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Live blogging the atomic bomb, time-shifted by 60 years

Blog like it’s 1945! That’s what I’m doing for the 60th anniversary of the first atomic bomb explosion. (There is more to July 16 than a new Harry Potter book, you know) The most recent posts are at the top, older ones are below. So if you want to catch up to what’s already happened, […]

1945: More Investigations

The Kure Naval base team continues investigating what’s happened to the city of Hiroshima. The team is joined by another investigation team, from the Imperial Headquarters Navy. They make measurements and from that deduce the location of the hypocenter of the bomb, and its altitude when it exploded.

1945: Augusta returns to shore

The Augusta returns to shore, docking at Newport News, Virginia at 1654 hours (4:54 pm Eastern War Time). Once ashore, President Truman boards a special train on the pier, which will take him back to Washington D.C.

1945: Leaflet Draft

In the morning, the OWI group completes their draft for the atom bomb leaflet. They fly the draft to Tinian to General Farrell, who makes a few changes. He calls the changes to Saipan by telephone, and orders that the text be broadcast every fifteen minutes from the radio station on Saipan that broadcasts messages […]

1945: Stimson back in Washington

Secretary of War Stimson and his wife fly back to Washington after a time at his Highhold estate on Long Island. They arrive at 4 pm. Once back in Washington, he holds a conference to discuss the publicity about the atomic bomb with the following people: Robert Lovett, Assistant Secretary of War for Air George […]

1945: Dear Opje

Letter from Haakon Chevalier to Robert Oppenheimer, whom he calls Opje, pronounced Oppie Stinson Beach, California, August 7 1945. Dear Opje, You are probably the most famous man in the world today and yet I am not sure that this letter will reach you. But if it does, I want you to know that we […]

1945: Crossed Wires

Bernard O’Keefe returns to the bomb assembly room at midnight. Others in the assembly group have grabbed some sleep, but since he’s the one in charge of the X-unit that fires the bomb, he’s got to make sure that all the wires are properly connected. It’s the last step before the bomb sphere is loaded […]

1945: PsyOps on Saipan

Hap Arnold in Washington cables Spaatz and Farrell, with new orders. Urgent. A War Information leaflet needs to be created, printed, and distributed to notify Japanese people of the facts of atomic warfare. The U.S. planes have not been dropping just bombs on Japan. They’ve also been distributing leaflets (read overview of leaflet and radio […]

1945: About X-Ray Plates

At the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima (where there have been only a handful of doctors for thousands of patients), the hospital’s vice-chief goes down to the basement to get some X-plates from their storage vault. He discovers that every single one of the plates are exposed. Word of this strange phenomenon spreads among the […]

1945: Kure Naval Post investigations

After the bombing, the Kure Naval Base sent ship and personnel to Hiroshima to provide aid to the city. Kure also organized a survey team to investigate the situation in the city and discover what happened. Now they’ve been back at the base, writing up their report.