Most Secret Cargo of WWII – How a Lone US Warship Delivered the Atomic Bomb


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Most Secret Cargo of WWII - How a Lone US Warship Delivered the Atomic Bomb



When officials from the Manhattan Project and the United States Army Air Forces were looking for a base for a planned atomic bomb attack on Japan, they decided to look amongst the Mariana Island group. Eventually, they settled on Tinian, an island in the Pacific coincidently shaped just like Manhattan.

Tinian, once under the control of Spain and Japan, was the place where the atomic bombs were assembled and from where the B-29 Superfortress bombers departed towards Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The island was positioned strategically close to mainland Japan, as the round trip was only 3,000 miles long. Thanks to the diligent work of the Navy’s Seabees Construction Battalions, it also had multiple runways. It became the base of the 509th Composite Group, responsible for delivering the atomic bombs Little Boy and Fat Man.

But before Tinian could be used as an atomic staging area, the parts to assemble the devices had to get there first. The task was left to the USS Indianapolis, a heavy-cruiser sent on a top-secret mission to deliver the enriched uranium and other parts that would belong to Little Boy. It would be a mission fraught with peril, as Japanese submarines still stalked the surrounding seas…

Dark Docs brings you cinematic short military history documentaries featuring the greatest battles and most heroic stories of modern warfare, covering World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and special forces operations in between.

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29 Comments

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  1. Tinian isn't even remotely shaped like Manhattan. It's much closer to the island of Phuket. You got to love the revisionist history. Plus Tinian Island is mountainous much like Phuket while Manhattan is flat as a sheet of paper. It's so damaging when all these YouTubers who pretend to report on history continually misrepresent things. Eventually no one will know what is true and what is not.

  2. You should do a video on Lima Site 85. US Govt selected volunteers from USAF, discharged and sheep-dipped them, then gave them Lockheed Martin badges and placed them on Phou Pha Ti Mountain in Sam Neua Province Laos. While there, they operated a TACAN radar station that guided US bombers to attack Hanoi, and other targets in NVN allowing an all weather bombing capability. LS85 was attacked and overrun in March 1968 by PAVN and Pathet Lao forces (also an artillery unit firing on LS85 from a different mountain had Chinese and Soviet advisors), leading to the greatest ground loss of USAF personnel during the Vietnam war. Several members were rescued the next day.

    At least on American was captured, and sent to Vieng Xay. Reports from captured Pathet Lao indicate one American with light framed glasses was captured and sent to Vieng Xay. Author Timothy Castle would interview Pathet Lao General Singapoo who claimed "2-3 Americans were captured" from LS 85, and sent to Vieng Xay. Russian President Borris Yeltson would later give a list of Soviet gulag prisoners whose named matched those of US POW/MIA's from the Vietnam war. One of those men was Melvin Holland, stationed at LS85 and still unaccounted for. Melvin was also the only person at LS85 that wore glasses.

  3. I’m grateful that the near term result was saving lives of all warriors who would have died in a conventional fight. However with the perspective of almost 70 years of dysfunctional world leaders I believe having nuclear weapons may one day bring far greater loss.

  4. I look forward to each new video on this channel. This one has lots of footage and stills that were new to me. I must say however I dislike the treatment of many of the stills, with blur, amber color cast, movement, and other artifacts meant to convey age. They just make it hard to see. We all know these mostly B&W images are over 75 years old, without having all this visual debris scattered across them. Otherwise a good video. Thanks.

  5. japans sub navy jn25 codes were broken in 1942 ,so they would have known about subs in the area and what about protection, even the panes onboard would be able to fly above and near by to spot anything in the waters around the ship??

  6. Like the song by OMD, great 1980's song as well. 🙂 also the worst genocidal civilian lose of life and not once to date is the US held accountable for it murdering 100's of thousands of people in two japans city's and also the fire bombing of Germanies city's for no reason than to test the bombs to be used its that simple, so the USA is the worst genocidal war criminals in the history of the world 10 times worse than Hitler and the SS against Holocaust camps victims IMHO?

  7. The USS Indianapolis was outfitted with some of the most technical and advanced sonar devices of its time and did not detect the submarine that was almost on top of the water with its Periscope out how was this

  8. while the great, great leaders back in the US went out barbecuing, hundreds of US servicemen died…
    as it was in the past, the present and the future….what a wonderful world – for those in power / whose kids stay home while average joes kids go dying in vietnam, irak, afghanistan – what a WONDERFUL WORLD – OH YEAH…..

  9. Bein a local kid from da island of Saipan which is right by Tinian..Da waters in between da islands is notorious for dem stripe fuckin tigers..I still reminisce about my days hunting turtles on da North side waters of Tinian on a small boat n going through choppy waters at times tryin to make it back to Saipan..

  10. The Seabees are not volunteers. It’s the Navy construction battalion. The Seabee Moro is “To build is for what we fight, and to fight is for what we build.”

  11. You are wrong about Yakushima being target. The target was Kokura, a city within 100km of Nagasaki. Yakushima is not a city. It's an island south of the mainland and was used as the rendezvous point.

  12. This was a secret mission. McVay was denied an escort and after the ship was attacked, the SOS sent was ignored by 3 ships that had received it. Hundreds more died in the water as it took 4 days to be found by a passing pilot. McVay was court martialled and charged with not evacuating in a timely manner. It was basically a sham. McVay also struggled throughout his life from the impact of vitriolic letters and phone calls he periodically received from grief-stricken relatives of dead crewmen who served aboard the Indianapolis, due to him being incorrectly labeled as at fault. In 1968, McVay took his own life by shooting himself with his service pistol. It wasn't until 2000 that he was exonerated by Congress.

  13. In the Indianapolis mcvay was court martialed and didn't have a escort the navy knowing 4 days before it was attacked another ship was sunk and 6 torpedoes were shot so zig zapping wouldn't of did a thing and many lives were lost between sinking and shark attacks but he was held responsible which is total crap just the navy covering up a mistake on their part