An Anniversary We’d Like To Forget – but can’t

Posted on August 6, 2012


Decisions have consequences

We have readers all over the globe and some of them are from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.  I heard from one of them today, reminding me of the 67th ‘anniversary’ of the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

I have been reading a book called ‘The Fall of Japan’.  It brings out a considerable amount of evidence indicating that most of the Japanese government officials, diplomats and many of the top officers in the Imperial Navy were trying to influence their government toward suing for peace with the Americans, but the very top dogs in the military snuffed out those reasonable and sensible proposals.

This effort reached its zenith in the days and weeks following March 9, 1945 – the day we burned Tokyo.  63 percent of Tokyo’s business and manufacturing were decimated, and whole residential areas were incinerated; the heat in some spots reaching over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit!

We thought surely that this would cause the national will to sustain the war to crumble.  The Japanese surely saw what we were capable of less than 3 weeks earlier in February of that same year in Dresden, Germany.

As my reader correctly observes, the Japanese people were exhausted and sick of the death and destruction, but the most powerful of the ‘Supreme Council of War Ministers’ stubbornly resisted.  One credible explanation has to do with Japanese tradition, in which to some at that time at least, death was preferable to surrender.  ‘Saving Face’ has survived WWII, but Japanese military instincts suffered a crushing blow.

As to the viciousness and ugliness of the Japanese atrocities against China, Korea, the Philippines and other areas in Asia, I can show you brutality on behalf of Stalin, Hitler and the Ottoman Empire (the Armenian Holocaust), that in no way takes second place to the unimaginable inhumanity of the Japanese forces.

The 20th century was the most evil, most deadly, most savage century in human history – and if you are a serious student of history, you know that is a dubious accomplishment.

What you will read next, is little known and little reported in history – for what reason, I’m not exactly certain although I can guess.  America produced and  dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities, warning that those cities were going to be destroyed within a few days and advising the residents to leave to save their lives.

One side of the leaflet had a photo of five U.S. bombers unloading bombs and a list of the targeted cities. The other side had the text. The English version of the leaflet is included in an article at the CIA website, “The Information War in the Pacific, 1945,” by Josette H. Williams. OWI stands for Office of War Information.  Here is the text of the leaflets in full:

“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes.

So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people.

The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.”

An unheeded warning.   An unnecessary outcome.