On August the 6th 1945, America detonated the first atomic bomb used in war, over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the fireball and radiation.
The bomb was detonated 580m above the city (designed to cause maximum devestation), without warning, and targetted at a bridge very close to this building. The resulting blast and heat-wave destroyed everying in a mile radius except for a couple of stone-built buildings (most buildings were wooden, and either destroyed by the winds of the shockwave or fire from the intense heat).
67% of all Hiroshima’s buildings were destroyed.
This building has been left as a monument to what happened, and also as a monument to peace, and remains as it was from the blast to remind people.
Everyone should be made to visit the peace museum next door and learn what happened and its effects – it’s a greatly moving place with some shockingly harrowing stories. It’s easy to think of war in terms of good versus evil, but in the 2nd world war no country was saintly – certainly not Japan, and certainly not the west either – they all had agendas.
At the point the bomb was used Japan was on it’s knees – finacially broken and loosing the will to continue, it was all coming down to the nuances of an agreement for surrender. America had spent a small fortune developing the Atomic bomb, and there was a strong pressure internally that it shouldnt all have been in vain – that and they wanted to show the rest of the world (and particularly the russians) the power they now held – so with the agreement of Britain, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped off the map.
Once Japan surrendered the Americans and British took over the country, much reporting and footage of what had happened here was suppressed to the rest of the world – the American public were overjoyed at the success of the bombing, and the sight of the dead and wounded might counter against that.
The models in the museum demonstrating the destruction are awe-inspiring. The explosion caused a heat ray reaching 3,900 degrees centigrade at the explosion core, and greater than 600 mile an hour winds – people didn’t stand a chance. Those further out from the epicentre that weren’t vaporized had horrific burns, their skin literally melting off them, with many dying a couple of days later in extreme pain – 90% of hiroshimas doctors and nurses died in the blast. The resulting mushroom cloud soon turned into radioactive "black rain", sealing many others fate from radiation sickness and cancer.
Bear in mind that only 10% of the nuclear material in this bomb actually ended up being activated, and modern nuclear weapons are many many times more powerful than this.
Did this act make the world a safer place? it’s hard to know for sure, but seeing the after effects on the people of Hiroshima it’s hard to see how something like this could ever be justified – so much innocent life lost.
While this is a truely horific act it’s also inspiring to see the way the people of Hiroshima have overcome this – you wouldnt know something like this had ever happened to see the city now – awash with sky scrapers, a bustling metropolis. Rather than dwell on who was right and who was wrong, Hiroshima strives to let people learn from the experience and promote peace world wide, lest anyone suffer like this again. Case in point – successive Mayors of Hiroshima always send a formal letter of complaint to any country conducting a nuclear test, in the strongest terms asking them to desist and pleading them to learn from what happened here. Tests happen far more often than you’d realise – theres several walls in the museum with hundreds of copies of these letters – the last one was actually only a couple of months ago to America. The UK conducts tests too (tho elsewhere in the world) – we spotted a letter to Tony Blair too.
This crazy evil building was discovered at Flickr by user tricky (rick harrison) . Original date: 2012-04-09 09:58:05
Tagged: , Hiroshima , Atomic Bomb , A-Bomb , Bomb , Dome , Bomb Dome , A-Bomb Dome , Ruins , Japan , World War 2 , World War , 2nd , Harrowing , Hiroshima Prefecture , JP