Hiroshima was on my Japan route for various reasons but I have to say primarily it was to see the Atomic Bomb dome and to visit the museum. After doing both National was history museums in Vietnam and Cambodia I was quite nervous I have to admit, but nowhere near nervous enough to not go. So one the train I got, and off to the museum I went.
- The first atomic bomb was dropped by a United States aircraft on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.
- US President Harry S Truman, who announced the news from the cruiser USS Augusta in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 times more powerful than the largest conventional bomb previously used.
- The Hiroshima bomb, known as "Little Boy", contained the equivalent of between 12 and 15,000 tons of TNT and devastated an area of 13 square kilometres (five square miles).
- The bomb was dropped at 0815 local time from an American B-29 Superfortress, known as Enola Gay.
- More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed.
- The bombings brought about an abrupt end to the war in Asia - but critics said Japan had already been on the brink of surrender. The two atomic bombs, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on 8 August 1945, finally left the Japanese no choice. Japan surrendered to the Allies on 14 August 1945.
What strikes me most is that we talk of the horror of 911, as an act of blatant terrorism, but I fail to see how this is remotely different. Sure the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbour - but that was a naval base. It was war time and as much as I cannot condone any of these actions, during war I would assume you have to expect your enemies to target your military installations. That seems like logical thinking to me.
What you don't expect however, is that 140,000 people will be killed, in an area that had no military association what so ever and then three days later, it happens again.