Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hiroshima: "We Saw The Flash...And Knew The Bomb Had Worked"

Hiroshima scene six miles and a few minutes following the detonation

Harry Truman's decision to drop an atomic bomb on an enemy target was agonizing for him and controversial for the world.  Although he viewed the bombing of Hiroshima - and Nagasaki three days later - as a tragedy he saw the events as necessities and expressed no regret. Assuredly, his decision brought a very quick end to the war with Japan and in the eyes of most historians and military experts saved the lives of millions of combatants and civilians. For more on this historic event and its aftermath readers should visit a fascinating Harry S. Truman Library and Museum archive of primary sources relating to the story. 

Col. Paul Tibbets, pilot and commander, waves from the cockpit of the Enola Gay prior to takeoff  to Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945, forty-three seconds after releasing the bomb nicknamed "Little Boy," Tibbets was alerted to the blast by radioactivity tingling in his teeth and the metallic taste from electrolysis on his tongue. Ten and a half miles away, tens of thousands had already vanished. For a three minute assessment of the event by Col. Paul Tibbets, visit this link.

The last surviving Enola Gay crew member - Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk - died at his home in Stone Mountain, Georgia, in 2014. It's one more indication that our greatest generation as an eyewitness to history is itself rapidly moving into history.


Ground photo,
Enola Gay photo, National Archives and Records Service


title quote, Theodore Van Kirk interview,,

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