DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

 The Norden Bombsight

 

(click on image to enlarge)


The Norden Bombsight was an invention that was created in order for the planes to drop bombs accurately. The Norden Bombsight was essentially the first step towards computers and the first kind of autopilot to be used. The Mark XV bombsight was developed enough to take control of the whole plane for several seconds and then drop a bomb on the desired location.

 

 

My Witness   

Carl Lucas van Norden

 

My Name 

Philippos T.

 

Background 

Many individuals have classified me as one of the brightest minds of our era. Motivated by my great devotion to God and fascinated by the physics behind bomb dropping, I decided to build bombsights in order to lessen the pain of the innocent during war time. My best invention, the Mark XV bombsight has marked technological advancement forever. The Mark XV is capable of dropping a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet, while under the right conditions. I sold this great invention to the Navy, and later on sold the rights of the bombsight to the United States for only a single dollar. The United States later payed 1.5 billion dollars to build 43,292 units thinking that my device would change the outcome of WWII. I was never told that the atomic bombs were dropped using his sight, since I never wanted my invention to be used to harm people.

 

Connection to this Case

The United States, including president Truman, used the Mark XV bombsight in order to minimize civilian casualties. The rate of bombs dropped into the target areas remained very small, however it greatly increased from the initial rate, which was under 5%. I am also on the defense side becuase I believe that God would like me to support the man who ended Japanese atrocities such as the balloon bombs and the Nanking Massacre.

 

Your Testimony

The Mark XV bombsight is concrete proof that the United States made an effort to lessen the pain caused by WWII. I did not try to defend the democratic U.S, nor try to end Japanese imperialism which are statements found in our case line, however I believe that my core purpose of being alive is to make wars less severe and help others. With this mindset I decided to build the bombsight and make bombs more accurate. I am one of the people who would never call civilian deaths 'colateral damage' because I care about others perhaps more than I do for myself. President Truman intentionally used my bombsight because he knew that wars would become less painful to the ones who are not a part of it.

 

Key Sources   

 

Source Evaluation

 

Source #1

A photograph of a Japanese paper bombing balloon.

 

Origin

Mikesh, Robert C. Japan's World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1973. Print.

 

The MLA Citation above is a book written to analyze balloon bombs and their context. The photograph was taken during WWII in Japan after the launch of a bomb. It is a primary source and was not found until the end of WWII.

 

Purpose

This photograph was taken in order to prove the existence of balloon bombs. It was never classified as there were many similar pictures taken, showing the different models of balloon bombs. There is a possibility that this source was created as proof for acknowledgement since the balloon bombs were very cheap to make and perfect for targeting civilians. In the photograph the balloon bomb flies away successfully without any signs of malfunction.

 

Value of this source in preparation of my testimony

This image represents one of the causes for which I am defending President Truman. My bombsights were all built in order to lessen the pain that civilians suffered though in wars, pain caused by such atrocities. The bombs flew in the sky and randomly hit targets destroying anything in a five meter radius. While people like President Truman were trying to minimize casualties using my bombsights and other inventions, the Japanese tried to hurt as many people as possible. This photograph perfectly demonstrates the notion that while President Truman was trying to save people around the globe, the Japanese were intentionally killing civilians. Since it was taken in Japan, it might also be a way of gaining prestige and presenting power to other nations.

 

Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony

This source presents what the Japanese wanted to achieve rather than what they did. Compared to the atomic bombs the paper balloon bombs only caused minimal damage. This photograph would be useless without knowing its origin since it would prove nothing against the Japanese. The exact date at which the picture was taken is not certain, making it impossible to state for how long these bombs were used. This photograph was officially published in an American book which may have aimed to emphasize on Japanese aggression. The context of this particular paper balloon bomb is not shown in this photograph, which makes its view point less reliable.

 

 

 

Source #2

A quote extracted from an article titled "The Bombsights" found in the special issue of Flying magazine (October, 1943). 

 

Origin

"The BOMBSIGHT." Giving the Precision and Accuracy of Artillery 33.4 (1943): 103+. Legends In Their Own Time. Legends In Their Own Time. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

 

The MLA Citation above is an electronic version of the original article published in October 1943. Flying magazine was an American Magazine with only one edition created about WWII artillery.

 

Purpose

This article was created in order to persuade the public that the United States had improved tremendously in the field of bombing and that they had an advantage. Additionally, this quote is 'proof' that the money being spent for military causes was being actually used efficiently and not being wasted. It might have been made as propaganda in order to ensure American citizens that their country is advanced and has a great chance of winning WWII. The bombsight was highly classified and the author of this article might have tried to promote himself as a writer with good government resources.

 

Value of this source in preparation of my testimony

This source is a great source for my testimony because it shows that the Mark XV bombsight had phenomenally changed what used to be bombardment. The accuracy of the bombsight helped the United States only target "key points" and hence save a certain amount of civilian casualties. Since the bombsight remained in use at the time when Truman was president, it can be concluded that he too, aimed to end WWII with the least amount of casualties. This source clearly states that the accuracy of the Mark XV bombsight tremendously changed the errors in bombings during WWII. It is highly reliable since it was published in 1943, after the bombsight had been used in the war for quite some time.

 

Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony

This article can be considered propaganda by the prosecution and thus not play a big part in proving our case line. However, not much information about the Norden bombsight could be published during the war, as it was one of the most classified projects in the history of the United States. Furthermore, this source also portrays the fact that the new era of bombardment was more "economical" which from a closed-minded side could be considered the only reason why the government used the Mark XV bombsight. This source does not specify the location from which the statistics were taken and hence can be thought to be inaccurate.

 

Bibliography

"Carl Norden Biography." National Aviation Hall of Fame. Honoring Aerospace Legends, 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Gadney, Max. Great Expectations. Weapons Manual. N.p.: n.p., 2009. 68-69. Print.

 

 

Gladwell, Malcom. "The Strange Tale of the Norden Bombsight." TEDx. TEDx, July 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Legge, Charles. "The Sky's Nordern Star; Prized Weapon: Bomb Aimer's View of the Norden Bombsight Mounted on a Flying Fortress." Daily Mail (London). N.p., 5 June 2008. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Mikesh, Robert C. Japan's World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1973. Print.

 

 

"Norden Bombsight Principles #1." YouTube. The Army Air Forces, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

"Norden Bombsight Principles #2." YouTube. The Army Air Forces, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Norwak. "Company History." Norden Retirees Club. Norden Retirees Club, 2014. Web. 9 Apr. 2015

 

 

Richmond, Kew. "Accuracy Of Night Bombing Of German Cities." The National Archives. The National Archives, 2004. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

 

 

Rip, Michael Russell, and James M. Hasik. The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 2002. Print.

 

 

"The BOMBSIGHT." Giving the Precision and Accuracy of Artillery 33.4 (1943): 103+. Legends In Their Own Time. Legends In Their Own Time. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

 

 

United States. National Park Service. "Second-Generation Norden Bombsight Vault -- Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Volta, Torrey. "How the Norden Bombsight Does Its Job." Popular Science June 1945, June 25c ed.: 70-73. Google. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

Wittaker, Wayne. "The Bombsight That Thinks." Bomb Sight; Automatic Pilot;1945. Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1945. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.