Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Jay, good one - I did not know that.
Subject: Hiroshima and Nagasaki - from a Russian perspective
I read the beginning of this story a couple of days ago and was pondering whether to put in my
few cents then but as I was quite tired after a hectic day in the largest European City (Moscow)
I just let it go and more or less dropped it until I read the comments today on your site.
What I was going to say the other day was that I have a rather privileged take on this as my mother
was a medical officer in the Navy during WW2 and spent the last couple of years at the field hospital
in San Fransisco where they dealt with all of the horrible injuries coming in from the Pacific theater in that war.
As she was and still is (at 98 now) a very outgoing and sociable woman she fraternized with and talked
a lot with the wounded officers and enlisted men coming back wounded from the war in the Pacific.
As you can imagine it was not pretty and injured men with a lot of time on their hands shared a lot
with the medical personnel responsible for their welfare.
After the atomic bombs were dropped all of the people with intimate knowledge of what was going on
up close and personal to the Japanese mainland were aghast at what had been done. They all shared
that the bombing of the B 29`s had Japan on her knees and that it was a matter of weeks not months
before Japan would have surrendered.
I have lived for more than 10 years in the former Soviet Union now and now am based in Moscow.
Before that I lived for more than 10 years in France, where I went to University, one year in Brazil,
7 years in India (British Empire in WW2) and more than 10 years in Germany. As I have always been
very interested in WW2, I had the misfortune to have lost 7 uncles in that war, (my Russian wife's
family lost more than 75% of all of their male relatives, part of the now officially recognized losses of
between 25 and 30 million human lives compared to our losses of about 420,000 human lives)
I have used my sojourn in each of those countries to research libraries and documents in each of
those countries. Once in France together with a Japanese Communist I tracked down and found out
a former high Nazi who was involved in the German steel industry after having hid out in the Caribbean
for more than 25 years after the war (that was fun) ....
Was his name last name Ratzinger?
I say this to try to bring us back to the world as it was in the summer of 1945. The Soviet Union,
with a little help from the other allies had just finished knocking off Hitler and his cohorts and was
actively bearing down on Japan from their side. We, after bitterly fighting the Japanese were making
steady headway towards convincing the Japanese to surrender.
If you think, and you are correct in thinking so, that the Japanese woke up a sleeping giant in the US,
then you must also concede that Hitler woke up and even greater sleeping giant when he crossed the
border from Poland and attacked the Soviet Union.
What I want to say wit this is that the Soviet Union had no qualms about the number of deaths incurred for
the successful outcome of an operation, be that even the occupation of Japan. That they were getting close
can be seen even today in that there is no formal treaty of peace between Japan and the Russian Federation
ending WW2 (Russia assumed the international legal treaties of the Soviet Union) because of the occupation
of the Kiril Islands at the end of WW2. This is even today a very sour note in Japanese - Russian relations.
The United States recognized the industrial and military capabilities of the Soviet Union in the summer
of 1945 and as such wanted to curtail their expansionism. The US knew that even if the war in the Pacific
lasted even a few months more that the Soviet military might, now having been freed up in Europe,
would begin occupying Japan proper, and this they didn't want.
So, in order to stop this Soviet advance and even more than that, to show the Soviets that the US possessed
a weapon more destructive than anything ever seen on the face of the earth, they decided to drop these bombs.
This Bart, and not the made up story of the impending deaths of up to one million US soldiers,
was the real reason to use these weapons.
The story of the Japanese will to defend the homeland and of the large number of US casualties which
would be incurred to get Japan to surrender is just a myth concocted by the Donald Rumsfelds, Dick Cheneys
and George Bushes of the that time to justify the in situation on real cities testing of those weapons.
I don't think it's fair to lump WWII heroes in with those dirty-legged oil thieves.
There was not that danger just as there were no WMD's in Iraq. The real reason was that the powers
that be in the US did not want the Soviets occupying Japan and they wanted to show off their new toy
to the Soviets (and notify them of the power the US possessed) and anyone else who might be watching.
A lot this helped because not too many years later the Soviets exploded the largest atomic bomb ever tested,
and that at only 50% of it's potential, as well as effectively winning the space race and rocket technology race.
So, the question still begs to be asked. Was it worth it to drop these bombs?
My mother, many men who were in the Pacific theater and the glaring facts of real history say that it was not.
It was but a crude political statement of it's day.
Bart, whatever side of this issue you finally come down on is your own business.
I simply had to say what I believe to be the truth about this.
Real friends can agree to disagree, can sometimes have get down, drag it out fights
about issues that they believe in ....
But at the end of the day I would never not read your site or support your way and the hammer
that you wield ... for that, my friend, at the end of the day, is the most important, that that hammer
keeps finding the target of right wing intransigence and stupidity and hammers them down so that
the many voices of reason can be heard once again.
Keep it up,
Pashu, I appreciate your taking the time to send that.