Nagasaki after the Nuclear Bomb

This is a new segment on Power Politik I am calling “Blitzkrieg”. Instead of a long article the blog will consist of a video or set of photographs with a short paragraph or two explaining them. I’m still doing the longer pieces but this way I’ll be able to share some of my sources and update the blog more frequently- H

This particular video is a 21 minute piece of color footage from the National Archives (feel free to skip around).It Shows Nagasaki in 1946 after the Mark 3 “Fat Man” nuclear bomb was dropped on the city. I first came across this video during undergrad, working on my senior paper.

After the war the United States government sent teams to Japan to survey the damage caused by the nuclear and conventional bombing raids. Many of these videos are from late 1945 or 1946, so not much had been rebuilt at the time of filming.

One thing you’ll notice in this video is that the brick and concrete buildings are still (barely) standing, but there are large spaces in between them. This is because most Japanese housing at the time was constructed out of wood and paper. So, when the bomb went off the houses and shops were incinerated by the heat flash and then blown away by the shockwave. Only the concrete and cement shells of the sturdier buildings were left standing.

Another thing you’ll notice is that there are a lot of clips of factories. This isn’t an accident. The target of the strategic bombing campaign was in fact arms factories and military infrastructure.Therefore,  It makes sense that the U.S government would spend some time documenting these facilities. They did spend two billion dollars developing the bomb, they might as well make sure it actually works, right?

In any case; enjoy the haunting footage of Nagasaki after the atom bomb. While you’re watching you may want to think about how many Japanese people died because of the bombing, or maybe you want to think about how many American were saved because the allies never had to invade Japan. Either way, this video is a testament to the power of nuclear weapons.

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