Skip to comments.Hiroshima: Necessary Evil
Posted on 08/06/2008 4:09:53 PM PDT by B-Chan
THE WHITE HOUSE Washington, D.C.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- August 6, 1945
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British "Grand Slam" which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare.
It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.
We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war.
It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. 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 began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold.
Wow. I had never seen that picture before.
Me either, until today. It’s an amazing shot.
It was the most compassionate act that could have been done under the circumstances.
Good point. That would have been extremely destructive.
FWIW -- My Dad said his unit (33rd Infantry) landed, was welcomed by childred with flowers, and treated well by the Japanese.
Some months later they rotated back stateside, replaced by another American unit which had not fought in the war. Those later Americans were more arrogant and not as well accepted by the Japanese, according to my Dad.
That reception to the Victors is part of the ‘Bushido’ code.
The Japanese as a whole ‘respected’ the Victor but not the ‘non-combatants’ that immediately followed.
Remember the Japanese Army thought that to surrender was worse than death.
The Japanese Navy was more compassionate to captured Allied Sailors (than say the Army or fisherman) that probably due to the ‘law of the sea’ where we ALL have/had a common enemy.
When I got to Japan in 1957 they treated us fine (at least where the young enlisted sailors were wont to go) but that was probably due to the fact that their ‘job’ was to relieve us of our yens so they were using the old ‘catch more flies with honey etc....’ theory and by gum, it worked.
My Dad said something similar, as I remember. Dad died in 1974.