More on Hiroshima

I’m up at an earlier hour than normal (the cat from Arabia was cold and unhappy, and wanted to share with someone) so I’m reading a little more about Hiroshima this morning.

Two other things that amaze me about the attack are the Japanese reaction immediately before and after.

An hour before the bombing Japanese radar picked up the planes approaching and set off an air raid alert, but fifteen minutes before the drop they estimated that there were only a handful of planes, so the alert was lifted. Plus it wasn’t Japanese policy to intercept such a small formation, so no planes were scrambled.

Afterwards nobody knew that anything was out of the ordinary for quite some time. The radio station in Tokyo noticed that the Hiroshima station was off the air, but couldn’t contact the station by phone. The telegraph operators realized that the main telegraph line was not working just north of Hiroshima. Railroad stations 10 miles away reported a huge explosion, but the Imperial Japanese Army couldn’t get through to their station in Hiroshima.

The army was baffled by the silence – they knew that no large enemy raid had occurred and that no sizeable store of explosives was in Hiroshima at that time – so they sent an officer by plane to survey the damage.

It wasn’t until they had flown for three hours – when the plane was still 100 miles out – that they saw the smoke from Hiroshima.

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