Thursday, July 05, 2007

Strange Weapons Through History.

I was reading through digg today, something I haven't done in ages, and I came across a link to a story about the 10 strangest weapons in history.

Most of them are pretty strange, but one of them in particular was pretty interesting to me.

And that is, The Japanese Balloon Bomb.
"In late 1944, Japan sought to wreak devastation on American cities, but had no way to reach America via plane or boat without being shot down. So, it devised one of the strangest weapons to be deployed during World War II: the balloon bomb.

Japan sent 9,000+ balloon bombs across the Pacific Ocean with the hopes of causing large numbers of US casualties. Approximately 1,000 made it to the US but caused only six known deaths. The balloons were found in areas as widespread as Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan and Iowa, as well as Mexico and Canada.

The press cooperated with the US government by not reporting on the balloon bombs in the hopes of not panicking the American people, as well as not letting the Japanese know that any of the balloons landed on US shores. With little to no proof of their effectiveness, Japan ceased launching the balloon bombs after just six months."

I had heard about balloon bombs before, but never about some actually making it to America and certainly never about anyone being killed.

Six people may not be a lot, but ... it's still something.

You really have to wonder what would have happened if the Japanese decided NOT to stop sending the balloons over.

Not much, I'm sure. But still ... That's really interesting to me.

I'm so used to believing that America was so safe and untouched during WWII, but really. We weren't. And the public never even knew about it.

A real change from today, huh?

sources:digg, digitalbeat

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