The Bombing of Hiroshima – source related study

Source A is a picture source, which shows the mass devastation caused by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. The source is an Ariel photograph, which was taken at the heart of Hiroshima, it was taken a day after the bomb was dropped. Source B is an eyewitness account of the bombs consequences and describes the people around him. Source A focuses on the geographical consequence of the bomb. From the source we can see mass destruction and devastation, there seems to be no signs of life what so ever. There is absolute destruction shown and there is only really one house visible, which is crumbling down into pieces.

We see a large area (we can even see the mountains in the background, showing the extent of the damage) as the picture is quite wide and the picture is visually powerful, it shows the viewer a lot, as a picture paints a thousand words. It shows much more than any text would describe. It shows exactly what the Americans wanted to see, destruction to force the Japanese to surrender. It shows the power of the atomic bomb, approximately equivalent to the power of 100 million tons of TNT. The source may be taken for propaganda. It shows annihilation and this represents power.

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This may have been used to show the American people that the country was still powerful and get their moral up after losing hundreds of thousands of American lives. It may also have been used to show the rest of the world Americas supremacy. It does this very well. The source is extremely useful as it is a clear Ariel photograph which displays a wide area of land in which we can see the physical effects, which ultimately is high devastation. But the source can be unhelpful in some respects as it is only one area of Hiroshima and so there may not have been that much devastation overall.

It may be the not be as bad as other parts and could be exaggerated. But ultimately the bomb had a large radius and would have destroyed a large area quite easily. Source B is an account by Mr Kazuo, it is an eyewitness account and so the source should be quite reliable. The source focuses more on the human aspect. He describes the gruesome deaths and mutations of various, innocent Japanese men, women and children. It gruesomely describes how people’s eyes hung out, how they had holes instead of noses and how the skin hung like seaweed.

The descriptions are extremely effective and gruesome and make people fell angry as innocent people went through such horrific pain. The source however is not as useful as it doesn’t really focus on the physical side, although we learn bridges were still standing. It focuses much more on human aspects. It may not be as reliable as we think because the effects of the bomb may have tainted him, and naturally he would exaggerate the disaster to some degree, as the experience was shocking. He would have hated the Americans for what they did so would naturally exaggerate.

Overall source A is a much more useful source as evidence of the physical effects of the Hiroshima bomb. The source is an actual photograph, which focuses on the land, and so we can gather much information about the physical effects. Source B is very useful in dealing with the human aspect of the bomb, but the visually powerful picture in source A is much more useful for the physical effects and paints a thousand words. There is so much mire we can learn and conclude from source A. it shows the true devastation to the land and shows the bomb and Americans left nothing standing in there way.

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