many isotopes of uranium can undergo fission, but uranium-235, which is found naturally at a ratio of about one part per every 139 parts of the isotope uranium-238, undergoes fission more readily and emits more neutrons per fission than other such isotopes. Plutonium-239 has these same qualities. These are the primary fissionable materials used in atomic bombs. A small amount of uranium-235, say 0.45 kg (1 pound), cannot undergo a chain reaction and is thus termed a subcritical mass this is because, on average, the neutrons released by a fission are likely to leave the assembly without striking another nucleus and causing it to fission. If more uranium-235 is added to the assemblage, the chances that one of the released neutrons will cause another fission are increased, since the escaping neutrons must traverse more uranium nuclei and the chances are greater that one of them will bump into another nucleus and split it. At the point at which one of the neutrons produced by a fission will on average create another fission, critical mass has been achieved, and a chain reaction and thus an atomic explosion will result.
In practice, an assembly of fissionable material must be brought from a subcritical to a critical state extremely suddenly. One way this can be done is to bring two subcritical masses together, at which point their combined mass becomes a critical one. This can be practically achieved by using high explosives to shoot two subcritical slugs of fissionable material together in a hollow tube. A second method used is that of implosion, in which a core of fissionable material is suddenly compressed into a smaller size and thus a greater density because it is denser, the nuclei are more tightly packed and the chances of an emitted neutron’s striking a nucleus are increased. The core of an implosion-type atomic bomb consists of a sphere or a series of concentric shells of fissionable material surrounded by a jacket of high explosives, which, being simultaneously detonated, implode the fissionable material under enormous pressures into a denser mass that immediately achieves criticality. An important aid in achieving criticality is the use of a tamper this is a jacket of beryllium oxide or some other substance surrounding the fissionable material and reflecting some of the escaping neutrons back into the fissionable material, where they can thus cause more fissions. In addition, “ boosted fission” devices incorporate such fusionable materials as deuterium or tritium into the fission core. The fusionable material boosts the fission explosion by supplying a superabundance of neutrons.
Fission releases an enormous amount of energy relative to the material involved. When completely fissioned, 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of uranium-235 releases the energy equivalently produced by 17,000 tons, or 17 kilotons, of TNT. The detonation of an atomic bomb releases enormous amounts of thermal energy, or heat, achieving temperatures of several million degrees in the exploding bomb itself. This thermal energy creates a large fireball, the heat of which can ignite ground fires that can incinerate an entire small city. Convection currents created by the explosion suck dust and other ground materials up into the fireball, creating the characteristic mushroom-shaped cloud of an atomic explosion. The detonation also immediately produces a strong shock wave that propagates outward from the blast to distances of several miles, gradually losing its force along the way. Such a blast wave can destroy buildings for several miles from the location of the burst.
Large quantities of neutrons and gamma rays are also emitted this lethal radiation decreases rapidly over 1.5 to 3 km (1 to 2 miles) from the burst. Materials vaporized in the fireball condense to fine particles, and this radioactive debris, referred to as fallout, is carried by the winds in the troposphere or stratosphere. The radioactive contaminants include such long-lived radioisotopes as strontium-90 and plutonium-239 even limited exposure to the fallout in the first few weeks after the explosion may be lethal, and any exposure increases the risk of developing cancer.
Wondering Out Loud: Did cannonballs explode?
In movies showing battles from the Civil War and earlier conflicts, cannon-fired projectiles inevitably send up dirt and smoke and flailing stuntmen upon impact. It makes a nice visual and is probably easier to stage than an iron ball bouncing murderously through a division.
In reality, an array of both exploding and solid projectiles were used in the Civil War and for centuries before, but solid shot predominated until around the1850s.
The earliest cannons, developed in 1300s, fired nothing but solid objects — stone balls. The following century weapons makers did develop hollow iron balls filled with gunpowder and fitted with a fuse that had to be lit just before firing. But the difficulty in handling these primitive time bombs and in getting them to explode at the target made them both dangerous and unreliable. To minimize the danger of their blowing up in the cannon’s barrel, these lit-fuse balls were used mainly in quick-loading, wide-bore, stubby-barreled cannons called howitzers or with drop-and-fire “mortars,” which looked like the World War II-era weapon of the same name only much larger.
Over the centuries, weapons makers devised a great variety of solid-shot combinations and techniques. The one-two punch of stone and iron balls spelled doom for castle walls. At close range, cannons were often used like sawed-off shotguns to fire bunches of smaller balls, devastating to troops massed on level ground. At sea, ships often fired iron bars, chains and small balls to take down masts and rigging. Another trick was to heat a cannonball red hot in hopes of igniting a fire on deck or, better yet, landing one in the enemy ship’s magazine. Blasting a hole through the hull of the enemy ship by firing into the water normally didn’t work, however. The ball would skip off the surface.
Elongated solid projectiles called bolts were developed for use with rifled cannons, which had a spiral groove cut on the inside of the barrel to start the projectile spinning and improve accuracy. But round balls were the most common solid shot used in the Civil War, and those are what you see today welded into a pyramid shape and set next to a cannon in a town square.
Sources: Daniel A. Lindley and Keir Lieber, both Notre Dame assistant professors of government/political science Dennis Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College various reference works
One hundred years on, memory of the Battle of Messines has faded. Larger and perhaps more tragic battles, such as The Somme, Passchendale, and Verdun, loom larger in most discussions of the war. The landscape in southwestern Belgium that gave stage to the battle has also softened and healed, at least to the eye. The splintered forests have regrown, the once-flattened villages are restored. Large busses now crawl past the farmhouses and broad green fields, delivering tourists to war memorials and cemeteries. (See "The Hidden World of the Great War.")
There is little obvious evidence that the frontline once passed through this region. There is hardly a note of the tunneling efforts that allowed British sappers, working in secret and in darkness, to place tons of high explosive in deep chambers. And the ridge that once bristled with German fortifications is now a green ripple in otherwise flat, fertile country.
But just below the surface, evidence of this tremendous history is rich and, if you know where and how to look, plentiful.