Skip to comments.Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the reckoning
Posted on 08/13/2012 7:59:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus
There are no civilians in Japan. This was the judgment of a US Air Force intelligence report produced before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during August 1945. The meaning was clear. The global conflict that had raged since 1939 had become a total war. London, Coventry, Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo and many other cities had all suffered strategic bombing. The leading participants in the Second World War did not view civilian population as pure collateral. By 1945 they were the principal targets.
The bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 respectively were the ultimate expressions of total war. Little Boy and Fat Man were exploded over cities that had scant military value and were inhabited by large numbers of ordinary people, whose lives and properties were dramatically and cruelly destroyed. The broad military and political aim was supposedly to shock Japan into agreeing unconditional surrender.
But did the means 180,000 total dead and wounded on the days that the bombs were dropped and tens of thousands more later as a result of radiation poisoning justify the end of bringing the Second World War to a close? Was it necessary, indeed, to drop the bombs at all?
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The only problem with dropping the two atom bombs was that we didn’t have any more of them.
Japan attacked us unprovoked. They gave up all right to exist at that time and exist now only because of our mercy.
I would have gladly nuked mecca, medina and the capitals of all moslem countries after 911. Islam attacked us and has given up all rights to exist.
Did the Imperial Japanese really need to invade China and commit the variety of atrocities and human rights violations either? Didn’t think so.
This is a garbage editorial, the bombs saved millions of lives, and prevented Stalin from a land grab in Hokkaido and installing a Communist puppet state.
I wonder if the writer contemplated, or even preferred an all out invasion of the Japanese home islands with millions being killed on both sides, having the war last perhaps another 5-10 years.
Liberal comedian Jon Stewart addressed this on his show one time.
Sometimes he tries to be serious, from what I hear.
Anyway, he said that we should have dropped the bomb offshore, to show the Japanese how powerful it was, then tell them that the next one was coming their way if they didn’t surrender.
I’ve heard versions of that liberal view over the years, that the Japanese would have surrendered if they knew what would happen, without us having to use the A-bomb.
It’s easy to be liberal, and engage in revisionist history, from the world headquarters of Comedy Central in Manhattan.
I like to point out to liberals, that a good Democrat, President Truman, is the one who made the call to use the A-bomb.
Little Boy and Fat Man saved the lives of tens of millions of Japanese civilians.
Even after two bombs being dropped “onshore” there was a faction within the Japanese Army that attempted a coup on the eve of the Emperor’s surrender announcement attempting to prevent the surrender.
See “The Last Mission”.
I watched a Chinese movie called “NANJING!” this past weekend. You can guess what it was about, and the Chinese view of Japan’s behavior in WWII.
The unspoken truth is:
1) The Emperor needed the USA to drop the A-bombs. It gave him the cover he needed to overcome Tojo and the fight-to-the-death faction of general running the Gov’t
2) The Japanese thank God it was the Americans and it wasn’t the Chinese who developed the A-bomb in WWII, because Japan would not exist today if that had been the case.
What I was taught in school (1950’s), before the liberals changed history was the invasion of Japan would have cost the lives of approximately 500,000 allies.
We didn’t start the war but we sure as hell ended it and we could have won every war since then and in 1/3 the time it took to win WW2 (only 3.5 years)if we showed the same committment to winning as we did in WW2.
The only country libs want the A bomb dropped on is Israel.
Rape and murder of the Korean “comfort girls”.
Beheading of prisoners of war.
Submarine attacks on hospital ships.
Arming of civilian women and children for final homeland defense.
Suicide pilots flying bomb-laden death machines.
Slave labor camps for prisoners.
Beatings, murders, enslavement of Bataan US prisoners..
This list goes on for quite a bit. How is dropping an atomic weapon any different. Wringing of hands accomplishes nothing. Outcome? You can bet your ass Japan dropped its imperialist conquering attitude very quickly!
If we had 20 bombs it might have worked - but picture a scenario where the first bomb went off as planned and the second one was a dud. Fighting would have continued fighting - with many more dead on both sides - and an uncertain outcome. People forget we weren't 'holding back' like we did in Vietnam - we were fighting World War II with everything we had - and - for much of the war - it was a toss up.
The first bomb demonstrated what the bomb could do, but the Japanese didn't get the message, so it took a second bomb and a second destroyed city for them to get the message.
Yes and yes. Case closed.
And some liberals point to this as one of America’s “war crimes”. Some liberals say that America is the only country to use nuclear weapons in a war, thus America is uniquely evil, or some such thing.
It is a fact that America is the only country to use nuclear weapons, but, as liberals tend to do, it over-simplifies the history of World War II to focus on those two bombings, and ignore everything else which led to that point.
Truman asked for a an estimate of both sides casualties for the planned invasion. The numbers were 2 million American dead, 6 Million Japanese dead with unspecified number of Japanese deaths from disease and starvation. The Japanese civilians were being armed and trained to fight with old rifles and in some cases pointed sticks. It was a mass suicide plan.
My father was waiting to get on a train for San Francisco to be shipped to Japan to fight in the mountains where most of the fighting would occur. He was told that it would extremely difficult to survive the battles. The first bomb was dropped and he was told to stand down.
A friend of mine was ordered to write his last letter home. A Marine, his unit was to be in the first wave of the invasion and he was told that it surviving the action would be impossible. The next day he was told of the first bomb.
Truman’s decision was a humane one, the best possible decision that could be made.
He was packed and waiting to board a troop transport when the first bomb was dropped.
This wasn't just an idea; it was actually fairly close to the truth.
The Japanese had decentralized their industrial production to the extent that many private homes had a lathe, a drill-press or a milling machine, and thus became a legitimate target.
No civilians = no callateral damage = every bomb dropped, a successful hit.
Very convenient relativism in action.
As you said, this is 20/20 hindsight armchair revisionism. Yes, the first use of these war-changing weapons is and should be a matter of continuing study but much of what this review reveals is the ‘modern’ revulsion against the Atom Bomb use PERIOD.
I do not know if either author mentioned the following facts, but the horrific ‘conventional’ fire-bomb raids of Dresden in the ETO and Tokyo also ‘melted’ people! The Tokyo raids killed more people than either A-Bomb (I believe), yet those attacks were deemed proper as the Japanese had moved manufacturing down to household workshops.
There is credible evidence that an invasion of Japan could have resulted in a stalemate where the Allies would have so many casualties with so little gain that some, including Britain, could not sustain the cost and would withdraw. We, today, forget how very close to the edge that Britain came to exhaustion in this war. If you read the early Ian Fleming James Bond novels, you realize that the British wartime economic restrictions persisted for more than a decade after the war.
What would have happened then to the nascent Cold War is a study for alternative history and there are many who have written their speculations. What I know is that the death tolls for a non-ABomb scenario seem to exceed the losses of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by magnitudes on both sides.
Of course, every August Anniversary brings these tomes to book reviewers attention and a reprise of this argument. So this will repeat next year and so on as a hook to hang another view that being a victim of an A-Bomb is a bad thing. What a surprise!
This is the difference between the total war in WWII and what we are doing today. In WWII the enemies armies were completely and utterly destroyed, their civilian populations were attacked and supplies of food, water and medical supplies were always short or nonexistent. The infrastructure of their cities were completely destroyed and many of them were left homeless. After 4 years of these hardships the will of the people was broken and they would no longer be a threat to any other country for decades. This type of total war has been lost and this is why these police actions we are involved in today last for years and years with no end in site. Because the enemy is not broken.
“This wasn’t just an idea; it was actually fairly close to the truth.”
You’re dead on, sir. Thank you! They made themselves combatants.
I forced myself to read this idiotic screed. 5 minutes of my life I wish I had back.
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets Jr., left, and his grandson, then-Capt. Paul Tibbets IV, pilot the last flyable B-29 Superfortress. General Tibbets was the pilot in command of the Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. Now a colonel, the younger Tibbets is the Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Courtesy photo
"Colonel Tibbets also shared something his grandfather told him about nuclear weapons: We hope we never have to use nuclear weapons in anger again, said the elder Tibbets.
But if you think about it, we use these weapons everyday as a credible deterrent," stated Colonel Tibbets. "We, as a nation, should never forget that."
Very convenient relativism in action.
I don't know how you've managed to stay at F.R. so long. Almost everything that comes from your keyboard smacks of liberalism. From siding with homosexualism to being anti America's fighting forces.
Do you post just to piss people off? If so, it's not working. It doesn't elicit anger, like the queers you defend and the anti Americanism you promote, it just brings disgust.
Maybe the question should be this... If the Axis countries had developed the atom bomb first, how many bombs would they have dropped to achieve their maniacal goal of world domination?
It is generally agreed that if these bombs had not been dropped the death toll would have been greater than it was It also generally agreed that if the world had not been witness to the destruction these weapons created, that the ensuing Cold War would more likely have been a very Hot War. So the actions by Truman ended one war and prevented another much larger and much more destructive conflict.
On a slightly different note in this thread:
"Thank you Clement Attlee and your socialist government! Conditions were WORSE in Britain after the war because of your 'wonderful' ideology - currently being visited on the USA by Obama."
...and it was his predecessor, liberal hero FDR who seized the property of thousands of Amercians of Japanese descent, then had them rounded up and shipped off to relocation camps.
I can’t quite muster up your grim enthusiasm for mass slaughter. Dropping the A-Bomb was a neccessary evil, but it certainly wasn’t something to be inordinately proud of.
Before we would have put one soldier on Japans home Islands we would have destroyed all of Japans major cities, all their industrial capacity, all the major infrastruture. We had total control of the air over Japan and could destroy at will. Japan would have had no way to feed itself, no way to treat it ill and dying. Disease and starvation would have killed many millions of Japanese if we did not drop those atomic bombs.
They would have fought us for each and every square inch of the home Islands. In such a battle (as in all battles like that) we would have killed with a vengeance and hatred that would have been unequaled in history. Many of our troops would have died. Those left alive would have become killing machines hell bent on vengeance, just as they were on Okinawa. Many of the soldiers in caves refused to surrender. We burned them alive with flame throwers. This act though horrifyingly brutal was totally justified. To go into those caves would have cost a lot of American lives.
Please note this is not in any way criticism of our honorable soldiers in WWII. It is simply a statement of fact.
I can think of no reason to lose the life of one American to save the life of one, ten or one hundred million attacking ruthless barbarians.
It is truly sad that so many people who did not make the decision to kill 3000 Americans while they slept on a Sunday morning without warning had to die for the decisions of those that did. I do not weep for those Japanese who died but am glad for those Americans who were allowed to live because Little Boy and Fat man were dropped.
It is wrong to think only of the harm caused by the Atomic Bombs while not considering the death and destruction caused by the Axis powers. Japan was ruthless, had they had the bombs they would have been dropped on New York and Washington, D.C. without hesitation and all of us today would be speaking Japanese.
Imagine if the war had dragged on until Mao took over China, and then he sent millions of screaming Chinamen into Japan, along with the Soviets.
"Two studies, by Paul Ham and Craig Collie, based on interviews with survivors"
is clarified down in the text with this line:
"Through interviews with survivors of the nuclear blasts, Ham knits together a reassessment of the politics of 1945"
What it really means is "rewrite" "the politics of 1945".
From this new Leftist assault on history, Allied intelligence was supposed to have infiltrated and understood the sentiments of the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, from which the intelligence the Allies had on the Japanese military and government, and how much the population would have followed them, would have been altered 180 degrees.
No where in this "reassessment of the politics of 1945" is it said to have found/obtained new (or newly uncovered) "interviews" of the political participants of the day. No, their motives and intentions simply rewritten on the basis of the preconceived notion of the authors that the attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were unnecessary.
The authors obviously believed that ahead of time, and the thoughts of the Nagasaki and Hirsoshima survivors is but a foil, an excuse, for "new evidence" that proves that.
By the way, if anyone need notice the "ultimate results", they only need look at Nagasaki and Hiroshima today, and Detroit in 1945 and today.
here's Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
How could that first A-bomb have slipped Stewart’s mind? It did make the papers. Oh, Stewart wasn’t born yet.
People need to read their history or at least watch the History Channel and the Band Of Brothers Pacific miniseries.
The Japanese would all have died defending their homeland. They would not surrender. It was not the HONORABLE thing to do.
This fact cannot be overstated, if the Emperor were to be assassinated, all bets were off.
Just expressing my views on things. Thanks
Our only problem is that we haven’t used
an atomic weapon since then.
The world has come to think that we don’t
have the will.
My Marine uncle Lee was sitting on a dock in San Francisco bay waiting to board a troop ship when they heard about the bomb. He always said Truman saved his life.
I think dropping the bombs was completely justified.
Since the end of WWII there has been two things: (1) no end to the condemnation of the U.S. by leftists for dropping the a-bombs and (2) practically no notice by the same leftists given to the millions of Asian civilians slaughtered by Japanese forces. I’m sorry the bombs had to be dropped, but THEY HAD TO BE DROPPED!!! Try being an American politician explaining to a young widow or mother after her husband or son was among the 100,000 plus serviceman killed in the invasion of Japan why you didn’t drop the bombs that would have prevented their deaths. I’d favor hanging for any American pol who would have assented to such a scenario.
There were 14 divsions of well supplied Japanese soldiers in Southern Kyushu. It would have been a bloodbath had we invaded.
I met General Tibbets a few years ago at a Museum-sponsored book signing. He gave a real nice talk, and even signed a copy of his book for me.
His talk made me feel like he was talking to the audience as a story-teller, not a Brigadier General making a report.
He was the real deal.
Probably because it hasn’t really been necessary or right to.