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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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Joris

The atomic bombs on Japan, necessary or war crime?

Tell us what you think!  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. The atomic bombs on Japan was

    • a necessary evil
      14
    • a military necessity
      31
    • a war crime
      3


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I voted "a military necessity, the alternative was a million US casualties and an unkown but even larger number of Japanese soldiers and civilians killed.

You can debate if the second bomb was required but the first one, they had no choice.  

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Not a war crime as the Hague Convention only forbade the bombardment of undefended targets.  Both cities the nuclear bombs were dropped on were defended, both by AAA guns and military formations, they had military HQ, factories, etc.  Plus if they didn't use the atomic bombs on the cities to take out those targets the USAAF would have just conventionally bombed the two cities flat.  

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As many many other well respected experts have pointed out - a military necessity. The Japanese had shown that they would fight to the last civilian (as they did at Okinawa) and they would take many Allied folks with them. An invasion of Japan would have caused uncounted numbers of Japanese civilian deaths, perhaps enough to threaten the existence of Japanese culture. And it would have killed many hundreds of thousands of Allied troops and sailors. Many Japanese cities had already been burned to the ground and they refused to surrender. With the threat of "one city - one bomber" and the known fleet of bombers we had, a bomb like the atomic bomb was the fact that caused Hirohito to over rule the military and order a surrender. 

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I voted a military necessity. I visited Okinawa and toured the battle field, the Japanese last hold out, the Navy high command caves where the officers blew themselves up with hand grenades, memorials to school girls who were given bamboo spears and sent into bonzia charges against machine guns only to be sacrifice and I toured the cemetery with thousands of allies listed as KIA. The evidence of this epic battle made it all too clears what the cost of taking the mainland could be. In the same trip I visited Nagasaki and toured ground zero and saw lasting effects of the bomb that can still be seen today. During this tour a frustrated young Japanese boy shouted  out ‘Look! See what the Americans did to us!’ That outburst illustrates to me that some people certainly have a different point of view.

Now, all that aside I have been very impresssed by a documentary series on Netflix by Oliver Stone called ‘The Untold History of the USA’ This series strongly suggest and has me convinced that the direction the USA and others has followed in the last centry is driven by a highly place elite group who map out future presidents, wars and the economy. And that for the most part we are all ponds in their scheme for the future. Before you criticize me watch the first few episodes especially the last election for Franklen Roosevelt when at the 1944 convention they scheme to dump his longtime running mate Henry Wallace so they can slip in a little unknown guy named Harry Trueman.

They explain why Trueman and not Wallace  and the ‘bomb’ plays a key factor in the big ‘why.’

you will never look at war and elections the same once you understand what is reall going on.

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15 hours ago, Mike Smith said:

Now, all that aside I have been very impresssed by a documentary series on Netflix by Oliver Stone called ‘The Untold History of the USA’ This series strongly suggest and has me convinced that the direction the USA and others has followed in the last centry is driven by a highly place elite group who map out future presidents, wars and the economy. And that for the most part we are all ponds in their scheme for the future. Before you criticize me watch the first few episodes especially the last election for Franklen Roosevelt when at the 1944 convention they scheme to dump his longtime running mate Henry Wallace so they can slip in a little unknown guy named Harry Trueman.

They explain why Trueman and not Wallace  and the ‘bomb’ plays a key factor in the big ‘why.’

you will never look at war and elections the same once you understand what is reall going on.

As a patriot, when I see trash like this it does make me sad.

As a guy who is educated, it is interesting to see how these conspiracies are usually promoted by people who cannot spell common words like "century" and cannot use spell check. These conspiracy people also don't know history, they don't know that Harry Truman's name did NOT have an "e" in the middle. They can't spell Franklin D Roosevelt's name correctly.

These people want to cause division and fear in other people, they are the people that I opposed during my 28 years in the military - and still oppose today. Mike Smith may be easily impressed (note the number of S characters in that word) but he hopes to split Americans against each other. He may be a "pond" in someone's scheme but the rest of us are not. 

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To invade Japan would have cost upto 3 million lives.  The Japanese had a "never surrender" culture and even trained school girls how to bayonet soldiers.  Even after two nuclear bombs Japanese military leaders refused to surrender and tried to stage a coup against the Emperor. The atomic bombs were therefore a lesser evil.

Edited by Adam Riccoboni
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On ‎09‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:28 PM, Joris said:

What is your opinion on using the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

There is a view among some historian that Japan's leadership was already discussing the possibility of a negotiated peace proposal. The U.S. wanted unconditional surrender. The other major reason for using the two atom bombs was that Truman wanted to curtail Stalin's participation in the defeat of Japan so that Stalin would be prevented from claiming Japanese territories. (As it happened, USSR gained Sakhalin Island). So, the two bombs were dropped to precipitate a quick defeat. Hence, the use of the atom bombs were a war crime.  

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Gunnar Sivertson repeats a lie that has been proven wrong for years and years, you would think that people would move on. The Allies had a huge force surrounding Japan, while the Soviets were busy digesting China. They did not have many resources, the Soviets made a tiny contribution to the defeat of Japan - they didn't even bother to declare war (though they had been at war) until very late in the conflict. One unmistakeable piece of evidence of the Soviet aim was that the Allies occupied all of Japan - but almost off of Japan was returned to Japanese administration and the Japanese were accepted as valuable allies. The Soviets (and now Russia) wanted to take territory and had no intention of ever returning it. They grabbed parts of Japan and still occupy them. The Allies did not need to curtail Soviet participation - the Soviets had so few resources and so many places that they wanted to grab. 

Gunnar - please think of some other falsehoods, this one has been used up. 

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On ‎03‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:51 PM, CharlesHouston said:

Gunnar Sivertson repeats a lie that has been proven wrong for years and years, you would think that people would move on. The Allies had a huge force surrounding Japan, while the Soviets were busy digesting China. They did not have many resources, the Soviets made a tiny contribution to the defeat of Japan - they didn't even bother to declare war (though they had been at war) until very late in the conflict. One unmistakeable piece of evidence of the Soviet aim was that the Allies occupied all of Japan - but almost off of Japan was returned to Japanese administration and the Japanese were accepted as valuable allies. The Soviets (and now Russia) wanted to take territory and had no intention of ever returning it. They grabbed parts of Japan and still occupy them. The Allies did not need to curtail Soviet participation - the Soviets had so few resources and so many places that they wanted to grab. 

Gunnar - please think of some other falsehoods, this one has been used up. 

I didn't know I was 'repeating a lie'. My opinion, such as it is, is based - appropriately titled - on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth, by Gar Alperovits (with the assistance of Sando Tree, Edward Rouse Winstead, Kathryn C. Morris, David J. Williams, Leo C. Maley III, Thad Williamson, and Miranda Grieder. HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. 

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2 hours ago, Gunnar Sivertsen said:

I didn't know I was 'repeating a lie'. My opinion, such as it is, is based - appropriately titled - on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth, by Gar Alperovits (with the assistance of Sando Tree, Edward Rouse Winstead, Kathryn C. Morris, David J. Williams, Leo C. Maley III, Thad Williamson, and Miranda Grieder. HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. 

Gunnar - I apologize for my too sharp reply, that does hit a nerve. But I was wrong to accuse you of repeating a lie.

There have been many books written on that topic and I have read a couple of them (from both the side of Justified and from Not Justified) and I have read several biographies of FDRoosevelt, Truman, etc. 

In my opinion the Japanese had already proven that they would NOT surrender - Okinawa showed that, etc. The Allies had bombed many cities flat with firebombs and that did not cause the Japanese to think of surrender. Invading Japan would have cost lots of Allied and lots of Japanese lives. The Soviet Union was in no condition to threaten Japan - they had vast territories that they were scattered over, and they were grabbing as much of China as they could. There was no reason for the Allies to threaten the Soviet Union - and we did not know that the Cold War was already breaking out at that time. The Soviets "gained Sakhalin" and a few other islands due the fact that they landed a few troops on them when essentially no one was paying attention. If they could have grabbed more they would have. 

We were too lenient to the Japanese - to allow Hirohito to escape any punishment. But that was done to ensure a peaceful occupation. There were many more Japanese leaders that should have ended on the gallows (not Hirohito, he was removed from decision making). 

The Allies made plenty of mistakes in the Pacific but we used a lot of discretion that we did not have to. The two atomic bombs were completely justified. 

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What if the Americans had not used the atomic bomb but firebombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki like they did Tokyo. Would that have made a difference? 

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3 hours ago, Joris said:

What if the Americans had not used the atomic bomb but firebombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki like they did Tokyo. Would that have made a difference? 

Joris - As you point out, the Allies had firebombed many Japanese cities flat - we flattened large parts of Tokyo for instance. The Japanese still refused to surrender, they continued to send kamikaze aircraft to crash into Allied ships, etc. They were still training women to attack Allied troops with sharpened bamboo stakes, etc. They saw fleets of American planes in their skies every day and they did not surrender - the thing that changed Emperor Hirohito's mind was the thought that, one day, each of those vast numbers of planes might take out a city (if any were left). The vast fleet could range over Japan unhindered - and his Generals were happy to have the entire country die for their egos. The Japanese private thought that he was doing the Emperor's bidding when he sacrificed his life for no gain but the Emperor wanted to have a Japan after the war. The Generals figured that, shortly after a surrender, they were gonna hang and so they had nothing to lose - but the rest of the population of Japan had a lot to lose. Emperor Hirohito certainly figured that he would hang after the war but he decided to surrender and save the vast suffering that an invasion would have caused. 

People see the suffering caused by war and they want to rage against the victors, they want to sympathize with the underdogs. But when the underdogs started the war, when they mistreated POWs and civilians, when they bombed Nanking, when they needlessly sacrificed their population at Okinawa for no reason - they do not deserve sympathy. 

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6 hours ago, Joris said:

What if the Americans had not used the atomic bomb but firebombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki like they did Tokyo. Would that have made a difference? 

Yeah, it would probably have killed more people. Firebombings of Tokyo - as well as Dresden - were more devastating in every way. It's just the atomic bombings were psychologically fatal in demonstrating the inevitable.    

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31 minutes ago, George Collins said:

Yeah, it would probably have killed more people. Firebombings of Tokyo - as well as Dresden - were more devastating in every way. It's just the atomic bombings were psychologically fatal in demonstrating the inevitable.    

George - mostly I agree with you. I would also add that each firebomb attack would involve hundreds of aircraft, the atomic bombs were dropped from a pair. Emperor Hirohito must have imagined the outcome if those hundreds of aircraft had been able to pair up and drop hundreds, even maybe only thousands, of bombs on many many many targets. 

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They got what they deserved.  Look what they did to the peoples of the countries they took over.  Prisoners of war they tortured disemboweled, stabbed, beheaded and I could go on and on but instead ask some of those still alive who witnessed these atrocities.  So yes it is sad that the allies did this but how many thousands of lives were saved.  

 

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On ‎07‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:20 PM, CharlesHouston said:

Gunnar - I apologize for my too sharp reply, that does hit a nerve. But I was wrong to accuse you of repeating a lie.

There have been many books written on that topic and I have read a couple of them (from both the side of Justified and from Not Justified) and I have read several biographies of FDRoosevelt, Truman, etc. 

In my opinion the Japanese had already proven that they would NOT surrender - Okinawa showed that, etc. The Allies had bombed many cities flat with firebombs and that did not cause the Japanese to think of surrender. Invading Japan would have cost lots of Allied and lots of Japanese lives. The Soviet Union was in no condition to threaten Japan - they had vast territories that they were scattered over, and they were grabbing as much of China as they could. There was no reason for the Allies to threaten the Soviet Union - and we did not know that the Cold War was already breaking out at that time. The Soviets "gained Sakhalin" and a few other islands due the fact that they landed a few troops on them when essentially no one was paying attention. If they could have grabbed more they would have. 

We were too lenient to the Japanese - to allow Hirohito to escape any punishment. But that was done to ensure a peaceful occupation. There were many more Japanese leaders that should have ended on the gallows (not Hirohito, he was removed from decision making). 

The Allies made plenty of mistakes in the Pacific but we used a lot of discretion that we did not have to. The two atomic bombs were completely justified. 

I accept your apology, Charles Houston. 

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On ‎07‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:20 PM, CharlesHouston said:

Gunnar - I apologize for my too sharp reply, that does hit a nerve. But I was wrong to accuse you of repeating a lie.

There have been many books written on that topic and I have read a couple of them (from both the side of Justified and from Not Justified) and I have read several biographies of FDRoosevelt, Truman, etc. 

In my opinion the Japanese had already proven that they would NOT surrender - Okinawa showed that, etc. The Allies had bombed many cities flat with firebombs and that did not cause the Japanese to think of surrender. Invading Japan would have cost lots of Allied and lots of Japanese lives. The Soviet Union was in no condition to threaten Japan - they had vast territories that they were scattered over, and they were grabbing as much of China as they could. There was no reason for the Allies to threaten the Soviet Union - and we did not know that the Cold War was already breaking out at that time. The Soviets "gained Sakhalin" and a few other islands due the fact that they landed a few troops on them when essentially no one was paying attention. If they could have grabbed more they would have. 

We were too lenient to the Japanese - to allow Hirohito to escape any punishment. But that was done to ensure a peaceful occupation. There were many more Japanese leaders that should have ended on the gallows (not Hirohito, he was removed from decision making). 

The Allies made plenty of mistakes in the Pacific but we used a lot of discretion that we did not have to. The two atomic bombs were completely justified. 

I accept your apology, Charles Houston. 

According to Alperovitz, James Byrne, Truman's secretary of state, gave two versions of the U.S. government's reason for dropping the two atomic bombs on Japan. The first was the official one: to save the countless lives of American soldiers. The other reason he gave was expressed on 29 August 1945 during a press conference during part of which Byrne spoke off the record. 'The New York Times' gave a part-account of the this off the record, reason on its front page the following day. Alperovitz has found the transcript of the unpublished section of Byrne's press conference - the salient points are reproduced in Alperovitz' book, pp. 586-87. 

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In essence, it says the at the Potsdam Conference, the U.S. delegation was approached by Stalin. The Russian carried a message from Hirohito and his crown prince which proposed a negotiated peace settlement. If accepted by Truman, this would probably have saved those American soldiers. The question immediately arises: why didn't Truman accept Hirohito's invitation? You will know my answer to this. But another question arises from all this: if Stalin was so determined to maximise his territorial gains in the Far East, at the expense of Japan, why did he agree to be an intermediary, and why did he keep his promise and relay Hirohito's message to Truman? If Stalin had failed to convey the peace plea message, Stalin would have assumed that the war would have continued for quite some time, and this would have given him time to gain more territory. 

We are therefore confronted with the possible rejected of two myths: that Japan would have fought for every inch of its national territory if the bombs hadn't been dropped; and that Stalin was somnambulistic expansionist - in the East as well as in the West. But this latter point is another story.  

You are right about this: the U.S. eventually surrendered its occupation of Japan (although it held on to an important military base there, in a similar vein that Russia has held on to their naval base on Crimea); whilst Stalin held on to Sakhalin Island. Since this island is of strategic importance for access to and exit from Vladivostok, this is understandable.    

Edited by Gunnar Sivertsen

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3 hours ago, Gunnar Sivertsen said:

In essence, it says the at the Potsdam Conference, the U.S. delegation was approached by Stalin. The Russian carried a message from Hirohito and his crown prince which proposed a negotiated peace settlement. If accepted by Truman, this would probably have saved those American soldiers. The question immediately arises: why didn't Truman accept Hirohito's invitation? You will know my answer to this. But another question arises from all this: if Stalin was so determined to maximise his territorial gains in the Far East, at the expense of Japan, why did he agree to be an intermediary, and why did he keep his promise and relay Hirohito's message to Truman? If Stalin had failed to convey the peace plea message, Stalin would have assumed that the war would have continued for quite some time, and this would have given him time to gain more territory. 

We are therefore confronted with the possible rejected of two myths: that Japan would have fought for every inch of its national territory if the bombs hadn't been dropped; and that Stalin was somnambulistic expansionist - in the East as well as in the West. But this latter point is another story.  

You are right about this: the U.S. eventually surrendered its occupation of Japan (although it held on to an important military base there, in a similar vein that Russia has held on to their naval base on Crimea); whilst Stalin held on to Sakhalin Island. Since this island is of strategic importance for access to and exit from Vladivostok, this is understandable.    

Here we can all remember what we know of Josef Stalin - and would it be in character for him to act as a impartial intermediary for Japan? This is Josef Stalin of the brutal retribution in Eastern Europe after WWII, this is Josef Stalin that rejected news brought by his spies about the impending German invasion, this is Josef Stalin of the gulags and the "zeks" toiling on nuclear projects. When the people of Warsaw rose up against the Germans, did the Soviets press forward and relieve them - or did they let the Germans spend their blood crushing the Poles?

The Russians and Japanese had been competitors in the Far East for decades, remember that Pearl Harbor was in part due to the success that Japan had in Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War. Would Emperor Hirohito turn to Josef Stalin for help? Would Stalin want to save Japanese lives, Japanese capability? An negotiated settlement would have certainly prevented the loss of MANY Japanese soldiers, sailors, ships, aircraft, etc etc etc - all of which Stalin would have had to worry about after the war. 

I will try to look up that book or similar information but everything that I have learned since about 1978 tells me that this is NOT information that I would believe. 

Did the Japanese fight to the death on many Pacific islands? Did they fight to the death and encourage civilians to kill themselves on Okinawa? Did they fight on after it was clear that they would lose, after their cities had been flattened? They would have fought on after an invasion.

And was this invasion an over-reaction? The people of Korea and China would say that it was not. The POWs murdered would say that it was not. 

It is understandable that Russia still holds on to Sakhalin? If so it would be understandable if many countries grabbed territory since it was of strategic access to something. Why doesn't Turkey grab a bunch of islands off of it's coast in the Aegean? Why doesn't China grab a bunch of sand bars near the Philippines (oops, they already did)?

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7 hours ago, Gunnar Sivertsen said:

You are right about this: the U.S. eventually surrendered its occupation of Japan (although it held on to an important military base there, in a similar vein that Russia has held on to their naval base on Crimea); whilst Stalin held on to Sakhalin Island. Since this island is of strategic importance for access to and exit from Vladivostok, this is understandable.    

Gunnar says several things that worry me - among them that Russia "held on" to their naval base on Crimea. Of course that is not true, it was a part of Ukraine for a long time. Russia landed troops and occupied all of Crimea, they invaded a neighbor and took their territory. Now Ukraine had leased a part of their port to Russia but that did not mean that it was a Russian port or that Russia had title to it. When I lease a house I cannot sell it to another! Russia maintains that Crimea was a part of their country but it was recognized as a part of Ukraine for decades. 

Similarly, the U.S. uses Japanese bases for some of our forces, notably in Okinawa. But we have worked with the Japanese to try to minimize the impact to their country. With all of the part of Japan that was occupied by the Allies we have peacefully handed it back. 

Edited by CharlesHouston

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There is an important point nestled in here:

"We were too lenient to the Japanese - to allow Hirohito to escape any punishment. But that was done to ensure a peaceful occupation."

Hirohito was a war criminal by any definition. Japan under his rule has committed atrocities and unspeakable crimes against humanity. Yet Hirohito was not only allowed to escape punishment but he was allowed to continue as Emperor. This means that the Allies did not win the "unconditional surrender" of Japan as they did Germany. Japan made a conditional surrender and the Allies only ever sent a small and very fearful occupation force into Japan. That after 2 atom bombs the Allies could only achieve the conditional surrender of Japan which meant allowing a war criminal to stay in power, shows just how formidable the Japanese were as an enemy and how necessary it was to use the atomb bombs to bring an end to the war against Japan.

Edited by Adam R
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