Thursday, August 9, 2012
Today is the anniversary of the event I find more difficult to contemplate, the use of an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The death toll from Fat Man wasn't as high as from Little Boy (Nagasaki's more mountainous terrain diminished the impact of the blast) but many of the circumstances surrounding the bombing seem murkier than Hiroshima. We knew what power the weapon had. The Soviets were three days into their invasion of Japanese held territory in China. And the terms by which we agreed after the Nagasaki bombing were not the unconditional surrender we had been demanding. The Nagasaki bombing is the bombing that makes me question whether either bombing was really necessary.