By Ross Coen
Near the tip of worldwide warfare II, in an try to assault the us mainland, Japan introduced its fu-go crusade, deploying hundreds of thousands of high-altitude hydrogen balloons armed with incendiary and high-explosive bombs designed to persist with the westerly winds of the higher surroundings and flow to the west coast of North the United States. After achieving the mainland, those fu-go, the japanese was hoping, could terrorize americans and ignite devastating woodland fires around the western states, eventually inflicting the U.S. to divert wartime assets to house the family trouble. whereas the fu-go offensive proved to be an entire tactical failure, six american citizens misplaced their lives while a found balloon exploded.
Ross Coen presents a desirable check out the vague background of the fu-go crusade, from the japanese schoolgirls who synthetic the balloons through hand to the generals within the U.S. struggle division who constructed security strategies. The booklet delves into panic, propaganda, and media censorship in wartime. Fu-go is a compelling tale of a little-known episode in our nationwide background that spread out almost unseen.
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Extra info for Fu-go: The Curious History of Japan's Balloon Bomb Attack on America
Previous devices had alternately failed in the extreme cold of the upper atmosphere or lacked the transmitting power to consistently send signals from the farthest reaches of the Pacific. The Weather Bureau devised numerous radiosondes with dual two-watt batteries capable of transmitting for up to eighty hours in stratospheric conditions. 23 The balloon ascended 20,000 feet in just half an hour and then leveled off at 26,000 feet as it entered the prevailing westerly winds. “Into the observation room, persons slipped one by one,” noted Teiji Takada of Noborito Institute.
Between nine and twelve hours later, just as the sun was setting, the ballast mechanism underwent three separate cycles of sandbag drops. The last cycle sent the balloon above 30,000 feet where it remained until the following evening when another four cycles commenced. Radio contact was lost for ten hours but then reestablished on the flight’s third morning. . Everybody fixed their eyes upon the fingers of observers on the handle of [the] dial, without moving nor whispering. 24 By the time radio signals ceased after just over fifty-eight total hours of flight, the balloon had jettisoned twenty-five of its thirty-six sandbags.
Just as the Doolittle Raid had shocked the Japanese by appearing seemingly from nowhere, the balloon team at Noborito was enthralled by the prospect that 39 Paper fig. 9. Japanese launch crew training with inflated balloon, February 1944. Bert Webber Papers, Box 11, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University bombs would rain down on the Americans, who would have no idea where they had come from. Selection of the launch sites for the balloon bombs, a task that fell to the Special Balloon Regiment, an operational unit of the fu-go program, had to be done carefully with a few key criteria in mind.
Fu-go: The Curious History of Japan's Balloon Bomb Attack on America by Ross Coen