Little Boy And Fat Man…Seventy Years Later

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Can anyone tell me what today is? I will give you a hint, seventy years ago we delivered a special package to the city of Hiroshima, the package was called  “Little Boy” it was probably a package they didn’t want and they certainly weren’t expecting. Do I think we should have used Atomic Weapons during the war?  Hell Yes!…The Japanese were fanatical fighters, they were a warrior culture that didn’t believe in surrendering and that dying in battle was the greatest honor one could give to their country. Military planners gave estimates of staggering American losses if we had to invade mainland Japan, and the war would drag on for many more years.

When “Little Boy” detonated at 2:45 that fateful morning of August 6, 1945 it killed 70,000 people in a matter of seconds and three days later on August 9th we gave Japan one more special package, this time “Fat Man” visited Nagasaki, and an estimated 70,000 more people died in a few seconds.  Sure it’s tragic that so many civilians had to die, but by using those two Atomic Bombs we probably saved millions of lives on both sides which would have surely happened if we had to invade mainland Japan.

President Harry Truman, who had authorized the use of the two super-weapons, told the nation that “It is an atomic bomb,” and  “It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.”

So by unleashing “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” seventy years ago it ushered in the Atomic Age….

When J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist who was considered the father of the Atom Bomb, saw the results of an earlier test, he was awed and frightened by what he and the other scientists had wrought. He referred to a Sanskrit morality tale when he quoted from the Bhagavad-Gita holy text:  “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”   

So we have had seventy years to reflect on the use of the first two Atomic Bombs, nearly 150,000 were killed instantly, and countless thousands more died later due to radiation poisoning.  I think it was the right thing to do, we did not ask for the War that we found ourselves thrust into, Japan attacked us first by bombing Pearl Harbor. The Japanese invaded many countries during World War Two and committed horrific acts of barbarism upon the people they invaded, much like ISIS is doing today in the Middle East. So Yes, We did the right thing, we saved countless American lives and even Japanese lives by using them and forcing Japan to surrender.

So when you see the anti-nuclear protests around the globe today to mark what happened seventy years ago, just remember World War Two could have ended very differently if we were forced to invade Japan, millions more people would have died…Americans would have died.

Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay which delivered “Little Boy” to Japan, said it best  “Do you have any idea how many American lives would have been lost had we launched a ground invasion of Japan, instead of dropping the bomb?”  Tibbets also said   “And how many Japanese lives? I sleep so well because I know how many people got to live full lives because of what we did.”

Hopefully we will never have to use such weapons again…But there are some crazy people in power these days, and the world is a very dangerous place, so let’s just hope Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only cities to be destroyed by such weapons.

If we forget the lessons of the past…We are doomed to repeat them.

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