Shadows from Hiroshima
August 6, 1945 a new and devastating type of warfare entered the arena of man made destruction. From a single B-29 bomber came a single bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” that within a split second formed a miniature star in the midst of heavily populated city. A single kiloton bomb made of fissionable plutonium that vaporized the epic center of where it detonated.
A white flash brighter than the sun preceded a super-hot shock wave of disintegration unimaginable, and from the ashes of a city came the uncertain future of mankind forever changed by a war that was thought to have ended all wars. The Japanese had been on a tear since 1929 when they invaded Manchuria and the Chinese emperor whose court had been infiltrated by a Japanese diplomatic envoy who had been drugging Chinese officials with opium and orgies to distract them from important decisions, were laying waste to China!
A succession of defeat
After bombing Pearl Harbor and crippling the US Navy, a string of incredible defeats from Guam to the Philippines had rendered all European colonial partners and their inadequate navies and troop concentrations into brutally tortured prisoners of war! They wartime vessels sent to the bottom of the sea. Worst was the loss of Corregidor, Clark Air Base in Manila, and the British base there as well. More than 40 thousand men captured, wounded, or killed under murderous pounding from their Imperial Naval ships to their troops who were seemingly fearless in battle!
Enough is enough
After a bloody island hopping campaign under Admiral Chester Nimitz, by 1945 Allied casualties and horrific fighting on several Pacific Island groups, a swift end was determined by the leadership of the free world. Japan had shown its willingness to commit suicidal resistance to the liberating forces. With the successful testing of the Atomic Bomb at the Trinity site in New Mexico, it was time to bring a swift end to the most costly war in human history!
Damned if you do damned if you don’t
There was really no way to avoid the use of the new arsenal. If not America it would have been Germany or Russia and little restraint would have been allowed had the Axis Powers or Russia gained control of this awesome destructive weapon first. With an estimated million Allied casualties anticipated the push for a quick end overwhelmed any questions of humanitarian consideration for Japan. A terrible choice had to be made, and a demonstration to the world what would happen if global war were ever considered again!
Despite the revisionism and Monday morning quarterbacking that comes with historic decision making, the mercifully quick end to a long conflict was enacted. One cannot imagine the hatred for an aggressor who had cost so many lives that would have existed not to mention the heartache over loved ones who had been killed in action! This as civilians were also massacred.
The shadow people of Hiroshima are the silhouettes left behind when people going about their everyday business were suddenly struck down and incinerated by the most powerful weapon the world had ever known! Caught at the very split second that a force that fuels the core of the sun, only blackened shadows were left by the powerful atomic reaction that released the energy of one hundred thousand tons of dynamite in a single flash of light, heat wave, and fire. The mute silence of these images gives us only a terrible clue to what was unleashed
The question is now with a single missile that can carry 100 kilotons to any city on the face of the planet by either the US, Russia, and many other country, have we forgotten just how terrible the present could be should the past repeat itself?