The Greater East Asia War And The

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The Greater East Asia War And The A-Bomb Essay, Research Paper 3. The Greater East Asia War and the A-Bomb 3.1 The Greater East Asia war Along with expansion of its role as a military city, Hiroshima became a modern city. After the Manchurian Incident, the Shanghai Incident, and the outbreak of the full-scale war between Japan and China, the Japanese army and navy launched an attack on the northen Malay Peninsula and attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 8, 1941 (Japan time). Japan rushed into the Greater East Asia War (the Pacific War). In Hiroshima, a center of military affairs since the Sino-Japanese and the Russo-Japanese wars, military installations were expanded and various heavy industries developed rapidly. In 1942, a Marine headquarters (under the command of

Lieutenant General Fumio Saeki) was set up in Ujina, and related units were placed on the coast around Hiroshima City. Later, when the atomic bomb was dropped, these units, located about 4 kilometers away from the city, escaped destruction. They sent out relief squads and took a very active part in aiding the wounded, clearing the dead bodies and cleaning the streets. 3.2 Preparations for the Decisive Battle on the Mainland After the outbreak of the war, the air defense setup of the city was rapidly strengthened and was much stronger than in other cities. However, after Japan, which had been victorious in the early stages of the war, lost the battle of Guadalcanal in 1943, the military situation grew steadily worse, and it appeared that the mainland of Japan would be turned into

a battlefield. The army hurriedly prepared for a decisive battle on the mainland. With these preparations Hiroshima was to take on a new role. Japan was divided into two parts; the First General Headquarters was placed in Tokyo, and the Second General Headquarters (under the command of Marshal Shunroku Hata) in Hiroshima, where the headquarters of the Chugoku District Governor-General (led by Isei Otsuka), the highest administrative body commissioned by the central government, was also established. In 1944, U.S. forces occupied Saipan, the last strategic point of the Japanese army on the south Pacific front, and established an air base from which to attack the mainland of Japan. In November full-scale air raids were begun, devastating the cities of Japan one by one. Under such

conditions, Hiroshima City began the evacuation of students above the third grade of elementary school and of other citizens whose presence was not essential. With the threat of incendiary bombings, demolition of buildings to make fire lanes was carried out on a wide scale. For the demolition of buildings, volunteer army corps in various places, organized according to the National Volunteer Army Conscription Law, and mobilized students of various middle schools and girls’ schools were gathered to engage in the work each day. An evacuation plan for citizens was made in preparation for the outbreak of a major conflagration caused by air raids. The evacuation destination of each neighborhood association was specified in advance in order to avoid confusion. The evacuation of people

that had been organized at the outset of the air raids was prohibited near the end of the war in order to secure personnel necessary for air defense. 3.3 Demolition of Hiroshima On August 6 1945, one atomic bomb instantly destroyed almost all of the houses and buildings in Hiroshima. They caught fire immediately and were reduced to ashes. In the case of wooden houses, those which were within one kilometer of the hypocenter were smashed at the moment of the explopsion. Those in the area between one kilometer and two kilometers from the hypocenter were completely destroyed. Those in the area two to three kilometers away were severely damaged. Even houses three to four kilometers from the center of the explosion were badly damaged. In the case of reinforced concrete buildings, the