Skip to comments.Diary shows Tojo resisted surrender till end
Posted on 08/12/2008 4:41:19 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
TOKYO - Japanese World War II leader Hideki Tojo wanted to keep fighting even after U.S. atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, accusing surrender proponents of being "frightened," a newly released diary reveals.
Excerpts from the approximately 20 pages written by Tojo in the final days of the war and held by the National Archives of Japan were published for the first time in several newspapers Tuesday.
"The notes show Tojo kept his died-in-the-wool militarist mentality until the very end," said Kazufumi Takayama, the archives curator, who confirmed the accuracy of the published excerpts. "They are extremely valuable."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
They should’ve dropped a third bomb on his ass then asked if he wanted to surrender.
The world would be a radically different place had not the Japanese bombed Pearl.
I have always considered the bombing of Horoshima and Nagasaki to be among the greatest humanitarian events of the 20th century. Probably saved a million lives.
Not to mention the deterrent effect of seeing—s believing devastation. Here it is, 60 years later and not another incident.
I remember as a teen flipping through bound volumes of “Stars and Stripes: Pacific” from the era and reading the story of the team sent to arrest Tojo. He tried to shoot himself in the heart because he didn’t want to mess up his profile. He missed and was tried and went to the noose.
The Imperial Japanese had two full weeks between Hirohito’s announcement of surrender and the landing of Occupation Forces to destroy documents and evidence.
I bet more Japanese lives were saved by the atomic bombs, but yeah, many Americans were saved too.
“accusing surrender proponents of being “frightened,”
Let’s see...two vaporized cities...something that was incomprehensible in those days.
“Your right, Tojo. I’m frightened. And your point is.......?”
It is said that Tojo was hanged at dawn on a crisp fall day. One American MP observed,
“Hmm...there’s a little nip in the air this morning!”
Tojo was an incredibly selfish b*st*rd who had little regard for his own people. Some years ago, I toured the atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima with my family. The bottom floor of that museum is a rotating exhibit. When we were there, the exhibit told about how the government was training even school children to fight to the last person. It clearly showed this type of fanaticism as one of the factors which drove the Americans to drop the big one. The traveling exhibit made just as big an impression on me at the upper floor permanent exhibit about the effects of the bomb. I was deeply impressed that the Hiroshima Peace Museum made a decent effort to show the events which led up to the bomb in a reasonably balanced manner.
That’s so baaaaaaaaaaad. But for the record, Tojo was hanged on December 23, the 15th birthday of the present emperor.
“The world would be a radically different place had not the Japanese bombed Pearl.”
- - -
And ironically they went to war with us over our oil.
I tend to view the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as one of our nation’s greatest regrettable necessities. But since the end of the war and the reconstruction of Japan, we have managed to make a friend and ally out of Japan that is by and large far more loyal than our long time allies in Western Europe.
From enemy to partner to ally in under 100 years. Talk about progress.
Wow, I just imagined a DU or KOS lurker reading your posts and their heads exploding.
BTW, I completely agree with you
All the more reason for us to hang the sonuvabitch, back in the day when actions (like Pearl Harbor) had consequences (like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the hangman’s noose).
Didn’t the butcher Tojo attempt to escape the hangman’s noose by shooting himself with the Colt .32 automatic that had once belonged to General Jonathan Wainwright, who had been forced to surrender to the Japs at Corregidor?
Tojo shot himself in the head, and missed, little mass-murdering Nip b@stard.
I don’t know about him using Wainwright’s pistol, but the little Nip tried indeed to shoot himself to avoid being put on trial for war crimes.
Give the guy a measure of credit for not being a hypocrite. Unlike so many of "leaders" in the mideast, Tojo did try to avoid capture by committing suicide but he bungled the attempt, US medics brought him back to good health, he was tried and hanged.
The US put him in the infirmary, nursed him back to health, put him on trial for war crimes and then hanged him.
“I have always considered the bombing of Horoshima and Nagasaki to be among the greatest humanitarian events of the 20th century. Probably saved a million lives.”
Needs to be repeated..
Years later... he told me he had no doubt the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved his life. He felt his number was up after all he been through from 1940-45.
If the truth be told, those bombings saved my Father's life and millions of Japanese lives also!
Further supporting this position are the recollections of the bureaucrat running Radio Tokyo at the time. The militarists wanted to prevent him from broadcasting Hirohito’s message to his subjects. The radio station manager hid the tape from Tojo’s loyalists/militarists and went forward with the broadcast after the search for the recording.
Even after the second bomb, it was quite clear that the militarists were ready to burn their own country to the ground. If we had invaded without the psychological horror of the two bombs, we would have had to go forward with LeMay’s plan to burn Japanese cities to the ground as we did in the Tokyo firebombing raids. The estimates of Japanese civilian deaths in the planning was to be at least 1 million killed in the firebombings, and then many more in the ground invasion as the infantry and Marines moved across the island.
It would have taken us another year or two to pacify just the main island. At least. And it would have meant another 100K GI’s KIA, 1 million+ wounded at a minimum.
Personally I think future warfare should be technologically aimed at removing the absolute top tiers of leadership instead of a mass conflict of armies, be it sanctions, or kidnapping I am sure it can be done, just imagine what it could be if Hitler was shot dead by a sniper before the invasion of Poland, or Stalin.If it was never possible to build a Star Trek type of transporter a laser from space could replace an assassins bullet.
Yeah, I’ve seen those newsreels of Tojo manacled to his hospital bunk, smoking a provided cigarette, and the MPs displaying the U.S. made pistol he tried to commit suicide with.
Along with Tojo’s wife screaming about how a good man like her husband was being subjected to “victor’s justice” by the wicked Americans.
The Japan we know today didn’t get there by accident.
This diary of Tojo’s certainly takes the wind out of one of the left’s favorite lies, that Japan was in the initial stages of surrender when we dropped the bomb. An inconvenient diary?
I remember reading that when firearms became an accepted weapon with which to commit suicide in Japan, the proper/honorable way to employ a firearm for that use was to shoot oneself in the heart--not in the head.
If true, then Tojo was attempting to follow a code of conduct, not trying to spare his profile.
My uncle was at Iwo Jima.
But my dad took a pleasure trip there 20+ years later.... I think you can appreciate this story: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2057870/posts?page=29#29
He shot himself in the chest, aiming for his heart, but missed as his heartbeat was contracting when the bullet passed through. He was literally, saved for the hangman, by a heartbeat....
Ummm, disk, Dave. They recorded him on a hard disk.
And then we hanged the sonofabitch!
They dropped the second bomb quickly to prove it was not a fluke...Tojo did not believe the stories about the first bomb.
BUT we did not have a third bomb ready.. It was a huge gamble that worked.
we didn’t have a third bomb.
That was part of the issue with using the bombs. Nobody was to know that two was all we had at that time. Making more but that was the whole shebang.
“More importantly, American lives were saved.”
“Tojo shot himself in the head, and missed, little mass-murdering Nip b@stard.”
Oh, don’t worry, the little POS is probably being buggered by Satan as we speak, along with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao-tse-tung, Marx, Lenin, Arafat, Amin, and a host of other BASTARDS.
The problem with that is that Democracy would be snuffed-out. A guy like Putin could order the elimination of the Georgian president. And keep doing it until he got somebody he could bend to his will.
Yes, you’re right — one of those vinyl thingies from the last century. Sorry for the slip-up.
Still, this was known years ago - before Tojo’s diaries became public. There was a show on the History Channel called “The Last Raid” - I think it was a two-hour show and they talked to B-29 pilots on the last conventional bombing raid of Japan, Japanese people who were in the government at the time (aides, etc) and it was pretty clear from this information alone that the militarists planned to fight until there wasn’t a toddler left to carry a pistol.
FURTHER... one of the people on this show said that there was talk of killing Hirohito - an unheard of act - if he made plans to surrender to the US.
But....but.....I thought the Japs were just about to surrender before we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Speaking of a third bomb... one should have been dropped on Mt. Fuji... to blow’ed up that god (or whatever floated/floats around that mountain).
We had a third bomb. We used it for a test in the New Mexico desert to make sure the plutonium implosion design would work.
The problem for us in August 1945 was a lack of fissile material. We moved mountains (literally) to create the processing facilities to create as much fissile material as we had. Making weapons-grade uranium or plutonium takes either time or huge parallelism in the process.
If you go back and look at the records of the national expenditure on the Manhattan Project in terms of the national budget, you’ll see that we (as a nation) were pretty well spending as much as we could. What we produced was the result of a huge project with absurd amounts of money (considering we were fighting a two-front war) on the processing facilities at Hanford, WA (where the Pu was processed) and Oak Ridge, TN (the U-235 processing site).
There was a huge amount of construction done at both sites. Unless you go back and read a history of these places from an engineering perspective, the popularized accounts of these projects doesn’t give you a sense of the enormous scale of these things - just the physical plant construction alone at Hanford and Oak Ridge were quite the accomplishment for the period of time in which they were done. That they built these sites from raw land, created the first large scale (ie, something bigger than a lab reactor) plutonium reactor at Hanford, researched and tried at least two methods of refining U-238 into U-235 at Oak Ridge *and* created enough fissile material for two bombs in the time they had is nothing short of astounding.
The Hanford reactor was finally finished, loaded and started processing fuel in November, 1944 and shipped the first batch of Pu fuel in February, 1945 to Los Almos.
Oak Ridge had two lines of uranium enrichment going - gaseous diffusion (the more efficient method) and electromagnetic separation method. There was insufficient copper available for the vessels used in the electromagnetic processing line, so Oak Ridge borrows THOUSANDS of tons of silver from the US Treasury to create these units. The silver was returned after the war.
As it was, the test bomb in New Mexico used Plutonium and an imploding sphere design - this was the bomb design used on Nagasaki.
The Hiroshima design was never tested. Hiroshima was the test.
It would have been roughly November/December of 1945 before we had enough fissile material for another weapon.
This is decidedly not the conventional view but I offer it for consideration. Certainly Tojo had a good deal to atone for. A very great deal, actually, including possibly 8 million deaths in China and a connection with the hideous Japanese medical experiments on prisoners. But not for declaring the war.
He was forcibly retired following the fall of Saipan in 1944 and so his opinion concerning the defense of the homeland was little more than that, an opinion. I won't say I'm sorry we hanged him, but I will say there were a lot of equally guilty people who got off scot-free. IMHO, of course.
That's the story as I had understood it for a long time. However, it isn't true.
It turns out there was another one ready to drop on the 19th, two more in September, and probably three in October. They were expecting to crank one out about every ten days. It was felt that the initial shock and awe would either work or not work. And, in the event it didn't work, there was debate as to whether to drop the bombs as they were produced or to save them up for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. Of course, VJ Day came on the 15th, rendering the deliberations moot. Source.
From what I’ve read and heard the Japanese were in a very deep state of depression and dishonor and they were not thinking about destroying documents. Unlike the Germans who were trying to cover their butts the Japanese never felt they did any thing wrong or dishonorable.
"They shouldve dropped a third bomb on his ass then asked if he wanted to surrender."
Originally posted by drc43:
"BUT we did not have a third bomb ready.. It was a huge gamble that worked."
Originally posted by cynwoody:
"That's the story as I had understood it for a long time. However, it isn't true."
Have to agree with FR poster cynwoody, there was a little known third atomic bomb ready to go in August 1945. First as to the contention that after the US dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan that the US would not have another atomic bomb ready until the end of the year... The TRUTH is that there was a third atomic bomb being readied for a combat drop. Most people that read the common WWII histories do not believe this is the case, however it is just that it is factually incorrect.
The United States actually had three Atomic weapons ready for use near the end of WWII, two of which were dropped on Japan, the third was being readied for a mission by Col. Tibbets' unit - the 509th Composite Group, when Japan surrendered. The USA had two "Fat Man" plutonium Atomic weapons in its inventory at the end of calendar year 1945.
In an August 2002 interview with Studs Terkel published in the British Guardian newspaper, Paul Tibbetts recalled something similar: "Unknown to anybody else--I knew it, but nobody else knew--there was a third one. See, the first bomb went off and they didn't hear anything out of the Japanese for two or three days. The second bomb was dropped and again they were silent for another couple of days. Then I got a phone call from General Curtis LeMay. He said, 'You got another one of those damn things?' I said, 'Yessir.' He said, 'Where is it?' I said, 'Over in Utah.' He said, 'Get it out here. You and your crew are going to fly it.' I said, 'Yessir.' I sent word back and the crew loaded it on an airplane and we headed back to bring it right on out to Trinian and when they got it to California debarkation point, the war was over."
Source: Warbird Forum: The third bomb
Now about those future bombs to be added to the U.S. nuclear weapon inventory...
There WAS a multi-site production line set up to generate plutonium cores for the "Fat Man" model of the US nuclear stockpile. The US had not just invested 2 billion (1943) dollars just to make five atomic bombs in 1945, a production line was built... The only reason that the US did not go into wartime production mode on the 'Fat Man' plutonium cores is that the war ENDED. The "Little Boy" uranium gun-type atomic weapon first dropped on Hiroshima was a one-off model, never produced again. All of the other US atomic weapons were of the plutonium-implosion "Fat Man" model. So the first bomb was tested in the US during July 1945. Two more atomic weapons were dropped on Japan in August 1945. One more atomic bomb was being readied for Tokyo for late August 1945; it was never delivered. The fifth bomb was completed in November, 1945. At the end of calendar year 1945 the US had two "Fat Man" type nuclear weapons in its inventory out of the five produced in 1945, however if Japan had not surrendered the nuclear 'production line' was designed to produce 7 plutonium cored nuclear weapons per month. More than enough to take care of the Nazis and/or the Japs if WWII had lasted into 1946.
"A third bomb was being shipped from New Mexico, target Tokyo, when the war ended. Production was geared to seven per month with an expectation that 50 bombs would be required to assure that an invasion would not be required. Release of radiation from the untested Hiroshima bomb, designed as the original gun-type and made of uranium, was a surprise. The radiation range was expected to be within the blast radius, that is, a lethal dose of radiation would only kill those already dead from concussion. The Alamogordo bomb test and later production were of the more complicated plutonium, yet cleaner, implosion device."
The United States did feel the need to build more nuclear weapons in the immediate aftermath of WWII, since the demobilization of the 12.34 million Armed Forces of WWII had made the post-war US nuclear monopoly the first-line of defense for the United States and its interests. The expense of the $2 Billion Manhattan Project was amortized over the following production of US nuclear weapons from 1945 onwards.
Here are some numbers on the US atomic weapon stockpile from WWII onwards...
Source: Power Point Presentation USC Berkeley - History - 105, Dr. McCray "Early Nuclear Strategy" Slide #9. looks like this PPT link has disappeared...
Source: Complete List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons The NuclearWeaponsArchive.org