Fancy That!


The BBC’s Lisa Jardine gives us her point of view…..

A point of view: When historical fiction is more truthful than historical fact

Fiction has the power to fill in the imaginative gaps left by history, writes Lisa Jardine.

In my search for understanding the motivation of those who joined the race to produce the bomb whose use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki appalled the world, I eventually decided to turn from fact to fiction. If historians could not fill the gaps in the record that made the knowledge I was after so elusive, perhaps storytellers less shackled by documented evidence might do so.



Yes, less shackled by documentary evidence…that is a bit of pain isn’t it having to have evidence for your journalism.

On that basis I imagine the BBC prefers this method of interpreting the Koran....

‘This reading of the spirit of Islam, its true core meaning, transcending any scriptural formalities.’


Documentary evidence and actual scriptual formalities such as what the Koran actually says are such a nuisance and an unnecessary curb on our particular understanding of any subject.  So much better to make it up to fit in with your own world view…just say ‘Islam is the religion of peace’…..and all the pain goes away.



Always interesting who the BBC plucks from off the street to present its programmes…Giles Fraser, Stacey Dooley, Michael Portillo and Lisa Jardine who writes such delightful tomes such as  What’s Left?: Women in Culture and the Labour Movement  and Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory.

No surprise perhaps that in this article Jardine manages to have a go at Mrs Thatcher…managing to quote this:

“Dorothy did not have a very high opinion of Thatcher,” she went on. “As a chemist she thought her average; as a politician she deeply disapproved of her.”





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45 Responses to Fancy That!

  1. Guess Who says:

    “whose use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki appalled the world”

    I can only speak for my Dad, but while awed and amazed may come close, ‘appalled’ did not.

    He may have been a wee bit influenced by no longer facing having to fight every inch of the way to Tokyo through millions of civilian adults and kids mixed in with combat troops determined to fight to the death. The ruthlessness of military triage can actually be the most compassionate.

    Mum, too, as she was delivered back her soul mate unscathed.

    It’s possible our Lisa may have spoken, BBC-style, for all.


    • Jerry Fletcher says:

      ‘A point of view’ – beyond your comprehension it seems.

      Maybe Pa and Ma were delighted by the nuking of millions of civilians but I imagine its possibly to still think it was necessary. Nice folks you had.


      • Guess Who says:

        You clearly feel taking a default contrarian view no matter what serves the BBC, Jerry. Good luck with that.

        Along with inserting your own words to serve your attempted narrative better in presuming to speak for all.


        • Jerry Fletcher says:

          ‘Along with inserting your own words to serve your attempted narrative’

          Pot/kettle anyone?


      • TigerOC says:

        Perhaps your time would better spent studying the reports of the American Forces’ progress across the Pacific islands towards Japan instead of making ill informed comments.

        The Battle of Iwo Jima would be a logical starting point. When you have read these reports and watched the historical video records you will probably have different attitude.


      • pah says:

        They say that the first casualty of war is the truth but in your case it would seem that, in true socialist style, you are still killing the damn thing long after the end of hostilities.

        ‘Millions’ of civilians? The combined population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was around 610, 000 of which 140,000 died instantly or on the same day and 210,000 died of the effects later. Not even close to one million.

        Baring in mind that the fire bombing of Tokyo killed 100,000 people and the invasion of Okinawa 150,000 Japanese alone the death toll in Japan from a concerted carpet bombing would well have been in the millions. As it was the war killed a million Japanese.

        The two bombs saved lives by ending a very bloody war.


    • Amounderness Lad says:

      The fathers of most of my friends when I was a child were also delighted about Hiroshima and Nagasaki being Japanese Prisoners of War. They did not know precisely what had happened at the time but knew it was something major because their captors attitudes suddenly changed towards them and they realised that suddenly there was a chance that they might not only survive but would eventually be released to return home.

      The World being Appalled versions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the version spun later by the Left along with their revisionist version of the reasons for the Japanese Surrender manufactured as part of their Cold War anti-West support for the Soviet Union.

      The Left’s revised version of what happened is that the Japanese were already about to surrender so the Americans rushed in to drop the bombs before they had the chance. That version completely brushes aside the fact that, even after the bombs had been used and the Emperor had recorded his surrender speech it had to be smuggled out of the Emperor’s Palace in order for it to be broadcast because the Military were known to be determined to intercept it and prevent it being broadcast in order to continue fighting. And no, that is not a version spread by the evil Americans to excuse using the bombs, that is the version told by those responsible for getting the recording out of the Palace to get it to the Radio Station for broadcast.


      • BBC fostering left of centre thinking says:

        And in that speech the Emperor tells the Japanese people that they must “endure the unendurable”, the unendurable being surrender. Only with this injunction from the Emperor, who had God-like status, would the Japanese accept surrender.


  2. Umbongo says:

    Given a choice between the deaths of 100,000+ enemy civilians and around 2,000,000 US soldiers I reckon dropping the bomb was not only practical but a moral act. While i’m on, I recall commenting on another Points of View by Lisa in 2008 (?) when she advocated the trial and imprisonment of global warming “deniers”. Obviously she ticks all the boxes for an “impartial” commentator for the BBC.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      She also ticks the box for one of the BBC’s “best scientific experts”. I bet she thinks fictional scientist such as herself, are better qualified than factual scientists labelled “Global Warming Deniers” by the EnvironMENTAL morons.

      I am a post-1997 Global Warming denier, but in my defence my Lord, I am a pre-1997 Global Warming believer. Life imprisonment Mr Pinder, but suspended or as they say, paused, Thanks my Lord.


  3. Richard Pinder says:

    Its well known that the motivation of those who joined the race to produce the bomb was fear that the National Socialists would get there first, but it came too late to be used on them and was used to end the war with Japan instead.

    But its no surprise that the BBC would employ its preferred “Best Experts” who are therefore pig ignorant of facts, because they prefer the fictions of left-wing wishful thinking.


  4. stewart says:

    While trawling the benighted vaults of the internet recently I came across a suggestion that the Japanese had ( presumably with Nazi help) successfully tested nuclear weapon off coast of Korea late in 1945 and this is why America went ahead with attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki despite Japan being already defeated
    Does anyone know if there is anything in this ?


    • Guess Who says:

      I’d say not.

      Never heard of it before, and a nuke is a hard thing to keep secret, especially if being played with by the losing side. It would probably have been mentioned by now.

      There have been tales of last U-boats bearing mystery goodies from the fallen Reich out East, but with 40s A-tech it falls down to scale.

      Little Boy and Fat Man were the result of a vast military-industrial complex, possible only by the USA at the time, and Russia thereafter.

      And in the highest stakes game of poker ever played, who and when and where they were deployed was crucial to leaving the Emperor and halfway sensible government alive long enough to believe that they needed to fold, and quick.

      If they hadn’t, it would have got tricky.

      Japan was ‘defeated’ essentially at Midway, but the resistance using conventional methods at each island to the mainland made further attrition beyond imagination.

      Every Japanese soldier would have died, and a vast proportion of the civilian population, along with too many Allied troops to contemplate.


      • stewart says:

        your probably right , this story came from elderly Japanese intelligence officer (allegedly)
        Bear in mind though that Los Alamos tests were kept from the general public, and as well as the mystery of why the Nazis didn’t get the bomb first , there is the mystery of Americas treatment of defeated japan , no war crime trials or reparations for them.


        • Guess Who says:

          I think there were war crimes trials, though not on the scale or coverage as Nuremberg. Certainly Divine Windbag Tojo didn’t come off too well having opted out of what he’d been advocating for the troops earlier.

          Possibly bearing in mind the errors of the Armistice and certainly the threats of Communism bearing down, some pretty mature calls were made. Generous ones. The Marshall Plan, on top of the bank canvasses created by Bomber Marris and Curtis LeMay’s Lancs, B-17s & B-29s, led to the potent German and Japanese economic recoveries.

          Not too sure to many deals were done with the Japanese as were rather shamefully with such as Von Braun.

          Keeping the Emperor in place, despite his role beforehand, was simply necessary.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      No, the National Socialists were crippled by left-wing ideological anti-Semitism, which prevented progress, because they had a committee of politicised scientists who dismissed essential facts, due to Jewish science being classed as bullshit. Which is identical to the roll of the BBC’s “best scientific experts” who in the main weren’t even scientists.


      • stewart says:

        Yes I’m aware of the ‘Jewish science’ explanation but it didn’t seem to hold the Germans back in other areas of technology ,Don’t forget it was a group of dedicated Nazis that helped put an American on the moon


        • Arthur Penney says:

          The comment when Yuri Gagarin went into space was ‘Their German Scientists are better than our German scientists’

          For fun


        • Richard Pinder says:

          Heisenberg eventually got around the Jewish science problem, by attributing Jewish science to himself, if he thought no one else would notice. So if the Nazis won the war, then we would probably be living in a world with Heisenberg’s Theory of Relativity. But this did delay development of a German Atom Bomb, as did the Allied destruction of heavy water production and supplies, and other bombing missions.


          • Sceptical Steve says:

            Ironically, it was Heisenburg who effectively killed off Nazi Germany’s atomic weapon development because he hugely over-estimated the critical mass of fissile material that would be required. This convinced that Nazi leadership that there was no chance of engineering a viable delivery system for an atomic weapon.


    • Ian Rushlow says:

      Neither Germany or Japan had any capability for producing an atomic bomb – not even close. However, U-boat U-234 was dispatched to Japan towards the end of the war, carrying around 1000 kg of Uranium Oxide. This could have been fashioned into a crude radiological or “dirty bomb”, essentially a conventional bomb packed with radioactive material. U-234 surrendered to American forces on 14th May 1945, so its cargo never arrived in Japan but ironically was almost certainly used in the preparation of the bombs later used on Japan. There is circumstantial evidence that a dirty bomb attack on the West Coast of the USA was contemplated, using the Japanese I-400 class submarines, which had the capability to transport and launch planes across the Pacific. There was a fairly good documentary about this shown on Discovery or the History Channel a couple of years ago.


      • stewart says:

        And yet post war ‘bankrupt Britian’ built a bomb from scratch in under 18 months.


        • Ian Rushlow says:

          It certainly was a bankrupt Britain, but it took a bit more than 18 months. The decision to pursue an atomic bomb was taken by the Maud Committee in January 1940. The effort was later transferred to the American Manhattan project, which involved most of Britain’s nuclear talent (and in particular William Penney). After the war, the US reneged on the deal to share nuclear secrets as a result of the 1946 McMahon Act. Britain took the decision to go it alone in January 1947 and our first bomb (“Hurricane”) was exploded in October 1952. A remarkable achievement, but nearly six years dedicated effort and against a backdrop of considerable knowledge and research.


          • stewart says:

            Have read that viable bomb was available in 49 ,the then Labour government fearful that an incoming Conservative Government would cancel project to stay onside with Americans prioritized its development.
            How true that is I cant say but either way it was done with little resource from scratch as Americans denied any assistance.


            • Ian Rushlow says:

              The lack of help from the Americans is true. However, the fissile material used in the first British Bombs came from Windscale (Sellafield) and the first reactor there did not become operational until Oct 1950, meaning the bomb could not have been built before about mid-1951 earliest. It should be pointed out that the bomb project was initiated by the Attlee government and championed by Ernest Bevin. Cabinet papers show that Churchill was keen to progress the project following the election of the Conservative government.


              • Sceptical Steve says:

                I’m guessing that your comments about Windscale only refer to a Plutonium bomb. The UK first installed the centrifuges to produce weapons-grade Uranium at the Valley Works at Rhydymwyn in the early 1940s. Much of this equipment (and the scientific team) was subsequently transferred to Los Alamos when the US bought into the project and effectively took it over.


  5. Llareggub says:

    My father like thousands of others was due to fight the Japanese Island by Island, with massive loss of lives on both sides. Thank God for the bomb, and for my science tutor who was one of the Britons who worked on the bomb and whose motivations were guided by his desire for scientific knowledge and a desire to bring the war to an end, and in later years was awarded scientific honours from Japan for his scientific contributions to medicine in that country.

    Who is this Lisa Jardine who prefers fiction to the honorable activities of brave people in difficult times?


    • BBCSceptic says:

      I was born in November 1945. My late father told me that in the summer of that year his paratroop regiment had been issued with kit in preparation for dropping on one of the Japanese home Islands. If those atomic weapons had not been deployed I believe it highly probable I would never have known my father and he would never have got to see his son.


  6. Fred Bloggs says:

    It is the addled thinking of academics like Jardine that has taken this country down the plughole. She is used by the bBC quite a lot, so that means she is some greeny, lefty, be nice to everyone IDIOT. I suspect her guilt complex comes from some work her father (Brownowski) did on the bomb.

    So let me put her conscience straight, far more people were killed by the fire raids on cities, a few weeks before the bombs were dropped. Also the japs has issued orders to murder all POWs before they withdrew back to Japan. My dad survived 4 years in one of their POW camps and the the reason I can write and tell this silly old bat that she is an educated IDIOT is because of the BOMB.


  7. Demon says:

    I can’t believe the daughter of Bronowski is one of the Beeb’s educated idiots! Apparently the renaissance is her area so 1945 clearly bewilders her.


  8. TPO says:

    “…. whose use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki appalled the world”

    What utter shite. And it could only have come from the BBC.
    The sheer stupidity of that comment beggars belief.
    A brief bio of this woman:
    Lisa Jardine is professor of Renaissance studies at University College, London, where she is director of the Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects. Says it all really.
    Also the daughter of Jacob Bronowski (how!!)
    Okinawa was the taste of what was to come in any invasion of Japan. Thank God the bombs were dropped.
    But I suppose it is only to be expected that the BBC would give this vacuous entity airtime.

    By coincidence, last night I watched again ‘Sisters of War’ on a US channel. Not sure if it’s being aired in the UK but worth watching.
    A true story of an Australian army nurse and an Australian nun captured by the Japanese and the privations, starvation, beatings and torture that they endured.

    God help us if whack jobs like Jardine and the BBC are allowed to get away with rewriting history


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  10. deegee says:

    We were always told that courageous commando attacks on heavy water facilities in Norway were the blow that crippled German efforts to develop the bomb. In addition all the great European physicists were helping the American effort. Another factor, which I can’t verify, was perhaps the German scientists deliberately slowed the project.

    With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight the bombing could have been conducted differently with a ‘demonstration’ bomb dropped on an under populated area or even into the sea with the message surrender or else. The second bomb on Nagasaki, only three days later, was overkill and could have been delayed or abandoned. There is some evidence that the Japanese High Command really didn’t know what had happened to Hiroshima, due to the elimination of the entire command structure and communications of the city. Hiroshima was a long way away from Tokyo.

    The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in 1946 charged Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders with the crime of conspiracy to wage war and more than 5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with other crimes, mostly entailing prisoner abuse. China held 13 tribunals of its own, resulting in 504 convictions and 149 executions. (Gleaned from Wikipedia)


    • RJ says:

      I’ve always believed that the possibility of the Germans building a bomb was the reason that the US agreed to the “Germany First” policy, despite vocal opposition to the policy in the US where the popular anger was directed against Japan.

      As to demonstrating the power of the bomb, they only had two. Truman had to show the Japanese how destructive it was and that he was ruthless enough to use it, so they were both used on cities.

      Other than that I agree with the lead article and the comments. The woman has no understanding of the motivation of the scientists nor the public response in 1945.


      • therealguyfaux says:

        As far as having only two bombs, don’t forget they had to build one to test at Trinity, as a “proof of concept” if you will. When the test went as well as planned and the design was pronounced a success, plans were made to “mass-produce” them; a third bomb was available on August 14 (for use anytime after the 17th), when the cease-fire went into effect following the Emperor’s capitulation, and three more were being built, with yet another three waiting to be constructed, on that date.


    • stewart says:

      “which I can’t verify, was perhaps the German scientists deliberately slowed the project”
      At time of original production of above mentioned play , I remember apologists for the cat man maintained that he had misled Nazis on the amount of uranium required and had therefore made it seem less viable
      The other explanation for the dropping of bombs on the already destroyed Japan was that it was a demonstration of capability and intent for the benefit of Stalin.
      If that is the case you could argue that many millions of lives were saved by the dropping of those two bombs


      • Di Blanchard says:

        By “the cat man” I assume you mean Erwin Schrödinger, in which case I think you’ll find that having been dismissed from his post at the University of Graz he managed to get out of Austria to Italy and from there to neutral Dublin, where he stayed until his retirement becoming an Irish citizen on the way (he was a friend of fellow mathematician Eamon de Valera by the way). So no question of involvment in the German bomb project.

        I think it possible that you were actually thinking of Werner Heisenberg, the Uncertainty Principle man. I certainly remember being told by my school physics teacher the story of how he deliberately held up the German bomb project. I’ve no idea if it is true or not but he was certainly in contact with his colleague Niels Bohr who worked on the German bomb project in Copenhagen from the invasion of Denmark to his hearing in 1943 that he was about to be arrested, whereupon he escaped to the US and worked on the Manhattan Project.

        Sorry for all this detail but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s important to get the facts right 🙂


        • stewart says:

          I do indeed , i was refer to Heisnberg as my reference to the play about wich above article is about would indicate.


  11. Colonel Blimp says:

    let me see, privately educated, Oxbridge, appointed by Labour into a senior quango sinecure in 2008 – I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that she’s at the small-L liberal end of the political spectrum, the woolly-middle-class end


  12. George R says:

    “Slaying Ever Smaller Dragons”

    by Douglas Murray


  13. Miv Tucker says:

    Quite by chance I picked up a copy of Jardine’s “Going Dutch” from a second-hand bookstall a few weeks ago, as I’m quite interested in the period she’s writing about and thought it might make a valuable contribution to my knowledge.

    Let me tell you that it’s unreadable: I barely made it past the first chapter, and won’t be returning to it.

    If nothing else, the book badly needed a good editor – for example, she repeats material from preceding chapters as if that was the first time we were reading that material.

    I suspect I’ll giving any other of her books a widish berth in future.


    • chrisH says:

      Wasn`t the snappy title for Geert Wilders “Book Of The Week” re his political autobiography was it?
      Nah, maybe not…


  14. chrisH says:

    I do get confused with this type of well-placed lefty lady that seems to get onto all the right shows and quangos.
    Suzi Leather, Sue Slipman(remember her?), Lisa Jardine,Tessa Blackstone, Joan Bakewell, Mary Beard, AL Kennedy, Jack Monroe…now White Dee as well, I`m guessing?
    This is one rich seam of bluestocking isn`t it?…add Jenni Murray and all those liberal lefties like Wark and Flanders, and the Filipino housemaid bill goes through the roof.
    Makes Poverty History though doesn`t it?…and ensures that another nations mums need not bother themselves with actually bringing up their children back home.
    Stopes and Greer would be happy.
    Noted Maxine Peake getting half an hour to herself as she plays Shakespeare or whatever…the Lenny Henry gambit there, where a token Lefty gets a puff piece from someones civil partner in return for the “Correct View” of all things Guardian!
    Despicable-but as predictable as usual with the Godawful pink palace that is the BBC


  15. George R says:

    For the fanciful political ‘left’:

    – the reality of Islamic Republic of Iran-

    “Iran executes man for interpreting Qur’anic story as symbolic tale”