Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Atom Bomb Loosed on Nagasaki





On This Day


Front Page Image

Atom Bomb Loosed on Nagasaki

2d Big Aerial Blow

Japanese Port Is Target in Devastating New Midday Assault

Result Called Good

Foe Asserts Hiroshima Toll Is 'Uncountable' -- Assails 'Atrocity'



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385 B-29's Smash 4 Targets in Japan: Tokyo Arsenal and Aircraft Plant Are Seared -- Fukuyama and Yawata Cities Ripped

U.S. Third Fleet Attacking Targets in Northern Honshu

Truman Reveals Move of Moscow: Announces War Declaration Soon After Russian Action -- Capital Is Started

Tokyo 'Flashes' News 3 Hours After Event

4 Powers Call Aggression Crime in Accord Covering War Trials

Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9, 1945  -- Gen. Carl A. Spaatz announced today that a second atomic bomb had been dropped, this time on the city of Nagasaki, and that crew members reported "good results."

The second use of the new and terrifying secret weapon which wiped out more than 60 percent of the city of Hiroshima and, according to the Japanese radio, killed nearly every resident of that town, occurred at noon today, Japanese time. The target today was an important industrial and shipping area with a population of about 258,000.

The great bomb, which harnesses the power of the universe to destroy the enemy by concussion, blast and fire, was dropped on the second enemy city about seven hours after the Japanese had received a political "roundhouse punch" in the form of a declaration of war by the Soviet Union.

Vital Transshipment Point

Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9 (AP) -- Nagasaki is vitally important as a port for transshipment of military supplies and the embarkation of troops in support of Japan's operations in China, Formosa, Southeast Asia, and the Southwest Pacific. It was highly important as a major shipbuilding and repair center for both naval and merchantmen.

The city also included industrial suburbs of Inase and Akunoura on the western side of the harbor, and Urakami. The combined area is nearly double Hiroshima's.

Nagasaki, although only two-thirds as large as Hiroshima in population, is considered more important industrially. With a population now estimated at 258,000, its twelve square miles are jam-packed with the eave-to-eave buildings that won it the name of "sea of roofs."

General Spaatz's communique reporting the bombing did not say whether one or more than one "mighty atom" was dropped.

Hiroshima a 'City of Dead'

The Tokyo radio yesterday described Hiroshima as a city of ruins and dead "too numerous to be counted," and put forth the claim that the use of the atomic bomb was a violation of international law.

The broadcast, made in French and directed to Europe, came several hours after Tokyo had directed a report to the Western Hemisphere for consumption in America asserting that "practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death" Monday, when the single bomb was dropped on the southern Honshu city.

The two broadcasts, recorded by the Federal Communications Commission, stressed the terrible effect of the bomb on life and property.

European listeners were told that "as a consequence of the use of the new bomb against the town of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, most of the town has been completely destroyed and there are numerous dead and wounded among the population."

The United States Strategic Air Forces reported yesterday that 60 per cent of the city had been destroyed.]

"The destructive power of these bomb is indescribable," the broadcast continued, "and the cruel sight resulting from the attack is so impressive that one cannot distinguish between men and women killed by the fire. The corpses are too numerous to be counted.

"The destructive power of this new bombs spreads over a large area. People who were outdoors at the time of the explosion were burned alive by high temperature while those who were indoors were crushed by falling buildings."

Authorities still were "unable to obtain a definite check-up on the extent of the casualties" and "authorities were having their hands full in giving every available relief possible under the circumstances," the broadcast continued.

In the destruction of property even emergency medical facilities were burned out, Tokyo said, and relief squads were rushed into the area from all surrounding districts.

The Tokyo radio also reported that the Asahi Shimbun had made "a strong editorial appeal" to the people of Japan to remain calm in facing the use of the new type of bomb and renew pledges to continue to fight.

[A special meeting of the Japanese Cabinet was called at the residence of Premier Kantaro Suzuki to hear a preliminary report on the damage, The United Press said.]

A Propaganda Front

Voice broadcasts and wireless transmissions aimed at North America and Europe during the day apparently were trying to establish a propaganda point that the bombings should be stopped.

For example, a Tokyo English language broadcast to North America, accusing American leaders of fomenting an "atrocity campaign" in order "to create the impression that the Japanese are cruel people," as preparation for intensive Allied bombing of Japan, took up the subject of atomic bombing, and described it as "useless cruelty" that "may have given the United States war leaders guilty consciences."

"They may be afraid that their illegal and useless and needless bombing may eventually bring protest from the American people unless some means of hardening them can be provided," the broadcast continued.

The broadcast to the United States went on to ask: "How will the United States war leaders justify their degradation, not only in the eyes of the other peoples but also in the eyes of the American people? How will these righteous-thinking American people feel about the way their war leaders are perpetuating this crime against man and God?"

"Will they condone the whole thing on the ground that everything is fair in love and war or will they rise in anger and denounce this blot on the honor and tradition and prestige of the American people?"

The broadcast said that "authorized quarters in Tokyo made the following statement on Aug. 8 with regard to the United States disregard for humanity:

"International law lays down the principle that belligerent nations are not entitled to unlimited choice in the means by which to destroy their opponents.

"This is made clear by Article 22 of The Hague Convention. Consequently, any attack by such means against open towns and defenseless citizens are unforgivable actions. The United States ought to remember that at the beginning of the fighting in China, it protested to Japan on numerous occasions in the name of humanity against smaller raids carried out by Japan."

[Article 22 of The Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land states: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited."]

The Tokyo announcer used the French phrase "villes demilitarises," or "open towns," although Hiroshima was known to be a quartermaster depot and a garrison town of considerable military importance.

The description of the havoc followed the line offered earlier in the broadcast to the United States, the "disastrous ruin" that struck the city, crushed houses and buildings, and "all of the dead and injured were burned beyond recognition," said the broadcast.




Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company


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