Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

UK UFO Cover Up

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Did you see this: “Churchill ordered UFO cover-up, National Archives show?”

Key quote:

Prime minister Winston Churchill ordered a UFO sighting be kept secret to prevent “mass panic”.

It got me thinking about that Keep Calm and Carry On poster, so I made this:

One Last Thing on Hiroshima

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Some articles about Hiroshima point out that a number of Japanese citizens feel that we should apologize for the atomic attacks: “At Hiroshima Ceremony, a First for a U.S. Envoy.”

I think that it’s impossible to apologize for Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor, or any other act of war, especially six and a half decades later. That’s why wars end and treaties are signed.


Using the events as a means to discuss nuclear disarmament isn’t a bad idea. Let’s just not place any blame, okay?

That’s my final thought – well, at least until Monday’s anniversary of Nagasaki.


More on Hiroshima

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

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.


Friday, August 6th, 2010

Holy cow – I didn’t realize it was August 6 until listening to NPR on the way home. Today’s the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

I love recent history because generally it’s easier to imagine what someone of my parents or grandparents generation was going through than Ancient history; Rome, Greece, or any other Empire might as well be an alien planet.

That being said, the way that the second world war ended still baffles me.

  • 130 pounds of uranium-235 created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT
  • A one mile radius of total destruction
  • A third of Hiroshima’s population was killed immediately
  • Within several months the death toll was over 150,000

    While this sounds beyond barbaric you have to put this in context; it had been almost 3 months since VE Day, the allied forces had been firebombing the hell out of 67 Japanese cities over the previous six months, without effect. The Japanese Emperor rejected the Potsdam Declaration in July. The ultimatum clearly stated that without a surrender, the Allies would attack Japan, resulting in “the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland”.

    Of course, it didn’t mention the atomic bomb – but that would be tipping our hand a little too much.