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Response to amandabeech (Reply #30)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 08:16 AM

36. I'm very proud of Mom

The two bombs saved over a 1/2 million US Armed Forces casualties. The Japanese civilian losses would have been much higher.

The US used Purple Heart medals that were ordered for the expected high casualty rate that a Japanese invasion would have cost in injuries and death. New ones weren't produced until the year 2000.



Half A Million Purple Hearts
Why a 200-year-old decoration offers evidence in the controversy surrounding the Hiroshima bombing.

Early last year, just as NATO was stepping up its bombing campaign in Kosovo, the news broke that the United States was manufacturing 9,000 new Purple Hearts, the decoration that goes to American troops wounded in battle and the families of those killed in action. To the media, this seemed a clear indication that despite its pledge not to send in ground forces, the United States was planning to do just that. “Why in good God’s name are we making Purple Hearts if we are not in a war and we don’t expect casualties?” asked the New York Post .

But in fact the run of medals had nothing to do with imminent combat; rather it cast light backward on a long-ago war. For this was the first large-scale production of the decoration since World War II; for more than half a century, American casualties have been receiving Purple Hearts stockpiled for the invasion of Japan. All the other implements of that war—tanks and LSTs, bullets and K rations—have long since been sold, scraooed. or used up, but these medals, struck for their grandfathers, are still being pinned on the chests of young soldiers.

More than 370,000 Purple Hearts have been issued between the outbreak of the Korean War through the current peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. Remarkably, some 120,000 more are still in the hands of the armed services, not only stockpiled at military supply depots but kept with major combat units and at field hospitals so that they can be awarded without delay. But although great numbers of the World War II stock are still available and ready for use, those controversial 9,000 new ones were ordered for the simplest of bureaucratic reasons: So many medals had been transferred to the armed services that the government organization responsible for procuring them, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, had to replenish its own inventory.

FULL story at link.

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