On this day in 1945

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  • Thread starter Adam
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  • #1
Adam
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Actually on the 6th and 9th, but...

http://www.dannen.com/decision/

According to Admiral William D. Leahy, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Truman's Chief of Staff: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... In being the first to use it [the atomic bomb], we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages."

"Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'... It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." (General Dwight David Eisenhower Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in Europe).

"It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell." (UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)

"Certainly prior to 31 December 1945... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated." (US Strategic Bombing Survey, 1946.)

"General Curtis LeMay: 'The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb.'

Field Marshal Montgomery ( Commander of all UK Forces in Europe) wrote in his History of Warfare: It was unnecessary to drop the two atom bombs on Japan in August 1945, and I cannot think it was right to do so .... the dropping of the bombs was a major political blunder and is a prime example of the declining standards of the conduct of modern war.

Truman's Chief of Staff, Admiral Leahy, wrote: It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons ... In being the first to use it, we adopted an ethical standard common to the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in this fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

"The dropping of the first atomic bomb was also an act of pure terrorism. It fulfilled no military purpose of any kind. Belatedly it has been disclosed that seven months before it was dropped, in January 1945, President Roosevelt received via General MacArthur's headquarters an offer by the Japanese Government to surrender on terms virtually identical to those accepted by the United States after the dropping of the bomb: in July 1945, as we now know, Roosevelt's successor, President Truman, discussed with Stalin at Bebelsberg the Japanese offer to surrender....The Japanese people were to be enlisted as human guinea-pigs for a scientific experiment."
- F.J.P Veale, Advance To Barbarism: The Development Of Total Warfare From Serajevo To Hiroshima (California: Institute for Historical Review, 1979), pp.352-53.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
thankyou, we need to remember
 
  • #3
Adam
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The two biggest terrorist events this planet has ever seen, and only one person here gave a damn. Interesting.
 
  • #4
Mattius_
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actually recent studies show that johnson used the bomb almsot solely to scare the russians...
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Adam
The two biggest terrorist events this planet has ever seen, and only one person here gave a damn. Interesting.
Actually, more were killed in the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden.

To me there isn't much difference between a couple of big bombs and a lot of little bombs - the purpose and effects are roughly the same. Both are to be avoided in the future if possible.
 
  • #6
Mattius, I think you've got the wrong president, wrong decade. Twas Harry S. Truman sent the bomb. As I've heard, there was indeed a final ultimatum to the Japanese, which they did not heed. Use of the bomb was motivated in part by fear of the Japanese - their fanatical devotion to their emperor, and technological prowess. The nation would have been bombed to smitherines before the populace would give up the emperor.
Lots of dough was spent on the top secret Manhattan project, and a concentration of scientific expertise unmatched in history until then. The nation wouldn't have developed the bomb if there was doubt it would've been needed at least as a deterrant. This is a cold analysis though and a deterrant effect could've been reached with a demonstration of the weapon on a non-civilian target.
 
  • #7
Shadow
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The two biggest terrorist events this planet has ever seen, and only one person here gave a damn. Interesting.


It was the wrong thing to do but first, what would your country have done at that time? First you dont know and second they didnt have that technology and third you weren't leading the fight against the japanese. And terrorist attack? ha. Wrong thing to do, yes terrorist attack no. Terrorist attacks are World Trade Center type things: un provoked attacks on civilians etc. And funny you say

only one person here gave a damn. Interesting


If you care so much why was it not you to post this topic?
 
  • #8
Adam
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Originally posted by Shadow
It was the wrong thing to do but first, what would your country have done at that time? First you dont know and second they didnt have that technology and third you weren't leading the fight against the japanese. And terrorist attack? ha. Wrong thing to do, yes terrorist attack no. Terrorist attacks are World Trade Center type things: un provoked attacks on civilians etc. And funny you say
1) Um... Read some history. Australia was in there against the Japanese.

2) A terrorist attack, to me, is an attack against a clearly civilian target. As you so eloquently put it: "un provoked attacks on civilians etc". That's what happened in 1945.

3) Please read the material I supplied in the opening post of this thread.

Originally posted by Shadow

If you care so much why was it not you to post this topic?
Look again. It was me.
 
  • #9
haha! you tell em! why do americains think they are always the only people fighting a war? japanese submarines and bombers made it to our cities and killed our people! but we recognise these actions were orchestrated by a government and not a population of innocent civilians.

why is it that instead of recognising the mistakes of the past on such a sad anniversary some people choose to continue the fight, hence learning nothing from these mistakes.
 
  • #10
Zantra
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Let's not turn this into a finger pointing session.

Those bombs never should have been dropped. One of Einstien's greatest regrets was sending that letter to Roosevelt urging him to pursue development of the weapons to compete with Germany.

One thing I never understood- why did it take two nukes? They should have capitulated after just one bomb. Two was completely unecessary.

It's not that I didn't care, but the post heading was obscure.
 
  • #11
Originally posted by Zantra


One thing I never understood- why did it take two nukes? They should have capitulated after just one bomb. Two was completely unecessary.


Pure psychology, I think. America only had the two bombs, I think, and certainly couldn't pump out many. Using both of them gave the impression that the first one wasn't a fluke, and America could do it again and again, every few days.
 
  • #12
Originally posted by Zantra

One thing I never understood- why did it take two nukes? They should have capitulated after just one bomb.

funny thing was they had pretty much completely capitulated before the first bomb was dropped!

ha...ha
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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Originally posted by steppenwolf
funny thing was they had pretty much completely capitulated before the first bomb was dropped!
Pretty much? All it takes is two little magic words and they didn't say them. So the second one was dropped.
 
  • #14
Andy
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What else where the Americans to do? If they ahd invaded Japan then the amount of casualties to ALL concerned would have been huge. The Americans had to pursue the developement of the Atom Bomb, if they hadnt and the Germans had managed to create an Atom bomb then they would have almost certainly won the war. And the Germans where very close to having a missile that could have reached America so dont think you where out of reach.
 
  • #15
IMHO...

Well, I'm sure there were many, many, things to consider prior to dropping these new (at that time) bombs. You may not agree with what I’m going to say, but it is nevertheless my own opinion that all other considerations were secondary to providing the world with an invaluable lesson; to demonstrate precisely where man’s destructive warring nature, coupled with an ever increasing degree of technological prowess, could take him.

Yes, I really think it was meant as a lesson, or do you think my religion is showing?
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Deterrence of the Soviets may have played a part, but I don't think it was the overriding factor. I think we proved our military prowess without it.
 
  • #17
It does seem excessive when you think about Truman trying to impress Stalin, yet Stalin already knew all about it by spies at Los Alamos.
 
  • #18
Andy
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I think showing off also played a big part, ive got a bigger gun than you was what was being shown there. It was also a quick and easy way to end a war.
 
  • #19
Lyuokdea
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0
a couple people here need to learn history, granted, the dropping of the atomic bomb was a horrible decision which was mearly part of a horrible war, let me state some facts.

1. Almost all analysts state that a land invasion and conventional bombing of Japan would have killed hundreds of thousands more civilians then the atomic bombs did. Remember the Dresden firebombing killed far more than both atomic bombs did combined.

2. Japan was not about to capitulate, there was a japanese study published a couple weeks ago, there was an article in the local paper, I'm still trying to find the study and I'll post it if I do, anyway, a study by japanese researchers found that even after the second atomic bomb, the military leaders of japan still opposed surrender. the thing that lead to the surrender of Japan was not the bombing of nagasaki, but instead, an american fighter pilot who was shot down sometime in Aug. of '45 who knew nothing about the atomic bomb project, but after being tortured told the japanese that america was planning to blow up every japanese city within the next week. And even after that, many military leaders still resisted the idea of surrender

3. Just some more emphasis on japan not being ready to surrender, on remote islands, the U.S army was still fighting with Japanese soldiers as late as 1958, who were down in foxholes and refused to surrender.

4. I believe nuclear war currently would be the most horrible fate, and nuclear weapons should be dismantled now, but at the time when only one nation had them, and that nation had very little knowledge about how powerful nuclear weapons could become, a decision to at that time either kill maybe 500,000 people or 250,000 people, the atomic weapon was the better idea at the time.
 
  • #20
The Japanese were on the verge of surrender, Little Boy and Fat Man cost 75,000 and 30,000 ... 105,000 lives roughly, and it put us at odds with the Russians when our intelligence was not that good, launching the Cold War. Fear (and morbid curiosity?) motivated us to use them on cities, I bet Roosevelt wouldn't have.
 
  • #21
Adam
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a couple people here need to learn history, granted, the dropping of the atomic bomb was a horrible decision which was mearly part of a horrible war, let me state some facts.
Supporting evidence for your "facts"?

1. Almost all analysts state that a land invasion and conventional bombing of Japan would have killed hundreds of thousands more civilians then the atomic bombs did. Remember the Dresden firebombing killed far more than both atomic bombs did combined.
Bollocks. Show us these analyses. I have shown what the military leaders of the time thought. Either they knew what they were talking about, or you (who were not there and have provided no supporting evidence for your claims) are somehow more knowledgable than they were.

2. Japan was not about to capitulate, there was a japanese study published a couple weeks ago, there was an article in the local paper, I'm still trying to find the study and I'll post it if I do, anyway, a study by japanese researchers found that even after the second atomic bomb, the military leaders of japan still opposed surrender. the thing that lead to the surrender of Japan was not the bombing of nagasaki, but instead, an american fighter pilot who was shot down sometime in Aug. of '45 who knew nothing about the atomic bomb project, but after being tortured told the japanese that america was planning to blow up every japanese city within the next week. And even after that, many military leaders still resisted the idea of surrender
Bollocks. Show us these analyses. I have shown what the military leaders of the time thought. Either they knew what they were talking about, or you (who were not there and have provided no supporting evidence for your claims) are somehow more knowledgable than they were.

3. Just some more emphasis on japan not being ready to surrender, on remote islands, the U.S army was still fighting with Japanese soldiers as late as 1958, who were down in foxholes and refused to surrender.
Yes, word travelled slowly, or not at all, to some pockets. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Japan or their surrender or the nukes.

4. I believe nuclear war currently would be the most horrible fate, and nuclear weapons should be dismantled now, but at the time when only one nation had them, and that nation had very little knowledge about how powerful nuclear weapons could become, a decision to at that time either kill maybe 500,000 people or 250,000 people, the atomic weapon was the better idea at the time.
Bollocks. Show us these analyses. I have shown what the military leaders of the time thought. Either they knew what they were talking about, or you (who were not there and have provided no supporting evidence for your claims) are somehow more knowledgable than they were.
 
  • #22
Lyuokdea
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I really think copying the same sentence to answer three different arguments is very convincing, but if you really need me to get more evidence, here it is:

1. From The Wall Street Journal -

Marshall also knew from the Magic decrypts that the Japanese home islands were to be defended from invasion and occupation by 2.3 million troops, another four million Army and Navy employees and a newly created armed militia numbering 25 million. These defenders were sworn to fight to the death, which so many Japanese troops had done in battles throughout the Pacific.

Suddenly, and only after being advised about the buildup of Japanese forces and fortifications by Magic intelligence, MacArthur medical staff revised its pre-invasion needs for hospital beds upwards by 300%. MacArthur's chief surgeon, Brig. Gen. Guy Denit, estimated that a 120-day campaign to invade and occupy only the island of Kyushu would result in 395,000 casualties. – (note, that’s only American Casualties)

Yet the evidence is crystal clear. The use of nuclear weapons to end World War II quickly and decisively averted the death or maiming of hundreds of thousands American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. It also saved the lives of some 400,000 Allied prisoners of war and civilian detainees in Japanese hands, all of whom were to be executed in the event of an American invasion of Japan. Above all, it saved untold hundreds of thousands more Japanese-perhaps millions-from becoming casualties

note those paragraphs are not in that order in the paper, I just pulled the most important parts out, there was no change in meaning or anything if you flip them around, if you question that, read the paper.

2. Encyclopedia Britannica - http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cach...command--summoned+the+Cabinet+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

On August 9 the second atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki, killing 39,000 people. On that day the Voice of the Sacred Crane--the emperor's command--summoned the Cabinet to an audience. Hirohito expressed his wish that Japan accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration on the sole condition that the emperor remain sovereign. To continue the war, he said, would be suicidal. And then, perhaps realizing the irony of that remark, he turned to the military men and noted that their performance had fallen rather short of their promises. Even at that late date some fanatical officers attempted a coup on the palace grounds rather than submit.

3. I'm just attempting to make a statement, that no matter what we did, the Japanese would continue to fight, we had signed pamphletes we brought in past Japanese fighters, we did everything to convince these soldiers that their government had surrendered and even 13 years later, some would still fight out to the death, that mentality, which was also present on the mainland, would make it extreamely costly to fight Japan in a conventional battle.

4. The first stuff answers this, but you can also look at this, also from the Encyclopedia Britannica Article

Three means suggested themselves: invasion, inducement, and shock. The first would involve a lengthy, brutal campaign in which, it was estimated, hundreds of thousands of American and perhaps 2,000,000 Japanese lives would be lost. Yet the Joint Chiefs had no choice but to prepare for this eventuality, and by May 25 they had instructed MacArthur to plan Operation "Olympic," an invasion of Kyushu, for November 1.
 
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  • #23
russ_watters
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I agree completely with Lyuokdea. I'd let it go because as with religion, this is one of those issues that some people feel so passionate about there is little room for rational arguement. For some reason, the entire attitude of the Japanese up to that point in time is overlooked by those who would like to show we didn't need to drop the bomb.

In addition, the body count of the two bombings likely puts them out of the top ten in deadliest events of the war. Rationally, people should be more upset about the fire-bombing of Dresden, but they are not. But like most everything having to do with atomic energy (including peaceful use), irrational fear wins out over rational analysis.

Adam, your quotes are nice, but they are not necessarily representative. Noteably absent are most of the very people who would know the Japanese disposition: the commanders of the forces in the Pacific. Certainly someone who experienced Japansese soldiers fighting to the death or civilians comitting suicide en masse to avoid capture would have a different perspective.

Also, those quotes are not to be found at the provided link. Perhaps its through another link from that link, but I'm not going to go looking from it.

In any case, the link you provided focused almost entirely on the objections of scientists and said very little about the realities of the war.
 
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  • #24
Adam
42
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Lyuokdea

I really think copying the same sentence to answer three different arguments is very convincing, but if you really need me to get more evidence, here it is:
Your previous assertions were so generic and baseless that a single sentence sufficed for all of them.

On August 9 the second atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki, killing 39,000 people. On that day the Voice of the Sacred Crane--the emperor's command--summoned the Cabinet to an audience. Hirohito expressed his wish that Japan accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration on the sole condition that the emperor remain sovereign. To continue the war, he said, would be suicidal. And then, perhaps realizing the irony of that remark, he turned to the military men and noted that their performance had fallen rather short of their promises. Even at that late date some fanatical officers attempted a coup on the palace grounds rather than submit.
http://www.uic.com.au/nip29.htm
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp10.htm [Broken]

General resources:

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/g_l/levine/bombing.htm
http://www.lclark.edu/~history/HIROSHIMA/directory.html [Broken]
http://www.doug-long.com/
http://www.doug-long.com/hiroshim.htm
http://www.doug-long.com/anami.htm
http://www.doug-long.com/kido.htm
http://www.doug-long.com/togo.htm
http://www.dannen.com/szilard.html
http://www.lclark.edu/~history/HIROSHIMA/dirc-hist.html#historical [Broken]
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mpmenu.htm [Broken]

Please read what these important figures of the time said about it all: http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm
 
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  • #25
Lyuokdea
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your missing the point, your having an emotional response to the idea of nuclear weapons and believe that their use is always immoral, in this time of nuclear showdowns where weapons are pointed everywhere that is probably correct, but none of your sources offer any credible evidence that less people would have died in a ground invasion of Japan, so my point still stands that the atomic bombing of Japan saved japanese civilian lives in the end.

Now, weigh the detrimental effects both physical and psychological of the use of nuclear weapons against the death of millions of people and I will take the detrimental effects to save millions of lives any day.

most of the websites mearly talk about the devastation that came from hiroshima and how it completely destroyed the town, but let me fill you in. Devastation is a major part of any war mearly look at the firebombing of dresden, where 225,000 died, or 25,000 more people than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

during the fightings on the islands near japan, may-june 1945, 250,000 japanese non-combatants were killed, these are on the smaller islands, you can imagine what the civilian death toll would be if we attacked the main land, where 25 million japanese soldiers were ready.

overall 2 million japanese civilians were killed by western powers, only 10% during the atomic bombings, the war could have gone in even more populated areas for more than another year if the battle was waged conventionally

if there were 25 million japanese defenders on the island, it makes sense that if the u.s. did not use nuclear weapons, the firebombing of almost all of japan would be the only answer, 130,000 died in tokyo in May 1945, the carpet bombing itself would have killed many more than the nuclear alternative.

if you give me any credible evidence that a convetional attack would have saved more lives than a nuclear attack then this is worth a continuing debate, but, otherwise you are simply weighing millions of lives against "the evils of nuclear weapons" where any rational person would choose to save lives
 
  • #26
Adam
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Lyuokdea

your missing the point, your having an emotional response to the idea of nuclear weapons and believe that their use is always immoral...
1) I am not having an emotional respsonse. Please show some evidence to support the assertion. The good old "you're just being emotional" is often used to discredit someone's words, but the fact is I have not said anything regarding my own emotional responses to the events.

2) I find that the claim "more people would have died if we didn't sue the nukes" is only ever said by Americans, and is basically a duck-and-cover, a way for them to avoid considering their nation's actions and avoid any possible feeling of having done something "wrong".

3) I have not once mentioned whether the nuking was moral or immoral. I did, however, call it terrorism. I consider terrorism the act of deliberately attacking innocent civilians to further some political, military, or economic (sometimes the three are the same) cause.

... but none of your sources offer any credible evidence that less people would have died in a ground invasion of Japan, so my point still stands that the atomic bombing of Japan saved japanese civilian lives in the end.
This is where "logic" comes in handy. You can not base your reasons on a great big "IF", a mighty "What IF?". None of my sources mysteriously viewed the future and brought back undoubtable evidence of what would have happened in there had been a ground invasion rather than nukes. Similarly, none of your sources mysteriously viewed the future and brought back undoubtable evidence of what would have happened in there had been a ground invasion rather than nukes. Putting it very simply, saying "more people might have died without the nukes" is basically a completely baseless and empty assertion which has no place in any rational discussion. So please stop doing it. The quotes I have provided from people involved in the mess at the time are quotes about the state of the war and Japan at the time, and not any random musings about possible, hypothetical future scenarios. Get it yet?

... so my point still stands that the atomic bombing of Japan saved japanese civilian lives in the end.
Please tell this to those who survived those bombings, and the relatives of those who died. Watch the bouncing ball: 1) Before the nukes, those scores of thousands of people were alive; 2) After the nukes, they were dead. 1 = alive. 2 = dead. Their lives were not saved. They were killed. How many ways does this need to be explained to you?

Now, weigh the detrimental effects both physical and psychological of the use of nuclear weapons against the death of millions of people and I will take the detrimental effects to save millions of lives any day.
Please see my second response in this post. "What IF"s are meaningless drivel.

most of the websites mearly talk about the devastation that came from hiroshima and how it completely destroyed the town, but let me fill you in. Devastation is a major part of any war mearly look at the firebombing of dresden, where 225,000 died, or 25,000 more people than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
Devastation is a part of any war? Wow. Didn't know that. Thanks. And yes, I consider the bombing of civilian targets in Tokyo, Dresden, Hamburg, and other places were also acts of terrorism.

And yes, they killed more people in some other bombing campaigns. Does this in any way negate the fact that the nukes killed a lot of people, or that they were deliberate attacks on civilians? No, it doesn't.

during the fightings on the islands near japan, may-june 1945, 250,000 japanese non-combatants were killed, these are on the smaller islands, you can imagine what the civilian death toll would be if we attacked the main land, where 25 million japanese soldiers were ready.
1) Please see my second response in this post. "What IF"s are meaningless drivel.

2) Please read the links I provided, especially those regarding the surrender.

overall 2 million japanese civilians were killed by western powers, only 10% during the atomic bombings, the war could have gone in even more populated areas for more than another year if the battle was waged conventionally
Please see my second response in this post. "What IF"s are meaningless drivel.

if there were 25 million japanese defenders on the island, it makes sense that if the u.s. did not use nuclear weapons, the firebombing of almost all of japan would be the only answer, 130,000 died in tokyo in May 1945, the carpet bombing itself would have killed many more than the nuclear alternative.
Saying "Bombing ALL of Japan instead of just two cities would have killed more people" is a work of genius. Did you think that up all by yourself? It's obvious, and irrelevent. The idea of "carpet-bombing" all of Japan is another "what if".

if you give me any credible evidence that a convetional attack would have saved more lives than a nuclear attack then this is worth a continuing debate, but, otherwise you are simply weighing millions of lives against "the evils of nuclear weapons" where any rational person would choose to save lives
Please see my second response in this post. "What IF"s are meaningless drivel.
 
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  • #27
Lyuokdea
149
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what if's is not what I am presenting, what exactly is your alternative to using nuclear weapons against japan, not using nuclear weapons against Japan? Surely, just ending the war at the beginning of August 1945 without a japanese surrender and just walking away would have lead to many more deaths in the end, so what exactly are you proposing that we do?

Here, answer this one question:

Lets say its August 1st, 1945, you are the Commander in chief, what do you decide to do:

a.) Use Nuclear Weapons against Japan
b.) Conventionally Bomb Japan until they surrender (Carpet Bombing)
c.) Prepare for a Land Invasion of Japan (note, empirical evidence from our invasion of Germany and common sense in General means we would have to Bomb at least Japan military targets before we invade)
d.) Blockade Japan with the Navy and attempt to starve out the population
e.) Sit around doing nothing and wait for Japan to surrender
f.) other, explain it precisely

My standing is not a what if scenario, the only reasonable options are a, b, c, or d as e would only lead to a remilitarization of Japan and they would eventually target. Of those options, the one which would lead to the least casualties would be the nuclear option.

Even E would eventually lead to more casualities as allowing Japan to regroup and remechanize for war would only lead to a much longer and much more costly war in the long run.

There were no other options, although nuclear weapons killed many innocent people, they saved many more who would have died under any other option.
 
  • #28
Adam
42
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Lyuokdea

what if's is not what I am presenting...
Yes, they are. Your entire argument for using nukes so far has been "more people would have died IF...".

... what exactly is your alternative to using nuclear weapons against japan, not using nuclear weapons against Japan?
Once again, refer to the information I have already provided:

According to Admiral William D. Leahy, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Truman's Chief of Staff: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons..."

"Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'... It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." (General Dwight David Eisenhower Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in Europe).

"It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell." (UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)

"Certainly prior to 31 December 1945... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated." (US Strategic Bombing Survey, 1946.)

General Curtis LeMay: "The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb."

Field Marshal Montgomery ( Commander of all UK Forces in Europe) wrote in his History of Warfare: "It was unnecessary to drop the two atom bombs on Japan in August 1945, and I cannot think it was right to do so .... the dropping of the bombs was a major political blunder and is a prime example of the declining standards of the conduct of modern war."

Truman's Chief of Staff, Admiral Leahy, wrote: "It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons..."

"The dropping of the first atomic bomb was also an act of pure terrorism. It fulfilled no military purpose of any kind. Belatedly it has been disclosed that seven months before it was dropped, in January 1945, President Roosevelt received via General MacArthur's headquarters an offer by the Japanese Government to surrender on terms virtually identical to those accepted by the United States after the dropping of the bomb: in July 1945, as we now know, Roosevelt's successor, President Truman, discussed with Stalin at Bebelsberg the Japanese offer to surrender....The Japanese people were to be enlisted as human guinea-pigs for a scientific experiment."
- F.J.P Veale, Advance To Barbarism: The Development Of Total Warfare From Serajevo To Hiroshima (California: Institute for Historical Review, 1979), pp.352-53.

And more: http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm


Surely, just ending the war at the beginning of August 1945 without a japanese surrender and just walking away would have lead to many more deaths in the end, so what exactly are you proposing that we do?
Once again, READ the stuff I provided.

Here, answer this one question:

Lets say its August 1st, 1945, you are the Commander in chief, what do you decide to do:

a.) Use Nuclear Weapons against Japan
b.) Conventionally Bomb Japan until they surrender (Carpet Bombing)
c.) Prepare for a Land Invasion of Japan (note, empirical evidence from our invasion of Germany and common sense in General means we would have to Bomb at least Japan military targets before we invade)
d.) Blockade Japan with the Navy and attempt to starve out the population
e.) Sit around doing nothing and wait for Japan to surrender
f.) other, explain it precisely
Given that: 1) the sea blockade was already crippling the Japanese military and industry; 2) the Japanese were trying to surrender; and 3) advisors had told me that there was no numerical advantage to be gained from nuking two civilian cities... I would have accepted Japanese entreaties to discuss surrender.

There were no other options, although nuclear weapons killed many innocent people, they saved many more who would have died under any other option.
Another "what if"? Great. Back to that again.
 
  • #29
Lyuokdea
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First, what you are calling "what if's" are the only possible way to in context decide if dropping the bomb was correct or not, without finding out what would happen if we didn't drop the bomb, we would have no basis for deciding if we should have dropped the bomb or not, secondly, my ideas are no more what if than your "What if we did nothing"

Now, for the refutation of the idea that Japan would have survived anyway:

First, it can not be deemed just coincidence, that Japan, after holding out for a year after destruction was imminent, surrendered less than a week after the first bomb was dropped, this by itself proves a direct correlation between the atomic bomb and the end of the war.


Excerpts From Pittsburgh Post Article 8-7-2003
---------------------------------------------------

The Japanese scholarship, by historians such as Sadao Asada of Doshisha University in Kyoto, notes that Japanese wartime leaders who favoured surrender saw their salvation in the atomic bombing. The Japanese military was steadfastly refusing to give up, so the peace faction seized on the bombing as a new argument to force surrender.

"We of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war," - Koichi Kido, one of the Emperor Hirohito's closest aides, said later.

Wartime records and memoirs show that the emperor and some of his aides wanted to end the war by summer 1945. But they were vacillating and couldn't prevail over a military that was determined to keep going even if that meant, as a navy official urged at one meeting, "sacrificing 20 million Japanese lives."

The atomic bombings broke this political stalemate and were thus described by Mitsumasa Yonai, the navy minister at the time, as a "gift from heaven."

Without the atomic bombings, Japan would have continued fighting by inertia. This would have meant more firebombing of Japanese cities and a ground invasion, planned for November 1945, of the main Japanese islands. The fighting over the small, sparsely populated islands of Okinawa had killed 14,000 Americans and 200,000 Japanese, and in the main islands the toll would have run into the millions.

"The atomic bomb was a golden opportunity given by heaven for Japan to end the war," Hisatsune Sakomizu, the chief Cabinet secretary in 1945, said later.

Some argue that the United States could have demonstrated the bomb on an uninhabited island, or could have encouraged surrender by promising that Japan could keep its emperor. Yes, perhaps, and we should have tried. We could also have waited longer before dropping the second bomb, on Nagasaki.

But, sadly, the record suggests that restraint would not have worked. The Japanese military ferociously resisted surrender even after two atomic bombings on major cities, even after Soviet entry into the war, even when it expected another atomic bomb -- on Tokyo.


One of the great tales of World War II concerns an American fighter pilot named Marcus McDilda who was shot down on Aug. 8 and brutally interrogated about the atomic bombs. He knew nothing, but under torture he "confessed" that the United States had 100 more nuclear weapons and planned to destroy Tokyo "in the next few days." The war minister informed the Cabinet of this news -- but still adamantly opposed surrender. In the aftermath of the atomic bombing, the emperor and peace faction finally insisted on surrender and were able to prevail.

It feels unseemly to defend the vaporizing of two cities, events that are regarded in some quarters as among the most monstrous acts of the 20th century. But we owe it to history to appreciate that the greatest tragedy of Hiroshima was not that so many people were incinerated in an instant, but that in a complex and brutal world, the alternatives were worse.

------------------------------------------

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/giangrec.htm

On 29 July 1945, there came a stunning change to an earlier report on enemy strength on Kyushu. This update set alarm bells ringing in MacArthur's headquarters as well as Washington because it stated bluntly that the Japanese were rapidly reinforcing southern Kyushu and had increased troop strength from 80,000 to 206,000 men, quote: "with no end in sight." Finally, it warned that Japanese efforts were, quote: "changing the tactical and strategic situation sharply." While the breathless "no end in sight" claim turned out to be somewhat overstated, the confirmed figures were ominous enough for Marshall to ponder scraping the Kyushu operation altogether even though MacArthur maintained that it was still the best option available.

.....

Some today assert, in effect, that it would have been more humane to have just continued the conventional B-29 bombing of Japan, which in six months had killed nearly 300,000 people and displaced or rendered homeless over 8 million more.

<<Remember, that is 50,000 a month, which means if you go with the Army Survey in 1946 and the war would have ended by Dec. 31 1946, or, 4 1/2 months later than it did, 225,000 civilians would have been killed by the bombing alone, about equivilent to Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.


--------------------------
From Truman on Trial - http://hnn.us/articles/173.html

Leahy's argument actually was that the bomb was immoral and unnecessary, since a blockade could have secured Japan's capitulation. Frank asks: "If one accepts his moral criteria, how can the firebombing and atomic bombs be condemned yet the blockade pass muster?" His point is that a blockade has itself always been considered a barbarous form of warfare because its effects do not discriminate between combatants and noncombatants. Moreover, aerial bombardment caused civilian deaths in the hundreds of thousands, and the blockade in China killed noncombatants in the millions. The institution of one in Japan would have had a similar devastating effect.
.........
The current retroactive opposition by Americans to the A-bomb use, however, discards the possibility that the very demonstrated power of the bomb led world powers to do all possible in the future to avert its actual use again. Moreover, the difference between nuclear and regular weapons is not as large as it seems. Incendiary bombs killed almost 100,000 Japanese--as many as were killed at Hiroshima--and destroyed 250,000 buildings, leaving scores of Japanese homeless. Such bombing would have been continued, intensified and advanced along with a blockade and invasion. Would this have been a moral improvement over Hiroshima, and would Philip Nobile decades later be writing to accuse the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President of committing war crimes by fighting with traditional means?

---------------------------------------
Notre Dame Study for ethics and culture: http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cach...lties+in+the+blockade+of+Japan&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Massive famine was about to take place in Japan, with estimates of 10 million starving to death (p. 351)—a disaster in good part prevented by the Occupation.
----------------------------------------

Moreover, even if the war lasted an extra two months, the combined civilian casualties from both bombing and the blockade would have killed at least as many as the two atomic bombs did, bombing which killed 300,000 in the first 6 months would have only increased as the War in Germany was over and all planes were moved to the japanese theatre. Remember 80,000 were killed in Tokyo in one day by conventional bombs, which would have continued even according to your own sources had the atomic bombings not caused japanese surrender, had there been even two more large bombing days before Japan surrendered, as many would have died as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Add the deaths due to a Soviet invasion and those due who were starving to death on the mainland, and the atomic bomb can only be looked upon as a killer which saved lives.
 
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  • #30
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Adam
1) I am not having an emotional respsonse. Please show some evidence to support the assertion. The good old "you're just being emotional" is often used to discredit someone's words, but the fact is I have not said anything regarding my own emotional responses to the events.
Well this is something I wanted to ask you actually. You tell us: Why is it that you are more concerned with these two events than any of a dozen worse events in WWII? Or do you think those two events were the worst? WHY? I know you would not dispute that there were a good dozen other single events during the war that killed more people. Or that in many of the other events, the deaths were at least as senseless if not more. So it can't be the number of deaths and it can't be the reason for the deaths. So what is it?

I only see one possible reason why you (and not just you, but a lot of people) would focus on these two events).
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Adam
"What IF"s are meaningless drivel.
Make no mistake, you guys are arguing a single mirror image "what if?"

What if Japan had/had not intended to surrender in August of 1945 without the atomic bombs being dropped.

So Adam, it is up to you to prove that they DID intend to surrender, and also that the NCA KNEW they were about to surrender. You have to prove that "what if" to a near certainty. All Lyuokdea has to do is prove that some people THOUGHT they MIGHT not be ready to surrender. I believe s/he has gone far beyond that.

Your burdern of proof, Adam, is significantly higher and so far all you have done is repeat over and over again quotes that are mostly from people not part of the US or Japanese command structure. The opinions of scientists are IRRELEVANT to this conversation.
 
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  • #32
Adam
42
1


Originally posted by russ_watters
Well this is something I wanted to ask you actually. You tell us: Why is it that you are more concerned with these two events than any of a dozen worse events in WWII? Or do you think those two events were the worst? WHY? I know you would not dispute that there were a good dozen other single events during the war that killed more people. Or that in many of the other events, the deaths were at least as senseless if not more. So it can't be the number of deaths and it can't be the reason for the deaths. So what is it?

I only see one possible reason why you (and not just you, but a lot of people) would focus on these two events).

Read the first post of this thread. Anniversary.
 
  • #33
Adam
42
1


Originally posted by russ_watters

So Adam, it is up to you to prove that they DID intend to surrender, and also that the NCA KNEW they were about to surrender.
Once again, please read the statements of people directly involved at the time, which I have provided.

To make it VERY simple: There is supporting evidence that the nukes were not necessary, and provided no numerical benefit. There is NO evidence that "hundreds of innocent young 'merican boys would have died if...".
 
  • #34
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Adam
Read the first post of this thread. Anniversary.
Adam, in your first post you didn't SAY anything other than to list the dates. So the anniversary of the event is what makes the event important? Do you even know when the anniversary of the fire bombing of Dresden was?

I'm sorry, but I just can't accept that. It does NOT explain WHY you think this event is more important than the others.

In your second post you expressed dismay that people didn't seem to care: the implication being that this should be an EMOTIONAL issue for people. That makes your opinion on the subject strictly emotional.

Once again, please read the statements of people directly involved at the time, which I have provided.

To make it VERY simple: There is supporting evidence that the nukes were not necessary, and provided no numerical benefit. There is NO evidence that "hundreds of innocent young 'merican boys would have died if...".
I guess I can't continue here. You're a brick wall. You keep regurgitating the same pieces of information and not making any real arguements. The statements you quoted are at best incomplete and at worst most are completely irrelevant. Feel free to defend their validity, but you have to say WHY they are valid. We have argued why they are not and provided contradictory statements from people more directly involved, but you haven't responded to the objections. Just repeating over and over that they (and ONLY they) are valid is not an arguement.
 
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  • #35
Adam
42
1
russ_watters

Adam, in your first post you didn't SAY anything other than to list the dates. So the anniversary of the event is what makes the event important? Do you even know when the anniversary of the fire bombing of Dresden was?
1) Any idiot can find the anniversary of the many bombings of Dresden on the web anyway.

2) I posted this thread around the dates of the two nukings. I posted the thread at that time fpr that reason. Very simple.

I'm sorry, but I just can't accept that. It does NOT explain WHY you think this event is more important than the others.
1) Accept or don't accept whatever you want. Like most people, your ideas are based on faulty logic and misconceptions and misinterpretations. Nothing personal, that's just how people are.

2) I do not think the nukings are more important than some other events. Clearly more important that my breakfast this morning, but maybe less important to a crippled Hamburger than Nagasaki was. It was merely relevent due to the date.

In your second post you expressed dismay that people didn't seem to care: the implication being that this should be an EMOTIONAL issue for people. That makes your opinion on the subject strictly emotional.
Not an expression of my dismay. More a simple observation. Interepreting it as "Adam's dismay" is basically transference.

I guess I can't continue here. You're a brick wall. You keep regurgitating the same pieces of information and not making any real arguements.
I feel the same way when people continue gibbering on in ways that indicate a complete lack of understanding of the principles of logic and reason. As this is a rather science-oriented message board, I would have expected many users to have come into some contact with ideas like "evidence", and "Occam's razor", and so on. Follow the bouncing ball.
  • There is evidence of the opinions of people directly involved at the time. The quotes I provided, the information at the websites I linked to.
  • There is no evidence for the great big "what ifs" involved, the purely hypothetical superstition that in some possible future zillions of good ol' boys from Kansas might have died in a ground invasion of Japan.
  • Given the evidence for one case, and lack of evidence for the other, we use a basic principle of logic: don't introduce extra crap when there is no reason to.

If you can't follow those basic ideas, why are you even discussing anything here?

The statements you quoted are at best incomplete and at worst most are completely irrelevant. Feel free to defend their validity, but you have to say WHY they are valid.
The WHY is that the sources were there at the time, involved in it, and had first-hand knowledge of the strategic situation. Pretty simple.

We have argued why they are not and provided contradictory statements from people more directly involved, but you haven't responded to the objections.
There has BEEN no objection beyond "in some hypothetical mystery future, some people might have died". If there's anything other than that, please point it out.
 

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