The world has come close to nuclear war and it is astonishing it has not yet happened

An allied correspondent stands in the rubble in front of the shell of a building that once was a exhibition centre and government office (now the Atomic bomb dome)  in Hiroshima, Japan, a month after the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped by the US on Aug 6, 1945. (AP Photo/Stanley Troutman, File)
An allied correspondent stands in the rubble in front of the shell of a building that once was a exhibition centre and government office (now the Atomic bomb dome) in Hiroshima, Japan, a month after the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped by the US on Aug 6, 1945. (AP Photo/Stanley Troutman, File)
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In Morning View (April 12) you write regarding John Kerry’s (American Secretary of State) recent visit to Hiroshima, Japan (Hiroshima means wide island): “Like Auschwitz, the remnants (The Industrial Promotions Hall, now called the Atomic Bomb Dome) stand preserved as a reminder of the fragility of civilisation.”

You correctly compare the awfulness of Auschwitz with what occurred in Hiroshima (which I have visited) on August 6 1945, and I might add, Nagasaki, which took place a few days later.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, centre left, puts his arm around Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, center right, after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths at the cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima (in front of the Atomic bomb dome)on Monday April 11, 2016. Also pictured are, from left to right, E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, Canada's Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, Britain's Foreign Minister Philip Hammond, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.  (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, centre left, puts his arm around Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, center right, after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths at the cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima (in front of the Atomic bomb dome)on Monday April 11, 2016. Also pictured are, from left to right, E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, Canada's Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, Britain's Foreign Minister Philip Hammond, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

Asphyxiation and incineration on a grand scale were the means of destruction and obliteration of humankind in both Hiroshima and Auschwitz – not, I suggest, unlike the clinical mass destruction of unborn humankind in the modern era.

While the scale of death caused by the nuclear bomb explosion was enormous, so was the scale of death caused by conventional US bombing of Japanese cities prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki; for instance on March 9/10, 1945, 300 American B-29s fire bombed Tokyo, destroying 250,000 buildings and killing more than 100,000 people.

Major cities throughout Japan suffered a similar fate, for example Nagoya which I have also visited.

You seem to suggest that such was the destruction caused by US atomic bombing of Japan (small beer by modern atomic bomb standards) that they will never again be used in anger.

Sadly, I do not agree.

In my life-time the world has come close to nuclear exchange a good number of times. It is astonishing that nuclear destruction, on an unimaginable scale, has not yet happened.

Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh