Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paul Tibbets Interview Before His Death

Paul Tibbets, the man who commanded the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, has been dead for a little over one year. I did a post on his passing on November 10, 2007. You can read it by clicking here.

I was surfing late this evening and found the below clip and information on General Tibbets.

He believed until the end that the bombing, which killed over 100 thousand Japanese people (most of them civilians), was justified. In a 1975 interview he said: “I’m proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it and have it work as perfectly as it did… I sleep clearly every night.”

In 1976, Gen Tibbets was criticised for re-enacting the bombing at an air show in Texas. A mushroom cloud was set off as he over flew in a B-29 Superfortress in a stunt that outraged Japan. Gen Tibbets said it was not meant as an insult but the US government formally apologised.

In 1995, General Tibbets denounced as a “damn big insult” a planned 50th anniversary exhibition of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Institution that put the bombing in context of the suffering it caused. He and veterans groups said too much attention was being paid to Japan’s suffering and not enough to its military brutality.

Tibbets had requested that he be buried without a headstone or funeral ceremony, since he feared that opponents of the bombing would use them for protests.

Here is an interview conducted with Tibbets before he died, in which he questions the loyalty of Americans who speak out against the bombing.

"I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing, ... We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible." - Paul Tibbets


Law and Order Teacher said...

History is sometime inconvenient and it doesn't support the point of view you want. When it comes to a situation such as this, it is what it is. Gen. Tibbetts did what he had to do. Thankfully he was there to do it and do it well. The action was taken on the best advice Truman received and that was that taking Japan could cost thousands and thousands of more casualties. With Okinawa as his guide, Truman made the decision and moved on. These are great men who step up at time great peril. Thank God they're there. May they rest in peace.

Texas Truth said...

Law and Order Teacher: That is why people such as you ansd me must make sure the truth is always out there. Hell, I think we should have dropped a few more over the years.