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Thousands visit Trinity on anniversary of A-bomb explosion

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Should be open to the public year round. How many missiles are they testing there these days anyways?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There it was, the ultimate tactical and strategic weapon in Allied hands, at a time the critical costs of a prolonged war were being discussed. A coded cable "Babies satisfactorily born" signaled that the world's first nuclear bomb had been successfully exploded on a New Mexico desert.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They don't test missles there.

A prolonged war was hardly being discussed. Truman knew that Japan would surrender uncondtionally when Russia entered the Pacific war, as scheduled, no ore than three months after the surrender of Germany. That mean't August 8th.

You can read it in Truman's own handwriting in his diary, so don't start clicking on bad becasue you don't like to hear the truth.

No one thought a full invasion of Japan would ever happen. At least no one in Washington. Every 5-star U.S. officer knew that they would only wait off shore for the surrender and that would happen no by September 1st and the very latest. Japan was starving.

Anyway, the race was on to test the bombs before Russia declared war on Japan to scare the crap out of Stalin.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

This story doesn't get nearly the attention and scrutiny it deserves. This was the site of the first actual A-bomb attack, America killing its own people, home to 19 American Indian pueblos, two Apache tribes and some chapters of the Navajo Nation.

In 1945, at that time, an estimated 19,000 people lived within a 50-mile radius.

On 16 March, 2011, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans in Japan to leave areas within "approximately 50 miles" (80 km) from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, but on July 16th, 1945, the US Government warned no one.

Farmers waking up at the crack of dawn reported seeing at 5:30 that morning a flash more brilliant than daylight followed by a green (or red or violet or blue, depending on who is recounting the story) glow in the sky. No one knew what had happened, no one knew how to protect themselves

It has taken nearly 70 years, but the National Cancer Institute is launching a study to determine how much radiation the residents of New Mexico were exposed to that fateful day, and what effect it could have on their lives. This is sad.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We also need to remember those who continued to work in the A-bomb factories in the USA in several states who were in charge of making the small plutonium pits that were to be used to test in the Pacific Ocean and in Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Some places mined the uranium throughout the western US, processed the plutonium and shipped it by train through residential areas to be made into the pits that were later shipped to other facilities for storage... some waste stored outside in rusting barrels! Some of the plutonium is actually missing or unaccounted for! Where'd it go? Many communities were developed because of these A-Bomb factories and dependent upon them for work and they led to further development of even more communities even closer to the factories that sometimes had documented but hush hushed fires or leaks. Some of these communities even got drinking water from reservoirs that got water from sources that flowed under these factories. Fascinating and frightening to know that so few knew what was happening so close to their communities, literally within a few miles! Kudos to those who research and care. Some luxury homes are being built in areas that were once off limits to people. Definitely should ask "what was this land say.... 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago? Why wasn't it developed?" before purchasing a home built on "pristine land!" A lot of people are buying homes only to find out after they move in that they are next to atomic weapons manufacturing land.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"A prolonged war was hardly being discussed."

This completely false assertion defies belief. I'd like a direct reference to Truman's supposed handwritten letter stating that "the Japanese will surrender unconditionally once the Russians enter the war." Because in my many years of study, I haven't found it yet! According to historian Richard B Frank: "The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion."

Funny how anti-atomic commentators here and elsewhere act like the decision was decided upon in a vacuum, without taking into consideration...well...one of the most ferocious and violently fought wars in history, still in progress all throughout Asia as the final atomic tests were being wrapped up. I wonder why...

A majority of the Allied casualties took place in the last year and a half, when Japanese soldiers fiercely resisted every advance with suicidal fervor. This fact is also regularly neglected in many people's "analysis." On the inhospitable Iwo Jima, not six months before the bombs dropped, only 216 Japanese soldiers surrendered: the rest died fighting and resisting without surrender. And at the battle of Okinawa, not two months before Hiroshima, the Japanese military showed they would sacrifice every civilian under their jurisdiction if necessary to defend their homeland: 40-150,000 civilians perished along with anywhere from 77-150,000 Japanese soldiers, all while under constant attack of Kamikaze suicide missions. Indeed, Allied intelligence had concluded by early 1945 that "...operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population," a claim completely upheld by the outcome of recent battles as well as Imperial Government preparations and wartime defensive policies.

This conclusion comes from historian Herbert Bix: "While Japan no longer had a realistic prospect of winning the war, Japan's leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the Allies to accept, which would lead to some sort of armistice rather than total defeat. The Japanese were secretly constructing an underground headquarters in Matsushiro, Nagano Prefecture, which could be used in the event of Allied invasion to shelter the Emperor and the Imperial General Staff...What's more, in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the planned invasion of Japan, nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals (awarded for combat casualties) were manufactured; the number exceeded that of all American military casualties of the 65 years following the end of World War II, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock."

To ignore such horrific battle scenes and starkly determined defensive plans on the part of the Japanese government which the Allies faced as they prepared for invading the Home Islands, and claim that "they shouldn't have used the bomb because the Japanese were finished with fighting" is nonsense. They were ready to fight to the death against a final, planned Allied invasion. Regardless what one feels about whether the use of the bombs were "right" or "wrong," such historically factual information listed above (and much more besides) must be taken into consideration whenever one discusses the use of the atomic bombs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Truman knew that Japan would surrender uncondtionally when Russia entered the Pacific war,"

Nope. The diary entry July 18 said "before" the Russians entered, not "when." He was assuming a scenario under which Japan had already been bombed, and thus a surrender would be a reaction to the bombing, not the Soviet move, which would not have been made at that point.

July 18: "Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/truman-diary/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nuclear bomb test with US soldiers on the ground to see the effects it'd have on men in combat right after dropping one:

http://videosift.com/video/Nuclear-Bomb-tested-with-US-soldiers-on-ground

People in surrounding areas were exposed to radiation by breathing contaminated air, eating contaminated foods, and drinking affected water and milk. There were also ranches located within 15 miles of ground zero, and commercial crops were grown nearby.

How arrogant the leaders behind this must have been. They built the bomb out of fear what the Germans might be developing and they tested the weapon of all weapons, without even knowing its potential, its impact on their own people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Okinawa operation... Achieved its objective, which was more important than the aforementioned figures of war results. This strenuous fighting provided us with valuable time to complete the general preparations for the homeland decisive operation and to delay the enemy's attack... Moreover, the brave resistance of soldiers and civilains struck the enemy with horror and made him more cautious about attacking the homeland."

Hattori Takushiro - Chief of IJA General Staff Operations

That homeland decisive operation was, as Salvor Hardin states, Operation Ketsugo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Darnname, Salvor, Harvey, et alia,

From the comfort and safety of your home, some 70 years removed from the actual realities and horrors of the Pacific War, indulging in the the vilification and condemnation of the people who ultimately made the decision to use the Bomb is a vastly underappreciated luxury.

Hindsight is almost always 20/20, and no less so in this case. However, the truth is your assumed clarity of vision is no more or less prescient or illuminating than anyone else's now or then, and your efforts to level moral judgement against men and women who lived in a time of peril scarcely imaginable by contemporaries today lacks perspective and humility.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“It brought a quick end to World War II

Few people can see through their own country's propaganda. Yet, they see that of other countries quite clearly.

"The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion.

Yet when faced with armageddon, they capitulated.

That makes absolutely no sense at all.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Yet when faced with armageddon, they (army and navy) capitulated."

The emperor had to intervene on the supreme war council to push for surrender when the military officers were deadlocked. Many senior people in the military did refuse to capitulate. There was an attempted coup by military officers while many of their comrades chose suicide. Witnesses around the palace recall the repeated sound of gunshots by senior officers choosing not to "capitulate."

"Few people can see through their own country's propaganda..."

My main source of "propaganda" is the surrender speech by the Japanese emperor himself, saying the bomb was the prime reason for his decision to quickly end the war:

"Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."

I'd call that a pretty good source. Far more compelling that the theories of any armchair politically correct revisionist 60 years after the fact, that's for sure.

I recommend you also read it: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/hirohito.htm

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jefflee, your proof of the main reason is a cherry picked quote that begins with the word "moreover"? You should refer back to the first paragraph that points out that Japan was losing and the entire world was against Japan. The word "moreover" only provides an adjunct. In other words, it was not even the emperor's main reason. It took two bombs and still several days of discussion before the emperor announced surrender. I think its obvious that the threat of total destruction was not the defining item, and thus, the role of the bombs is greatly over-stated in American history propaganda.

Surrender could have been had much much sooner if only the allies had offered surrender with one condition: preservation of the emperor. That was the real sticking point. Even after the bombs, that is still what the Japanese were chiefly concerned with.

Its not that the bombs ended the war quickly. The Soviet entry into the war had as much or more effect as the bombs. What really happened is that the demand for unconditional surrender prolonged the war unnecessarily. Then the emperor was preserved anyway.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

And this from Wiki:

He traveled to Washington on August 17 to hand-deliver a letter to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson expressing his revulsion and his wish to see nuclear weapons banned. In October 1945 Oppenheimer was granted an interview with President Harry S Truman. The meeting, however, went badly, after Oppenheimer remarked he felt he had "blood on my hands." The remark infuriated Truman and put an end to the meeting. Truman later told his Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson "I don't want to see that son-of-a-bitch in this office ever again."

Obviously he hadn't forseen the destruction his devices would cause... despite the fact that he knew they were going to be used against people. Innocent people, but then in war we civilians are only in the way. Our lives don't matter as long as the targets are destroyed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a reality for a great many US citizens that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki only sparked the onset of the realities of living with nuclear weapons for another 50 years during the Cold War, in the process of working with the production or storage or the release of other chemicals necessary in the production process, or in the case of having family members in the factories, the military and even nearby neighborhoods live with long drawn out cases of Cancer and the compensation that has only come to some far too late, some not alive to receive it, others working after the arbitrary cut off date given. But, more and more, the people involved with this part of US history are gaining recognition. Part of that is seen at the Trinity memorial focused on in the article. May they and others who deserve it benefit from the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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