Phil Strongman: Hiroshima Is A War Crime That Haunts My Family, 67 Years On
On 6 August 1945 – 67 years ago today – a control operator at the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation noticed that there was no signal from Radio Hiroshima. It had, seemingly, gone off air. Telephone calls couldn't reach the city centre either. There was a simple reason for this – the city centre wasn't there any more.
At 8.15am an American B-29 bomber had dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. People were literally vaporised by a light '"brighter than a thousand suns". A firestorm and 600mph winds sucked the remaining air out of the downtown district. Soon a mushroom cloud spiralled into the stratosphere, and under it 140,000 civilians lay dead.
As Japan absorbed what had happened and its rulers prepared a formal protest at the new weapon, a second strike was prepared. The target was Kokura but on 9 August, it was obscured by fog so Nagasaki was hit. The death toll was 70,000. On 12 August Japan's Emperor, Hirohito, said surrender was inevitable. The war was over, but the bomb debate was just beginning.
Apologists for these events have used two arguments...