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Balloon

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Today in 1945 one of the most bizarre military actions in history cost its only 6 casualties.

In 1940 Japan was purchasing weather maps from the US.

Needless to say in 1941 Japan launched a small spearhead against a little fishing village called Pearl Harbour, with predictable results.

A small idiosyncratic island with an Imperial feudal culture attacked the naval base of the world’s most militarily powerful nation. D’oh!

And then in 1942, those same weather maps lent their aid to Japan’s most vicious, honourable and dangerous offensive in the war.

Project Fugo involved the launching of thousands of 30ft balloons made of laminated tissue paper with an explosive charge strung underneath. Yes, the country that brought us Seppuku and Kamikazi Pilots, torture on the Burma Railroads and Karaoke were also responsible for BALLOON BOMBS!

According to sources, over a million pounds in Japanese Yen went into this terrifying project and of the thousands launched, only 297 were ever found and only 1 of them ever caused a fatality.

On May 5th, 1945, one such balloon came down at Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, where it was found and accidentally detonated by a preacher’s wife and five Sunday-school children.

In other words, from 1942 to 1945, it cost Japan over a million pounds sterling to make 5 kids and a preacher’s wife go kablooey! In a way, I guess we ought to thank them. That’s over 150,000 pounds for each death of a non-combatant. If Admiral Brainbox of the Japanese Air Force had not come up with this genius idea, they might have used the money on ships, planes, tanks or rifles that could have been used to kill, say more than 6 civilians.

Anyway,

Yes I know it’s the weekend and I’m writing.

Things that have happened so far, with a day still to go:

* Got stuck on a farm track and Mrs M had to 3-point turn the car in a space the size of a postage stamp.

* Murphy (aka Moonpig, Sickdog, Flashdance & Fungus the Bogey-dog) experienced car-sickness for the third time.

* My mum fell over in a bit of a drunken haze and had not the coordination to put out a hand and has therefore perhaps cracked a rib.

* Carried our two lurchers over several fences and stiles on a long walk.

Enjoy.

Moosey

Written by SJAT

January 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm

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