With the 71st Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki tomorrow, our staff decided to cover a little Disney and a lot of unread history.
In 2015, perhaps after digging deep into their vintage cartoon archives, Walt Disney Japan tweeted to the country from its corporate Twitter account, “Congratulations on a not special day,” to mark the 70th Anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
Then of course came the apology tweets (which let’s face it, make up about 92% of all tweets anyway) bowing low with, “Deep apologies for causing discomfort.”
In the 1940’s, while Donald Duck was showing his discomfort in Commando Duck, under the Truman Administration the United States was trying to warn the Japanese to evacuate and to have either their leaders surrender.
Apart from radio broadcasts released every 15 minutes warning civilians about coming bombings, numbers range from 60 million to 77 million plus, Japanese language leaflets which were published at the American military base in Saipan and later dropped in the lead up to the bombings.
Despite the Japanese Government decreeing that those whom read or even had possession of such leaflets would be arrested, that did not stop the B-29’s from dropping them to provide warning to the 35 cities targeted for bombings, continuing the leaflet drops even after Hiroshima.
“TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE: America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet.
We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.
We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.
Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace-loving Japan.
You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.
EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.
ATTENTION JAPANESE PEOPLE. EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.
Because your military leaders have rejected the thirteen part surrender declaration, two momentous events have occurred in the last few days.
The Soviet Union, because of this rejection on the part of the military has notified your Ambassador Sato that it has declared war on your nation. Thus, all powerful countries of the world are now at war with you.
Also, because of your leaders’ refusal to accept the surrender declaration that would enable Japan to honorably end this useless war, we have employed our atomic bomb.
A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s could have carried on a single mission. Radio Tokyo has told you that with the first use of this weapon of total destruction, Hiroshima was virtually destroyed.
Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the emperor now to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better, and peace-loving Japan.
Act at once or we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.
EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.”
In the words of Disney, “Congratulations on a not special day.”