The Art of Tetman Callis

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The end was never in doubt

December 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

“Popular perceptions of the Second World War identify the August 1945 atomic bomb attacks on Japan as a unique horror. Yet the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can only properly be understood against the background of the air campaign which preceded the nuclear explosions, killing substantially larger numbers of people before the grotesque nicknames of ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ imposed themselves upon the consciousness of the world. In the early years of the Pacific war, save for the single dramatic gesture of the April 1942 Doolittle raid, launched from aircraft carriers, Japan was not bombed because it could not be reached. . . . In the last phase of World War II, impatience overtook the Allies at every level. From presidents and prime ministers to soldiers in foxholes, there was a desire to ‘get this business over with.’ The outcome was not in doubt. The Axis retained no possibility of averting defeat. It therefore seemed all the more irksome that men were obliged to continue to die because the enemy declined to recognise the logic of his hopeless predicament. Any means of hastening the end seemed acceptable. . . . The Japanese people found themselves at last within range of American bombers at a time when Allied moral sensibility was numbed by kamikaze attacks, revelations of savagery towards POWs and subject peoples, together with general war weariness. . . . It had always been a matter of course that the enemy nation which wrought the attack on Pearl Harbor should be bombed. Only the means were in question.” – Max Hastings, Retribution

Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

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