TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Hiroshima Marks 60th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack

Re: Hiroshima Marks 60th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack

Tony P. (
Mon, 8 Aug 2005 21:03:54 -0400

In article <>,

> Eric Talmadge wrote:

>> Outside the nearby A-Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings left standing
>> after the blast, peace activists held a "die-in" -- falling to the
>> ground to dramatize the toll from the United States bombing that
>> turned life to death for more than 140,000 and forever changed the
>> face of war.

> I was wondering why the firebombing of Tokyo -- that burned to death
> 100,000 people -- doesn't get the same attention as Hiroshima? Lots of
> German and Japanese cities were fire bombed and many thousands of
> civilians were killed by napalm and related incendiaries. Indeed,
> during the war US research labs continually sought better burning
> materials that would stick harder and burn hotter to Japanese
> buildings. Analysts worked to develop the most efficient ratio between
> explosives and fire -- how much explosives to use to properly blow
> something apart, and then fire to burn it all up; all in a way to
> maximize destruction. Nobody talks about this stuff.

In the case of Japan the incendiary bombs were VERY effective. They
literally used lots of wood and paper in Japanese homes.

> I point all this out because "the bomb" must be taken in context with
> the rest of the WW II, not in isolation. We also must look at the
> causes of WW II. That's a lot harder.

> It's easy to denounce war. It's something completely different to
> prevent. On Sept 11, many people worldwide cheered when the World
> Trade Center was destroyed and thousands of people were killed. That
> kind of cheering seems rather warlike to me.

> It's easy for someone to say in hindsight "I would not have dropped
> the bomb." But it's a lot harder to rethink decisions made by the
> Allied countries in the 1930s in response to Axis powers aggression.
> The Axis powers thought they had a legitimate right to do what they
> did. Germany felt it was unfairly screwed at the end of WW I and was
> only making things right. Japan felt it was unfairly shut out of
> world commerce by actions of western powers.

Both were correct in their reasons. Germany in particular was
economically hamstrung by the French when they signed the Treaty of
Versailles. People also neglect to mention the push by the arms
industry in Germany, Krup being a prime example.

In the case of Japan it was all about natural resources and
establishment of Empire. Manchuria allowed them to do both.

> At the time, it sure seemed that Chamberlain was doing the right thing
> making concessions to Germany and avoiding war at that moment. That's
> a decision people need to rethink carefully.

Chamberlain was an idiot. Perhaps that was a little bit harsh and
instead I should have said that his failure to reconcile promise
against breach was the main issue.

>> In central London, more than 200 anti-nuclear activists and others
>> gathered at Tavistock Square, where a cherry tree was planted in 1967
>> in memory of the victims of the Hiroshima bombing.

> Do they remember the victims of the London blitz? Do they remember
> the victims of the 'rape of Nanking'? The Bataan death march?

Indirectly we Rhode Islanders still commemorate the brutality of the
Japanese and the dropping of the atomic bomb to vanquishing the
Japanese. It used to be called and is still widely known as VJ or
Victory over Japan day but the state government prefers to drop the
"Japan" part in order to appease Toray Plastics.

My two grandfathers both served during WW II. My maternal grandfather
was in the South Pacific, while my paternal was in Europe routing out
Germans. You can be damned sure I'll remember the sacrifices they made.

> TELECOM Digest Editor's Note Note was responded to by Gene S. Berkowitz:

>>> Do the Atomic Scientists still keep setting that clock periodically
>>> on its journey to midnight? What is that clock setting now? PAT]

>> The clock is now set at 7 minutes to Midnight.

The clock was at 3 minutes to Midnight when Ronald Reagan was sworn as
President. I think ...

> It has been 60 years since nuclear weapons were used. They were used
> only once. However, conventional weapons and new weapons (like
> hijacked airplanes) have been used many times.

> The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" is an interesting magazine; it
> has a lot of good history and international political affairs
> articles.

> However, I don't agree with their general theme.

> As I understood it, the Bulletin was established by some scientists
> from the Manhattan Project who were opposed to using the bomb they
> created against Japan. They intended it for use against Germany, but
> they objected for use in Japan. In my opinion, those who objected at
> the time did not understand the situation as well as the political
> leaders who had to make the actual decision. The scientists had been
> busy in their laboratories and didn't realize the horrors and
> casualties Allied soldiers suffered in the war in the Pacific. The
> scientists knew firsthand how evil Germany was. But Japan's military
> government was just as bad and had to be completely removed from
> power. Their actions at the time as well as subsequent history shows
> clearly that military government was not about to step away despite a
> string of defeats.

What would the difference have been had the atomic bomb been used on
Germany instead of Japan. The Germans were pretty much on their way to
having their own atomic weapons but fortunately for us, the best minds
migrated westward to the United States. Germany even had the delivery
system that was the basis of our manned space program. That's right,
Von Braun got lifted from Germany to get our program off the ground.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A group of World War Two veterans in
> a counter-demonstration over the weekend at Arlington Cemetery carried
> banners which stated 'had there been no Pearl Harbor there would
> have been no Hiroshima.' PAT]

Good for them.

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