Was it a war crime when US nuked Hiroshima & Nagasaki?

Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 12:29 am
**The war was over. We knew it.
Europe knew it. Hitler knew it.
Japan knew it. In fact, many
of the remaining Japanese soldiers
were busy committing suicide, for
they had disgraced their ancestors
by their failure
**Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
highly populated cities as were
the surrounding areas; chock
full of women, children, infants
**These were not vital tactical target
sites bombed by the US. The war
was over. There were no bases
here for munitions, no harbors full
of enemy ships and armed forces.
**There was no rationale as to
why these two cities must be
**On the other hand, there may
have been ... a very smart move
on the part of the US to strengthen
our "position at the bargaining table"
as the Allied Forces began to divide
the spoils of WWII.
**The Soviet Union did not possess
such a bomb. Nor did any other of
the Allied Forces. The USA were the
strongest, we had the "upper
hand" - we could have things
"our way"
**Was that worth what was done
to those two Japanese cities?? Was
it worth the after effects, and the
after, after effects of the radiation,
the poisoning, the burning, the
deformities. Many people were
literally atomized, blessedly blown
into oblivion... these were the lucky
ones. Scores of others lived,
suffering, dying, burning, surviving
for hours,days,weeks,months.What a
ghastly sight that must have been.
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 12:52 am
The Japanese Ruling Military Clique was not in the least interested in the bargaining table. By the codes of Bushido and Samurai, they were fully prepared and fully expecting to die in glorious, noble battle. Surrender was simply not an option. Japanes plans for Homeland Defense were detailed, ready to be implemented, and would have dwarfed the ferocity and slaughter, to both sides, of the Island Campaigns ... themselves the bloodiest, most fiercely contested battles of the war. Citizen militias were to be armed with everything from explosive belts to sharpened sticks. The remnants of the military were situated in prepared positions of defense-in-depth, ready, willing, and able not only to sacrifice themselves in what they knew to be a futile defense, but to take with them as well every bit of infrastructure they could manage to destroy.

The Allied plan for the invasion of the Japanese Mainland, Operation Olympic, was the largest, most complex, most manpower and materiel intensive military undertaking ever contemplated, involving thousands of ships, tens of thousands of aircraft, and millions of men. Allied casualties were anticipated to range from 250,000 to over 500,000 or more. Japanese casualties, civilian and military combined, were expected to easily top 1,000,000. The preparations for Olympic were essentially complete, and the invasion was to take place in early September, with operations expected to last well into 1946.

There were other geopolitical considerations, but they were subsidiary. What matters is the war ended with the devastation of two cities, not months later amidst the complete destruction of the nation and its people as a whole.

Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 01:25 am
Down through the ages, the evolution of weapons in their first stages of use against an enemy have been decried by those whom they've been used against. For instance, the English Longbow-men when captured, had the index and middle fingers of their hands chopped off before they were summarily executed. The decriminalization of 'new' weapons as they appeared on the war scene took years. The first use of guns from the musket to the cannon were, at the time, viewed with horror.

In our modern, Western and so-called civilised society it takes very little time to get used to the unutterable. In Northern Ireland in the l960's the death of anyone by violence was viewed with horrific disbelief. Now the torure and/or murder of anyone by the IRA or so-called 'loyalist' gangs is (yawn) commonplace.

The weapons of mass destruction have not yet been used often enough to become 'ordinary'. And the reason for that is the potential user of - for instance - a nuclear weapon has no idea what the outcome will be against the user, either militarily or environmentally.

But the question to be answered. "Not by the Japanese, not by the US and certainly not by the troops on the ground who had to fight a punishing war against a fanatical enemy, whose introverted racism caused such destruction in Asia in the l930s and l940s".

Hindsight gives much clearer vision.
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 10:43 am
And I thank you both for your replies
to my poll/question.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 01:47 pm
When I visited both Nagasaki and Hiroshima I was overwhelmed with the devastation, the keloid in jars, and the bell that tolls at Peace Park (ground zero) in Hiroshima. However, as awful as that was seeing the devastation and reading about the bombing in detail the good that came out of it is the Japanese total opposition to war and the foundation of that nation. Japan, as a country that wages peace.

We lived in a small town, Iwakuni, 23 klicks south of Hiroshima and there where many survivors in that community. Some turned their backs to us, an extreme act in Japan where bowing is the preferred and most common form of greeting. Once a mamasan we engaged to take care of our daughter choose to show us her scares, eeek, what could we say.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 02:03 pm
As devatating as it was it would have been nothing to the massive death tolls that would have occured for the Japanese to have finally said enough is enough. It is ironic that the next great war, the Cold War would be won by a stinger missle. I believe that the Russians realized that if the Americans had the stinger missle, what else did they have. A lot of the Russian armament was a smoke screen, they had MIGs that were built with rivets. Their economy finally brought them down - something we are toying with now!
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 02:06 pm
When other fact is that more civilians died in the fire bombings in Tokyo, Kobe, and Yokohma than did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 02:13 pm
Hiroshima contained at least one large Japanesse muntions storage area and both cities were significant strategic centers based on their access to transportation. To say neither had any tactical value is a bit of a verbal play. They didn't, but they did have strategic value as targets. You say there was no military presence yet both cities were defended by anti-aircraft artillary units. What were the Japaneese defending and if those anti-aircraft units weren't run by the military who was operating them?

But.. The choices were more more appropriate than several other locations that were originally considered. Koyoto was the original 1st choice because of it's historical relevance as the former Japanesse capital and the intellectual center of the country. That choice was discarded because the city held absolutely no military value at all even though it was thought the dropping a bomb there would have the most psychological impact on the Japanesse people. The Emperor's Palace was also considered and discarded as were Yokohama, Kokura and Niigata.

Was it a War Crime at the time the bombs were dropped? I'd say no. A repeat under the International standards in place today probably would be though.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 02:16 pm
I always loved it that we, the US, did not bomb Kyoto, it is so beautiful. That was a redeeming factor in my opinion. Another fact is that the devestation in Nagasaki was far worse because of the topographical location that it was in Hiroshima.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 04:08 pm
So Bill, are WE toying with
our economy?? Any mention of Russia, and
economy in the same breath as US and economy
surely makes me nervous at the very least. Do you
foresee things that others do not, perhaps?
What do you mean? I hope you aren't a psychic
who sees and predicts the future of US economy and
we are plummeting toward tragedy, not stability in
the US. I do get a wee bit fearful when I realize
just how precarious economies can be in.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 04:31 pm
If we had lost the war, it would have been a crime, and Hitler's slaughter of the Jews, would have been a strategic cleansing.

BTW, the economy was fine before Bush was ele.... appointed president.
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 04:58 pm
babsatamelia, it was a hint but I am not the only one who believes they see it. We aren't toying with the economy - there is some dastardly things we are doing to it. We are on a new expenditure program that is the largest new spending any government has ever made in the spending of mankind. Trouble is, this spending has no reward, makes no money, provides no food, helps no one except to pay off Political debts. Yes, I believe the current trend we are on will be the demise of America. It is money squandered that was to be spend on the health of Americans, and the future of Social Security. It can't be brought back!
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 05:16 pm
Although things look pretty bleak at times, I believe the past resilience, and survivability, of this country make make your absolute statements, incredibly premature.
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 05:19 pm
I don't believe by any means it is an over night thing, I also take nothing as absolute in predictions. 25 years is a short time so let's party! Laughing
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 05:30 pm
I stand corrected for reading absolutness into your post. Embarrassed Did I hear party? Check my signature line out. :wink:
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Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 05:50 pm
Now that was an absolute allusion! BTW, if I ever perfect the absolute prediction I won't waste it on these pages - straight to Vegas for this guy! :wink: Smile Very Happy Laughing
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cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 11 Dec, 2002 06:39 pm
Hiroshima was also the factory for their zero fighter planes. In answer to your original question, no, it was not a war crime, although some may view it as a crime against humanity. c.i.
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Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 12:28 am
I DO believe that Booman is 100%
CORRECT! IF, the Allies lost the
war, THEN we would have been tried
for war crimes as well as crimes against
humanity - of which, the USA is just about
as guilty as anyone else in our world. Didn't
we put American citizens of Japanese
ancestry in some kind of concentration
camps after the attack of Pearl Harbor?
That was not very nice, or fair of us. These
people were United States citizens.
And I do very distincly recall reading about
these 2 cities, that they were decidedly not
strategic targets at all. The reason they were
targeted lay in how they could be used as an
example to others, to instill fear into the rest
of the world AND to establish the USA as "the"
superior power. Just to think of all the years
we were so deeply convinced by propaganda
that we were in grave danger from Russia,
in order to finance whatever the Pentagon
wanted, as if Russia was in ANY REAL
WAY capable of being more of a threat
to us, than we are to ourselves!

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Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 01:05 am
This country was started inthis manner. Many innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered in the developement of this country. And yet, if we were attacked, I would find myself in the position of being ready to defend it to the death.....Reality is a bitch right?
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Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 09:14 am
I would say that, given what we knew about nuclear radiation and etc. in 1945, that Hiroshima may not have been a war crime.

But Nagasaki certainly was. One bomb was certainly enough. It is my belief that the main reason we dropped the second bomb was because we had two designs of bomb: fat man and little boy, and the military wanted to test both to see which was the 'better' bomb.

Of course, there have never been any war criminals on the winning side, have there?
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