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Was Hiroshima Firebombed and Not Nuked?

B-29s firebomb Tokyo. PHOTO: 73rd Wing Photography

Following my article Sunday on the August 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I received some challenges from readers of The New Nationalist (TNN) and Renegade Tribune, which re-ran the article, concerning the notion that the attack was in actuality another in a series of highly destructive firebombings that had been underway in Japan (and Germany) throughout 1945.

B-29 and payload

As I stated in the comments section, the focus of the article was only about the unnecessary prolonging the Pacific war. However, I agree. The firebombing theory does need to be addressed. It’s not implausible, especially given that by the time of Hiroshima the U.S. Strategic bombing command had terror bombing and cooking civilians down to a exact science.

It is an established fact that napalm chemical firebombing of wooden Japanese cities was extremely destructive. In May 1945, Tokyo was hit with incendiary payloads from 334 B-29 Superfortresses, burning 16 square miles and destroying more than half of the city. The Hiroshima operation involved 4 sq. miles. Using the Tokyo ratio, it could have been achieved with 83 planes.

How did these concrete buildings survive a ground zero atomic blast?

Hiroshima was a wooden shantytown constructed in a concentrated area. It was a sitting duck for a carefully crafted firebombing terror attack with an atomic-bomb psyop added on for full effect. In the previous article, regular TNN commenter “Brabantian” mentions evidence from Swedish engineer and nuclear expert Anders Björkman. The smoking gun: The day and hour Hiroshima was bombed, U.S. air command logged a fleet of 66 bombers for an operation in nearby Imabari Japan. But this city no longer existed. It had been wiped out in two previous raids. This was the fleet that firebombed Hiroshima.

Liddell Hart’s “History of the Second World War” claims that Japanese on the ground didn’t know they had been A-bombed until long after the end of the war. Allied occupation authorities also clamped down on eyewitness testimonies. Testimonies that did come out often had a scripted, deceptive quality to them. The accounts themselves could have been describing a napalm bombing, but then suggestive phrases are inserted into the narratives, such as “strange yellow ray” and “sun ray.” There are also accounts of a single B-29 flying over; but flying at 32,000 feet, the bomber would not be visible from the ground, nor would a small fleet.

However, one eyewitness, Father John A. Siemes (source: Yale’s website- the Avalon Project) provided more details as to how this may have gone down.

It was rumored that the enemy fliers had spread an explosive and incendiary material over the city and then had created the explosion and ignition. A few maintained that they saw the planes drop a parachute which had carried something that exploded at a height of 1,000 meters. No one knew anything for certain concerning the nature of the bomb.

The bombing planners drawing from their science of mass killing, first spread incendiary material to prep the target. This soaked kindling could have then been lit like a match from a small high-flying fleet of B-29s. This makes it possible to destruct the target with even less than 66 aircraft, and would make it a highly contained and controlled operation.

In pursuing this issue, we note the absence of “mushroom cloud” photos from the ground in Japan. Among the very few photos of the Hiroshima bombing that do exist, the following three suggests a raging firestorm, not a nuclear explosion. The photos appear consistent with the others shot at different distances and angles. These firestorms were described at Hamburg in 1943, Dresden in 1945 and the various other Japanese incinerations of 1945.

The Daily Telegraph on Jan. 9, 2013, published this new photo (below) taken of the bombing. It, too, resembles a firebombing and developing firestorm.

An A-bomb or an incendiary firestorm?

In the book “Osada’s Children of the A-Bomb,” a survivor describes a scene that is altogether different from an A-bomb, stating, “I looked up to the sky, a streamer of smoke, perhaps 50 yards high, rising from the centre of Hiroshima, about 2 miles distant. At the top of the column of smoke was a ball of fire which seemed to me to be about the size of a large oil tank.”

U.S. Major Alexander P. de Seversky, who in 1945 inspected the bombed-towns of Japan, testified:

In Hiroshima I was prepared for radically different sights. But, to my surprise, Hiroshima looked exactly like all the other burned-out cities in Japan. There was a familiar pink blot, about two miles in diameter. It was dotted with charred trees and telephone poles. Only one of the cities twenty bridges was down. Hiroshima’s clusters of modern buildings in the downtown section stood upright.

It was obvious that the blast could not have been so powerful as we had been led to believe. It was extensive blast rather than intensive.

I had heard of buildings instantly consumed by unprecedented heat. Yet here I saw the buildings structurally intact, and what is more, topped by undamaged flag poles, lightning rods, painted railings, air raid precaution signs and other comparatively fragile objects.

At the T-bridge, the aiming point for the atomic bomb, I looked for the “bald spot” where everything presumably had been vaporized in the twinkling of an eye. It wasn’t there or anywhere else. I could find no traces of unusual phenomena.

What I did see was in substance a replica of Yokohama or Osaka, or the Tokyo suburbs – the familiar residue of an area of wood and brick houses razed by uncontrollable fire. Everywhere I saw the trunks of charred and leafless trees, burned and unburned chunks of wood. The fire had been intense enough to bend and twist steel girders and to melt glass until it ran like lava – just as in other Japanese cities.

The concrete buildings nearest to the centre of explosion, some only a few blocks from the heart of the atom blast, showed no structural damage. Even cornices, canopies and delicate exterior decorations were intact. Window glass was shattered, of course, but single-panel frames held firm; only window frames of two or more panels were bent and buckled. The blast impact therefore could not have been unusual.

Finally, one of the biggest red flags for me that this may not have been atomic was a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1990. The 40-year study of thousands of Japanese who survived the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki found radiation exposure did not cause genetic damage that could lead to human mutations.

The researcher, John Boice of the National Cancer Institute, said, ”Ionizing radiation is known to cause heritable mutations in many species of plants and animals, but intense study of 70,000 offspring of atomic bomb survivors has failed to identify an increase in congenital abnormalities, cancer, chromosome aberrations or mutational blood protein changes.”

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