How Bombing Hiroshima got Hollywood Makeover

111

The author has written extensively on propaganda related to the bomb. What follows is a story stemming from his previous research.

With Vladimir Putin’s Russia putting boots on the ground in Crimea and the Obama administration responding with rhetoric reminiscent of Cold War posturing, the past few days provided chilling reminders of the dangerous and costly nuclear arms race that gripped the two superpowers for nearly half a century. How far the U.S. and Russia will go in rattling their still enormous nuclear arsenals this time remains to be seen.

You might wonder why most Americans, after Hiroshima, accepted the new nuclear dangers so readily, even as atomic bombs led to hydrogen bombs and the world’s stockpile of warheads mounted on intercontinental ballistic missiles expanded from mere dozens to thousands.

An important factor was the active suppression of vital information about radiation effects and other nuclear dangers by the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies. I have documented this in two books, “Hiroshima in America” (with Robert Jay Lifton) and “Atomic Cover-up.” This cover-up extended even to Hollywood.

This is a cautionary tale, one that has been buried for decades, on the official censorship—by the Truman White House—of a major Hollywood film on the bombing of Hiroshima. And the tale goes beyond censorship: it involves the outright falsification of major historical facts.

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A Propaganda Film is Born

The MGM drama, The Beginning or the End emerged in 1947, after many revisions, as a Hollywood version of America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets.

Just weeks after the Hiroshima attack in August 1945, Sam Marx, a producer at MGM, received a call from agent Tony Owen, who said his wife, actress Donna Reed, had received some fascinating letters from her high school chemistry teacher. That teacher, Dr. Edward Tomkins, who was then at the Oak Ridge nuclear site, wrote to ask if Hollywood had a feature on the atomic bomb in the works, one that would warn the world about the dangers of a nuclear arms race. He was surprised to learn they did not. But this would soon change.

Tompkins’ letter set in motion what MGM boss Louis B. Mayer, a conservative Republican, called “the most important story” he would ever film. MGM hired Norman Taurog to direct the film, and Hume Cronyn to star as physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the scientific effort to create the bomb.

President Truman himself provided the title, The Beginning or the End. Within weeks, as I learned through archival research, MGM writers were meeting with the atomic scientists at Oak Ridge and elsewhere.

My fascination with the making, and unmaking, of this seminal film about the dawn of the Atomic Age took me to the Truman Library, where I was the first to consult key documents, White House letters and scripts. The story of the derailing of the movie, and why it was important, is told in my book, “Hollywood Bomb.”

111

The Bombing Gets a Hollywood Makeover

The early scripts, which I discovered at the library, raised doubts about President Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima—and portrayed the effects of the bombing with a stark realism that would have shocked many viewers.

The script called for shots of a bombed-out Hiroshima as ghostlike ruins, with close-ups of a baby with a burned face. The underlying message reflected the regrets of many of the scientists who had worked to create the bomb: It would have been better to continue the war—even if it meant a full-scale invasion of Japan—“than release atomic energy in the world.”

But then something happened, and the “message” of The Beginning or the End shifted radically.

The reason for the shift was clear: General Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project who was back at the Pentagon, had secured the all-important right of script approval—along with a then-hefty $10,000 fee—and was playing an active role in reshaping the film.

Unlike Groves and Truman, nearly all of the scientists impersonated in the film—even Albert Einstein—were not given script approval (although they signed releases). The Hollywoodization of the bomb had begun.

Facts were suppressed, and events were completely fabricated:

Suppression of fact:

In revised scripts, the decision to use the bomb was presented as justifiable, even admirable. The doubts raised earlier just disappeared. And now, after scenes depicting the bombing of Hiroshima, no victims were shown, just a charred landscape filmed from the air.

Suppression of fact:

Under General Groves’ guidance, the revised script made light of nuclear fallout.

Fabrication:

The B-29s flying over Hiroshima were pelted with heavy flak, a detail that made the attack seem more courageous. In fact, there was no antiaircraft fire over Hiroshima.

Fabrication:

One scene depicted fictional German scientists visiting a fabricated Japanese nuclear facility in—Hiroshima!

Fabrication:

In another entirely false episode, Matt Cochran, a young scientist arming the bomb, prevents a chain reaction from blowing up 40,000 people on a Pacific island—and thereby exposes himself to a fatal dose of radiation. But before he dies, Matt concludes,

“God has not shown us a new way to destroy ourselves. Atomic energy is the hand he has extended to lift us from the ruins of war and lighten the burdens of peace.”

Harry Truman’s Behavior Gets a Hollywood Makeover

After screening the film, Walter Lippmann, the famed columnist, said he still found one scene “shocking.” It pictured Truman deciding, rather cavalierly, after only a brief reflection, that the United States would use the weapon against Japan. President Truman felt uncomfortable with the scene, as well.

Following protests from the White House, the rightwing MGM screenwriter James K. McGuinness deleted the offending scene and wrote a new one:

Fabrication:

In the revised scene, Truman “reveals” that the United States would drop leaflets over Hiroshima warning of the coming attack with a new weapon as a means to “save lives.” There were no such leaflets.

Fabrication:

The fictional Truman also says there was a “consensus” that dropping the bomb would shorten the war by a year. No such consensus existed.

Fabrication:

And in the film the President predicts this “will mean life for…from 300,000 to half a million of America’s finest youth.” This was a highly inflated figure.

Fabrication:

President Truman says that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been picked as targets for their military value. In fact, they were selected because they had not been bombed previously and so would demonstrate the power of this new weapon. In any case, the aiming points for release of the bombs was the center of the cities, not military bases.

Fabrication:

The new scene also had Truman claiming he had spent “sleepless nights” making the decision. But in real life he proudly insisted he had never lost any sleep over it.

Suppression of fact:

The Truman White House demanded further changes. Among them, deleting a reference to morally concerned scientists who favored setting off a demonstration bomb for Japanese leaders in a remote area, to give them a chance to surrender before we dropped an atomic bomb on a city.

Fabrication:

The claim that the bombing would shorten the war by “approximately” a year was ordered changed to “at least” a year.

Truman even wrote a letter to the actor who had portrayed him in the original scene, complaining that he made it seem as if the president had come to a “snap judgment” in deciding to use the bomb. As indicated above, the offending scene was rewritten. This prompted the actor, Roman Bohnen, to write a sarcastic letter to the President, informing him that people would be debating the decision to drop the bomb for 100 years “and posterity is quite apt to be a little rough.” He went on to suggest that Truman should play himself in the movie. Truman, who normally ignored critical letters, took the trouble to reply and defend the atomic bomb decision, revealing, “I have no qualms about it whatever.”

Soon—likely on orders from the White House—Bohnen was replaced by another actor.

A Manufactured “aura of authenticity”

The drama that emerged in 1947, after many revisions, was a Hollywood version of what became America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets. The movie was seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Because of its quasi-documentary form, most viewers probably accepted its depiction of events as accurate.

The Beginning or the End, which billed itself as “basically a true story,” opened across the country in March 1947 to mixed reviews. Time laughed at the film’s “cheery imbecility,” but Variety praised its “aura of authenticity and special historical significance.” Bosley Crowther, the New York Times critic, applauded its handling of the moral issues in portraying the “necessary evil” of the atomic attacks.

On the other hand, Harrison Brown, who had worked on the bomb, exposed some of the film’s factual errors in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He called the claim that warning leaflets had been showered on Hiroshima the “most horrible falsification of history.”

Physicist Leo Szilard knew what violence had been done to the truth. He summed it up this way: “If our sin as scientists was to make and use the bomb, then our punishment was to watch The Beginning or the End.

Life Magazine photo.

Life Magazine photo.

Mutual Assured Destruction

Mankind’s punishment would be the era of MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction—the Cold War doctrine that pitted the locked-and-loaded nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union against each other in a 50-year standoff. Those nuclear weapons, still on hair-trigger fuses—as well as those possessed by China, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and other nations—continue to threaten the existence of life on earth whenever political leaders play “chicken” with one another for “strategic” advantage. And the nuclear arms race fed the vast nuclear power industry, marked by its own unprecedented dangers and accidents from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl and Fukushima.

IMAGE: Movie Poster,IMAGE: Harry Truman,IMAGE: NY Times Headline,IMAGE: Life Magazine Photo

Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Hiroshima in America” (with Robert Jay Lifton) and “Atomic Cover-up” and “Hollywood Bomb.” He is the former editor of Nuclear Times and Editor & Publisher and writes a daily column at The Nation.

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  • DMP

    Awake-Up..I’ll be brief !… governments ..all ..governments and governmental entities…massage the facts and events to fit their power interests and never the citizenry nor the truth

    • BigFish92672

      Do the Japanaese teach their people that the bombs were necessary to get them to surrender?

      • mnwildfan

        Do the Americans teach their children that they weren’t necessary? Because they weren’t.

      • drmikevasovski

        The Japanese do not teach their children about Pearl Harbor according to a Japanese person who visited Hawaii for the first time. After being taken to the harbor, she broke down in tears and said, “they never told us this in school”.

        • BigFish92672

          Probably because the destruction of Pearl Harbor was infinitesimal in comparison to what the US did to the population centers of mainland Japan. In your public school, did you learn that bombing of Tokyo in WWII was so intense, it caused lakes to boil? I’m guessing not. My point is, the victor writes the history, son never trust the victor’s version.

          • Snead Hearn

            The US had already caused Hiroshima-like destruction to Tokyo. They only difference was that it took many planes and 3 days (and no radiation victims).

        • DelmarJackson

          Japan has never had public discussions over the atrocities committed by the Japanese military and the public is quite ignorant over such things as the rape of Nanking China or the hundreds of thousands that died in their POW camps. Also, Japan was given immunity from any civil lawsuits so they have never paid money to citizens the way Germany was made to do and the way it has acknowledged its mistreatment of civilians.
          Not many Japanese citizens are aware of our soldiers held captive that were dissected while alive as medical experiments.
          I understand no one is perfect, there is good and bad in everybody, but people go over Americas actions with a fine tooth comb while being totally dismissive of the actions of the other side.

  • http://www.clippingpathspecialist.com/clipping-path.html Jannatul

    Its a matter of thinking so any kind of makeover can give an insight about Hiroshima tragedy.

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  • oldman67

    I have an aunt who was just a little girl living in Hiroshima the day the atomic bomb was dropped on that city. She will never talk about what it was like for her to live through that and from all the research i have done i feel there is no reason to ask her. Unbelievable how Japan was trying to surrender weeks before the bombs were dropped. All they asked was to keep their emperor which the U.S. refused to do. After demonstrating to the USSR America’s power and the surrender Japan was allowed to keep their emperor after all. I found it Interesting that Saddam tried to surrender but his military forces were destroyed along with tens of thousand of innocent civilians. I found it interesting how similar the tactics used by the U.S. to get Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and Saddam to invade Kuwait turned out to be.

    • DelmarJackson

      I think the hundreds of thousands of military and civilian prisoners in the over 500 Japanese POW camps who were dying by the thousands every week from starvation, torture, and being worked to death, if the bombs were not dropped may have a different opinion.

      • yesnowhat

        Delmar, either you’re an idiot or you can’t read. He said the Japanese were trying to surrender and were not allowed to do so. Therefore it follows that during the last weeks of the was, it is the fault of America that the pows were still in the camps, not the fault of the Japanese.

        • DelmarJackson

          if you have facts,-names,dates, proving the US deliberately dropped two atomic bombs on a Japan that had agreed to the surrender terms of our country, you should be on the news tonight. I await those facts.
          if you need to look at the facts of the hundreds of thousands of Asians, British, Dutch, Australian and American civilians and military that died in the Japanese POW camps , you can find it online, even in Wikipedia.
          The Japanese were extraordinary people who fought to the death. The war would have gone on for a much longer time if the bombs were not dropped and many more thousands non Japanese would have died in the POW camps, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of our military and their civilians that would have died in Japan after we invaded.
          The atomic bombs were horrible,so were the fire bombings of Dresden and other cities, and also the Japanese prison camps where hundreds of thousands died. The problem is, no one ever writes about the camps.

          • yesnowhat

            yes, two minutes of research shows that the Americans had received surrender terms virtually identical to the terms eventually accepted, by January 20, 1945 – this was a full 6 months before the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. America therefore prolonged the war for 6 months so they could showcase their new weapon to the world.
            This was reported in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald on August 19, 1945.
            If you need more details, I suggest yo do your own research – it really isn’t that difficult.

          • DelmarJackson

            When your two minutes of research answers my question about your assertion the Japanese were bombed after agreeing to all the Allies conditions of surrender, I will be happy to read it. In the meantime,Telling me the surrender conditions the Japanese wanted was ” virtually” the same is kind of insulting. We all know what ” virtually” means. and it does not mean the same. If you are claiming we bombed the Japanese after they agreed to almost all of our conditions, , that is not your original statement.

          • Greg Mitchell

            Again, one need only consult Truman’s diaries, as I have in person in Missouri, or articles about them to see that Harry, in the days leading up to the use of the bomb, was convinced that the Soviets’ planned attack on Japan, which we were insisting on around August 7, would cause them to quit. As Truman said, “fini Japs” when that occurred. Doesn’t mean it would have happened, of course. But Truman certainly thought so–and still rushed to use one bomb, and before the Japanese had time to respond, used another.

          • mnwildfan

            Read the book “The House of War” by James Carroll. It explains how the Japanese talked about surrender before the bombings. Oldman67 is right. The only reason the Japanese didn’t surrender was the notion of unconditional surrender wouldn’t allow them to keep their Emperor.

          • DelmarJackson

            Gee, I wonder why the allies did not want the Japanese to keep their Emperor?

          • Holy Bacon

            The allies didn’t really *care* if Japan kept their Emperor. That is why Japan still has an Emperor today. What they wanted was an excuse to derail any overtures of peace so they could test their new weapon. Congratulations, you have proven yourself to be the epitome of the product of the Hollywood makeover of the atomic bombing of Japan.

          • DelmarJackson

            I think they tested their new weapon. It was at Los Alamos. Or was that a Hollywood myth too?
            I also think you are just making stuff up to suit your own agenda and have no proof. I am tired of people who want to rewrite the narrative of history and cherry pick facts and demonize people who object.
            The fact is the Japanese did not accept the terms of surrender, which was UNCONDITIONAL.
            The fact is hundreds of thousands of prisoners in the over 500 POW camps would have died from daily starvation, over work and torture if the war had not ended soon. The fact is hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides would have died along with hundreds of thousands of civilians if the war had gone on long enough for an invasion.
            Saying this is not so does not make the facts go away, as much as you would like for them to .

          • Holy Bacon

            Jesus you are thick. The whole point is that the US demanded unconditional surrender. The only terms the Japanese wanted in May 1945 was to leave the Emperor and not try him for war crimes… which we didn’t do anyway. We could have ended the war without invading and without killing entire cities. The test in the Nevada desert was just that, IN THE DESERT. It wasn’t a city and it wasn’t full of PEOPLE, which is the test they really wanted. You are regurgitating the same lie they have been repeating for 70 years, that there wasn’t a better alternative. I know it is hard to think that Americans could create a false narrative to justify atrocities because we are supposed to be “the good guys” but we have. I think you are just tired of people pointing out facts that poke holes in your accepted narrative of history because to do so would cause your entire paradigm of American “goodness” to crumble at your feet.

          • DelmarJackson

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You are making a claim that the US deliberately dropped 2 atomic bombs on a civilian population as a “test” and your only proof is that, according to you, the Japanese were willing to surrender, so long as they could keep their Emperor (who they worshipped as a deity and would have jumped into a live volcano if he had summoned them to do so.) I can’t imagine why we did not accept. it is like if the Russians, upon advancing on Berlin, had been offered a surrender so long as the German people could keep Hitler. The Russians would have been animals not to accept such a fair offer. I am sure the Russians just wanted to flatten Berlin as a test.
            You know we never landed on the moon either.

          • Troyhunter

            It is a well established fact that the US wanted to test the weapon on a civilian populace. In fact, they deliberately avoided bombing certain cities to make sure that all of the buildings would be intact when the bomb fell. They almost bombed Kyoto instead, but someone’s wife (Wilson’s I think) asked them not to because she had her honeymoon there.

          • Holy Bacon

            Ahh, the inevitable “oh yeah? Where is your proof that I can deny and pick apart with my apples to oranges comparisons and simplistic generalizations, hmm?” Scroll up. The House of War by James Carroll.

          • John Cook

            If you are willing to go far enough down the rabbit hole you will discover that they tested Both designs. The one we were later told about (at the time it was hidden behind a supposed explosion of an ammunition dump) was of the spherical style, but they also tested the “Gun Barrel” type. It was also called an ammunition explosion, but it wasn’t in the desert, it was a ship being loaded by a few hundred negro workers. They mostly died. Great test.

          • drmikevasovski

            The House of War is an amazing book. Glad to see it referenced in the comment section.

      • Jim

        Step 1: Open brain
        Step 2: Use brain.
        Step 3: Read carefully.
        Step 4: See steps 1 & 2.

        Idiot.

      • ND52

        Your avatar speaks volumes about your mindset @DelmarJackson:disqus

      • LocalHero

        Are you aware that the bomb incinerated American prisoners being held in Hiroshima? I didn’t think so.

        • DelmarJackson

          In the North atlantic convoys, after a ship was torpedoed, the destroyers would pass by seaman floating in the water to drop depth charges on the subs. No one could stop to pick them up. My uncle said his ship passed right by some sailors.he said could still see their faces.

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  • Greg Mitchell

    It’s an open question re: if and when Japan would have surrendered
    without the bomb. I have researched and written about this for 30 years
    and it’s still not settled in my mind. We will never know, obviously. The main
    point, however, remains: should we have tried other measures first
    before deliberately incinerating 200,000 people in the two cities, the
    vast majority women and children? Or even waited a week for the Soviet
    declaration of war to sink in (Truman himself had written in diary,
    “Fini Japs” when that occurred)? My motivation has always been that Americans know so little about the facts surrounding this. And we send to say “never again”–but then endorse two “exceptions” at a time when we may have to debate using nuclear weapons again, with this precedent of accepting the use of these weapons to try to end a war.

    • Frank Lambert

      Greg: Thanks so much for your very important article on the Hollywood “soft-soaping” of the atomic bombing of Japan. I have two things to add.
      First: The only general officer — Navy admirals are general officers too) to resign his commission in World War Two was Brigadier General Herbert C. Holdrdige, a West Point graduate who worked in the Wash. D.C. area during the war in planning, etc. As early as 1944, the Japanese Imperial government knew they couldn’t beat the U.S. and sent representatives to several countries seeking an honorable surrender which would keep the Emperor in power even though Tojo ran the government. Holdridge saw several of these communiques and every time he made inquiries in the chain of command about excepting the surrender, he was literally told to keep quit, and was told, more or less, that “everyone’s working, we’re out of the Great Depression, and that we needed to keep the war going for another year.” Words to that effect. Out of frustration, and though a career soldier, the general was a humanitarian and resigned from the U.S. Army in 1944.
      He was a friend of some relatives of mine and talked about this back in the 1950’s.
      Second: In 1976, Norman Cousins, the late editor of the defunct Saturday Review magazine had an extraordinarily detailed account of why Truman dropped the bomb. I wish I had saved the article, because he named names –A-Bomb Harry’s closest advisors — who were more interested in stopping the Red Army’s move eastward, to attack Japan’s western flank (from Manchuria until they got to the sea). THat was the agreement between Truman, Churchill & Stalin, once Germany was defeated.
      Truman’s advisors, according to the Cousin’s article, didn’t want to split up Japan with the Soviets, as was agreed upon in Europe, and also to show the Soviets our latest weapon’s destructiveness in case they wanted a foothold in the Pacific region.
      I have spent many days searching the internet for that article, with no luck. While searching for it, I’ve read testimony by U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army brass who served in the war against Japan that it wasn’t necessary to nuke Japan.
      Again, thanks for shedding some real truth about the Hollywood version of reality, verses the facts.

      • Greg Mitchell

        Thanks for your note, I will look into Holdridge. But there has been MUCH evidence that has emerged since the Cousins article, and many books with new facts, such as the big one from Gar Alperovitz–or my own, with Lifton, “Hiroshima in America.”

  • Mike in MI

    Harry Truman was a war criminal.

  • caesar

    I wonder if the JAPS had any compassion before Pearl Harbor and before they ravaged China? Its unfortunate that we did not have a hundred of them on Dec 8th 1941 because then we could have saved thousands of lives and turned Japan into a parking lot.

    • Grim Fandango

      That’s the propaganda fed to the dumbed-down sheep.

      The truth is, Churchill desperately wanted the US into the war, or he would lose to Germany. He convinced Roosevelt to provoke Japan into a hostile act, then we could declare war on them, and Germany would be forced to declare war on the US (They were allies and this was part of their pact)

      So FDR embargoed supplies into Japan, most notably oil. Japan has no natural resources and must import every drop of oil, which is the lifeblood of their military. Supplies were dwindling, and Japan knew they had to move soon, or die. Conveniently, FDR moved the Pacific Fleet from the safe haven of San Diego to the bullseye in the middle of the Pacific, Pearl Harbor. (Against the wishes of Rear Admiral Kimmel of the fleet.)

      Adding to that setup, the Brits had broken the Japanese code, and so every radio message was known, as they sailed towards Pearl. Instead of warning Pearl, FDR issued orders to deliver aircraft by the four aircraft carriers st5ationed at Pearl, sending them out of harm’s way in the nick of time. That left mainly outmoded and obsolete WWI battleships and cruisers as targets. The US knew the war would be one of aircraft launched from aircraft carriers, and within 6 months we had built the fleet back to overwhelming advantage over the Japanese, as was planned from the beginning.

      Were the Japs good guys? In no way possible, however the truth is, war is hell and many troops of all nations become inhuman and vicious monsters. The sick part is, it is the civillians that pay the price for war, civillians that had no say in it and could not have stopped it or changed how their own soldiers acted towards others.

  • Liberty Lover in Texas

    I think the Principle here is using the least force first, to show the new destructive power of the A Bomb, in order to force a surrender, should have been used.

    It wouldn’t have been hard to pick a remote area of Japan, obliterate it & give the Japanese leaders 7 days to surrender, once they viewed it’s power.

    This would have been the Christian, civilized approach that would have honored the Just War Principle of not bombing innocents & never applying more force than is required to ‘secure the peace’.

    Another problem was our failure to target primarily Military targets, instead of civilian populations.

    The main (only ?) justification for war is to ‘defend innocent Life’ – and yet as America has abandoned it’s Biblical, moral foundations, we have moved further from these Principles.

    it’s time for a return to these time honored Christian Principles that once were the bedrock of Western Civilization – If we want God to be honored and our Nation to survive into the future.

    Of late, Ron Paul has been speaking this ‘Truth to Power’ – that we should not empower the State, as all government tend towards corruption & war when power is concentrated in the hands of the few.

    Our prayer, & goal is that it now be diffused into the hands of many, many Liberty loving Americans –

    God wake us up to these realities !

    Thanks for your balanced commentary, WhoWhatWhy !

    David in Texas

    • Grim Fandango

      The psychopaths that dropped the bombs wanted no warning to be given, lest it spoil their fantastic experiment. As the author of the article points out, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen for their untouched city structures, as they wanted to see the full destructive force in action.

      The unspoken truth is, Japan was finished, knew it, and was desperately trying to broker a surrender that would leave the Emperor untouched and unembarrassed. They had nothing left but grade school kids, mothers and grandparents with pitchforks to repulse the upcoming invasion of Japan.

      And the sickest and little known fact was, on August 14, 1945, after the two atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan, and after Emperor Hirohito had agreed to surrender because “the enemy now possesses a new and terrible weapon with the power to destroy many innocent lives and do incalculable damage,” General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold, to boost his already over-inflated ego (he was made a five-star general in 1944), undertook a completely unnecessary act of terror from the skies over Japan that had never before been seen.

      Arnold managed to launch a total of 1,014 aircraft on a daylight bombing run on seven cities. The Japanese launched no fighters, fired no anti-aircraft flak, and the Allies suffered no losses, and before the last B-29 returned President Truman announced the unconditional surrender of Japan.

      This was the largest bombing raid (and most unnecessary) in history. Yet, many timelines of World War II do not even list this event as having occurred. All on a nation that was crushed and broken, that just had 2 nuclear bombs dropped on them.

  • rightster

    The Japanese hit military targets at Pearl Harbor. They did ravage China, though.

  • ursulamargrit

    Truman knew ahead of time that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and waited patiently for it to happen, to get the people to finally approve of the USA joining the war.
    Also, apparently, the Japanese wanted to surrender, but without giving up their emperor, who was their god.
    The USA refused, wanting an unconditional surrender, with disposing of the emperor.
    AFTER dropping those bombs, they allowed for a conditional surrender.
    They wanted to drop the bombs to test them on real people, and to show Stalin what would happen to one of his cities if he crossed the United States.
    It had NOTHING to do with saving any lives at all.

    • Duke Woolworth

      Truman was a senator in 1941.

      • DelmarJackson

        Thank you!

        • Duke Woolworth

          The google strikes again!

      • Mike G

        He obviously meant FDR.

  • Duke Woolworth

    Only the losers are war criminals. The winners are heroes.

  • Snead Hearn

    War criminals Kissinger and Obama got Nobel Peace Prizes. Why not be consistent and give one to War Criminal Truman?

  • John Cook

    The two bombs were of different designs – they “needed” to test both. The raw Evil of those people is hard to believe. Neither bombs were necessary, the war was over, but the second one is absolute proof of the malevolence of the Americans in power.

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  • soonertroll

    The wretched Empire of Japan deserved everything it got during the war.

    • cruz_ctrl

      the last five letters of your username are appropriate.

  • Nick

    I prefer to think of the HST as described in this clip of John Taylor Gatto– calling out the Rockefellers for selling oil to both sides in 1942…
    http://youtu.be/-kwZYrZDM20

  • edwardrynearson

    and when all was said and done it was the making of the bombs which did us in > hanford nuclear reservation is one big “chickens coming home to roost” problem

  • IMPOed

    And our “leadership” is still practicing their deceitful practices today,, and getting away with it, how can this be?

    • cruz_ctrl

      “And our “leadership” is still practicing their deceitful practices today,, and getting away with it, how can this be?”

      Have you read some of the comments on this thread? Consider your question answered…

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  • cruz_ctrl

    right! let’s have a race to the bottom. who can out-atrocity whom…

  • traveler

    It makes the US just like them: a pig country, that do no hesitate to massacre and genocide, just like the nuts of japan did and the US does non stop today.

  • Robert Lloyd

    To think we chose to bomb women and children instead of the military taking casualties… is horrendous. And we are the good guys?

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  • BumBotSays

    Thank God, The United States Had the Atomic Bomb First and Used It !!

    Otherwise, bleeding hearts would not have the opportunity to say how much they wish the Axis Powers of World War II had destroyed the United States.

    U.S.A. All The Way!
    Donald Trump For President!!!!!!!! Amend.

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