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Download Hiroshima Nagasaki Book ↠ 640 pages ´ 'Nobody is disturbed ' said President Truman three days after the destruction of Nagasaki in 1945 'over the use of the atomic bombs than I am but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war The only languagRific death tolls in Dresden and Tokyo The war in Europe may have ended but it continued in the Pacific against a regime still looking to save face Ham describes the political manoeuvring and the scientific race to build the new atomic weapon He also gives powerful witness to its destruction through the eyes of eighty survivors from 12 year olds forced to work in war factories to wives and children who faced it alone reminding us that these two cities were full of ordinary people who suddenly out of a clear blue summer's sky felt the sun fall on their heads This is a fascinating book with a powerful premise Americans are brought up believing we dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki only because we felt forced to and that Japan would never have surrendered otherwise After absorbing this controversial book I still think that's partially true but not the whole truthPaul Ham meticulously presents a different view that makes the chaotic end of the war and the race for the bomb feel much nuanced than that standard history Some of the things I learned were surprising and upsetting According to Ham we were eager to test the bombs and actually in a bit of a hurry to do so before the war ended There were military targets we could have chosen but we deliberately targeted city centers full of civilians Mistakenly we thought that would send a stronger message to Japan but Japan's military and political leaders were so far removed from reality at that point and so generally unconcerned with civilian casualties that Hiroshima and Nagasaki barely registered in their discussions near the end of the war We also failed to understand that Japan wasn't a democracy and no amount of harming civilians could cause them to rise up and demand an end to the war they were truly helpless targets And no one in Japan knew what an atomic bomb was or how it was different than the firestorms that had been raging through its other cities Japan's leaders never got the message of shock and awe of the bombs were supposed to deliverMore surprises for me anyway Russia invading Japan was really the catalyst that pushed Japan to surrender That happened after Hiroshima but before Nagasaki making a good argument that the second bomb was really extraneous The people of Hiroshima may have suffered for little reason but the people of Nagasaki suffered for no reason I thought it was interesting how removed Truman was from the creation and delivery of the bombs He was gung ho about doing it but very hands off He didn't even know about Nagasaki until afterwards Imagine in this day and age dropping a bomb on civilians in another country and the President not being directly involvedThe randomness of the cities chosen was chilling to read about Kyoto was spared from the list of targets because someone in the military group who was choosing the cities had been there and had fond memories of it The weather dictated where the bombs were dropped; Nagasaki was literally a last minute choice when the actual target city nearby was too obscured by cloudsAfter the war we sent American doctors to study the horrendous effects of radiation on the survivors They examined countless suffering patients but they were not permitted to help them in any way or even share their knowledge with the Japanese doctors who were mystified and utterly helpless in the face of this strange new illness The suffering of the Japanese people was extended long after the war by this heartless US policyHam's work has been castigated as revisionist by those saying he's applying liberal modern thinking to a very different time and place I can see threads of that in the book and obviously he's presenting a very uncomfortable look at US behavior at the end of the war so people will react to that I think both viewpoints can be true however Ham is convincing in his argument that the bombs weren't the major reason that Japan finally surrendered and therefore we have to accept that it's possible we did not need to do what we did But while Japan's leaders could live with civilian defeat their death before loss of honor culture would never permit them to accept military defeat Faced with the invasion by Russia and out of options Japan used the bombings as a convenient excuse in their view to surrender That means the bombings served a purpose in ending the war even if it wasn't uite the way we intendedWhat a powerful book about a terrible time in world history

Paul Ham Ë Hiroshima Nagasaki Mobi

'Nobody is disturbed ' said President Truman three days after the destruction of Nagasaki in 1945 'over the use of the atomic bombs than I am but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war The only language the Japanese seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast It is most regrettable but nevertheless true' The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed than 100 000 instantly m ‘We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world’ Harry S Truman 25 July 1945In an interview Paul Ham said that it took him four years to write this book 25 years of research and 15 years to write and edit He said that he chose this topic because ‘I have always felt that there is something wrong with American narratives that attempt to justify the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in a nuclear holocaust’ After researching and analysing the core archives Paul Ham said he ‘felt a strong impulse to write an accurate account of the bomb and to dissect the truth from the lies and popular myths’The lead up to August 1945 and the aftermath is covered from a number of different angles historical and political as well as military and scientific Aspects of the book are based on extensive interviews with eighty survivors and depict the human communities of the two cities before and after they were destroyed So much of the damage was civilian schools hospitals and the homes of so many – primarily women children and the aged‘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’Paul Ham writes that the orthodox view of why the atomic bombs were dropped is President Harry S Truman’s justification enunciated two years after the decision was made that the bombs saved the necessity of invading Japan and the loss of one million American servicemen Ham scrutinises this ex post facto justification pointing out that the atomic bombs were not the only option and in any case Japan was rapidly running out of the raw materials reuired in order to continueGeneral Curtis LeMay like the RAF’s Air Vice Marshall ‘Bomber’ Harris who ordered the area bombing of Hamburg and Dresden believed that Japan’s military leaders could be shamed into surrender if their cities and civilian population were blanket bombed The dropping of Little Boy and Fat Man was an extension of that strategy and while these bombs killed thousands of civilians it apparently had little impact on the Japanese war machine or those directing it Or did it Surely it’s not total coincidence that Japan surrendered just days after Nagasaki was bombed In Ham’s view what really led to the Japanese surrender was Stalin’s sudden entry into the war in the Pacific The Japanese generals could see one million Soviet troops pouring into Manchuria ready to invade Japan and to avenge the Russian defeat of 1904 05‘The Japanese people had kept their Emperor and lost an empire’Having read the book having had some of my views and assumptions challenged I’m still forming my own conclusions – especially on the role of science and the responsibility of scientists Revisiting the choices made in 1945 is important can we apply learning from the past to an unknown future‘Total war had debased everyone involved’ As it does and will continue to doJennifer Cameron Smith

Book ´ Hiroshima Nagasaki Ë Paul Ham

Hiroshima NagasakiOstly women children and the elderly Many hundreds of thousands succumbed to their horrific injuries later or slowly perished of radiation related sickness Yet the bombs were 'our least abhorrent choice' American leaders claimed at the time and still today most people believe they ended the Pacific War and saved millions of American and Japanese lives Ham challenges this view arguing that the bombings when Japan was on its knees were the culmination of a strategic Allied air war on enemy civilians that began in Germany and had till then exacted its most hor Judging by the two extremes ratings that this book received in one can tell that this is a rather controversial book The author did not think that the atomic bombs made Japan surrender which in turn avoided the loss of lives of many Americans who would otherwise have to invade the main islands of Japan But his position was not just that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary he went further to obliuely imply that the reason for dropping the atomic bombs were for the pure purpose of killing civiliansThe author argued that the atomic bombs were unnecessary by showing thatFire bombing was not an effective strategy to make an enemy surrenderIn support of this argument the author spent a chapter on the fire bombing of cities in Germany Meant originally to bring Germany to its knees the effectiveness was uestionable and eventually Germany capitulated not because of the destruction of any or all of the cities but because of the land forces of the allies that reached BerlinThe Japanese cabinet was not swayed by the atomic bombsThe author argued strenuously that the Japanese cabinet especially the three of six representing the military the War Minister Korechika Anami the admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy Soemu Toyoda and general in the Imperial Army Yoshijiro Umezu They did not change their minds after the two bombs were dropped It was actually the entry of Soviet Union into the war that convinced the Japanese cabinet that all was lost and surrender was inevitableThe Japanese were going to surrender anywayCiting the futile and delusional efforts at getting Russia to play the role of the intermediary for an end to the war the author showed that the Japanese were already seriously contemplating an end to the war in contrast to unconditional surrender It would be a matter of time given Japan’s lack of ability to deploy air or naval power that they would collapseThese would have made for a persuasive case but Ham went further and opined that despite all these the US bombed Japan anyway and it was not really because the decision makers wanted to save American lives but because “total war had debased everyone involved” pg 158 and made it easy to contemplate the destruction of properties and lives on a grand scale not helped by many who were spoiling to demonstrate the new power of the USThe author then went further to imply that putting the blame on the Japanese for not surrendering despite the warnings was wrong because the Allies kept insisting on ‘unconditional surrender’ a term which at first confused the Japanese and later became the only stumbling block to their agreement to surrender because they were afraid that the Americans would try the Emperor as a war criminal In the end unconditional or not was this not what the Japanese got Knowing this the Americans should have just relented earlier let them surrender and the bombs and the resulting carnage would have been spared And if the Americans had really wanted to drop the bombs the morally right thing to do was to give warning by demonstrating the power of the bombs given that it was so much destructive than anything anyone knew then Finally even if one argues that Hiroshima was necessary and effective there was no need for NagasakiAnd since the bombs were used despite all reasons against them the author brought us through the aftermath of the bombs showing how many civilian targets were destroyed and how many of them were killed maimed or suffered the radioactivity for years while the military targets were somehow missed pg 410 To add insult to the injury the victims were denied medical help and were in some cases treated as exhibits for research into the effects of radiation Finally in the years following the end of the war the main players could only manage incoherent narratives as to the reasons and effects of the bombs further attesting to the difficulty in justifying their useThe author was indeed persuasive However as I read the book I could not help wondering if the problem was one of hindsight Take for example the case of area bombing Its limits in persuading the enemy to surrender are recognised now because it was used then Given that prior to the Second World War there was no precedence for one to learn from it was reasonable that looking at how much fear it could instil in the enemies this could be an effective way to get the enemy to surrender Similarly while it is increasingly recognised that the Soviet Union’s invasion of Manchuria greatly accelerated Japan’s capitulation how could one know then what we know now The author also did not give complete consideration to the whole context of the situation For example it was not that the Japanese military had retreated from island to island and finally were confined to their main islands They were still in Manchuria and also countries in South East Asia To blockade them to starvation would mean a prolonged occupation of these places by the Japanese If I were living under the Japanese then I would wish for the bombOne important uestion was whether Nagasaki was necessary There was a sense in the book that people realised the devastation the first bomb brought to Hiroshima and were no longer elated about Nagasaki seeding some doubts in the readers’ minds about the correctness of its use How should one decide whether or not to drop the second bomb given that the first one did not seem to get the Japanese to surrender Was it really ineffective or did it just didn’t move them enough in which case perhaps another bomb was in orderuestions aside there were a few chapters in the book that I like very much The first one being the chapter on the science and scientists behind the atomic bomb which brought back good and not so good memories of my school years The second one was the chapter discussing the Japanese’ deliberations over how to end the war it was a very nuanced discussion about the Japanese psyche which I cross examined with Kazutoshi Handō’s Show Shi There was this element of pardon me “smoking their own dope” where they would know the undesirable outcome if the Russians were to invade Manchuria And since it was undesirable it should not happen and if it should not happen then it would not happen Therefore it was conceivable to get the Russians to mediate an end to the warThe author also gave a very vivid description of the condition of the victims in the two cities immediately after the bombs were dropped These represented the two times so far that atomic weapons were used on cities Alas as tragic as they were it failed to arouse in me the feeling of sympathy and I even felt that the descriptions were slightly over done especially when he gave some statistics on civilian versus military casualties I could not help wondering if he was steering readers to the conclusion that the bomb was selective; dropped on a city with both civilian and military targets the civilian targets would be obliterated while the military ones intact The indifference I felt towards the victims was at first curious to me given that I bear no hatred towards the Japanese today This has made me re examine my attitude towards Japan today While I am not going to discuss it here I have to give the author credit for doing this for meA reviewer in said that this book is only for people who can think for themselves I would not say that I would encourage people to read this book but to temper it with other books to put things in a better context