Saturday, March 14, 2009

Japanese Balloon Bombs in 1944

My excuse for watching the military channel this time is that I am nursing a cough, though the sight of a flame thrower did make me a bit nostalgic. Transfixed to the screen, I pondered why tanks that shot napalm ever went out of style. Sign of the times, I guess. Anyway, the part that de-tranced me and got my ears perked up had to do with a gaggle of hot air balloons with incindiary bombs attached to them that the Japanese Military sent off to the east, in hopes that they would reach the west coast and blow us all to bits. Not sure if they really thought that one through, but there were 5 deaths due to the campaign when a family hiking in the Oregon woods came across a large balloon canvas, and managed to ignite the bomb attached to it while pulling it out. Every civilian casualty is a tragedy, particularly when it involves children. Dresden, the doolittle raids...we definitely have blood on our hands...much more than a family's worth. War is ugly. (*sigh*)

The U.S. Military would never have been able to keep secret today that an estimated 1,000 of the 9,000 balloons that the Japanese sent eastward actually reached our shores. There were 285 "incidents", some of which you can read about here, if you scroll down to the newspaper clippings:

You can learn more about the Japanese Balloon Bombs here:

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