c.i., ther Red "Side Trip" in my earlier post is a link to a well done website dealing with The Battle of Kursk. Check it out.
The Order to Drop The bomb, and reference to additional like munitions to be made available as needed.
E.O. 11652, Secs 3(E) and 5(D) or (E)
By ERC NARS, Date 6-4-74
25 July 1945
TO: General Carl Spaatz
United States Army Strategic Air Forces
1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will
deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will
permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945 on one of the
targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. To
carry military and civilian scientific personnel from the
War Department to observe and record the effects of the
explosion of the bomb, additional aircraft will accompany
the airplane carrying the bomb. The observing planes will
stay several miles distant from the point of impact of the
2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above
targets as soon as made ready by the project staff. Further
instructions will be issued concerning targets other than
those listed above.
3. Discussion of any and all information concerning
the use of the weapon against Japan is reserved to the
Secretary of War and the President of the United States.
No communiques on the subject or releases of information
will be issued by Commanders in the field without specific
prior authority. Any news stories will be sent to the War
Department for specific clearance.
4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direc-
tion and with the approval of the Secretary of War and of
the Chief of Staff, USA. It is desired that you personally
deliver one copy of this directive to General MacArthur and
one copy to Admiral Nimitz for their information.
(Sgd) THOS. T. HANDY
THOS. T. HANDY
Acting Chief of Staff
copy for General Groves
tim, Something in the back of my head seems to recall that the Germans did not reach Moscow, but it's still very vague. Maybe more of those little memory recalls will help to change my current ideas concerning the strength of the Russian military towards the end of WWII. Maybe, it's because of my visit to St Petersburg two years ago, and the destruction of that city and its people - over half killed. Our visit to Catherine the Great's Palace, and the Amber Room, and the devastation wreaked seems to influence most of my current thinking. My forgetfulness of prior historical events are slowly losing to more current information - probably not too uncommon in old foggies like myself. Thanks for all your efforts to bring me (and others I'm sure) the correct history of that period. c.i.
Leningrad was bombarded mercilessly and effectively shut off from the rest of Russia, but never captured.
And the Germans stopped about 15 - 30 km before Moscow.
I know this from an eye-witness: my father always said, he had seen all sites of St. Persburg besides the one from the Baltic Sea and had visited some suburbs of Moscow on the same trip. (He was a [student] surgeon sergeant in tank troops at time.)
c.i., the German Push on Moscow stalled in November of '41, with forward German units able to see the sun glinting off the tops of the Gold Plated Spires of The Kremlin less than 20 Kilometers away. Prepared only for a lightning victory, the inadequately equipped Germans had a miserable winter on the outskirts of Moscow ... men and equipment froze due to lack of winter gear. A Soviet Counter-Attack in the still quite wintery very early spring of '42 ended any German threat to the city. Germany's next great push, and last real strategic offensive, was the Drive to The Caucasus which began in the summer of '42 and ended with the idiotic Stalingrad debacle. '43, '44, and '45 saw horrendous fighting to be sure, but that fight was essentially on Soviet terms, and Germany was in steady retreat, driven battle by battle back into the Berlin Pocket of March/April '45.
The Soviets defeated the Germans, the Allies participated in the matter, providing valuable support, resources, and of course distracting The Germans in North Africa, The Mediterannean, Italy, and Western Continental Europe, but the bulk of the European war was fought and won by The Soviets ... something which Western History Books fail to make clear.
An edit here, to provide an illuminating sidelight ...
The Battle of Kursk was the pivotal battle of The Eastern Front, and remains to this time the largest clash of arms in the history of mankind. Simultaneous with Kursk, The Allies were engaged in tackling "The Soft Underbelly of Europe", Italy, which, as Churchill later observed, was in reality "A tough old gut" as opposed to a "Soft Underbelly". The dates coincide exactly, and Western Press was filled with accounts of The Italian Invasion, giving but mere mention to the far greater drama playing out in Russia.
Walter, an old neighbor and childhood family freind was a WWII Fighter Ace. I spent many hours listening to his tales, and he really is the influence most responsible for my interest in WWII.
Of his 73 Aerial victories, 52 were against The Soviets, 21 were against The Allies, primarily American Bombers and Supporting Fighters. He was a Captain in The Luftwaffe.
Someday, i should tell you the story of Kurt Kline. He was the head of the Slavic Languages and Literatures department at a university i once worked at. He was a teenager, and an ethnic German, when the Nazi invasion rolled into the Ukraine. Leaving out all the fascinating detail, it only took him three years to walk to the Channel coast. Along the way he learned several languages; having crossed the Channel, he proceeded to learn English. Quite a fascinating man.
steissd, I find your perspective, and your contributions, fascinating.
Thank you for your participation and input.
Timberlandko, you are welcome. And , in my turn, I want to express my high appreciation to your contribution.
Underestimation of the Soviet role in the WWII is a typical approach in the West. I think, this is a result of the Cold War, when the two main superpowers conducted psychological war one against another. The USSR sacrificed lives of 27 million of her citizens for this victory (we used to celebrate the V-Day on 05.09, since when the Germans officially surrendered in the late evening of 05.08, it was about 1 a.m. of the next day in Moscow).
Unfortunately, the Golden Age of the Russian Empire/USSR is in the past, and now it is an impoverished country under attack of Islamic terrorists...
Some of my relatives from mother's side took part in this war (my late father was an ethnic German, so his relatives could not be drafted to the Soviet Army).
steissd, Thank you for you sympathies concerning the Japanese civilians that perished as the result of the atom bombs. My ancestors are from Hiroshima, but our grandfather, fortunately for us, immigrated to the US in 1893. However, I am in agreement as to the use of the atom bombs on Japan, and always felt Truman made the right decision.
For tim and steissd, Thanks for all the information being shared on this thread. You guys are great, and I personally appreciate all the efforts you guys have put into this.
Setanta, We are all looking forward to hearing about Kurt Kline.
Walter, Last but not least; you always seem to be able to add that extra piece of knowledge that answers the questions in our minds, and I always appreciate your input
Well, then, while we're passing out backpats, lets not leave out babsatamelia, who initiated this thread ... and who has been conspicuously absent hereon of late. I fear we and/or our digressions may have scared her off.
Not at all, timber!
She said - on another thread - that she is on vacancies for a week or so.
(Pssst, Walter, vacances is French, in English, one says "on holiday," in American, one says "on vacation.")
And in the poor neighborhoods, it's laid-off.
I think that a poll by age group would be more telling. Ask that question of someone in their late 60's or above and the answer would likely be 100% no. As we progress down in age I would think that you would get a progressively greater yes vote. Why, because those who lived though that time in our history are not affected by the pacifist rewriting of history.
Well, if pacifism is a pediatric condition like, for example, measles, then some hope of winning war against terror still exists...
a slightly different slant: while Japan was attempting to negoiate an end to the war via the USSR beginning in july '45 the condition asked for was the continuation of the Emperor along with formation of a new government, however the Pottsdam conference made no mention of allowing the emperor to reign following surrender,
Dean Achison did not acknowledge the importance of this issue regarding the emperor and after the war stated that it had been his mistake in doing so.
dys, That's the reason why McArthur was so successful in winning the Japanese towards democratization of Japan. He understood the importance of the emperor to the people of Japan, and did nothing to undermine their feelings and beliefs. It made it easier for him to win the Japanese' trust. c.i.
BTW, dys, don't you have anything better to do on this holiday? yuk, yuk, yuk....