Sixty years ago, war correspondent George Weller had the scoop of a lifetime. He managed to sneak into Nagasaki shortly after the A- Bomb was
dropped. He was the first news correspondent to enter the city after the bomb. But his stories never made it MacArthur's censors. Today, for the
first time, his story is publicly published.
American George Weller was the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945. Weller wrote a
series of stories about what he saw in the city, but censors at the Occupation's General Headquarters refused to allow the material to be printed.
Here is the first of Weller's stories, running in a newspaper for the first time ever, 60 years after it was written in September 1945.
NAGASAKI, Sept.8 -- The atomic bomb may be classified as a weapon capable of being used indiscriminately, but its use in Nagasaki was selective and
proper and as merciful as such a gigantic force could be expected to be.
In parallel north and south lines? here the Urakame river, Mitsubishi plants on both sides, the railroad line and the main road from town. For two
miles stretches a line of congested steel and some concrete factories with the residential district "across the tracks. The atomic bomb landed between
and totally destroyed both with half (illegible) living persons in them. The known dead-number 20,000 police tell me they estimate about 4,000 remain
to be found.
On the opposite side of the valley and the Urakame river is a three story concrete American mission college called Chin Jei, nearly totally destroyed.
Japanese authorities point out that the home area flattened by American bombs was traditionally the place of Catholic and Christian Japanese.
But sparing these and sparing the allied prison camp, which the Japanese placed next to an armor plate factory would have meant sparing Mitsubishi's
ship parts plant with 1,016 employees who were mostly Allied. It would have spared a Mounting factory connecting with 1,750 employees. It would have
spared three steel foundries on both sides of the Urakame, using ordinarily 3,400 but that day 2,500. And besides sparing many sub-contracting plants
now flattened it would have meant leaving untouched the Mitsubishi torpedo and ammunition plant employing 7,500 and which was nearest where the bomb
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
It is amazing to me that this story is just now being published. I can understand censoring it at the time, but 60 years?
There is a series of his stories at this site, and I have not had time to read them all.
From what I have read, it does seem that the destruction was not as extensive as we were led to believe. It also appears that even walking among the
destruction, he felt that dropping the bomb was the appropriate thing to do. I for one agree.
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