‘ I was misinformed’

My all-time favourite film is the black-and-white masterpiece ‘Casablanca’ starring the inimitable Bogart and Bergman, as well the masterly performance of Claude Rains as the corrupt, yet strangely incorruptible Casablanca Police Captain. My favourite scene and words  were :-

Captain Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?

Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.

Rick: I was misinformed.

Towards the end of this morning’s ‘Toady’ Programme on the Beeb, we were treated, if that is the appropriate term, to the usual left-wing, biased and totally one-sided critique of the American decision to end the War against Japan. That end, encompassed in total by the release of two atomic weapons, jolted the Japanese military out of their self-imposed security blanket which itself was comprised of a million volunteers for suicide, all presumably carrying explosives or grenades, who had pledged to protect the Emperor and the Homeland; along with a still-impressive and dedicated Army, and the tattered remains of the once –proud Air Force, itself a shadow of its former grandeur, and mostly comprised of the Kamikaze elements, whose pilots had been taught how to take off, but little else.

anagasakibombThe American (had to be an American) named Schlosser, was himself of the ‘Flee, for we are all doomed’ mentality, argued in level, apocalyptic tones that all fissile material should have been surrendered to the UN in 1946 (just imagine those clowns being in charge of 16,000 warheads anywhere in the present day, when the former head of the UN Human Rights Committee was Libya, then run by the totally reliable and lucid Muammar Quaddaffi), and whilst the present-day technology to supervise was American, and therefore the best, these warheads were still an accident waiting to happen. We were also given a glance at the writings and broadcasts of John Hersey, who wrote of the awesome and awful consequences of those atomic weapons, and how terrible it all was, and America should have done something else besides drop two bombs which stopped the war. America should have invaded, he opined; and counted the cost of a prophesied million-odd American military lives as one worth spending, against the ruthless killing of approximately 250,000-odd enemy lives killed in two split seconds by one uranium-, and one plutonium- bomb. We were also told that Mr. Schlosser has a new book out, but we were not told that his book is yet another well-researched (by him, with his slants, and his editorial input) blast against the nuclear weaponry which has, strangely enough, kept the global peace since those days in early August 1945.

Speaking purely for myself, as I always do; I am more than happy to be reassured that we had the likes of F.D.R., and after him the business-like Harry Truman in charge of the business of War; mainly because they were interested in one thing, and one thing only; how to end the war whilst protecting American and Allied lives. If they could do so by wiping out two cities, and thus impress the Japanese military that much more was to follow, their job was done. Afer all, the Japs started that particular shin-dig, and it was up to the Americans to prove that they could be just as ruthless towards the enemy, as that enemy had proved ruthless towards America.

14 comments for “‘ I was misinformed’

  1. Ed P
    July 27, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Whilst the two cities destroyed certainly stopped the war and saved many American lives, I have always wondered why an uninhabited (military) target was not used. This would have demonstrated the awesome power of the Bomb to the Japanese and thus ended the war without the terrible deaths and injuries. Some say the cities were selected so the effects of radiation on humans could be studied, but this surely could not have been the only reason.

    • Woman on a Raft
      July 27, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      You can raise doubts about why there had to be two bombs. The shock was so great that Japan and its communications were reeling; they needed five days to even comprehend that they had lost, lost, lost.

      The purpose was, at the least expense possible, to demonstrate to Russia that it was late to the party and to back off.

      Bloody tough on the

  2. July 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The proposal to use the bombs as a demonstration was actually urged by a section of the scientists who actually developed and built the bomb.

    Trouble was, if the vast power of the bomb was demonstrated, and the Japanese then decided to try and knock down every lone bomber approaching their skies instead of surrendering, there was a pretty good chance of the bombers being intercepted. A secondary reason was simply that just about all the fissile material available was utilised in the test device, and then the two bombs which were used.

    As for the theory that the scientists were willing to wreak nuclear havoc on the enemy just so the radiation effects could be studied is just plain ghoulish, as the Americans already had good notice of what actually happened with a runaway nuclear device with the terrible and tragic death of Louis Slotin, who moved two sections of U235 just too close, and died as a result!

  3. James Strong
    July 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I commend the essay ‘Thank God For The Atom Bomb’ by Paul Fussell.
    He was an infantry officer who fought in Europe and who would have been deployed in the invasion of Japan.
    Elsewhere in his writings he describes action on the front line,including the wounds,many of them life-changing if not fatal.
    His description of the reality behind the phrase ‘he died of abdominal wounds’ could well be read to their benefit by every macho strutting politician ready to send forces into combat.

  4. Tory voter in Hants
    July 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I noticed (If we are talking about ‘The Day after Trinity’) that there were some scientists opposed to the use of the weapon who had luxuriated in safety during the war. I noticed that not one of them gave up that security to serve in the front line.
    My father had just finished walking from Normandy into the Ruhr, when he was sent home to train for the attack on Japan, and every August we give thanks for deliverance.

  5. July 28, 2015 at 7:36 am

    It is fortunate that only one side had the Bomb. It was decisive and not mutually obliterative.

    Few think of the moral courage and depth of thinking that went on in the seats of power. Big difference today when morals, courage and thinking are in the purview of President ‘smartest man in the room’.

  6. The Jannie
    July 28, 2015 at 8:40 am

    What hasn’t been mentioned is who was supposed to be supervising Slotin’s party tricks and hadn’t put a stop to them. These people were conjuring with Armageddon and pulling stunts like that? He deserved all he got.

    • July 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

      This being a Libertarian site, and as I don’t usually delete asinine comments upon a whim, the preceeding comment shall stand; but I would attempt to correct, if that be the term, the ludicrous statements made about the life and death of a very brave and talented man.

      Louis Slotin died as a direct result of experiments to assess criticality. At Los Alamos, Slotin developed a reputation as a skilled bomb assembler, especially capable at putting together the bomb’s firing mechanism. He assembled the core of the Gadget, the bomb used at the Trinity test in 1945. He was also responsible for conducting criticality tests, which were used to determine the critical mass values offissile materials. If something went wrong, such experiments could result in nuclear fission. Because of their dangerous, criticality tests were often referred to as “tickling the dragon’s tail.”

      Slotin remained at Los Alamos after the end of the War. On May 21, 1946, he was in the process of conducting a criticality experiment to teach his colleague and eventual replacement, Alvin C. Graves, how they were done. The experiment involved slowly bringing together two berrylium-coated half spheres around a plutonium core, without allowing the two halves to touch. Slotin was using a screwdriver to keep the two spheres separated. As he slowly brought the two halves together, the screwdriver suddenly slipped; a bright blue flash filled the room. Slotin at once threw his body in front of the sphere, to shield his fellow scientists, and yanked the two half-spheres apart. In the process, he received almost 1000 rads of radiation, far over the lethal dose.

      Slotin died 9 days later, after suffering the effects of radiation poisoning.

      No, Jannie, he did not deserve all he got!

      • July 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        Louis Slotin does deserve some measure of criticism as he had previously been subjected to a radiation dose of about 100 roentgen while fixing a problem underneath the Clinton Pile while it was operating.

        His manipulation of the “Demon Core” with screwdrivers as separators which caused the prompt-critical reaction was also at least partly his fault as he failed to follow correct protocols.

        Slotin’s actions to protect colleagues from the subsequent prompt-critical reaction is a mitigation of his actions, but it does not make him a hero – just a dead scientist.

        Slotin’s death did lead to much greater emphasis on safety though, so his death wasn’t entirely in vain.

      • The Jannie
        July 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        You’ve just reiterated what I read elsewhere earlier. We all have our opinions, of course, asinine or not. Slotin, from my readings, repeatedly carrying out that procedure using those components; he apparently knew their potential very well. He must have had the opportunity to devise remote mechanical means but chose to do so by balancing the upper hemisphere on a screwdriver. That strikes me as Darwin Award behaviour.

  7. Furor Teutonicus
    July 28, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Two cities bombed in Japan and all Hel breaks loose. Twenty or thirty bombed, with similar casualty rates in each, in Germany, and it was “our fault.” ?????

  8. July 28, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Hmmmmmm.

  9. Errol
    July 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Put bluntly, the bomb saved lives – Japanese and allied. The professor can whine and complain, but those bombs *allowed* him to whine and complain.

    The loss of life was horrific. It would have been far worse if the crazed Left hadn’t been stopped.

  10. Greg Tingey
    July 29, 2015 at 10:42 am

    You always get nutters like this, I’m afraid, & they are not necessarily “of the left” – far from it.
    There are still people trying to claim that WWI was not primarily the fault of Austria-Hungary & Germany, ffs

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