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May042006

Eyewitnesses to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On 6 August 1945, a number of eyes in the Japanese city of Hiroshima turned skyward at the drone of a US B-29 bomber flying across the cloudless sky, accompanied by two other aircraft. Their arrival was not a surprise; the early warning radar net had detected the incoming planes and an air-raid alert had been issued for the city. But soon the Japanese military realized that only three planes were incoming, and the alert was lifted. The anti-aircraft guns sat silent, and the fighter planes lingered in their hangars. A mere three planes were considered incapable of posing a significant threat, so it was presumed that these craft were weather planes– a precursor to a true attack. The Japanese military opted to conserve their diminishing supplies of munitions and fuel for use against more serious threats.   | 

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