Enola Gay: Mission to Hiroshima Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
From the New York Times best-selling coauthors comes a "fascinating...unrivaled" history of the B-29 and its fateful mission to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (New York Times Book Review).
Painstakingly researched, the story behind the decision to send the Enola Gay to bomb Hiroshima is told through firsthand sources. From diplomatic moves behind the scenes to Japanese actions and the US Army Air Force's call to action, no detail is left untold.
Touching on the early days of the Manhattan Project and the first inkling of an atomic bomb, investigative journalist Gordon Thomas and his writing partner Max Morgan-Witts take WWII enthusiasts through the training of the crew of the Enola Gay and the challenges faced by pilot Paul Tibbets.
A must-listen audiobook that offers "minute-by-minute coverage of the critical periods" surrounding the mission, Enola Gay finally separates myth and reality from the planning of the flight to the moment over Hiroshima when the atomic age was born (Library Journal).
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|Listening Length||10 hours|
|Author||Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan-Witts|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 04, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #71,609 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#24 in Conventional Warfare
#24 in Military Weapons
#494 in Conventional Weapons & Warfare History (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Minutely detailed with many photos and charts, this is a book to be savored. With reproductions of discussions, in-person interviews with the main characters, and including pertinent comments by world leaders at the beginning of each chapter, one is taken on a journey that begins in a dusty desert with lots of secrets, and a hodge-podge of personalities of the many men involved in putting the whole shebang together. (The newspapers always made every man seem to be a hero ... and they were. However, heroes are also human, and this book shares their human-ness in detail.)
This book "reads" better than any high school history book. It is written in such a way that one is able to feel as if he/she is a silent watcher/listener to each conversation, each meeting, each joint decision throughout the time leading up to the dropping of Little Boy on Hiroshima on August 6, and Fat Man on August 9, 1945. The reader even becomes a passenger in the Enola Gay, right alongside famed pilot Paul Tibbets. If one has been able to visit the Smithsonian and see, in person, the restored Enola Gay, or walk on the white sands of New Mexico, then that person will feel more akin to the people in this remarkable book.
Even today, there are arguments about whether or not America should have used the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, if you can put aside those arguments and just read this as an interesting, absorbing history of our country, you may come to appreciate, once again, those who willingly give their expertise, their inventiveness, and their lives that others might become free from tyranny.
An excellent and highly recommended book ... even if you weren't alive during World War II!
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Tibbets, on September 1, 1944, learned that scientists had successfully split an atom and were working on a bomb. This bomb would be equivalent to twenty thousand tons of high explosives currently being used. He learned this top secret information because the military needed someone to train, someone who would ultimately drop the bomb. They chose him.
Tibbets was tasked with finding locations for camps, personnel, living space, and anything necessary to train his handpicked unit. Security was of vital importance. Even after being warned about curiosity, some men went where they didn't belong and were booted from the project- most of them ended up in Alaska.
Alongside the action taking place in the United States, the authors introduce us to several Japanese and leaders in one position or another. Some of them deeply disliked what choices their country had made but had to hide their opinions.
Through the writing, the authors make the reader feel the increasing importance of the success in producing an immensely powerful weapon before the enemy. Russia, Germany and Japan were all working hard to come up with the bomb. Another reason for the haste was the increasingly bloody lengths Japan was willing to go to in order to inflict damage upon its enemies.
I knew about Japan's use of kamikazes, the suicide bombers usually piloted by very young men, and the thousands of balloons carrying explosives sent aloft in the hopes they would reach the coasts of the United States and wreak havoc, but I had never heard of the kaitens. The word means "the turn toward heaven". These were another form of suicide attacks wherein a volunteer wiggled into a small hole and piloted their torpedo to enemy ships. Other measures included children being taught to make and use gasoline bombs from the stockpile of some three million bottles and disabled people being put to work making booby traps. On Kyoto there were thousands of planes ready for more kamikaze attacks. One way or another the Japanese were going to keep fighting.
Humans throughout history have repeatedly dipped their toes in deep waters best left undisturbed. The scientists working on the Manhattan Project began with a theory and built upon it layer by layer until it became a physical reality. Many of them came to deeply regret their participation in the project. Could they, in their wildest dreams, have predicted the horrendous aftermath in Hiroshima? I don't know. Given the time period and weaponry available, it would have been nearly impossible for most people to imagine. Even the Japanese looked upon the warnings given by the United States as nothing more than propaganda.
It's important to place the bombing in the larger picture of WWII. The attack on Pearl Harbor, the Baatan Death March, the atrocities in the areas they had invaded, the beheadings of prisoners of war and more made it nearly impossible for us to feel anything other than hate for the Japanese. Even after Hiroshima, Japanese military leaders advocated continued fighting. Finally Emperor Hirohito called it quits and made a public announcement on the radio. He never used the word surrender in his convoluted speech and, because the Japanese people had been told all along that they were winning, many listeners went away believing that Japan had won the war.
For me the biggest indication of the lesson learned by Hiroshima is that an atomic bomb hasn't been used since. Yes, they are out there and by their very existence pose a potential threat, but in all the years since the war they have not been used. I think (and hope) that anyone tempted to use one knows that the entire world would respond. The first bomb was something the world had never seen. No one will ever be able to claim ignorance should they use it a second time.
When people questioned Tibbets in later years about the morality of dropping the bomb, he replied that war in and of itself is immoral and people need to figure out how to solve problems without resorting to violence.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The authors made history come alive. Good history books inspire you to learn from what they have to offer. Great history books set off sparks inside your brain that inspire you to go on to learn even more after reading the last page. This was a great book.
Top reviews from other countries
The parallel narratives of Los Alamos, 509th Bomb Wing, Washington and the Japanese side of the story build up the enough lift for the reader to stay afloat till the ends.
Almost read in one sitting.