Zippo
 
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 11:07 am
http://www.vw.vccs.edu/vwhansd/HIS122/Images/Hiroshima.jpg

Today is the anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. A stark reminder that despite all the rhetoric about the threat of Iraq and Iran's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, one and only one nation has ever used nuclear weapons on a civilian population, and that nation is the United States of America. Despite propaganda about necessity and live saved by use of the bomb, history records that Japan knew the war was lost and had already decided to surrender by the time the bomb was used. But Truman, having missed a chance to demonstrate the weapon on Germany, went ahead with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily to demonstrate to the rest of the world, and the USSR in particular, that the USA had the political will to use such weapons.

So, for the United States to speak critically of other nations' desire to build such weapons, is truly the pot calling the kettle black!
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CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 12:36 pm
Re: HIROSHIMA
Zippo wrote:
Despite propaganda about necessity and live saved by use of the bomb, history records that Japan knew the war was lost and had already decided to surrender by the time the bomb was used.


Gosh, had they already decided to surrender, I would have thought they'd have done so immediately after Hiroshima instead of waiting for another city to be annihilated. Guess they weren't too smart back then.
0 Replies
 
Zippo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 12:51 pm
Re: HIROSHIMA
CoastalRat wrote:
Zippo wrote:
Despite propaganda about necessity and live saved by use of the bomb, history records that Japan knew the war was lost and had already decided to surrender by the time the bomb was used.


Gosh, had they already decided to surrender, I would have thought they'd have done so immediately after Hiroshima instead of waiting for another city to be annihilated. Guess they weren't too smart back then.


The Japanese had offered an ALMOST unconditional surrender before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. They only had two conditions - that Japan retain it's sovereignity and that they keep their Emperor (which was a mostly ceremonial role) . The USA refused, demanding nothing less than an unconditional surrender. Of course, the Japanese refused, just as nearly any country would refuse a surrender that did not guarantee that you would continue to exist as a nation afterwards.

We then drop a couple of bombs on them, which terrified them so much they gave in...and after we tested our bombs on them, we gave them the two things they wanted in exchange for peace anyway - Hirohito remained emperor of Japan until 1989. Japan is still a sovereign nation. The only difference between what Japan asked for and what we gave them is that they had a couple of cities nuked.

The real reason we turned down the surrender was we had already planned on using the bombs on Japan to demonstrate to the USSR that we had multiple atomic weapons and were willing to use them. The Japanese peace offer threw a wrench in their plans.

It's no surprise that the USA would act in such an evil fashion...even though the USA today is a mostly free society with considerable civil rights, we have no qualms about killing foreigners to achieve our political goals. In the first half of the 20th century, the USA was a country that effectively practiced apartheid, prohibited 'undesirable' races from immigrating, and imprisoned people for unpopular political beliefs. If the USA of 1945 existed today alongside the modern USA, it would probably be considered part of the 'Axis of Evil'.
0 Replies
 
Avatar ADV
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2007 12:25 pm
This is, in point of fact, untrue.

The Japanese were debating the idea of surrender internally, certainly. The civilian leadership was generally in favor of surrender with a single condition - the retaining of the national polity, or in other words, the government. (Yes, yes, Emperor and all that; until after August 9th, that was more of a formality for their system than it would be for the British.)

The military leadership was in favor of surrender only under those terms, plus retention of the empire - basically, no occupation, Japanese-controlled disarmament (snort), and some of the occupied territory. Their view was that the US was getting tired of the war, and that a single Japanese victory would be sufficient to get the US to agree to those terms... basically calling it quits in place. This might have actually worked had the anticipated victory actually occurred. However, the Japanese had been waiting for that victory since mid-'44, and short of a furious defense of Kyushu against an American invasion, was not about to happen.

The view of the military leadership is important to keep in mind, because we're not talking about a country in which the military was subordinate to the civilian branches of government. Anti-military government officials had been assassinated quite regularly in the '30s. So keep in mind that even the civilian "peace advocates" weren't exactly what we'd call peace advocates - even if they felt that way, expressing it in those terms was a good way to end up dead. The military guys, well, there's a quote by one of them where he says that the Americans could be repulsed if Japan was willing to undertake twenty million "special attacks" (suicide attacks - kamikaze planes, satchel-charges strapped to people, little girls with sharpened god-damned bamboo...) That's a quarter of the Japanese population at the time, I should add. Gives you an idea about the peace-loving nature of the Japanese government.

At no time did the Japanese suggest terms of surrender of ANY kind. They did attempt to get the Soviets to negotiate a peace, but that effort went nowhere - Stalin wanted his piece of the Japanese empire too, naturally. The US did call for a Japanese surrender in the Potsdam Declaration, which the Japanese dismissed "with contempt" (an unfortunate term used by a government official somewhat further down the food chain, but not repudiated by any other government statement). The Japanese emphatically did not offer a conditional surrender in response, much less an unconditional one.

If you'd like to examine the actual decision-making process involved in the use of the atomic bomb and the Japanese surrender, may I suggest "Downfall" by Richard Frank; it's exhaustive (practically a sleep aid, if you're not interested in the material) and covers pretty much all aspects of the fire-bombing campaign, Japanese plans to implement Ketsu-Go, and the surrender. If you're going to call the atomic bombings evil, you're either deluded or ignorant of the facts of the topic (or, like Zippo, both! ;p)
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2007 01:24 pm
In McNamara's "The Fog of War," he surveys the destruction of Japanese cities, 67 in all, devastated by fire bombing which, although more civilians died than in the atomic bomb blasts, never brought the Japanese to the consideration of any offer of surrender. They were negotiating amongst themselves but it took the two cities destroyed by the A bomb to begin seriously negotiating surrender terms. The Japanese military hierarchy still had generals who believed we only had the two bombs, but with the effectiveness of Curtis LeMay's firebombing strategy, that was a moot point to the Emperor.

http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 06:53 am
Re: HIROSHIMA
Zippo wrote:
one and only one nation has ever used nuclear weapons on a civilian population, and that nation is the United States of America.


Hiroshima was Japan's largest military town. Hiroshima's military districts held tens of thousands of soldiers (giving it the highest soldier/civilian ratio of any Japanese city). Hiroshima also held the headquarters of the Japanese Second General Army, which was in charge of repelling any invasion in the southern half of the Japanese home islands (including Kyushu, where we were planning to invade next).


The second bomb was intended for Kokura Arsenal, a massive (4100' x 2000') arms-production complex. The secondary target was the Mitsubishi Shipyards, an even more massive warship construction facility across the bay from Nagasaki. Due to technical and weather difficulties, the bomb ended up being dropped on Urakami, an industrial zone north of Nagasaki. There it destroyed the Mitsubishi Steel Works and the Mitsubishi Torpedo Works.

Before Japan attacked us, Pearl Harbor had been regarded as immune to air-dropped torpedoes because the water was so shallow the torpedoes would hit the ocean floor and embed themselves in the mud. This was the only harbor in the world (outside Japan) that had such a natural defense against air-dropped torpedoes. In order to attack us, Japan had to develop entirely new torpedo technology designed specifically for Pearl Harbor. The Mitsubishi Torpedo Works is the place that designed and built those torpedoes.




Zippo wrote:
Despite propaganda about necessity and live saved by use of the bomb, history records that Japan knew the war was lost and had already decided to surrender by the time the bomb was used.


Guess they shouldn't have dawdled then. Not our fault they waited until after Nagasaki to surrender.



Zippo wrote:
went ahead with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily to demonstrate to the rest of the world, and the USSR in particular, that the USA had the political will to use such weapons.


Nope. The primary reason for dropping the bombs was the desire to make Japan surrender.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 06:54 am
Re: HIROSHIMA
Zippo wrote:
CoastalRat wrote:
Zippo wrote:
Despite propaganda about necessity and live saved by use of the bomb, history records that Japan knew the war was lost and had already decided to surrender by the time the bomb was used.


Gosh, had they already decided to surrender, I would have thought they'd have done so immediately after Hiroshima instead of waiting for another city to be annihilated. Guess they weren't too smart back then.


The Japanese had offered an ALMOST unconditional surrender before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.


Nope. Japan did not offer to surrender until the day after Nagasaki.




Zippo wrote:
They only had two conditions - that Japan retain it's sovereignity and that they keep their Emperor (which was a mostly ceremonial role) . The USA refused, demanding nothing less than an unconditional surrender. Of course, the Japanese refused, just as nearly any country would refuse a surrender that did not guarantee that you would continue to exist as a nation afterwards.

We then drop a couple of bombs on them, which terrified them so much they gave in...and after we tested our bombs on them, we gave them the two things they wanted in exchange for peace anyway - Hirohito remained emperor of Japan until 1989. Japan is still a sovereign nation. The only difference between what Japan asked for and what we gave them is that they had a couple of cities nuked.

The real reason we turned down the surrender was we had already planned on using the bombs on Japan to demonstrate to the USSR that we had multiple atomic weapons and were willing to use them. The Japanese peace offer threw a wrench in their plans.


Nice conspiracy theory.

But Japan didn't actually ask to surrender until the day after Nagasaki. There was nothing for the US to turn down before that point.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 06:56 am
Lightwizard wrote:
In McNamara's "The Fog of War," he surveys the destruction of Japanese cities, 67 in all, devastated by fire bombing which, although more civilians died than in the atomic bomb blasts, never brought the Japanese to the consideration of any offer of surrender. They were negotiating amongst themselves but it took the two cities destroyed by the A bomb to begin seriously negotiating surrender terms. The Japanese military hierarchy still had generals who believed we only had the two bombs, but with the effectiveness of Curtis LeMay's firebombing strategy, that was a moot point to the Emperor.

http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html


The death stats from Fog of War are wildly off base.

It appears that McNamara took stats for percentage of buildings destroyed and assumed that it represented percentage of people killed.

But in a number of Japanese cities there was widespread destruction of buildings with relatively few people killed.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 07:30 am
Avatar ADV wrote:
The US did call for a Japanese surrender in the Potsdam Declaration, which the Japanese dismissed "with contempt" (an unfortunate term used by a government official somewhat further down the food chain, but not repudiated by any other government statement).


Small nitpick here (the rest of your post was perfect):

The words were from Prime Minister Suzuki -- not exactly a minor official -- during a press conference.

His statement:

"The government does not regard the Potsdam Proclamation as a thing of any value. The government will just ignore it with contempt. We will press forward resolutely to carry the war to a successful conclusion."



Avatar ADV wrote:
If you'd like to examine the actual decision-making process involved in the use of the atomic bomb and the Japanese surrender, may I suggest "Downfall" by Richard Frank; it's exhaustive (practically a sleep aid, if you're not interested in the material) and covers pretty much all aspects of the fire-bombing campaign, Japanese plans to implement Ketsu-Go, and the surrender.


Definitely one of the best books on the subject. But there are a few things he doesn't cover.

"Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Later" by Robert James Maddox should be read in addition to Richard Frank's work.

The two books go together quite nicely.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 07:41 am
oralloy wrote:
"Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Later" by Robert James Maddox should be read in addition to Richard Frank's work.

The two books go together quite nicely.


Both authors have online articles that summarize their books:

Frank: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=5894

Maddox: http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1995/3/1995_3_70.shtml
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 08:10 am
oralloy wrote:
Lightwizard wrote:
In McNamara's "The Fog of War," he surveys the destruction of Japanese cities, 67 in all, devastated by fire bombing which, although more civilians died than in the atomic bomb blasts, never brought the Japanese to the consideration of any offer of surrender. They were negotiating amongst themselves but it took the two cities destroyed by the A bomb to begin seriously negotiating surrender terms. The Japanese military hierarchy still had generals who believed we only had the two bombs, but with the effectiveness of Curtis LeMay's firebombing strategy, that was a moot point to the Emperor.

http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html


The death stats from Fog of War are wildly off base.

It appears that McNamara took stats for percentage of buildings destroyed and assumed that it represented percentage of people killed.

But in a number of Japanese cities there was widespread destruction of buildings with relatively few people killed.


The US Government esimates of those killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is 144,000. The Tokyo fire-bombings estimate is at 120,000. however, you go to the link of what percentage of the cities in Japan were destroyed other than Tokyo, it's unfathomable to believe there weren't more deaths from the fire-bombings. Where are those comprehensive statistics? I've researched and have found them. I just remember reading many times overm going back to my American History thesis on World World II in university, that many more citizens lost their lives in the fire-bombings.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 08:15 am
"I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world." - Wifred Burchett & Hiroshima.:

.....

http://www.japanfocus.org/images/362-1.jpg

30th Day in Hiroshima: Those who escaped begin to die, victims of
THE ATOMIC PLAGUE
DOCTORS FALL AS THEY WORK
Poison gas fear: All wear masks

Express Staff Reporter Peter Burchett was the first Allied Reporter to enter the atom-bomb city. He travelled 400 miles from Tokyo alone and unarmed, carrying rations for seven meals - food is almost unobtainable in Japan - a black umbrella, and a typewriter. Here is his story from -HIROSHIMA, Tuesday

"In Hiroshima, 30 days after the first atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly - people who were uninjured in the cataclysm - from an unknown something which I can only describe as the atomic plague.

Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller had passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world.

In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show.

When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around and for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made devastation.

I picked my way to a shack used as a temporary police headquarters in the middle of the vanished city. Looking south from there I could see about three miles of reddish rubble. That is all the atomic bomb left of dozens of blocks of city streets, of buildings, homes, factories, and human beings. ........"
<cont>

<extract from Voice and Silence in the First Nuclear War: Wilfred Burchett and Hiroshima By Richard Tanter>

http://www.japanfocus.org/products/topdf/2066
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 09:23 am
Lightwizard wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Lightwizard wrote:
In McNamara's "The Fog of War," he surveys the destruction of Japanese cities, 67 in all, devastated by fire bombing which, although more civilians died than in the atomic bomb blasts, never brought the Japanese to the consideration of any offer of surrender. They were negotiating amongst themselves but it took the two cities destroyed by the A bomb to begin seriously negotiating surrender terms. The Japanese military hierarchy still had generals who believed we only had the two bombs, but with the effectiveness of Curtis LeMay's firebombing strategy, that was a moot point to the Emperor.

http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html


The death stats from Fog of War are wildly off base.

It appears that McNamara took stats for percentage of buildings destroyed and assumed that it represented percentage of people killed.

But in a number of Japanese cities there was widespread destruction of buildings with relatively few people killed.


The US Government esimates of those killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is 144,000. The Tokyo fire-bombings estimate is at 120,000. however, you go to the link of what percentage of the cities in Japan were destroyed other than Tokyo, it's unfathomable to believe there weren't more deaths from the fire-bombings. Where are those comprehensive statistics? I've researched and have found them. I just remember reading many times overm going back to my American History thesis on World World II in university, that many more citizens lost their lives in the fire-bombings.


I'm not saying that people didn't die in those other bombings -- just that they didn't die in the numbers that McNamara said.

Total deaths from US bombing in Japan (counting both conventional and atomic) could be as high as 400,000. But certainly no higher than that.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 09:43 am
The research from my thesis on WWII (yes, my Mom kept it!) was that the fire-bombings of all those cities alone killed 350,000 total. I briefly looked into Encyclopedia Britannica but could come up with a statistic. There are still several statements on line that more citizens were killed in the fire-bombings than the in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. As long as actual statistics seem to be difficult to find either way, it really has little to do with how the Emperor took into account the fire-bombings with the two Atomic bomb attacks. We would lose more airplanes continuing the fire-bombings but still would have virtually wiped out every militarized city in Japan.

The total Japanese civilian deaths from Encylopedia Britannica's statistics of WWII is 672,000.

Another link with partial statistics:

Atomic Bomb Museum
0 Replies
 
paull
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Aug, 2007 11:06 am
Russia declared war on Japan on August 8th. I think one additional reason for surrender was to avoid division of Japan as had happened to Germany.
0 Replies
 
Zippo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Aug, 2007 11:16 am
oralloy, you haven't posted any links to support your claims.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Aug, 2007 10:22 pm
Zippo wrote:
oralloy, you haven't posted any links to support your claims.


What claims are you questioning?


Here are some links that mention the military at Hiroshima and the war industry at Nagasaki:


Hiroshima:

Quote:
"but wartime evacuations had reduced that number this summer morning to about 280,000 civilians, 43,000 military personnel and 20,000 Korean forced laborers and volunteer workers. Hiroshima housed the headquarters of the Japanese army's Second General Headquarters."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983264-3,00.html


Quote:
"Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance. It contained the 2nd Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan."

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp06.htm


Quote:
"Out of 140,000 deaths, about 20,000 were considered to be those of the military service men."

http://web.archive.org/web/20050525025545/www.hiroshima-cdas.or.jp/HICARE/ab2e.html


Quote:
"Hiroshima had a civilian population of almost 300,000 and was an important military center, containing about 43,000 soldiers"

http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/hiroshima.htm


Quote:
"As the headquarters of the Second Army and of the Chugoku Regional Army, it was one of the most important military command stations in Japan,"

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/documents/fulltext.php?fulltextid=31


Quote:
"There were 43,000 soldiers based in Hiroshima, and Nagasaki was an industrial city that had turned out the torpedoes used at Pearl Harbor. Its shipyards had built some of Japan's biggest warships."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/trinity/articles/closer1.html






Nagasaki:

Quote:
"The pilots meant to hit the Mitsubishi shipyards 3.2 kilometers south, but the day was cloudy and they missed their target, dropping the device instead over Nagasaki's northern suburb of Urakami."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,501020729-322671,00.html


Quote:
"The bomb exploded high over the industrial valley of Nagasaki, almost midway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, in the south, and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (Torpedo Works), in the north, the two principal targets of the city."

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp07.htm


Quote:
"The four largest companies in the city were the Mitsubishi Shipyards, Electrical Equipment Works, Arms Plant, and Steel Works, employing nearly 90 percent of the city's labor force."

and

"In Nagasaki, only the Mitsubishi Dockyards among the major industries was remote enough from the explosion to escape serious damage. The other three Mitsubishi firms, which were responsible together with the dockyards for over 90 percent of the industrial output of the city, were seriously damaged. The Arms Plant and the Steel Works were in the main area of damage."

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/documents/fulltext.php?fulltextid=31


Quote:
"The hurriedly-targeted weapon ended up detonating almost exactly between two of the principal targets in the city, the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works to the south, and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Torpedo Works (right) to the north."

http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/nagasaki.htm

The parentheses around the word "right" direct attention to a picture of the destroyed torpedo factory. Moving the mouse pointer over the picture raises the following caption: "Mitsubishi-Urakami Torpedo Works, 1,400 feet north of ground zero, Nagasaki. Torpedoes used in the attack on Pearl Harbor were built here."
0 Replies
 
Zippo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Aug, 2007 02:23 pm
I didn't say i was an expert...Mr oralloy, you may be right. thanks for the links.
0 Replies
 
 

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