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Wed Aug 5, 2015, 05:47 PM

It's that time of year again.

Were either Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombings necessary? Of course it is simpler to look back, but in your opinion, based on what you know know, were either or both necessary?
15 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Neither
8 (53%)
Hiroshima yes, Nagasaki no
0 (0%)
Hiroshima no, Nagasaki yes
0 (0%)
Both were
7 (47%)
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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply It's that time of year again. (Original post)
uppityperson Aug 2015 OP
orpupilofnature57 Aug 2015 #1
pipoman Aug 2015 #2
Maedhros Aug 2015 #3
Art_from_Ark Aug 2015 #14
stevenleser Aug 2015 #15
Art_from_Ark Aug 2015 #16
Maedhros Aug 2015 #24
Art_from_Ark Aug 2015 #25
uppityperson Aug 2015 #4
Warpy Aug 2015 #5
GeorgeGist Aug 2015 #6
Warpy Aug 2015 #12
Lurks Often Aug 2015 #7
Codeine Aug 2015 #8
moondust Aug 2015 #9
Deadshot Aug 2015 #10
roamer65 Aug 2015 #11
Cheese Sandwich Aug 2015 #13
Recursion Aug 2015 #17
redgreenandblue Aug 2015 #18
uppityperson Aug 2015 #22
joshcryer Aug 2015 #19
redgreenandblue Aug 2015 #20
joshcryer Aug 2015 #21
sarisataka Aug 2015 #23

Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 05:55 PM

1. If they had told Oppenheimer the truth and let them see it from afar it would have ended as soon .

 

of course we would have also learned about the effects of Fallout, and not instilled the fear the MIC needed to sell .

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 05:55 PM

2. I thought this was going to be about Colorado peaches...

 

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 06:24 PM

3. I'm pretty convinced that, at the time, they felt both bombs were necessary.

 

Just like today, people feel that drone warfare - and it's concomitant civilian slaughter and psychological terror - is necessary.

I think in both cases people were wrong. It's just easier to kill and destroy than to find alternatives.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 01:53 AM

14. General Eisenhower, among others, didn't think the atomic bombings were necessary

"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

- Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 03:09 AM

15. Eisenhower has IMHO been unfairly discounted as a thinker. He saw it but

 

Truman did not.

However, just because Eisenhower figured out what was going on behind the scenes in some Japanese government circles doesn't mean for sure we would have been able to get a proposal to them in such a way that would have threaded the needle so to speak.

Even with the use of the atomic bombs there was all kinds of intrigue, coup attempts and assassination attempts before a government/leadership coalition in Japan could be assembled that was strong enough to insist on surrender.

Even had Truman somehow known/figured out was was happening in the Japanese leadership, I rate his chances on being able to effect a peace settlement only at about 55%.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 04:30 AM

16. There is a lot about the Pacific War that most Americans do not know

For example, Japan had actually made overtures through the USSR to end the war as early as May 1945. once it became clear that Japan was on its own. However, Roosevelt had promised Stalin that the USSR could have the Kurile Islands and the southern half of Sakhalin (which were legitimately Japanese territories at the time) if Stalin joined in the war against Japan. So Stalin was in no hurry to end the Pacific War. In fact, the USSR did not declare war on Japan until after Hiroshima, when it was abundantly clear that Japan was doomed. Stalin's invasion of the Kuriles did not end until the end of October 1945. For good measure, the Soviets also captured Shikotan Island and the Habomai Islands just off the coast of Hokkaido, which have been a bone of contention between Japan and Russia ever since.

The use of the atomic bombs was a way to show the USSR that the USA was not to be messed with in the post-war era, among other things.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 01:57 PM

24. Truman and others obviously thought differently.

 

It's been suggested that the real reason for dropping the bombs was to deter Stalin and prevent the hot war with the Soviet Union that folks like Patton were endorsing.

Most people point to the "inevitable" invasion of the Japanese mainland, and the associated horrendous casualties, as the reason for the bombing. My belief is that a blockade of Japan would have accomplished what was needed - their navy was a shell of its former self in 1945.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 07:29 PM

25. The story of the final days of the war is very complex

The United States had already promised Stalin that he could have Japan's Kurile Islands and the southern half of Sakhalin Island if he entered the war against Japan. Stalin declared war on Japan on August 8, two days after Hiroshima, and continued his invasion of the Kurile Islands until the end of October, when not only all of the Kuriles had been taken by the USSR, but some smaller islands just a stone's throw from the Hokkaido mainland were taken as well.

As part of my Master's thesis research, I read a very interesting essay by a former State Department official that was written in the early '50s about the final days of the war, especially as it concerned the USSR and Japan. The author contended that the US had let the war drag out to allow the USSR to reach the Kuriles, because the plan was to have the USSR at odds with Japan over these territories so that Japan would be in the post-war American camp. Those islands have remained a bone of contention between Japan and Russia ever since, as this sign in front of Tokyo Station can attest:



The sign says "The day that the Northern Territories (=disputed Russian-held islands) are returned will be the Day of Peace"

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 06:28 PM

4. I think at the time the first was felt necessary, the second because they wanted to show they could

was getting ready, would have, surrendered without it.

As far as bombing cities, whether conventional, fire bombing or nuking, there is shame there.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 06:29 PM

5. I'm reasonably sure the bombs were necessary

and no more destructive overall than carpet bombing of Tokyo had been.

My complaint was always the choice of two non military targets because scumbag generals wanted to see what happened to a "pristine" target.

Their words.

The first bomb got their attention. The second bomb made them think "good grief, how many of these things do they have?" They didn't know we had only the two. However, the second one made them surrender quickly and unconditionally.

So I think the bombs were most likely necessary. The non military targets made them war crimes.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 07:28 PM

6. I reasonably sure that you are dangerously wrong.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 11:58 PM

12. Good.

We never agree on anything, good to know you're consistent.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 07:55 PM

7. Yes, both were necessary according the books I've read

 

John Toland, who wrote "The Rising Sun" interviewed many of the surviving senior Japanese military and government officials. The 2 volume set won him the Pulitzer Prize. According to the book, even after the second bomb was dropped, senior military leaders attempted a coup and planned on taking Emperor Hirohito into "protective custody" while they planned on continuing to fight during the land invasion of Japan.

The above was confirmed by the book "Fading Victory- The Diary of Admiral Matome Ugaki" who, along with other senior Japanese officers continued plans to fight even after the second atomic bomb was dropped. When Emperor Hirohito made his speech on August 15, 1945 telling Japan of their defeat and upcoming surrender, Ugaki took off and led a group of suicide planes toward the American fleet. Since no attack took place, Ugaki and the rest of the air crews probably dived into the sea somewhere along the way.

The idea of continuing to fight after 2 atomic bombs and everything else facing Japan is foreign to most of us. The mistake people make today is thinking that the Japanese military would respond to the devastating attacks the same way we would, rationally and logically.

Most of us refuse to accept that the Japanese sometimes have a very different worldview then ours. Suicide still remains acceptable and even encouraged under certain circumstances.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 08:00 PM

8. Each was more necessary than the Nanking Massacre

 

or the Bataan Death March.

Don't start no shit, there won't be no shit.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 09:22 PM

9. Don't know.

Most have probably heard the alternative scenario in which Truman first arranges for Japanese politicos or generals to witness an atomic explosion that basically wipes off the map an evacuated Pacific island. Impossible to know if that would have been convincing enough to prompt a surrender but...it might have been worth a try.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 09:25 PM

10. Innocent women, children, and men should never be a target of war.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 09:31 PM

11. Plans were for us to drop 3-4 of them per month until surrender.

Thank god Truman put using them under presidential control after Nagasaki and the Emperor on Japan made the bold move to surrender.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 01:46 AM

13. This seems relevant...Gar Alperovitz

 





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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 04:48 AM

17. They probably saved about a million lives all told



The kind of decision I'm glad I don't have to make

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 05:56 AM

18. I'm going to vote "neither" to balance out the poll.

I think the "pro" position is suspect, because it is largely the knee-jerk result of decades of national mythbuilding and propaganda.

The truth is that I do not know, and neither do most people voting in this poll.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 10:07 AM

22. I'm with you. My thinking has changed over the years from hell no, to maybe Hiroshima after talking

my WWII vet dad, to I dint know what info to trust. It was of course awful and heartbreaking.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 06:00 AM

19. I don't comment on these threads usually.

But I usually back my view up with a vote.

The Nanking Massacre is my instruction for this almost purely emotional opinion. I am not a military analyst, I'm not a historian.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #19)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 07:44 AM

20. So killing people who for the most part didn't participate in atrocities...

...can be justified by the fact that other people of the same ethnicity/nationality committed said atrocities? A person is guilty by association based on belonging to the same "tribe"?

There is a word for such reasoning: Racism.

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #20)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 07:54 AM

21. Nope.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 10:26 AM

23. As bad as the A bombs were

Operation Olympic would have been far worse to both sides.

Estimates of 1 million US casualties were based on serious underestimations of actual Japanese military strength.

Plans for using nuclear weapons on the landing beaches would have exposed nearly all US ground troops to radiation; not even considering the effect on the Japanese civilian population.

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