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Prompt and utter destruction: the Nagasaki disaster and the initial medical relief

30-06-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 866, by Nobuko Margaret Kosuge

The article takes an overall look at the initial medical relief activities in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb fell there on 9 August 1945. Although the medical facilities were instantaneously destroyed by the explosion, the surviving doctors and other medical staff did their best to help the victims. When some of the relief workers arrived at the disaster area, the level of radiation was still dangerously high.

   

Nobuko Margaret Kosuge
worked at the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University, as a visiting scholar, and is Professor in International Relations/History at the Faculty of Law, Yamanashi Gakuin University. Her book, Postwar Reconciliation, won the 2006 Ishibashi Tanzan Prize. 

 
Abstract 
The article takes an overall look at the initial medical relief activities in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb fell there on 9 August 1945. In Nagasaki, as in Hiroshima, medical facilities were instantaneously destroyed by the explosion, yet the surviving doctors and other medical staff, though themselves sometimes seriously injured, did their best to help the victims. Medical facilities in adjacent areas also tended to the wounded continuously being brought there; some relief workers arrived at the disaster area when the level of radiation was still dangerously high. This article will in particular highlight the work of the doctors.  

   
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