“If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth The Japanese city was a wasteland of scattered ashes. a few chimneys survived, standing upright. Trees were bare; mounds of bicycles lay crumpled and warped. On that bright and cloudless morning an uranium bomb as innocent sounding as “Little Boy” hit this town. After a great-blinding flash, 70,000 people were literally burned to death. The dark, ominous mushroom cloud stood as a symbol for destruction. Hiroshima became the first act of nuclear warfare and this topic remains a passionate debate today, from both a moral and strategic viewpoint. Even sixty years later this is still an event that affects many lives. Although people hold different views, none can dispute that the bombing of Hiroshima was a very important event in world history. Details, facts, and opinions of the bombing are forever sealed in the pages of hundreds of books articles and minds acrosst he globe.
As World War II was progressing the Japanese were showing no signs of weakening or surrendering. General Marshal believed that it “might cost one half million lives to force the enemy’s surrender on his home grounds”. Meanwhile, the United States was rushing to produce a form of atomic weapon before other countries. Months later, after development and testing in New Mexico, President Truman felt that employing an atomic bomb would be the best way to defeat Japan (Yass 70). But could Truman and the United States face the harsh realities and aftermath of the atomic bomb? Heroshima was devastated. Houses were burning and people were dying. Thousands of people could never return to the life they once knew.
The bombing of Hiroshima is arguably an important aspect of history. This dramatic bombing was not just an issue reserved for Japan in 1945. Contrarily, nations on the other side of the earth had heard of this bombing and were closely following the events pertaining to it. Even fifty years later the morality and necessity of this event is feverishly debated. Although people hold different views, none can dispute that the bombing of Hiroshima was a very important event in world history. Countless articles and books have been written on this topic. Two authors in particular, Robert P. Newman, and Fujie Ryoso, have discussed the topic of the bombing of Hiroshima. Although they hold vastly contrasting views on this event and have different writing styles, both passionately discuss the topic.
In the article “What if the Bomb Had Not Been Used?” Newman explains just that. Written in 1994, Newman argues that if the war had continued on the same path, without use of the atomic bomb, significant death and destruction would have ensued and would have been greater than the loss of lives at Hiroshima. Four main aspects of war would have been devastating on human lives. POW camps would have deteriorated very quickly and Japanese would have focused their intense rage upon prisoners. Although it was not widely publicized, mass blockades caused much starvation throughout Japan also. Food producing areas were being fought over and stocks had disappeared. Japanese submarines were frequent in the seas as well as those of the Allies. Kamikazes, torpedoes, and naval gunfire still had a great affect on lives. Also, thousands of Japanese on home islands would have been killed in various spread out battles. Masses of races of people would have been destroyed had the bomb not been used at the time it was. Newman argues that Japan was the last place an atomic bomb has been used in warfare, and it saved millions of lives in the long run.
Fujie Ryoso also discusses the atomic bomb in“We Found His Testament”. She relives and describes the bombing in the year of 1982, at age 72. Fujie married 25 year-old Wataru at the age of sixteen. They raised silkworms on their own two acres of farmland. Incredibly hard work and supportive love for each other resonated through their strong, healthy four children and Wataru’s mother. On August 6, 1945 Fujie was forcing weeds from the soil and Wataru was in town when suddenly, a great blast stunned her. After hugging her children in discovery that they were unharmed, she anxiously crept through the town in a frantic search for Wataru. Day after day, she searched though the destruction and piles of bodies, hoping desperately to recognize her husband’s familiar face among the living or even dead. Weeks later, she sifted through his drawers and came upon his testament. Although she never found his body, Fujie lives by her husband’s beliefs. Her children now happily have children of their own, but the loss of Wataru burns fresh in her mind.
These two authors come from drastically different areas of the world, have different educational backgrounds, and are different genders. Aspects such as these certainly transform ideas and points of view. For example, Newman has produced over seventy articles and several books, obtained his PHD from the University of Connecticut, and was the President of the American Foresnic Association (Newman 233). This high level of education and experience is reflected in his artcile. He provides a very wide, researched point of view. He offers a variety of research and support for his view. His support ranges fromphotographs of prisoners released from Japanese camps(Newman 186), the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Newman 187) and Japanese historians (Newman 190). He had many resources to make his opinionOn the other hand, Ryoso never recieved an education at all. Some of her childhood and most of her adulthood was spent farming with her close family. Although she does not have a great amount of knowled ge of the world, she experienced the bombing from three miles away. She was undoubtedly affected.
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