Sunday, August 2, 2015

Documentary Review: Hiroshima: BBC History of Worlld War II

Hiroshima: BBC History of the World War II, BBC (2005)
This is a very good documentary of the first and second atomic bombings in Japan.  It explores the reason for the bombs very well.  The Japanese refused to surrender when given the chance, even of only the a military surrender.  The Japanese were training their civilians to become human bombs.  They death toll of a U.S. invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been horrendous, for both the Japanese and the Americans.
The film also gives the argument against the use of the bomb, contending it was an experiment at the expense of the Japanese as no one knew the effects the bomb would have although they did know there was radiation.  The first third explores preparation.  One thing I did not know is the things what had to be done to the bomb in flight.  First it was not loaded with the TNT charges that would start the chain reaction until after the bomb was in the air.  Then there were three fuses which had to be put in place, after that the bomb was live.
August 6 the bomb was dropped.  After the bomb was dropped, it was 45 seconds until it detonated.  That is how much time the Enola Gay had to get away.  At the same time there were two other plains, one filming and the other of scientist testing that also had to make sure they were not too close.
The devastation from the bomb was terrible.  The immediate area was incinerated.  There were survivors at a bank only 250 yards from the epicenter of the blast that survived because of the strength of the building.  However most in the area perished, some vaporized.  Others were turned to charcoal.  The other immediate consequence was a flash cloud, which destroyed most everything in its path as it blew everyone, and everything over.  This effect was prevalent for over a mile radius from the epicenter.  Walls and buildings became deadly debris.  People were blown over like a ball that was thrown.
The after effects of the bomb were horrendous.  Many were thirsty because of the effects of the heat.  It started to rain a black sludge.  Many drank this.  However it had deadly effects as it was full of radiation.  This radiation caused people to decay away from the inside.  Many vomited brown liquid, which were their decaying internal organs.  The death was terrific.
As the Japanese did not yet surrender, Nagasaki was also bombed three days later.  Finally the Japanese, still torn as many had the attitude  better to die than surrender, the question was  put to the emperor, who decided the suffering should stop.  Victory in Japan had finally been achieved.

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