Linda as the Japanese council was already

Linda
Liu

Mr.

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Haglund

English
2H

1/26/18

The Unspoken Truth of
the Hiroshima Bombing

Junko Morimoto was only
13 years old when the Hiroshima Bomb slaughtered her city. The girl, now an 86
year old lady tells her story of the day she would never forget. Junko began
her story during a Monday morning in Hiroshima, and Junko was supposed to be
attending school that day. However, due to a stomach ache she was kept home
that day by her parents. As it was then, and as it is now it is every kid’s nightmare
to go to school. Especially in 1945, when the main subject matters were focused
on learning war materials.

As Junko sat in her
bedroom enjoying her breakfast, she heard the deafening sound of an aircraft
flying by. She ignored it, as it was common for a plane to fly by in the middle
of a war. The whizzing sound of the aircraft fade out into the distance. As
they resumed to eating, a glaring light flashed through the windows and the
room brimmed with extreme heat. Before Junko could react she put her hands up
to shield herself from what was about to happen next.

The house collapsed on
her petite, 13 year old body.

Along with excruciating
pain and burns. This was what Junko remembers about that particular day of her
childhood. The day that the United States bombed Hiroshima, and although the
bombing of Hiroshima did result in an expedited end to World War II, it was avoidable.

Japan had been on the verge of surrendering, and because of the senseless
bombing, the city of Hiroshima was annihilated. In addition to, death and a
lifetime of health problems developed in the survivors.

Approaching August 6, 1945, President Truman had made the
decision to drop an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. However, the
dropping of the bomb was unjustified as the Japanese council was already
meeting at the time about surrender. At these sessions, they tried to decide on
how to bring the war to an end. For instance, one of the things discussed among
Japanese officials were trying to end the war on terms which would not conclude
the Japanese government. Over the course of the war, Japan had conquered a
considerable amount of land, and how to “Keep some of the territories they’d
conquered: like Korea, Vietnam, Burma, parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, a
large portion of eastern China, and numerous islands in the Pacific (Wilson),”
was an important part of the discussion among officials. The Japanese were not willing
to resign so effortlessly as the extra land had expanded their empire and made
them richer, a reason why Japan longed to discuss this before surrendering.

Another topic amidst the discussions was an approach to
avoid war crimes for high Japanese military leaders. As the criminal trials for
the German military leaders were already underway, the Japanese top government
officials feared they might face the same. If they were found to be convicted,
they would be stripped of their position and be put in jail or in some cases,
death was another punishment. The situation was dreadful in the summer of 1945,
“The leaders of Japan were not willing to consider giving up their traditions,
their beliefs, or their way of life (Wilson).” So, they were trying to form
plans to end the war. The first plan was diplomatic where Japan would be
signing a 5-year neutrality pact with the Soviets. Moreover, they wanted to do
this because the Soviets could negotiate a settlement for the war between the
United States/Allies and Japan. The terms of the settlement would not be too
favorable to the United States. It would also keep the United States influence
and power away from Asia. This way the power and influence of the Russian
government would not decrease. The second plan was militarily based; the
Japanese hoped to make the Imperial Army “Inflict high casualties on U.S.

forces when they invaded. If they succeeded, they felt, they might be able to
get the United States to offer better terms (Wilson).” However, both these
plans were deemed as long shots, but it showed Japan desired for an end to the
war, they just had to be in terms which they could have agree upon.

Days before the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima, the Soviet
Union had declared war against Japan. After repetitive attacks on the conquered
Japanese Manchuria, the size of the Japanese empire dwindled constantly. The
Japanese army was strong, however, “the Soviets surprised them with their
invasion of Manchuria, an assault so strong, of the 850 Japanese soldiers engaged
at Pingyanchen, 650 were killed or wounded within the first two days of
fighting (History.com).” The outcome was so horrific, that the Japanese
emperor, Hirohito, had no choice but to plead with his war council about
reconsidering surrender. Along with Hirohito, Japan’s wartime prime minister,
Kantaro Suzuki, had also urged his cabinet by saying this. “If we miss
(the chance) today, the Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, and
Sakhalin, but also Hokkaido. We must end the war while we can deal with the
United States (Lekic).” Hirohito and Suzuki are both leaders of Japan, and
even they knew that this war was far over. Japan knew that when the Soviets
attacked, they would invade all of their empires if they do not surrender soon.

Currently, there are still many people who are examining the
final events of World War II. One of these events was the Soviet Union’s
declaration of war on Japan. One of these people involved was an author named
Tsuyo Hasegawa. Tsuyo published the book called Racing Against the Enemy, and
it examined the conclusion of the war based on newly declassified documents
from the Soviet archives, as well as the United States and Japanese documents
from the war. He said, “The Soviet entry into the war played a greater role
than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope
that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow’s mediation (Foxnews.com).”
Which claimed that the war was already over before the bomb had to be dropped.

Because of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war, Japan was already anxious to
continue on, which eventually would have led to a surrender.

Before the bomb “Little Boy,” Hiroshima was once a highly
thriving city in Japan. There were hundreds of thousands of incredibly developed
infrastructures that were much ahead of its present time. In old photographs,
it always showed the city of Hiroshima to be active and full of energy. When
the bomb was detonated, it destroyed anything 5 square miles of the city. Enola
Gay was the name of the plane that contained and released the bomb. Its pilot,
Paul Tibbets described the city as “boiling up, mushrooming, terrible and
incredibly tall (Atomicheritage.org).” His navigator, Theodore Van Kirk also
commented “We had seen a clear city two minutes before, we could now no longer
see the city. We could see smoke and fires creeping up the sides of the
mountains (Atomicheritage.org).” If the view of the city was so horrific
from the sky, one can only imagine how atrocious it must be for a person on the
surface. When the dust and smoke cleared, Hiroshima was unrecognizable with
more than 70,000 of 76,000 buildings destroyed, and 48,000 of those were
entirely razed. “Survivors recalled the indescribable and incredible experience
of seeing that the city they used to love had ceased to exist
(Atomicheritage.org).”

Fortunately for Hiroshima, 99% of the leftover radiation
diminished in about 2 days. The reason for this short-term nuclear fallout was
because the bombs were detonated at an altitude to maximize the blast effect,
which made it possible for people to live there again in a short amount of
time. However, it took years for Japan to rebuild Hiroshima to the thriving
city it once was. According to the United States, “The cost of cleaning up the
radioactive pollution created by the nuclear weapons complex has been estimated
at the US $ 365 billion, almost as much as the cost of building a nuclear
weapon (hiroshima55.tripod.com).” The cleaning up of Hiroshima ended in March
of 1946. Nevertheless, it approximately took 5 years for most of the basic
infrastructure to be present again. This bomb had left one of Japan’s most
important city in debris.

The severity of the two atomic bombs killed more than
140,000 innocent children, women, and men on the initial blast, and it injured
anyone in proximity to it. One person accounted that their body was “Burning
all over. For their body the cold water of the river was as precious as
treasure (Hiroshima-remembered.com).” This was just one person of many others
who felt the formidable heat blasted through the whole city. Still, being
injured was considered lucky as many of the bodies in Hiroshima were so badly
burned, they were unrecognizable. This was one of the reasons why there was not
an exact body count, as bodies of victims were often found disguised as debris.

As the years passed the death toll risen as “Cancer and other long-term effects
took holds (Listwa).” The total death toll in 5 years after the initial blast
was higher than 200,000 people.

There were many people in Hiroshima who had survived the
bomb and were not affected at that moment. Although, now they will have an
increased chance of developing some sort of cancer in their lifetime. One form
of cancer, Leukemia, was “Found two to six years after the bombings, affecting
children most severely (Icanw.org).” Additionally, babies that were in their
mother’s womb while they were pregnant had a high chance of “developing
intellectual disabilities and impaired growth, as well as increased risk of
developing cancer (Icanw.org).” Cancer at first was not present after the
bombing. However, after a couple years there was an especially large “Increase
in leukemia which appeared about two years after the attacks and peaked
around four to six years later (Listwa).” Unfortunately, many more problems
arose after the dropping of the bombs. These problems could affect the coming
generations, and the future of Hiroshima survivors since their genetic
information could have been affected by the radiation. The problems will all be
on behalf of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima by the United States.

Usually, when learning in a history class, students are
taught what the American history books states. However, students should be
taught all sides of history, not just from the perspective of America. Like the
United State bombing of Hiroshima, students in this country are taught that the
bomb was absolutely necessary to end the war. Yet, that was not true. Not only
did the bomb result in the total elimination of the city, it killed hundreds of
thousands of people. The bomb mutilated so many, that we still do not know the
exact death count. Most importantly, the Japanese government was about to
surrender anyway, so the bombing of Hiroshima was definitely unreasonable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Wilson, Ward. “The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan … Stalin Did.”
Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 31

May 2016,
foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/.

“Soviets Declare War on Japan; Invade Manchuria.”
History.com, A&E Television Networks,

www.history.com/this-day-in-history/soviets-declare-war-on-japan-invade-manchuria.

“Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered.” Hiroshima and
Nagasaki Remembered: The Story of

Hiroshima, AJ SOFTWARE & MULTIMEDIA,

www.hiroshima-remembered.com/history/hiroshima/page14.html.

Lekic, Slobodan Associated Press. “Historians Rethink Key
Soviet Role in Japan Defeat.”           

Sandiegouniontribune.com,
The San Diego Union Tribune, 31 Aug. 2016, www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-historians-rethink-key-soviet-role-in-japan-defeat-2010aug14-story.html.

“Historians: Soviet Offensive, Key to Japan’s WWII
Surrender, Was Eclipsed by A-Bombs.”Fox

News, FOX News Network, 4 Aug. 2010,    

www.foxnews.com/world/2010/08/14/historians-soviet-offensive-key-japans-wwii-surrender-eclipsed-bombs.html.

How Long Did It Take to Clean up the Damage?,
hiroshima55.tripod.com/id9.html.

Listwa, Dan. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Long Term Health
Effects.” K=1 Project, Columbia

University, 9 Aug. 2012,
k1project.columbia.edu/news/hiroshima-and-nagasaki.

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings.” ICAN,

www.icanw.org/the-facts/catastrophic-harm/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-bombings/.

 

 

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