Skip to comments.YES, I'D DROP THE BOMB AGAIN
Posted on 05/25/2010 3:52:48 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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The Merchant Marine was a very tough place to be in WWII. Losses were horrendous. Your Dad was a brave man and what he did was crucial to the success of the Allied war effort.
RIP indeed. We owe all these men a great deal.
The Cambridge Group (UK) tipped off the Red Chinese that Truman wouldn't use the bomb in Korea.
BTW: Tibbetts was next on the runway when the prior B-29 lost altitude upon takeoff and crashed into the ocean.
The crew were all lost.
Does that in any way mean we should not have developed the bomb? No. Even the slightest chance of Hitler with that weapon was enough to make the command decision for the Manhattan Project the right one.
The events leading up to the decision were actually quite stunning. The silence from Germany regarding atomic research was deafening after the scientists left in the latter 1930s. So much so that the imaginations of many allied top government and scientific folks took hold and viola, Hitler was on a crash course to build the bomb.
In fact, the exact exchange went as follows:
On October 11, 1939, Dr, Alexander Sachs, a personal friend of FDR, met with him in the Oval Office. Sachs had prepared an 800 word synopsis of a letter written by Dr. Leo Szilard and signed by Albert Einstein about the impact of Germany's nuclear program.
FDR never read the letter but scanned the synopsis. After sipping a bit of brandy and absorbing the content's high points, FDR spoke:
“Alex, what you are after is to see that the Nazis don't blow us up.”
“Precisely,” Sachs replied.
“This requires action,” said FDR. He called for his personal assistant and that's the moment the decision was made.
Can you imagine that conversation today? Scares me half to death pondering it.
In 1945, as the war was ending in Europe, we sent a special force of specialists, called the Alsos Mission, to discover what the Germans were up to. We surpassed them in 1942 according to their report.
At the end of the war, their program was essentially a contingency operation with a few scientists and engineers working on a heavy-water-moderated reactor.
After being moved around a lot during the war, the reactor pot, measuring 83 inches tall by 83 inches wide, wound up in a cooling cellar of a castle in the town of Haigerloch. It's now a tourist attraction — open 9 to 5 daily.
Put another way, where do you even start with such a person? He has visited Japan, and thinks the dropping of the two bombs is one of the greatest historical wrongs ever done to any people on earth. I dont want to write a book-length email back to him, and Im not sure that would do any good. Brevity is the soul of wit, and a short reply is likely to make a stronger impact on him than a very lengthy one.
There are some ideas already on this thread I can use. If anybody has anything to add, Ill be profoundly appreciative. Im going to be in and out, so I may not be able to thank Freepers as quickly as Id like. So thank you in advance!"
Keep the reply as simple as possible, I'd go with what Walter would say to someone like him:
That sounds about right.
A cease fire was announced in 1953 and so it continues today!
Pattons mysterious death still haunts me.. History could have been alot different if Ole Blood and Guts may god bless him, lived and was not murdered.
Thank you SOOO much for your reply! I’ve learned a few things about the bombs over the years, but I realize there is so much I don’t know. Your post was jam packed with purely excellent information. I can’t thank you enough!
Most Americans did what they could and gave their best. My father was too old to step forward (born 1906) but had been a pilot for CNAC in China before the war.
He found a place in the CBI as a civilian pilot, flying the Hump in a C-46.
He was burned in a crash landing, received treatment at an Army hospital stateside but never received veteran’s benefits or recognition.
Thank you VERY much!! That thread looks like a treasure trove of information. I’d have never found it on my own. Between it and some of the other posts, I feel I am very close to being able to put together a compelling reply.
[For the record, this is a very nice person with very decent motives. He’s just had no education to speak of, and critical thought and he simply have never crossed paths. He’s open to learning, though; he went from being a Man-made Global Warming true believer to a chagrined skeptic calling B.S. all over the place. So time and effort isn’t wasted on him, but sometimes additional resources are required. You all have come through in spades. Thank you!!]
time and effort AREN’T wasted
[info on supply of A-Bombs] Thanks. Interesting stuff. Guess I’ll have to read up on Groves. I know some, but not enough about him.
Those who regularly advocate the U.S. should have dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki often cite casualty avoidance. People generally extrapolate from 48,000 American and 230,000 Japanese losses at Okinawa to 500,000 American and millions of Japanese casualties for mainland invasions.
Those estimates could have vastly understated causalities. Japan at 374,000 mountainous square miles mathematically enables over 500 defensives redoubts comparable to that General Ushijimas constructed to inflict most losses for the Okinawa campaign. Also, the Japanese planned as stubborn defense of their cities as the Russians had maintained in Stalingrad and Leningrad. The siege of Leningrad went on for 872 days with German and Russian casualties exceeding the 2 million of combined losses at Stalingrad.
The War Faction adopted the motto of 100 million Japanese deaths for planning the final mainland battles. The Japanese had lost their island empire and their fleet was at the bottom of the ocean. Yet many resources remained. Besides kamikazes, redeployed Kwantung divisions from China, and bamboo spears for civilians, the allies faced biological warfare. Occupation searchers uncovered large stockpiles of viruses, spirochetes, and fungus spores throughout rural Japan. The Japanese had spent years field testing the effectiveness of biological warfare in China. One delivery plan directed Japanese to infect themselves then surrender.
The Greatest Generation and their parents would have been enraged to discover a cabal indulged a personal moral orthodoxy by condemning over 500,000 Americans who might otherwise have been saved.
In terms of understanding the Japanese character, I have not seen mentioned the critical role Kokutai played in surrender. Any prominent Japanese lived out this spiritual combination of Emperor, citizen, land, ancestral spirits, government, and Shinto religion. When Emperor Hirohito in January 1944 formally endorsed forming a Peace Faction among politicians, he initiated an elaborate national theater. He and advisors then debated through twenty months of continuous defeats, fire bombings of over 60 cities, and 1.3 million additional Japanese deaths. The atomic bombs removed the Final Battles argument, allowing the War Faction to relent, Hirohito to assume his unprecedented roll, and no one to lose face. They remained within the fabric of Japanese from all eras who had sacrificed for Emperor and Empire.
People often say Japan was in the process of surrendering. However, if one examines Japanese negotiation initiatives in early August 1945, they are simply too vacuous to make dropping the atomic bombs unnecessary. These supposed negotiations cite proposals Foreign Minister Togo directed Ambassador Sato to offer Molotov, the Russian foreign minister. Japan intended ensuring Russian neutrality with incentives including offers of conquered Chinese territory. In exchange Russia was to mediate talks with the allies for settlement according to a Japanese vision of peace with honor. The first June 29 contacts ignored allies surrender demands with proposals the Russians considered too vague to answer or pass to the allies. The August 2 Japanese proposals accepted the Potsdam Declaration as one basis for further study regarding terms. Again Russia saw no reason to inform the allies. When Ambassador Sato finally saw Molotov on August 8, two days after Hiroshima, he received a war declaration instead of answers to his latest proposals. U.S. cryptologists continuously reading the Japanese diplomatic code titled Magic confirmed even Sato considered Togos Russian contacts ineffectual. The several other contacts like those by Admiral Fujimura and Kojimo Kitamura with Allen Dulles in Switzerland were ad hoc and lacked even informal endorsement by the Japanese Cabinet.
In spite of the Hiroshima atomic bomb and the Russian declaration of war the Japanese Cabinet debated Final Battles arguments into utter physical and mental exhaustion for eleven hours following Nagasaki on August 9. The war faction still contended just 20 million Japanese dead in vigorous, protracted operations would force a decayed, war weary America into stalemate leaving the Home Islands intact. In the final meeting of Hirohito and his Cabinet, Barron Hiranuma reproved Foreign Minister Togo for never making concrete proposals to the Russians. Minister Togo had no answer.
At impasse Hirohito, the god-king, spoke the Voice of the Crane in the 30 by 18 sweltering, underground bunker. He would bear the unbearable, conclude the war, and transform the nation. Only then did Japan contact Swiss and Swedish foreign offices to commence negotiations with allied belligerents.
As one final point, critics say the atomic bombs accomplished little. Supposedly Roosevelts decree of unconditional surrender was compromised away by allowing Japan to keep their Emperor. However, Imperial Japan abandoned its heritage by accepting the Potsdam Declaration provisions demanding the Emperors and governments authority be subject to the Supreme Allied Commander. The Japanese peoples free expression would determine ultimate government, eradicating multi-millennial Imperial characteristics. An approximate Western historical disruption would be displaying the bones of Jesus at the Vatican.
I seem to remember a show on the History channel. It stated that even as the emperor was sending the message for surrender, that elements of the Japanese military were attempting a coup to prevent the surrender. This was after the two bombs. A conventional strike by B29’s broke it up. The two nukes were the only way to prevent more blood shed.
Interesting. Thanks for the post.
>> The Japanese peoples free expression would determine ultimate government, eradicating multi-millennial Imperial characteristics.
All in all — and compared to what might have been — I don’t think things turned out too badly for the Japanese people.
“The crew of the Enola Gay very well might have saved his life and countless hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of other lives Japanese as well as Americans.”
I was teaching my students about this today. The battle of Okinawa indicated that the Japanese would have to be completely destroyed, and the War Department estimated at the time that an invasion of Honshu (where Tokyo was located) would result in a million dead US soldiers. The decision to drop the bomb was a humane one.
Wow - that is a ***fascinating*** post. I’ve read it once, and as time permits I plan to read it again. I am learning so much on this thread! Freepers are some of the most intelligent, smartest and well educated people on earth - with enough common sense to float a battle ship. ;)
Very, VERY interesting! There is so much more to all this than I realized. I learned next to nothing about it in school, but I tried my best to educate myself ~three years ago. But facts and details such as the ones that are popping up all over this thread are hard to come by. What a blessing this has turned out to be!
I had the pleasure of working with a man who was in a similar circustance when the bomb was dropped, training for the landing that was expected to cost a million lives. Interestingly enough, we were working at the factory in Oak Ridge where the uranium for Little Boy was separated. After being discharged and going to school, he said that was the only place he wanted to work. He was certain the bomb saved his life. Being raised locally to Oak Ridge, he said we was quite a celebrity in his unit... one of the few folks who knew where Oak Ridge was.
Just adding a bit of interesting anecdotal history to the 509th thas all. The Merchant Marine provided invaluable help for the war effort. My hat is off to all of our Merchant Marine. They were brave souls indeed and were unsung heros and rarely got the recognition they deserved.
Here is something for Freepers to use...
The main Forum page is called “Latest Articles” and has this URL...
Just replace the asterisk in that URL with a Keyword that you want to search on (such as Hiroshima), and you’ll get a list of articles posted on Free Republic to which that Keyword has been added.
Where are the Keywords? ...they are just above Reply #1 above. Anyone can (and should) add relevant keywords to the articles posted on FR. Click on a Keyword above and you’ll get a list of articles posted on Free Republic to which that Keyword has been added.
If you have a chance look into the Japanese secret weapons programs from the war. They were not too far from having a number of jet aircraft which would have turned our bombers into Swiss cheese.
I often wonder just how far back the infiltration goes..
Easily back to the end of WWI, probably back to 1900 or before as the European "intellectuals" started arriving on our shores. History will most likely show that the damage they wreaked was far worse than what we have seen (so far) from Mexican illegals.
Then there's the populist/JBS theory that the American Establishment (the Rockefellers, Morgans, Whitneys, Mellons, Carnegies, Fords, etc.) are actually the bosses of Communism and secretly ran Russia from the US (which would seem to make Russian spies unnecessary) Basically it's a Jeffersonian vision of the Hamiltonian political tradition as The Source Of All Evil.
He didn’t actually die in the traffic accident. He was hospitalized with his injuries, but survived until the ‘experts’ arrived from DC to treat him.
Also keep in mind that it was the Japanese attitude towards surrender in the first place which was foremost in the minds of the people who decided to use the Atomic weapons.
Every island the Americans took was ghastly with practically zero Japanese survivors. The fighting got worse the closer they got to the Japanese homeland itself. Even with impossible odds, impossible numbers against them, no supplies to speak of, no air force, no fleet - the Japanese defenders fight to the death - every time. Now imagine you are planning on the invasion of Japan itself? What do you think the Japanese defense would have been like? I'll tell you: it would have been beyond anything ever seen in that war.
The Japanese themselves should be grateful a full Allied ground invasion never took place. Their country would not exist today as they know it.
I studied Japanese and really learned to love the Japanese people -- once I got away from the ones who were jaded by being near the US military bases. I also loved to explore and photograph the picturesque and peaceful countryside.
In my wanderings, I discovered that any sizeable hill had a Shinto/Buddhist temple or shrine atop it -- many of them serene jewels of photogenic beauty. So -- I climbed lots of hills...
BUT, I also discovered that the sides of those hills were riddled with WWII caves, tunnels, bunkers and gun emplacements. Taking Japan would have been far more dangerous and bloody than Okinawa or Iwo Jima -- where we fought for every foot of ground, and often had to burn or blast the Japanese out of their caves.
Of course, the Japanese islands are much larger than Iwo, and the Japanese would have been fighting fanatically for their own homes. The slaughter would have been horrific -- and, like Afghanistan, it could have gone on for many years.
The unconditional surrender of Japan shortened the war by several years and saved untold millions of lives (on both sides).
In the 70s, I had the privilege and honor of having lunch at a small inn in Osaka with one of Japan's preeminent materials scientists. During lunch, he shared with me that, when I was a young schoolchild, he had the experience of being one of the very first Japanese Army officers to enter Hiroshima after the bombing.
He told of hiking miles back along the railway to find a working telegraph so he could tell headquarters that the US had deployed a "totally undefeatable weapon", and that they should end the war. He said he was overjoyed when the Nagasaki bomb "finally made our leaders see the truth" and surrender.
After lunch, he put his hand on my shoulder and said,
"You were only an 'aka-chan' in 1945, but, if it had not been for those two bombs, you would probably still be over here with a rifle, now, fighting to get my children out of their caves."
"You can thank the Atomic Bomb that we both surived to share and enjoy this lunch together today as colleagues and friends..."
Thanks again - that is a very powerful post. I am so, SO glad I posed my question/request on this thread. The response has been beyond anything I could have hoped for. These are some insights and perspectives I doubt I could have gotten anywhere else. I still need to distill it down into a single email, but at least I have all my material now. Thanks!!
One of them. I agree.
Wouldn’t defeating Germany and Japan also be one of the highest points? How much devastation and brutality would have happened if they had not been stopped?
What a story! (Are you a writer?) That is an amazing tale. Pity I can’t simply direct my friend to this thread, but it’s out as an option. He got called a few choice names (not undeservedly so ;) so I’ll have to use it as a resource only. That’s for the best anyway, no doubt.
Btw, TXnMA, you might be interested to know that I spent an almost identical period of exile in MA. Native of FL, and now residing in GA. I can’t really say what I feel about MA for fear of offending Freepers who call it home. Suffice it to say I was really happy the day I saw it getting smaller in the rear view window. :)
FReepmail for you...
“Wouldnt defeating Germany and Japan also be one of the highest points? How much devastation and brutality would have happened if they had not been stopped?”
Not the point. In fact, Churchill would have railed at the waste. He warned about what was going to happen in Europe in 1930. Europe did nothing until it was VERY NEARLY too late.
Thank you. I just got a new book from the U.S. Naval Institute press called “Hell to Pay” by D.M. Giangreco, which gives a comprehensive study of the consequenses of invading the Japanese mainland. I think it would be worth picking up.
During the 1990's Paul Tibbets, Tom Ferebee (the bombardier) and "Dutch" Van Kirk toured the US on a book and photo signing tour. My grandson and I went to one of the locations on that tour.
I had the privilege of a short conversation with Tibbets and then with Dutch.
I told Tibbets that I had an uncle who was one of the Marines preparing for the invasion of Japan at the time the bomb was dropped and that my uncle was very thankful that it ended the war. Tibbets replied, "We would like to think we made a difference" . He was very humble when he made that statement.
I said the same thing to "Dutch". He said " thank you" and then asked "did he turn out to be a good man?"
I answered yes. Dutch didn't speak, he simply gave a nod of approval.
Not really, but -- thanks for the compliment! <Grin!>
I agree, there have been some excellent insights posted here. Perhaps you could just copy/paste some of them as an "appendix" to your short note to him.
I'd appreciate it if you didn't use my "Nihonjin na tomodachi"'s name, but otherwise, what I wrote, I wrote for you to use as you see fit.
Remember those orange, plastic "snow pushers"? I swore I was going to strap mine atop the car and head south until someone asked,
"Say, Mister, what the hell is that there thang?"
Then I'd know I could start looking for a place to retire... '-)
You might want to read the book: Code-Name Downfall (The secret plan to invade Japan and why Truman dropped the bomb) by Thomas B Allen & Norman Polmar.
An interesting and I believe factual book about using the atomic bomb and the options of using other types of weapons that The United States military and civilian government discussed as how to defeat and/or destroy Japan.
It could have been much worse!
It sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks for the recommendation.
Thanks for the ping. Absolutely nothing to worry about where proper names are concerned; I’m as close as the tomb. ;) I loved your snow shovel story. Snow wasn’t the worst of what I wanted to flee when I lived in MA, but I haven’t missed it as often as I’d have imagined. What can I tell you? Southern by the grace of God. :)
My friend is actually quite intelligent - BUT, as I’ve discovered, they do a good job of indoctrination north of the border. He did a 180 on global warming, but he simply cannot see the problems with nationalized health-care. Maybe I planted some seeds that will bear fruit later in the future.
It remains to be seen if I can shift his outlook on nuclear weapons. I’ve been stymied by the thought that ***anyone*** could think unilateral disarmament of the USA is a good thing in this area. Armed with all my new information, I feel as if I’m willing to give that windmill a tilt. We’ll see what happens. :)
“Wouldnt defeating Germany and Japan also be one of the highest points? “
Of course. Do you really have to ask that question? Had the Axis powers won the world would be a very different place.
Very sad that humanity reached such a low point that the intervention was necessary. But that’s humanity for you.
Apparently I do since it was stated that it was one of the lowest points in history.
Just wanted to point out there are two sides to the coin. It was the lowest with all the needless death created by Germany and Japan. But if it was not for the US and Great Britain it would have much worse.
You are right though, it is just human nature, there will always be tyrants. Hopefully there will always be someone to rise up against them as well.
I saw something once about them having a V1 type jet with a pilot that they were using. They were planning to crash these into our fleets. I think the war ended before thy could enough engines for these.