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HBO’s “The Pacific.”
Soon afterwards, a devestating tsunami followed. This quick-read guide written by Paul Andrews gives the reader an overview an explanation of the events in easy-to-understand plain English. Still, Americans in the forties were more likely to look toward Europe when thinking about the war; it was what they knew and understood, because it was where most of them were from.
Guadalcanal was a different story. Virtually no one had heard of it before , and even some of the military higher-ups had trouble pronouncing it at first. By the time the next generation came of age, the war in the Pacific had essentially been reduced to two events and one iconic image: the attack on Pearl Harbor, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the photograph of marines raising the American flag on Mt.
Suribachi, on Iwo Jima. Our shaky knowledge of the Pacific region remains a problem for those trying to tell the story of the war. The Pacific Ocean covers roughly a third of the globe. But a series with such an overarching title ought to have more to it than the movements of boots on the ground.
Rescue mission: Japanese fire department personnel gently lift a barely conscious woman from the wreckage in Natori City. The police try to prevent us going any further, but we get out of our vehicle and walk on. All I can see is mile upon winding mile of a town totally pulverised.
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An articulated lorry has been concertinaed by the force of the water, the cab ripped off. Four cars have smashed into it and the roof of a house sits on top. Homes have been reduced to matchsticks and driftwood. On the road that leads up to the school, I see another four or five cars hanging perilously over the edge of the hill.
The scene is reminiscent of the photographs of Nagasaki or Hiroshima after the A bombs were dropped during the Second World War.
Japan: A fragile country at the mercy of nature
The occasional concrete structure has survived, but nothing else. Blown away: Local residents walk past debris, including an overturned fishing boat, in Minami Sanriku. Rescue: Japanese home guard help survivors to safety in the flooded town of Minami Sanriku.
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Broken home People walk through the debris of what was once a suburb of Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture which was hardest hit by Friday's earthquake and tsunami. This should have been a busy Sunday lunchtime with day trippers and local people enjoying this prosperous, beautiful area with its stunning beaches and wooded areas. Instead there are small knots of people all across the flattened area, quietly searching for victims or returning to what remains of their homes, searching for possessions they had no time to save. There is no crying, no hysteria, no anger.
It is in the psyche of the Japanese people to do what they have to do in silence and with dignity. There are large stagnant pools of seawater, and mud everywhere. As we look on, rescuers gently retrieve another body, cradled in a filthy blanket — all they had to hand. The love, respect and ceremony with which these people wrap their dead — people they knew — is perhaps more touching than any tears. Tangled mess: The size of the clear-up job is huge, as shown by this lone figure in among rubble piled high in Minamisanrikucho, Miyagi Prefecture. Lost: A woman searching for her missing husband looks under an overturned truck after an earthquake and tsunami struck Minami Sanriku.
Precarious: Like a discarded toy tossed carelessly across a child's room, a ferry balances on the roof of a house in the village of Otsuchi. Overturned: A motorcyclist passes by an overturned fishing boat in Hachinohe, Aomori, northern Japan. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide: A mighty wave of foaming black water bursts through an embankment in Miyako, crushing cars parked in the street and obliterating everything in its path.
Ten thousand people are believed to be missing, but as yet there is no way of knowing if they are dead or by some miracle managed to escape before the tsunami struck. He is helping in the mortuary, delicately tying the bright blue polythene body bags which lie in rows. Clean up operation: A local resident looks for items from his mother's car amid mud and debris in Sendai, Miyagi today. Aftermath: A market near a port is filled with debris in Fudai, Iwate, northern Japan today while right, an aerial view of the area north of Sendai shows a barren landscape decimated by the tsunami.
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A woman wrapped in a blanket stares shell-shocked at the damagae in Ishimaki City. A patient is evacuated from a destroyed hospital in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture. Scientists battling to avert a meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant by pumping in seawater. More than 4, calls about missing Britons fielded by Foreign Office.
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