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Yes, no bias, I see the logic in thinking about the hundreds of
thousands (or possibly millions) of Americans and Japanese who would
have been killed had the Japanese home islands had to be invaded.
Sobering nevertheless. But my fundamental message was of hope.

Vince

Vince Russett
County Archaeologist
Development Management Group
North Somerset Council
 
 
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-----Original Message-----
From: British archaeology discussion list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Longinus Sdapeze
Sent: 06 August 2013 15:08
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: 6th August

Yep. It brought about an end to the war with Japan and brought my dad
home =
=20
from Burma where he was fighting for all our freedoms and destined to
give=
=20
me  life. An evil enemy was vanquished. Rejoice.
=20
=20
In a message dated 06/08/2013 08:31:37 GMT Daylight Time, =20
[log in to unmask] writes:

On this  day, 68 years ago, 12 men led by Colonel Paul Tibbets, in an
aircraft named  after his mother 'Enola Gay', carried out the first
nuclear
strike in  history. Thankfully, the subsequent one three days later, has
so
far  remained the last.

The weapons effectiveness (in terms of yield, i.e.  blast) was pretty
minimal compared to some of the behemoths developed  later, during the
Cold
War: the equivalent of 16,000 tons of  TNT.

Nevertheless, the area destroyed in Hiroshima was around 1 mile in
radius
(about 3.2 square miles, the size of Portishead or twice the size  of
Nailsea). 70,000 =E2=80=93 80,000 people died in the blast and within a
day=
  of
acute radiation poisoning, 20,000 of them servicemen (Hiroshima was  an
'army town').

It is sobering to consider that during the height  of the Cold War,
weapons
with a yield of 100 megatons and even larger, were  considered. These
would
have produced yields 8000 times bigger than the  Hiroshima bomb. This
would
have produced a blast nearly 90 miles in radius.  Total destruction.
Droppe=
d
over Birmingham, this blast would totally  destroy Bristol, cause fires
in
Weymouth, and break windows and strip roofs  in Cherbourg. This is
almost
incomprehensible, I know, but there's probably  the key.

But then, you start to think. Nobody ever wins a war until  their
soldiers
are holding enemy soil. Even then, you're never sure (are  you, Herr
Hitler?). And the radiation rising from such stupendous  explosions just
goes up in the atmosphere, and comes back to bite YOU. In  fact
radioactive
material from any nuclear explosion is spread around the  world, and
certainly in the West and the Soviet Union, this was thought of  as
something of a disadvantage of large-yield nuclear weapons.

I  worked this out all by myself during the Cold War, and although
V-bombers  were on the runways fully nuked up during the 6-day War in
1967,
and after  the Russian shooting down of an off-course airliner in 1984,
I
slept at  night. And here we are, worried about Al-Quaeda.

We are a worried  species. If we aren't worried about nuclear
Armageddon,
we pick on the next  potential disaster =E2=80=93 climate change,
ecologica=
l
meltdown, alien invasion...  Relax. It's been a 2 million year wild ride
since Olduvai Gorge, but we're  still here.

And as for 6th August? I prefer to remember the Rev John  Skinner
discovering the Roman settlement of Charterhouse on Mendip on this  day
in
1819.

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