AFYH WK14: Enola & Bockscar
Another Five Years of Hell!
(Lessons of the past don’t always inform better decisions of the present and the future!)
I can’t help but think about the terrible events 70 years ago, when on the 6th of August 1945 the Enola Gay Bomber crew dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on Hiroshima (Japan).
“Fifteen seconds after the flash there were two very distinct slaps and that was all the physical effects we felt. We turned the ship so we could observe results and there in front of our eyes was without a doubt the greatest explosion man had ever witnessed. The city was 9/10 covered with smoke and a column of white cloud, which in less than three minutes reached 30,000 feet and then went up to 50,000 feet. I honestly have the feeling of groping for words to explain this or I might say, my God, what have we done? Everyone on the ship is actually dumbstruck, even though we had expected something fierce.”
The Enola Gay left Tinian at 02.45 am. The bomb, named Little Boy, was dropped at 08.15 am. Little Boy detonated at 08.16.02 am. At 08.16.17 am, the Enola Gay was hit by the first of two shock waves from the bomb following its detonation over Hiroshima. The bomb aimer was Major Tom Ferebee. The Enola Gay was a Boeing B-29 Super Fortress, named after the Mother of the Pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets. The devastation caused was beyond what the Americans had expected the loss of life greater than expected. People on the ground reported seeing a brilliant flash of light followed by a don, a loud booming sound. Some 70,000–80,000 people, of whom 20,000 were soldiers, or around 30% of the population of Hiroshima, were killed by the blast and resultant firestorm, and another 70,000 injured.
The Enola Gay participated in the second atomic attack as the weather reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura, the original target. Originally scheduled for 11 August, it was brought forward by two days to 9 August owing to bad weather. This time, a Fat Man nuclear weapon was carried by B-29 Bockscar, piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney. Enola Gay, flown by Captain George Marquardt’s Crew, was the weather reconnaissance aircraft for Kokura, the primary target. Enola Gay reported clear skies over Kokura, but by the time Bockscar arrived, the city was obscured by smoke from fires from the conventional firebombing of Yawata by 224 B-29s the day before. After three unsuccessful passes, Bockscar diverted to its secondary target, Nagasaki, where it dropped its bomb. In contrast to the Hiroshima mission, the Nagasaki mission has been described as tactically botched, although the mission did meet its objectives. The crew encountered a number of problems in execution, and had very little fuel by the time they landed at Okinawa.
At 11:01, a last-minute break in the clouds over Nagasaki allowed Bockscar’s bombardier, Captain Kermit Beahan, to visually sight the target. The Fat Man weapon, containing a core of about 6.4 kg of plutonium, was dropped over the city’s industrial valley. It exploded 47 seconds later at about 1,600ft, above a tennis court halfway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works in the south and the Nagasaki Arsenal in the north. This was nearly 3kms northwest of the planned hypocenter; the blast was confined to the Urakami Valley and a major portion of the city was protected by the surrounding hills. The resulting explosion had a blast yield equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT. The explosion generated heat estimated at 3,900 °C and winds that were estimated at 1,000km per hour.
7,500 Japanese employees who worked inside the Mitsubishi Munitions plant, including mobilized students and regular workers, 6,200 were killed. Some 17,000–22,000 others who worked in other war plants and factories in the city died as well. Casualty estimates for immediate deaths vary widely, ranging from 22,000 to 75,000. In the days and months following the explosion, more people died from bomb effects. Because of the presence of undocumented foreign workers, and a number of military personnel in transit, there are great discrepancies in the estimates of total deaths by the end of 1945; a range of 39,000 to 80,000 can be found in various studies. It is likely to be somewhere towards the 80,000.
The Allied Leaders lead by the Americans were clear on the rationale for dropping the two bombs, the Japanese stated clearly on several occasions they would not surrender and every military and civilian was expected to fight to the death if Japan was invaded. The estimates of losses to both sides in the event ground forces were needed to invade (based on the US casualties in the islands of the Pacific the Japanese held to the bitter end) was over two million people, with the Japanese people being effectively wiped out. World War Two would go on to the end of the 1940’s and the Allied forces wanted an end to it all, especially after VE Day in Europe with the defeat of Hitler. After the explosion of Little Boy the Japanese still refused to surrender so the second bomb was dropped, resulting in the unconditional surrender of Japan, saving lives on both sides. But the evil of atomic weapons was now a reality and would form the focus of the next arms race.
Victory over Japan (VJ Day) was officially recorded as the 15th August 1945. Emperor Hirohito recorded on August 14th his capitulation announcement, in it he referred to the atomic bombings:
“Moreover, the enemy now possesses a new and terrible weapon with the power to destroy many innocent lives and do incalculable damage. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects……? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance…….”
But the world now focusses on not using Nuclear Weapons, decommissioning Nuclear Weapons, preventing people/groups/countries acquiring Nuclear Weapons. Japan has lead the way in trying to forward a Nuclear Weapon disarmaments agenda for the world, and let’s be honest if anyone has the right to demand this agenda it is the people, the nation, the only country that has had the hell of nuclear weapons unleashed upon their people. I think they have the right to wave that banner and ask the world leaders, those still proliferating nuclear weapons, to stop, to think, to consider this question:
Can you honestly see in the 21st century a justification in which to continue to develop nuclear weapons or a justification to use these awful weapons once again?
If any country did use nuclear weapons they would be attacked on every level by the other countries of the world. The time is now to stop making nuclear weapons and to decommission the weapons we still have stockpiled, enough weapons to destroy the world over thousands of time. We must decommission as this is the only way to stop terrorist groups from getting hold of them or countries with unstable dictatorships. For example, can you imagine what the map of the world would look like if Hitler had developed nuclear weapons before D-Day, or if ISIS gained nuclear weapons? The very thought of it is terrifying and the whole argument of having a ‘Nuclear Deterrent’, underpinned by the threat of mutually assured destruction, becomes valueless. ISIS and other terrorists groups don’t care what you do to them, they are here to destroy our countries regardless of the cost, and nuclear weapons would be, are, the perfect terror weapon. We can only prevent this by decommissioning such weapons, by dismantling such weapons, destroying them, put them on a one way ticket to the sun if that’s what you want but we need to make such weapons extinct. Any country or group that then attempted to develop these weapons of mass destruction should feel the traditional weapon might of the United Nations.
So it is clear that having the nukes is no longer a deterrent to the terrorists that want to get them, they don’t make us safer in any way or on any level. I have one final question, that if the above is true, which it is:
Why is our Government committed to spending £100 billion of tax payers’ money on new nukes?
It’s just stupid and completely undermines the Tory shite about needing to make £13 billion cuts to Welfare, £30 billion to Local Authority funding, cuts to post 16 education (which isn’t ring fenced), cuts to Mental Health Services, to the Police, to the Fire Service, to the Ambulance Services! There is a £100 billion available to by new nukes but not enough to fund care, fund compassion, fund support for the most vulnerable, it’s perverse, utterly perverse!
This week we also saw the Government getting tough with the financial sector, as Osborne promised to at the Mansion House annual opulence and gluttony meeting between Gov and utter Bankers. Osborne announced tough new rules to sell off State owned share in the now State owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) that we, the tax payer, bailed out in the 2008 crash. This was the crash that nearly took down every country in the world without a single shot being fired. This was the crash that brought every country of Europe and America to its knees and was utterly due to the greed of the financial sector and the banks. So Osborne decided to punish the financial sector and get tough with them as he had promised! Osborne, against any common sense, decided this was the time to sell off 5% of the State owned shares in RBS for a £billion less than we paid for them! Now that’s the economics of the insane for you, buy high sell for a huge loss. If this is extrapolated across the 80%+ of RBS that we own after bailing them out, it would mean we would make a loss of £20 billion or more. Well done Osborne, once again you sell off tax payers assets and make sure we lose money on it, as you did with the privatisation of the Post Office (PO). There are other similarities between RBS and the PO, as mentioned Osborne was tough with the financial sector and only allowed them to by this first wave of shares. So not only did we bail out RBS after the collapse of banking due to the greed of the financial sector, we then reward them by making sure they buy the shares back at a discount price. DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU? ! ? ! One may think that the Tories are paying back the investment the financial sector has made in getting Cameron and his thugs elected, why else would you reward the very people that caused the crash of 2008. When other countries prosecuted and in some cases jailed the people responsible for the biggest financial disaster ever, we have Osborne and Cameron giving them a multi-million pound bonus paid for by the tax payer – makes no economic, no logical, no financial sense at all other than to rewards their own backers, the people bankrolling the Tory Party!
But in case that wasn’t enough to make you want to move abroad, or at least Scotland where they have the fab SNP (finally a political party that is of the people and focussed on serving the people, making lives better. They listened to the people and are delivering their promises), the Government also launched another attack on a vulnerable group of our society. The Tories plan to bring in legislation that would reduce the working tax credits for people, especially now that the employers have to increase the minimum wage they pay. Strange coincidence that, just as the minimum wage increases, the working tax credits reduces so people won’t be better at all! All they have done is reduce the responsibility of the Government yet again! But on top of this there are moves by these abusers to stop tax credits for anyone aged 22 or younger, as well as stopping housing benefits support for this same age group. So when young people leave state care at 17, where are they supposed to go and how are they to pay for rent, especially during those first crucial years into adulthood, and the vulnerability that goes with it. These new rules will affect thousands of young people and in effect will result directly to increase, homelessness, increase foodbanks use, increase child and adult poverty, increase the suffering of the people that need a Government to be supportive, compassionate, caring, this unfortunately being the opposite to the abusive, self-serving, egocentric, narcissistic and inhumane Tories that have power at the present time.
On that note, the only way Labour will regain power is to establish a Government based on the principles the SNP captured so well in Scotland. We need a real opposition Party that is different to the Tories, opposite to the Tories. We need an opposition Party that is not fighting for the middle ground, fighting to be a lighter shade of Tory, NO, NO, NO! We need Labour to be Labour, a left wing, people focussed, compassionate, caring, supportive and demonstrating the values that created the Welfare State and the NHS. A party that is proud of its heritage and links with the trade unions, groups that for a century or more have protected workers, protected their families, strived with the Labour Party to improve living conditions and society in general. We thought we had a Messier in Blair but he lied to the Nation, had a bromance with Bush, and took us to war that took over a decade to get out of. We turned then to Brown who didn’t see the financial crash of 2007-2008 coming and left the Nation destitute. But still the Labour Party leaders said we must modernise further, we must move away from the unions, we must be the people holding the middle ground with the middle class. You would have thought losing two elections in a row would have shown these Blair-ites, these Brown-ites, these modernisers that what we the people want is Labour to be Labour and not Red-Tories.
We want a Left Wing party that is strong because it represents the people and not the financial sector; strong because it is led by socialists and Etonians or millionaires; strong because it knows it is there to serve the people of our nation and not to serve themselves. Yes we need Jeremy Corbyn for all of these reasons, return Labour to the left, to the people, save our nation please!
The 63% Who Didn’t Vote Tory
Smiling Cat Ventures (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Foreshore Fossils (www.foreshorefossils.com)
Twitter: @AbleNotDisabled (https://twitter.com/)
Face Book: Disability in Business (www.facebook.com/DisabilityInBusiness)
Linked-In: Jonathan Wade (Innovative Minds at Work) (www.linkedin.com)
Pinterest: JWSmilingCat (http://uk.pinterest.com/JWSmilingCat/)
Word Press: Disability in Business (https://disabilityinbusiness.wordpress.com)