The world has heard the news that Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been bombed.
It’s August 1945. Germany is out of World War II, having signed an Instrument of Surrender on May 8. However the war shows no signs of slowing. Japanese and Allied forces continue fighting fiercely for their countries.
So the Allied forces decided on drastic measures. A bomber was sent to drop a single ordinance on Hiroshima the likes of which the world had never seen before. Dubbed “Little Boy” this was the first atomic bomb that was used on human life. Three days later “Fat Boy” was delivered to Nagasaki.
This will be a series of articles as we approach the 67th anniversary of these bombings. The articles will cover the events leading up to the day the world found out that Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been bombed and the aftermath of the nuclear blast.
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. The United States entered the war after the Japanese made an attack on Pearl Harbors Naval base on December 7, 1941. The attack resulted in 2402 people being killed and 1247 wounded.
By today’s standards the technology available was rudimentary at best. Weather could cause radio blackouts leaving military leaders without the ability to contact troops until conditions cleared.
Bombers found their intended targets by sight; somebody had to actually see the area by looking down out of the plane. Heavy cloud cover made targets sometimes impossible to see. A technique known as carpet bombing was used where a large group of bombers would fly in and drop thousands of bombs towards the target. Hardly comparable to the” surgical strikes” we see today. Many planes and crew were lost during these raids.
Ground fighting was equally brutal. The searing desert heat took its toll on troops in some areas. Freezing temps were harsh on the soldiers at other times. Beaches were sometimes taken literally by storm. You simply sent a wave of men and supplies charging toward the enemy. In these attacks scores were wounded or killed.
War is never pleasant. The fact is, it’s a nasty business and people will die. The soldier’s, sailors, and airplane crews certainly did not want to be involved in a war half way around the world away from their families and in danger of dying.
Even though the war was hard and took its toll, young men and women stepped up to the challenges and fought for what they believed in. By the end of WWII an estimated 48,231,700 deaths both military and civilian had occurred in the conflict.
Part two of this series will go more in depth with the events leading up to the bombings that ended WWII. The following articles will cover the actual bombings and what happened after, as the aftermath was as more horrible for survivors than if they had died in the blasts.
After reading the series hopefully we will all decide that we never again want to hear that Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been bombed or any other cities.
Written by Kevin Reid