Since the Japanese show no inclination to accept the Potsdam Conference's demand of unconditional surrender, Truman puts Col. Paul Tibbets in charge of supervising the detonation of an atomic bomb -- Little Boy -- over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
The raid is a success and Hiroshma practically disappeared. The effect us devastating. A leaflet raid warns Japan that more is on its way unless there is a quick surrender. But there is no quick surrender. For one thing, communicating the effects of the blast take a day and a half to reach Tokyo because all the lines have been destroyed along with rods and railways. Plus there is the additional fact that the emperor is distant and rarely gives advice or orders. And then too, the Japanese bureaucracy grinds as slowly then as it does now.
Number two -- Fat Man -- is dropped three days later and demolishes Nagasaki. By this time the emperor is beginning to come around but some Americans hope he doesn't come around too quickly. This isn't in the film but Frank Merrill (of "Merrill's Marauders") told his daughter than General Curtis LeMay wanted the Japanese to continue their dilatory practice so they could drop third bomb on still another city.
The program does a fine job of sketching in some of the details of the delivery and detonation of the bombs. Of course, in an episode that runs less than an hour, not everything can be worked in. The pilot who delivered the second bomb went on to have a psychotic episode. The first bomb was armed in the air by a Navy officer so that it wouldn't be ALL an Army Air Force show.
Tibbets who piloted the first B-29, Enola Gay, named after his mother, became a hero. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross while each of his crew were decorated with the Air Medal. A feature film was made about Tibbet's involvement -- "Above and Beyond" -- which is best avoided because in fact you learn more about Tibbet's home life than the bomb. The movie has several scenes designed to be amusing. We all know what a deft comedian Taylor was.
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