Nagasaki: Friendly Fire
Warning: The events recounted in this episode may be distressing to some listeners
At 11.02 am on August 9 1945, America dropped the world's most powerful atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese port city was flattened to the ground 'as if it had been swept aside by a broom', with over 70,000 people killed.
At that time, hundreds of Allied prisoners of war were working close to the bomb's detonation point, as forced labourers in the shipyards and foundries of Nagasaki. Having survived four years of malnutrition, disease, and brutality, they now faced the prospect of the US dropping its second atomic bomb on their prison home.
In this episode James is joined by John Willis, whose new book Nagasaki: The Forgotten Prisoners paint a vivid picture of defeat, endurance, and survival against astonishing odds.
Edited by Aidan Lonergan.
For more Warfare content, subscribe to our Warfare Wednesday newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.