Nuking Japan Saved Millions? Horsehockey


PDA






RGR
April 5, 2004, 11:40 AM
One reason I decided to stop posting to this forum is that I never see anyone acknowledge a point well made by an opponent. What consistently happens is that the point is ignored, and the focus of the discussion is shifted to something else -- often, to repeating some other point that has ALSO already been refuted. I don't expect this to change. I came back because I realized (again) that there must be many, many people who lurk here and never post, but who DO pay attention and can tell when a point has been well made. I'm sure everyone is thrilled that I've returned. :D

Hapafish twice made the utterly discredited but immortal claim that millions of US soldiers would have been killed in an invasion of Japan, and he stated or implied that the Japanese would not have surrendered without either an invasion or the atomic bombings. Neither claim can withstand an honest examination of the evidence. First, the death estimate is an exaggeration by two orders of magnitude. Second, the Japanese war machine was broken, and its leaders were ready to surrender if only the US would agree not to try the Emperor for war crimes and allow him to keep his seat, which it later did anyway. US leaders knew this because Japanese codes had been broken.

Exaggerations of the cost of the contemplated invasion, if made with any thought at all, are made by those who believe the bombing was an inherently horrible thing, justifiable (if at all) only by a worse horror that was the inevitable alternative. Why else would they exaggerate? People with that belief should give it up if they cannot undermine the evidence or the logic of the case against the bombing. They should not say, "OK, it wasn't millions, but it doesn't matter. However many US lives would have been saved was worth any number of Japanese civilian deaths." Some people here write as if one American life is worth any number of "enemy" deaths -- whether it's of soldiers, armed fanatics in a mob, teenage rock-throwers, old men, women, or children -- is required to prevent it. I am not addressing this post to anyone who believes that. I don't have enough common ground with them to debate anything.

On to the evidence and argument.

One good source I've found on the question of US leaders' motives for the atomic bombings is _Fathering the Unthinkable_ by Brian Easley. Easley's discussion goes on for several pages (Pluto Press ed., 1983, paper, pgs 98-110), noting the relevant events and the views of key participants. One especially telling point he brings up is that the Potsdam Declaration omitted any mention of weapons of mass destruction, of nuclear weapons in particular, and of respecting the Japanese condition regarding the Emperor. Why? "Stalin would have wanted details" about the bomb, and "Japan might possibly have surrendered before the bombs could be dropped ... without allowing [the US] to demonstrate to Stalin the power of the new weapons and the willingness of American administration to use them." Easley cites Charles L. Mee, an historian, who sizes up Truman's efforts toward the end of the war: "'[V]ery little that Truman did could be construed as part of a plan for tranquillity.'" (pgs 104-105)

Howard Zinn, in his _People's History of the United States_ (New York: Harper and Row; 1980 paper ed.), gives an account that belies the purity of U.S. motives. For one thing, "Japan, by August 1945, was in desperate shape and ready to surrender" (p. 413). He quotes New York Times military analyst Hanson Baldwin, who says we almost certainly did not need to nuke the two cities. Zinn describes how the Japanese code had been broken by that time. American intelligence was relaying messages to the effect that the Japanese were ready to surrender if only the US would agree not to try the Emperor for war crimes and allow him to keep his seat, which it later did anyway.

Zinn suggests that perhaps the money and effort invested in developing the Bomb influenced the decision to go ahead and use it. The military's desire to see the effects of nuclear weapons, one uranium-fueled, the other plutonium-fueled, on populated areas was another probable contributing motive. This is supported by the scheduling of the two bombings only one day apart, so that there would be no time for Japan to surrender before the second bomb was dropped. Zinn cites P. M. S. Blackett (_Fear, War, and the Bomb_) and Gar Alperovitz (_Atomic Diplomacy_), who separately argue that political considerations with regard to the Soviet Union definitely played a major role in the decision. Alperovitz quotes Navy Secretary James Forrestal "describing Secretary of State James F. Byrnes as 'most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in'" (Zinn, p. 415).

In _Bombs for Beginners_, John Stockwell, the highest-ranking former CIA officer ever to resign in protest over US foreign policy, writes:

"Knowing that Japan was facing imminent defeat, Russia declared war in early August. American leaders were desperate to cut Stalin and his cohorts out of the victory.... General Eisenhower was among those who opposed [the bombs'] use.... a demonstration bomb, dropped near Tokyo, would have conveyed the relevant message [to Japan]...[But some US leaders] were obsessed with the fervor of war. They were determined to punish the Japanese and show the world...how powerful the United States was, how tough-minded its leaders were....[p. 6 and 7] The original claim that 250,000 soldiers would be lost [in an invasion] was made, off-the-cuff, by politicians.... Truman had been given a study estimating that the invasion of Japan would be 'relatively inexpensive', costing about 45,000 soldiers' lives" (_The New York Monthly Press_, Gar Alperovitz, 1985)....[Unless Japan surrendered immediately and only to the US,] the United States would have faced a Berlin-type solution, i.e., joint occupation of Japan with the Soviets. (ibid., p 22-23)

Sociologist Lester Kurtz of the University of Texas at Austin writes that public statements by Truman and others [to the effect] that avoiding an invasion saved 500,000 to a million American lives "were probably a deliberate lie," and concludes that "the real target of the bombing was the Soviet Union." He refers to the same briefing paper as Stockwell and Alperovitz, saying the U.S. soldier death estimate given to Truman was about 40,000. He quotes Admiral William D. Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "'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'" (Alperovitz, p. E21, in Kurtz, _The Nuclear Cage: A Sociology of the Arms Race_; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988 [paperback], p. 22). Finally, Kurtz quotes Thomas Powers, who says General Leslie Groves was convinced within a few weeks of becoming director of the Manhattan Project that "Russia was our enemy and...the project was conducted on that basis" (Powers, _Thinking about the Next War_, New York: Mentor Books, 1984, p 138, in Kurtz, p 22).

If you enjoyed reading about "Nuking Japan Saved Millions? Horsehockey" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
MrAcheson
April 5, 2004, 11:51 AM
I think no one listens to you because you quote discredited works by biased partisans as if they were objective fact. Examine the suicide charges throughout the island hopping campaign. Examine the mass suicides of Okinawa civilians who refused to surrender and instead jumped to their deaths. Why would mainland Japan be any better? Examine the preparations that were being made for the invasion by the japanese when the bombs dropped. Examine the internal Japanese politics surrounding their surrender after the bombs dropped and how it still almost didn't happen.

Would we have lost millions of people? Probably not, the Japanese war machine was broken and was never really a match for us industrially. However the Japanese would have lost millions who would rather fight or kill themselves rather than surrender. Far more than they lost due to Fat Man and Little Boy.

agricola
April 5, 2004, 11:57 AM
I'd challenge this:

Second, the Japanese war machine was broken, and its leaders were ready to surrender if only the US would agree not to try the Emperor for war crimes and allow him to keep his seat, which it later did anyway. US leaders knew this because Japanese codes had been broken.

What the Japanese had actually done was push peace feelers out to the USSR in the hope that further losses could be prevented (this encouraged further Stalin (who had in April not renewed the non-aggression pact with Japan) to attack); yet its doubtful this had any kind of official sanction (even after the Hiroshima bomb, the Japanese cabinet couldnt come to any decision with regards to continuing the war or declaring peace), and even if they had approved it, they would have faced a coup d'etat (after the Nagasaki bomb was dropped, army officers of the Imperial Guards came very close to carrying such an attempt off - without the terror that the A-bomb brought its not hard to speculate that more of the administration and armed forces would have backed a coup).

I would also question a total of 45,000 as a total for the number of US dead caused by an invasion of the Home Islands - since any such figure is going to be a matter of guesswork, I would place it higher given the nature of Japan and the likely response of the population to the invader, a response that would to a great extent negate the difficulties that the Japanese had been suffering while the war was conducted with ships and planes.

That said, there is much to be said for a "demonstration" bomb dropped off the coast, but near enough to a major city for everyone to see the effects, followed by peace notes that said "the next one is on Toyko".

I agree with you about people not acknowledging serious problems of theories and statistics when those theories and statistics dont fit their scheme btw.

Foreign Devil
April 5, 2004, 12:02 PM
I am new here so I do not know what was said to you ...

Who knows how many we would have lost? It is all speculation. But we would certainly be sending thousands to their deaths. Elements of the Japanese military wanted to continue the war even after the atomic bombs were dropped. They almost succeeded in a coup against the emperor, read The Last Mission for an account.

Crownvicman
April 5, 2004, 12:05 PM
"Second, the Japanese war machine was broken, and its leaders were ready to surrender"

What about the large Japanese Army in China? Or what about the Japanese resistance in Okinawa? Broken and ready to surrender? Not likely. Some of your sources seem biased, at least. Can you do any better?

Ric
April 5, 2004, 12:22 PM
Hindsight is always 20/20

The best information and intel at the time was acted on by the duly elected representatives of this nation.

We live in neither the times or the situation to know how they felt and reasoned. Remember, they didn't have satellites, worldwide instant news, or an internet to find out all the things that were happening on all sides.

Besides, what should we do? Try Truman?

Foreign Devil
April 5, 2004, 12:23 PM
Well actually without oil and supplies the occupation troops in Asia were in very poor shape. The Soviets made short work of them in Manchuria if I recall correctly.

MikeB
April 5, 2004, 12:24 PM
That said, there is much to be said for a "demonstration" bomb dropped off the coast, but near enough to a major city for everyone to see the effects, followed by peace notes that said "the next one is on Toyko".

That most likely would not have worked. The Japanese were arguning about whether or not to surrender after the first hit on a city, I don't think one out in the ocean would have impressed them to much. Also I believe we only had 2 or 3 "atom" bombs at the time, and wouldn't have wanted to waste one.

Regardless as to the original post we certainly would have lost many tens of thousands of our soldiers and would have had to kill probably hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians and soldiers to induce them into surrendering.

Anyone who claims this isn't true obviously doesn't know much of the Japanese during this time period. They absolutely believed that their emperor was a GOD. They also had little regard for their own lives, they went to heaven if they died in service to their emperor. This is not unlike the suicide bombers that are muslim extremists and believe they'll get those virgins.

Also for many years after the end of the war, many small Japanese units and individuals around the Pacific went into hiding and committed some guerilla style attacks. Some of these guy's didn't surrender for 20+ years. Imagine trying to invade and occupy a whole island that behaved that way.

Thumper
April 5, 2004, 12:24 PM
Broken and ready to surrender?

Ready to surrender? You are aware that TWO detonations were necessary to effect a Japanese surrender, right?

They had three days get right. They didn't.

Tough noogies.

This "U.S. as evil empire" stuff is wearing thin.

longeyes
April 5, 2004, 12:25 PM
"Some people here write as if one American life is worth any number of "enemy" deaths -- whether it's of soldiers, armed fanatics in a mob, teenage rock-throwers, old men, women, or children -- is required to prevent it. I am not addressing this post to anyone who believes that. I don't have enough common ground with them to debate anything."

Some of us do believe that the interests of Americans take precedence. You got that right.

Thumper
April 5, 2004, 12:37 PM
Some of us do believe that the interests of Americans take precedence. You got that right.

Amen, brother.

lapidator
April 5, 2004, 12:44 PM
I am continually amazed at the lack of reasoning displayed by people who lament the use of Atomic weapons upon Japan during WWII.

1) Do you know that they are STILL digging up chemical weapons in
China -- left by Japanese soldiers during WWII?

http://www.japantoday.com/gidx/news271977.html

World War II Japanese bombs found in China
Tuesday, September 9, 2003 at 07:00 JST
BEIJING — Construction workers digging a drainage ditch have unearthed dozens of World War II-era Japanese bombs in an eastern Chinese city, authorities said Monday, the latest development in a saga of old enmities that still resonate today.

...

Japanese officials say about 700,000 chemical weapons remain in China, and unexploded conventional weapons are believed to number in the millions.

2) Somebody was going to use atomic/nuclear weapons someday. We'll never know, cannot know, the horror we prevented by using an early atomic weapon -- showing proof of their lethality at a time when the capabilities were minimal(!). If we had not used it against Japan -- we certainly would have used it against N. Korea in 1952 -- and by then the USSR had their own bomb. Granted this is not a technique I'd like to see repeated with the next stage of WMD -- but the fact remains that the world is a better place having used it in 1945.

Wakeup!

Lapidator

fish2xs
April 5, 2004, 12:49 PM
>> Some people here write as if one American life is worth any number of "enemy" deaths

...that is because they are correct.


If you don't like fission, don't bomb our naval bases. Pretty straightfoward concept to me.

moa
April 5, 2004, 12:53 PM
IIRC, the official estimate at the time was that the US military would suffer a total of 1,000,000 casualties taking the Japanese home islands. How many Japanese would die is probably a big unknown. I think a total of 3,000,000 Japanese died during WWII.

Major combat on the small and crowded Japanese islands undoubtedly would have been a humanitarian disaster.

The Japs also still had 10,000 serviceable aircraft that they could use for conventional and kamikazi attacks like they did at Okinawa where they sunk around 30 US ships and damaged many others. IIRC, something like 5,000 sailors were killed or wounded by the kamikazis.

The Japanese really showed no real sign of surrendering even though they had hundreds of thousands killed in conventional air raids. In one raid 14 square miles of Tokyo was burned out with estimates of as many as 250,000 being killed in that one raid. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were picked for the A-bomb raids because they were just about the only fair size cities still standing.

fix
April 5, 2004, 12:59 PM
I suggest reading this (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/okinawa-battle.htm) for those who do not believe the casualty estimates.

RGR
April 5, 2004, 01:15 PM
I think no one listens to you because you quote discredited works by biased partisans as if they were objective fact. -- MrAcheson

"No one listens to me"? Interesting assertion, given all the responses to my posts. It IS tempting to assume that if someone doesn't agree they must not have been listening ... but I don't think I've given in to that temptation here -- at least not publicly. :D

"Discredited works"? Where and by whom have any of the works I've ever cited been discredited, other than the doubt that was properly and admittedly cast on the Al Qaeda guy?

"Biased partisans"? As I and one of my opponents agreed several posts ago, everyone's biased somehow. If only unbiased people researched anything and drew any conclusions, we wouldn't have any research. It isn't easy to look for evidence that goes against what one already thinks -- much less write a whole book or book chapter about it. So what if all the authors are on a "US as the evil empire" trip? You're attacking their motivations. You need to restrict yourself to attacking their logic, or evidence that weighs on the other side against the evidence that they cite. Some of the replies here did that, with comments about the leaders or the troops not wanting to surrender even after the bombs were dropped -- to which, Foreign Devil made the best response I know: the will to fight doesn't mean much if you can't get any replacement supplies.

At least I usually CITE sources -- often scholarly books, sometimes mass media stuff if it's a current event. This forum is full of glib assertions that are made without the slightest attempt to support the factual claims or to look at contrary evidence.

My "biased" sources quote people that most people here would consider to be biased in favor of the bombings: generals and others charged with the defense of the US and its soldiers. Are you suggesting that they are puppy lovers? Or had a failure of will?

I think it's you who needs to (with a nod to Crownvicman) "do better."

Ric: "The best information and intel at the time was acted on by the duly elected representatives of this nation."

That might well be. And their intel told them 40-45,000, not a quarter million, or a million, or millions. One of my points was that people should stop defending Truman's actions by using figures that HE didn't have (and which are made up out of whole cloth anyway). I didn't attack his decision based on new information, but on what was known at the time. Even if you could argue that the bombings turned out to be a Good Thing because of what we know now, that wouldn't mean Truman's decisions weren't war crimes. The same goes for the allegations that have recently been supported by declassified documents about the "duly elected" Roosevelt and company knowingly provoking the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor to overcome the majority pacifist/isolationist sentiment among the US population. Based on what we all know now, I wish the US had gone to war against Hitler and Japan sooner. It seems likely that fewer lives would have been lost. But intentionally letting 1,800 servicemen die by keeping the fleet in harbor to manipulate public opinion is a criminal way to accomplish that goal. Kinda like terrorism.

"You are aware that TWO detonations were necessary to effect a Japanese surrender, right? / They had three days [to] get right. They didn't."

They still didn't, after almost a month, yet the US did not keep bombing them every three days until they did. Hence, one bomb MIGHT have led to the same result. I agree that we can't know that. My main point was, "millions saved" is a huge exaggeration, and its being made reveals consciousness of "collective guilt," a need to justify the bombings in a BS sound bite rather than through the more meaty arguments some people are now trying to make here. And the US didn't drop the bombs only to save the 40-45,000, but also for Nazi-style "research" (into the effects of atomics on a city), and to intimidate the Soviets and keep from having to share management of Japan with them. Some here have also defended the latter on its merits.

longeyes
April 5, 2004, 01:28 PM
Bleed for Nanking, not for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Why should ANY more Americans have died to spare the Japanese? You talk as if 40,000 American dead were a dismissable figure.

A lot of bloody damn islands came before those bombs went off.

harpethriver
April 5, 2004, 01:28 PM
RGR- Welcome back! Believe it or not there are probably many at THR who welcome your return, simply becuse they like to argue, as apparently do you. Healthy debate is the American way. I honor your right to do so and welcome the opportunity to read your posts and comment should I choose. Let's face it, there are those who would argue black is white and vice versa, however your rant is irrelevant because your post is not about black and white issues. To argue for or against your points requires conjecture, based on events that took place nearly 60 years ago. This sort of speculation coupled with the hindsight required to render an opinion is not black and white, much less proveable no matter which side one is on. I have found the majority of THR members to be intelligent and well read. That is typically what fuels these arguments. You seem to be intelligent, and passionate about that which you believe. Those qualities should serve you well debating on a site like THR. I believe you could choose your battle a little more wisely next time.

fish2xs
April 5, 2004, 01:35 PM
You can reference all the data you want. However, my opinion is that
there are no 'rules of war'. Or if there is, it is "kill or be killed".

War is horrible - and it should be. We should do all we possibly can
to avoid it diplomatically and politically.

But if someone really doesn't want to be subjected to "Nazi-style research"
from the US, then don't bomb our naval bases.

And don't fly hijacked airplanes into our buildings.

And don't kill our civilians overseas and hang their corpses from a bridge over the Euphrates.


I highly doubt the Japanese or militant Islam would show us the kind of compassion you are
proposing we should emulate.

Sean Cloherty
April 5, 2004, 01:42 PM
Howard Zinn???? You must be joking.

Here are your discreditation links for your perusal:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=12760

Thumper
April 5, 2004, 02:00 PM
"Collective guilt?"

You're right...we evidently don't share enough common ground to effectively discuss this. The idea of any sort of "guilt" for taking the fight to one's mortal enemy is unthinkable.

I have to admit that I've never heard the claim that the Hiroshima and Nagisaki bombings saved "millions," merely that they (the bombings) saved lives.

The lives I am concerned with happen to be American. There's no argument that the bombings saved American lives. As you intimated earlier, evidently you scorn those who value American lives more than those of other countries.

I respectfully suggest that, especially in an era of "total war," those who can't discriminate "our'n" from "their'n" are a detriment to victory and should be scorned themselves.

Iain
April 5, 2004, 02:04 PM
Some of us do believe that the interests of Americans take precedence. You got that right.

Some of us believe that the interests of the British take precedence actually.

We also don't believe that the lives of British persons are worth 'x' number of 'enemy' lives. None of this "we'll slaughter all your children and their children if you fire at us", we'll happily settle for putting you down. Seems a little more balanced.

As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki I am of the opinion that yes 20/20 hindsight is wonderful and those that say it never needed to be done are guilty of this. Those that say 'well it took two bombs so a demonstration would never have worked' are also equally guilty.

Could have been tried. Probably would have failed. I am increasingly of the opinion that what happened at Dresden was overall as bad, just the absence of the word 'atomic' keeps Hiroshima's precedence intact. War is war though.

Skofnung
April 5, 2004, 02:15 PM
I could not agree with Longeyes more.

RGR, I will suggest a book to you, The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. If you read this book, (hell, just look at the pictures in it if you are feeling lazy) you will cease to have the warm fuzzies for the Japanese. They were monsters in this instance.

I used to read Jeff Cooper's works and think he was being a bigot when it came to the Japanese. I no longer think he is a bigot. He saw the Japanese (military) for what they were, not what college professors think they should be.

I think they got off easy. Not as easy as the Nazis, but still, they deserved what they got.

fix
April 5, 2004, 02:18 PM
those who can't discriminate "our'n" from "their'n" are a detriment to victory and should be scorned themselves

Folks perched up on the fence make easy targets for the bad guys and obscure the view of the good guys who are trying to protect them from the same bad guys. As long as things are theoretical, these folks are happy to sit up on the fence that they percieve to be the moral high ground. However, something tells me that in practice, they'd come down off that fence real quick if the bullets were literally flying at them. It's all well and good to think of yourself as an intellectual deep thinker, above the moral wasteland created by us ignorant knuckledraggers, but when the S hits the F for real, you'd be surprised how many deep thinking knuckledraggers are born. The problem is that these folks refuse to see the real threat until it's close enough to spit at, and even then will not acknowledge it for more than a few moments before reverting to deep thoughts and analysis. Witness the ongoing debate regarding the war on terror.

longeyes
April 5, 2004, 02:26 PM
Fix, well said.

As I like to put it, even Hamlet, the most "Western" and cerebral of our archetypes, eventually went to arms.

Master Blaster
April 5, 2004, 02:37 PM
The same goes for the allegations that have recently been supported by declassified documents about the "duly elected" Roosevelt and company knowingly provoking the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor to overcome the majority pacifist/isolationist sentiment among the US population. Based on what we all know now, I wish the US had gone to war against Hitler and Japan sooner. It seems likely that fewer lives would have been lost. But intentionally letting 1,800 servicemen die by keeping the fleet in harbor to manipulate public opinion is a criminal way to accomplish that goal. Kinda like terrorism.

Surely you can Quote a verrifiable sorce for this total nonsense?????

Detachment Charlie
April 5, 2004, 02:40 PM
We dropped the first A-bomb on the Japanese because they deserved it. Then, we dropped the second bomb on them because they deserved that one, also.
There was also the ancillary benefit of the blasts telling the Russians, "don't tread on me."
The terciary benefits are felt even today. Everybody knows we've got "The Big One" Everybody knows we have used it. And, everybody who's ever seen a John Wayne movie knows we'd do it again, pilgrim.
So, to the rest of the world: Back-0ff or "fill yer hand, you son of a b&&ch."

Pendragon
April 5, 2004, 02:43 PM
Big fat "whatever"....

The Japanese attacked us.

It is not reasonable to attack someone and then presume to set parameters for the measure of their response.

Pray tell why we should have to sacrifice any number of American troops in an invasion of Japan?

If *WE*, modern Americans bear some sort of collective guilt for the nuclear attacks, then the Japanese citizens who died bear much more guilt for tolerating the Emperor and his mad plan.

They could have revolted or had a strike or gone "kamikazee" against their own government. Is there evidence they did this?

I am not saying they were really responsible in the strictist sense, but arm chair historians who blame the US seem to conveniently let the Japanese people off the hook.

Frankly, I see the Japanese as attacking us with a stick - you can kill a man with a stick if you are good enough.

However, we responded with the equivalent of a machine gun or better.

The idea of meeting agression with equal force is the type of perversion that has the UK mired in fear and violence. A war of attrition would have been ugly and drawn out and thanks to American ingenuity and determination, we did not have to "go there".

Hiroshima and Nagasaki have stood as monuments and warnings to those who would attack our country and I think we have been safer because of those events.

fah.

molonlabe
April 5, 2004, 02:56 PM
There is sufficient evidence to debunk this leftist hate America no matter what BS. This is more drivel from the people who gave us disparaging remarks about our founding fathers and how evil America is to everybody in the whole world. The way I see it my father was just finishing the war up in Europe being ready to be deployed in the Pacific. I probably would not be alive today if that happen. (1947).

I love the Japanese people today but hated their imperialist militaristic society that we effectively took apart. Look at Battan, the treatment of our prisoners, what they did to the Chinese, their human experiments on prisoners and their feeble attempt at a biological attack on our home land and tell me again we were morally wrong.

Selfdfenz
April 5, 2004, 02:59 PM
RGR,

I seem to remember there were about 25k US casualties on Iwo and 7K of that # were KIA. The Japanese lost 22-23 K almost all KIA IIRC.
That was a single battle that lasted what, about 30-40 days. The Japanese on Iwo did not give up.

If the War was about over, and their military was broken, how do you explain those losses? 30K men KIA combined in 30 days?

Possibly less than a million US/Allied casualties would have been sustained in the Battle of Japan but probably not many less. The two ABs killed fewer Japanese than would have killed in the invasion and no US forces were lost when we dropped the bombs unless I'm mistaken.

Also, there was precious little left in Japan worth having or that worked very well when the War ended but if there had been an invasion there would have been nothing. People included.


Take care,
S-

Jim March
April 5, 2004, 03:09 PM
Some points here:

1) Japan killed more people in ONE Chinese city (Nanking) with freakin' bayonettes and swords than we did with nukes.

These were NOT nice people. They were in fact collectively psycho at the time.

2) This whole business about stopping Stalin has to be put into perspective: HE was a freakin' psycho too. Utter, complete lunatic in charge of a seriously powerful nation. That son of a female canine STILL holds the world's record for most number of flat-out murders personally responsible for. Mao came close, Hitler ranks at number three, and Pol Pot beat 'em all in terms of *percentage* of his own nation slaughtered but Stalin is literally history's worst murderer.

Telling him to back the hell off wasn't a crazy concept.

3) Splashing a big hole in the ocean off Tokyo wouldn't have *proven* how deadly these suckers were. Wouldn't have done squat, other than prove to the Japanese that we're squeamish about killing - which in THEIR culture signified weakness. Why do you THINK they went totally gonzo in Nanking?

Viking6
April 5, 2004, 03:13 PM
Stalin agreed at Yalta to declare war on Japan as soon as Germany surrendered and he did. Stalin was an SOB but criticism of him jumping on late doesn't stand when you realize that the Soviets pretty much had their hands full with the Nazis up until that time.

moa
April 5, 2004, 04:30 PM
Germany surrendered May the 8th 1945, IIRC.

When did Stalin declare war on Japan? I do not think the Soviets did anything until when the bombs were dropped in August 1945.

Baba Louie
April 5, 2004, 04:35 PM
The Soviet Union finally declared war on Japan on August 8/9, 1945. Berlin had fallen 2 months earlier, Potsdam Conference had finished up one week earlier, where Truman told Stalin about the bomb. The USSR invaded Manchuria on August 8/9 as well.
Japan still had around a million troops on the main islands and had pretty much fought to the last man at Iwo and Oki since they were considered homeland islands.
The US lost about 17,000 men on Iwo and Oki.
Saved a million American Llives? We'll never know for sure. Two of my high school teachers were ready for the last invasion (?Olympia?) and were certainly glad that Truman ordered the dropping of the two bombs...

...taken from the link at the bottom...
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By the end of July 1945, almost half of Tokyo had been destroyed, and scores of Japanese cities had been leveled by strategic bombing. Preparations were being made for an Allied invasion. On July 16, however, the work of the U.S. Manhattan Project came to fruition when an atomic bomb was successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico. President Truman decided in favor of using the weapon to end the war quickly unless Japan surrendered. From Potsdam on July 26, Truman, Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek issued an ultimatum demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan. It did not mention the bomb. Japan decided to continue the war.
On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb with an explosive force greater than 20,000 U.S. tons of TNT was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with a population of about three hundred thousand. At least seventy-eight thousand people were killed outright, ten thousand were never found, and more than seventy thousand were injured. Almost two-thirds of the city was destroyed. On August 9, the day after the USSR declared war on Japan, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, with a population of 250,000. About forty thousand people were killed, and about the same number were injured.
Surrender
On August 10, Japan sued for peace on the condition that the emperor’s position as sovereign ruler be maintained. The next day, the Allies stated that the future status of the emperor must be determined by them. At the behest of the emperor, an imperial conference on August 14 accepted the Allied terms. The next day, U.S. forces were ordered to cease fire.
http://www.inspiredbooks.com/Chapter4.htm

Eskimo Jim
April 5, 2004, 04:44 PM
Despite being a moot point, now, I'll bite.

I like Detachment Charlie's points.

Iwo Jima and Okinawa were the sites of some terrible, terrible fighting in WWII and I'm sure the brass and the politicians of the day didn't want to see the war stretch on longer. There is no question that allied casualties AND Japanese casualties resulting from the landing of allied troops in Japan would be very high.

I think the first bomb got the Japenese high commands attention and the second one convinced them that we'd do it again. That resulted in the end of the war.

I'm sure that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevented more deaths than it caused. It was a difficult decision made during difficult times.

-Jim

JohnBT
April 5, 2004, 04:52 PM
"This forum is full of glib assertions"

But it does not necessarily follow that they are incorrect assertions simply because they are not footnoted to satisfy you. I finished an M.S. before I was 23 and I CAN footnote if I want to - and I don't. You don't make the rules.

You appear to want to pick a fight. I think you can find one here if you can stick around this time and not get your feelings hurt.

John

Don Gwinn
April 5, 2004, 04:53 PM
There's a name for places where people sometimes ignore good points and exaggerate their own credibility. It's called "everywhere."

Risasi
April 5, 2004, 04:57 PM
I don't know you RGR. But you seem to be baiting people to counter-post you. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I like a good argument myself. And agree that it should be carried out in proper fashion. For instance ad hominem attacks have no place in a proper argument. But your content does seem to post to people that talk out of conjecture. Rather than someone who was there.

Reading your initial post I thought to myself; "What does Brian Easley say having a 1 on 1 argument"? I can hear it now; "Well sir, according to myself. I think......"

Okay you have Brian Easley, I have old veterans. My Great Uncle joined a tank platoon, and fought as a tank commander in Italy. He later joined OSS, or one of it's para-organizations. I don't remember which, because this man would not talk about his experiences. His younger brother, my grandfather, wanted to join the Air Force. Unfortunately he ended up in the Infantry. Back then it was just the Army Air Force, and the recruiter sent him to "that line" when my grandad asked "Which line was the Air Force". He eventually got transferred and stationed on a B-25 after the war in '47 or so, then got out the following year. But not before slogging through islands, cleaning out Japanese.

This was all AFTER the war for two years. And he said they killed lots of Japs who just would not give up. They were total nutjobs living off of whatever they could find on the islands. Who many times had nothing but crude weapons, and would attack with total savagery. To think that ending the war early didn't save lives is ridiculous. Many of those lives I am positive were Japanese no less.

I believe there was a fellow named Yokoi, Yoki? Something like that who surrendered in 1972!! Come on, this guy was still fighting the war 28 years after it was over. Of course he was an aberration, but still to think the natives on on their own home island would not "go to the mattresses" if we went in on foot in Japan is total lunacy.

Anyway, these are just two men I have talked to, I also have my mother's side, and I've talked to all of their buddies too. Every man jack of them agreed that nuking Japan was the right thing to do.

Risasi
April 5, 2004, 05:04 PM
I've always found it amusing that when push comes to shove Russia is always on our side in the "big ones".

Okay, we have our little proxy fights, using third world nations. But we ganged up on Germany in WWII, in WWI they certainly weren't our enemies, joining France in the fight against Germany then.

They are at an arm's distance right now, but one of the "good guys" again I guess.

kbr80
April 5, 2004, 05:08 PM
If you don't like fission, don't bomb our naval bases. Pretty straightfoward concept to me.

2nd that. I enjoy feeding trolls:D :D

What was it some Jap Admiral said: " I am afraid we have awoke the giant" or something like that.

On a side note, I was pissed, really pissed when we apologized for dropping those bombs. To this day, I have never heard if Japan has apologized for Pearl Harbor.

If you dont want the business end of the red, white, and blue SH$T HAMMER, dont throw rocks.

bountyhunter
April 5, 2004, 05:15 PM
Nuking Japan Saved Millions? Horsehockey
One reason I decided to stop posting to this forum is that I never see anyone acknowledge a point well made by an opponent. What consistently happens is that the point is ignored, and the focus of the discussion is shifted to something else -- often, to repeating some other point that has ALSO already been refuted. I don't expect this to change. I came back because I realized (again) that there must be many, many people who lurk here and never post, but who DO pay attention and can tell when a point has been well made. I'm sure everyone is thrilled that I've returned.

Hapafish twice made the utterly discredited but immortal claim that millions of US soldiers would have been killed in an invasion of Japan, and he stated or implied that the Japanese would not have surrendered without either an invasion or the atomic bombings.
I may know a bit more about this than the average person because where I grew up (sacramento) is heavily japanese, in fact the grade school I attended was about 40% Asian students of whom most werte first or second generation Japanese. I also took several classes from professors at the universities who were first generation japanese, and they would expond on this subject at length.

1) I have personally seen film showing the plans for defense of the japanese islands and finally the mainland, as to how and where the remnants of their forces would be deployed and in what sequence they would fall back. The evidence is they FULLY INTENDED to fight to the last man, and conservative estimates of US losses to defeat their forces would have exceeded one million dead based on our losses in routing them off of entrenched positions in the pacific island chains. Argue the numbers either way, but the losses would have been staggering.

2) Most of the japanese I have heard hold the position that after their sixth fleet was decimated, Japan had lost the ability to wage war and therfore, we should have just all gone home and pretended it never happened. That is not how wars are conducted: the country that starts it is beaten down until they surrender... not just until playing is no fun any more.

3) Again, they claim that the dropping of the bomb was to punish Japan and make an example of them. maybe so, but it seems to me that in wartime, that is a legitimate act to prevent future aggression.

The bottom line is that the japanese were the clear aggressors, not only with us but in that area of the world. It may not be politically correct to say, but at that time a racist belief was built into their culture: they believed they were superior to all other asian races and were destined to rule them. Period. That demonification also accounts for the barbaric atrocities performed on the Chinese and Filipinos which they considered to be sub human. The bottom line is, they went one step to far and attacked a country that was not going to roll over. The rest is history. I will admit we did not have to drop the atomic bomb to "subdue" their threat to us at that time, but we did need to do it to force them to surrender.... and IMO, that was reason enough given the circumstances.

Thumper
April 5, 2004, 05:18 PM
This was all AFTER the war for two years. And he said they killed lots of Japs who just would not give up. They were total nutjobs living off of whatever they could find on the islands. Who many times had nothing but crude weapons, and would attack with total savagery. To think that ending the war early didn't save lives is ridiculous. Many of those lives I am positive were Japanese no less.

You mean there were insurgents fighting after "major combat operations" were declared over? How shocking. :evil:

TCD
April 5, 2004, 05:38 PM
Advantages to dropping the bomb

-Saves lives on all sides
-Saves a lot more American lives
-Ends war quicker
-Saves whats rest of the country for rebuilding. We would have kpet on doing our carpet bombings
-Demonstrates to the world that we have the newest military toy
-Revenge for previous attacks
-Realworld use of new bomb
-Actually validate the Manhattan Project
-Why send hundreds of planes and crews when 1 can accomplish the same goal?
-Keeps Russian intervention to a minimum


I'm sure I'm missing more, but like many things in the international world, decisions and actions often are very complicated matters taking into consideration many many factors. This is just a listing that I could come up with off the top of my head. Rather any of these were the single reason to drop the bomb, I doubt it. However, all these reasons, plus some that I havent listed made the decision to drop the bomb a no brainer. Sure we wanted to let the Russians know we had this bomb. Already we were concerned about their intentions in Europe. This was a great way to let them know, and the world to know that we have this bomb. Gains credibility and strength. Who would countries want to seek protection from. A: Growing superpower who has the bomb, or B: Growing superpower who does not have the bomb?


In my mind, dropping the bombs were the right move. Casualties would have been higer for everybody involved had we gone in with a land invasion. That would have required a lot more aireal bombings along with the probable naval bombardments. So we save American and Japanese lives, how's that a problem. We actually validate the bomb which we dumped a ton of money into. I see no problem with that. Government accountabillity. We need more of that today. Demonstarting our power to the rest of the world. Great, makes us look like the baddest good guy on the planet. Side with use or you have b-29s up your @ss.


As said IMO, it wasnt one reason or a few reasons why we dropped the bomb. We dropped the bomb for a multitude of reasons which in the end, made dropping em a good thing.

Shane333
April 5, 2004, 05:42 PM
I personally think the Japanese (of that era) should get down on their knees and thank us for not dropping more bombs. Two bombs were being merciful. They certainly deserved more.

If the Chinese or Koreans had developed the atomic bomb before us, do you think they would have stopped at two? Japan should count their lucky stars that the merciful Americans got the technology first.

J. Garand
April 5, 2004, 05:44 PM
General Curtis LeMay killed more Japenese with Gasoline (napalm) then the A bombs ever did. His firebombing campain would have eventually destroyed Japan, To quote James Bradleys very good book "Flyboys"; "The Atomic bombs helped the emperor make a good decsion". Operation Coronet was the invasion plan. Expected losses were staggering, we would have had to fight civilians armed with spears, The "Shattered Jewel" concept(Bradley).
Yours truly probadly would not be posting now. My dad was Just done with Okinawa, and getting ready for Coronet.
In that paradigim dropping the bomb was an easy choice.
I would like to say hello to the forum. I am looking forward to reading here.
Thanks.
J.G.

Hkmp5sd
April 5, 2004, 06:00 PM
Which is why, even after the two atomic bombs...
Inside Japan, the opponents of the course ordered by the Emperor made a major effort to reverse the decision to accept the Potsdam declaration. Military figures in key positions in the capital tried to kill their opponents, seize and destroy the recording with the Emperor's broadcast to the people of Japan, and take over power with the intention of continuing the war.

...the coup failed primarily because the Minister of War, General Anami Korechika, refused to support the plotters. Himself an advocate of continued fighting, Anami was, on the other hand, not prepared to defy the orders of the Emporer repeatedly and personally expressed in his presence.

A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II by Gerhard L. Weinberg

HankB
April 5, 2004, 06:14 PM
That said, there is much to be said for a "demonstration" bomb dropped off the coast, but near enough to a major city for everyone to see the effects, followed by peace notes that said "the next one is on Toyko".Hmmm . . . let's see . . . even in hindsight, it's clear that dropping a nuke on Hiroshima was not enough of a "demonstration" to get the Japs to surrender, but modern PC revisionism says frying a few fish off the coast WOULD be enough? And we're expected to take this nonsense seriously? :confused: . . . utterly discredited but immortal claim that millions of US soldiers would have been killed in an invasion of Japan,You're confusing the term "utterly discredited" with "accurate and credible."Truman had been given a study estimating that the invasion of Japan would be 'relatively inexpensive', costing about 45,000 soldiers' lives" Whoever allegedly gave Truman this nonsense was clueless - reread the casualty reports of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, etc., for insight into what realistically would have happened. An invasion of the home islands would have been FAR more costly than the cumulative total of ALL the small occupied Pacific islands combined.

And as for the Japs being beaten . . . no, they weren't. My late father fought them, and was part of the occupation forces afterward. He told of how they found caves and tunnels all over the place that you could drive a GI truck into . . . except that they were PACKED with munitions. They concluded that the Japs had shorted their island garrisons because they were stockpiling weapons for a final defense of the Home Islands. Sure quality wasn't up to pre-war levels, but with plans even to arm old men and young boys for a last ditch defense, estimates of a million US casualties were probably on the light side.

And as a previous poster already mentioned, even after Nagasaki, even after a declaration of war by Stalin, a major faction of the Jap military didn't want to surrender, and had actually begun a coup which, largely because of a lucky chain of events, was unsuccessful.

Baba Louie
April 5, 2004, 06:17 PM
RGR, Here's someone who has a different take on the numbers of probable deaths if the bombs had not been dropped... tho' some of his other numbers are kinda off a bit...

http://www.rjgeib.com/heroes/truman/truman-atom-bomb.html

August 5, 1963
Dear Kup:
I appreciated most highly your column of July 30th, a copy of which you sent me.
I have been rather careful not to comment on the articles that have been written on the dropping of the bomb for the simple reason that the dropping of the bomb was completely and thoroughly explained in my Memoirs, and it was done to save 125,000 youngsters on the American side and 125,000 on the Japanese side from getting killed and that is what it did. It probably also saved a half million youngsters on both sides from being maimed for life.
You must always remember that people forget, as you said in your column, that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was done while we were at peace with Japan and trying our best to negotiate a treaty with them.
All you have to do is to go out and stand on the keel of the Battleship in Pearl Harbor with the 3,000 youngsters underneath it who had no chance whatever of saving their lives. That is true of two or three other battleships that were sunk in Pearl Harbor. Altogether, there were between 3,000 and 6,000 youngsters killed at that time without any declaration of war. It was plain murder.
I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half a million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped. I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again -- and this letter is not confidential.
Sincerely yours,
Harry S. Truman


Of course he doesn't mention civilian casualties... of which here would probably have been a few hundred thousand

Iain
April 5, 2004, 06:17 PM
Hmmm . . . let's see . . . even in hindsight, it's clear that dropping a nuke on Hiroshima was not enough of a "demonstration" to get the Japs to surrender, but modern PC revisionism says frying a few fish off the coast WOULD be enough? And we're expected to take this nonsense seriously?

I have emphasised the important word - hindsight. Nobody knew that the demonstration wouldn't be enough at the time.

CarlS
April 5, 2004, 07:37 PM
RGR,

I hope that you really don't buy that ridiculous revisionist history crap that you posted. I hope your motivation was to start a spirited discussion. I used to be a member of the Smithsonian – until they tried to do that revisionist history display about the WWII Pacific Theater. They recanted and didn’t do it due to the extreme protest they received. But the fact that they wanted to do it finished me with that organization. And revisionist history is definitely the work of the left.

I was born in 1944; eight of my nine uncles as well as my dad were in the various services. All were slated to participate in the invasion of the Japanese Islands. Thank God that HST had the courage to make the decision to drop the bombs. That guaranteed that they all came home safely. My uncles and my dad did not ask the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor but they certainly got caught up in the results of that attack – whether they wanted to or not. Yes, their lives are worth more to me than the Japanese lives. If dropping those bombs saved one American serviceman’s life, it was worth it.

Actions have consequences. That Japanese chose to attack and the two A-bombs were the consequence.

STW
April 5, 2004, 07:53 PM
I just keep in mind that they are still using purple hearts manufactured in anticipation of the invasion of Japan. That tells me more about what people were thinking at the time then any number of historical assessments.

Cal4D4
April 5, 2004, 09:12 PM
My father bobbed around the South China Sea and became part of the occupying forces in Japan. Pre nuke he was scheduled to be part of the invasion force. He felt that the nuking saved him from a pretty rough time. I'll gladly accept my portion of the collective guilt. I consider it part of my heritage.

Tim Burke
April 5, 2004, 09:38 PM
I had a bunch of points to make, most of which have already been made.
I do know that when I was in grade school I played in tunnels and bunkers left over from WWII, on Honshu, less than 20 miles west of Tokyo. It seems intuitive that if there were tunnels and bunkers, then fighting was anticipated.

Probably the most important thing to say, that I didn't see in this thread is:

Please Don't Feed the Troll.

DorGunR
April 5, 2004, 09:47 PM
Nuking Japan Saved Millions? Horsehockey

Well, if it was only payback for "The Battan Death March" then in my book that's reason enough.

BTW........I've spent three years in combat.........how much combat time do you have?????

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
April 5, 2004, 09:56 PM
Put me on the list of people who more than likely wouldn't be here today if not for the use of the A-bombs on Japan. My father was in the P.I. getting ready to go and fight in the main Japanese Islands. Truman was the last Democrat with any sense.

Off Topic: He is another WWII vet who steadfastly maintains that the Red Cross charged him money for coffee and donuts on the way back home after the war ended. Leads me to believe it actually happened despite the Red Cross denials.

mountainclmbr
April 5, 2004, 10:34 PM
To those who start totalitarian/imperialistic wars...don't cry when you get a bloody nose in the fight you started. Japan got less than it did to the USA. It deserved 100% more. When an entire country engages on an evil enterprise, they should pay the consequences. It is our fortunate luck that we bombed them before they bombed us. They would have killed all of us if they had the choice. Those who worship evil escape my comprehension.

StuporDave
April 5, 2004, 10:55 PM
Seems simple to me. You've got two choices:

1 - invade Japanese home islands. many thousands of Americans dead.

2 - drop atomic bombs. No invasion, no more Americans dead.

Looks like an easy choice to me. They were the ENEMY, remember?

We made the right choice.

Cactus
April 5, 2004, 11:16 PM
I'm one more who might not be here if not for the bombs. My dad had returned from Europe and duty in B-24's to train on B-29's for the Japanese invasion.

If it saved only ONE life (my dad's), it was worth it to me!

Navy joe
April 6, 2004, 12:54 AM
The bombings did save millions, possibly billions. Not in Japan but everywhere in the decades afterwards. Somewhere in the back of Nicky Kruschev's twisted little mind he had to unquestionably know that we had the will to act decisively on a grand scale. The fact that we did this in 1945 may have saved us from total nuclear world war.

That war may have started on mainland China even earlier than the peak of the cold war. Had we not been witness to the bombing HST might have gone along with MacArthur's plan to employ nukes on strategic sites in China to precipitate the end of the Korean war. Instead he fired Mac, and rightfully so.

c_yeager
April 6, 2004, 01:52 AM
One reason I decided to stop posting to this forum is that I never see anyone acknowledge a point well made by an opponent.

I promise to acknowledge one when i see one....

S_O_Laban
April 6, 2004, 03:08 AM
Well, I for one, am glad RGR bothered to come back and post. This has been a most interesting thread and a heartfelt thanks to all who have participated.

I can honestly say, that almost everytime I drive by President Turmans home here in Independence that I wonder about his decision to drop the bomb and what it all means.... and this thread bears out what I usually end up thinking.... God bless Harry Truman for having the guts to do the right thing.

I think it more than irony that he came from Independence...

mstnglx50
April 6, 2004, 04:00 AM
"Force can accomplish many things which would be beyond the reach of cunning." Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

I thought this summed up my thoughts on the matter, my grandfather was in the Pacific and was to have participated in the invasion of mainland Japan, had not the greatest force ever unleashed by mankind been used to make an invasion unnecessary.

Alan Elam

JPM70535
April 6, 2004, 04:33 AM
I don't usually take the time to address this topic which seems to resurface with regularity, but here goes.

It is really fairly simple. Based on the past actions of the Japanese soldier in combat during the Island hopping czmpaign, the overwhelming body of evidence suggested that they would fight to the death and that surrender was not an option. Japanese religious belief in the Divinity of the Emporer, and the glory inherent in dying for him gave them a totally different perspective on death.

Americans, on the other hand believe that the glory lies in making the enemy's soldiers die for their country while resisting any attempt to glorify dying for any reason . An example was the Devine Wind, or Kamakazi. there is no way American pilots would have toasted FDR and flown their P-38s, or f-6s, or P47s enmasse into Japanese warships. Our minds just do not operate on that mental plane. And yes I know there were instances of American pilots deliberately diving into Japanese ships when they had sustained damage to themselves or their planes and had no chance of returning to their own Carriers. Isolated acts of deliberate suicide were just that. American mind set HE WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS AWAY, LIVES TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY!

An invasion of the Japanese home islands may not have cost a million American lives, but it darn sure would have cost thousands, not to mention the thousands (or 10s of thousands) of Japanese soldiers and civilians who would have preferred Suicide to surrender.

IIRC, the U.S. had a total of 3 nuclear devices, so to suggest that a proper course of action would have been a warning blast offshore as a demonstration is just ludicrous. when your arsenal of a particular weapon consists of 3, you do not expend 1/3 of them on a maybe.

I have always felt that the Japanese got just what they deserved, (Remember Pearl Harbor) and had I been making the decisions back then, rest assured My chosen targets would have been different. (By By Tokyo.

Anna G.
April 6, 2004, 06:42 AM
Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for awhile. Nice forum you have here. I just felt my fingers itching for a post while I was reading so I had to come out to the light. Before I go to the subject: I've heard from others I have a good and sweet personailty so I hope I receive another chance after this post. :D

Its interesting to see the american point of view when you live in Europe where the ideas are not the same. Nothing proves better what a lying subject is history than that, it makes you think what you have to think. My views on these two bombs are simple: They killed more than 100 000 civilians. In a war it is concidered ethical to kill only the soldiers as far as I know. Killing civillians has a name: terrorism (That was the thesis, you can stop reading here if it seems too long).

I dont know if any of you has read Akira Kurosawa's autobiography. For the WW2 period he mentiones a few times about the end of the war: "It was already obvious we were losing the war" or "When we lose the war...". I was left with the impression the japanese knew they were losing. I dont know if they really were monsters, yes, this is possible, but I doubt this applies for the normal people who continued to live their normal lives and who actually were the ones who gave the victims.

Pearl harbour was a war base and soldiers are prepared for the thought they might die, its their choice, its a war. Besides like already was mentioned there is a rumor lately (I dont know how reliable it is, but my history teacher told it to me, and I think this gives it some good chances) that the US knew about the attack and let it happen so they can have a reason to bomb Japan and show their power. The number of the victims in both cases is incomparable.

What surprised me is that bluntly said some people think that american life worths more than a number of other lives from another nationality. I dont see how in this case the japanese can be accused into thinking they are superior than the other nations.

I just know how to make myself welcomed, no two opinions about it. :rolleyes:

Khornet
April 6, 2004, 07:07 AM
and thanks for the post. True, Pearl Harbor is a military base. But Nanking? The character of the Pacific war becam ever more merciless as it went on, and before long Americans lost all reserve about killing the enemy wherever found. But it was something we learned from experience, not something we naturally turned to. Likewise, the slaughter of civilians from the air, horrivble as it is, was something introduced into the war by.....Germany and Japan.

And for RGR: any guess how much blood was transfused into 10th Army soldiers during the roughly one-month fight for Okinawa? That's just the blood given those who made it as far as the aid station, not the total that was spilled. A guess?

It was TEN THOUSAND GALLONS.

You seem to be able to read only the left pages of the history books.

Iain
April 6, 2004, 07:15 AM
On the subject of Nanking and Hiroshima (or Dresden). Recently I read the excellent 'On Killing' by Lt Col Grossman. In it he discusses Dresden relative to the Syrian (I think) destruction of Babylon. Grossman's premise is about the 'up close and personal' nature of a kill making it much more psychologically difficult to do and thus more shocking when performed unnecessarily. The Syrians put 10,000 men, women and children to the sword and tore down the city by hand. This means that 10,000 people looked in the eyes of their assailants and died at the very hand of another human being. Grossman argues that this makes the sacking of Babylon much worse than the firebombing of Dresden. He makes an interesting point.

I haven't got my copy of 'A moral history of the twentieth century' to hand, was it Okinawa where several thousand military personnel committed suicide in a naval tunnel complex rather than surrender?

Baba Louie
April 6, 2004, 07:25 AM
Anna G. Welcome to THR.

Atrocities against civilians abounded during that timeframe Anna.
Coventry
Nanking
London
Poland
Russia
Dresden
Tokyo
Berlin

Total War.

Ain't saying it was good or right, just saying it WAS and it DID happen.

War SUX. Tho' I would think that being ruled by Tyrants who murder unarmed innocents just because it's Tuesday, sux a lot more.

edited to add... The US didn't start this nonsense of civilians dying by the thousands... but we did seem to stop it... as horrible as it was. And no one's hands were clean as a result.

Eskimo Jim
April 6, 2004, 08:32 AM
Anna,
Welcome to the forum.

You make a good point about killing civilians in war on purpose is wrong. (someone wanted a good point on the other side recognized, there you go)

What strategy do you think should be utilized against a warring nation's industrial complex? For example, if Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the locations of munitions and armament factories, should the Allies have bombed the factories which employ civilian workers?

I believe that both Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the locations of factories that were producing war material for Japan. I also believe that this makes them a legitimate target for military strikes.

-Jim

StuporDave
April 6, 2004, 08:39 AM
What surprised me is that bluntly said some people think that american life worths more than a number of other lives from another nationality

If you were Japanese, Japanese lives were worth more than American lives.

If you were German, German lives were worth more than allied lives.

If you were British (or American, for that matter), British lives were worth more than German lives.

And I will say, without a doubt, that my life is worth a hundred times more than the person's who is trying to kill me. No matter who it is.

Dave

Baba Louie
April 6, 2004, 08:47 AM
Eskimo Jim,
I read that both of the Atomic targets were selected from a list of relatively undamaged cities left in Japan and that in fact Nagasaki was selected due to the fact that Kyoto was socked in and was a secondary target. Paul Tibbets book Flight of the Enola Gay I think it was.

HankB
April 6, 2004, 08:51 AM
Nobody knew that the demonstration wouldn't be enough at the time. Well, we knew about Jap atrocities in the China, the Bataan death march was known, as were other atrocities in the Philippines. The Jap emperor was - quite literally - worshipped as GOD, and we'd been suffering heavy casualties in kamikazi suicide attacks. Add in Pearl Harbor, and you'll see we had absolutely NO reason to assume the Japs were even rational, let alone reasonable. Hiroshima was a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation.Off Topic: He is another WWII vet who steadfastly maintains that the Red Cross charged him money for coffee and donuts My father and two uncles all had lots to say about the Red Cross - all bad. I believe your father's story 100%.

Iain
April 6, 2004, 09:00 AM
I don't disagree HankB, as I have said I don't see a major difference between Hiroshima and Dresden apart from the word 'atomic'. I just feel a lot of hindsight is brought in to this argument, and hindsight needs to be used wisely as per my first post in this thread.

Eskimo Jim
April 6, 2004, 10:09 AM
Baba Louie,
You're right about Nagasaki or Hiroshima was a secondary target. It could very well have been Nagasaki.

I've never pursued learning much about the decision to drop the bomb on Japan during WWII. To use a phrase that I"m not fond of from a very good author however it is very appropriate for this topic. "to those that know, no explanation is necessary. For those that don't know, no explanation will suffice".

Stupor Dave, you summed that up very well. I agree that my life is worth 100 times the life of anyone trying to kill me whether they be German, Italian, Japanese, Iraqi, American, red, blue, green, yellow, christian, jewish, muslim, athiest, etc.

-Jim

Ky Larry
April 6, 2004, 10:12 AM
When I was about 10, (I'm 50 now) I knew a college professor in my home town. He was visiting my grandfather one day when I noticed a terrible scar on his right forearm. I asked the professor what caused it. He got a funny look in his eye and said "A Jap stuck me with a bayonette." Since I didn't know any better I asked him "Why?" He said " Because my friend was thirsty." Even then I knew better than to push the issue. Later my grandfather told me the professor had survived the Bataan Death March. Unfortunately the professor passed away several years ago. I'd be really interested in hearing his point of view on the use of the A-bomb. All our arguments are hypothetical and abstract. We don't have his scars.

Selfdfenz
April 6, 2004, 10:16 AM
Welcome Anna,

As long as there are civilians, they will be casualties in time of War.

Many of our men at Pearl were drafted unless I am mistaken so they were not there necessarily by their own choice. In any case, Japanese criminal acts against civilians are well documented.

I'm sure the Germans knew they were circling the drain near the end of the European fighting but they fought to the end. They German people would probably have loved to have stopped fighting but there was that pesty government run by a man named Hitler that compelled them to go forward (or be shot) so they went forward with old men and children. The Japanese would have done like-wise.

Some in our government may have know or at least thought the Japanese might attack but human nature directed them to think, "They will never do it"

I think we can see from 9/11 that history repeats itself.

S-

Thumper
April 6, 2004, 10:30 AM
Welcome, Anna.

Do you agree that the Japanese as a whole thought of gaijin as subhuman and not worthy of consideration? Their writings, speeches and actions of the time certainly bear out this idea.

They certainly had no problem with the wholesale slaughter of civilians. Of course, two wrongs don't make a right.

However...

In time of total war, if your enemy engages in ruthless slaughter, you had better be prepared eventually to do the same.

It is interesting that, from your point of view, the primary distinction is civilian vs. military, while in mine personally, the distinction is American vs. Other. I believe both points of view have their merits.

Again, welcome to THR.

Glock-A-Roo
April 6, 2004, 11:18 AM
If you dont want the business end of the red, white, and blue SH$T HAMMER, dont throw rocks.

Amen to that.

Why is it no surprise that the notion of a "demonstration A-bomb" comes from our favorite Brit? Such an idea is like a large-scale version of a warning shot w/ a single attacker, and it is a mistake for the same reasons:

- it gives the opponent more time to strike you
- it shows the opponent that you are not committed to the fight
- it wastes your resources (really bad when you have but 2-3 "bullets"... and they are the only ones IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD)
- it assumes that the opponent is a person of reason and restraint, instead of a committed agressor who ardently seeks your demise. Sort of like, um, I don't know... THE JAPANESE DURING WW2.

So very British: "Stop! Or else... I'll say stop again!!".

Give me a break about how tough we were on the poor, gentle, peaceloving Japanese. If they didn't want a fight, they shouldn't have started it.

VNgo
April 6, 2004, 12:07 PM
Seems simple to me. You've got two choices:

1 - invade Japanese home islands. many thousands of Americans dead.

2 - drop atomic bombs. No invasion, no more Americans dead.

Looks like an easy choice to me. They were the ENEMY, remember?

We made the right choice.

Not quite. The choices are more like:

1. Invade Japanese home islands. Millions of American soldiers dead and the entire Japanese race well-nigh wiped out because it believes in the idea of "death before dishonor" and will therefore not surrender no matter how suicidal the odds against it.

2. Drop atomic bombs. Probably the same as above, with a small but nonzero chance of the Japanese people being sufficiently shocked by the sheer devastation to stop yelling "Banzai for the Emperor!" and surrender peacefully.

Foreign Devil
April 6, 2004, 12:23 PM
I think a couple things to remember are first that there were those in JApan military who wanted to continue fighting even after the destruction of the cities. So a demonstration probably would not have worked, it could even be counterproductive, showing that we are unwilling to do whatever necessary to win.

The war plans for invading Japan called for posible use of chemical weapons, I believe, every bit as terrible asthe A-bomb.

Japan civilian population was being prepared to resist the American force, there are training manuals and documents that show this. An invasion would have been costly to both sides.

CarlS
April 6, 2004, 12:23 PM
Welcome to the forum, Anna; and thank you for giving your opinion.

During the days of the Battle of Britain when the Brits were going it virtually alone, do you not think the Brits held the view that one British life was incalculably more valuable than a German life? I feel 99.99% confident that they did. As another put it so very well, my life is infinitely more valuable to me than the life of the person who is trying to kill me.

I was one of those who posted that American lives were more valuable than the Japanese. I stand by that. Had it not been for the A-bomb, there was a good chance that I would not have known my father. I was born during the war at a time when he was home convalescing. By 1945, he was on his way to the invasion of the Japanese home islands.

Let me put it this way, we did not start the war in Europe nor in the Pacific. In fact, we stayed out of it far too long. Once we were attacked, I don’t care how many Japanese civilians or military died. If it had been double that number to save American service men’s lives, it would have been worth it. That is a fact of all out war. The Japanese made a decision and suffered the consequences of that decision. There are and always have been civilian casualties in war. Terrorism is deliberately attacking civilians and targets of no military or strategic value. That is not the case with Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Both had strategic and military value.

fix
April 6, 2004, 12:27 PM
Anna, If you want to take the "one for one is fair" path, go right ahead. The inevitable conclusion of that way of thinking is that there are only two options for us all. Die, or learn to speak Chinese. :neener:

My apologies if you are from China, in which case your position of one for one would make perfect sense, both strategically and tactically. :D

Shane333
April 6, 2004, 12:50 PM
Anna G.,

You pose a fair question regarding an attack on civilians. It is an unfortunate fact that attacks on civilians were simply a part of WWII, particularly from an "air campaign" point of view. If you don't understand that, you need to read and study more about that war.

In some ways total war is the only correct way to fight a war. Otherwise the general population somehow forgets that "War is hell" and there is a reason to bring it to an end. Look at how wars are fought today. The "civilized" countries try to hard to minimize civilian casualties. The result is that once the war is officially over, the supposedly conquered civilians continue a "terrorist" war. Why? Because they haven't been given an incentive to not continue fighting.

Anciently Alexander the Great was faced with the same dilema. Supposedly conquered communities would countinue to fight. He thought up a most effective remedy. The next time a town continued to fight back after being conquered, he took every man in that town and cut off their hands. He then sent them to the surrounding areas as living examples of what happens when the conquered population continues fighting.

Can you imagine the results? All "civilian" uprisings immediately ceased. The war stopped for real at that point.

How does this apply to Japan? The answer is supprisingly similar to the above example. People all over Japan understood the price they would pay for continued war. The result was peace. It's all about incentives.

Take Iraq for example. If we literally level Fallujah(sp?), do you think the surrounding areas are going to continue causing problems? Of course not. Would an Iraqi father let his neighbor plant a road-side bomb if he knew it meant certain death for his entire family? Of course not. The ironic but true answer is that absolute total war is the best way to create peace.

Unfortunately, the USA will try to be civilized with these savages, and the result with be the further suffering and loss of life on both sides.

oldfart
April 6, 2004, 12:54 PM
RGR, you have to be careful about quoting sources that were written by people who got much of their data from books by people who got much of their data from books by... You get the idea.

I was in Japan a bare ten years after the end of the war. I saw first hand the preparations made for welcoming the American soldiers. I spoke with and listened to civilians who told of the utter fanatacism instilled into the population. I walked through miles of tunnels and passages hewn in solid rock, with storage facilities for thousands of tons of munitions. I saw a sweet old mamasan whip the snot out of a drunken American soldier. She used a broom and tactics she had been taught by her government in expectation of the invasion. I spoke with people who had been told that American soldiers were cannibals with a taste for babies.

I also visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki where city officials welcomed me and my American wife. I wasn't a high-ranking diplomat either, just an ordinary enlisted sailor. No one spit on us because of our skin color or because our eyes weren't slanted. People were friendly and just happy the war was over. Sure there were a few "hardcases" left over from the war who would have been happy to be able to kill me and my wife, but they were smart enough to know that there was no profit in such action.

A lot of civilians died when those bombs were detonated. We know how many, because we can count them. We can only guess how many would have died in a conventional invasion so we tend to give the hard numbers more weight than those with no factual data to back them. But a later experience gave me some insight into that matter.

Two years after my tour in Japan, I was sent to Guam. The island has a number of natural caves hidden away in the hills. I remember being shown one such cavern. We walked from a brilliantly sunny day into a dark hole. Our lights were weak and flickering, so we stumbled a bit, kicking limbs and rocks along the path. After awile, when our eyes became more accustomed to the dimness, I saw that the 'limbs and rocks' were, in actuality, bones. I was standing, ankle deep, in what remained of twenty or thirty Japanese soldiers.

I couldn't help but make a connection between the caves on Guam and the tunnels of Japan. I, for one, am damned glad we dropped the bomb. I know it saved lives-- on both sides!

Baba Louie
April 6, 2004, 01:34 PM
For a chilling read, peruse James Bradley's FLYBOYS for a mindset of the WWII Japanese as well as other gruesome tidbits that were hidden from the world by the US and Japanese Governments.
I believe it was Iris Chang (Rape of Nanking) who suggested he focus his efforts to look in this particular direction for (tin foil hat on) this hidden from the public for obvious reasons conspiracy.
NO. War is not pretty. YES. It does bring out the worst and the best in mankind.
Killing of innocent and unarmed civilians is now a forgone conclusion it would appear.
So maybe we all shouldn't be so innocent or unarmed, neh?

bountyhunter
April 6, 2004, 02:13 PM
A truth not focused on is that it is essentially correct to say that WWII was the war where general acceptance of civilain casualties for military objectives were permissible first became entrenched in the world's conscience. Here is history: when the U-boats first started poaching shipping headed to England carrying materiel, it was common practice for the U-boat to surface and warn the ship. There is even cases where the U-boat crews helped the civilains into the life boats before sinking the vessel carrying the war supplies. Prior to WWII, the casual slaughter of civilians was basically condemned by all.

Why did this change?

In one case, it was a result of the US implementing th convoy sysytem of destroyer escort. Obviously, the U-boats had to use "sneak attacks" because they had no other option.

The second major step on the road to slaughtering civilians was the german bombing of England. At first, they tried to focus on military targets. Eventually, it was simply bombing to terrorize and cause the country to surrender. At that point, all consideration of civilian dead was gone.

In retaliation, US forces bombed the German mainland into a smoking pile of rubble. The total tonnage dropped as well as lives lost in that campaign FAR exceeded what was delivered upon Japan. The truth not widely known is that we quickly used up all the military targtes in germany and switched to hitting major cities knowing they had no military value.

Most of us know of the "firebombings" of cities like Dresden and Cologne, in which the strategy was to create a burning air mass that would sweep the city and destroy everything including all life. By the end of the war when we had the opportunity to deliver the coup de grace to Japan, civilian casualties was no longer a concern.

The legacy of civilian death to achieve a victory is now more or less accepted. In Iraq, the US had two (reported) bombing attacks against civilian targets based on flimsy (and completely inaccurate) intel about saddam being there. In one case, I believe the civ body count was about twenty with children among them. There was no public outcry over this. It is the standard of human decency that now exists.

Cosmoline
April 6, 2004, 03:37 PM
Howard Zinn?! LOL

Yeah. Sure. The Japanese were ready to give up. That's why Iwo Jima was such a cake-walk for our guys. The Japanese kept trying to give themselves up by fixing bayonets and charging. But our boys, culturally inept as they were, interpreted this through Western eyes as a Banzai charge. :D

I'd love to see a "Twilght Zone" where these revisionists get to be the first ones off the landing craft.

Paco
April 6, 2004, 03:45 PM
Bountyhunter:

I follow your train of thought on WWII. Makes sense, but to say it has become an accepted practice is a stretch. Why all the way-more-expensive laser guided bombs when we could make way more conventional bombs for cheaper instead. Yeah, I know: it makes them more effective, but I bet the pentigon folk sold it as a civilian saver to John Q taxpayer as well.

We Americans like to do the right thing: we'll make our pie and want to eat it too. It's always better to soundly defeat an oppponent AND do it with the least amount of civilian and even military casualties as this will benefit you in the future. How? Well, you won't always have to be looking over your shoulder when it comes to folks you've treated with cleanly and with mercy.

-Killing innocents is never acceptable especially if I'm the one that has to pull the trigger or push the button. It's excusable, even in the worse wars, only when it's absolutely necessary and because the enemy gave you no other recourse IE Civies working in a munitions factory, or making fighterjet parts. They are civies as well as a definitive part of your oppponent's war machine.

-paco

Shane333
April 6, 2004, 03:46 PM
Bountyhunter,

I'm curious, would you rather that the USA or other countries didn't escort their ships in WWII?

Oleg Volk
April 6, 2004, 04:27 PM
Each enemy soldier is supported by that country's infrastructure. That, in turn, consists of raw materials and equipment, which are replaceable, and trained operators, which are not easily repleaceable. For that reason, whatever we think of the ethics of that practice, killing of enemy civilians will continue whenever the opposing countries are fairly equally matched.

One reason for our distaste for civilian casualties is the nature of our morality, the other is that we think "there, but by the grace of providence, would be we". I think that, in the eyes of our opponents, US civilians are also fair targets.

PS: Read Mike Williamson's (madmike here on THR) Freehold for an interesting take on this situation.

Poodleshooter
April 6, 2004, 04:34 PM
Paco: Who judges who is innocent? Are grandma and grandpa working in the munitions plant innocent? The kids collecting pots and pans to make bullet jackets? The farmer growing crops that feed the military? The banker who finances the war effort? Maybe in tribal times there were innocents, but I don't think there are any innocents anymore. Even if through taxes alone, we ALL support the military in some way.
Total war makes perfect sense now, just as it did in WWII. Civilians provide the backbone for any military. They provide it not only in an economic sense, but also in an emotional sense (something for the military to hold dear and protect). Osama knows this. His war is against American culture. Why fight our military, when you can destroy our culture and undermine our military just as easily by destroying our civilians? It just makes sense when you examine the goals involved.
Sure that's a horrific concept. That's war.

bountyhunter
April 6, 2004, 04:43 PM
Bountyhunter,

I'm curious, would you rather that the USA or other countries didn't escort their ships in WWII?, No, I am saying that well intended strategies have unforseen side effects. We had no choice but to use the convoy system with destroyer escort and the Germans had no choice but to employ sneak attacks on ships to delay detection by the destroyers.

Makes sense, but to say it ( bombing which directly causes civilain casualties) has become an accepted practice is a stretch. Not really, but to please you perhaps I should say that killing civilains now appears to be acceptable collateral damage if:

1) The target is important

2) There are not too many civilains killed (less than a few dozen perhaps?)

3) The civilians are not Americans.

Why all the way-more-expensive laser guided bombs when we could make way more conventional bombs for cheaper instead. The problem was not the accuracy of the bomb. It hit the target, which was a restaurant and killed everyone in it and left a massive smoking crater, as well as killed people nearby. The targeting system worked perfectly: it was the decision to use it on a target where there was a very remote chance that one military target was present but an ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY of killing multiple innocent bystanders that I was using to prove my point.

Paco
April 6, 2004, 04:50 PM
Poodleshooter,

I agree if you approach it with the one goal of- DEFEAT ENEMY. I buy it if that's all you wish to do. But ofcourse any human conflict is waaay more complicated than that. One must consider the mental health of the soldiers and the society who asked that soldier that just slaughtered the little girl collecting spent brass-ofcourse she doesn't know what she's doing except to follow the orders of her parents. One must assess the situation as much as possible. Yes it's harder and takes time. One must consider every life of having worth. I know, they're animals and not worth any respect...

If we wish to maintain our humanity as much as possible during war then we follow those laws set down to govern war. I obviously am not the only one that believes this because there are still Vietnemese, Japanese, and even Germans that still walk the Earth. Oh wait, would if they want revenge one day! Oh no! We should have wiped them out clean when we had the chance then we would be safe.

-My friend, we'll NEVER be safe, but something we can ALWAYS aspire for is to retain our humanity. Once that's lost-Game Over.

Paco
April 6, 2004, 04:54 PM
Bountyhunter,

Thanks for the clarification. But, it's not about pleasing me or the tree-huggers. It's logical to use only the force necessary to neutalize an opponent. It behooves the whole war effort to keep civie casualties down and it's not just about 'feeling good'. Think about it. Peazzzout bro!

Shane333
April 6, 2004, 04:55 PM
Good reply Bountyhunter. Yes, there are some nasty consequences that can come from the best of intentions.

Well, I still firmly believe that we were justified in dropping two bombs on Japan. I also feel it was an act of mercy that we didn't drop a third.

Paco
April 6, 2004, 05:04 PM
Given what we knew at the time and going off quite a few assumptions, I think we handled Japan admirably. Still it sucks to know that we vaporized quite a few villagers. Yeah, I know, it saves lives but it doesn't make me wanna skip down the street whistling! War's Hell...

Anna G.
April 6, 2004, 05:05 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome. :) I am sorry, but I am not used to such an active forum, I have no idea how I am going to answer all this though I'll give it a try.

You can jump to the last paragraph if you dont feel like reading, by the way.

When I made the point about the civilians, my idea was that the attack of the Pearl Harbour doesnt look good as a reason. I am not sure if killing civillians is neccessery in the modern times, because we have peace contracts. If the japanese indeed wanted to surrender the bombs were pointless. Unfortunately I doubt we can find a reliable source to tell what the truth is. Its interesting how the content of the history books changes through time and location. The common opinion here is that the bombs were a bad idea. Last year when we studied about that in my history class I found that this year we actually justify them. I am sure this has to do with the tries of our government to be liked by the USA. My point is that you cant trust everything they tell you about history.

StuporDave, I am sorry, but I disagree. I am a bulgarian and for me a bulgarian life doesnt worth more than the life of another person who belongs to any other nationality. Though I have to agree on the last one. My life definately worths more for me than any other. Selfish, but true, its human nature.

Thumper, I am not sure. I personally have never seen or read anything of what you mentioned but it seems normal to me. Thats what all the nations do to raise the spirit of the people. For example I've seen american movies which brought tears of offence to my eyes because it was obvious that the americans were shown as better (better looking, faster thinkers, ecc.) than other nations. The exact case I have in mind was about a balkan nation and since we here are pretty much all the same I took it a little personally. Of course its possible that the japanese went a little further, their psycology is different than the one of the western world.

I understand that for the americans here the american life worths more, but I think we are trying to get to the truth if the bombs were neccessary or not (and enjoy the good debate of course) and if everyone is looking from such a personal point of view this wont lead anywhere. CarlS, I understand you, but I am sure lots of japanese lost their relatives there. I have to admit I dont understand anything from military business but I think if there is something worth destroying in these two cities there is no need to kill everyone in there, just what you have to. Ie there is no point to try to believe that the real reason was to destroy something specific, it was a show of power.

Fix, I am not sure I understand.. why chinese? :confused:

It looks to me that it all sums up to the simple question: Did the japanese indeed want to surrender or not? Like I said since we get lots of completely controversial information about it, you can never be sure.

fix
April 6, 2004, 05:17 PM
I am not sure I understand.. why chinese?

In a war of attrition, with artificial rules imposed by you, where we take one life from them for every life they take from us...they win handily.

bountyhunter
April 6, 2004, 05:26 PM
I understand that for the americans here the american life worths more, but I think we are trying to get to the truth if the bombs were neccessary or not Coming to agreement on whether it was "necessary or not" would require agreeing on what the necessary outcome of the war had to be... and we see that very differently than the japanese, and we always will. If all that was to be accomplished was to temporarily stop Japanese aggression in the Pacific, then we had pretty much assured that by the time we had the A-bomb. But, the only outcome which the allies would accept was unconditional surrender, assuring that Japan would suffer a defeat of sufficient humiliation to make sure they never considered a similar action in the future. Such is the end of all wars... those who believe they were wronged never settle for anything less than unconditional surrender, true even when the United States fought itself in our own civil war. One point which is clear: Japan would NEVER have surrendered without dropping the bombs and many in the regime fought hard against surrender even after they were dropped.

Hkmp5sd
April 6, 2004, 05:28 PM
This is kind of like the often discussed topic of some founding fathers owning slaves. Different times and different views of right and wrong.

During WWII, it was a common strategy to bomb cities in an effort to break the enemies willpower over continuing the war. It was practiced by all major participants in the war.

Japan, obviously, lacked the ability to bomb American and British population centers. This does not mean, however, they didn't try alternate methods to accomplish the same goal.

The Japanese Imperial Army's Unit 731 had been researching biological and chemical weapons in Manchuria since 1936. One plan of the Japanese was to use balloons carried by the jetstream and loaded with biological weapons to create epidemics of plague or anthrax in the United States. A variation called for the use of cattle plague virus to wipe out the American livestock industry or grain smut to wipe out the crops. They did launch 9,000 balloons loaded with 4 incendiary and one antipersonnel bomb in an effort to start forest fires.

Another plan codenamed Cherry Blossoms at Night, was to use kamikaze pilots to infest California with the plague. The plan was for submarine seaplane carriers to launch the kamikazes off California, at which time they would fly aircraft loaded with plague-infected fleas and crash them in the San Diego area. The attack was originally scheduled to occur on Sept. 22, 1945, but was delayed and finally halted by the end of the war.

So the dropping of the two atomic bombs was an appropriate attack at the time and regardless of the semantics over the numbers, did save hundreds of thousands of lives, both American and Japanese.

madmike
April 6, 2004, 05:31 PM
some facts:

The Purple Hearts being awarded in Iraq were minted in 1945 for the Invasion of Japan. They minted a million. A "Broken war machine" doesn't stop 60 million Japs with machineguns and sticks from killing troops in MOUT.

FACT: A JAPANESE PRODUCED MOVIE called "Hiroshima" covers the discussions the high command had even after Hirohito said he was ready to surrender. It was not a term they were prepared to embrace. It was alien. They had created a theocracy. Before the end of the Samurai Era, all dates (such as on swords) were "emperor so and so, year 25." After that, dates were "The glorious year 3XXX of the Emperor as God on Earth."

God can't surrender.

Additionally, Japan had never (and still hasn't...) been successfully invaded. Every Korean attack in the 3-9th centuries was repulsed due to storms or other circumstances. It was taken as axiomatic that the Gods protected Japan. The actual Japanese plans for 1945 were based on "The Americans have almost taken everything we have! Then they will invade and we'll win!"

They were, in fact, drilling 12 year old school girls with BROOMHANDLES to fight.

Due to inadequate information about nukes, After Hiroshima and before Nagasaki, they actually started handing out WHITE SHEETS as "defensive" material. (white does reflect small amounts of thermal radiation if you're at the fringes of the effect). Now, you tell me they were ready to "surrender" and had no "war machine" and I'll call you an idiot.

Pluto Press publishes such crap as Ritter's, where he claims as a "fact" that "nerve agent decays in five years."

I'm sure the US Chemical Depot in Newport, IN, which has had stockpiles of VX since 1968 will be glad to know that. Or the stores of mustard agent at Ft Rucker, buried under mounds of dirt and surrounded by a safe zone.


http://www.charlesmartelsociety.org/toq/vol1no2/ss-pearlharbor.html
then there's this garbage. I HATE FDR and I'll call this one a lie about him.

Also, one of the problems in the war was that Surrender was insulting to the Japanese mentality. Noted SF author Cordwainer Smith (Paul Anthony Linebarger) was the son of diplomats to Asia and polylingual. He devised a phrase for the air dropped pamphlets that read in Japanese, "I honorably cease resistance." Phonetically in English, it sounded like "I surrender." ;) True story. He was very proud of that, as it saved thousands of both American and Japanese lives.

But that's the mindset we were fighting.

Of course, if we hadn't used nukes in Japan, we might have in Korea, not knowing the effects. Or Vietnam. Would that have been better?

Anna G.
April 6, 2004, 05:52 PM
Coming to agreement on whether it was "necessary or not" would require agreeing on what the necessary outcome of the war had to be... and we see that very differently than the japanese, and we always will. If all that was to be accomplished was to temporarily stop Japanese aggression in the Pacific, then we had pretty much assured that by the time we had the A-bomb. But, the only outcome which the allies would accept was unconditional surrender, assuring that Japan would suffer a defeat of sufficient humiliation to make sure they never considered a similar action in the future. Such is the end of all wars... those who believe they were wronged never settle for anything less than unconditional surrender, true even when the United States fought itself in our own civil war. One point which is clear: Japan would NEVER have surrendered without dropping the bombs and many in the regime fought hard against surrender even after they were dropped.

I disagree. Dont get me wrong. I like the outcome of the war. My point was that your sources could be wrong. If the japanese indeed were ready to surrender without the bombs the outcome would be the same without such drastic measures. The point which is clear for you is exactly the one which I think is impossible to be sure of.

In a war of attrition, with artificial rules imposed by you, where we take one life from them for every life they take from us...they win handily.

I get it finally.. a little embarrassed, but amused. :D

madmike
April 6, 2004, 05:52 PM
Also, the conventional bombings and firebombings of Coventry, Dresden and Tokyo killed more people than both nukes. The Japanese raped and killed more than a million in Nanking.

Oh, but those weren't nukes, so they don't matter.

The Bataan Death March, 47 bombing runs over Darwin, Australia, the Malaysian, Filipino, American, Dutch and Indonesian women forced to "Service" troops in "relief stations" for four years, fifteen hours a day...

We invited their Ambasssador to the Trinity test, which we weren't sure would succeed. We dropped warning leaflets. We picked cities with major industrial centers but minimal cultural interest. We gave them three days in between each one to consider.

More than they gave us at Pearl or Corregidor, eh?

moa
April 6, 2004, 06:25 PM
Some other lives that were saved was in Southeast Asia and China. Japanese forces were still rampaging successfully through out China, and cruelly occupied parts of China and Southeast Asia.

It is estimate that the Japanese killed between 19 and 36 million Chinese, much of it outright murder.

The A-bombs brought all of that to an end.

Shane333
April 6, 2004, 07:09 PM
Anna G.,

Thanks for your sincere thoughts.

Regarding the consensus as to whether or not the USA was justified in dropping the bombs, you'll find the consensus is "YES". You may disagree and you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

As for the worth of one's life and wartime, I'll quote General Patton who said it best, "No son of a bitch ever won a war dying for his country. You win wars by making the other son of a bitch die for his country." I couldn't say it better myself. We made the other SOB's die for their country, and we won the war. That is the nature of war.

Personally I don't regret dropping the A-bomb simply because they deserved it. In fact they deserved worse than what they got.

As for the supposed feelings of superiority, I'd like anyone here to tell me what other country would have felt the unselfish need to rebuild Japan, after all the brutal crimes the Japanese committed to other nations? Dropping the A-bomb didn't make us morally superior to anyone, but rebuilding the "enemy" was an act of absolute benevolence that I doubt many other countries to aspire to. We're trying to do the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan, with little positive recognition from the rest of the world, so I hope you'll forgive me if I feel a little pride at the selflessness of my country.

CarlS
April 6, 2004, 07:31 PM
Anna, I admire the way you are trying to think this topic through. And you are absolutely on target that history books change. We call that "revisionist history". I see a trend to write history as one wished it had happened rather than as it actually happened. American schools are full of this revisionist history.

You are lookiing at this as two nations fighting each other and there is nothing wrong with that. I look at it as us vs. the Japanese. From that view, it definitely becomes personal.

CarlS, I understand you, but I am sure lots of japanese lost their relatives there. I have to admit I dont understand anything from military business but I think if there is something worth destroying in these two cities there is no need to kill everyone in there, just what you have to. Ie there is no point to try to believe that the real reason was to destroy something specific, it was a show of power.

Yes, for me, it was definitely personal. People were involved with faces and names that I came to know. I realize that the Japanese lost relatives; but that doesn't mean that I feel guilty because mine didn't get killed. Given the choice, I had rather have had the Japanese lose relatives than me lose mine. Selfish? Probably so; but it is honest.

I spent most of my life in the Army. I came to learn that some leaders and some cultures only respect one thing - force. Sometimes displays of power are necessary to prevent further violence and bloodshed. If the only motive in dropping the A-bombs was a show of force (which I don't believe), it worked. It brought about unconditional surrender and prevented further bloodshed and loss of lives on both sides and on the Asian mainland. I can find no credible evidence that the Japanese were considering unconditional surrender prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The allied objective was unconditional surrender with the minimum loss of allied lives. The objective was accomplished.

I don't consider American lives to be any more or less valuable than any other peoples lives - unless we are at war. War is about killing the enemy before he can kill you and neutralizing his will and ability to fight. During war, I consider the lives of American service members infinitely more valuable, to me, than the lives of the enemy. War is ugly, terrible and tragic.

HBK
April 6, 2004, 07:34 PM
Japan should have surrendered sooner. Then maybe we wouldn't have incinerated two of their cities. Anyone who doubts that atomic bombs saved American lives is an idiot.

bad_dad_brad
April 6, 2004, 07:38 PM
I have done a lot of reading and research on the subject of the use of atomic weapons on Japan. I have come to these conclusions:

1. America spent billions of dollars developing an ultimate weapon of war in what amounted up to that time, the single greatest engineering feat ever attempted by mankind. What would the American public have done if we did not use it to end a war ? Truman really had no choice.

Let us just say, that we did invade Japan. Then let us say that America suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties in doing so. Then let us say, that the Japanese suffered millions. And then let us say, oh by the way we had the Atomic bomb, but thought it to inhumane a weapon to use. No way. We had it - we had to use it. People today have no idea what World War II was like unless they objectively read history.

2. Yes we were also sending a signal to the Russians - no doubt about it. Would you rather the northern islands of Japan become communist? It could have happened. Can you spell North Korea?

3. It did end the war. The Emperor of Japan gave the order to surrender based upon the overwhelming strength of this new weapon - only he could end the war, yet even then, some rebelling Japanese officers tried to prevent the Emperor from doing so.

It was quite clear based upon the resistance of Japanese soldiers, sailors, and airmen during the battles of the Pacific theater, and later the civilian reaction in Okinawa, that the obedience to the Chrysanthemum of Empire was paramount. Blowing up Mt. Fuji was not going to send any kind of signal to those people other than - you are too weak to use your strength, so we will fight on.

4. If we had the bomb before Germany surrendered, would we have used it on Berlin? No doubt about it - yes. That crap that we would not have used the bomb to end the war in the European theater because the Germans were white people is just that - crap. Just like in Japan, only one man could have ended the war in Europe, either by his death or capitulation, and that man was of course, Hitler.

People who espouse that we should not have dropped the bomb on Japan are of three types:

1. Ignorant of history.

2. Feel good types that think it is worse to die from Atomic bombs than from conventional bombs - my God - do you know how many civilians were killed fire bombing Tokyo, Dresden, Cologne, etc.? Dead is dead.

3. Academe types who have an agenda and distort historic facts. History, after all, is often written to the advantage of the historian.

Iain
April 6, 2004, 07:41 PM
I see the word 'revisionist' in conjunction with the word 'history' quite a lot. Usually negatively.

I would say that revisionist history was often a genuine attempt to reassess the evidence about a certain era or event and to stop relying on the classic writings on the subject. In that sense I don't regard it as bad thing in and of its self. Yeah it's been used to promote certain agendas, mostly notably Holocaust deniers, but there is a difference between genuine academic revisions and lies.

History comes in schools of thought, marxists et al, sometimes you need to look at the classic tome on a subject and assess that writing and that author in their own context and decide whether that work is 100% valid. Writings about the French Revolution from a marxist historian would be one example I could give, same is true of what marxist historians have called 'The English Revolution', I know it as the English Civil War.

I'm afraid history isn't necessarily about facts, I like to think of it as his-(s)tory.

Apologies if that is a lecture.

Iain
April 6, 2004, 07:41 PM
double post.

oldfart
April 6, 2004, 07:48 PM
"We made the other SOB's die for their country, and we won the war."


Actually, we just got to wave our flag over their county for a few years. In the end, both Japan and Germany ended up stronger amd in better financial condition than before the war. Like our "War on Poverty," "War on Drugs," and "War on Terror," the supposed focus of all our effort became stronger because of our efforts.

The Bible tells us that God instructed the Hebrews to kill every man, woman and child, together with all their cattle, sheep and goats when they (the Hebrews) invaded a country. They never did as they were told and they were always punished.

Nowadays, tactics such as those are called "genocide" and frowned on by all 'civilized' people. Instead, we conquer a country and hurry to install a new government that will turn on us as soon as we look away. I guess 'civilization' has some hidden costs.

Oleg Volk
April 6, 2004, 09:15 PM
"Japan" as a people didn't deserve to get nuked. Three-year old kids who got toasted had no part in the atrocities committed by the Japanese army. However, the guilt should be placed on the Japanese army, same as a criminal who commits a drive-by with his kids in the car should be charged with murder if return fire from the would-be victims kills the children.

kbr80
April 6, 2004, 11:41 PM
In the end, both Japan and Germany ended up stronger amd in better financial condition than before the war.

Of course they did, we spent millions of tax dollars to rebuild it.

Ryder
April 6, 2004, 11:58 PM
I'll never feel the least bit of responsibility. I wasn't even born.

The only lesson to be learned is to be careful who you want war with, you just might get it.

StuporDave
April 7, 2004, 12:59 AM
StuporDave, I am sorry, but I disagree. I am a bulgarian and for me a bulgarian life doesnt worth more than the life of another person who belongs to any other nationality. Though I have to agree on the last one. My life definately worths more for me than any other. Selfish, but true, its human nature.

Anna,

I think you're not getting my point. I'm not trying to say American lives are generally more important than anyone elses.

When I wrote:

If you were Japanese, Japanese lives were worth more than American lives.

If you were German, German lives were worth more than allied lives.

If you were British (or American, for that matter), British lives were worth more than German lives.

I was specifically talking about WWII.

You said you are in Bulgaria. Say Bulgaria is at war with another country. The Bulgarian military leaders are going to make plans to inflict maximum casualities on the enemy forces while keeping the Bulgarian forces as safe as possible. They will fire artillery into enemy positions, but avoid Bulgarian forces. In this situation (war), to Bulgarians, Bulgarian lives are more important than the enemy soldiers' lives.

That is the point I was making. In peacetime, all human life is equally important. But, the moment someone tries to kill me, that person's life becomes very unimportant to me.

Dave

P.S. - excuse me for being so rude. Welcome to THR!

Tim L
April 7, 2004, 01:29 AM
Hopefully they will add to the discussion. First, I had an opportunity to meet Gen. Paul Tibbets several years ago. He always does a Q&A session where he answers questions from the audience and also repeats some questions and answers from past events. At one of the past events a lady stood up and pointed to a man, her husband, and told Gen. Tibbets that he had saved her husbands life by dropping the bomb. he was a POW and was digging his grave when the second bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered. Second, the US, Japan and Germany were developing atomic weapons, we got there first. Only found one link in a quick search, but this (http://vikingphoenix.com/public/JapanIncorporated/1895-1945/jp-abomb.htm) link covers some of the details. Would they have succeeded? fortunately we will never know.

Tim

Tom A
April 7, 2004, 03:39 AM
If the japanese indeed were ready to surrender without the bombs the outcome would be the same without such drastic measures.

If they were indeed ready to surrender, would you then presume that they were somehow incapable of communicating that intention?

Khornet
April 7, 2004, 07:30 AM
your point about revisionism is well taken, for as we get further down the road we do indeed get a better overall view of where we were standing. Repeated looks back in view of new data are always useful.

BUT (you knew there had to be a but) if you accept the idea that there are as many points of view as there are onlookers, we should be seeing a spectrum of new views of history. That is not the case, for the overwhelming tone of revisionist history in the last thirty years, especially in academia, has been condemnation or deconstruction of the West, Western thought, and especially America. Look at any college course catalog and you'll see what I mean.

That pattern shows that modern revisionists do not actually try to evaluate history in the light of new knowledge; rather they start from a political conviction and revise history to fit.

An example of the wholesome kind, which I would not actually call revisionism since that to me means adjusting history to suit your politics, is the change from the "only good injun is a dead injun" view to the publishing of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" and "Son of the Morning Star", in which America came to see how badly the Indians were treated.

An example of the revisionist kind would be the recent attempt by the Smithsonian Institute to portray the Hiroshima bombing as an act of American racism and bloodlust, with little or no exploration of what could have provoked us to drop the bomb.

Thoughtful historical review is open-minded and sees many sides, as is necessary to understand human actions. Today's historical revisionism is decidedly one-sided, and thus anti-truth.

Iain
April 7, 2004, 08:14 AM
I don't disagree Khornet if that is the way it is in colleges over there. Things are a little different over here at times.

Not too long ago I took a history course at university called 'Empires on the Nile' it was about the history of Egypt and the Sudan in the 19th century and British rule. It could have been a real opportunity for some handwringing 'aren't we all evil' diatribes from the tutor, particularly over actions in the Sudan against the Mahdi's revolt. In one notable battle the British killed 10,000 men in a morning for the loss of about 12 I think. The tutor was a great pains to point out that this was the result of a monumental strategic error on behalf of the Mahdi who was operating under delusions of victory against the British on the open plain - spears against new-fangled artillery.

rather they start from a political conviction and revise history to fit.

I'm afraid history has always been written that way. Macaulay and the others are all guilty of it, try reading some of Winston Churchill's work on the World Wars, what he omits to mention in places can be stunning. Revision does need to be undertaken - particularly as a lot of what was written in the 1950's and 60's was undertaken by Marxist thinkers - we know how we feel about them.

Historians have always had their preconceptions and biases, they've operated under over-arching schemes (marxism is just one example) they've been determinist and all sorts. Sometimes history is very clear and most of the time it's not, new books and new writers muddy the waters as much as they clarify them.

An example of the wholesome kind, which I would not actually call revisionism since that to me means adjusting history to suit your politics...

I appreciate that definition, unfortunately it means finding a new word for the 'wholesome kind'. I'll have a look in to it and see what the good ones call themselves.

See you later.

Khornet
April 7, 2004, 09:47 AM
I hope it really is different across the pond.

Of course we all have preconceptions, and of course they influence our interpretation of history, and of course you can find them if you look closely enough. But that's beside my point, which is the strikingly uniform nature of today's historical revisionism. It is so uniformly deconstructionist and anti-west that to be truly revisionist in American academia today would be to write pro-west history. It's really much more a political indoctrination than anexamination of history through honest eyes.

bountyhunter
April 7, 2004, 12:35 PM
Anna, I admire the way you are trying to think this topic through. And you are absolutely on target that history books change. We call that "revisionist history". And by all credible accounts, the worst offenders in the realm of "revisionist history" of the 20th century were the japanese. I saw some of their "textbooks" regarding WWII, and all you read about was how much they suffered under the hands of the US forces, etc. No reality programming about what circumstances led up to the war. Bottom line is this: in the 30's, japan's government came under control of a warlike sect of militaristic people who believed it was their destiny to conquer and control their area of the world. Period. They began "expanding", and the methods they used against the "inferior races" they were conquering reflected the level of propoganda they were disseminating internally as to how they were the superior race and the other Asian races were sub human. That is pure racism, and although it's not PC to say it, that component exists in their culture today 9an arrogant disdain for westernized culture).

The point is, while they were "expanding", they were given wrnings to stop. FDR assembled a coalition of nations who agreed to stop selling japan oil, knowing that the war machine does not run without it. Japan was faced with only teo alternatives:

1) Capitulate and stop conquering territories.

2) Secure oil supplies independent of US control.

They freely chose the latter. The attack on our forces was about one thing (times haven't changed much): OIL. The japanese had to secure the oil fields of the Dutch east indies, which they did. However, they failed to destroy our fleet which meant the sea lanes to carry the oil home were never actually clear and unrestructed. most knowledgable people withing Japan knew the war was lost as early as six months in, because of their failure to deal our fleet a fatal blow and obtain free oil flow.

The bottom line is that the war with japan arose because Japan followed a clearly marked path that always leads to war; rapid expansion/aggression and slaughtering of civilians in adjacent countries. Where they miscalculated was the US willingness to step in and fight a war on two fronts (Europe and pacific). We did and we kicked their butts. The ultimate responsibility for wars lies with who starts them, and the methods used to obtain surrender in this war were fully acceptable at the time.

BTW: whoever is filling you with BS that Japan would have happily surrendered is shoveling the stuff that makes lawns green and plants grow.

bountyhunter
April 7, 2004, 12:47 PM
If the japanese indeed were ready to surrender without the bombs the outcome would be the same without such drastic measures. Honestly, who is feeding you this drivel? The facts are that not only was japan NOT going to surrender, but even after the bombs were dropped, there was an internal struggle against it. The Bushido code said fight to the death, and the militaristic elements demanded exactly that. The only reason surrender occurred was very simple: the emporer adamantly ordered it and he was considered to be a living god, and his word could not be questioned (seriously). If he had not ordered surrender, the war would have gone on for many years. Do you know why? At that time, all of the enriched U-238 that existed in the world was in the first two bombs (named "Fat Man" and "Little Boy"). It would have taken time to make more because of the crude methods... and if Japan was willing to suffer through the loss of a major city every couple of months, then we would have had to fight until all their forces were gone. That would have taken years and cost us millions of US deaths.

Thumper
April 7, 2004, 01:14 PM
Anna,

Facts: A unanimous vote by the Japanese Cabinet was required for a surrender. Even after seeing results of the second bomb, they were unable to agree to surrender (12 members, 8 votes for, three against, and one abstaining).

In addition to the Cabinet, the Big 6 rulers of Japan were unable to agree...three were for surrender, but the other three, War Minister Anami, Army Chief of Staff Umezu, and Navy Chief of Staff Toyoda, steadfastly refused to surrender. Remember, this is all AFTER the second bomb.

In fact, when Japan finally surrendered, Anami disembowelled himself with a sword.

Did you know, Anna, that any Japanese who spoke out in favor of peace were arrested? (Pacific War Research Society, DML, pg. 167-168; Butow, pg. 75(56n) & 178-179; Sigal, pg. 228-229)

The Japanese were obviously NOT ready, or even close to being ready, to surrender before the bombs were dropped.

I would suggest that you closely examine the motives of those who would tell you that they were.

lapidator
April 7, 2004, 01:32 PM
Of course, if we hadn't used nukes in Japan, we might have in Korea, not knowing the effects. Or Vietnam. Would that have been better?

Yes, lets take Korea for example. We would certainly have used Nukes in Korea if we had not in 1945 -- we nearly did as it was!

By then, the Soviets had nukes of their own -- it would have lead to all out nuclear war.

Oh, yes... it would have been much better to invade Japan and hold the nukes for later days...

Lapidator

Paco
April 7, 2004, 03:09 PM
Lapidator and Bountyhunter,

As much as I appreciate your intelligent arguments, they are shady speculations at best. We really don't know if there would be a knock down drag out fight, as much as we like to think we know what the Japanese were thinking.

If they surrendered with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki then who's to say that the would have NEVER surrendered otherwise. Just like someone else said: dead is dead and bombing is bombing. Lets' just say given what was known, as long as we the people and historians haven't been lied to, the a-bombs were a smart tactical move in that it presented a new weapon in the theater of war that had high destructive value and intimidation.

It just shouldn't be justified with a bunch of would ifs such as lives saved. Maybe LESS lives would have been lost with just a few more conventional bombing runs... Who knows...

-I think someone said it best that after having spent all that money and time, they had to use that puppy.

moa
April 7, 2004, 03:25 PM
I thought "Fat Man" was made with U-235, and not U-238.

Shane333
April 7, 2004, 03:27 PM
Paco,

You may be right. I'm glad we dropped the bombs so we didn't have to face those 'what if's'.

Hkmp5sd
April 7, 2004, 03:27 PM
We really don't know if there would be a knock down drag out fight, as much as we like to think we know what the Japanese were thinking.
I would call the direct testimony of the Japanese military and government officials proof they had no intention of surrendering. You don't start teaching your elementary aged children to fight with sticks and rakes if you are considering surrendering. Only the direct orders of Hirohito stopped the war and even then with dissension in the ranks. There is overwhelming evidence that many Japanese leaders opposed surrendering under any circumstances.

Edited to correct lousy spelling/typing.

Khornet
April 7, 2004, 04:28 PM
I think you're exactly right. Absent reading the minds of people now mostly deceased, the best we can do is rely on their statements and their actions. I see nothing to convince me that invasion of the Japanese home islands would have been anything but a bloodbath. Nothing to convince me that a "demonstration" would have worked....two of them almost didn't. And now, an old Khornet editorial on this subject:


AUGUST THANKSGIVING

Hampton Sides, in his excellent book Ghost Soldiers, describes events of December 14, 1944 at Puerto Princesa Prison Camp in the Philippines. There 150 American soldiers, survivors of the Bataan Death March, were held captive as slave laborers. Japanese Lieutenant Sato herded the prisoners into their air raid shelters, telling them that a large force of American bombers was approaching. Mr. Sides describes the shelters:

"They were primitive, nothing more than narrow slits dug four feet deep and roofed with logs covered over with a few feet of dirt. There were three main trenches, each about a hundred feet long. On both ends, the structures had tiny crawl-space entrances that admitted one man at a time. Approximately fifty men could fit inside each one, but they had to pack themselves in with their knees tucked under their chins." One prisoner, James Stidham, injured during an earlier bombing raid and now paralyzed, was placed on a stretcher outside the entrance of one of the pits, to be dragged inside if necessary.

Once the Americans were packed in the shelters, Japanese soldiers appeared with buckets and flung the contents into the shelters. The smell told the Americans that it was high-octane aviation fuel, and seconds later the Japanese tossed torches into the trenches and they exploded in fire. Desperate prisoners, bathed in flame, attempted to crawl out of the entrances. They were cut down with machine guns. As for James Stidham, "A soldier stepped over to him and with a perfunctory glance fired two slugs into his face."

The few survivors, badly burned and crawling desperately toward the jungle, were tortured and then bayoneted. Three or four, however, were overlooked and later escaped to tell the tale.

By December 1944 the tide of the war had clearly turned against the Japanese, and it has been argued that grisly mass murders like the one at Puerto Princesa were the acts of a cornered and wounded animal. How, then to explain the events at Nanking? When that Chinese city was captured by the Japanese, they were at the height of their power, victorious wherever they went. None of the Allies were at war with Japan, and no Japanese territory had felt the lash of bomber fleets. Yet, in Nanking, from December to March 1937, the Imperial Army embarked on an orgy of slaughter. At least 250,000 civilians were murdered. Tens of thousands of women and girls were raped and then murdered, usually brutally and slowly. Laughing Japanese soldiers tossed babies into the air and caught them on their bayonets. Brave international observers and aid workers, doing their best to check the bloodbath, confirmed the stories of barbarity.

Multiculturalists insist that all cultures are valid, and that it is bigoted to judge another culture in light of our own. I wonder how they would approach the Japanese culture of World War II, for it was one whose racism, brutality, and sheer sadism left the Nazis far behind. But in those unenlightened days, the minds of the West had not yet been emasculated by Multiculturalism, and so on Aug. 6, 1945 the most vicious culture of the 20th century was consumed by hellfire. Continued on page 2


AUGUST THANKSGIVING page 2

Imagine the Pacific world conquered by the Japanese. How many times would Nanking and Puerto Princesa have been repeated? What would have been the scene in Australia or Hawaii? Our only guide is the behavior of Dai Nippon up to the moment it was crushed; the leopard does not change its spots.

So every August we should thank heaven for Fat Man and Little Boy and what they did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In their terrible fireballs a truly monstrous culture vanished, hopefully forever, and certainly to the benefit of everyone, including Japan. The murderous philosophy of Bushido was deeply ingrained in the Japanese mind, and could not be educated out of them. There was no logic which would remove it; by August 1945 it was clear to all, including the Japanese leaders, that defeat was inevitable. Still they fought on fanatically, not for victory, but only to kill as many Americans as possible before they themselves went down. Nuclear fire vaporized Bushido and made possible the thriving, peaceful democracy which is modern Japan. If not for the mission of the Enola Gay, and the bravery and sacrifice of Allied soldiers in the years leading up to it, Japan would have continued unchecked in its descent into hell, for there was nothing at all in the Japanese world to stop it.

Winston Churchill famously said of such nations that "They are either at your throat or at your feet." A people who can do what Japan did are incapable of occupying a middle ground. They can either put the world to the sword, or, as today, renounce arms with the same pathologic intensity, but they cannot carry a sword to be drawn only in self-defense.


Each year at this time in America you can count on the appearance of self-righteous demonstrations lamenting the horror of August 1945. It's in our national character to be gnawed by conscience over our sins. It's part of what made us willing to spill the blood of so many of our young men to free Europe and Asia from worse than slavery, and, irritating though the ignorance of peaceniks may be, we must remember that they couldn't march or even exist if we weren't a fundamentally good nation. While we blush with shame over the internment of our Japanese-Americans, and rightly so, we should also take a moment to recognize the deafening silence in Japan today about Nanking and a thousand other atrocities. As the well-intentioned fools release their doves this year at Ground Zero in Hiroshima, let us remember that there would be no such peace demonstrations anywhere along the Pacific Rim if America hadn't rained destruction on the Japanese Empire.

What lit up the sky over Hiroshima on that August morning in 1945 was not the dawning of a new age of terror. It was the Rising Sun not of Imperial Japan, but of a new age of lasting peace, the completion of the world's emancipation from a racist horror, and the beginning of the liberation of the Japanese people from themselves.

Michael R. Bowen M.D.

bountyhunter
April 7, 2004, 05:21 PM
As much as I appreciate your intelligent arguments, they are shady speculations at best. We really don't know if there would be a knock down drag out fight, as much as we like to think we know what the Japanese were thinking. No offense, but it really only takes one living brain cell to know what would have happened. Ask the Marines how many japanese died fighting to the death defending small volcanic rocks in the Pacific that had NO VALUE to anybody including the US.... then ask your selfhow they would have fought against invading amphibious forces trying to take their homeland. I submit anybody who thinks that fighting would have been anything less than cataclysmic is not firing on any cylinders.

bountyhunter
April 7, 2004, 05:30 PM
I thought "Fat Man" was made with U-235, and not U-238. It's been 30 years since my physics and chemistry majors, but my distant memory recalled that U-238 was the fissionable isotope which is obtained by "enrichment" of the basic element which is U-235. I thought it was necessary to enrich U-235 to U-238 to make bombs, and the famous "centrifuge" which Iraq was falsely accused of having is the device which does it. Chemistry professors correct me if my recollections are wrong. A humorous note: at one point, we had all of the U-238 on earth (back in 1943) obtained by this process which was enough to make three bombs (one test, two dropped). One a certain date, they said it was hauled across base in the trunk of some old Dodge.... with no security escort. Funny, when you think of it's actual value at the time.

bountyhunter
April 7, 2004, 05:35 PM
-I think someone said it best that after having spent all that money and time, they had to use that puppy. Look, I am the first one to call bulls--t if the government is spewing propoganda, but this isn't one of those cases: at the time the bombs came into workable operation, we had a few options:

1) Just go home and let the japanese stay where they were (no harm, no foul)

2) use conventional forces to invade and make them surrender

3) Drop the bombs

It is not "what iffing" to say those bombs saved millions of lives OF BOTH COUNTRIES... it is a fact because it forced them to stop fighting. The fighting which was avoided would certainly have far exceeded the deaths caused by the attacks and would have left their country completely in rubble.

Hkmp5sd
April 7, 2004, 05:50 PM
IIRC, Fat Man was made with plutonium (U-239). The process of separating natural Uranium (U-238) to increase the U-235 content is generally referred to as enriching. Enriched U-235 is used in nuclear power plants and bombs. The leftover material from the process is the "depleted uranium" used in armor piercing projectiles.

RGR
April 7, 2004, 06:43 PM
My thanks for the vigorous discussion and my apologies for not being able to keep up the last few days. Business.

Someone asked for a source about FDR provoking the Pearl Harbor attack. A source that someone else "hates" (The Case for Pearl Harbor Revisionism, http://www.charlesmartelsociety.org/toq/vol1no2/ss-pearlharbor.html) cited it in footnote 8:

Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (New York: The Free Press, 2000).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684853396/103-9802606-2386216?v=glance

FWIW, "Although obviously troubled by his discovery of a systematic plan of deception on the part of the American government, Stinnett does not take deep issue with its outcome."

All I have time for at the moment...

"Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It was not long after the first Japanese bombs fell on the American naval ships at Pearl Harbor that conspiracy theories began to circulate, charging that Franklin Roosevelt and his chief military advisors knew of the impending attack well in advance. Robert Stinnett, who served in the U.S. Navy with distinction during World War II, examines recently declassified American documents and concludes that, far more than merely knowing of the Japanese plan to bomb Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt deliberately steered Japan into war with America.

Stinnett's argument draws on both circumstantial evidence--the fact, for example, that in September 1940 Roosevelt signed into law a measure providing for a two-ocean navy that would number 100 aircraft carriers--and, more importantly, on American governmental documents that offer apparently incontrovertible proof that Roosevelt knowingly sacrificed American lives in order to enter the war on the side of England. Although obviously troubled by his discovery of a systematic plan of deception on the part of the American government, Stinnett does not take deep issue with its outcome. Roosevelt, he writes, faced powerful opposition from isolationist forces, and, against them, the Pearl Harbor attack was "something that had to be endured in order to stop a greater evil--the Nazi invaders in Europe who had begun the Holocaust and were poised to invade England." Sure to excite discussion, Stinnett's book offers what may be the final word on the terrible matter of Pearl Harbor. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

Historians have long debated whether President Roosevelt had advance knowledge of Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Using documents pried loose through the Freedom of Information Act during 17 years of research, Stinnett provides overwhelming evidence that FDR and his top advisers knew that Japanese warships were heading toward Hawaii. The heart of his argument is even more inflammatory: Stinnett argues that FDR, who desired to sway public opinion in support of U.S. entry into... [read more]

Book Description

Pearl Harbor was not an accident, a mere failure of American intelligence, or a brilliant Japanese military coup. It was the result of a carefully orchestrated design, initiated at the highest levels of our government. According to a key memorandum eight steps were taken to make sure we would enter the war by this means. Pearl Harbor was the only way, leading officials felt, to galvanize the reluctant American public into action.

This great question of Pearl Harbor--what did we know and when did we know it?--has been argued for years. At first, a panel created by FDR concluded that we had no advance warning and should blame only the local commanders for lack of preparedness. More recently, historians such as John Toland and Edward Beach have concluded that some intelligence was intercepted. Finally, just months ago, the Senate voted to exonerate Hawaii commanders Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short, after the Pentagon officially declared that blame should be "broadly shared." But no investigator has ever been able to prove that fore-knowledge of the attack existed at the highest levels.

Until now. After decades of Freedom of Information Act requests, Robert B. Stinnett has gathered the long-hidden evidence that shatters every shibboleth of Pearl Harbor. It shows that not only was the attack expected, it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy. Whereas previous investigators have claimed that our government did not crack Japan's military codes before December 7, 1941, Stinnett offers cable after cable of decryptions. He proves that a Japanese spy on the island transmitted information--including a map of bombing targets--beginning on August 21, and that government intelligence knew all about it. He reveals that Admiral Kimmel was prevented from conducting a routine training exercise at the eleventh hour that would have uncovered the location of the oncoming Japanese fleet. And contrary to previous claims, he shows that the Japanese fleet did not maintain radio silence as it approached Hawaii. Its many coded cables were intercepted and decoded by American cryptographers in Stations on Hawaii and in Seattle.

The evidence is overwhelming. At the highest levels--on FDR's desk--America had ample warning of the pending attack. At those same levels, it was understood that the isolationist American public would not support a declaration of war unless we were attacked first. The result was a plan to anger Japan, to keep the loyal officers responsible for Pearl Harbor in the dark, and thus to drag America into the greatest war of her existence.

Yet even having found what he calls the "terrible truth," Stinnett is still inclined to forgive. "I sympathize with the agonizing dilemma faced by President Roosevelt," he writes. "He was forced to find circuitous means to persuade an isolationist America to join in a fight for freedom....It is easier to take a critical view of this policy a half century removed than to understand fully what went on in Roosevelt's mind in the year prior to Pearl Harbor."

Day of Deceit is the definitive final chapter on America's greatest secret and our worst military disaster."

JeffS
April 7, 2004, 08:39 PM
First off,support your points by keeping it concise and pithy. No one wants to wade through all those words to find what you assert.

Second, most armchair historians forget that Japan had a failed military coup during the time they were discussing surrendering internally. This coup was the largest contributing factor for the atomic bomb.

Paco
April 8, 2004, 10:02 AM
bountyhunter,

Why should the conventional forces have to invade? Like I said before, a few more bombing runs MIGHT have done it.

oh BTW, please refrain from telling folks in a forum since they don't agree with YOUR opinion, that they lack brain cells or aren't firing pistons-this kinda' talk weakens your argument.

All I see in your argument is a strain of logic based on assumptions:
"Well, if we had to fight so hard for the iddy-biddy islands, then guess how BAD it's a gonna be on the big one!"

-Well, friend, that's an assumption. We know for a fact that there was dissention in their ranks. Their war machine wasn't effective anymore and I would venture to say that a bunch of children and mamasans wielding broomsticks wouldn't heap up piles of our dead at their feet. Yeah, I know, what about the army stationed over in China... We really don't know how it would have played out. I think there was more to it than just 'saving lives'. Man, that excuse has been used for some of the craziest things in history.

-My point is, I'm cool with how it played out given what we know. To assume we saved MILLIONS of lives in an attempt to make the act more laudible and fuzzy is just silly.

-paco

kentucky bucky
April 8, 2004, 10:21 AM
I'm glad they nuked the Japanese into surrender. My father had orders to be in the invasion of the Japanese mainland with the 82nd Airborne. The losses would have been staggering and he would have been in the midddle of it. Maybe I'm just a little selfish, but I'm happy that me and my children had the opportunity to be born. I get weary of armchair intellectuals rewriting history using their 20/20 hindsight to trash this country for making decisions that they would not have had the brains or the guts to make. Thank God that the Japs didn't get the bomb first, or this discussion wouldn't be possible, and all we could write would be praises to the emperor.:fire:

Shane333
April 8, 2004, 10:58 AM
Paco,

It is logical to assume that the Japanese would fight with the same savage suicidal manner on their mainland as they did on any little island. In fact, it is logical to assume that the Japanese would be even more savage on their mainland.

Perhaps that's just an assumption, but it's an assumption based on very strong evidence. In my not-so-humble opinion on the matter, that evidence is ten times stronger than all the speculation you've presented up to this point.

Paco
April 8, 2004, 11:03 AM
kentucky bucky,

Hey brother, we're all armchair intellectuals if we're on this board typing-even if we're real-world operators. It's all speculation and pontificating and whatnot. Ya' get one seasoned combat veteran and he'll tell you something completely different from another. There's quite a few in my family and they disagree aaaall the time on things like dropping the bomb or not. I do think we have a right and even a duty to look back at history and mine it for new truths to learn from it. If that's so bad... Well maybe this aint the right place to be.

Again, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Given what we know we dropped the bomb and called it good. I don't hold it against the naysayers if they think it was a bad call. Just their opinion. What we SHOULD learn from it, all of us, is that while it might have worked back then, it shouldn't be a justifier for that kinda action now. One should observe the event as an entity unto itself as well as see what was done back in the day.

I've heard lots of folks on different threads use the H/N drop as the pivotal point in bombing the crap out of Fallujah?/Fajullah?. I'm just trying to avoid adding laurels that aren't there (IE We saved MILLIONS!!! who knows...)and using certain events to crowbar some thought process (IE it worked on the Japanese, let's drop another on those filthy Muslims!!!), as oppposed to letting history speak for itself and using pure, and simple logic, with a bit of good-ole American morality to make the calls today!

peace,
-paco

p.s. kentucky: how am I trashing the decision that I just said in previous posts that I AGREE with?Hmmm...

Paco
April 8, 2004, 11:09 AM
Shane333,

I'll do you one better. What if... famous words, ha!... but, what if we just kept bombing them conventionally abit more. What if we just bombed the palace and killed their GOD? Maybe we would have save tens-of thousands of Japanese lives. Not what I'd do, just an assumption. We REALLY don't know if millions of lives would have been traded.

-I would have dropped those mothers to prove a point to the world. Bombs are bombs and a conventional bomb can kill ya' just as dead as the one with the pretty lights. If they were sooo hardcore about fighting to the last man why did killing only 100,000 of them stop them when they were supposedly willing to trade millions? Millions! It just doesn't make sense.

-We did the right thing-let's not add to the laurels that are all ready there.

peace,
paco

Paco
April 8, 2004, 11:31 AM
BTW, All forum memebers who are remotely interested in reading the crap I post, PLEASE use the 'refresh' button often 'cause I'm dumb and can't type worth a dam and can't seemily see the freakin' mistakes before I post!:(

Sincerely Yours,
Idiot:uhoh:

Shane333
April 8, 2004, 11:51 AM
Fair enough answer Paco. Good man.

I suppose we could, "what if," till judgement day. It wouldn't change what has already happened.

Personally, I feel the USA was justified. I'm just amazed at how others from other countries judge us for it. Usually they have no contextual clue about what was going on in the world during WWII. They say things like, "how could your country use the Atomic Bomb? That is so inhumane!"

Their ignorance, and the ignorance of some in the US, really upsets me when they make a judgement based on that ignorance. :fire:

Paco
April 8, 2004, 12:19 PM
Dear Shane333,

Look, nothing and I mean nothing gets my blood boiling more than the modern 'peacenik' euros giving us a hard time about WWII. Man 'o man, first off, if it isn't the pot callin' the kettle black! They (the Germans) were the war-mongers: let's also not forget WWI.

And besides, no offense to all the Euros out in the THR, but if we didn't jump in, that would have been all she wrote for Western Europe. I'd like them to give us abit more credibility and respect for our grampas and grandmas having saved their bacon.

Hey we all screw up and no one is perfect, but give credit where credit is due and if not, don't tell me, as an American, that you think we're a bunch of roving barbarians just like we always were! Grrrrrrr!:fire:

p.s. I get in debates aaall the time with my Euro buddies about guns and war and etc. There's a reason they are unarmed: most of the populace is COMPLETELY cool with it and openly think we're abit backwards. Maybe we are but as that wise fella once said: Pull the plank outta yer own eye before you try to wipe the dust from mine.

-paco

Khornet
April 8, 2004, 12:35 PM
we agree substantially, but I think you're wrong to scoff at the 'millions of lives saved' idea. And your comment nothwithstanding, I've never talked to a combat veteran of the Pacific who thought differently....there just isn't a spectrum of views on that among the vets.

bountyhunter
April 8, 2004, 12:37 PM
oh BTW, please refrain from telling folks in a forum since they don't agree with YOUR opinion, that they lack brain cells or aren't firing pistons-this kinda' talk weakens your argument. No offense, but do you actually read your own posts? A direct quote from your post is:

"Why should the conventional forces have to invade? Like I said before, a few more bombing runs MIGHT have done it."

Which you state in the face of multiple historically proven posts that even after two atomic bombs were dropped, the government was NOT in favor of surrender and WOULD NOT have surrendered had the emporer not ordered it? And to disprove my "weak argument", your response is "a few more bombing runs might have done it"?

I was trying to humorously point out that the information you are posting is ludicrous and yet it keeps on coming even in light of all the evidence being posted by people who actually have studied the subject.

Whatever, dude. I know a closed mind when I hear one so I will leave you to your belief system.


BTW: as to your post:

but, what if we just kept bombing them conventionally abit more. What if we just bombed the palace and killed their GOD? In their culture, the emporer was a living God and he was the one who forced the military side of the government to accept the surrender. If bombing had killed him, the war would have gone on for years.

bountyhunter
April 8, 2004, 12:42 PM
They (the Germans) were the war-mongers: let's also not forget WWI. Really? It might interest you to know that in sheer numbers, the japanese killed more people in their little "expansion effort" than the Germans ever did, even including the Holocaust deaths. Japan had their own genocidal romp against all the other Asians in the Vicnity (Chinese and Philipinos), but history doesn't write much about that. And as far as war atrocities go, the Germans acts are well known, but the japanese performed horrific experiments on US prisoners which included injecting them with various forms of plague and other pathogens then studying how they died. Many of the Japanese versions of "Dr Mengele" were given absolution and their crimes where covered up in return for supplying that information to our government. You have a lot to learn about the reality of that war.

TheBluesMan
April 8, 2004, 12:49 PM
Hmmm... :scrutiny:

Getting a little tense in here.

Let's take it easy on the personal sniping or at least take it to email.

Mmmmkay? :)

bountyhunter
April 8, 2004, 12:56 PM
Getting a little tense in here.Mmmmkay?
No problem, I have better places to spend my time so here endeth the lesson. Regards.

c_yeager
April 8, 2004, 12:56 PM
My feeling is that if the bombing saved even ONE American life that it was worth it. Why should OUR soldiers have to die to protect the lives of the people who started a war with us? We didnt start the war, the Japanese had every opportunity to surrender and chose not to. Why should we have an obligation to make it painless for them? We lost ENOUGH of our men in that war.

Lets not forget that Japan was given a chance to surrender after the FIRST bomb was dropped on their country and CHOSE not to. A large portion of one of their cities was vaporized and they still hadnt seen enough. What does that tell you? DOes that really indicate that they would have rolled over in an invasion?

Paco
April 8, 2004, 01:07 PM
Bountyhunter,

Wooah there big fella! Blood pressure gettin' a bit up? My 'closed' mind abit too kooky for ya'? Ha! Hey brother ALL this including the stuff you post is just interpretation, just opinion, no more closed minded or open-minded for that matter than anyone else. You're just as closed off to seeing it my way, so save us the drama and stop pointing out the obvious.

-I know about what the Japanese did, I was stating a specific point to Shane333 about some of the crap my Euro buddies ride me about. Try to read in context. Easy...

-BTW, saying that an insult was supposed to be humorous because it's on your terms is just dirty pool. Let it stand for what it is-don't try to cover up dooky with sand and tell me ya' got a castle...


Khornet: You'r right. My grandfather who was a Lieutenant Colonel actually thought that we should have dropped MORE A-bombs if we had them and felt, like Patton, that we should have gotten up in the Ruskis' grill before they could become the power that they did. He was stationed in Berlin as the Head 'Policeman' after their surrender and took an awful dislike to our Soviet/Russian friends.

It was my Vietnam Vet uncle, one of them, that's become a bit of a peacenik, and felt that we could have solved it other ways. I disagree with him but not on his choice in becoming a peacenik: Who am I to tell a fella after him having killed quite a few people to not bury the hatchet on bloodshedding or even the possibility of bloodshed. The other uncle is just like the rest of us: a gun-owner, strong RKBA advocate, an' all that.

I' got nothin' but LUV for all my THR brothers and sisters!,
-paco

Paco
April 8, 2004, 01:13 PM
c-yeager,

You know what that tells me? They were some real tough hombres! Man, if, after getting beaten up in the Pacific AND seeing a city vaporize, you have that much gumshun to still wanna fight then maybe they deserved to have the other shoe drop.. so to speak. They're sooo nice now: hard to believe they were able to shrug off the first nuke and give us a run for our money. Tough, tough. Glad they're Allies now.

-p

Shane333
April 8, 2004, 01:20 PM
I'd just like to add that I'm gratefull that neither the Japanese nor the Germans succeeded. Otherwise I probably wouldn't even be able to discuss topics like these with all of you. Take care y'all.

longeyes
April 8, 2004, 01:41 PM
They're so nice now. Just try talking away the S&M comic books and see how nice they are.:D

cracked butt
April 8, 2004, 01:52 PM
I almost have to shake my head in disgust every time some ill informed 'expert' wants to put the Japanese on the same moral ground as Americans. It shows a complete lack of understanding of history and the attitude that the Japanese had towards human life.:banghead:

The Japanese committed wartime atrocities on par with the dealings of the SS- though on a smaller scale. They worked and beat pows to death on a mass scale. If the POWs were tough enough to withstand the beatings and work environment in some of the harshest disease ridden climates on earth and somehow managed to avoid a katana beheaheading by a samarai wanna-be, they were shipped to the Japanese islands to be tortured to death.

To get just a glimpse of the Japanese atrocities, check out this site about the MV AMerican Leader- http://www.usmm.org/duffyamerlead.html

http://www.usmm.org/duffy.html#anchor565360

My great uncle was a crew member on the MV AMerican Leader, and died on the Tomahaku Maru.

Paco
April 8, 2004, 02:03 PM
Cracked Butt,

-Who put the the WWII Japanese on the same ground as us? Now, in the modern day, they are on the same moral ground but I don't think anyone would dispute with the fact that they were a bit sick/murderous in WWII.

-Is this a general statement or a response to something some soul said. Inquiring minds wanna know!

-p

cracked butt
April 8, 2004, 02:07 PM
Paco, I'm responding to the originalk post- maybe "moral equivalency" is the wrong term for the American lives being much more valuable than the Japanese.

Anna G.
April 8, 2004, 02:10 PM
You said you are in Bulgaria. Say Bulgaria is at war with another country. The Bulgarian military leaders are going to make plans to inflict maximum casualities on the enemy forces while keeping the Bulgarian forces as safe as possible. They will fire artillery into enemy positions, but avoid Bulgarian forces. In this situation (war), to Bulgarians, Bulgarian lives are more important than the enemy soldiers' lives.
Yes, but this doesnt apply to the civilians. Actually technicly now we are in war, because we are allies of the americans against Iraq. We already had 5, I think, killed and I dont feel more pity to them than to any other soldier. The situation might not be the same though...

If they were indeed ready to surrender, would you then presume that they were somehow incapable of communicating that intention?
I doubt they were. But you probably werent there to check the information. I am sorry if I am wrong.

Honestly, who is feeding you this drivel?
I could ask you the same. ;) Its surprising how the facts we are raised with are different. Makes you think... :rolleyes: And I'd prefer to believe the history books from an unbiased country rather than these from a biased one. What I have heard of is "The valiant death of the 100 millions" and it refers to a mass suicide (not while killing someone), which of course didnt happen.

By the way, about the USA giving money to countries they've been in war with: Dont worry about anything, the politicians didnt do it because they felt so bad for them. Its done for influence over the region and its worth it.

The cultural collision is getting a little too much for me. :scrutiny:

Paco
April 8, 2004, 02:11 PM
Cracked butt,

Well, see? That's your mistake: never read all the posts, just the one or two right before your post!:D

pax
April 8, 2004, 02:26 PM
And I'd prefer to believe the history books from an unbiased country rather than these from a biased one.
Anna,

There is no such thing.

The history books produced by people who live in your country are written by people with a bias. Just as the ones written by Americans are written by people with a bias, and the ones written by Japanese, French, Iraqis, Germans, or any other nationality all have a bias. There is no such thing as an unbiased source.

The question to ask is, which country has the most consistent history of allowing its citizens to freely investigate the past and to speak their opinions without fear of government reprisal. Your country does not have a good track record in that area, so your textbooks are more likely to be not just biased, but wrong when compared to textbooks that come from some other countries.

America has done some stupid things over the years, but our academicians are rarely afraid of the government punishing them for writing or speaking about what they have discovered. So the people who write our history books might have their own biases, and often disagree with each other -- but at least the government does not use the textbooks for its own propaganda.

When looking for a history book, you should look for ones that come from countries where scholars are not afraid to disagree with the government.

pax

Iain
April 8, 2004, 02:31 PM
Anna,

I'm with pax, see earlier in the thread for a discussion between myself and Khornet that lays clear my views on historiography.

Paco
April 8, 2004, 02:38 PM
pax is smaaart! Pax always comes in like a surgeon: clean and precise without all the drama. Good point on the history books and something we Americans gotta remember when reading our own stuff. It seems like everyone's got an agenda. Such is life.

Khornet
April 8, 2004, 02:49 PM
Bravo Zulu, Pax.

Anna G.
April 8, 2004, 03:44 PM
Pax, you are right, I put that wrong, there is no completely unbiased country, but there is less biased one. I believe that in the time this happened we were on your side so its logical to think that the bombs were good.

Orthonym
April 8, 2004, 10:50 PM
I spent about 1/2 hour carefully composing it, mixing in my Dad's war stories from Saipan, and when I hit the "Submit Reply", button, I got back "You are not logged in." The entire little essay, a small thing, but mine own, has evaporated. This system used to work better.

ThreadKiller
April 8, 2004, 11:05 PM
Thank your favorite deity that it was the US that developed "The Bomb" first.

Had Stalin or Hitler won the atomic race, would we be having this discussion?

The US did the right thing.

Tim

goon
April 9, 2004, 09:32 AM
Both my grandfathers and one great uncle served in the Army in WWII. They all survived.
If we had invaded Japan they might not have survived.
You don't like that we used the bomb?
Fine. That is your opinion.
The thing is, we didn't start that fight. The Japanese did.
They were not nice, friendly people. They were harsh and brutal to those they conquered and captured. They attacked us with no warning. They crawled up on us and stabbed us in the back.
I say if they didn't like having the bomb dropped on them they should not have started the war.
When you are in a fight, you don't wear padded gloves and let the other guy kick you in the crotch. You hit him as hard as you can and you keep hitting him until he either quits or can't hit you back.
Why should war be any different?

Iain
April 9, 2004, 09:37 AM
It's not 'your favourite deity' that you want to thank that the Germans didn't get there first, it's British commando's that you want to thank.

Germans were also very far along the road to developing a missile that could have delivered it. Same guy who worked on that and the V2 was very heavily involved in the moon landing. Bit of a genius.

six 4 sure
April 9, 2004, 09:51 AM
For those that think the Japanese didn’t target “civilians” after the war started, I suggest you check this out. www.af.mil/news/airman/0298/bombsb.htm

I have a much better article at home that goes into more detail. They determined, from micro fossils in sand bags attached to the balloon, that they had to have come from Japan. The government still had some control with the press, and this information was kept from the public.

six

bountyhunter
April 9, 2004, 01:38 PM
Thank your favorite deity that it was the US that developed "The Bomb" first. Ironically, Hitler's racist bigotry contributed heavily toward germany not having the bomb before us. He ridiculed Einstein's work as "Jewish Physics" and didn't place much stock in it. If they had pursued development more vogorously, they might have gotten there first. Using V2 rockets, they would have simply erased England and Russia from the face of the earth.... and we would all be speaking German today. The atom bomb was only recognized as a theoretical possibility because of Einstein's breakthrough:

E = m c (squared)

Which was derived by measuring microscopic changes in mass of radioactive elements and measuring the associated release of energy for that mass change. Bottom line, he was the man who showed the world that locked inside a tiny amount of mass is an almost limitless amount of energy.

If you enjoyed reading about "Nuking Japan Saved Millions? Horsehockey" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!