Tag Archives: Nagasaki

Today’s Worry From Yesterday’s View

We’ve just passed the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with all the usual alarms and horror stories from the many survivors of those events of war.   At least this year I saw one article about one of the few surviving American POW’s who witnessed the Nagasaki bombing from miles away and what his perspective was.  The article did correctly p0int out that the Japs had already issued orders to kill all remaining POW’s once the Allies launched the expected invasion of the Homeland Islands.   The POW’s naturally were unaware of their impending death sentence and most had already reached the near end of their endurance due to the extreme cruelty and brutality of their captors.   They were thrilled to learn within days that the Japs had surrendered and that they had a chance to live.  They literally were given a ladder up at last from the depths of Hell.

I was very small at that time and don’t have a specific memory of the bombings or the end of the war.  I don’t recall my dad or any of the other men coming home in a big parade.   I do remember that dad was there and we moved to a new duplex from the old one and then a new baby brother.   The War and its aftermath was the dominate event and topic of conversation for years.  By the time I started school I knew we had used a really big bomb and that made the Japs surrender.  I recall the adults when I listened to them really didn’t understand exactly how the bomb worked.   It was an “atomic” bomb I knew from hearing them and that an atom was a really tiny thing you couldn’t even see.

It was a wonder to me that anything so small could make such a big bang.  How did those miniscule bits mix around to make such a large whomp?  As a small boy playing soldier I could understand rifles, cannons, hand grenades and regular bombs but the physics of the atomic bomb were beyond me.    You could get a feel for the destruction regular bombs and artillery could do because the newsreels in the ’40’s after the War were often about the occupation of Germany, Austria and Japan and they would always show the unimaginable destruction of whole cities.  Frankly, the newsreels of Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn’t look any different than the cities like Berlin, Munich or Dresden.

When mom and dad had relatives or friends over to visit I was always watching for when the men would gather separate from the women folk and would immeditate ly stop whatever I was doing and slip in there and sit quietly somewhere so I could hear them talk.  Sooner or later they always began swapping stories about the War.  Virtually all of them were in the War.  I guess the had some acquaintances that didn’t serve but I don’t remember a single one.  They were in all services, Army, Navy, Air Corps and Marines.  I wish I had those conversations on tape today.   What a treasure trove that would be.   All except one (with a minor wound) were still in the services in August of 1945.  Without exception they expected to be soon shipped to Japan.   Never heard one word of regret or sorrow for using the atomic bomb from one of them.  They believed the Japs deserved it, earned it with their barbaric behavior and none of them were eager to face the prospects of death after four years of war.   My dad could have been on one of those Navy ships off the coast of Japan facing the 5000 kamikaze planes (yes, 5000) that the Japs still had to deploy and planned to deploy against our invasion.  I am sure glad my dad didn’t have to do that.

“These proceedings are closed” General MacArthur after the last signatures on the Japanese surrender documents.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

The dog days of August are upon us and the mind looks for cooling thoughts anywhere it can find them.

Today is the 68th anniversary of the Nagasaki bomb drop on the Japs.   The leaders of that day were hoping to maximize the damage to them to force a surrender before we had to launch the invasion of Japan proper with projected loss of American lives exceeding 250,000 to finish the job.  The nation was war-weary and ready for it to end but still determined to defeat Japan.  What is forgotten is that at the same time (within two days) of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A bomb attacks we had other major attacks on Japan by our air forces and the navy.  The navy struck a coastal region with fuel storage tanks and power stations on the east coast.  The navy ships were literally just off shore and shelled the facilities and the navy planes struck with fury.  That was a huge raid and did tremendous damage.  About the same time we launched one of the biggest air raids of the whole war.  More than 800 B-29’s roared over the industrial area of Iksukea and devastated the entire manufacturing area.  If you have ever seen a B-29 you know how big they really are.  Larger than a 737 for example.  Imagine looking up in the sky and seeing wave after wave of them coming your way and hearing the thunder of those thousands of engines.   You’ve never even heard of these raids.  That is a lesson in history and how headlines are so fluid.  If not for the A bombs these raids would have been the lead headline in every major newspaper across the country.   Because of the A bombs they were moved to the back pages.   Those raids heavily influenced the final decision of the Japs to surrender because they realized that regardless of the A bombs they were defenseless to stop the coming American assault.   To know real history you must know more than the headline stories.

Some left over dishes don’t do well when they are warmed up for that second serving a couple of days later.  One exception to that truth though in our humble opinion is spaghetti, if well made, when warmed up down the road.  As good as the first serving.

Sure glad our outreach to the Muslim world is working so well.  You recall that even the NASA leader under the guy in the White House said that was his top priority.  Have you looked at any of those photos from Cairo in the last few days with the depictions of our guy in the White House?  Look them up and reach your own conclusion.

When it comes to the Muslim world we need a Kissinger to lead our foreign policy.  He definitely knew how to employ realpolitk and understood its necessity.  Yes, as awful as it is to contemplate, sometimes it is better to do business with an Assad in Syria rather than that Al Queada and Muslim Brotherhood coalition fighting against him.  Hey, folks we were all chummy and kissy kissy with Joe Stalin during WWII!  He made Attila the Hun look like a Franciscan monk by comparison.  Often a tough world presents tough choices and we need to make them and quit the speech making and political correct approach to foreign policy.  Do what is best for America.  In the long haul that will be what is best for the world.  We still represent the best hope for a good example for the world.   But that example is changing for the worst with each passing day of this current gang in the White House.

Did you know that copper is an antibacterial agent?  In smaller concentrations it will not kill the bacteria but will prevent its growth or spread.  High enough and it can kill bacteria.  Wonder why they don’t use copper for all the trays etc in hospitals and clinics.  Cost I suppose.  Even if more expensive up front it would last more or less forever unlike all that plastic we see in hospitals.  Just wondering if anyone has ever taken a hard look at that.

Don’t know about you but frankly I didn’t notice any difference in Christie’s appearance after his well-advertised weight reduction surgery.  He needs either a redo or a refund.   I don’t think he makes a very good ad for that type of surgery.   He still looks terribly overweight.

By now you have heard that if you have a camera built into your laptop that hackers (government or otherwise) can take over that camera and record you in your own home or office.  That is in addition to the ability to listen into your conversations through  your cell or computer or even the tv and now your fancy new car with all that electronic and computer gadgetry.   Getting really hard to get off the grid these days.

Getting off the grid was a motivating factor behind much of our western expansion from the earliest days of our new nation.   Thousands and then millions of folks for various personal reasons decided to go west to escape bad marriages, creditors or bad politicians or politics.  If you went from Pa. to Mo. in 1835 you could be whoever you wanted to be in Mo.  When you left your hometown, home church and community you were indeed off the grid.  Same thing with those early Mountain Men. Many just wanted to be away from the constraints as they saw it of civilization.   Today it is really hard to have a truly private life.  Good, bad, up to each of us to have our own opinion but the sad thing is that we don’t have a choice anymore to opt out for the quiet life.  Not many Walden ponds left.

“The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”  Proverbs 3/35. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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