First Into Nagasaki - was REALLY Heavy Metal Work

A few years back I read a book titled "First Into Nagasaki". It was
written by the son of an American reporter who managed to get into
Nagasaki before the US army did. The reporter's columns were
suppressed by MacArthur, but the reporter had saved carbon copies.
After his death, the son published the columns as the book, along with
a description of the Japanese death ships that took the survivers of
the Bataan Death March back to Japan. The reporter's assessment was
that Nagasaki was mostly destroyed by fires rather than the blast from
the bomb. He recounted how there were American POW's working at the
Mitsubishi factory. At the air raid alarm they went to slit trenches
outside the plant. Those who kept their heads down in the trenches
lived despite being nearly under the blast. My recollection of the
story was that the bomb was dropped about noon, when Japanese women
were cooking lunch on charcoal hibachis. The blast knocked over the
hibachis, setting fire to most of the homes. Because of obstructions
in the streets due to downed power lines etc. from the blast, the fire
trucks couldn't make it to where they needed to go, and the whole city
burned. I forget what he said about the radiation sickness, but I
recall he described it. The gist of the articles was that it was a
very powerful bomb, but more survivable than the military made it out
to be. I'm not a student of the nuclear bombing's so take it for what
it's worth. What we thought we all knew from "common knowledge"
sounds a little different from what this reporter described. It was
an interesting description by an eye witness. The descriptions of the
death ships was very dull by comparison.
RWL
Reply to
GeoLane at PTD dot NET
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This is an eyewitness account by a German missionary in Hiroshima.
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Compare it to Kurt Vonnegut's account of the bombing of Dresden in "Slaughterhouse 5", whose empty underground meat storage locker was his deep, cold and safe air raid shelter. Vonnegut was actually one of the captured Infantry scouts he mentions in the story.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
This gives the location of the Jesuit missionaries who survived as 8 blocks from the blast center. It doesn't mention Gropper's strong construction.
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jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Jim Wilkins" wrote
Photos of the ruins. Notice the absence of blast damage, trees and chimneys are still standing. Fire destroyed the mostly wood and paper city.
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jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Most of my brain cells don't work any more, or work sluggishly at best.
But I remember reading a story about an alternative history about that event.
Oh yeah! The Jesus Factor! That was it.
The premise was that A-Bombs don't work well if moving very fast. They would fizzle nicely, but not explode.
The Japan bombs (at "Old Iron Pants" Lemay's orders) were a combination of a lot of firebombs and a large ring of magnesium (for the mushroom) and uranium dust sprayed over the cities.
The Soviets had a few fizzles before they figured it out and planted a stationary bomb at ground zero of their first successful test.
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Wiki mentions an earthquake, but I think that brain cell died early and left a good looking corpse.
(OH would that it were really true) But it was an interesting book...
Reply to
Richard
If you read it carefully it illuminates the deceptions of the "Better red than dead" anti-nuke propaganda campaign the FSU ran to undermine our deterrence policies by appealing to primitive fear and ignorance.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins

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