A Nagasaki Report, By George Weller

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #1
    part I

    the report is in 4 parts. despite his "rosy" opening, it's interesting to watch how mr weller's reports evolve.

    given the delay of this making it to the public, i wonder how long we'll have to wait for pieces being written today about iraq, gitmo, et. al.
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    Getting this kind of stuff out may help educate people to the real dangers. Human race should have Nukes for only 1 purpose. Destroying an incoming Asteroid/Comet. We can learn to live together lets just hope its sooner then later. I would hate to think of one of the extremist hate groups getting one. They dont care for themself let alone anyone. By making the worlds arsenal smaller we lessen this chance.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    I don't think there's the slightest bit of comparison betweeen then and now as to "the story".

    WW II saw full-bore censorship of all sorts of mail and articles from any parts of the war zones.

    The only way we knew my stepfather was on Guadalcanal was from his reference to an Uncle Solomon, and a later comment about looking "above the turkey's back". Solomon Islands--Guadalcanal, which is north of New Guinea, which looks somewhat like a turkey.

    Contrast that sort of thing with today's embedded newsmen and all the various people who've made so many comments about what was seen at Gitmo...

    One thing about Hiroshima and Nagasaki: They brought a final end--as we all saw it at that time--to six years of world-wide war and all manner of horrors. Few knew of Stalin's horror show in the Ukraine, and nobody foresaw Mao's own murderous regime...

    I dunno. Maybe that's part of a certain amount of lack of passion about Iraq on the part of some of us Old Farts: It pales compared to the 120 million people killed by governments in the 20th century.

    'Rat
     
  4. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    forgetting for the moment my comment about today's situation, did anyone find the report interesting in its own right?
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #5
    Quite interesting. It illustrates the almost total ignorance in 1945 of the effects of exposure to high levels of radiation. Such things as downwind fallout of radioactive particles were unknown, as well as the re-radiation from materials irradiated at the time of the blast.

    I remember seeing a newsreel of one of the A-bomb tests at White Sands. This would have been in late 1945, maybe, or early 1946. The Army had men in trenches within a relatively close proximity--a mile?--to the bomb, as well as buildings and vehicles. They had goggles to protect against the blinding glare, IIRC. There is probably a report of any impact on the health of the men.

    There were a few rumors after the first test, done not long before the bombs were dropped on Japan. Afterwards, people spoke of seeing the brilliant light from such places as Las Cruces, hearing the boom, and feeling the vibration. "Atomic" was not part of the rumor. "New, large bomb."

    The Manhattan Project was extremely well hidden from the word getting out. People like Fermi and Oppenheimer were pretty much sequestered from any contact with people outside their work. The machining of the various pieces was separated so that the people doing the work didn't know the purpose of the parts they made.

    I'm just guessing, but I imagine few in the medical profession--or relatively few--did any sort of testing on animals as to radiation effects.

    As far as the public mood about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was mostly "Well, they started it." Same for Dresden, for that matter, when that firestorm event was made public. I recall nothing but relief that the war was over. My stepfather was safe. My father, returning from Germany, knew he would not have to go to the Pacific for an invasion of Japan.

    There have been various estimates of the probable casualties had we invaded Japan. There would have been several times as many dead and injured--both sides--as happened from the A-Bombs. Some estimated as high as a million US killed and wounded, and some three or four times that many Japanese. Even though those numbers were probably high, cutting them in half or even by a factor of five still leaves horrible numbers. No way to know for sure.

    I lived in Manila in 1949/1950. You cannot imagine the hatred of the Japanese on the part of those who had lived through the Occupation. Way too much torture and abuse for there to be any other emotion. My return via passenger freighter included stops in Kobe, Nagoya, Shimizu and Yokohama. As a 16-year-old wide-eyed tourist, I didn't notice any remaining hostility from the war.

    FWIW, 'Rat
     

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