Brigadier General (retired) Charles Sweeney, 1919 - 2004

The man who was supposed to drop the A-Bomb on Kokura, Japan.  
That was the plan -- after Hiroshima, the second bomb was intended for Kokura, the Mordor of WWII Japan.
The huge Kokura Arsenal was the center for the manufacture of conventional munitions, as well as chemical and biological weapons, the weapons Japan used during WWII.
Oh yes.
It started before the war began, in 1937, with a biological weapons program, the center of R&D in Harbin, Manchuria. More than 10,000 prisoners were killed in experiments testing the weapons.

In 1939, the Japanese poisoned the Soviet water supply using intestinal typhoid bacteria sown from the Mongolian border.  

In 1940, they dropped rice and wheat mixed with plague-carrying fleas over China and Manchuria.

And at the end of the war, the occupation army, on its way out of China, sowed the rivers with schistosomiasis  In China, at that time, to be a farmer was to spend most of the day in water up to the waist.
The US command had good reason to believe that a resisted invasion of Japan would be met with chemical and biological last-defense use.
Kokura was as legitimate a military target as we've ever seen.
But storms separated Sweeney's B-29  from its escorts, and during the time he waited for them to catch up, clouds and smoke completely obscured Kokura, so the orders directed the pilot to turn southwest to Nagasaki, where they built ships.
I wonder what that means to the people of Nagasaki.
Irony, even bitter irony, doesn't even come close.
And the Kokura Arsenal just more or less disappeared in the city's postwar growth like some rust belt factory -- a mound of earth with some weeds growing from it in a remote portion of a new suburban industrial park. 
Ref: The Road from Trinity: Reflections on the Atom Bomb
Essays by Paul Saffo (Published in Japan by Shoga Kukan Press)



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