Harmony on Nagasaki Failure
On August 8th, 1945, Major Charles W. Sweeny failed his primary objective, deploying a bomb on the intended target. As a result, they damaged a secondary target, Nagasaki; this would have all been avoided if there had been superior coordination. There are many things wrong with the coordination on the deployment date, from discord within the team to a lack of judgement. When it comes to some examples of their problems in the article, the first is that Sweeney, who was keeping radio silence, circled the rendezvous for 45 minutes. Hopkins in Big Stink, the observation/photo airplane, was circling at 39,000 feet, 9,000 feet higher than he was supposed to be (62). Consequently, they consumed their valuable time and so much fuel at the rendezvous. The second is that Sweeny became too depended on Ashworth and was unable to even make a decision without him. As a commanding officer, he was supposed to make the decision himself. Sweeny had enough fuel for only one bomb run and he was not going to pass it up. He conferred with Ashworth in the “interest of interservice harmony and proposed a drop by radar, contrary to explicit orders (63); however, they was unable to deploy a bomb on the planned target, so bombardier Beahan quickly had to select a new aiming point in the industrial valley. The third is that the fact that there was a severe lack of communication was finally disclosed. “Sweeney blames Hopkins for the delay at the rendezvous point, but Tibbets blames both Ashworth and Sweeney,” “We had the wrong guy flying the plane,” and “Yet he blames Tibbets for picking Sweeney” (64).

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