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Nagasaki

The decisive end to World War 2 came about 74 years ago today with the Atomic bombing of the port city of Nagasaki.  The Empire of Japan having not really believed what happened a few days prior at Hiroshima did not head the warning the US was giving and as such, something terrible happened.

Thankfully those weapons of mass destruction have never been used against other people again.  Hopefully the peace will continue for many more decades to come.

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Little Boy

Little Boy

It’s the marking of the turning point of world history.  The United States of America showed the world that the power of the atom was within their hands, and with one plane, and one bomb, the devastated the town of Hiroshima.

This ultimatum unfortunately was not enough, and another bomb was necessary to end the war with Japan.

{Wikipedia}

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Nuclear Powered Civil Projects

The 1960s were a boom for Nuclear items.  New bombs were being made at an unheard of rate, and the US and the USSR spent countless billions of dollars on trying to one-up each other.  Well, since there were enough nukes to destroy the world a few dozen times over, peaceful uses of these bombs was looked for.  Project Orion was one of those things in America.  The USSR had a civil project: Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy.  Their most famous one is the Chagan nuclear test.  This 140kt nuclear explosion created Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan, an 8,100acre ft lake.

The lake itself is naturally, still radioactive, and not safe for humans, or fish, or anything really.  But, it was an interesting use of extra nuclear bombs.  In general, the project was deemed a failure.  Too much effort was involved, and the resulting landscapes were too radioactive to be of any use.  Still, it’s nice to see that nuclear bombs aren’t all death and destruction.

Here’s some historic Soviet footage.  I’m not 100% sure what it is of, but let’s just watch it anyway, it’s fun:

{When on Earth}

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The Nuclear Bomb

Ivy Mike

This week marks an important point in time, 69 years ago the United States of America unleashed the Atomic Bomb onto the world.  Did you know though that a full year before the bomb was used and known about publically, a story in Astounding Science Fiction pretty accurately described the bomb, and how it would work and what it would do?

Well it did.  And naturally, military intelligence was scrambling to try and figure out where the leak was for fear that those damned commies would figure it out and build a bomb first.

It’s pretty interesting, and it leaves the door open to what could be going on and being built now that science fiction is describing either out on a whim, or with some actual science behind it.  I could think of a few things that would be cool if they existed, but are pretty unlikely.  Also, I think that the MD Device would be one of the things that would make it in the reverse order.

You’ll have to go over to Futility Closet to listen to the whole account of the story as I can’t figure out how to embed the podcast.

{Futility Closet}

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Ivy Mike

Ivy Mike

It’s that time of year again ladies and gentlemen, the 60th anniversary of the detonation of Ivy Mike, and the grand entrance into the age of the fusion bomb.

I think it’s still too early to go for a repost of all that is Ivy Mike, so I will keep it prednisone buy short and sweet and leave you with the awesome photo above as a reminder of the awesome power of the nuclear bomb.

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Little Boy

Little Boy

67 Years ago the United States of America showed the world how powerfull we truly are.

The first of 2 nuclear bombs was dropped in anger on another country.  The US was attempting to finish what the Japanese had started 4 years earlier.  Except, we warned them weeks ago to surrender, they didn’t listen.

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Hiroshima

Hiroshima

On this date 66 years ago the United States announced to the world the almighty power that they had tamed.  The power of the Atom.

While the first atomic bomb was actually detonated 3 weeks prior in the New Mexico desert, that was a secret, and an experiment.  No, today marks the day that the United States of America told the Japanese that they were serious, this marked the begining of the end of World War II.

The actual explosion was a rated at a mere 18 kilotons on TNT, but it was the single most powerful weapon on the planet at the time.  The blast radius was about a mile, with total destruction of about 4.7 square miles of the city.  It put a dent in the moral of the Japanese, but still they did not surrender.

So 3 days later, on Aug. 09, 1945 we sent them another fiery present from the skies.  This time in an even deadlier package of plutonium that resulted in a 21 kiloton blast over the city of Japanese city of Nagasaki.

Now, I could get into the whole politics involved with the actual surrender of the Japanese, but I won’t cause it’s not time for them to surrender, that doesn’t happen for 9 more days.

There is much debate about the decision to drop the bomb over the Japanese, I could go there, but so far I’ve written a pretty good netural post and I don’t think I’ve said anything to offend anyone yet, which is very off character of me when I talk about World War II, especially the Pacific war, which I was never that big of a fan of.

Oh well, remember today, I do.

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Starfish Prime

August 6, 1945, one of the most important days in the history of the world.  The day The United States of America used the first atomic bomb on The Empire of Japan in the closing ceremonies of World War II.  This single day defined the world for the next 50 years.  The dropping of the bomb marked the end of one war, and the beginning of the deadliest race in the history of man – the nuclear arms race.  It’s lead to the downfall of more nations, and the division of more people then almost any event in history.

This day marked the beginning of the modern era, because after that bomb went off, everything changed.  And in a few short years even the dropping of that bomb was overshadowed 1000 times over by the first successful fusion bomb, Ivy Mike.  And then a few short years after that, these weapons of global destruction were attached to massive world spanning rockets, capable of hitting any place on earth, from any other place.

I’m not gonna retell the abridged version of The Cold War, that’s what 7th grade Social Studies is for.  But I am going to tell you about something that you don’t learn in 7th Grade, or in Social Studies, or Chemistry, or Physics, or school in general.  No, what I’m about to share with you is something that the history teachers think is unimportant for the average person to know.  When, when you drill down to the very basics of it, is really the entire essence of what The Cold War was all about – beating the those damned Communists.

To start off this history lesson, I present you with a video.  So get comfortable in your desks as I turn off the lights and treat you to almost 2 minutes of me not talking:

In the 1954, a strange new thing was discovered.  The Van Allen Belt you probably have been told it protects the planet from deadly cosmic radiation.  You were told correctly.  However, did you know that it mere minutes* after it was discovered, they thought to themselves “Let’s see what happens if we blow it up with a nuke.”

The US government proceeded to spend millions of dollars over the next 4 years to do that very thing.  And they didn’t have the luxury of cheap super computers to model this out, they actually fired a missile 250 miles straight up and detonated it’s 1.4 megaton payload.

I like to envision the scientists proposing this to the military with the same old tried and true method “If we don’t do it those commie bastards will”  And in 1950/60s era America, that was all the more reason to do something.  But I can’t help but imagine that after the meeting was over and the scientists walked out of the secret room in the basement of the Pentagon, giddy as schoolboys, going “I wonder what they’ll let us blow up next week?”

In the 1960s (the height of the cold war and very much in my comfort zone of 1950s era America), the most important thing in the United States Military was to beat the Communists.  It didn’t matter how, we just had to do it.  The original idea was to see if they could use the Van Allen Belt to transfer energy from a nuclear blast to a designated point on earth, and destroy it.  Kinda like an ICBM, except, without the giant missile part.  It would be a focused beam of death from the heavens.  Every commanders dream, so of course the military said yes you must figure out how to do this before those Communists do.

The official name was called Starfish Prime, and honestly, that’s an amazing name.  Unfortunately, nothing really happened.  Or, more specifically, nothing useful for the military happened.  Tons of useful data was gained from this, and thousands of civilians got a great light show out of it.

One thing it did do was prove the effectiveness of an EMP, as hundreds of street lamps were knocked out in Hawaii, almost 900 miles away from the blast.  And, as you can see in the picture, the explosion was pretty spectacular as seen from Hawaii.

In the 1950s millions were spent to do something, and get a real result, in 2010 billions are spent to come up with an idea for how to fix a problem that’s not the governments fault.

As I’ve said before, we must go back to the ideology of the 1950s is we are to prosper as a nation again.  It was that thinking of “We can do anything” that led us to develop missiles that can reach any point on earth in an hour, easily travel 3x faster then the speed of sound (when conventional science said it was impossible to go 1x faster then sound), and finally to put a man on the moon.  This kind of thinking, this kind of doing is what made America great, and what will make her great again.

{NPR}

*some time, that same day

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Stumble Punch!

I will admit the entire name of this post is based off of the first image below.  Blame chris.

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Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

68 years ago World War 2 began for America, truly, officially, and publicly began.  The Japanese empire attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor with the hopes of knocking out the country’s Pacific fleet, and letting them go on to conquer the entirety of the  Pacific Ocean.

Some people say that it wasn’t truly a surprise attack, and clearly the withdrawing of the Carrier’s leads others to think someone somewhere knew something.  But these allegations all come after the fact.  All the conspiracy theorists, and pacifists, and overall cowards question why Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen.

Imagine for a moment that it was prevented.

  • Would we have went to war with Japan and/or the Axis Powers?
  • Yes, but that war would be drastically different.

For starters you wouldn’t have a near unanimous approval of our entry into WW2 by the public.  And if the public doesn’t support the war, the war is lost.  You can’t spend millions of dollars, or send hundreds of thousands of men over seas if they aren’t willing to go.  That being said, our presence in the European theater would have been drastically different.  Hitler would have done all he could to not go to war with us, because he knew that if we got involved, it was only a matter of time before he lost everything.  And seeing as we wouldn’t have been directly thrown into the war, the public would be torn over going into Europe, so we can assume that we wouldn’t have been in Europe fully for at least another year (if England even lasted that much longer. Because if England fell, then everything changes, but that’s beyond the scope of this alternate reality).

So the public is more or less behind the Pacific war, and because we stopped Pearl Harbor, 95% of the Pacific fleet is intact.  We begin to advance across the ocean stopping at every island and forceably removing all remaining Japs from them.  This continues all the way to the Japanese mainland.  Now because we still have our entire fleet, we are able to make it there with little fuss, and in alittle over 2 years.  The Japs are unable to do any major damage to us because we know where they are (because we were able to decipher their messages long before Pearl Harbor).  This causes a huge demoralization to the Japanese, but they continue to fight regardless.

Because the War has gone well, and we made it so far so fast, we are left with 2 choices, a blockade, or an invasion.  The Atomic bomb has not been finished yet, so we can’t bomb them into submission with it.

Depending on what General was in charge, and what President was in office.  (Lest we forget, this war was not backed 100%, so FDR’s decision to enter it after Pearl Harbor doesn’t really happen, and breaking all his promises he campaigned with could lead to some changes in the next election), this is a pressing matter.  For the sake of this reality, we will go with an invasion, because I said so.

D-day happens on the beaches on Japan instead of France, and instead of liberation of a nation, it’s occupation.  Same thing almost.  Because the Japanese mainland has already been bombed heavily, resistance is little if any in most places.  American GIs make their way to Tokyo, and quickly take control of the country.  The Empire of Japan has come to an end, and the United States of America adds it’s latest addition to it’s bag of territories.

Back to Europe

American troops come to the aid of England just when they thought it would never happen, or about Fall 1942.  However moral is low, supplies are gone, and Hitler has a near impenetrable hold on the greater part of Europe.  He has fortified his positions along the entire coast.  Things are going the same in Russia as they really did go, not well.  However, not having to worry too much about American troop involvement, or buildup has let the Axis powers flourish.  They spread themselves out along northern Africa, and decimate the English troops there.  Rommel is soon sent to use his magic on the Eastern front, and things begin to turn.

By late 1943 American support is waning, they had just about won the Pacific war, and that’s all they really cared about to begin with.  Pressure is on to leave the silly Europeans to fend for themselves.  But equal pressure is there to try and liberate the Europeans from the grip of the Nazis.  Stuck in this dilemma, troops are sent, but not nearly enough to make any difference, Hitler thrives.

The Eastern front hits a stalemate, neither side can make any significant advances over the year, but a truce is not called.  This continues well into 1945.  During this time, Nazi scientists have been making progress on atomic weapons.  Great progress.  Ironicly in August of 1945 Luftwaffe bombers are sent towards Moscow, on board is a nuclear bomb.  Russia being already demoralized by the ongoing war, decides to surrender after only one bomb is dropped (lucky really, as that’s the only one the Nazi’s had (they didn’t even know if it would work)).

The Nazi’s annex the former Soviet Union, and now control France to the Sahara to the Middle East, to Siberia.

The New Cold War

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to the New World War II.