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(Gizmodo)   So just why IS there a giant space gun rusting away in Barbados?   (atlasobscura.gizmodo.com) divider line 100
    More: Interesting, Barbados, space gun, launch site, gas giants, orbits  
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9046 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Apr 2014 at 12:36 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-25 08:37:20 AM  
FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.
 
2014-04-25 08:57:31 AM  
Instantly made me think of this.
 
2014-04-25 09:07:59 AM  
I would think the high humidity and heat would contribute greatly to the rusting.
 
2014-04-25 09:28:12 AM  

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.


The guy had a singular specialty:  Designing very high performance artillery.  If you're that specialized, and your peaceful applications lose funding, you've got to do something to feed the family.  At the time he was working for Saddam Hussein, Hussein wasn't really our enemy.

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.
 
2014-04-25 09:49:12 AM  

dittybopper: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.

The guy had a singular specialty:  Designing very high performance artillery.  If you're that specialized, and your peaceful applications lose funding, you've got to do something to feed the family.  At the time he was working for Saddam Hussein, Hussein wasn't really our enemy.

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.


Valid points, but it basically boils down to the guy having only been able to make superweapons, and he threw in his lot with a brutal dictator. I see it as being similar to (though of a lesser scope than) if Oppenheimer had been helping the Nazis develop the A-bomb and someone offed him to halt / stall the project.

/Granted, Truman went nuke-happy and turned into one of history's greatest monsters, but that's a whole other discussion. Nuclear Hitler still would have been worse.
 
2014-04-25 09:57:08 AM  

dittybopper: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.

The guy had a singular specialty:  Designing very high performance artillery.  If you're that specialized, and your peaceful applications lose funding, you've got to do something to feed the family.  At the time he was working for Saddam Hussein, Hussein wasn't really our enemy.

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.


The guy had fair warning too.  If Mossad agents told ME to stop doing something, you can bet your sweet ass I would stop.

Too bad he had no other sources of capital.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-25 10:18:45 AM  
dittybopper:

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.


What caused him to think that getting assassinated by the Mossad would put food on the table?
 
2014-04-25 10:45:25 AM  
because that Libby lib gun hater, 0Bumbler doesn't want us to bring to 'merka so we can protect ourselves from the Zygon invasion.  they are the worst kind of illegal aliens!
 
2014-04-25 10:57:39 AM  

vpb: dittybopper:

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

What caused him to think that getting assassinated by the Mossad would put food on the table?


He was made out of meat.
 
2014-04-25 11:13:32 AM  

dittybopper: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.

The guy had a singular specialty:  Designing very high performance artillery.  If you're that specialized, and your peaceful applications lose funding, you've got to do something to feed the family.  At the time he was working for Saddam Hussein, Hussein wasn't really our enemy.

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.


That is hardly tragic. He could have built something other than ridiculous and absurd artillery.
 
2014-04-25 11:40:58 AM  
What really saddens me is that a giant rusting space gun is probably enjoying a better retirement than I will.
 
2014-04-25 11:48:37 AM  
That Guy What Stole the Bacon: \Granted, Truman went nuke-happy and turned into one of history's greatest monsters, but that's a whole other discussion. Nuclear Hitler still would have been worse.

I've just found my band name.
 
2014-04-25 12:11:36 PM  
Bull was a prod Canadian who wanted his country to have a space program. Knowing that Canada could not outspend the USA and the USSR he dreamed of achieving his dreams with a very big cannon. The rest of his story is just a testament to monomania.
 
2014-04-25 12:37:22 PM  

dittybopper: The guy had a singular specialty:  Designing very high performance artillery.  If you're that specialized, and your peaceful applications lose funding, you've got to do something to feed the family


I find it hard to believe that an obviously smart guy like that couldn't use his knowledge and experience for anything other than building guns.

/although he told the Mossad to fark off, how smart could he be
 
2014-04-25 12:43:27 PM  
Bull was an idiot. The Nazis perfected exactly what he was wanting in their V3 weapon. That you could scale to achieve orbit.
 
2014-04-25 12:46:06 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Bull was an idiot. The Nazis perfected exactly what he was wanting in their V3 weapon. That you could scale to achieve orbit.


He could be pretty funny though.  Ashame he was assassinated.
static.tvgcdn.net
R.I.P.
 
2014-04-25 12:49:14 PM  
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Tobias Willcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways Flight 372
 
2014-04-25 12:56:43 PM  
I have to ask, did the Mossad pry the Iraqi gun out of his cold, dead hands?
 
2014-04-25 12:59:18 PM  

dittybopper: vpb: dittybopper:

Hussein was, however, an enemy of Israel, and Bull was building a gun that could hit Israel from Iraq, and that's why the Israelis assassinated him.

The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

What caused him to think that getting assassinated by the Mossad would put food on the table?

He was made out of meat.


Gamera?
 
2014-04-25 01:04:16 PM  

Slaxl: Instantly made me think of this.


Memories!  Reminded me of this: http://acecombat.wikia.com/wiki/Stonehenge_Turret_Network_%28Stranger e al%29
 
2014-04-25 01:08:13 PM  

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: Valid points, but it basically boils down to the guy having only been able to make superweapons, and he threw in his lot with a brutal dictator.


We wouldn't have made it to the moon in 1969 without Wernher von Braun, and he threw his lot in with a brutal dictator.

"I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London."
 
2014-04-25 01:10:48 PM  

dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.


It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.
 
2014-04-25 01:12:03 PM  
Because Bond villainy just isn't what it used to be?
 
2014-04-25 01:13:13 PM  

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: FTFA:

Bull eventually went on to work with Saddam Hussein to build another cannon similar to the ones built with HARP. Sadly, Bull was assassinated with the use of a regular-sized gun in 1990.

Yes, how tragic.


I found this hilarious.
 
2014-04-25 01:17:57 PM  
if you video google  "Doomsday Gun" you might find what you're looking for.
 
2014-04-25 01:27:02 PM  

BullBearMS: dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.


His project wasn't working. So either it was close to success and the plug got pulled which sucks. OR it was unlikely to work, or needed a massive influx of capital to get close to working. We have no idea if this thing would've done anything for our space program except siphon off more than we could afford. It's equally possible that had we continue with the program, we could've bankrupt the space program entirely. So let's not automatically assume that stopping this program was a bad thing.
 
2014-04-25 01:27:31 PM  

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: Truman went nuke-happy and turned into one of history's greatest monsters,


Sorry, what color is the sky in your world? I'm not thinking that you get out much and know about what is real life...
 
2014-04-25 01:27:58 PM  
So just why IS there a giant space gun rusting away in Barbados?

Sexual tourism. Plain and simple.
 
2014-04-25 01:28:00 PM  
Isn't that a Jimmy Buffet song?
 
2014-04-25 01:30:47 PM  

INeedAName: BullBearMS: dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.

His project wasn't working. So either it was close to success and the plug got pulled which sucks. OR it was unlikely to work, or needed a massive influx of capital to get close to working. We have no idea if this thing would've done anything for our space program except siphon off more than we could afford. It's equally possible that had we continue with the program, we could've bankrupt the space program entirely. So let's not automatically assume that stopping this program was a bad thing.


Apparently, one of the problems with firing things out of a cannon is rapid acceleration. Lots of stuff can't handle being accelerated at that rate.
 
2014-04-25 01:34:47 PM  
Kreiger got bored one summer?
 
2014-04-25 01:38:07 PM  

INeedAName: BullBearMS: dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.

His project wasn't working. So either it was close to success and the plug got pulled which sucks. OR it was unlikely to work, or needed a massive influx of capital to get close to working. We have no idea if this thing would've done anything for our space program except siphon off more than we could afford. It's equally possible that had we continue with the program, we could've bankrupt the space program entirely. So let's not automatically assume that stopping this program was a bad thing.


So we should have just given up on rockets when the first one blew up on the pad?

Not finding a cheap way to get materials into orbit is undeniably a bad thing for the space program.

Heck, Heinlein was talking about doing this with railguns back in the 50's and 60's. The navy has been firing big ass projectiles out of railguns at mach 7 for a while now.
 
2014-04-25 01:38:25 PM  

Gonz: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: Valid points, but it basically boils down to the guy having only been able to make superweapons, and he threw in his lot with a brutal dictator.

We wouldn't have made it to the moon in 1969 without Wernher von Braun, and he threw his lot in with a brutal dictator.

"I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London."


True, but he was still responsible for creating something used to kill non-combatants. He wasn't the only human being capable of rocket science and the ends don't necessarily justify the means. A pithy remark trivializing the human casualties of his research doesn't make him any better a human being; if anything, it makes him more reprehensible.
 
2014-04-25 01:43:50 PM  

BullBearMS: dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.


Consider this:  It would be the perfect way to send nuclear fuel for interplanetary spaceships up into space.  The big worry with nuclear material is that it will fall back to Earth, but this would be highly unlikely in the case of space artillery, and in the very unlikely case it *DID* happen, the material would be safe anyway because the shell itself would have to be constructed robustly enough that it would survive the shock of firing and friction of going through the atmosphere, so it would likely land intact.

So you shoot the fuel pellets up a few at a time, cheaply, and the spacecraft catches them, and then adds them to the reactor.
 
2014-04-25 01:45:21 PM  

Nuclear Monk: TheShavingofOccam123: Bull was an idiot. The Nazis perfected exactly what he was wanting in their V3 weapon. That you could scale to achieve orbit.

He could be pretty funny though.  Ashame he was assassinated.
[static.tvgcdn.net image 350x495]
R.I.P.


For some time, I thought he was Henry Rollins' dad.
 
2014-04-25 01:47:10 PM  
TheShavingofOccam123:Apparently, one of the problems with firing things out of a cannon is rapid acceleration. Lots of stuff can't handle being accelerated at that rate.

Yup, but there are plenty of supplies that have to be lifted into orbit that wouldn't be harmed at all.

Also, with railguns, the longer it is the less intense the acceleration has to be.
 
2014-04-25 01:49:26 PM  

Swampmaster: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: Truman went nuke-happy and turned into one of history's greatest monsters,

Sorry, what color is the sky in your world? I'm not thinking that you get out much and know about what is real life...


Well, it's blue right now, but glad I checked. Also, last I checked, ordering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is a pretty monstrous thing; doubly so when you order it again after your enemy is begging you to stop. He proved his point in Hiroshima and then sought vengeance in Nagasaki.

Not sure if you read all of what I said, though, before putting on your poutrage, so I'll reiterate: it would have been infinitely worse if the Nazis got the bomb first, so I fully appreciate that there was little alternative. What Truman did once he had the bomb available to him, though, was what made him a monster. Whether and which aspects of it were justified are subject to debate, but the way I see it, murdering tens of thousands of non-combatants doesn't make you a hero. In this case, he was the lesser of two evils.
 
2014-04-25 01:56:21 PM  
Everyone remember the various versions of the death of Archimedes? Condensed version: He was drawing diagrams in the dirt and a Roman soldier either stepped on it or tried to drag him away. Anyways, he was so totally focused on his 'problem' that he blew off the soldier - who killed him.

From what I remember.. This was Bull. He was obsessed and nothing else was on the radar - even direct warnings from the Mossad.

Just before he was killed, he'd resolved two of his biggest problems - He put the gun on a railroad track so that it just harmlessly rolled backwards from the recoil.  And he'd resolved the overheating of the barrel - originally it was a one shot wonder - by putting in a cheap(er), throwaway/replaceable lining.

Saddam: the US at the time 'liked' him - he was getting stuff like 'Key to the City of Detroit' for his humanitarianism - really - he was our evil dictator so it was OK).

Anyways the gun he built for Saddam was a scale model - If I remember right, it only threw a payload around 250 miles... The one he wanted to build:  2500 miles.   Damn.
 
2014-04-25 01:58:26 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Apparently, one of the problems with firing things out of a cannon is rapid acceleration. Lots of stuff can't handle being accelerated at that rate.


This is true, but on the other hand, lots of stuff can handle the acceleration.  So you don't put astronauts and delicate instruments and foodstuffs in cannon shells, but other stuff like water, fuel (conventional and nuclear), and Tang you stuff into shells for the relatively cheaper shot into space.

If you can cut the amount of money you're spending on launching just 30% of the mass you send to, say, the ISS, by 90% by using a space gun instead of a Soyuz freighter, your total costs only be 73% of what you're spending now.  Or, alternatively, you can send significantly *MORE* supplies for just a small extra cost over what you are spending now.  And not just the rugged stuff:  When you free up room and mass in the rocket-based delivery system, you can send more of that too.
 
2014-04-25 01:59:13 PM  
dummidumbwit.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-04-25 02:02:33 PM  

BullBearMS: INeedAName: BullBearMS: dittybopper: The tragic part of the story is that we stopped paying him to develop artillery that could reach space, which caused him to look elsewhere for work.

It's especially a tragedy for our space program. If we had a cheap way to get materials into orbit, imagine how much farther along we would be.

it's not hard to imagine us having colonists on Mars by now.

His project wasn't working. So either it was close to success and the plug got pulled which sucks. OR it was unlikely to work, or needed a massive influx of capital to get close to working. We have no idea if this thing would've done anything for our space program except siphon off more than we could afford. It's equally possible that had we continue with the program, we could've bankrupt the space program entirely. So let's not automatically assume that stopping this program was a bad thing.

So we should have just given up on rockets when the first one blew up on the pad?

Not finding a cheap way to get materials into orbit is undeniably a bad thing for the space program.

Heck, Heinlein was talking about doing this with railguns back in the 50's and 60's. The navy has been firing big ass projectiles out of railguns at mach 7 for a while now.


At some point you have a good handle on the cost-benefit analysis of a project and you know whether sinking more money into it is going to get you a return, in terms of tech, or cost, etc.

To say that we lost out because the program was cancelled is no more likely than to say we gained by cancelling it.
 
2014-04-25 02:02:52 PM  

dittybopper: TheShavingofOccam123: Apparently, one of the problems with firing things out of a cannon is rapid acceleration. Lots of stuff can't handle being accelerated at that rate.

This is true, but on the other hand, lots of stuff can handle the acceleration.  So you don't put astronauts and delicate instruments and foodstuffs in cannon shells, but other stuff like water, fuel (conventional and nuclear), and Tang you stuff into shells for the relatively cheaper shot into space.

If you can cut the amount of money you're spending on launching just 30% of the mass you send to, say, the ISS, by 90% by using a space gun instead of a Soyuz freighter, your total costs only be 73% of what you're spending now.  Or, alternatively, you can send significantly *MORE* supplies for just a small extra cost over what you are spending now.  And not just the rugged stuff:  When you free up room and mass in the rocket-based delivery system, you can send more of that too.


Hey, it looks like somebody has taken a serious look at Heinlein's railgun thing recently.

In 2003, Ian McNab outlined a plan to turn this idea into a realized technology. The accelerations involved are significantly stronger than human beings can handle. This system would only be used to launch sturdy materials, such as food, water, and fuel. Note that escape velocity under ideal circumstances (equator, mountain, heading east) is 10.735 km/s. The system would cost $528/kg, compared with $20,000/kg on the space shuttle
 
2014-04-25 02:05:15 PM  

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: last I checked, ordering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is a pretty monstrous thing; doubly so when you order it again after your enemy is begging you to stop. He proved his point in Hiroshima and then sought vengeance in Nagasaki.


Japan was making all of these "non-combatants" ready to do anything necessary to kill soldiers in the case of a ground invasion.

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: What Truman did once he had the bomb available to him, though, was what made him a monster. Whether and which aspects of it were justified are subject to debate, but the way I see it, murdering tens of thousands of non-combatants doesn't make you a hero.


He undoubtedly saved 100s of thousands of US soldiers lives, so I disagree.  "Hey, we have this thing that we'll use if we have to.  It will fark up your world for quite awhile.  Unconditional surrender?  No.  Boom.  How about now?  No?  Boom."

War isn't pretty, war isn't fair, war isn't without collateral damage.  However if you have the choice of taking out your enemy with little to no risk to yourselves you are an idiot to basically sentence thousands upon thousand of your soldiers to death rather than those of your enemy.
 
2014-04-25 02:06:54 PM  

INeedAName: At some point you have a good handle on the cost-benefit analysis of a project and you know whether sinking more money into it is going to get you a return, in terms of tech, or cost, etc.


Yes. I'm sure you're right. It's much better for the space program that we do not work on cheaper ways to get materials into orbit.

New ideas are bad, and if you don's succeed the first time you should just quit.
 
2014-04-25 02:11:59 PM  
DNRTP but I remember NOVA doing a story on the guy who designed these guns.

He was not as innocent as this brief article implies.
 
2014-04-25 02:13:44 PM  

mjbok: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: last I checked, ordering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is a pretty monstrous thing; doubly so when you order it again after your enemy is begging you to stop. He proved his point in Hiroshima and then sought vengeance in Nagasaki.

Japan was making all of these "non-combatants" ready to do anything necessary to kill soldiers in the case of a ground invasion.

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: What Truman did once he had the bomb available to him, though, was what made him a monster. Whether and which aspects of it were justified are subject to debate, but the way I see it, murdering tens of thousands of non-combatants doesn't make you a hero.

He undoubtedly saved 100s of thousands of US soldiers lives, so I disagree.  "Hey, we have this thing that we'll use if we have to.  It will fark up your world for quite awhile.  Unconditional surrender?  No.  Boom.  How about now?  No?  Boom."

War isn't pretty, war isn't fair, war isn't without collateral damage.  However if you have the choice of taking out your enemy with little to no risk to yourselves you are an idiot to basically sentence thousands upon thousand of your soldiers to death rather than those of your enemy.


THIS.  Also, he saved hundreds of thousands of Japanese that would've died during a land assault and occupation as well.  You could call the bomb a necessary evil, but Truman is by no means one of history's greatest monsters.
 
2014-04-25 02:16:13 PM  
I had to chuckle at this info from the comments:

i.kinja-img.com

Wouldn't that just suck?

*BOOM* (whistles out of sight)

"Well, there she goes! Our first successful shot! That thing will be in orbit in no time!"

(whistling now getting louder, coming from behind)

"Hey, do you hear that? That's weir-"*BOOM*
 
2014-04-25 02:16:43 PM  

mjbok: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: last I checked, ordering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is a pretty monstrous thing; doubly so when you order it again after your enemy is begging you to stop. He proved his point in Hiroshima and then sought vengeance in Nagasaki.

Japan was making all of these "non-combatants" ready to do anything necessary to kill soldiers in the case of a ground invasion.

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: What Truman did once he had the bomb available to him, though, was what made him a monster. Whether and which aspects of it were justified are subject to debate, but the way I see it, murdering tens of thousands of non-combatants doesn't make you a hero.

He undoubtedly saved 100s of thousands of US soldiers lives, so I disagree.  "Hey, we have this thing that we'll use if we have to.  It will fark up your world for quite awhile.  Unconditional surrender?  No.  Boom.  How about now?  No?  Boom."

War isn't pretty, war isn't fair, war isn't without collateral damage.  However if you have the choice of taking out your enemy with little to no risk to yourselves you are an idiot to basically sentence thousands upon thousand of your soldiers to death rather than those of your enemy.


My paternal grandfather (Rest in Peace, Grandpa Artie) was staged to be in the first wave of the invasion of the Japanese mainland if the bombs hadn't worked, so your point isn't lost on me. Granted, when he became one of the first groups occupying the mainland, he wound up contracting liver cancer from all the radiation, so I guess there's that, too. Again, though, I'm not saying that I expect war to be all touchy-feely and friendly. It's a horrible fact of life, there's no avoiding that. Sometimes atrocities are committed in order to prevent greater atrocities, but it doesn't make them any less atrocious; that's all I'm saying.
 
2014-04-25 02:17:46 PM  
images.wikia.com
 
2014-04-25 02:32:30 PM  

mjbok: That Guy What Stole the Bacon: last I checked, ordering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is a pretty monstrous thing; doubly so when you order it again after your enemy is begging you to stop. He proved his point in Hiroshima and then sought vengeance in Nagasaki.

Japan was making all of these "non-combatants" ready to do anything necessary to kill soldiers in the case of a ground invasion.

That Guy What Stole the Bacon: What Truman did once he had the bomb available to him, though, was what made him a monster. Whether and which aspects of it were justified are subject to debate, but the way I see it, murdering tens of thousands of non-combatants doesn't make you a hero.

He undoubtedly saved 100s of thousands of US soldiers lives, so I disagree.  "Hey, we have this thing that we'll use if we have to.  It will fark up your world for quite awhile.  Unconditional surrender?  No.  Boom.  How about now?  No?  Boom."

War isn't pretty, war isn't fair, war isn't without collateral damage.  However if you have the choice of taking out your enemy with little to no risk to yourselves you are an idiot to basically sentence thousands upon thousand of your soldiers to death rather than those of your enemy.


The death toll would have been much higher for both sides.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki cost about 200,000 lives, an invasion would have cost millions on the Japanese side alone, plus those 200,000 and then some on the US side.  Bombing civilians is farked up, but by all estimates it was the better of two terrible options.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Downfall
 
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