Today in military history: US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima
On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima.U.S. President Harry Truman decided to use the atom bomb to force an unconditional surrender from Japan. At 8:16AM on Aug. 6, the B-29 bomber Enola Gay (named for her pilot’s mother) dropped the bomb known as “Little Boy” over Hiroshima, killing eighty thousand people instantly and another sixty thousand over the following weeks from the effects of the fallout.
Hiroshima was selected as a target to deliberately demonstrate the power of the weapon by causing the most physical destruction but also as a psychological attack against the people and decision-makers of Japan. The blast was so intense, human shadows are marked permanently on the ground and walls left standing. Radiation poisoning caused a significant number of deaths in the weeks following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The effects of radiation are varied, ranging from milder symptoms like gastrointestinal distress, fever, headaches and hair loss, but up to and including death. Because radiation can cause a drop in the number of blood cells produced, wounds heal more slowly than normal.The effects were devastating but it would take a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki several days later before Emperor Hirohito finally surrendered, ending World War II. The pilot of theEnola Gay, Paul Tibbets, died in January 2007, after having retired from the Air Force in 1966. Instead of being interred at home or at Arlington National Cemetery with all his brothers in arms, he was cremated and his ashes spread across the English Channel. The elder Tibbets was concerned that any grave or headstone he left behind would become ground zero for anti-nuclear weapons protests, anti-war protesters or a place for any other kind of revision historian to make a stand against what he saw as the right history. Instead of that, he opted to be cremated and his ashes spread where he had flown so often during the war.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, accompanied by Generals Archibald Wavell and Alan Brooke, flew to Moscow, Russia to inform the Soviets of the Anglo-American decision to abandon Operation Sledgehammer in favor of Operation Torch. Operation Sledgehammer was supposed to be a cross channel invasion to relieve the pressure from the Soviets. Operation Torch is the invasion of French Morocco and Algeria that will begin in November.
Today in military history: Last US ground forces leave Vietnam
On Aug. 11, 1972, the last U.S. ground combat unit departed South Vietnam.
After eight years of fighting the Vietnamese Communists, the United States withdrew the last of its combat units from the country, leaving behind some 43,500 advisors, airmen, and support troops, including nearby naval posturing.As the war plummeted in popularity, President Nixon announced his intentions to “Vietnamize” the conflict. That is, enable South Vietnamese to assume more responsibility and gradually withdraw U.S. forces. The last of the American troops withdrew in 1973 and two years later, North and South Vietnam would be unified under Communist control.More than 3 million people were killed in the conflict, including 58,220 Americans with another 150,000 wounded, in a war that divided the American public for decades. The war ended the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson and left a lasting impression on Richard Nixon’s. It was the backbone to the most tumultuous period in American history since before the Civil War one century prior.
British carrier HMS Furious departed Gibraltar with 32 Spitfire fighters on board for delivery to Malta; she was escorted by cruiser HMS Charybdis, destroyer HMS Antelope, destroyer HMS Bicester, destroyer HMS Derwent, destroyer HMS Eskimo, destroyer HMS Keppel, destroyer HMS Laforey, destroyer HMS Lookout, destroyer HMS Lightning, destroyer HMS Malcolm, destroyer HMS Somali, destroyer HMS Venomous, and destroyer HMS Wishart.
The attack on Stalingrad in southern Russia opened with massive air raid lasting 48 hours involving more than 4,000 sorties while German ground units continued to reach the Volga River north and south of the city. At Chebotarevskiy 115 miles to the northeast, 700 Italian horse-mounted cavalry troops overran a Soviet artillery position by surprise, capturing 500 troops, 4 guns, 10 mortars, and 50 machine guns.
Joseph Stalin declared Stalingrad, Russia to be in a state of siege, but ordered all heavy factories to remain in position to supply combat vehicles directly to front line units. Meanwhile, German 6th Army continued the attempt to break into the city from the north, but making little advance.
"Straight and narrow is the path."
Last edit: 2 years 1 month ago by snowman.
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