What Is This?

I will tell you: This is the place where Humanity reached one of its lowest points in history. The place where 64 years of fear started. The place where the most terrible discovery humankind has ever made finally took shape.

Today marks 64 years of the culmination of Project Manhattan—one of the most complex, expensive, and deadly endeavours ever accomplished by science, the creation of the first nuclear bomb. That August 6, a B-29 Superfortress bomber called "Enola Gay" dropped this 8900 pound bomb called "Little Boy" from 31,000 feet above this exact point, instantly killing 70,000 people, killing 70,000 years after the event, and affecting the lives of thousands more forever. Actually, the life of everyone in the planet, which still can destroy itself hundreds of times over.

Yes. It's not a good day for science, gadgets, and all of us. So remember it, and enjoy life today, for it is a precious thing that doesn't last forever. [Big Picture]


    Although I'm no Nuclear weapons fan..
    How many lives were saved by the early end of the war?

    Stevo - Net? Virtually none. This is unfortunately the major information gap in nations who do not educate people that US government intelligence (if there is such a thing) said at the time that Japan was so bankrupt, so demoralised and so weary of war that they were going to announce surrender in a few days.

    However, the US military pushed the government very hard to make sure their precious baby (on which they had spent many millions) actually got a test. On over 100,000 people. Who, for the most part, simply lived their lives and worked regular jobs.

    The dropping of the atomic bomb, if you go back through all the actual intelligence and US military declassified documents, was one of the biggest crimes against humanity in the planet's history.

    Chad; what rubbish.

    Look up: Operation Ketsu-Go.

    {the} War Journal of the Imperial Headquarters concluded:
    "We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight."

    One could argue it saved countless innocent Japanese lives.

    Hmm.. Anyone thought what would've happened if the nuclear bomb wasn't invented? We would've had more world wars. One of the reasons there has been on more world wars is because the nuclear bomb has scared people. The destructive power of these nuclear bombs ensures that countries don't use them or even challenge those countries who have the technology to build nuclear bombs. IMO the only one person stupid enough to start a nuclear war would be Kim Jong Il as he has no regard for the people of his country or other countries and he is near the ending of his life, therefore he wouldn't lose much of his life if he were killed today

    Man - some serious egotism here. The US is the only country in the history of war to us "weapons of mass destruction" in a war and claim it as a "saviour of innocent lives". In fact, this mass murder was such an effective tool in saving the innocent, the US used it again to vapourise another 80,000 non-Americans.
    Yet countries now trying to develop these "wonderful deterring weapons" need to be invaded and squashed for there nuclear proliferation.
    I'm sorry, but the perposeful mass genocide on non-military personel is the exact definition of a war crime. Until the US (and others, like France) adhere to the same criteria imposed by the UN on nuclear developing countries, all our futures will be in the hands of mad-men.
    No good comes of war.
    No good comes from nuclear weapons.
    America is currently the leader of both.

    History - While I am aware of the existence of Operation Ketsugou, the likelihood of it happening appears to have been judged very low, at least from the American side.

    Henry Arnold, commander general of the USAF at the time, told president Truman that an atomic bomb would not make the Japanese surrender any faster than the horrific fire bombing that had already brought the major capitals to their knees anyway.

    William D Leahy, the president's chief of staff and fleet admiral, believed again, that use of the atomic bomb was pointless as the Japanese were ready to surrender.

    Even General Eisenhower told Truman that he believed Japan to be defeated and that use of the atomic bomb was unnecessary.

    At the time, of the advisory committee to Truman, only the army chief of staff, the secretary of State and a coupe of Manhattan project heads believed in using the bomb. Note that only one of those people had anything to do with the military and thus any experience of what the situation out there was like.

    I admit that there is strong precedent that Japanese people, when pushed, would rather commit suicide than face capture, as seen on Okinawa when under false instruction from fanatical generals that Japanese people would be treated like animals and humiliated by the American troops if captured, many jumped to their deaths or blew themselves up in caves.

    However, the question remains - was it right to use such a weapon on innocent people when more indicators than not suggested that the Japanese were ready to surrender? Note that the Russians had planned to enter the war against Japan soon after the end of the European war and that intercepted and translated communications from the Japanese to the Russians suggested they were ready to negotiate a truce with them. In fact, all evidence says that Truman wanted to use the Russians in that capacity and only changed his tone to an aggressive, militaristic one after being told of the first atomic bomb's test success.

    This will always be a contentious issue, but in my opinion, there is enough evidence to suggest that Japan would have surrendered to say that dropping the bomb was a mistake. A huge one.

    Yay go Team Australia. Too poor to afford our own nuclear weapons...

    Well done J to remind the world that nuclear, no matter how 'clean' it is as an energy source, is still the world's most terrible threat. Yes, it is a fact Japan had indicated surrender & was ready to sign the very week after the bomb fell. That the bomb was used anyway is to the USA's everlasting shame. Time for people like Obama to make good for Japanese who have suffered & humanity.

    @Chad Here here! Thank god I didn't have to say all that, I do get sick of repeating it whenever WWII comes up.

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