Kokura, Japan: a wrenching story about luck

| April 24, 2013 | Reply

I recently stumbled across an article about the fate of Kokura Japan near the end of World War II. In a sentence, cloudy weather saved the people of Kokura from being consumed in the world’s second nuclear bomb attack. Those same clouds doomed the people of Nagasaki.

A young man named Kermit Beahan peered through the rubber eyepiece of the bombsight, and he could see some of the buildings of Kokura and the river that ran by the arms factory, but the complex itself was blocked by a cloud.

So Bock’s Car gave up on Kokura and went on to its secondary target, Nagasaki. Clouds also partly obscured Nagasaki, but not quite enough of it.

The plutonium bomb killed somewhere around 100,000 people in Nagasaki, and it was the most powerful blast the world had ever seen, significantly more so than the one three days earlier when a uranium bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Nagasaki was destined for the history books, and Kokura was forgotten.

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Category: Meaning of Life, Violence, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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