Damaged crockery, atomic blast Hiroshima

Place Asia: Japan, Hiroshima
Accession Number RELAWM34345
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Glass, Porcelain
Location Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 4: V Over Jap
Maker Unknown
Date made August 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
British Commonwealth Occupation Force, 1946-1952 (Japan)
Description

A porcelain saucer that is intact with pieces of other pottery fused to it by molten glass.

History / Summary

These broken ceramic and glass pieces were collected at Hiroshima by the Australian Military History Section during the Allied Occupation of Japan. The damage to this crockery was caused by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945. The temperature of the blast, which reached up to 6,000 degrees Celsius, melted the glass and glaze, fusing the items together.

In the Allied occupation which followed the Second World War, Australians served as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) from February 1946 until the treaty in 1951 to assist with the demilitarisation and democratisation of Japan. Australian forces worked within the Hiroshima prefecture and day trips to the site were a common occurrence. With no understanding of the dangers of radiation in the area, Australians collected or purchased damaged items from the site as souvenirs to take home.

The Military History Section operated under the Army and was attached to BCOF Headquarters first in Kure and then Eta Jima, south of Hiroshima. They were responsible for the documentation and creation of an official history as well as the collection of pertinent war relics. They were a small team which decreased as the occupation went on. All the objects they collected were then sent to the Australian War Memorial.