54 days to the millennium: Japan reluctant to admit destruction of first Atomic bomb drop

Friday, July 6, 1945

Paper: Carson City Daily Appeal

Owner and Publisher: Wesley L. Davis Jr.

Published daily except Saturday and Sunday in the Appeal Building, corner of Carson and Second.

On July 6, 1945, reports of the War with Japan still frequented the pages of the Carson City Daily Appeal.

There is no mention of using the atomic bomb to end the war this day, yet a month later Hiroshima and Nagasaki lay in ruins.

The Aug. 7, 1945 edition of the Appeal recorded the reaction to the world's first atomic bomb dropped in war.

Under the headline "JAPS ADMIT 'DAMAGE' BY ATOMIC BOMB" the Appeal reported:

Japan conceded today that "new type bombs" caused "considerable damage" yesterday in Hiroshima, target of the world's first atomic bombing raid.

"Details are now under investigation," a Japanese imperial headquarters communique issued 30 hours after the raid said.

An earlier Japanese broadcast had reported the cancellation of trains in the Hiroshima area as result of an air raid damage without mentioning the possibility that a new-type bomb had been used.

Accurate assessment of the destruction wrought by the atomic missile at Hiroshima, an industrial and communications center on Japan's island sea, still awaited reconnaissance photographs.

First photograph planes to reach the Hiroshima area after the raid were unable to penetrate the dense dust and smoke riding from the stricken area.

The text of the Japanese imperial headquarters communique on the raid, as issued at 3:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. EWT) was as follows:

"1-Considerable damage was caused in Hiroshima city as the result of an attack made by a small number of B-29s yesterday, Aug. 6.

"2-The enemy appears to have employed new type bombs in this attack. However, details are now under investigation."

Actually, only one atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Radio Osaka reported the cancellation of various trains in Hiroshima prefecture and other areas because of B-29 Super fortress raids without mentioning specifically either the atomic bomb or the destruction it caused.

Hiroshima, objective of the raid lies 15 miles north of Kure on the Honshu coast of Japan's inland sea. A port and a major communications center on the main route between Tokyo and Kyushu, Hiroshima was the site of such important war plants as the Japan steel works, the Osaka machine tool company and Mitsubishi heavy industries.

On the same page, the Appeal printed a report from Washington, D.C. on the bomb.

The headline "ATOMIC BOMB SHIFTS WHOLE WORLD SETUP" was followed by the United Press report.

The advent of the atomic bomb today made imperative the demands of peace-loving peoples that there must be no more wars.

And it placed in the hand of the United nations an instrument the treat of which alone, may deter any future would-be aggressors.

With it go great responsibility for the United States and immense problems of how this weapon can be used to keep the peace.

Scientists the world over know a lot about the theory of atomic energy. Sooner or later they are certain to make the same discovery American-British scientists have. But the United States and Britain now know the most about it and the United States has a monopolistic head start in facilities for its production.

Misused, the atomic bomb could probably destroy civilization.

Well used, it should enable the great English-speaking nations to assure a world of peace. The threat of the bomb alone might be enough to prevent any saber rattling.

That is the hope of President Truman, Winston Churchill, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and other officials who are aware of the awesomeness of the new military weapon.

Under the headline "New Bomb Raises Striking Force Of Planes 3000 Times" the Appeal documented its power.

Equipped with the new weapon, the 800 B-29s witch recently raided the Jap islands would have had the blasting effect of 2,400,000 planes carrying TNT.

The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT, or about 3000 times the blasting effect of the seven tons of old type bombs.

The next day, reports show Tokyo a little more willing to talk about the devastation at Hiroshima.

The headline "TOKYO ADMITS HIROSHIMA IS HALF IN RUINS" begins the tale of the destruction that continues today.

GUAM, Aug. 8 (UP) -Tokyo conceded today that most of Hiroshima had been destroyed completely by the single atomic bomb Monday and said blasted and blistered corpses "too numerous to count littered the ruins. The impact of the bomb was so terrific that practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death by the tremendous heat and pressure engendered by the blast."

American reconnaissance photos confirmed that four and one-tenth square miles - 60 percent of the built-up area - of Hiroshima had vanished almost without trace in the world's greatest explosion.

Unofficial American sources estimated the Jap dead and wounded might exceed 100,000.

Five major war plants and scores of small factories, office buildings and dwellings were known to have been leveled. Only skeletons of concrete buildings remained in the area.

Additional damage outside the totally destroyed section was being assessed.

Radio Tokyo, breaking its silence of more than 60 hours said the "indescribable destructive power" of the bomb had crushed big and small buildings alike in an unparalleled holocaust.

Despite the unparalleled holocaust at Hiroshima, Japan refused to surrender and the U.S. on Aug. 9 dropped a larger atomic bomb on Nagasaki killing about 40,000.

On Sept. 2 the war with Japan ended.


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