Thursday, 6 August 2015

The A bomb?

Today, the seventieth anniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Japan fills me with very odd memories...I was eight and had gone back to Lancashire to live with my mum and new brother whilst my dad was still in the army....

The news was greeted not with horror or fear but with jubilation...the much feared Japanese menace had been done for...

"It'll stop them in their tracks" declared my Lancashire Grandad...." Great stuff! "

Only much later did we understand the horror of it...the contamination, the burning and the horror of people fleeing their homes only to die agonising deaths from radiation sickness.

Even then there was general adult agreement that dropping the atom bomb was a very good thing.

As a child I listened to a lot of words spoken about it but I never heard a condemnation. They had it coming was the general consensus.

Today we have a very different conception on the whole thing...we now know that the contamination lasted many years, that deformed children were part of the heritage as well as those who survived with massive damage .

This morning John Humphries repeated a phrase...."Those who hate the people who bear the scars of the bombing" the sadness and incredulity in his voice perfectly expressed my own horror...

The poor people still alive after the bomb have surely lived through hell. How could anyone feel anything other than pity for them?

Lots of academic debates have been made around this subject...it's impossible now to put ourselves in the place of those who made the decision to drop the bomb....I still don't know if it was wrong then or if the appalling devastation was what made for the reluctance to go to war a factor afterwards...

I just pray that they will never be used again as an act of retaliation.

3 comments:

  1. One of the few good things which came out of that terrible act of destruction was the birth of CND.
    I still remember my parents' horrified reaction to the news of the two bombs, though as you say, it was many years before the full affects were realised.
    I lost two uncles in the 2nd world war but neither of them was in the far East. I can imagine the relief of those who were, when the news of the bombing became known. But nothing can ever justify the use of such a horrendous means to an end.
    All war is terrible and Nuclear war unthinkable.
    I live in hope that mankind has learned something.

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    1. I joined CND and attended it's first inaugural meeting in Rochdale..it was before I went to college so I must have been very young...but old enough to know how I felt!

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  2. I can remember in the Army, being educated about the benefits of having a nuclear deterrent. I listened and even wrote essays about it, but the inhumanity and horror wasn't given the priority - the emphasis was on how it had prevented another world war, because if it was used, than everyone would be the loser. It was also about surviving a nuclear explosion and being able to fight and operate in those conditions - not that I was ever sure that we'd have time to do anything but survive - or morale would have been destroyed by the destruction around us.

    I came to the view the nuclear as deterrent to war was both immoral and obscene - but kept my mouth shut, as being subject to military discipline, this would have been regarded as dissent.

    Nowadays, I can openly support nuclear disarmament with gusto. I'm only too aware of the consequences of even a single use of a nuclear weapon, which are hundreds of times more powerful than the atom bombs dropped on Japan.

    No to Nuclear in any form.

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