Video: “Hiroshima” Updated

posted at 12:26 pm on December 26, 2006 by Allahpundit

For some reason this is making the rounds on Digg and MeFi today, mainly for the sweet CGI used to render the attack. The “Day After vs. Threads” post got a healthy response so I thought I’d run this one up the flagpole too and see how she flies.

It comes from a Beeb series on WWII produced for the 60th anniversary of the war last year.

More (Bryan): A word to the commenters who are blaming Japanese people for the tone and content of the video posted here. It was produced by the BBC. That’s in Britain. Japan had nothing to do with the production of this video. Furthermore, you’re only seeing a short clip of a much longer piece. The context some of you seek is probably in that other 80-90% of the documentary that’s not posted on YouTube.

Some of you might find my history and take on Hiroshima and Nagasaki interesting. I spent four years, 1993 to 1997, in Japan courtesy the US Air Force. During that time I married into a Japanese family who took me in and have always treated me like I was their own son. I’ve visited both atomic bomb museums, the one in Nagasaki first and the one in Hiroshima a year or two later. Of the two, the Hiroshima museum is superior because it does a better job of placing the bomb in its true context. It documents the lead up to the war, the war itself and its abrupt ending after the twin atomic blasts. I visited the Hiroshima museum with my father-in-law, who was a little boy living not too far from Nagasaki during the war. By the grace of God he survived the war, grace that gave me the family I have now. So not only do I see the historic import of the atomic blasts, but it touches me personally.

I happen to think that the atomic bomb saved not only a potential 1,000,000 Americans, but probably saved Japan itself. Invading the mainland would have resulted in violence and death on a scale we can’t really get our heads around, because the imperial government had begun training civilians and children to fight to the death, using sticks or whatever they had to hand. And they would have done so; the battle for Okinawa taught us that much. The record of the kamikazes and the slaughters on Iwo Jima and Guam and Saipan taught us that much as well. The war on the Japanese main islands, if it came to that, would probably have destroyed the fabric of the country and might have robbed Japan of a couple of generations of its people. Millions wiped out, and a culture going back centuries in total ruin. In my opinion we wouldn’t have the Japan we have today, a staunch ally in the war against terrorism and the ongoing standoff with North Korea, if we hadn’t short circuited World War II and then rebuilt Japan as a democracy in the decades that followed the war. Not to mention the many good American men who would have died needlessly fighting a guerilla war in mountainous terrain for another three, four, even five years after the defeat of Hitler. The atomic bombs prevented all that. Truman made the right call.

That said, there’s no place on this blog for language like “Japs” and there’s no place for comments that lament the fact that the bomb didn’t kill more Japanese civilians. There is no place for that kind of thinking or language here at all. I don’t ever want to see comments here take the directions they took in the thread below, again. Some of you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.


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Need to put that on DVD, leave the DVD and a pig’s head on ol’ Imashiithead’s doorstep.

bdfaith on December 26, 2006 at 12:50 PM

It looks like the preview to another really bad Michael Bay movie.

I love the way all the Japs are all civilians shown going about their normal daily business. Why, you wouldn’t even know they were at war with America! It’s like we just nuked them out of the blue for no reason!

Lehuster on December 26, 2006 at 12:51 PM

Wow. Now imagine 100 times that … in NYC.

another reason we need to quit pussy footing around with NK and Iran, and do whatever it takes to stop them dead in their tracks.

One Angry Christian on December 26, 2006 at 12:53 PM

I love the way all the Japs are all civilians shown going about their normal daily business. Why, you wouldn’t even know they were at war with America! It’s like we just nuked them out of the blue for no reason!

This is just the attack sequence. The film does show the military presence in the city. It’s a very well done documentary.

Slublog on December 26, 2006 at 12:56 PM

Instead of imagining that in NYC, I’d rather imagine it in Tehran or Damascus.

Mogadishu doesn’t rate one. It’s worth more than their GNP.

Ringmaster on December 26, 2006 at 12:59 PM

It’s a good recreation. But why is it that pieces like this almost invariably depict nothing but school children and housewives going about their business as the bomb drops, as if the city were some sort of national daycare center? There’s never a shot amidst the foreboding montage of an officer studying defense charts at his desk at the 2nd General Army Headquarters, or somebody stacking up ordnance at the regional logistics center.

Incidentally, if one really enjoys good CG recreations of exciting military events, I can’t recommend “Dogfights,” which airs Fridays on the History Channel, anywhere near enough. Not only are the recreations nice eye candy, they teach you a surprising amount about the mechanics of aerial combat, and the interviews with the heroes who flew the missions are priceless.

Blacklake on December 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM

It also doesn’t talk about the Chinese civilians that the japanese were slaughtering daily, or the American soldiers that were tortured, mutilated, and killed while imprisoned.

It’s really well done, but very out of context.

One Angry Christian on December 26, 2006 at 1:16 PM

Thank you Harry Truman for dropping the atomic bomb on the japs. In 1946 I was in Pearl Harbor. I would probably have been a part of the jap homeland invasion and it is estimated that 500,000 would have been killed. nuff said.

navy1946 on December 26, 2006 at 1:28 PM

“I just asked myself, Why?”

Because your leaders started a war of aggression against the U.S., that’s why. It’s terrible that innocent people had to die in this act, but in the end; I’m convinced bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved more lives than they took.

dalewalt on December 26, 2006 at 1:32 PM

People . . . take a breath. This is not meant to be a complete and fair depiction of WW II in its entirety.

I would suggest that every democrat in the House and Senate take a look at what will inevitably occur in some American city if they don’t cease their obstructionist tactics in the war on terrorism.

Labamigo on December 26, 2006 at 1:32 PM

Does it mention that Hiroshima was the HQ of the entire Japanese southern defense force and that an estimated 100,000 Japanese soldiers were there in Hiroshima ?

Or that Japan was training its civilians on how to attack US soldiers ? That even their schools were running training exersises on how to stab US soldiers when they land ?

Or that Japan didnt even surrender after the first nuke but said that they would continue the war ?

Or that Japan with Germany’s help was trying to build its own nuclear bomb ?

William Amos on December 26, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Here in fact is a BBC news article about a German sub sunk off the Norweigan coast that was carrying nuclear materials to help Japan build a bomb. Just came out the other day

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6193979.stm

Norway tackles toxic war grave

It was not quite the deadly legacy the Germans had in mind when they deployed a U-boat on a daring mission to Japan in the last desperate months of World War II.

William Amos on December 26, 2006 at 1:48 PM

Totally sweet.

KSgop on December 26, 2006 at 1:54 PM

navy1946 -

Thank you for your service defending the Nation. You and men like you are truly part of the greatest generation. There are people of my generation who do think like you, and see the danger that lies ahead. I, and many others like myself will try our damndest to live up to your expectations. People like you truyly are our inspiration. God bless you sir & Happy New Year!

NeoConSnakePlissken on December 26, 2006 at 2:00 PM

Whenever anyone questions the morality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, my answer is always three words:
REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR
Japan chose to inaugurate war. American chose to end that war.

Ali-Bubba on December 26, 2006 at 2:09 PM

For those who want a different take on Hiroshima, there’s always Carlos Mencia

The Monster on December 26, 2006 at 2:29 PM

Navy1946 and DaleWalt,
When I was teaching Air Force NBC classes in the ’80s, the figures we were given for casualty estimates were approx. 1 million Americans and I believe 6-7 million Japanese dead for an invasion of the Japanese main land.

Catseye on December 26, 2006 at 2:31 PM

Pearl Harbor was only the start. The task force that attacked Pearl Harbor had more missions. If we had lost our carriers in in Pearl Harbor the war would have turned out a little differently. The American population would have been demoralized not as a consequence of Pearl Harbor but the followup operations planned by the Japanese Task Forces what would have been able to continue “un-oppposed” for more than a year. People forget this so easily.

Egfrow on December 26, 2006 at 2:47 PM

That bomb and it’s sister saved thousands of American
GI’s and possibly hundreds of thousands Chinese civilians.

Bravo Harry Truman.

Texyank on December 26, 2006 at 2:49 PM

I think I saw George Bush’s face with Devil horns in that mushroom cloud.

infidel4life on December 26, 2006 at 4:28 PM

This reminds me that it’s been a long time since we as a nation understood that to win a war you have to wage war on the entire country, not just strategic military targets. It may not be PC but civilian populations supporting the enemy government are in fact viable targets in war. You have to destroy the enemy nation, destroy it’s military, and destroy every last bit of will to fight or resist. Exactly when did we forget how to fight a war?

Buzzy on December 26, 2006 at 4:31 PM

Remember what happened after the bombs fell. Three very important things, two that are proveable and one that some would try to debate, though I think in a futile manner. The first thing it did was end a war with an enemy, not just any war but the bloodiest war on record. The second thing it did was secure victory for our nation and our cause. The third thing it did was demonstrate, as only can be done so with the reality of use, the absolute horror and lethality of these new weapons. The net result in my opinion has led to the absence of their use to this point. Now, wacko’s and nut-jobs are immune to this horrific display. But the world of yesterday took somber note of what 2 bombs could bring to the table; total devestation of a kind never seen before. The nut in Iran, the nut in Syria, and the various nuts of Hamas, Hezbo, and AQ are the exception to the rule………

ritethinker on December 26, 2006 at 6:58 PM

…I’m convinced bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved more lives than they took.

dalewalt on December 26, 2006 at 1:32 PM

Well, I guess there’s always a downside.

Kralizec on December 26, 2006 at 10:23 PM

Navy1946..

My Pop was training for the invasion when they dropped it. He was Army Signal Corps, and was supposed to go ashore right behind the Marines to establish comm for the “big” push of infantry exploiting the beachheads. The bomb is the reason I’m here, and my kids are here, as he didn’t expect to survive the landing and/or aftermath.

Lesson: don’t screw with our naval bases.

HerrMorgenholz on December 26, 2006 at 10:23 PM

All the more reason to resolve this Islamo-Fascist problem now… We all know that this is what they desire for the west.

RalphyBoy on December 26, 2006 at 11:07 PM

That bomb and it’s sister saved thousands of American
GI’s and possibly hundreds of thousands Chinese civilians.

It also saved hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians, too, who would have almost certainly died during an allied conventional invasion of Japan.

Blacklake on December 26, 2006 at 11:11 PM

Does it mention that Hiroshima was the HQ of the entire Japanese southern defense force and that an estimated 100,000 Japanese soldiers were there in Hiroshima ?

Or that Japan was training its civilians on how to attack US soldiers ? That even their schools were running training exersises on how to stab US soldiers when they land ?

Or that Japan didnt even surrender after the first nuke but said that they would continue the war ?

Or that Japan with Germany’s help was trying to build its own nuclear bomb ?

William Amos on December 26, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Proof please for each point you made – otherwise it is just a lot of bs.

As for the other posters who jumped at the chance to use the term “Japs” it is laughable how often you gravitate to the narrow mindedness David Dukes of the world share.
And anyone who gets as much of a hard on as about the incineration of a half million people including women and children that a few posters seem to are beneath contempt. Your rationalizations sound very similar to UBL’s observations about innocents killed in the global Jihad.

Go ahead and flame away but the simple fact is that political analysis aside, too many people gleefully rub their hands together and really hope for another nuclear solution….

lemmings I tell you

Bradky on December 26, 2006 at 11:30 PM

G-d bless the American servicemen that carried out these bombings that put an end to the war.

G-d curse the Japanese at those times who gave America no choice.

G-d bless the descendants of all these people who wish to live in harmony together, along with the rest of civilized mankind.

G-d curse Ahmadinejad and those people that support and approve of him. May he meet his fate before he can harm a single hair on any of his potential victims.

Shy Guy on December 27, 2006 at 2:54 AM

Last year’s anniversary article by Victor Davis Hanson:

60 Years Later: Considering Hiroshima

Shy Guy on December 27, 2006 at 3:02 AM

Proof please for each point you made – otherwise it is just a lot of bs.

Bradky on December 26, 2006 at 11:30 PM

You’re a big boy. Google it yourself. At least get your mouse off its arse and check out Wikipedia. If you’re too lazy to read the whole thing, at least start with the sentence that begins “At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of considerable industrial and military significance.”

Oh, and apologize to William Amos for calling his post BS.

Shy Guy on December 27, 2006 at 3:46 AM

Proof please for each point you made – otherwise it is just a lot of bs.

Every point but the last is supported by scholarly history – specifically, Richard Franks Downfall, or John Skates The Invasion of Japan.

Lehuster on December 27, 2006 at 9:11 AM

Every point but the last is supported by scholarly history – specifically, Richard Franks Downfall, or John Skates The Invasion of Japan.

Lehuster on December 27, 2006 at 9:11 AM

100,000 troops in Hiroshima is about ten times the estimates I have seen in historical references. If one point is incorrect then all are suspect.

Apparently the left wingers aren’t the only people fond of rewriting history to buttress their opinion….

Bradky on December 27, 2006 at 9:40 AM

The fact is that the majority of the Japanese people killed that day were in fact women and children and non-combatants, as they were in Dresden. (Others were patriot soldiers, like our soldiers.)

This reminds us how much suffering and heartache are brought upon innocent people by the evils, follies or even honest mistakes of their leaders. Wise policy is not that which eliminates suffering (as such is impossible) but which minimizes it. And then we feel compassion for our fellow men (our enemies) and remorse for the wrongness of things.

This also reminds us, as does so much else, that, while we do what we think best while in this world, we must look for our ultimate felicity in the world that transcends this one.

Tzetzes on December 27, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Some of you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

bryan, thank you. this could just as easily be about “muzzies” or similar, and its unacceptable.

i wish charles at lgf took similar responsibility. there are commenters there who attack the demagogues on their own, but it means much much more when the authors lay down the law.

jummy on December 29, 2006 at 11:47 AM

I don’t find the term Jap as offensive. Simply short for persons living under the rule of Impearl Japan. In 1945 we were far more racist than today. Japan is a glittering reminder of the US’s nobility. The loudest voices that criticize our use of nuclear weapons in 1945, are the same today with our difficulties in Iraq. The US is bad no matter what we do.

Fritz on December 29, 2006 at 2:09 PM

Japan had a nuclear weapon. They tested is SIX days after Hiroshima in North Korea. That’s how the Russians caught up so quickly.

It is also part of why the North Koreans are so determined to get a nuke of their own – again.

Agrippa2k on December 29, 2006 at 2:21 PM

As Bryan noted above, and as the Victor Davis Hanson article linked above by “Shy Guy on December 27, 2006 at 3:02 AM” indicated, many lives were saved by dropping the Bomb on Japan. I would strongly urge everyone interested in this aspect of the war to check out VDH’s marvelous book Ripples of Battle, a third of which is devoted to Okinawa. That battle occurred only 2 months before Hiroshima, and indicated the degree to which those running the war in Japan were willing to fight to the last person – military and civilian. Various estimates I have read put the number of lives saved by avoiding mainland invasion at anywhere from 3,000,000 to 9,000,000.

eeyore on December 29, 2006 at 2:27 PM

Here’s the linky thing on Ripples of Battle.

eeyore on December 29, 2006 at 2:37 PM

A host judged this thread worth his continuing it in another thread, posted three days later. A comment I made in this thread was especially criticized in both. I’m cross-posting my comment that follows, in order to properly disparage the critiques in both places.

I discovered the big fuss in these two threads several weeks after it had blown over. My remark, “Well, I guess there’s always a downside” (above, timestamped “December 26, 2006 at 10:23 PM”) was a tart remark. Tartness is something I think HotAir readers and hosts understand. If Bryan and “dalewalt” aren’t sure, I know a half-Italian, proudly beta male in Queens who will provide fresh examples.

So, yes, as I said, there’s always a downside, even to nuclear explosions, which sometimes have the unfortunate effect of saving lives. One ought not imagine I was thinking of Hiroshimans; I’m not fighting the last war. Nor should one imagine I think it’s good in warfare to kill more people than, well, than it’s good to kill. One should always aim at the good. Quite enough people died in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I think; the Americans need not wish for more.

But surely what I said meant something? Yes, it did. I had in mind that it’s worse than evil, it’s bad, to make death-minimization an absolute or ruling principle of warfare, as the Americans have done in the years since their Viet Nam War. Anything I say about war has special application to the greatest war, the present war. The war against Islamic global conquest is part of the war I’m presently trying to guide. As of February 26, 2007, not enough muslims have died. I’ll know when enough muslims have died, when the the power and spirit of the remainder are crushed. That’s how the Americans knew they had killed enough Japanese in 1945.

Kralizec on February 27, 2007 at 12:18 AM