Steve Campbell August 6, 2019
Hiroshima has a secret. While it was well known at the time of the city’s sudden rise to fame, it is all but lost in modern times.
Hiroshima is a grim lesson in the nature of war. The truth of that city has been suppressed from the history of the definitive conflict to salvage world freedom. A conflict that was fought by our progenitors – in your humble narrator’s case, only a single generation removed – who have been slandered by revisionists as war criminals.
Atomic vs. Conventional
First, the revisionists pretend that the war could have been won without the atomic bomb. That concept is proven to be a fallacy simply by the fact that the atomic bomb was indeed used and victory was not forthcoming. It took two bombs before surrender was attained.
It is certain that the war could have been continued with conventional weapons. There was already a campaign of firebombing military targets, which were mostly in 67 crowded cities (the Japanese freely intermingled military and civilian activity) ongoing before the atomic bombs became available. A single such raid on Tokyo was thought to have killed 100,000 and made 375,000 homeless. Civilian and military deaths and injuries had already exceeded that of the ultimate atomic casualties and further conventional warfare would undoubtedly have sent those numbers far higher had that continued. A ground invasion would have been next. It is left to the reader to imagine the toll on both Japanese and US personnel.
And suppose that it was discovered — after the carnage — that Harry Truman had been in command of a weapon that could have ended that extended conflict with only two single-bomber missions – and did not use it? Can we imagine the outrage of the population of the US when that little tidbit came to public light? Why, they would have had called for Truman’s execution!
Military vs. Civilian Targets
Second, there is a contention that Hiroshima, et al, were civilian targets. Truth is, Hiroshima was home to a munitions factory, an aircraft parts factory and one of the largest military bases in the Japanese Empire. Hiroshima was also a staging port for moving troops by sea. The garrison there was forty thousand and at any given time there were perhaps thousands more in transit to deployment. Nevertheless, civilians (including women and children) were mandated employees at the war factories.
From: August 6, 2005, The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Morning Edition:
“The population of Hiroshima at the time was about 310,000, plus 40,000 military and 20,000 daytime workers…The entire Second Japanese Army was destroyed to a man…”
“Sixteen hours ago, an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base”. – Quoting U.S. President Harry Truman – August 7, 1945
“About 150 eighth graders of Hiroshima Prefectural Daiichi Junior High School (present-day Prefectural Kokutaiji High School), who were contributing to the war effort by working in an aircraft parts manufacturing factory…”
“Kiyoko Yoshida was in fourth year at a girl’s high school when she was exposed to the A-bomb while working at a munitions factory.”
Nagasaki was similarly a military target as was Kokura, the secondary target in the first bombing and the primary — but cloud-covered — target in the second).
Also in the arsenal of the revisionists is the accusation that the Japanese people were not warned of their pending fate. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Shortly before the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, the United Stated showered the Japanese cities of Hiroshima, Kokura, Nagasaki and 33 other potential targets with over 5 million leaflets warning civilians of the impending attack.
In Japanese, the leaflet read:
“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately. “
An American-controlled radio station on Saipan was broadcasting a similar message to the Japanese people every 15 minutes. Five days after the fliers were distributed, Hiroshima was destroyed by the “Little Boy” atomic device. Following the first attack, the U.S. Army Air Forces dropped even more leaflets:
“America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet.
We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.
We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.
Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace-loving Japan.
You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.”
- The Japanese were not prepared to surrender – before or after the first atomic bomb.
- Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kokura, et al. were home to military targets of great strategic value. The sad fact is that the Japanese had placed military installations in cities and “drafted” women and children to work in war plants in those cities.
- The Japanese were warned repeatedly — clearly and simply in their own language — that the US had mighty weapons and intended to use them to end the war.
Hiroshima, garrison and war industry: http://www.ww2pacific.com/hiroshima.html
August 6, 2005, The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Morning Edition: http://www.asahi.com/hibakusha/english/shimen/happened/happened-01-2.html
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