04 August 2021 19: 00

 In a few days, August 6, 2021, marks the 76th anniversary of the worst and most destructive war crime of World War II. Then, for the first time, the United States launched an atomic strike on the territory of another state, dropping a bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. At one point, the explosion claimed the lives of up to 80 thousand people and doomed up to 120 thousand Japanese citizens to a slow death from radiation sickness. In three days ‚ time, the United States will repeat its nuclear bombardment of Nagasaki — with the same horrific effect.

After 76 years, Americans still believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the right decision in a war. The fact that as a result of this tragedy, a huge number of Japanese civilians died, who were used as guinea pigs, the United States prefers not to say. And Washington is in no hurry to apologize for its actions.

The head of the military-political Telegram channel Astra Militarum discusses how the atomic era began through a crime against humanity, why the United States has refused to repent for the nuclear bombings for all 76 years, and why Tokyo stopped waiting for apologies from the United States for Hiroshima and Nagasaki — Commissioner Yarrick.

Readiness number one

By May 1945, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, Japan remained one of the few Axis powers that remained determined to fight the war to the bitter end.

At the same time, by the end of the war, the forces of Emperor Hirohito were in an ambivalent position: at sea, the state had already lost a significant part of the previously captured territories in the Pacific Ocean — in particular, the Mariana Islands, Indonesia and the exits to Indochina.

The Japanese navy also suffered heavy losses — as a result of a suicidal naval attack near Okinawa, the battleship Yamato, the largest warship in history, was destroyed. At the same time, the Japanese Kwantung Army occupied almost all of Southern China and was fully operational by May-June 1945.

„Raising the US flag on Okinawa, Japan, 22 Jun 1945“ (US Army)#WWII #OnThisDay #WeRememberThempic.twitter.com/SVWZUDu5q2

— WWII Memorial Friends (@WWIIMemorial) June 22, 2021

According to US estimates, by the summer of 1945, Tokyo had about 5 million soldiers at its disposal. And despite the difficulties at sea, the military was not going to give up.

The Allies assumed that after the end of the European campaign, an active phase of the struggle against Japan would begin, up to the occupation of the islands. As a result of the Yalta Conference held in February 1945, the USSR pledged to transfer troops from Europe to the Far East within three months and launch a large-scale offensive in Manchuria against the Kwantung Army. At the same time, the United States planned to land on the Japanese Islands — and from April to June, they fought a protracted battle for Okinawa.

According to the plan of the Allies, this land area was to serve as a springboard for the planned invasion of the main islands of the Japanese archipelago — Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.

However, heavy fighting, the prolonged assault on the medium-sized island (1207 square kilometers, for comparison-the central island of Japan Honshu occupies an area 188 times larger) and the subsequent largest US losses (12 thousand people killed and more than 38 thousand wounded) led to the fact that Washington began to look for a way to withdraw Tokyo from the war without landing on the archipelago.

Hello, weapons!

The fact that the United States was developing a new, deadly type of weapon, the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition by 1945 knew for a long time.

Great Britain received information about the US readiness to use nuclear weapons literally first-hand — during a meeting between Franklin Delano Roosevelt andWinston Churchill in London in September 1944. There was also a verbal agreement that the first bombs would be dropped on Japan in order to inflict maximum damage to the imperial forces and get Tokyo out of the war.

Lessons from Hiroshima: why the US does not admit its guilt for the atomic bombing of Japan

The Soviet Union, in turn, knew about the development of the Manhattan project thanks to the actions of foreign intelligence: agents were introduced into the scientific and design centers of America where nuclear weapons were created. According to the memoirs of the head of the 4th Department of the NKVD of the USSRAccording to Pavel Sudoplatov, the description of the atomic bomb device was received in Moscow 12 days after its assembly was completed.

When planning an attack, the United States was extremely selective in its choice of targets. It was assumed that the bombardment should not be subjected exclusively to a military object-due to the small area and unknown accuracy of hitting new weapons. It was assumed that the strike would be delivered on a major military-industrial center-which inevitably meant mass civilian casualties. In addition, the United States hoped for a powerful psychological effect when using atomic weapons-the bombing was supposed to paralyze the will of Japanese society. However, the goal had to be sufficiently weighty.

As a result, during the meetings of May 10-11, 1945, the following objects were selected as objects for the use of atomic weapons::

  • Kyoto is the largest industrial center;
  • Hiroshima is the center of army depots, a military port, and the general headquarters of southern Japan;
  • Yokohama-center of the military industry;
  • Kokura-Military Arsenal;
  • Niigata is a military port and a center of mechanical engineering.

On July 26, the governments of the United States, Great Britain and China signed an ultimatum to Japan, which set out the demand for unconditional surrender.

As it became known later, on the same day, the American cruiser Indianapolis delivered the atomic bomb „Kid“ (Little Boy) to the US base on the island of Tinian, and the port and industrial center of Nagasaki were included in the list of targets for destruction.

After the Allies ‚ ultimatum was rejected in Tokyo, the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of StaffGeorge Marshall signed a bill previously approved by the US PresidentHarry Truman’s order for the use of nuclear weapons in combat-as the wording went, “ any day after August 3, as soon as weather conditions allow.“

Point of no Return

On the night of August 6, an American B-29 Enola Gay bomber led by the commander of the 509th Mixed Aviation Regiment, ColonelPaul Tibbets, carrying the atomic bomb „Kid“, took off from Tinian Island and headed towards Hiroshima. The choice of this target was due to the fact that high clouds were observed over Nagasaki and Kokura that day.

At the time of the US attack, Hiroshima, one of the largest cities on Honshu Island, was the headquarters of the Second Army Group, which defended the entire south of Japan, as well as the headquarters of the 59th Army and two other divisions. Nevertheless, in addition to the forty thousand soldiers in the city, there were, according to Japanese historians, up to 350 thousand inhabitants. However, the American command did not stop this.

At 8: 15 a.m. local time, while at an altitude of over nine kilometers above the center of Hiroshima, the B-29 dropped an atomic bomb. The “ Kid “ flew over the city for about 45 seconds, after which it exploded at an altitude of about 576 meters above the ground. According to general estimates, the power of the explosion was up to 18 kilotons.

This led to the complete destruction of the city and the death of up to 90% of people who were at a distance of 800 meters or less from the epicenter of the explosion. The light radiation released by the detonation of the projectile in the first seconds turned the nearest people into coal and left silhouettes of human bodies on the walls.

According to reports, the temperature at the epicenter of the explosion reached 4,000 degrees Celsius — twice the melting point of steel. The explosion wave that followed the light at a speed of 300 m/s spread over a distance of up to 19 km, destroying everything in its path. At the same time, the fires that broke out in the city combined into a fire tornado that occupied more than 11 square kilometers of Hiroshima.

According to official estimates of the Japanese side, up to 80 thousand people died from the direct impact of the explosion in the city on August 6, 1945. However, another insidious blow of atomic weapons was revealed only after-a few weeks later, the survivors began to die in agony from acute radiation sickness. As a result, at least 120 thousand Japanese people have died since Hiroshima from the consequences of an atomic explosion.

 

Even after 76 years in Japan, there are still people who suffer the delayed effects of the atomic bombing — the so-called „hibakusha“: these modern „untouchables“ face serious challenges throughout their lives, despite the help of the government.

Second strike

Still reeling from the shock of the destruction of Hiroshima, Japan experiences another atomic bombing in Nagasaki three days later. It was a major port city and the former Japanese „window to Europe“: while the state was closed to Westerners, the only harbor that received „Gaijin“ (foreigners) was located there.

The second explosion was associated with a lot of technical difficulties and problems. Initially, the bombing was scheduled for August 11, but was postponed two days earlier. Initially, it was assumed that the target of the strike will be the city of Kokura. However, on approach, the B-29 Bockscar aircraft carrying the Fat Man atomic bomb found high clouds over the city — and turned around to Nagasaki.

Lessons from Hiroshima: why the US does not admit its guilt for the atomic bombing of Japan

The explosion occurred at 11: 02 a.m. local time over Mitsubishi’s steel and gun industries. Despite the fact that the bombardment of Nagasaki was carried out with a more powerful bomb (20 kilotons), the damage from it was somewhat less — part of the residential areas of the city was untouched. This is due to the fact that the epicenter of the explosion occurred in an industrial zone; in addition, the location of the city in a hilly area reduced the destructive effect.

Despite all the above factors, the Nagasaki explosion affected an area of approximately 110 square kilometers. The death toll by the end of 1945 was from 60 to 80 thousand people — years later, another 140 thousand survivors will die from radiation sickness.

 

Guys don’t look at the explosion

76 years have passed, and the history of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has already entered even school textbooks as the final chord of the most terrible war in the history of mankind. However, the perpetrators of this tragedy refuse to admit their guilt for the war crime of the Second World War. Despite constant demands for Russia and other countries to repent for the crimes of the past, the United States has not yet asked Japan for forgiveness for the unfolding catastrophe, the consequences of which remain to this day.

Over the past six years, journalists and public figures have repeatedly asked the US government, the State Department and the White House when Washington will admit its guilt in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and make a formal apology to Tokyo. Time after time, the United States has made it clear that there will be no apologies.

According to the United States, the atomic bombings cannot be classified as crimes against humanity, as they were „an act of war by the United States against Imperial Japan.“ In addition, Washington believes that the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved the US military from a protracted campaign to invade the Land of the Rising Sun. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the possible losses of the United States in the planned landings on the islands in 1945 were estimated at 1.6 million people.

Here you need to remember that the United States for all the time of fighting in the Pacific Theater of Operations lost 106 thousand soldiers killed in action and missing in action. And the total number of victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — together with those who died from the consequences of the explosion years later — is more than 450 thousand people. It turns out that“ to end the war, “ the United States condemned four times as many people to death as they lost.

Nevertheless, the position of „ending the war quickly“ stems from the official US position on the issue, which is repeated by every president and Secretary of State. In short, it reads: „Hiroshima is a tragedy, but not a crime.“

In 2016, on the background of the first visit of an American leader to Hiroshima, the US PresidentPresident Barack Obama says he won’t apologize to Tokyo for dropping nuclear bombs. For him, the Japanese tragedy is only part of the story that experts should deal with.

„In the midst of war, leaders make all sorts of decisions, and it’s the job of historians to ask questions and research them. But I, as a person who has held this position for the last seven and a half years, know that every leader makes very difficult decisions, especially during a war, “ the head of the United States said at the time.A key foreign policy adviser to the president in the White House office also spoke about the same thing against the background of Obama’s visit to HiroshimaBen Rhodes:

„The purpose of the visit is not to apologize.“

A wave of criticism hit Obama after he began his speech in Hiroshima with the words “ Seventy-one years ago, on a clear, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world changed.“ In response, the association of atomic bomb survivors said that „death does not fall from the sky itself“ and noted that the US leader not only did not apologize for the atomic bombings — but also did not mention that it was his country that committed this inhumane act.

Shigeaki Mori survived the 1945 atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Today, he met President Obama https://t.co/7B7q9wG2Po pic.twitter.com/fzwR4BJ1Qc

— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 27, 2016

Neither did the US Secretary of State intend to apologize for HiroshimaJohn Kerry. During his visit to Japan in 2016, the State Department stressed that the action of laying flowers by the head of the Foreign Ministry at the memorial to the victims of the bombing is only „an expression of grief.“

„If you’re wondering if the Secretary of State came to Hiroshima to apologize, the answer is no. If you are asking whether the Secretary of State and I believe that all Americans and Japanese are filled with grief over the tragedies that have befallen so many of our fellow citizens, then the answer is yes,“ the representative of the US administration said.

Secretary of State John Kerry in Hiroshima for G-7 talks, memorial ceremony https://t.co/tk3oaWCAmW via USA Today pic.twitter.com/BUL1TJ6E9J

— THRILLD (@thrilld_com) April 10, 2016

The course towards Hiroshima and Nagasaki has not changed under the next head of the White House eitherDonald Trump. On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings, the US president said that it was thanks to the Hiroshima bombings that World War II ended and an „unprecedented era of global stability“began.

But the grandson of President Harry Truman expressed the US position on the issue best of all presidents and politicians — Daniel Clifton Truman, currently an active advocate of nuclear disarmament.

„The bombs ended the war. They saved hundreds or thousands of lives on both sides, and that’s what my grandfather said was the reason for his decision. To end the war and save the lives of American soldiers who would probably have died in the invasion of the islands … my grandfather believed for the rest of his life that the decision to drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the right one. The United States will never apologize for this, “ the American said.

Tokyo’s Silence

The most surprising thing in the series of silences and equivocation regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki seems to be the extremely diplomatic and quiet behavior of Japan itself. In a country with a thousand-year military history and its own concept of military honor, at official levels-just like Obama five years ago-they do not talk about who exactly dropped the bombs in 1945.

 

It got to the point that in 2007, Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma said that he „does not hold a grudge against the United States“, since the bombing, in his opinion, „was inevitable.“ And in 2016, on the eve of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, the Asian country’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that the Japanese do not expect the American leader to apologize for the events of 70 years ago.

„The victims of the atomic bombing want the tragedy to never happen again. This isn’t about apologies. The US President’s trip to Hiroshima will provide an important opportunity to launch an international campaign for a world without nuclear weapons, “ the Japanese Foreign Minister said.

Kishida was obviously lying when he talked about the desires of ordinary Japanese people. According to a survey conducted in the country by Populus, the majority of citizens polled — 61% – believe that the United States should apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And 74% of respondents believe that these tragedies cannot be justified by war, as they killed a large number of civilians.

The reason for the position of the top officials of Japan lies in the real results of the Second World War. The capitulation of the state led to the occupation of the islands by American troops, the country actually lost its army and was completely demilitarized.

At the moment, the United States retains a protectorate over Japan: at least 100 American military bases and temporary bases are located on the islands. Even after 76 years, the Land of the Rising Sun remains a semi-occupied state under the“ hood “ of Washington. And this forces Japanese politicians to openly lie to their citizens about who and how should be held responsible for the tragedy.

 Unnecessary sacrifices

However, there is another important pitfall in the deliberate silence of the United States about the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some American historians, military experts, diplomats, and even former statesmen are inclined to assume that the atomic bombings had no strategic or tactical meaning at the end of World War II. If we follow this logic, then the United States absolutely inhumanly destroyed half a million people — just for the sake of foreign policy bonuses and the loud effect of atomic weapons.

In addition to the dichotomy between a military invasion of Japan and one-off acts of intimidation, the United States had at least two alternatives, according to the historian, director of the Institute for Nuclear Research at American University in WashingtonPeter Kuznik.

First, the United States could guarantee the preservation of imperial power and status at the ultimatum stage — since in the event of an unconditional surrender, Emperor Hirohito would have to be tried as a war criminal. Such a solution in particular was proposed by the GeneralDouglas MacArthur, who accepted the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.

Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed for Japan. General Douglas MacArthur signed for the US and accepted the surrender in his capacity as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. https://t.co/wDvppIWjG3 #VJDay pic.twitter.com/ZGsGHziwcf

— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) September 2, 2020

Secondly — and this is the most important thing — Japan would inevitably capitulate after the Soviet Union entered the war: this would mean that Tokyo would be left alone with the major powers of the anti-Hitler coalition.

After the Soviet Union officially launched an operation in Manchuria on August 9, 1945, just two weeks of fierce fighting brought the Kwantung Army to the brink of military collapse. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not been attacked, Emperor Hirohito would have seriously considered capitulating to prevent a war on the territory of the islands themselves.

It is interesting that later the Japanese leader noted that the entry of the USSR into the war and the catastrophe in Manchuria were the factors that forced him to surrender.

In 1946, the US government published the „Summary Report on the Study of Strategic Bombing“, which not only most fully described the consequences of the atomic explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also provided an analysis of the state of the Japanese army from the words of top officials of the state. The report’s conclusion was extremely sad for the US leadership — Japan would not have survived long battles and by the end of 1945 the war would have been over.

„Before December 31, 1945, or in all probability before November 1, 1945 Japan would have capitulated — even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if an invasion of the islands had not been planned or planned,“ the document says.

Truman’s decision to atomic bomb Japan drew a number of criticisms from key US military personnel in World War II. GeneralDouglas MacArthur later recalled that he was not informed of the upcoming explosions. He noted that he did not see the point in such attacks.

MacArthur’s opinion was shared by naval commanders and admiralsWilliam Lehy and Chester Nimitz believed that from a purely military point of view, the atomic bomb did not play a decisive role in the defeat of Japan.

The most powerful argument for the inexpediency of atomic bombing was the opinion of the General of the army and the President of the United States in 1953-1961.By Dwight D. Eisenhower. In his memoirs, the figure recalled that he reported his thoughts on this matter to the Minister of WarTo Henry Stimson, while in defeated Germany in 1945.

„I was one of those who believed that there were a number of compelling reasons to question the wisdom of such a decision… Japan was already defeated, and atomic bombardment was completely unnecessary… I believed that our country should avoid provoking the world community with the use of weapons, the use of which, in my opinion, was no longer mandatory as a means of preserving the lives of American soldiers,“ Eisenhower wrote.

Thousands of apologies

In connection with the story of the US not recognizing its full responsibility for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is worth recalling that over the past 30 years, Washington has constantly demanded apologies and even „repentance“ from other countries for the events of the past. A special place in this list is occupied by Russia: any historical event invariably leads to the fact that the United States, represented by some of its representatives, demands repentance from Moscow.

Here is just a brief cross-section of recent statements and opinions about what Russia should „apologize“ for in the opinion of the United States:

  • Russia must respond to accusations that Moscow interfered in the US election in 2016.
  • The United States demands explanations and apologies for the events in British Salisbury and the „Skripal case“.
  • Washington is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and demands that Russia recognize its involvement in the destabilization of the situation in the country.
  • The United States demands that Russia return Crimea to Ukraine without recognizing the results of the 2014 referendum on the peninsula’s annexation to the Russian Federation.
  • Moscow should repent for supporting the Syrian PresidentBashar al-Assad, as well as allegedly for the oppression of the citizens of the SAR.
  • The United States is waiting for an apology for the hacking attacks that the Russian Federation is accused of.
  • Russia, according to the United States, should admit to „aggression“ against Georgia in August 2008.
  • Moscow should stop supporting Iran and North Korea.
  • The Russian authorities, according to Washington, violate civil rights and freedoms, and so on, and so on.

Separately, we will touch upon the events of historical antiquity related to the history of the Second World War:

  • The United States demands that Russia fully condemn the “ Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact „(despite the fact that there is already a decision of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR).
  • The US Senate demands that Moscow repent to the former Soviet republics of the Baltic States for the annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the Soviet Union in 1940 (also to the question of the „Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact“).
  • US senators recommend that the Russian Federation repent for the “ mass murder of Polish soldiers in the Katyn forest in 1940.“

The list is quite extensive, but it does not compare to the instant murder of hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It turns out that the United States demands an apology from Russia under any pretext — but none of the figures in Washington is ready to admit the guilt of the United States itself for the worst military tragedy of the twentieth century.

С уважением,
Бойко Ирина Львовна