Archive for the ‘Chapter 35’ Category
Here’s the whole story of Operation Fortitude: http://www.americainwwii.com/articles/pattons-ghost-army/
Tsutomu Yamaguchi: Was he the luckiest or the unluckiest man in Japan in August of 1945? Here’s the whole story, not just the blurb in the local paper, and you can go to the website to see a picture of Mr. Yamaguchi, alive and kicking at age 94:
It seems almost improper to suggest that fortune was smiling on Tsutomu Yamaguchi in the dying days of the second world war.
On 6 August 1945, he was in Hiroshima, preparing to return home from a business trip when the American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped an atomic bomb on the city. Yamaguchi lived, while 140,000 other people who were in the city that morning died, some in an agonising instant, others many months later.
Burned and barely able to comprehend what had happened – only that he had witnessed a bomb unlike any used before – Yamaguchi spent a fitful night in an air raid shelter before returning home the following day.
That home, 180 miles to the west, was Nagasaki. His arrival came the day before it was devastated by a second US atomic bomb on 9 August.
In a barely conceivable course of events, he had twice been perilously close to nuclear ground zero; and both times he had lived. More than 70,000 other residents of Nagasaki were not so lucky.
More than 60 years later, the 93-year-old became the first and only known survivor of both attacks yesterday to win official recognition from Japanese authorities.
While other survivors died prematurely from cancer and liver disease caused by their exposure to radiation, Yamaguchi remains in relatively good health apart from near-deafness in one ear and complaints that his legs are “growing weak”.
Japanese records show dozens of people experienced the blast in Hiroshima only to be exposed to “residual radiation” in Nagasaki three days later. But Yamaguchi is the first to have been at ground zero when both explosions occurred.
According to a newspaper interview Yamaguchi gave on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Pacific war, he had spent the conflict designing oil tankers for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a wartime zaibatsu, or conglomerate, whose shipyards dominated the Nagasaki skyline.
After a three-month stint at the firm’s yards in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and two colleagues, Akira Iwanaga and Kuniyoshi Sato, prepared to return to Nagasaki on 7 August, 1945. The day before, they woke early, collected their belongings and prepared for the train journey west.
On the way to the station they became separated after Yamaguchi realised he had left his personal seal in the office.
He remembers hearing the Enola Gay circling above, but thought nothing of it: Hiroshima was an important wartime industrial base, and the sound of circling planes had become a fact of life.
Within seconds he had been knocked to his feet by the force of the blast as “Little Boy” detonated 580 metres above central Hiroshima just after 8.15 am, announcing its arrival with a blinding flash followed by a deafening boom. As he stumbled to the train station the next day, Yamaguchi witnessed the destruction and carnage left by the bomber’s 13-kiloton payload.
The following day, his burns swathed in bandages, Yamaguchi reported for work in Nagasaki, like Hiroshima an important industrial and military base.
At 11.02 on 9 August, as his boss reportedly questioned his sanity for believing that a single bomb could destroy a city the size of Hiroshima, a 25-kiloton plutonium bomb exploded above Nagasaki, throwing Yamaguchi to the ground.
He, his wife and baby son survived and spent the following week in a shelter near what was left of their home. His son has since died of cancer aged 59.
After the war Yamaguchi worked for the US occupation authorities, became a teacher and eventually returned to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Yamaguchi was quoted yesterday by the Mainichi newspaper. “My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die,” he said.
As a registered survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, Yamaguchi has owned a pale violet copy of the Atomic Bomb Victim Health Handbook since 1957, entitling him to monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs. More than 260,000 others are similarly covered.
Yamaguchi’s handbook confirmed he was within a three-kilometre radius of ground zero in both cities, but the reference to Hiroshima was deleted when he renewed it at Nagasaki city hall in 1960.
Officials refused to recognise Yamaguchi’s special status because, they said, it would not affect his medical and welfare entitlements, but relented after he filed another request earlier this year.
“As far as we know, he is the first one to be officially recognised as a survivor of atomic bombings,” Toshiro Miyamoto, a Nagasaki city official, told the Associated Press. “It’s such an unfortunate case, but it is possible there are more like him.”
And here is his first-hand account of what he experienced:
How I survived Hiroshima – and then Nagasaki
Tsutomu Yamaguchi must be one of the luckiest people on the planet. In his only interview with a British newspaper, he tells David McNeill about the moment when the same white light filled the room again
Thursday, 26 March 2009
It will go down as one of the most inspiring survival stories ever to emerge from a horrific war. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in his twenties when he found himself in Hiroshima on the morning of 6 August 1945, as a single B-29 US bomber droned overhead. The “Little Boy” bomb that it dropped from its payload would kill or injure 160,000 people by the day’s end.
Among them was the young engineer – who was in town on a business trip for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – who stepped off a tram as the bomb exploded.
Despite being 3km (just under two miles) from Ground Zero, the blast temporarily blinded him, destroyed his left eardrum and inflicted horrific burns over much of the top half of his body. The following morning, he braved another dose of radiation as he ventured into Hiroshima city centre, determined to catch a train home, away from the nightmare.
But home for Mr Yamaguchi was Nagasaki, where two days later the “Fat Man” bomb was dropped, killing 70,000 people and creating a city where, in the words of its mayor, “not even the sound of insects could be heard”. In a bitter twist of fate, Yamaguchi was again 3km from the centre of the second explosion. In fact, he was in the office explaining to his boss how he had almost been killed days before, when suddenly the same white light filled the room. “I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima,” Mr Yamaguchi said.
His is a truly remarkable story, all the more so because, for years, its protagonist was determined to play it down. But now, at the age of 93 and dying from cancer – probably caused by the atomic bombs that almost killed him, twice – Mr Yamaguchi has finally been awarded the recognition his life deserves. This week, the Nagasaki and Hiroshima governments recorded Mr Yamaguchi as a double-hibakusha, acknowledging that he was exposed to both blasts that incinerated the cities in 1945. “As far as we know, it is the first time that a dual exposure to atomic bombings has been entered into an A-bomb survivor’s ID,” officials said.
Living out his final days in the rebuilt Nagasaki, where he resides with his daughter, Toshiko, the old man is happy his tale is reaching people around the world. “After I die, I want the next generation of hibakusha and the children after that to know what happened to us,” he told The Independent in a telephone interview.
Like many of the roughly 260,000 survivors of the atomic explosions, Mr Yamaguchi suffered agony for much of his life, as his daughter explains. “Until I was about 12, he was wrapped in bandages for his skin wounds, and he went completely bald,” says Toshiko, now 60. “My mother was also soaked in black rain [the famously radioactive rain that fell after both bombings] and was poisoned. We think she passed on that poison to us.”
Yamaguchi’s children, like many second-generation hibakusha, have also been plagued by health problems. His son, Katsutoshi, died of cancer in 2005 aged 59. His daughter Naoko has, in Toshiko’s words, been “sickly” all her life. His wife died last year, aged 88, of kidney and liver cancer after a lifetime of illness. “I suffer too from a terribly low white blood cell count, so I worry about what will happen to me,” Toshiko adds.
But his children’s illnesses aside, Mr Yamaguchi seemed determined to live his life as normally as possible. After recovering from his burns and radiation sickness, he returned to work as a ship engineer in the local port, and rarely discussed what happened to him. “Afterwards he was fine – we hardly noticed he was a survivor,” recalls Toshiko. Her father raised his family and declined to play any part in the anti-bomb activities that fill the lives of some survivors because “he was so healthy, he thought it would have been unfair to people who were really sick”.
Mr Yamaguchi must have watched the world outside his city with alarm. Six decades after his horrific experiences, the US alone has 8,000 active or operational warheads, each carrying on average about 20 times the destructive power of Hiroshima. The once-select nuclear club of America, Russia, China, France and Britain has been swelled by new recruits Israel, Pakistan, India and probably North Korea. Even conservative Japanese politicians hint that they might one day need the bomb.
“I can’t understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs,” he says, speaking through his daughter. “How can they keep developing these weapons?”
Along with thousands of others, Mr Yamaguchi applied for hibakusha status with Nagasaki when the government finally began to provide health assistance (and later other benefits) in 1957. His government-issued ID stated he was exposed to radiation only in Nagasaki, thereby neglecting his unique status as a double survivor. And he saw no need to draw attention to it.
But as he got older, things changed. In his eighties, he finally wrote a book about his experiences, and was invited to take part in a documentary called Nijuuhibaku (Twice Bombed, Twice Survived), about the handful of double A-bomb victims. The film shows him weeping bitterly as he describes watching bloated corpses floating in the city’s rivers and encountering the walking dead of Hiroshima, whose melting flesh hung like “giant gloves”.
Three years ago, the film was screened at the UN in New York, where Mr Yamaguchi, by then wheelchair-bound, pleaded with the audience to fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons. “As a double atomic bomb survivor I experienced the bomb twice, and I sincerely hope that there will not be a third,” he said.
His friends, including local journalist Masami Miyashita, told him he should make his status official. “I’ve never met anyone like him,” says Mr Miyashita. “There are other people who suffered in both bombings, but nobody I know who was so close to the blasts. To survive once is agony; twice is a miracle. But he has never made a big deal about it.”
Today, Mr Yamaguchi believes that God “planted a path” for him. “It was my destiny that I experienced this twice and I am still alive to convey what happened,” he said. So in January this year, he filed a request for double recognition.
Very late in life then, and much to his surprise, the retired engineer finds himself making a small piece of history, and seeing his face in newspapers and on TV across the world. Some have called Mr Yamaguchi the luckiest man alive, but his daughter says he rarely considers such things. “He laughs when asked why he was so lucky,” says Toshiko. “He just doesn’t know.”
An excellent book about the tension against Japanese- Americans is Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson. It’s also a pretty good movie, although it takes out much of the discussion about how the war affected the main characters.
The famous landscape photographer Ansel Adams produced 209 photographs documenting life in Manzanar Relocation Camp, one of the camps where Japanese Americans had been forced to relocate under Executive Order 9066. The collection in the American Memory project can be found here: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/anseladams/
1.Being loaded up for “relocation”
2. The entrance to Manzanar:
3. Dwellings– exterior
4. and interior of dwellings. Here’s how the Miyatake family lived:
5. While in camps, internees worked and went to school….
6. And even played sports and exercised
7. They also volunteered to serve the US in the military.
The 442nd Regimental Combat team served only in the European theatre, and was one of the most decorated in the war:
Here is a link to a map that shows where the relocation camps were in the US. Note the dates when they closed: http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/japan_internment_camps.htm
Go here for the enlisted ranks: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/l/blenlrank.htm
Go here for warrant officer ranks: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/l/blwarrank.htm
Ge here for commissioned officer ranks: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/l/blofficerrank.htm
Due Tuesday, March 5.
1. What fundamental strategic decision did FDR and the British make in August of 1941? (Be ready to discuss why you think this decision was made.)
2. What were the first great challenges faced by the US economically (on the home front)? How was inflation kept under control? In what specific ways was the level of support for the war different from that of World War I?
3. What was Executive Order 9066? What effects did it have, both during the war and in 1988? What did the Supreme Court eventually rule about it? Name the decision.
4. Discuss the examples of racism on p. 876-7. Why were the Japanese in particular targeted in such a manner?
5. Make a chart of each wartime agency, and its function and leadership. What happened to many New Deal programs due to the demands of the war?
6. How did American labor respond to the war? Name and describe the laws that were passed regarding labor during the war.
7. How, specifically, did the government try to encourage women to enter the workforce? What services were offered? What happened at the end of the war? How did women help in the military? Explain each group in which they participated.
8. Explain how African Americans participated in the war effort. What impact did prejudice still play in their lives? What was the purpose of the “Double V” campaign? How else did African Americans protest discrimination? How and why did African American population patterns shift, and how did technological innovations influence this?
9. What role did Native Americans play during the war, both at home and in uniform? What happened to Hispanics in Los Angeles?
10. How was WWII financed? (Remember the Disney cartoon on the blog!) What happened to the national debt?
11. Make a chart to show what was significant about the battles of Leyte Gulf, Midway, the Coral Sea, Bataan and Corregidor, and Guadalcanal, Marianas, Wake Island, Okinawa, and Guam (Make sure you put them in order!). Which one of these battle made it possible to bomb the Japanese home islands?
12. When was the pivotal victory in the war in the Pacific, and why did the Japanese fail? Explain the strategy of “island hopping” or “leapfrogging” used by the US against Japan. Why was this effective?
13.What tactics did Admiral Chester Nimitz use that were particularly successful? What US territories did the Japanese hold for at least part of the war, and when were they liberated?
14. What was Hitler hoping to achieve by his early use of the U-boat in the Battle of the Atlantic? When did that stop being effective, and why? This is not a code.
15. At what point had the Germans made their greatest advances, and where were they by then? When did bombing of German cities begin?
16. Why did the Soviets have such massively higher casualty totals than the Americans and British did up to 1943? What is the significance of the Battle of Stalingrad?
17. Where and when did the Americans and British first attack Hitler’s “Fortress Europe” to open up a second front, and why was that location chosen? Who were the main commanders of this Operation, which strangely your book does not name ? When did the Axis powers surrender in this area, and when?
18.When and why did Italy surrender, and how did Germany respond?
19. Why was the demand for “unconditional surrender” controversial? Did it eventually have any positive consequences?
20. Why was a REAL second front not opened in Europe until 1944? When had Roosevelt originally promised this would happen?
21. Describe the size, scope, and commanders involved in the operation that finally did open the second front.
22. Give the dates and describe the major participants and topics of each of the wartime conferences that happened among the Allies.
23. Why was the choice of the Democratic candidate for vice president so important in 1944? Why was FDR called the “forgotten man” at the Democratic convention? What were the main points of argument between the two parties?
24. What was Hitler’s last desperate gamble to stop the Allied advance, and what happened? What did US troops discover once they crossed the Rhine river?
25. What happened to Hitler during his last days? What happened to FDR just days earlier? What impact do you think these two events had? When was V-E day?
26. How did submarines and bombers eventually bring Japan to its knees? Why was firebombing so effective, and how did it compare to the later atomic attacks in terms of destruction?
27. When did MacArthur finally fulfill his promise to the Filipino people? How did the Japanese navy try to stop MacArthur? Why did the reconquering of the Philippines take so long?
28. Analyze the desperation and tactics of the battles in the Pacific and how they changed the closer the US troops pushed toward the Japanese mainland.
29. How much did the Manhattan project cost, and how did refugees from Hitler help America gain this new technology? What fear justified this expense?
30. What were the long-term consequences of the USSR joining the war against Japan on August 8, 1945?
31. Explain the terms and conditions of the Japanese surrender.
32. What are the basic points of disagreement over the question of whether the use of atomic weapons in WWII was justified?
Roosevelt addresses Congress on December 8 to ask for a declaration of war.
Nearly a year before Pearl Harbor, FDR elucidates the moral reasons for supporting those who are fighting the Fascists in Europe and Asia in his “State of the Union” address to Congress in January of 1941.
You can listen to an audio version of this speech here:
Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small. And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.
Our national policy is this:
First, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to all-inclusive national defense.
Secondly, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to full support of all those resolute people everywhere who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our hemisphere. By this support we express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail, and we strengthen the defense and the security of our own nation.
Third, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people’s freedom.
In the recent national election there was no substantial difference between the two great parties in respect to that national policy. No issue was fought out on this line before the American electorate. And today it is abundantly evident that American citizens everywhere are demanding and supporting speedy and complete action in recognition of obvious danger….
The Congress of course, must rightly keep itself informed at all times of the progress of the program. However, there is certain information, as the Congress itself will readily recognize, which, in the interests of our own security and those of the nations that we are supporting, must of needs be kept in confidence.
New circumstances are constantly begetting new needs for our safety. I shall ask this Congress for greatly increased new appropriations and authorizations to carry on what we have begun.
I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations. Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves. They do not need manpower, but they do need billions of dollars’ worth of the weapons of defense.
The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them all in ready cash. We cannot, and we will not, tell them that they must surrender merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have….
Let us say to the democracies: “We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources, and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. That is our purpose and our pledge.”
In fulfillment of this purpose we will not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that they will regard as a breach of international law or as an act of war our aid to the democracies which dare to resist their aggression. Such aid — Such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should unilaterally proclaim it so to be.
And when the dictators — if the dictators — are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an act of war on our part.
They did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit an act of war. Their only interest is in a new one-way international law, which lacks mutuality in its observance and therefore becomes an instrument of oppression. The happiness of future generations of Americans may well depend on how effective and how immediate we can make our aid felt. No one can tell the exact character of the emergency situations that we may be called upon to meet. The nation’s hands must not be tied when the nation’s life is in danger….
Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.
The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:
Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The enjoyment — The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.
These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations….
I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.
If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks, will give you their applause.
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world….
Here is the story from today’s paper about the survivor who has spent his life trying to identify those buried in unmarked graves: http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/pearl-harbor-dead-remembered-on-st-anniversary/image_fe692461-ce54-5db3-8539-cfb1ce1c745d.html
And here is a great youtube link showing actual reports from that day 71 years ago. I will try to actually insert the video when I get home tonight. I cannot edit this the way I want to at school: This includes the original NBC footage of the attack, as well as the Day of Infamy speech.
Then here’s the story of the ships damaged at Pearl Harbor that were repaired to fight again (only three ships were a total loss on that day!); http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2012/1207/Pearl-Harbor-resurrection-the-warships-that-rose-to-fight-again-video