Skip to comments.How the Atomic Bomb Saved 4,000,000 Lives
Posted on 09/25/2006 1:20:44 PM PDT by pabianice
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Other factors that influenced the decision to drop the bomb were:
a) Inadvisability of "Demonstration": one plan was to invite the Japanese and neutral observers such as the Swiss to a demonstration of the bomb at sea near the coast of Japan. This was decided against because we had only tested one bomb. It was not at all clear that these weapons would work reliably every time and if we set up a demonstration and it didn't go off we would have lost 'face'.
b) The Horror of Blockade: Another option to avoid the loss of American lives was to blockade Japan until they surrendered. This was dismissed because a) it could take many months or even more than a year and we wanted the war over with and b) the brunt of the blockade would be borne by the elderly, the young, the sick and civilians - whatever food and medical care was available would of course have been given to the Japanese forces.
c) The Number of Bombs: IIRC after we dropped the two we had enough material to make one more by September and one more by December. After that my memory fails me but I want to say that we could only make maybe one or two a quarter (anyone have any data on that?) In any case, this also influenced the decision not to have a 'Demonstration'. We had two bombs, if we used one in a 'Demonstration' we only had one left and another one available in September. We didn't know at the time what the reaction of the Japanese would be.
I'm sorry I can't give sources for this but my library is not readily accessable.
I am also one of those who wouldn't be here if the bombs hadn't been dropped. My father, God rest his soul, was in the USN Medical Corps on an LST (one of the ones in a flotilla that converted to a hospital ship with the OR on the tank deck). He had been at the invasion of Okinawa and they were slated for the invasion of Japan. He never would have come back.
The United States government decided on June 18, 1945, to commit genocide on Japan with poison gas if its government did not surrender after the nuclear attacks approved in the same June 18 meeting. This was discovered by military historians Norman Polmar and Thomas Allen while researching a book on the end of the war in the Pacific. Their discovery came too late for inclusion in the book, so they published it instead in the Autumn 1997 issue of Military History Quarterly.
You should probably take some time to read this ....
There is the argument-- not mine, but I understand it-- that as killing a man in self-defense is not murder, killing a population in self-defense is not genocide.
I will suggest again the reading of "The Rape of Nanking".
Then come back on this thread and report what you read.
If it was stall, it interesting that Truman, overruled his pro-FDR advisors, and in the end agreed to conditional surrender e.g. keeping the emperor. The Japanese then stopped stalling (which had continued even after the bomb) and complied.....but only after Truman agreed to that condition. Had Franklin D. "Unconditional Surrender" Roosevelt still been president in August, the war would have continued to drag on even after dropping the bomb. Truman, at least, finally realized that the continued demand for Unconditional Surrnder was a foolish waste of lives.
Applying the mores of today is of little value in analysing the actions during World War II. I really would suggest readig the book as it details the spectacular cruelty of the Japanese in one city in China. One city, mind you. Other areas of China experienced much the same genocide, but on a somewhat smaller scale.
The book sobered me up. I now approach analyses of that era very carefully as it was a situation that I have not experienced and I hope never will.
It is inadvertently the best argument for the 2nd Amendment ever written.
One of the sobering reports is of two Japanese officers who had a beheading contest. It was covered in the Tokyo newspaper as sport. They called it a gentleman's draw after each officer had killed 137 chinese.
It was nothing more than sport to them. They deserved the bomb.
Interestingly, conservatives at the time were in the forefront of condemning Truman's decision to drop the bomb.
Which Republicans decried the use of the bomb?
The death of Japanese civilians was to be horrific had we invaded. Millions dead from battle, tens of millions from disease and starvation. We were able to end the war by killing 400,000, a much smaller number. It was a good humanitarian decision.
WWII was a war that did involve the killing of millions of civilians, but that was started by the other side with the V1s and V2s that hit London. It was continued with the bombing of Coventry by the Germans. I do not accept that the Coventry bombing was a mistake as accurate air navigation was long established and it is simply unlikely. Really unlikely.
In all cases, the other side began the reign of civilian terror, Japan in Korea and especially China, Germany in England and Russia.
Our primay requirement was to destroy manufacturing capacity and most all of our bombing was designed to do so. But bomb drops were exceedingly inaccurate by today's standards, the Sperry Bombsight adding a lot of accuracy but not enough to keep the collateral damage to a level that is consistent with today's standards.
And I think you should read some more on WWII. Your knowledge of that conflict is not up to snuff. I know that because you have no real realization of the difficult position that we were in nor do you know what the concept of Total War means.
>>"A Study of the Possible Use of Toxic Gas in Operation Olympic."
>>So the United States has within living memory made a decision to commit genocide on a whole people as a matter of state policy.
>>That's quite a leap!
About 500,000 tons worth of B-17/B-24/B-25/B-26/B-29 deliver poison gas bombs worth of "Leap."
This does not include the 50,000 tons worth of "tactical" poison gas stocks kept on hand for Army and Navy rockets, guns and howitzers plus USAAF fighters.