This week in 1945…
On the 6th of August 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The subsequent firestorm destroyed about 13 square kilometres of the city, which is about 5 square miles to imperialists. Well over half the buildings in Hiroshima were completely destroyed, and something like 90% of all structures were either destroyed or damaged by blast and fire. As many as 180,000 people were killed – out of a population of 350,000.
Three days later, on the 9th of August, a second atomic bomb was detonated over the city of Nagasaki. Nearly a quarter of Nagasaki’s buildings were consumed in the inferno, while up to 100,000 people lost their lives – out of a population of 240,000.
In total, around 250,000 people died in the first few days. This is roughly the equivalant of the entire population of Plymouth being wiped out in 3 days.
Everyone within half a mile of the bombs was instantly vaporised by the intense heat. All that was left of them was their shadows burnt onto the ground. Beyond that, those caught in the open were killed by heat and blast waves. Huge winds destroyed anything left standing from the explosion. Thousands of people were killed by falling debris, or suffocated because the oxygen in the air had been burnt away. In the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, many more died of their injuries, or from the effects of radioactive fallout. To this day, survivors of the explosions have developed radiatoin-induced cancers and intestinal problems. The children of survivors are more likely to be born with genetic deformities or develop leukaemia.
In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the overwhelming majority of people killed were civilians, ordinary men, women, and children.
All of this death, suffering and destruction was caused by just two nuclear weapons. Today we live in a world where there are around 30,000 nuclear weapons. The UK’s Trident warheads are about 8 times more powerful than the bomb that exploded in Hiroshima. Some US, Russian, and Chinese warheads are hundreds of times more powerful.
These weapons are perfectly capable of destroying ALL life on earth many times over.
How much longer can we tolerate this suicidal folly?
We must act now to ensure this barbarity never happens again.