Title: Yank, The Army Weekly, Vol. 4, No. 16: October 5, 1945.
Ownership of Document: Internet Archive
Type of Textual Primary Source: Magazine
Unique Physical Characteristics of the Document: It is typed. It contains many photographs. It has a title for each article within the magazine, along with a photograph for most of them. It contains cartoons as well.
Date of the Document: October 5, 1945.
Author of the Document: The magazine itself was published by the United States War Department, but the articles contained within the magazine were written by enlisted soldiers in the United States Army.
Intended Audience of the Document: It was published only for members of the US army. It was restricted to the public.
Key Information about this Textual Primary Source
Three important things written in this document: 1. In the article titled 3 Beaten Cities, the author gives an eye-witness account of the destruction of the cities Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In particular, he highlights the differences in how Hiroshima and Nagasaki appeared physically after the atomic bombs were dropped. 2. In the same article, the author gives a glimpse of the Japanese attitudes towards the United States in the aftermath of the destruction of the cities. 3. In the same article, the author writes of the uneasiness US soldiers felt walking around in Hiroshima in the aftermath, and adds that he wonders how he would be if he were in their (Hiroshima survivors) situation.
Why do I think this document was written? This magazine was intended for only US Army members, so perhaps for a variety of reasons. One may have been to inform US soldiers of events around the world. US soldiers in Germany may not know the events happening in Japan, for example, and this magazine would inform them of some of the events transpiring there. Another reason may have been for keeping up morale of enlisted US army soldiers by providing a magazine written by other enlisted soldiers. Enlisted soldiers that were good at writing could perhaps better articulate how the average enlisted soldier felt and remind the reader that there are many others around the world experiencing things similar to him or her.
What evidence is there in the document that shows why it was written? I think some of it comes from an article in the magazine entitled The Soldier Speaks. It is an opinion section wherein an enlisted soldier wrote an op-ed about the GI Bill, an issue that affected all enlisted US soldiers. This pretty clearly shows who the intended audience is, even if one were unaware that this magazine was available only to US Army members. This article also showed a contemporary reader that there are people similar to him, and perhaps felt the article was speaking for him. Also, as far as the evidence showing this document was intended to keep morale high in the US Army, there is an article about an event back home in the United States, as well as pictures of different cities in the US. There is also cartoons, which are usually meant to be humorous.
2 things the document says about the time and place it was written: The magazine contains articles written by enlisted soldiers in different places around the world. One article, writing about the city of Hiroshima, writes of the physical destruction of the city and the despondency of the Japanese who survived the attacks. Something to keep in mind as well is the magazine was published only 2 months after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Another thing the document says about the time is there were recreational activities for the soldiers quite early in post-war Europe. There is an article about about the ETO (European Theater of Operations) Army track team competing against the MTO (Mediterranean Theater of Operations) team in events in Frankfurt, Germany.
Question left unanswered by the document: Who took the photographs contained within the magazine?