When Barack Obama travels to Hiroshima on May 27, he will be the first sitting US President to visit the site of one of two instances in human history where a nuclear weapon was used. Over 70 years have passed, but the reverberation from the "rain of ruin" unleashed on August 6, 1945 remains. This archival footage, propaganda from the US War Department, is meant to showcase and spin the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As noted by Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg in the Atlantic, “the film focuses on damage to architectural structures but conspicuously avoids showing the human cost of the attacks.” To a modern audience, increasingly skeptical of the war-time necessity of dropping those bombs, the footage illustrates the importance of ensuring that nuclear weapons are never used again -- especially modern thermonuclear weapons many, many times more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Video by Prelinger Archive