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Interviews with crew members of the ‘Enola Gay’

Description of film

The clip opens with an interview with Colonel Paul Tebbits, the officer in charge of the bomb group that dropped the Hiroshima Bomb. The Colonel then describes his experiences in a very calm way. The next interviewee is Commander Frederick Ashworth, who was part of the crew that dropped the second atom bomb on Nagasaki.

Context

On the morning of 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb was used in war for the first time. Normal life in the crowded Japanese city of Hiroshima came to a sudden and terrifying end when a US plane dropped an atomic device on to the city. More than 70,000 people died and many more were injured. The heat of the blast was so intense that people at the centre of the explosion were simply vaporised. Many who survived the blast died later from the radiation. The president of the USA, Harry Truman, warned the Japanese to surrender. When they did not, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing around 40,000 people and wounding 60,000.

Interesting or important points about the film

Perhaps the most interesting thing about these two interviews is the insight we get into the character of the two crewmen. Both are clearly extremely able, professional servicemen. At the same time, it is clear that even these elite troops were shocked by the power of the atom bombs and the devastation that they had caused.

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Further information
Category1900-45
Sub categoryWorld War Two
FilmInterviews with crew members of the ‘Enola Gay’
SourceIWM film USA 8
ProducerNot known
Year1945
DateAugust 14th 1945
Length1:59