Driven by desperation in the waning months of the Second World War – and motivated by a martial code, bushido, that glorified self-sacrifice and brooked no surrender – around 4,000 Japanese aircrew conducted suicide attacks against US and Allied warships in a vain attempt to halt the onslaught against Japan.
From the beginning, Okinawa challenged expectations. The landing was supposed to be the bloodiest of the war so far. The 182,000 troops riding aboard the 1,300-ship fleet heading for Okinawa were prepared for the worst – many had been warned that their commanders expected to lose eight in every ten men in the coming battle.
‘I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.’ So spoke J Robert Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist who developed the atom bomb. Marking one of history’s most terrible anniversaries, Stephen Roberts explores the arguments around the atomic destruction of two Japanese cities in August 1945. On 6 August 1945 an atomic bomb, given the inappropriate name […]
This poignant image is evidence of the miles of utter devastation caused when the world’s second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, three days after the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.