A Blast Over Nagasaki Poem by Paul Hartal

A Blast Over Nagasaki

The B-29 superfortress took off at 3: 47 A.M.
from the island of Tinian,
an American airbase in the Pacific Ocean.
It was August 9,1945, a Thursday.

The giant airplane was named Bockscar.
Piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney,
it carried in its payload a big and heavy weapon,
an egg-shaped atomic bomb with plutonium core.
Codenamed "Fat Man", it weighed 4,700 kg.
Painted mustard yellow,
the bomb was 3.3 meters long and 1.5 meter in diameter.

Bockscar's mission was to drop
the implosion atomic bomb
on the Japanese city Kokura.
To get there the crew faced a long flight
of more than 7 hours
as mainland Japan lies at a distance of
2,400 kilometers from Tinian.

While the B-29 was approaching its target
a twist of fate interfered with the original plan.
The view of Kokura City was obscured by clouds,
as well as smoke arising from the nearby city of Yamata,
which, ironically enough, was caused
by American firebombing raids.

Consequently, the mission of the B-29 was altered,
the plan changed and the target of Bockscar shifted
from Kokura to Nagasaki. Bockscar reached the skies
of Nagasaki at 11: 50 A.M. Visibility here was better
and the bombardier was able to identify
the Mitsubishi Steel and Arm Works located
at the entrance of a valley. Staring at the target
through the bombsight he released Fat Man.

Bockscar changed its flight path at once
and banked in order to create distance
between the plane and the immanent explosion
and so to avoid the effects of the blast
and the released radiation.

The nuclear bomb detonated at 12: 02 P.M.
about 500 meters above the ground.
This altitude maximized the slaughter and devastation.

Bockscar was accompanied by another airplane,
called "The Great Artiste", that filmed
the atomic blast, recordingthe giant pink
and orange mushroom cloud rising
in the sky as Fat Man burnt people to ashes,
destroyed and wiped out the City of Nagasaki.

The atomic bomb killed immediately
over 40,000 people and injured even more.
Furthermore, an estimated 50,000 men, women
and children died later
because of injuries and the long term effects
of radiation exposure.

The atomic bombing of Nagasaki occurred
only 3 days after the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.

The horrors of nuclear war,
the persistent air raids,
the fire bombing and destruction of Japanese cities,
the growing and grinding war weariness,
combined with the threat
of a Soviet invasion,
led eventually to the abandonment
of the steadfast Japanese resolve and determination
to continue the war to the very last
and never capitulate.

Eventually, on August 15,1945,
Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced
the unconditional surrender of the Empire
of the Rising Sun. On September 2,1945,
Japan formally signed the document
of her unconditional surrender.
It brought the Second World War to a close.

Saturday, August 8, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: history,tragedy,warfare
Shoshi 04 October 2020

My granddaughter was born August 9th of this year

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Leeann Azzopardi 09 August 2020

we should be still aware of the bomb's strength This poem has done showing it Bravo!

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Deluke Muwanigwa 09 August 2020

Thanks for the history lesson. This poem needs to published every August lest we forget. Man to man is so unjust. What if we had furthered scientific research especially space exploration instead of incinerating ourselves. We can kill human beings but we cant kill the human spirit. Touche to all.

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Douglas Scotney 08 August 2020

a very worthwhile entry into poetry

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