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The Target Committee (Kindle Single)

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How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo? Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs. The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be u How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo? Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs. The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be used in anger. In this absorbing and provocative narrative, historian Paul Ham shines a torch on their arguments to reveal the thinking behind the atomic destruction of two cities – and how the Target Committee justified it at the time. Quotes from The Target Committee: ‘The ideal target city for an atomic bomb should … possess sentimental value to the Japanese so its destruction would adversely affect the will of the people to continue the war’ – Major General Leslie Groves, leader of the Manhattan Project ‘Kyoto lies in the form of a cup and thus would be exceptionally vulnerable. …It is exclusively a place of homes and art and shrines’ - Henry Stimson, US War Secretary Praise for Paul Ham’s Hiroshima Nagasaki: ‘[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account ... unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort...’ - Ben Macintyre, The Times. ‘Ham is a splendid storyteller, a master of engrossing narrative’ – H. Bruce Franklin, Los Angeles Review of Books. ‘An eyewitness picture that leaves Dante’s Inferno looking pale’ - Peter Lewis, Daily Mail.


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How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo? Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs. The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be u How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo? Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs. The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be used in anger. In this absorbing and provocative narrative, historian Paul Ham shines a torch on their arguments to reveal the thinking behind the atomic destruction of two cities – and how the Target Committee justified it at the time. Quotes from The Target Committee: ‘The ideal target city for an atomic bomb should … possess sentimental value to the Japanese so its destruction would adversely affect the will of the people to continue the war’ – Major General Leslie Groves, leader of the Manhattan Project ‘Kyoto lies in the form of a cup and thus would be exceptionally vulnerable. …It is exclusively a place of homes and art and shrines’ - Henry Stimson, US War Secretary Praise for Paul Ham’s Hiroshima Nagasaki: ‘[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account ... unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort...’ - Ben Macintyre, The Times. ‘Ham is a splendid storyteller, a master of engrossing narrative’ – H. Bruce Franklin, Los Angeles Review of Books. ‘An eyewitness picture that leaves Dante’s Inferno looking pale’ - Peter Lewis, Daily Mail.

30 review for The Target Committee (Kindle Single)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    This short book gave me a chilling experience. I felt like reading a corporate report. The story begins by outlining profiles of some of the key participants, all of whom seem to be extremely well educated and articulate yet determined and resolute at coming to a decision of the gruesome business of choosing targets and dropping the deadly Atomic Bomb. The Bomb had to be dropped on Japan, a decision which was taken years before bu Churchill and Roosevelt, as the Japanese were considered inferior This short book gave me a chilling experience. I felt like reading a corporate report. The story begins by outlining profiles of some of the key participants, all of whom seem to be extremely well educated and articulate yet determined and resolute at coming to a decision of the gruesome business of choosing targets and dropping the deadly Atomic Bomb. The Bomb had to be dropped on Japan, a decision which was taken years before bu Churchill and Roosevelt, as the Japanese were considered inferior by the Anglo Americans. Ironically it was the same Anglo Americans who were busy deriding Nazis for being fascist! I love Paul's objective style of writing. He makes no observations therefore no justifications for the snapshot of historical era depicted. It is if I was taking a trip back into a time capsule and floating around in the meeting room as a voyeur. I think this style of presenting history is perfect for our super informed age. As readers we are more than capable of making our own judgments instead of being bombarded with subjective and judgmental narratives given by historians. Just check out ome of the soundbites I picked up from this gem of a book............. Japs are inferior. International recognition for the bomb. Tokyo is worthless as a target. True objective of the attack was the city itself. The committee unanimously rejected the possibility of giving Japan any prior demonstration in a remote place. None of the committeemen made an ethical, moral or religious case against dropping an Atomic bomb without warning, on an undefended city largely made of women, children and the elderly.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This is a book about the committee that was set up during World War II to determine which Japanese cities atomic bombs would be dropped on. The book goes into when certain meetings were held, discusses several of the men involved and then lists the cities that were being targeted. The book also lays out the criteria to determine which cities would have the most effect on the war, the Japanese citizens and the Japanese government. All the people on the committee were men. Some of the men involved This is a book about the committee that was set up during World War II to determine which Japanese cities atomic bombs would be dropped on. The book goes into when certain meetings were held, discusses several of the men involved and then lists the cities that were being targeted. The book also lays out the criteria to determine which cities would have the most effect on the war, the Japanese citizens and the Japanese government. All the people on the committee were men. Some of the men involved included Oppenheimer, William Parsons, Major General Leslie Groves and Brigadier General Thomas Farrell. Tokyo was not to be a target since so much of the city had already been destroyed by regular bombing and by fire bombing. The alternative to the atomic bombs was the actual invasion of Japan itself which, without any doubt, would have resulted in very high Allied casualties. The book is rather well done.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Schittenhelm

    Over view Very shot book but engaging. References books are added to the book. I enjoy this period in our country. With the author's including references I have found more books to read. Over view Very shot book but engaging. References books are added to the book. I enjoy this period in our country. With the author's including references I have found more books to read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Rockliff

    Bolinda audiobook.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Love

    Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki and not Kyoto or Tokyo? This is in short the question this book answers, that along with profiles of some of the key decision makers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    William

    Short but informative.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dom Mooney

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ron Hartman

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sergio OCampo

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard Scholtz

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vinil

  13. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sanguinius

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janko

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Ayton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Backeberg

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  21. 4 out of 5

    Walter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Louise Carter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roger Wall

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Erickson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brionee Noonan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Cuva

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

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