How to kill 200,000 people in one go

Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base.
That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British "Grand Slam" which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare.

...Thus starts the statement issued by President Truman on August 6, 1945, announcing the US had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima earlier that day...

Much of the speech goes about the technical achievements, about putting down any Japanese 'machines of war' and 'they have started all of this'...

I always wondered how a president can announce something like this. I thought it'd be more like "Dear fellow Americans, today we have effectively killed 200,000 innocent civilians and maimed many more, in a war crime we will be proud of for many years to come."

Anyways, all sarcasm aside, I stumbled upon an excellent article called "The Documentary About Hiroshima and Nagasaki The U.S. Didn't Want Us to See". It features the video atop this post. A chillingly cold documentary of the bombs' impact on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. 22 minutes well spent to commemorate the 65th birthday of this shameful event. And to contemplate what this really was: Mass murder.

Most of the video concentrates on the material damage, and not so on the human suffering, the short and longer term effects of the radiation on humans and the environment both on the immediate surroundings and larger areas. At the time the documentary was made, it was probably too early to truely understand the impact of radioactivity.

One thing I found really... eh.. how should I say this... It really stroke me how, in a documentary made in the 40'ies, they called the spot where the atomic bomb fell "Ground Zero"... I am not too sure how to say this, but I am a true believer of good and bad karma: Spread good and better will come to you. Act evil and worse will be your return...


Anonymous,  08 August, 2010 16:42  

I was struck by the remarks about restoring parts of Hiroshima's electricity and phone networks within 24h, and through train service resuming after a very short time as well. These sound like untold stories worth telling.

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