Atomic bomb survivors

Reading a few threads here got me thinking about world war 2 again. My grandfather on my dad’s side was not drafted at the beginning because he was running the farm. His mother was dead and his dad was nearly paralyzed from a stroke. His dad died in 1944 and my grandfather had 10 days to sell everything and ship out for the war. He ended up in Germany but was initially going to be apart of the invasion of mainland Japan. Odds of surviving that were next to zero. The atomic bomb changed everything. So in a way, I am a survivor because of the atomic bomb. I hope some people have interesting stories. Like I have said before, I apologize for the grammar and for my bad story telling.

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Please note that the General Questions forum is for questions with factual answers.

Moving thread from General Questions to Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS).

My father is a WW2 pacific theater combat vet and Korean War combat vet (infantry). He went to visit Hiroshima ~1993 when I was living in Tokyo. I’ve been to Hiroshima and very moved about the need for a non nuclear world. My father went there was said “that bomb saved my life. I was on the invasion force for the Japanese main islands and most likely would have died in the landings.”

Different generations…

Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but Tsutomu Yamaguchi of Nagasaki was in Hiroshima on business on August 6, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped. He survived the explosion and returned to work in Nagasaki on August 9. He was telling his boss what happened to him when the second bomb was dropped. He survived that blast also and is the only person officially recognized by the government of Japan as having survived both bombings. He died in 2010 at the age of 93.

Talk about bad luck…

I’d call that exceptionally good luck.

Taking license with the broadness of the thread title –

My best friend’s Japanese mother related that after the first atomic bomb attack, her entire village went into a cave and remained there for days, as a bomb shelter, which conjecturally could have saved their lives from any subsequent bombings.

There were at least eight documented other double survivors, including some of his co-workers who were in Hiroshima on business with him. He was the only one who’s gotten official recognition, though. The stories are fascinating - a good account is Robert Trumbull’s ‘Nine Who Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ , originally published in 1957. I’m kind of surprised it’s never been reprinted, though at least one modern author has borrowed very heavily from it, without really giving it credit.

A (late) friend of mine was a Korean War vet; he also mentioned atomic bomb training - never sure if he was bullshitting me. He said the Canadian army participated in tests where they let of an atomic bomb, while these guys were dug into foxholes something like 10 miles away, then after the blast wave went past they were supposed to run toward the blast - test combat effectiveness in a nuclear war situation.

Of course, very shortly the power of the weapons meant there was no point in this.

This was a real thing that happened at the Nevada Test Site, over a period of some years. See ‘Camp Desert Rock’.
Some atomic veterans feel that they were exposed to enough radiation in these military exercises to have health consequences later in life. There are compensation programs in place, including with the VA, though I’ve heard many feel that they’re not well administered and many vets who should qualify to receive compensation don’t.

Here is a very similar thread from 2 months ago: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=774318

I wonder if the OP of this thread was the same TV show and had the same thought as the OP in the older thread.

That’s the problem with forums. Eventually everything is repeated. Just like movies. It’s the same shit over and over again. I need to learn how to search the forum before I start a new thread. The atomic bomb did more likely save my grandfather’s life though. That is a fact.

Nah, don’t worry about it. This is an interesting thread and I never saw the other one. The existence of the other thread doesn’t invalidate yours. Think of yours as offering additional data.

My mother and grandparents were slowly starving to death in Japanese POW and work camps at the time. Had the war not ended decisively when it did it’s very likely one or all of them would have died in captivity.

From that point of view the dropping of the bombs and their knock-on effects almost certainly saved my mother’s life and so mine.

I’ve just finished reading a book about the decision to use the Atomic bomb.

The consensus in the American hierarchy- apart from Truman and Marshall was that it was totally unnecessary and didn’t hasten the end of the war at all.

I understand this is a little off track.

My father was in the Navy, on a DE that was assigned to the invasion fleet. Not nearly as bad as a soldier/Marine who’d be in the invasion, but not a safe place either.

Fascinating. Do you have the title of the book at all? I’ve read books about the bombing as well, and while some people in the “hierarchy” were opposed to the bombing, there was hardly a consensus.

Also, the bombs were dropped on August 6 and 9. Japan announced their surrender on August 15. Are you saying there’s a consensus that the Japanese were planning to surrender on/before August 15 anyway?

I didn’t intend my post as a criticism of your thread; sorry if I wasn’t clear. I thought you raised a good line of discussion and I also thought that folks might enjoy seeing another 68 posts on a closely related topic. Nothing more.

I have the agree with this. Absolutely there wasn’t a consensus that the bombing was not needed. They were in fact planning on dropping more bombs.