It’ll be 75 years since in the US dropped the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki soon. Things that needed to be done right? To save lives…
This is one of the pictures you’ll see. Being generally skeptical of everything I lean towards not-genuine. Cursory googling and reading about Hiroshima Shadows, this feels like a reproduction to me. Apparently the ‘shadow’ of an elderly person at the steps of the Sumitomo bank in Hiroshima waiting for it to open.
This is the less photogenic ‘original’. They’re not really shadows. Just… objects that were in the way of the intense light that bleached everything around them, kinda like a negative stencil.
About 70,000 people died in the initial explosion. Vaporized, burned and asphyxiated as the firestorm sucked in all the oxygen from miles around. As death tolls go, not the highest in the war, the bombing of Tokyo with conventional munitions killed about 100,000 civilians in a single night as the city turned into an inferno. In the days and months after Hiroshima and Nagasaki the death toll doubled from the radiation and people succumbing to their wounds.
We divide ourselves into two camps. Those that argue that this was a necessary evil and that the fanatical loyalty to the emperor would have imposed an even bloodier toll on everyone… and those that argue that Japan was already on the brink of collapse (broken and starved) and would likely have surrendered soon anyway.
I don’t know what camp I fall into. I don’t think they needed to drop the bomb on a city to illustrate its destructive capability. But… in all likelihood, by this point, Japan was just a sideshow. There was a whole underlying power play going on with the Soviet Union where the ‘Western’ Allies were suddenly at odds with their ‘Eastern’ Allies and suddenly there was a concern that the USSR would just steamroll right through Europe and Asia. Japan was just a convenient target to demonstrate that the Soviets should likely just ‘chill’ and stay where they are.
Instead of an ongoing war we got a ‘cold’ war. What value do we place on that? What price is acceptable? Of course the cold war gave us nuclear proliferation and all those other good things like the world almost ending.
Given the choice I would likely have picked cold war over for-realsies forever war. Glad its not up to me though.