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tv   The Atom Strikes  CSPAN  August 8, 2015 11:56pm-12:28am EDT

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your experience. clifton: thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> each week, american history's tv rings you -- brings you "reel america." atomdam strikes -- the strikes is a wartime film that are just the bombs were necessary. filmed only weeks after the bombs were dropped, it includes a seven minute interview with a jesuit priest who witnessed the event and hiroshima -- in hiroshima. ♪
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1945.y 16, this is the darkness of a desert morning and here in new mexico, a group of men wait expectant. behind them is three years done in unprecedented secrecy.
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[roar of the 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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♪ >> from the time of that first explosion until hiroshima shattered beneath the atomic work for the bomb pushed
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forward and closely guarded plants. years,r 100 the city had never been subjected to actual bombing. now its army headquarters, barracks and depots, shipyards were to wait the atom's destructive power. 21 days after the new mexico experiment, a b-29 was over hiroshima carrying an atomic bomb. on the morning of august 6, the first atomic bomb struck the enemy target.
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the atomic bomb was intentionally exploded above the target for its radi radioactive material. this is caused right in explosion at the bomb at the zero point. only the strongest buildings i are left standing and 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. looking west from zero point, the same complete leveling is evident. the same inability of structures to withstand the power. just a 10th of a mile from zero point, the effect of the bomb
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blast can be seen on these trees and his russian-japanese war memorial. lines were blasted into the stone of the memorial. here, looking west from the building, the side of a concrete smokestack nearest the blast has been discolored. the terror shema gascon -- hiroshima gas company was almost demolished as those struck by a giant sledgehammer. the reinforced bank building was wrecked even more completely. these twisted steel beams one supported the roof -- once supported the roof. the direction of the bomb blast could be seen clearly in the scenes of the concrete walls, extending above the building's roof.
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two-tenths of a mile from zero point was a shrine. here the blast script that-- stripped the trees. now the stone is roughened by the blast. the lighter services indicate the angle of the bomb blast as though painted on the surface. a nearby lamppost shows flash burns on the side facing the blast. the commercial museum is also within 2/10 of a mile of zero point and the garden wall facing the blast was bent inward by the push of the explosion. the downward force of the blast caused the failure of the concrete beams which is
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supported this roof and the roof itself settled so much it now ascts as a reservoir. an area of complete devastation is all that can be seen to the east. the railing was blown off this bridge and the steel poles show the effects of the atomic bomb blast which had 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 in the concrete reinforced floor can be seen in the entrance. the steel rods once supported the suspended ceiling. this reinforced concrete building was knocked sideways
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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 destroyed. most of the military personnel, approximately 20,000, were wiped out. the distorted steel framework is all that remains of a building that stood for tenths of a mile from zero point. whereas this reinforced concrete building of the electric company, one half mile from zero point, withstood the blast much better. out, disruption was almost as complete as it was at zero point. wooden structures were completely collapsed by the blast. this was hiroshima castle. the framework was demolished by the blast and fires did not o
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ccur. because it happened to be at a 45 degree angle to direction of the blast, the city hall with its heavily reinforced concrete construction showed much less damage. doors and windows were blown in by the force of the explosion. shadows of the bridge indicate the direction of the explosion. 6/10 of a mile from zero point, the bridge floor is etched except when it is shielded by the railing. outlined in the service of the bridge is a shadow of a pedestrian which tells its own meaningful story.
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one mile from zero point, the blast damage shows lessening force, but the results of fires of secondary origin are still severe. on this side of the steel bridge one mile away from and facing zero point, the lead paint was almost completely removed resulting from the explosion of the atomic bomb. the surface on the other side was not visibly affected. from zero point is a red cross hospital which never ceased functioning. this is the front of the building which faces northeast. on the northwest side of the building, the steel windows on all floors were blown in. southwest side of the
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building again shows windows blown in by the external air pressure caused by the explosion. here, however, the windows on the southeast wall were blown out rather than in. a look inside the hospital shows chairs in the same position at the time of the blast. the backs of the chairs which faces zero point were flash burned through the window. upholstery fabric was singed down to the base. the effect on this wall which faces zero point rome most identical to the damage of the opposite wall. in addition, interior partitions were knocked down. towards zero point from the roof of the red cross hospital a mile away, the tremendous disruption -- destruction can be seen. army vehicles of our occupying
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forces are moving through the street. here, looking in the opposite direction towards the south, away from zero point, only a few masonry 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 small industrial plant is a loan concrete smokestack, temporary housing facilities built from scrap material have been blown up. no matter what kind of construction the japanese used, whether it consisted of wooden orme or mud plastered walls plaster veneer constructions, they may no attempt to zone their various types of buildings. the industrial centers of steel and reinforced concrete, factory buildings of brick construction, were crowded together for no apparent regard for the safety of the civilian population.
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within an area of a mile to a mile and a half, there was almost complete destruction except for some reinforced concrete buildings. from 1.5 to two miles, severe damage from fire and moderate damage from blast. two to six miles, minor damage from blast and fire they are eating from damaged roofs -- varying from damaged roots to broken windows. this buildings were subject of fires of secondary means. eastailroad station in hiroshima, 1.5 miles away from zero point, still in use but extensively damaged. it crumbled from the mark of the blast and was removed. themarquee fell and pulled brick veneer off part of the building.
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inside of the station, steel beams supporting the roof were twisted out of shape and the concrete walls, though still standing, show the effects of the tremendous concussions. this high school building, the same distance from zero point as the railroad station, had its north wall smashed in. the second story of the north wall is especially badly damaged. looking through a bombed out section of a wall at zero point, not all the buildings in this area were severely damaged as the schoolhouse. a portion of the wall of the school was blown in across desks and partitions were shifted. the high school walls from zero
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point bulges in the direction of the blast and glass was blown out of the window frames. point and the main building of the building of jesuits four miles away was a hill. yet, despite this protection, all the windows were shattered and part of the walk alone in. -- wall blown in. the chapel was with plaster walls. the entrance was shattered and the ceiling was blown loose by the force of the explosion occurring four miles away. a group of jesuits witnessed and survived the explosion. one of them provided an eyewitness account. >> will you introduce yourself? seames.ather john
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a professor at the catholic university of tokyo. >> what were you doing in hiroshima at the time of the exposure? >> we were evacuated a month ago. studies.t a house of >> could you describe exactly what happened in the morning of august 6? >> i was in my room which faces the blast. ght, like i saw a li magnesium light, which filled the whole valley. looking out of my window, this peculiar phenomenon, i saw nothing but this light. turning from the window to the door of my room, i heard a crash . maybe 10 seconds after seeing
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the light. and, immediately, i was covered e and glassndow fram an sticking into the wall and my flesh itself. tried to get out of my room. i found our house had been severely damaged by the blast of this explosion. bomb the impression that a immediately crashed onto the house. was the impact of looking out of the house, i saw no trace of the bomb itself. houseseveral different on fire.
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after a while, i saw a procession of people coming from the outskirts. many of them, most of them, were wounded. the part of the body which was not covered by clothing. back.feet, they came up to our house and we did what we could, but there was no possibility to give much of aid. our supplies.f >> how many people do you think were here? >> all of us who lived through this experience -- estimate the
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number of them of at least 100,000. this estimate is not based on anything, but just on my knowledge of special groups under the population. >> was there anybody -- >> nobody was ready to take charge, because all the important people were killed. the commander of the city. many high-ranking officers. was stationede at the time in hiroshima. also, regiments of the city were wiped out. >> what was stationed at the time in hiroshima. is your opinion -- >> i think it is just a rumor because i myself and others of us have looked into the city
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itself immediately after the explosion and we felt no effects at all. >> cell is about the japanese actions towards -- tell us about the japanese actions towards the americans and the bomb. anybody -- heard a single outburst of hate against the americans. during the whole war, we did not hatrednce much about against the allies. as a matter of fact, at the beginning of the war after the japanese victories, the japanese were inclined to move down on the enemy. accordingoffensive, to -- we began to admire the skill of the americans.
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and especially since the majestic b-29 appeared over tokyo, every japanese admired the excellent skill of the americans. >> what is your and your colleagues' opinion as to the use of the atomic bomb? >> we have discussed amongst ourselves. some consider it in the same category as heisenberg and its use against the population. war, therew in total is no difference between civilians and soldiers. the bomb itself was an effective warn japan to surrender. it seems logical to me that he
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who supports total war in principle cannot complain at against a war against civilians. its form total war in is justifiable even if it serves a just purpose. spirit evil has its consequences which far exceeds whatever good it might result. there is no clear answer to this question. >> the business of living goes on in the devastated areas of hiroshima. in the northeastern sections, temporary homes are constructed of it -- of any materials that can be salvaged. near the railroad station in eastern hiroshima, scrap tin and roof tile are used to build a new in no matter how flimsy of a fashion.
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immediately 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. the morning of august 9, the second atomic bomb was exploded over the industrial seaport city of no nagasaki. almost the entire population was engaged in the manufacturing of work products. -- war products. two great mitsubishi factories were located in the heart of the city. to the north, one of the lords -- one of the world's largest torpedo plants and to the south huge arms works. the bomb was aimed at a point midway between the two plants in order to cause the greatest possible industrial damage.
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unlike hiroshima, the force of the explosion at nagasaki was confined to the industrial valley which was surrounded by a series of hills that shielded many other areas of the city. a great mushroom affect could be seen going higher and higher and reaching into the stratosphere. because the bomb was exploded high above the ground, the greater part of its harmful radioactive material dissipated in the atmosphere. an area under the explosion was relatively free of radioactivity. people entering nagasaki surely after the explosion sustained no ill effect or injury.
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in an area of a little more than three square miles, there was very severe damage by blast and fire. most buildings were produced to rubble. still recognizable of the skeletal remainders of the mitsubishi plants, the steel and arm works and the planned for the manufacturing of torpedoes. mitsubishi steel and arms work extended a mile in length. its buildings were modern and typical of american industrial construction, having steel frames and roof and siding with asbestos. buildings and reinforced concrete still stand amid the ruckus -- the wreckage. some smokestacks survive.
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they offered comparatively little resistance to the blast. as in hiroshima, the directional force bent steel and sifted metal from the framework of the building. remains,rugated metal it was pushed in like tissue paper. varyingildings show a degree of destruction depending on proximity to zero point and building strength. this foundry away from zero point shows considerable damage in spite of fairly good construction. stronger,dings were some being constructed to support heavy overhead cranes. damage to equipment inside was nevertheless serious. this machinery was used in the manufacture of naval rifles and heavy artillery.
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in the valley, homes were scattered through factory areas. on machinery, peace work was carried on to help the japanese war effort. less than secondary fire destroyed the likely constructed buildings. in many cases, leaving damaged equipment. photographs from zero point, this area shows almost utter devastation by blast and fire. note how hills in the south interrupted the blast. in the secondary of 5.5 square miles, moderate damage from last and severe damage from fires. the total area of damage covered 42.5 square miles, ranging from complete destruction to damage roots and broken windows. the greatest distance where damage was measured was 12 miles were workers' barracks
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knocked down. 1.5 miles from zero point, a cracked smokestack. a prison of concrete and masonry 2/10 of a mile away was almost totally destroyed. the walls left standing were parallel to the direction of the blast. this area was completely wiped out from zero point of to the church at the foot of the hills about a mile away. in the bed of the creek rests a
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dome that was blown from its place on top of a church. works was blown into a mass of twisted steel. two concrete walls, the remains of two factory buildings. bridges show greater destruction in nagasaki than hiroshima. but, even close to zero point, the downward force of the blast failed to damage roads and railroads due to the height of which the bomb was detonated. the main street was in use shortly after the disaster occurred. a typical residence on the outskirts of night sakae -- negativ nagasaki. the survivors are busy working at the restoration of their homes.
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this is the endless man-hours of work. two b-29's, two atomic bombs three days apart. two cities. a tabulation of that record speaks for itself. >> next on american artifacts, to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima and agasaki, japan, we visit museum in washington, d.c. >> i'm a professor of history at american university and the director of the nuclear studies institute. i began our


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