Perspectives on Global Conflict: World War II: Endgames in the Pacific 1945 *Online* *NEW*

On the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan during World War II, the Smithsonian Museum prepared what it thought would be an acceptable memorial exhibit, which included the restoration of one of the airplanes that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. However, there was a massive controversy. After 50 years, people wanted to look at this World War II episode from different viewpoints. Some questioned whether atomic weapons were really necessary to force Japan to surrender. Some questioned whether the atomic bombs really were the reason that Japan surrendered at all. The consideration that all sides have victims in a war, forced a discussion on how to memorialize the victims of the atomic attacks upon Japan. Was such a sacrifice of human life worth the stated objective? Did the use of atomic weapons shorten and win the war in the Pacific? What alternatives, if any, were there? And what was the state of Japan’s defenses on the eve of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? And what is the legacy of all this today? Do modern nation-states still consider the history of nuclear attack against Japan in their geo-political calculations today? Do the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still loom over us today as we ponder these questions?
This seminar is part of an eight seminar series. Pick and choose from the topics of this eight-seminar series or register for all. Each seminar includes a lecture and discussion. Maps, references and handouts will be provided for each seminar.
Instructor: Anatole Sykley



Start Date

August 30, 2022









Tuesday, 3-5:30pm. Aug. 30

This class will meet online using Zoom. The Zoom link and information on how to join will be emailed to you. Please also check your spam folder.
If you register 12 hours or less before the class begins or after the start date, please contact for the link.

Instructors: Anatole Sykley


Anatole Sykley

Anatole Sykley is an independent scholar and historian. He transitioned to his new career after a career in high tech and early internet technology companies in Cambridge and the Boston area finishing off in telecommunications. A graduate of La Trobe University with degrees in Physics, Applied Math and Computer Science. As an ongoing Harvard Extension School student, Anatole is working on his history qualifications. Anatole is a member of Organization of American Historians, World War I Historical Society, World War I Centennial Commission (Massachusetts). Anatole teaches history, focussed on World War I and the early 20th century era, but also has given courses and seminars on current affairs, Eastern European history, Medieval History as well as selected topics in the History of Science, in Computers and Cryptography, at several Adult Education programs in the Cambridge, Boston, Brookline area, as well as organizing custom seminars for reading groups, local libraries and senior centers all over Eastern Massachusetts. Anatole has also led tours of World War I battlefields in France and Belgium, as well as given history tours of Boston. Anatole also supplements his career by teaching ESL courses at local education programs.