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tv   The Atom Strikes  CSPAN  August 8, 2015 11:55am-12:27pm EDT

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truman library has the closest thing to an order to drop the bombs. a signed note saying release when ready. does not even call the bombs by name what they were. there are those. inound the letters recently the late 1950's, grandpa told television interviewer that he had no problem using the weapons and he would do it again given the same circumstances. that prompted a formal protest from the hero shema city council who sent him a letter saying please take that back. thankte them back saying you very and understand completely how you feel, however , let me remind you of something and he proceeded to set out how the war had been started, why he felt he did what he had to do.
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>> the decision made by his grandfather, president harry truman. thank you very much for sharing of theip and your video trip with the c-span tv audience. we appreciate your video and experience. each week, american history eel america brings you archival films. a war department film which documents the physical effects of the bombs dropped on here or she of 1945. and argues the bombing were iroshima in- hero august of 1945.
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and argue the bombings were justified. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> july 16, 1945. this is the darkness of a desert morning a group of men wait intensely, expecting -- work done in unprecedented secrecy.
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[explosion] three different cameras recorded from six miles away these views of the most concentrated release of explosive energy in the history of mankind.
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[explosion] ♪
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>> from the time of that first explosion until hiroshima shuddered beneath the release of atomic energy, work on the bomb went that a leap forward in -- went steadily forward in closely guarded clients. in new mexico, oak ridge, tennessee, and hanford, washington. for over 100 years, the city of hiroshima had garrison some of the japanese empire's finest troops. the city had never been subjected to actual bombing, but had been warned repeatedly. now it's army headquarters, barracks, and quartermaster depots, factories, mills, and shipyards were to feel the weight of the atom's destructive power. 21 days after the new mexico experiment, a b-29 was over hiroshima carrying an atomic bomb. at 8:15 in the morning of august 6, japanese time, the first atomic bomb struck an enemy target.
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this is zero point on hiroshima. the exact spot in which the bomb burst over enemy territory. at the junction of the matayashu and ota rivers. the atomic bomb was intentionally exploded well above its target in order to dissipate its radioactive material. the devastation you see here was caused by the explosion of the bomb above this zero point. only the strongest buildings are left standing. they are gutted. looking north from zero point, this is what was left. looking east, the camera records a scene of complete devastation in the immediate area. to the south, these are the ruins.
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looking west from zero point, the same complete leveling is evident. the same inability of structures to withstand atomic power. just 1/10 of a mile from zero point, the effect of the bombblast can be seen on these stripped and broken trees, and on this russian-japanese war memorial. lines were literally blasted into the stone memorial. here, looking west, the site of a concrete smokestack nears the blast has been discolored. the hiroshima gas company building, on the right in this picture, has been almost completely demolished by the force of the explosion from above. as if it has been struck with a giant sledgehammer. the reinforced concrete sunwah bank building was wrecked even more completely. these twisted steel beams one supported the roof.
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-- wants supported the roof. once supported the roof. the direction of the bomb blast can be seen clearly in these scenes of the concrete parapet walls extending above the bank building's roof. 2/10 of a mile from zero point was a shinto shrine. here, too, the blast ripped the trees and collapsed stonework. originally, the base of the statue was polished granite. now, the stone is roughened by the force of the blast, which completely removed to the polish. the lighter services, which are being pointed out, indicate the angle of the bomb blast as though they were painted on the surface. the nearby lamppost shows flash burns on the side facing the blast. the commercial museum was also within 2/10 of a mile of zero
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point. the garden wall facing the blast was bent inward by the force of the explosion. the downward force of the blast caused the failure of the concrete themes which reported this roof. the roof itself has settled so much, that it now acts as a reservoir. looking east, an area of complete devastation is all that can be seen. the railing was blown off of this bridge, and the steel poles on the bridge show the effect of the atomic bomb blast which which hurled driftwood with such force as to etch the steel. the front of this school is a quarter of a mile from and faces zero point. the sag and the concrete -- the sag in the concrete floor can be seen in the entrance.
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the steel rods, which are now supported ae suspended ceiling. this reinforced concrete building was knocked sideways, causing the lower story to collapse. this barren area, 3/10 of a mile from zero point, once contained the main japanese military headquarters. the barracks were utterly destroyed. most of the military personnel, of approximately 20,000, were wiped out. the distorted steel framework is all that remains of a building which stood 4/10 of a mile from zero point. whereas this reinforced concrete building of the tokyo electric company, electric half-mile from zero point, one withstood the blast much better. 6/10 of a mile out, destruction was almost as complete as it was
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at zero point. wooden structures were completely collapsed by the blast. this was hiroshima castle. it's framework was demolished by the force of the blast. fires of secondary origin did not occur. because it happened to be at a 45 degree angle to the direction of the blast, the hiroshima city hall, with its heavily reinforced concrete construction, shows much less damage. doors and windows were blown in by the force of the explosion. shadows of the posts on the aioi bridge indicate the direction of the explosion. 6/10 of a mile from zero point, the bridge floor is etched where it was shielded by the railing. outlined in the service of the bridge is the shadow of a pedestrian which tells its own
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meaningful story. one mile from zero point, the blast damage shows less force, but the results from fires of secondary origin are still severe. on this side of the steel bridge over the ota river, one mile away from, and facing, zero point, the lead paint was almost completely removed either -- removed by the sandblast effect resulting from the explosion of the atomic bomb. the surface of the other side of the same bridge was not visibly affected. also, one mile away from zero point is a red cross hospital which was damaged. but it never ceased function.
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this is the front of the building which faces northeast. thehe northwest side of building, the steel windows on all floors were blown in. this, southwest side of the building, again shows windows blown in by the external air pressure caused by the explosion. here, however, the windows on the southeast floor were blown out, rather than in. a look inside the hospital shows chairs in the same positions as they were the time of the blast. the backs of the chairs, which faced a zero point, we're flash burn through the window. the mohair upholstery fabric was singed down to the base. the effect on this wall was almost identical to the damage done on the opposite wall.
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in addition, interior partitions were knocked out. toward zero point from the roof of the red cross hospital a mile away, the tremendous distraction created by the first atomic bomb can be seen. army vehicles of occupying forces are moving through the streets. here, looking in the opposite direction, away from zero point to the south, only a few mason area foundation walls remain and what is left of one reinforced concrete building. looking west, still a mile from zero point, the only sign of a lone industrial plant is a smokestack. temporary housing has been set up in the area. theatter what construction japanese used, whether it was they madeaster walls,
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no attempt to zone their various types of those things. barracks, homes, and buildings of reinforced steel and concrete, factories of brick and construction, were routed together with no regard for safety of the civilian population. within one mile to 1.5 miles, there was almost complete -- destruction except for a couple of reinforced concrete buildings. from two to six miles there was damage from boston fires bearing from broken windows to roofs. these buildings amount have from the center of the blast were subject to fires of secondary origin. the railroad station in east from zero 1.5 miles
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point, although still in use, was extensively damaged. the marquee crumbled from the blast and has been removed. when the marquee fell, it the brick the near off of part of the building. -- it pulled the brick veneer off of part of the building. inside, steel beams supporting the roof or twisted out of shape and a concrete walls showed the effect of the tremendous concussion. this high school building, the same distance from zero point as the railroad station, had its north wall smashed in the blast. the north story of wall was especially badly damaged. looking through a bombed out section of the wall toward zero point, notice that not all of
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the buildings in this area where as severely damaged as the schoolhouse. a portion of the wall of the school was blown across the desks and partitions were shifted. the high school wall furthers from 0.4 jews the direction of the blast and all of the glass was blown out of the window frame. between zero point and the main building for miles away, was a held that lessened the intensity of the blast. tection this pro all of the windows were blown in. timberpel is made of with plaster walls. the glass and doors of the main entrance foyer where shattered.
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a group of jesuits who were teaching in hiroshima witnessed and survived the explosion. one has provided an eyewitness account. >> i am the father here in tokyo. >> what were you doing and hiroshima at the time of the explosion? >> my class was evacuated from tokyo to hiroshima. class studying in the city of hiroshima. >> can you describe what happened on the morning of august 6? probably, i saw a light like which filled the
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whole valley. looking out of my window to find out the reason for this to kill your phenomenon i saw nothing -- for thist peculiar phenomenon, i saw nothing but the light. i heard a crash. it might have been 10 seconds after seeing the flash light. covered withi was splinters from the window frames and glass sticking into the walls and my flesh itself. i tried to get out of my room and found that a house had been severely damaged by the blast of this explosion. i had the impression that the bomb had immediately crashed on the house it was so severe and strong of a concussion.
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looking out at the house i saw no trace of the bomb itself, but three meters from the house i saw several different houses on fire. after a while we saw a procession of people coming from the outskirts of the city up the valley. many of them, most of them, were wounded. especially the part of the bodies that was not covered by like hands, feet, they came up to a house and we did what we could. there were no possibilities to give much aid. -- matter of fact,
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us lived through this experience. we estimate the number of the dead at least at 100,000. this estimate is not based on official figures, but on the knowledge of special groups in the population. who took charge after the disaster? >> there was no one to take charge after the disaster. all of the important people, the major, the commander of the city, high-ranking officers were stationed at the time and hiroshima. although the regiments of the city were wiped out -- all of
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the regiments of the city were wiped out. >> what you think of the ruins of the city? others have, and worked in the city itself immediately after the explosion and had no effect at all. >> what do think about the japanese reaction toward the americans and the atomic bomb? myself, none of our fathers, heard a single outburst of hate against the americans in those terrible days. during the whole war, we did not hatred against the allied. at the beginning of the war,
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after the japanese victories, they declined to look down on the enemy. and they offensive, began to admire the skill of several of the americans. especially the majestic b-29 over tokyo, every japanese admired the technical skill of the americans. >> father, what is your and your colleagues decision to view the atomic bomb? >> we have discussed the use of the bomb. some consider it in the same used on as poison gas the civilian population. asers view that in total war
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in japan there is no difference between civilians and soldiers and about the bomb was an effective force to end the to avoid morning japan total destruction. it seems logical to me to avoid total were in principle you cannot complain about a war against civilians. presencear in his forum is justifiable even when it serves its just purpose. the consequences, which far exceed whatever good might there is a clear answer to this question. the business of living goes on in the devastated areas of hiroshima. in the northeastern section of the city temporary homes are
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constructed of salvage materials. the railroad station in eastern hiroshima, scrap lumber, , andriy tile are used in an attempt to build a new, no matter how flimsy the fashion. following the bombing of hiroshima, the president of the united states delivered an ultimatum to the japanese government. surrender or face complete destruction. the ultimatum was ignored. 10: 58 japanese time, the second atomic bomb was exploded over the industrial seaport city of nokia's sake. almost the entire population of 200 30,000 people were engaged in the manufacture of arms, and munitions, and other war products. 2 great mitsubishi factories
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were located in the heart of the city. to the north one of the world's largest repute pedal plants. to the south the steel and arms works. the bomb was aimed between the two plans to cause the greatest possible industrial damage. unlike hiroshima, the force of the explosion in knock ishaqi was confined to the industrial valley, which was surrounded by hills which sheltered many other areas of the city. [explosion] a great, towering mushroom effect could be seen growing higher and higher into the stratosphere. because the bomb was exploded high above the ground, the greatest part of its harmful radioactive material was dissipated in the stratosphere. the area under the explosion was
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relatively free of radioactivity. persons doing rescue work sustained no ill effect or injury. in an area of little more than three square miles, there was severe damage by blasts and fire. most buildings where reduced to rubble. still recognizable are the skeleton remainders of the this a be sh -- of the mitsubishi plant. mitsubishi steel and arms works extended almost one mile.
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the buildings were modern and typical of american industrial construction with steel frames of buildings of reinforced concrete stand amid the wreckage of steel frames. and smokestacks survived offered little resistance to the blast. as an hiroshima, the directional force bent steel and stripped corrugated metal from the building. where corrugated metal remained, it was pushed in like tissue paper. these building show a varying degree of destruction depending on proximity to zero point and building strength. this foundry, 3/10 of a mile from zero point, shows considerable damage in spite of good construction. stronger,dings were
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some being constructed to support heavy overhead cranes. damage to equipment inside was serious. this machinery was used in the navyacture of rifles and heavy artillery. in the valley, homes were scattered through factory areas. ofmachinery and in many these homes piecework was carried on to help the japanese war effort. secondary fire destroyed the lightly constructed buildings. photographs from zero point, this area of 3/10 square-mile shows almost utter devastation by blasts and fires. notice how the hills interrupted the blasts. the second area shows moderate severefrom blasts and damage from fires.
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the total area of damage covered 42.5 square miles ranging from complete distraction to damaged roofs and broken windows. the greatest distance at which damage was measured was 12 miles, where through a focusing of concussion, workers barracks were knocked down. 1/2 from zero point a cracked smokestack. a prison of concrete and masonry was almost totally destroyed. the walls left standing were parallel to the direction of the blast. this area was completely wiped
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out from zero point two the church at the foot of the hills a mile away. in the bed of the creek is the dome that was blown from the top of the church. the gasworks was blown into a mass of twisted steel. 2 concrete walls, the remains of 2 factory buildings. greatershowed destruction and nagasaki than hiroshima. to zero point, the downward force of the blast they'll to damage roads and railroads due to the height at which the bomb was debt native. the main


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