Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Surrender, August 6, 9, 15, 1945


From the pages of Pain and Purpose in the Pacific 

“At 2¦45 a.m., the morning of the 6th August 1945, the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay commanded by Colonel Paul Tibbets Jr. of the 509th Composite Group, lifted off the 8,5oo foot long Runway Able of Tinian’s North Field for destination Hiroshima, Japan. Six and one half hours later Tibbets and the crew found their destination. From 31,600feet, with tail wind allowing a ground speed of 328 m.p.h., they dropped “Little Boy.” The nuclear bomb, weighing 9,700 pounds, measuring 129 inches in length, with a diameter of 31.5 inches, contained 137.5 pounds of Uranium 235. “After falling to an altitude of 800 feet, nuclear fission began in one fifteen-hundredth of a micro-second. The firebomb that erupted was thousands of degrees hotter than the surface of the sun. It melted granite and vaporized people leaving only their shadows on the few remaining buildings left standing in the city after the blast.”

“One painstakingly calculated report says that single bomb left 122,338 dead, or missing, 30,524 severely injured, and 48,606 slightly injured. Many of the injured would die of the injuries.”

“On August 9th, a second bomb, code named “Fat Man”, which was a 10,000 pound plutonium device and carried by the B-29, Bocks Car and piloted by Major Charles Sweeney, and co-pilot Lieutenant Fred Olivi, had as its primary target the city of Kokura, but bad weather forced the pilot to the alternate target of Nagasaki. On August 14th  a total of 741 B-29s bombed Japan. On August 15th the Japanese government surrendered without conditions. The invasion of the Japanese main islands was avoided. The strategy had proved to be right. ”

“However, in making that crucial decision, maybe as many as 125,000 or more Japanese civilians at Hiroshima, and at least 70,000 more at Nagasaki would die. Thousands more would suffer terribly. Perhaps with the deaths of the critically wounded at Nagasaki, the total number of Japanese killed would be over 200,000. The horror of the atomic age was to be realized. But, the civilization and millions of Japanese that might have died would now survive. So would a lot of the American serviceman.”

“I’ve been told by Marines who were on Okinawa when the war ended, that when the Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guard, and Marines were told that the A-bomb was dropped, many didn’t know what that was. But when they were told the Japanese surrendered, that they understood. After the bombs were dropped, and the war ended, Marines on Okinawa fell to their knees in tears. For the first time, they could believe they would be able to live, and to go home. Many cried! While they had resolved that the attack on the Japanese mainland would end their lives, now they all of a sudden realized it was over. They could go home, they could raise a family! They would be allowed to live! Oh, Thank God!!”

An article written by C. Peter Chen as seen in an internet search of Japan’s surrender gives this information

“With the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by atomic weapons, the will of the Japanese leadership was tested. Then came the news that the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, with troops crossing into northeastern China an hour later. These three reasons led to Emperor Showa’s decision to break the deadlock at his council which debated fruitlessly whether or not to respond to the Allies’ call for unconditional surrender. The Emperor said at the Imperial conference:

“Continuation of the war does not promise successful conclusion no matter from what angle the situation is considered. Therefore I have decided, without suggestions from anyone, to order the conclusion of the war, as I cannot endure the thought of having to kill tens, evens hundreds of thousands of my subjects, and moreover to have to be called the disturber of world peace. Moreover, it is extremely difficult for me to have to turn over to the Allied authorities officers and men upon whom I have depended all this time as though they were part of my own body. But I have decided to endure what is unendurable and to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.”

As of this month of August 2016, 71 years have passed since the Japanese surrender on August 14th, 1945.   It was heard on Japanese radio that the Emperor was ready to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. That Declaration was signed in Potsdam Germany by the allies, and had to do with the terms of Japan’s surrender and the policy to follow the war (Keep in mind, Germany had surrendered on May 7th of the same year 1945). The Emperor ‘s message went on the radio officially with the announcement of surrender a day later on the 15th, and  the formal surrender on the battleship Missouri on September  the 2nd, 1945.

In the past 71 years the country of Japan has made friends with the United States and the allies of WWII.

From “Addendum 2015 – The Honor Flight – The 70th Anniversary of Iwo Jima – Okinawa – The End of the War, Peace and Hope” as written (by this author) in “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific”: “Toward an Alliance of Hope” – On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe Was invited to Address a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress.  During that meeting in which the Prime Minister highly complimented members of Congress and Ambassadors that have visited Japan, he also mentioned the   World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. The Prime Minister said:

“Before coming over here, I was at the World War II Memorial. It was a place of peace and calm that struck me as a sanctuary. The air was filled with the sound of water breaking in the fountains.

“In one corner stands the Freedom Wall. More than 4,000 gold stars shine on the wall. I gasped with surprise to hear that each star represents the lives of 100 fallen soldiers. I believe those gold stars are a proud symbol of the sacrifices in defending freedom. But in those gold stars, we also find the pain, sorrow, and love for family of young Americans who otherwise would have lived happy lives.

“Pearl Harbor, Bataan Corregidor, Coral Sea…. The battles engraved at the Memorial crossed my mind, and I reflected upon the lost dreams and lost futures of those young Americans. History is harsh. What is done cannot be undone. With deep repentance in my heart, I stood there in silent prayers for some time. My dear friends, on behalf of Japan and the Japanese people, I offer with profound respect my eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II.”

Then with gratitude the Prime Minister talks of another great tragedy in Japan’s history.

“And that day, March 11, 2011, a big quake, a tsunami, and a nuclear accident hit the northeastern part of Japan. The darkest night fell upon Japan. But it was then we saw the U.S. armed forces rushing to Japan to the rescue at a scale never seen or heard before. Lots and lots of people from all corners of the U.S. extended the hand of assistance to the children in the disaster areas.

“Yes, we’ve got a friend in you. Together with the victims you shed tears. You gave us something, something very, very precious. That was hope, hope for the future.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the finest asset the U.S. has to give to the world was hope, is hope, will be, and must always be hope. Distinguished representatives of the citizens of the United States, let us call the U.S.-Japan alliance, an alliance of hope.

“Let the two of us, America and Japan, join our hands together and do our best to make the world a better, a much better, place to live.

“The Alliance of hope…. Together, we can make a difference.”

“Thank you so much.”

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