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Don't Panic
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quote:
Originally posted by CoolRich59:
Hitler wouldn’t have hesitated to use the atomic bomb if they’d been able to develop it.

Absolutely. They weren't working hard on developing the bomb, with the idea of then not using it.

Killing civilians is usually a by-product of military necessity - Hitler was a complete exception and killed civilians as a matter of course.

RE: the decision

It is hard to see the effect on the enemy's civilians as being much of a variable in the decision making, when framed in the way a Commander in Chief gets paid to think.

A useful thought exercise for those thinking this decision was immoral, or even all that difficult, might be: given the existence and proven functionality of the bomb (Trinity site), in Truman's shoes would you order a conventional invasion, condemning up to a million of your own servicepeople to death, and far more to serious injury, before seeing if this might convince Japanese leadership the war was unwinnable?

RE: target choices. Most of the other large cities had been targeted before and hammered, so damage by an atom bomb to those places could have been shrugged off. It was only dropping on otherwise-mostly-intact cities that would clearly demonstrate the weapon's effectiveness. "Before: intact city. After: Holy $#!+. All that, by one device?"

With the first not being enough on its own, the second bomb drop was not optional - the point of that was to hammer home the idea "And, they have more of those bombs."

That made surrender the obvious and rational choice and in addition to saving the lives of many Japanese servicemen, it spared the locals from the unimaginable death count an opposed invasion would have brought.
 
Posts: 13211 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by M1Garandy:
quote:
Originally posted by MMSIG229:
Dropping the bombs actually saved lives on both sides, a land invasion would have prolonged the war. After the first bomb, Japan was given the opportunity to surrender, they chose not to.
My Dad was a medic in the Navy, he told stories about seeing American soldiers hanging from trees with bayonets shoved up their a****. Someone mentioned Tojo being hanged after the war?? I thought he was killed in a plane crash near the end, correct me if I'm wrong.


You aren't thinking of Yamamoto getting shot down by P-38's are you?

You sir are correct!!!!
 
Posts: 491 | Registered: February 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Regarding dropping a bomb in an unoccupied area as a deterrent.....We weren't even sure the bomb would work properly. What if we dropped it and nothing happened??? Germany was very close to developing a nucleur bomb, only several weeks away. They were also developing jet aircraft, and long range missiles. I doubt that Hitler would have hesitated launching them towards England.
 
Posts: 491 | Registered: February 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do the next
right thing
Picture of bobtheelf
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The only point I have changed my mind on is that I think it was a mistake not to first drop one of the bombs as a demonstration. I think the arguments raised against using one as a demonstration are unpersuasive. I don't know if it would have convinced the Japanese to surrender, but it certainly would have made a more compelling case than either the Potsdam Declaration or dropping a bunch of leaflets did.


When you only have two, and you're not sure if they're going to work, and destroying one city wasn't enough of a demonstration, what possible benefit could there be to a demonstration?
 
Posts: 3306 | Location: Nashville | Registered: July 23, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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quote:
Originally posted by MMSIG229:
Germany was very close to developing a nucleur bomb, only several weeks away. They were also developing jet aircraft, and long range missiles.


With all due respect, Germany was never ever close to having a working nuke.
That was their desire for sure, they had some early attempts with heavy water projects that were sabotaged, but they never came close.
 
Posts: 6231 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eschew Obfuscation
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quote:
Originally posted by MMSIG229:
Regarding dropping a bomb in an unoccupied area as a deterrent.....We weren't even sure the bomb would work properly. What if we dropped it and nothing happened???

I've read this argument but think it's unpersuasive. If we were so unsure the bomb would work, why did we drop it on Hiroshima?

I think we should have dropped it off the coast, or even in Tokyo Bay. If it worked, it would be a powerful demonstration. If it didn't, it would have fallen in the ocean (or the bay) and the Japanese would have been none the wiser.

As for not wasting a bomb, the U.S. could have had a third bomb ready to go in less than 2 weeks.


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Posts: 4972 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^^^^^
I think you underestimated the Japanese determination to fight to the death. The righteous anger against the Japanese empire for Pearl Harbor, the Bataan death march, Nanking and the torture of American POWs was not forgotten by that time.

"I think we should have dropped it off the coast, or even in Tokyo Bay. If it worked, it would be a powerful demonstration. If it didn't, it would have fallen in the ocean (or the bay) and the Japanese would have been none the wiser."
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
You are misinformed. The Japanese refused to surrender after Hiroshima had been bombed. Even after Nagasaki they had doubts. Getting the Emperor on board sealed the deal.

BTW Happy VJ day!
 
Posts: 9014 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A lot of good points were made about how japan fought the war.
I'm not going to add to the list.

One thing to consider is, japan was working on a bomb. So it
came down to this - Nuke them 1st or be Nuked.
https://www.amazon.com/Japans-...32650&s=books&sr=1-2
 
Posts: 34 | Location: florida | Registered: July 17, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Member"
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FB friend says Atomic bombing Japan non-combatants was immoral


Of course it was. That's why it worked. It was horrible and that's what makes countries/people lose the will to keep fighting. It was horrible and it was exactly what needed to be done.

Quite frankly it's one of the reasons we stopped winning wars, we stopped doing horrible things like that. Yes, that's an awful thing to say, but it's true and why war is hell.


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Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 17969 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
It's pronounced just
the way it's spelled
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The Plutonium bomb (AKA Fatman) HAD been tested at the Trinity site out in the desert, simply because we weren't confident it would work. The implosion device was perhaps the highest tech device made up to that point in human history. It combined nuclear physics, conventional explosives, fluid mechanics, the fastest electronics available all in a package that you could drop out of an airplane flying thousands of feet above your target.

The Hiroshima enriched Uranium bomb was so simple we never tested it, because it was about as complex as a shotgun shooting a slug.
 
Posts: 1029 | Location: Arid Zone A | Registered: February 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your "friend" should sign up to get shot at
 
Posts: 623 | Registered: November 07, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eschew Obfuscation
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quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
^^^^^^^^^^^
I think you underestimated the Japanese determination to fight to the death. The righteous anger against the Japanese empire for Pearl Harbor, the Bataan death march, Nanking and the torture of American POWs was not forgotten by that time.

"I think we should have dropped it off the coast, or even in Tokyo Bay. If it worked, it would be a powerful demonstration. If it didn't, it would have fallen in the ocean (or the bay) and the Japanese would have been none the wiser."
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
You are misinformed. The Japanese refused to surrender after Hiroshima had been bombed. Even after Nagasaki they had doubts. Getting the Emperor on board sealed the deal.

BTW Happy VJ day!

No. I understand their determination. Even after Hirohito decided to surrender, there was an attempted coup by fanatics in the military to try to prevent his issuing his surrender statement.

But, lots of folks on the U.S. side - particularly Truman - were anxious to see if the Japanese could be persuaded to surrender before unleashing the bomb. One of the attempts at persuasion was the Potsdam Declaration, which the Japanese ignored. My thinking is that, if there was going to be a chance to get the Japanese to surrender, a demonstration bomb was a better "persuader" than a piece of paper.

Of course, it seems clear based on the historical record that they had no intention of surrendering, even after, as you note, we bombed Hiroshima. I know it's easy to second guess, but my view is that our standing in the eyes of history would be improved if we had used one of the bombs as a demonstration.

(Just to clarify: My point is kind of a side note. I still believe that using the bomb was the right thing to do.)


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Posts: 4972 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lots of knowledgeable folks weighing in on this subject, so I thought I'd ask for input on this book: Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire by Richard B. Frank

Anyone read it? Good, bad, indifferent? Thanks.


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“The Left want to be our shepherds. But that requires us to be sheep.” ― Thomas Sowell
 
Posts: 4972 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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The Japanese did a lot of horrible things and had no interest in surrendering.
Only something horrible convinced them to throw in the towel.
An example;

https://allthatsinteresting.com/unit-731
 
Posts: 6231 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by CoolRich59:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MMSIG229:
Regarding dropping a bomb in an unoccupied area as a deterrent.....We weren't even sure the bomb would work properly. What if we dropped it and nothing happened???

I've read this argument but think it's unpersuasive. If we were so unsure the bomb would work, why did we drop it on Hiroshima?
Well, I'm not persuaded that we had any idea that it would detonate!!! We dropped it in the hope that it would work, and end the war. The crew of the Enola Gay were shocked as to what they saw, read some of their memoirs. The footage of the aftershock rocked the plane, they could not have known what to expect. It the bomb were dropped in Tokyo Bay, and didn't detonate, what would your solution as how to remove it??

I think we should have dropped it off the coast, or even in Tokyo Bay. If it worked, it would be a powerful demonstration. If it didn't, it would have fallen in the ocean (or the bay) and the Japanese would have been none the wiser.

As for not wasting a bomb, the U.S. could have had a third bomb ready to go in less than 2 weeks.[/QUOTE
The last three setences were not mine, but a response to an earlier reply.
 
Posts: 491 | Registered: February 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by MMSIG229:

The last three setences were not mine, but a response to an earlier reply.

Thanks. Sorry for the confusion.


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“The Left want to be our shepherds. But that requires us to be sheep.” ― Thomas Sowell
 
Posts: 4972 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your friend was probably indoctrinated by our fine public school teachers.
 
Posts: 1063 | Registered: August 25, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One documentary I recall, mentioned that the A-bomb had to be used to get Japan to surrender fast and keep the Soviets out of the mainland. Western Allies already were starting to see the bad side in being allied with the Bolshevik devil to defeat Germany.

Were not some of the captured crews from the Doolittle Raid executed by Japan? Criminal!

And as Para photographically shows - the fire bombing of Tokyo killed more civilians (140K or so) than the 2 A bombs (100-120K or so).


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It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.

Ayn Rand


"He gains votes ever and anew by taking money from everybody and giving it to a few, while explaining that every penny was extracted from the few to be giving to the many."

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Posts: 1561 | Registered: July 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did a paper on this back in college in the mid-90s. Professor was a lib pacifist. He wrote on my paper that I "almost" convinced him.

I argued that 3,000 dead sailors in Pearl Harbor who were bombed while sleeping was more egregious than Hiroshima because the Japanese initiated the war. Chronologically and morally, this matters under Just War doctrine.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were ringed with industries critical to the Japanese war effort. If anything, the US showed great restraint by using the bomb on culturally less significant cities.

American casualty estimates in a mainland invasion of Japan were 2-4 million American dead. The estimates of Japanese dead were 8-10 million; the equivalent of dozens of dropped atomic bombs on Japan. US atomic bombs saved both Japanese and American lives, and nothing's more important than the saving of our boys in 1945 and getting them home.

Nanking, Bataan, Burma, Alexander Hospital, Wake Island, Laha, Palawan, beheaded American POWs who were cannibalized...the list of atrocities committed by Japan goes on and on. To this day, Japanese scholars won't admit it and Japanese schools don't teach it. Your friend is an arrogant ass who ignorantly enjoys the opportunity to talk smack about his country while men far better than he died for it.

I hate Americans who hate America.
 
Posts: 770 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
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A demonstration bomb; they had one. Hiroshima, and it didn't convince them. Then a second demonstration at Nagasaki and it barely did the job although many were still not convinced and tried a coup.
That's plenty of evidence a demonstration wasn't nearly enough.
The Japanese of that era would have taken a demonstration bomb, an act of kindness some would say, as a sign of American weakness in their mind.
Before the war even started, they knew they couldn't beat us on the strength of their military. They were convinced we were a soft culture and would give in to avoid the necessary unpleasantness.
Firebombing their cities didn't do the trick. Brute, or brutal, force was the only thing that changed their minds.
 
Posts: 6231 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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