It’s that time of the year again. Today is the anniversary of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and in 3 days time it is the anniversary of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Hiroshima at 8.14, August 6th, 1945

Later that day

Approximately 140,000 people from Hiroshima died by December 1945 either in the immediate effects of the blast, in the following days/weeks due to acute radiation poisoning and in the following months due to short-term residual effects of radiation exposure. It is almost impossible to calculate how many more people died years later from long-term residual effects of the radiation.

[images of models of Hiroshima from here ]

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5 replies

  1. If by ‘alternate,’ you mean ‘plays fast and loose with history and is intent on promoting a paleocon version of reality’ then the link is right on the mark.

  2. Horribly turgid prose as well, Andrew.I read it a few hours ago and once I’d managed to parse it was unimpressed with the premise. I now can’t even remember what that premise was.Thanks for sharing Rob, but it didn’t make much impact on me.

  3. Rob, that’s not to say that I don’t agree that many of the nuclear deaths in 1945 were quite possibly avoidable. I expect a nuclear demonstration of some sort was required, but did it need to be in an inhabited area? Maybe not.

  4. A lot of the histories of the bomb decision are flawed in one way or another, but the best I’ve run across are:- Richard Frank’s “Downfall” (Amazon plug: -” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0141001461/sr=8-6/qid=1154952200/ref=pd_bbs_6/002-1300425-5812054?ie=UTF8>- Tsuyoshi Hasegawa’s “Racing the Enemy” (Amazon plug: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674016939/sr=1-1/qid=1154952319/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-1300425-5812054?ie=UTF8&s=books)Most of bomb decision histories suffer badly from hindsight, acting as if US decision makers were sitting in on meeting of the Imperial War Cabinet.Frank’s is the better book, taking a hard look at both the Japanese and the US government machinations as well as the broader context of the war. And Frank is very scrupulous in stating what the US gummamint knew and did not know about the deliberations of the Japanese government.Hasegawa stakes out a new revisionist approach different from the usual “A Bomb ended the war” and “Hiroshima first shot in the Cold War” schools of thought. “Racing the Enemy” has serious flaws but it is certainly thought provoking if not definitive.

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