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Through the eyes of Lt. Jacob Beser, this book chronicles the history of World War II with Japan and his personal participation in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Beser suggests that many events prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, caused strained diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States and how these events were significant contributors to the cause of the war and why Japan attacked.
Diplomatic relations with Japan became critical in 1941 after President Roosevelt froze all her assets in the United States. This included embargoed scrap iron, food and oil shipments and closing the Panama Canal to her shipping. Japan required these items to continue her military operations in China. Roosevelt’s actions backed the Japanese military leaders into a corner. Their choice was to withdraw from China or go to war. They selected the later, stepped up their actions in China and Southeast Asia, and declared war on the United States and Great Britain.
Beser volunteered in the Army Air Corps the day after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Because of his technical expertise and military training, he was assigned to the Manhattan Project to help develop the atomic bomb. During this assignment, he participated in the design of the radar proximity fuse, the bomb casing mechanical design and supported the target designation committee. Near the end of his assignment he was the only man to fly as a crewmember on the strike aircraft for both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing raids.
The atomic bomb was the intersection of science and warfare. This book utilizes data from Beser’s personal archive and declassified government documents related to the design and deployment of the atomic bomb and Japan’s agonizing decision to surrender. The book ends with Beser’s post wartime activities and touches on other events like the Tokyo War Crimes, and how a new Japan emerged from the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.