Skip to comments.‘It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing’ --- Why dropping the A-Bombs was wrong
Posted on 08/10/2013 6:09:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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Ha! That turned out badly!
I really didnt want to get into a discussion of any particular battle. I used that example as an illustration of arm chair generalship. Like I said, they’re a dime a dozen. Including me. ;^)
If only there had been some factor that the Japanese could use to validate a decision to surrender
The enemy, moreover, has begun to employ a new most cruel bomb, the power which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation . . . but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are we to save millions of our subjects, or ourselves, to atone before the hallowed spirits of our Imperial ancestors? This is the reason we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the Powers.
Thanks, Timmy - glad you have an opinion, too... but you know what they say about a-holes and opinions.
I wonder if Tim remembers how, in Dec. 1944, Germany was bound to surrender by Christmas. Unfortunately, that was when that whole Battle-of-the-Bulge thing occurred and the war dragged on for several more months with thousands more American deaths and casualties.
I wonder why Tim is so concerned about the civilian deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but not apparently concerned about the 100,000 civilians killed during the firebombing attacks on Tokyo or Dresden. And if he's so concerned about the civilian deaths, I would point out the Japanese military started that tradition with their attacks on Manchuria, Burma, the Philippines, and China - see "Rape of Nanking."
I wonder if Tim is aware of the deaths of the Japanese civilians at Saipan, where entire families, after years of propaganda by the japanese military, hurled themselves from cliffs rather than suffer "abuse" at the hands of the "barbaric" Americans. An invasion of the Japanese home islands would have seen that reenacted over and over.
I would also ask why it took a second strike for Japan to finally figure out the war was over for them. Maybe they thought the first bombing was just a fluke.
The atomic strikes occurred less than two months after some of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific at Okinawa - nobody told the Japanese they were on the verge of surrender, I guess. I'm glad Tim's sanctimonious conscience could have been salved by letting the war drag on for another 3 or 4 months, but then his life was never in jeopardy during that time.
The bomb saved a million American casualties an invasion would have cost.
"What if's" do not change history.
Revisionist history. Monday night quarterbacking.
Sacrifice hundreds of thousands to save millions? I maintain it was the correct thing to do.
It took two.
I grew up hearing stories from those that fought against Japanese soldiers, they said the Japanese fought with a mindset that surrender was not an option in any circumstance. That is how the Japanese fought every fight they were engaged in; in the islands they holed up in caves and only horrific things like flamethrowers could get to them and even knowing we would use them, they did not surrender. Don’t forget there were Japanese soldiers found still believing the war was ongoing for many years after it was over.
The belief that Japan would never surrender was a widespread belief with knowledge of their actions in many battles as evidence it was true. Most believed Japan would not surrender and we would have to go to Japan and fight every citizen as it was thought their fanatical commitment to their cause was that strong.
Eisenhower and others may have believed Japan would surrender but there was certainly no widespread belief of that at the time. Most believed it would come to hand to hand combat with Japanese civilians and huge losses of life to all involved before Japan would concede defeat. It seemed at the time the only option was to drop the bombs to convince Japan to surrender.
The funny thing about history is in looking back we can easily see how things coulda shoulda been done. Looking back we tend to overlook the perception people had at the time that led to the actual decisions made. If we don’t take into consideration how the people perceived what they were dealing with it is unfair to second guess the actions they took.
I know my parents were absolutely convinced a million people would die in an invasion of Japan by our forces. Whether that was true or not it was the perception, and they had the benefit of hearing first hand from people who had personally been in combat against the Japanese.
I personally have never doubted our decisions made to drop atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II, we fought for just reasons. Japan attacked us and that is justification to bring an enemy to their knees. They would have gladly taken us to our knees and beyond. Spend some time studying how the Japanese treated people that surrendered to them in order to understand how they really felt about surrender.
My own personal opinion is that war is a ugly horrific thing, not to be taken lightly. I am convinced that war is to be fought ruthlessly and to win at all costs or not at all. I am not a warmonger- exactly the opposite, I think war is taken too lightly by our politicians and most civilians- we want to have war lite, where no one dies yet the conflict is settled our way. History has proven if an enemy is not completely and soundly beat down to their knees with no doubt they have been trounced the conflict simmers and is never settled. I think if there is just cause to go to war we should fight to win and to save the lives of our own, and not play at it. If there is not enough cause to do that we should not be going to war at all.
Why did General Lemay abandon a war winning strategy that worked so well in Europe?
If you go back and read the detailed histories of who was on Lemay’s staff at the time you will discover that an operational analyst recommended the changing of the bombing campaign. A non-warrior in a backwater staff slot with relatively little rank actually changed the course of the war.
That was Robert Strange McNamara’s first venture into making war fighting policies. Don’t get me started on his second.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were manufacturing centers feed the military machine of Japan so how is that wrong that we put them out of business.
Let’s have the House of Representatives conduct a full investigation...that’ll take several years...at the end of which they will probably conclude that the US really lost the war and begin negotiating an immediate retroactive surrender.
Well, two atomic strikes illustrated emphatically, to all of Japan, that they had absolutely no alternative but surrender.
You’re on a troop ship during WWII, headed for Japan. You are lined up with your fellow soldiers. Your commanding officer tells you, “Look to your right, look to your left; the man to your right and the one to your left is going to be killed in this pending invasion of Japan to which we’re headed. Every Jap, man, woman and child, is armed with whatever tool is at hand; and ordered by the Emperor to kill you when you land.” - Then they got the news the bomb had been dropped. - My dad was a combat veteran from battles in N. Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Germany; a hardened veteran who would have had to go and fight the Japs if it hadn’t ended. - He had already charged hell with a bucket of water; by that time, a bucket of fire was what was required.
Hindsight is 20-20 as they say. The problem with this theory is that in 1945 our military intel people couldn’t sit down and interview Japanese leaders. There was a war on, remember? So what these Japanese leaders believed is completely irrelevant. Completely. The only thing that mattered was the intel we had, the beliefs we had based on years of hard fighting in the island hopping campaign to get there. That showed us the Japanese were incredibly hard fighters who did not give up. Admirable, and a bit daunting as an enemy. We had seen far too many kamikaze attacks, far too many garrisons fight literally to the last man. There was no reason to believe the Japanese would surrender, particularly when you realize they would be defending their home soil. If anything, there was good reason to expect them to fight harder, if that were possible. So yes, we hit them with weapons to demonstrate the utter futility of continuing, that we would be able to destroy them without incurring unacceptable losses ourselves.
Truman, a DEMOCRAT, ordered the bomb. FDR, a DEMOCRAT, started the war and made the bomb. Seems Democrats love war and killing people.
Thank you for the Sherman post.
Good lord the idea of behaving more nicely in the time of all-out war in order to bring about a more gentle and considerate conclusion...what a bloody fff’ing crock.
Just this morning I was reading a review about a bio of the physicist Robert Oppenheimer, a major figure in the development of the A-bomb, a one-time Communist (as if you can ever leave the Party) and perpetual darling of the left.
The review recounted how the peerless “Oppy,” prior to his security clearances being aptly yanked, visited President Truman at the White House and pulled his usual whining, self-glorifying, oh-for-the-love-of-creation humanitarian act, straining mightily to impress upon Truman his deep misgivings about the Bomb.
Truman had him shown out and reportedly said, “I don’t ever want to see that son-of-a-bitch in this office again.”
From the present vantage Truman has much more in common with the Tea Party than with anything whatsoever about the Democrat Party.
Many American troops survived WWII because of “that awful thing!”
How many Americans would the author of this piece of drek love to see killed in an invasion just to ease HIS personal conscience.
More people were killed by the firebombing of Tokyo than Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Also we’ve already seen how the Japs loved to kill civilians at places like Nanking.
As for IKE and GEN LeMay saying such bombing was not necessary, their butts were not in the landing boats that would be in the first wave going in for the invasion of the mainland.
You know, that is a very good and often overlooked point: the only hope the Japanese had of "saving face" was through some sort of negotiated settlement and the ONLY way they could get there was by dramatically increasing American deaths, so we would seek an end to the fighting.
Bataan, Saipan, Peleliu, Okinawa and Iwo Jima were all good justification for dropping nuclear weapons.
After years I think I have figured out the leftist angst over this.
100 bombers dropping 20 bombs each killing 100000 is ok.
1 bomber dropping 1 bomb and killing 100000is not ok.
It still ended the war and lots of GIs got to come home alive. THAT IS WHAT COUNTS, especially when you find your own father would have been in the front wave of such an invasion.
P.S. The US estimates that 142k civilians died in the battle for Okinawa -mostly targeted by the Japanese.
The crux of you question belabors “innocent” civilians targeted. Wearing a uniform makes things different ? Ask Joe Alexander
Next story will be, Grant shouldn't have unleashed William Tecumseh Sherman in the Savannah Campaign...A “total war” campaign being an atrocity.
Two things: Dresden - what difference did it make wiping out a city with a few hundred bombers or one city with one plane. Secondly: Karma. Nagasaki was where the torpedoes used at Pearl Harbor were manufactured.
If Liberal's say that the response 9/11 was overkill, you could make the same argument for Pearl Harbor where fewer than 2,000 were killed.
Lastly - it was a different generation, different mores.
A good book to read on the subject is: The Making Of The Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes ISBN 0684813785
It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
Some advisor if the shoe salesman didn't listen to him.
Since 2001 we've been very careful not to target civilians in the ME. And we're still screwing around there and the tactic hasn't earned us one iota of goodwill from the rest of the world.
We fought WWII in four years. We are still in Afghanistan.
I rest my case.
RE: So, you wanted the war to continue for another year, six months.
The first paragraph of Carney’s article reads:
“It is the Surveys opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”
( I don’t know WHEN they would have surrendered though. The article does not qualify the timetable. He is seems to imply that the surrender would have been immediate... but I don;t read that at all ).
I know you didn't. Being a civil war buff, though, I just couldn't resist. The early morning battle plan story of the second day was, I believe, just invented as an attempt to place blame on Longstreet, mostly by Early, in order to cover his own failings.
Back in 1966, while I was stationed at Walker AFB, at the Roswell Public Library I picked up a book on the life of Truman.
I noticed that on the last page, someone had written in large letters TRUMAN-MURDERER!
Underneath was a long note penned by someone else about how the person who wrote the above note did not know what he was talking about as the BOMB saved so many American GI’s lives.
I would buy this pant load if the Japanese would have attempted to end the war before the second bomb.
He documented the numerous suicidal coup attempts and sometimes even successes of the very radical, Bushido-inspired firebrands within the Imperial Japanese military.
Regardless of the caution of the more senior admirals and generals, these firebrands often forced the entire Japanese nation to take a harder and more aggressive stand.
It was the same group who tried to steal the Emperor's recording of surrender, take over the radio stations to ensure it wasn't played and keep Japan from surrendering.
Every historian should consider Toland’s view that these radicals drove the march to war with the United States and had considerable power and ability to change the normal course of things.
In other words, they were very lose cannons whose actions often started a whole new and different approach by the Japanese. One almost impossible to predict except more war, more ignoring the reality of the war and no surrender.
Oil and trade.
What was the name of that ship?
Oil. No really, basically oil and rubber. The Japanese planned to invade Southeast Asia for natural resources and we were the only thing keeping them from doing it. They decided instead of doing their thing and then fighting us when we decided to stop them, they would just wipe out our Navy and we would not be able to stop them.
I get so tired of this BS about the atomic BOMBS, plural, as in two, every August by these hand-wring, dip$hit, chairwarmer, REMFs.
A computer crash wiped out my analysis of the Battle of Okinawa which I used to post in response to the know-nothing musings of these people.
In short, there were so many artillery shells used in that battle that there was not one thing on the island, man-made or natural that was over 24 inches in height. In addition to the people of Okinawa throwing themselves off the suicide cliffs, mothers cut the throats of their own children to silence their crying so their hiding places would not be given away.
In the Japanese Underground Naval Headquarters, there was one room where Japanese officers went in and pulled the pins from grenades to commit suicide in turns. The pock marks on the wall attested to how high the bodies were stacked in the room when it was over.
Additionally, the United States did not need to strike any Purple Heart medals for almost 50 years after the war, as they had made that many in anticipation of invading the Japanese homeland.
The US was opposing Japan's imperialist aggression against China and we embargoed the sale of gasoline, oil, and steel to Japan. They relied on those resources for their imperialist expansion plans, and were hurting without them. They planned on taking the oilfields of the Dutch East Indies to replace the American oil, but the U.S.-held Philippines and the American Pacific fleet in Hawaii stood in the way.
So, in a way, it was a war for oil.
‘the article seems to make the clear argument that the atomic bomb was inexcusable.’
Ask the survivors of the USS Arizona whether it was necessary to drop the bomb.
It is called, ‘Unconditional’, for a reason. If we had allowed the Japanese a modicum of respect and dignity at the end of WWII, we would have been back in another shooting war by 1955.
If one is truly conflicted by the use of the bomb to end WWII, I suggest that they move to Paris or Bolivia even.
The ignorant democrat @sshole who wrote this article clearly was neither at the attack on Pearl Harbor, nor was he in the Bataan Death March.
These damn democrats are the most intellectually dishonest creeps this country has to offer.
Who cares? The japs started the war. The japs lost.
It’s a simple map.
Oil and Gas in indonesia. What’s in between Indonesia and Japan? The Philippines. In 1945 - who controlled the Philippines?
For sure that guy had it coming; the problem is the other 999,999 people in his town and what if anything they’d done to have it coming... Japan was defeated after the first two or three big firebomb raids and there was nothing resembling proportion in the picture. Some 3000 Americans had been killed at Pearl Harbor, while we may in fact have killed a million people in the fire raid over Tokyo March 9/10 of 45. It might have been possible to end the war months earlier, and without getting Russia involved on the Pacific rim or leaving Stalinist regimes on the Pacific rim.
Leahy was a Navy Officer. The defense budget was going to be reduced after WWII. Of course he was going to credit the naval blockade and not the atomic weapons. He was trying to protect the Navy’s budget.
As there will always be the blame America first crowd, aka the enemy within, this vomit is guaranteed to be regurgitated up every year.
If we look at the two countries which the communist liberals did not prevent us from bombing the crap out of, German and Japan, they became allies.
Now fast forward to the era of the anti-American enemy within and fighting limited wars, only fighting up to a certain line, limiting how far you bomb and we never solved an issue since.
IE: N/S Korea, and Jane Fonda how many civilians were killed after you and the rest of your enemy within got the country to turn tail and run from Vietnam (after a long, hand tied behind our back war), and the enemy within who caused us to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf war...
Fight the damned war with all you’ve got. Beat the crap out of the enemy until their vile leaders surrender and they just might end up like Germany and Japan. I do stress might as right now we are fighting an extremely ignorant and sub-human culture.
And I maintain, especially with Muslims, you have not just decimate them (10% for ignorant democrats) you have to annihilate them. Leave any significant number of these sub-human cancer cells alive and the cancer will return.
If the Japanese had the bomb before us, (and they were working on one) do you think that they would not have used it on us?
I have a Japanese couple living next door to me, very nice, mid 40’s, 3 kids, he is a dentist. they were born in Japan, not sure when they came here but their accents are strong. Occasionally they fly the Japanese flag in their back yard, it p*sses me off when I see it. Not as much as it would if they flew it in their front yard.
Whoa, Narragansett, a blast from the past. I remember surfing there, at Matunuck and Pt Judith as well in high school. Fond memories. I think they’re as leftist as Massachusetts now.
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