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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy Hiroshima Day

Instapundit: Many of them lived because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Instapundit: War Crime? Nanking was a war crime. Hiroshima was a life saver and is it time to bring back duck and cover?

AmPowBlog: Dropping the bomb the right thing to do
AoSHQ: Thank God for the Atom Bomb
Lem's Place: Eyewitness to Nagasaki


  1. Bill Whittle, excellent as always, addressing the notion that we're evil for having nuked the Japanese.


  2. I am quite old enough to recall the "duck & cover" drills in school. They were sort of fun, but unlikely to protect much from a nuke blast unless very far away. The necessity of the Hiroshima bomb (a dirty fission bomb) and the subsequent Nagasaki bomb (a fusion bomb) is without legitimate criticism. As a former soldier and long time DoD/DA employee, I am aware of the risk of a amphibious invasion of a nation's homeland...loss of life is usually ugly. My worry today is that the Hiroshima bomb, a dirty fission blast, can be emulated by almost any nation with even semi-competent skills. In short, Iran can make one tomorrow easily, they do not have to wait for development of a complex fusion trigger mechanism...the key element with enriched plutonium...never heard anyone from Hiroshima say the effect was that much different from Nagasaki from their perspective at ground zero.

    We live in dangerous times when nations seek to acquire nukes for offensive capacity. If it happens very few of us will survive. Our application in Hiroshima & Nagasaki was defensive, and there in lies the difference. It is inconceivable that the USA, or its allies, would use nukes offensively, but with other rogue nations that is far from certain. We can only hope that the rogues will grasp the import of MAD and think twice or so about offensive use.

    1. Neither of the bombs dropped on Japan was a fusion (= thermonuclear, ="hydrogen") weapon; those didn't come along until several years after the war. Both Little Boy and Fat Man were fission weapons, albeit of different designs.

      The Hiroshima device fired one subcritical piece of uranium down a gun barrel into another subcritical piece to achieve criticality and a nuclear chain reaction.

      The Nagasaki bomb used shaped explosive charges to implode an outer subcritical sphere of plutonium onto an inner subcritical Pu core, achieving criticality and an explosion.

      Not having such a fundamental fact straight makes it harder to credit the rest of your post, your DoD experience notwithstanding.

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  4. Michael Sebastian Thank you for the clarification, one can always learn from correction. My primary point however, was that a fission bomb is well within the grasp now, today, of the Iranians, among others in the ME, and they can be devastating. I am not an expert on atomic weapons, regardless of my time with DOD, which involved more conventional weapons generally...thus my presumption was in error regarding the fission bombs...e.g., thermonuclear. Thank you again.

  5. Damn: "fission" was meant to be "fusion" in the preceding comment.

  6. Aridog, I got your meaning. I could have been less of a d**k in my comments — apologies.

  7. Michael Sebastian ... you are not a "d**k"...you simply corrected something. IMO that is why we bother to come to blogs in the first place...to learn. Beside that..."d**k" is actually my real first name...can't take offense to that word, eh? You should feel free to correct when necessary. I assure you I am. I was confusing uranium bombs and plutonium bombs as different in the nuclear reactions of fission versus fusion, and you correctly cleared that up...the difference was plutonium and the trigger only. I should have recalled that as I began life in chemistry & physics...but that was some 50+ years ago before I switched to mechanical devices and design. Call it a weak excuse. That said, the "Little Boy" uranium "cannon" device is a threat to everyone today and well within Iran's current capabilities, not to mention other rogues. That was my point, however misrepresented otherwise. I do hope I am very wrong.

    My sole hands on experience with nuclear weapons was to help correct the very careless unsecured handling of the so-called "tactical nukes"...small compared to bombs, and I am not sure whether they were uranium cannons or plutonium devices. All I know is that they were poorly handled on combat borders and elsewhere when one day several trailer loads arrived in my compound to be withdrawn from service...guarded by no more than two soldiers per trailer and bill of ladings that just said xxxx-nuclear devices and accessories...all lumped in to one fat wad...took me days upon days before I would sign off on that delivery while I check each trailer piece by piece. That shoddy handling could easily have made it possible for theft or worse. The "delayed" guard soldiers weren't unhappy...they got a couple weeks or more of leisure.

    The reason for my caution became obvious when after nearly 3 years in Asia I became a target of an AR-15-6 criminal investigation by a formal field grade Board of Inquiry. I survived that when it became obvious that field grade officers and higher were responsible for "missing" equipment of various types...that two sergeants were following lawful orders. In fact I was able to pin point the location of 85% of the missing items and who directed the transfer....it was no black market thing. I still keep a copy of my last sworn statement under oath in a file in my desk.


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