View Full Version : A Twist of Fate (Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Story)

08-06-2005, 10:40 AM
by Charles Mizzi

Exclusive Story for Di-ve by Charles Mizzi
Saturday, 06 August, 2005

"I picked up a human head and liquids were dripping down my hand. I was horrified".

"I could not recognize anyone. All the bodies beside me were burnt and did not look like humans. People were crying in pain and small children were calling for their mothers".

Hiroshima Survivors

Unaccounted volumes of books and documents were written in the past 60 years about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic explosions. But an important twist of fate that could have changed the course of history was given scant importance by historians.

The bomb was actually shipped on the American cruiser "USS Indianapolis" from the bay of San Francisco, California on the 16th of July 1945. The Japanese somehow had scant information that the American cruiser was carrying some secret weapon. An order was flashed to the Japanese navy that the US ship must be sunk.

The "US Indianapolis" berthed on the tiny island of Tinian on the 26th of July and the bomb was immediately taken ashore. Only four days later, the American cruiser was sunk by a Japanese submarine. While the Japanese thought they had reached their goal, scientists were already transporting it to the island of Guam to its last destination -- Hiroshima.

A B-29 named "Enola Gay" and its crew were being prepared to fly to Hiroshima and drop the bomb on the city centre, a flight of six hours. The crew was never briefed about the consequences of the explosion. They were simply told to drop the bomb at a specific height and fly out as fast as possible.

At exactly 8.13am of the morning of the 6th of August 1945, the "Enola Gay" and two escort bombers entered the Saijo Zone and sirens warned the population that an air attack is imminent. Air Attacks became a common and accepted way of life to the Japanese and few people bothered to take shelter.

At a split of a second, a cloud in the shape of a huge mushroom followed by sheer winds of great heat hit the city. Buildings were razed to the ground and great fires erupted in many areas. People who were caught in the streets or under little protection were simply turned into ashes.

It was a scene from hell.

To view images about the Hiroshima explosion click here

In a zone of 30.2 kilometers, 92% of all buildings were destroyed into a burnt desert. Homes, factories, hospitals, food stores and thousands of people disappeared from the earth's surface.

Within seconds, 118,661 died instantly and 3,677 were listed as missing.

Over 30,000 were seriously injured and some died afterwards, and another 48,000 were slightly injured. Twelve forests around Hiroshima were burning and over 55,000 buildings were destroyed.

Before the explosion, the population of Hiroshima was around 300,000.

"We shall and will Never Forget what happened here. We want our children and future generations to come and see what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," said our guide as we entered a huge modern building dedicated to the victims of Hiroshima.

Inside a huge hall, all sorts of exhibits are displayed and revered. One exhibit outshone all the horror and the suffering of these people 60 years ago. There stands a facade of a house with no door that was blown by the explosion. On the doorsteps lies a heap of yellowish jelly frozen in time.

That 'jelly' was a human person before the explosion. As he went out of his house, the atomic explosion caught him with full blast.

No flesh or bones remained, just a molten heap of human remains. Life size mannequins are exhibited at this museum, dressed in tattered clothes actually taken off from the survivors and the dead.

What happened soon after the explosion, I asked one of the guides.

"Many people roamed the streets with part of their bodies melted by the heat of the explosion. There was nobody to treat them. All hospitals and medical facilities were destroyed. Many cried to find some water to quench their thirst. Little did they know that the water was contaminated by the radiation. All those who managed to find water died within hours.

I met SUSUKO NUMATA, who was a teacher in a Hiroshima secondary school: "I was transferred to a post office during the war, which was situated about one and a half kilometer from the city centre. My father and my younger sister worked in the same premises. One of my brothers was a soldier and the other worked at the bank.

I remember walking down a corridor when suddenly there was a huge flash of white light and suddenly I must have lost conscience. After some time, I woke up and could not move. Some heavy object dropped on my leg and I was losing a lot of blood. I was in great pain.

Everything around me was black. A man heard my cries and dragged me out. Soon after, the building caught fire. Suddenly I realized that one of my feet was sheared from the rest of my body and was hanging with some of my skin. My father found me in the street and wrapped my wounds with a carpet to try to stop the blood. He carried me to a make-shift open centre where some nurses and doctors were trying to attend the wounded. It's hard to describe the chaos. I could not recognize many people around me, they did not even look like humans any more. Children were crying for their mothers. Everybody crying in pain and some were dying of thirst, but there was no clean water available.

I thought that there was no hope and that soon I would die with the others around me. I saw that one was my own younger sister. Her face was shattered with exploding glass.

Suddenly, darkness was falling and black drops of rain were falling. It was contaminated rain and added to the chaos of death," told me Suzoka, as I felt drops of tears falling down my cheeks during this dramatic interview.

Suzoka told me that the first real medical aid arrived only after three days of the explosion. Doctors decided to amputate her leg although they had no drugs to relieve the pain. They used common tools as all medical instruments were lost.

"For days the dead and living were left in the same place. There was no one to bury the dead. The smell of the dead bodies was unbearable, as thousand of scorched bodies were left in the streets where they fell. I had no hope of survival. I cannot explain why I'm still living and so many thousands died", she confessed.

To be a living witness of the Hiroshima Atomic Explosion, Suzoka refused all attempts to be fitted with an artificial leg.

"I live with my only sister, as all my brothers and sisters died in the war. I want the world to remember the people of Hiroshima and I need to tell my story, so hopefully the world will never have to face such horrible massacres" told me Suzoka as she gladly posed for photographers.

Some were rather luckier than others. RHOHEI OJIMA was roaming on one of the mountains that surround the city. He survived because he was behind a mountain that took the impact of the deadly explosion.

"I ran with all my strength to find my house. Behind what was our house, I found a human head. As I picked it up, liquids were dripping in my hand and I was horrified. I never found my family. Today, although I'm a survivor I'm also a victim. I have to attend hospital on regular grounds. I suffer from high blood pressure and heart failure. The doctors told me that these are all effects of the nuclear radiation which filtered in my body", he said.

One of the rare survivors who were actually in the streets during the explosion and survived is BUSUKE SHOMONE. He lived in the village of Kinoyama, outside Hiroshima. His wife and daughter were killed by the explosion.

"I was in great pain and parts of my body were burnt and melting. My son found me, but could not recognize me. Parts of my clothes were still smoldering when he saw me", told me Buskin.

Despite a number of operations, Buseke face still shows the vivid scars of melting flesh. Today he lectures at many universities. Every year, on the 6th of August, he joins the thousands to pray at Hiroshima Peace Park and rings the bell of peace.

Like I did years ago, Buskee and the other survivors on the 6th of August will join the thousands who visit the Peace Park to pray in solid silence, broken by the sounds of thousand of birds that returned to Hiroshima.

He will kneel in front of the eternal flame facing the half melted civic centre, where thousands were turned into ashes in seconds.

On March 1947, with the help of the Japanese and American Governments, an Investigative Radiation Effects Research Foundation centre was opened. When I toured this high tech hospital I was told that thousands of patients have visited the hospital, all new victims of nuclear contamination. A dedicated medical team tries to cure adults and children. Many babies are still being born suffering from malignant tumors, leukemia, thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma. The Hiroshima children suffer from delayed growth and development and adults suffer from microcephaly and mental retardation.

These are the silent innocent victims of second and third generation of the Atomic Bomb survivors that the media and the world have forgot.

After 60 years of sufferings this story has no ending.

120,000 people were scorched to death in seconds - Part 1

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