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Bali bombing: an investigator’s analysis ... Are these the statements and actions of professional investigators – or the actions of individuals engaged in a cover-up? ... Day after day investigators trotted out a different explosive and combinations of explosives purportedly responsible for the blast. In addition to C-4 and RDX there was now TNT, Ammonium Nitrate, HMX, Semtex, PETN, chlorate and napalm. Everything but the kitchen sink. Was this gross ineptitude? Or another ploy to throw independent investigators off the trail? The Jakarta Post online headline Robert S Finnegan 3rd January 2003
Investigators officially concluded that there were only two explosive devices used in the bombings. According to the official story a suicide bomber detonated a backpack of TNT inside Paddy’s Bar. Witnesses contradicted the Australian’s federal police’s obscure suicide-bomber theory. Bar staff said that they had seen a man walk into the club and throw a plastic bag full of explosives. The witness, who was treated in the Burns Unit at the local hospital said, ‘I will never forget his face as long as I live.’ Investigators chose to ignore this testimony. Fool Me Twice, 2007
Abu Bakar Bashir was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment for conspiracy in the bombings. There was no evidence directly linking him to the Bali bombings. He was found guilty by association. The US government provided no evidence of Bashir’s plot to assassinate President Megawati. ibid.
Nazi occupied Poland: In April 1944 with the outcome of World War II hanging in the balance two Jewish prisoners lay hidden near the outer fence of Auschwitz concentration camp. On 10th April 1944 they abandoned their hiding place and cut through the fence … ‘They escaped in order to warn the world that Auschwitz was a killing mechanism.’ 1944: Should We Bomb Auschwitz? Michael Berenbaum, BBC 2019
One of the greatest moral questions of the 20th century: 1944: Should we bomb Auschwitz? ibid.
‘Auschwitz should have had the most outrageous response while it was happening, and that’s a moral failure on the West.’ ibid. Barenbaum
Why was the greatest crime of the 20th crime of modern history allowed to proceed unimpeded for almost two years. A million Jews perish there by gas. It wasn’t because of lack of evidence. ibid.
‘Some of the groups would be frightened and disorientated, others would be almost relieved.’ ibid. prisoner eye-witness escapee
Rabbi Weissmandl: An appeal for help but also a rebuke for those who refuse … He demanded that the Allied air forces bomb Auschwitz. He was the first to do so. ibid.
June 1944: A month after the deportations from Hungary began, 109 trains had arrived at Auschwitz, with an average of 2975 Jews per train. ibid. caption
‘The first thing was – you breathe in and there’s a very strange smell. It was sort of sweetish and burning.’ ibid. on arrival at Auschwitz
During the last ten months of the War about 12,000 V1s and 3,500 V2s are launched against Britain and Belgium. Project Nazi: Blueprints of Power s1e6: Retreat from Reality, 2017
The Britons work out how to shoot V1s down … The inaccuracy of the V2 was its biggest weakness. ibid.
Eastern Afghanistan: On 13th April 2017 just after dark modern warfare changed for ever when the United States dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in combat. The Mother of all bombs … Now there are new megabombs. Rise of the Superbombs, History 2020
The next world war will be fought with a high-tech arsenal pulled straight out of science fiction. These superbombs are the future of war. ibid.
MOAB: Massive Ordnance Air Blast: 20,000 lbs of fire and fury falling from the sky. ibid.
The Daisycutter was the MOAB’s predecessor, used in every major conflict since Vietnam. But it was all brawn and no brains. ibid.
Russia: Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power or the Father of all bombs. ibid.
US: MOP: Massive Ordnance Penetrator: 15 tons: ‘The largest weapon of its type we know of in the world.’ ibid.
This is the story of the first ever use of a weapon of mass destruction. The target was an empire with its own secret weapon: suicide bomber. On 6th August 1945 a bomb unlike any other fell from the skies above Hiroshima. The bomb was designed by some of the world’s finest scientists. Using it was one of the most momentous political decisions ever made. Hiroshima, BBC 2020
The entire city of Hiroshima was annihilated in just a few seconds. ibid.
The force of the explosion was estimated to be the equivalent of 67 million sticks of dynamite. ibid.
The bomb left San Francisco on board the USS Indianapolis two hours after the successful test in New Mexico. ibid.
In Spring 1943, 133 young men set out on the most daring and ingenious bombing raid in history: to destroy the great dams of Germany using bombs that bounce. If successful, they will deal a hammer blow to the Nazi war effort. They are led by this man: Guy Gibson. He is only 24 but he is already one of the most famous and decorated pilots in the world. Dan Snow, The Dambusters I: A Daring Plan, Channel 5 2020
RAF Scampton hasn’t changed much from the Sunday afternoon Gibson arrived here in March 1943. This was to be the home of the new secret squadron who he had ordered to create from scratch. There hadn’t even been time to issue an official name. ibid.
Barnes Wallis is one of Britain’s most respected aircraft designers. Now he’s also designing a precision weapon he believes can devastate Germany’s industry. ibid.
The secrecy around the mission is so tight Wallis is only allowed to reveal the target to a small number of people on an approved list: Gibson’s isn’t on it. ibid.
The squadron now has to learn to fly at extreme low level to avoid being picked up by German radar. ibid.
Incredibly there are no accidents but a lot of close scrapes. ibid.
A secret squadron was assembled at breakneck speed. Their orders: to learn to fly and drop bombs at dangerously low levels. ‘If I tell you to fly through hangar doors,’ Gibson tells them, ‘then you will learn to do so, even if your wingtips brush either side.’ Dan Snow, The Dambusters II: Race Against Time
The increasingly dangerous training almost ends in disaster ... Maudsley and the other pilots need to know when they are flying at exactly 150 feet. ibid.
So he [Wallis] decides to dispense with the wood altogether which means that the Lancaster will go with this steel cylinder strapped to its underneath. ibid.
Wallis show Gibson some calculations he had been working on, and he had come to the shocking conclusion that for this bomb to bounce properly, to work, it has to be dropped not from 150ft as they’d hoped but from 60ft. ibid.
‘Their only chance of pulling off this almost impossible feat was if the Germans had not known they were coming.’ ibid.
He [Willis] sees 150-odd very young men who are going to execute his idea at the risk of their lives. ibid.
‘The Dambusters: Here were all these young men who knew they were likely to die and yet their sense of duty to their mates and the crew, to the squadron, to the RAF, and to their country.’ ibid. Max Hastings
This is the story of the single mission that can change the course of the Second World War: these are the dambusters. Dan Snow, The Dambusters III: Attack! Attack! Attack!
At the control of one is mission commander Guy Gibson. They also struggle to get airborne but fortunately they make it up safely as do all the other bombers. ibid.
16th May 1943 9.54pm: time to target 2 hours 21 minutes: the lead aircraft reached the English coast but then dropped down to wave height. ibid.
In just a few minutes of the first three aircraft reaching the enemy coast, two are returning home damaged and one has been destroyed. The remaining sixteen crews now faced hundreds of miles of low level flying. ibid.
‘Huge human catastrophe alongside a huge triumph of British technology and British courage.’ ibid. Max Hastings