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Never-Seen Photos: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By jimstaro - Posted on 06 August 2010

Nagasaki After the Bomb: A Waste Land

One scene shared by all of the 20th century's bloodiest wars might have been lifted straight from The Road Warrior: a spectral landscape; buildings obliterated; blasted trees; a lifeless wasteland. The picture above, for instance -- a photograph never published, until now-- while mirroring every bleak, war-battered panorama from Verdun to Iwo Jima to Pork Chop Hill, was in fact made by LIFE's Bernard Hoffman in September, 1945, in Nagasaki, Japan. But far from chronicling the aftermath of sustained, slogging armed conflict, Hoffman's picture -- along with others seen here for the first time -- depicts devastation produced in a few, unspeakably violent seconds. On the 65th anniversary of American planes dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9) -- killing 120,000 people outright, and tens of thousands more through injury and radiation sickness -- presents never-before-seen pictures from both cities taken in the weeks and months following the bombings. Included, as well, are excerpts from issues of LIFE published after the war that convey the powerful, discordant reactions -- relief, horror, pride, fear -- that the bombings, and the long-sought victory over Japan, unleashed. Continue for the Other Photo's

This should not be left to becoming buried in an archive surely few people would check for anything like these LIFE magazine pictures.

They're excellent pictures, great quality, and if we want to talk about "Shock & Awe" in US style, then these pictures are surely fitting to refer people to.

And the 14th page of this first set of pictures provides an index to several other sets of apparently related pictures.

It's great that LIFE magazine has finally released these pictures and made them available for anyone with a Web connection to be able to view in high quality format.

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