19 June 2007

Book Review: Decision At Nagasaki - The Mission That Almost Failed, by Fred Olivi ****

When they decided to leave Italy to find a better future in America, in 1905, Fred Olivi's parents surely could not imagine that their son would become famous forty years later for dropping the most powerful weapon in history on the far away Japanese Empire! This is a personal history more than war history. The personal history of one of the many million Italians who contributed to make America for what it is, both in peacetime and at war. Fred joined the Air Force and on 9 August 1945 was assigned as copilot to the "Bockscar", the B-20 bomber that was to undertake the second nuclear bombing in history, three days after that of Hiroshima.

Even if it was strictly forbidden to do so, lest information should fall in enemy hands in case the plane was shot down, Fred kept a diary. From those pages come the most interesting parts of this book. Whatever opinion one might have on the nuclear bombing of Japan, this book reveals an unknown and captivating aspect of it.

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