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

 
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 12:43 pm
Equus, I think that Viet Nam was treated as the war criminals for many, many years - and they were the victors!
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Booman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 12:49 pm
Yes Equus,.... I believe someone mentioned something to that effect. Rolling Eyes
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:09 pm
Nuclear attack on Japan not only accelerated her surrender and prevented unnecessary casualties (see Timberlandko's [/i] response), it also prevented transformation of the WWII into a war between the USSR and the Western Allies. The Soviet General Staff HQ prepared during the last stage of the war a plan of proceeding with the offensive to the West and occupying the whole Germany, France and other countries of the Central and Western Europe. The Allies' temporary failure in Ardennes made Stalin think that the British and the U.S. army were an easy prey, and he has approved the plans of military. Demonstration of the nuclear abilities of the USA and of the real power of the new weapon made Stalin to dismiss the plans mentioned, and to concentrate efforts on development of the Soviet nuclear weapon prior to attempting to revise the European borders. In 1953 Stalin died, and his successors never revived these plans.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:14 pm
steissd, Can you provide some outside documentation to conform your ideas about Stalin? It's just that this is the first time I'm hearing about this, and I'm curious to find out more. c.i.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:19 pm
Some is to be found here, c.i.:

Pravda
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 02:08 pm
Equus wrote:
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.


Equus, I disagree with your appraisal. The promise of anihilation was held to the Japanese should they delay surrender. Following the Hiroshima bomb, Japan was assured further such treatment would reward continued intransigence. When immediate suitable response was not forthcoming from the Japanese, Nagasaki was undertaken. Surrender occurred almost immediately thereupon, and took place despite the objection of the hardcore militarists. The "further geopolitical considerations" to which I alluded in my earlier post included, as addressed by steissd, admonition to The Soviet Union that The West was prepared and competent to resist the hegemonic aims at the time clearly evidenced by Soviet practice.

As to the strategic value, and thus legitimate targeting of, the two cities, both harbored concentrations of military personnel and assets, both were industrial centers, and both were major nodes of the transportation infrastructure of the nation. The bombings, horrific though they were, were in furtherance of, and in fact did bring about, an overwhelmingly greater good.



timber
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 02:41 pm
Walter, Your link only speaks to the issue of the creation of the atom bomb, and the supposed knowledge Stalin already had. It's been my impression that Russia was in no position to start a war with the west after WWII; Germany destroyed most of St Petersburg, and killed half their population. During my visit to Eastern Europe, I had the opportunity to visit Potsdam where Stalin, Churchill, and Truman met. Putting these and other information together, it was my impression that Stalin could not have had the capacity nor the support of the Russian people for a military aggression to overtake Europe. Their own country was in shambles. I wonder how effective the Russians would have been, because the US occupation of Europe was still significant. c.i.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 03:38 pm
c.i., at the end of WWII, The Soviet Union disposed under arms in Europe something on the order of 200+ Divisions, well trained, well equipped, and well seasoned, operating with the benefit of interior logistic lines. The Allies had less than a third that force available in place, particularly given the contemporary Pacific Push, and such Allied Forces as there were in Europe operated at the ends of Ocean-and-Continent-Crossing logistic tails of staggering length, complexity and expense. True, The Allies would have had the advantages of Defense Along Prepared Lines and of superior Offensive Strategic Capability, but there was valid, recognized, very troubling uncertainty of Allied Conventional Warfare Capability in regard to countering a determined Soviet aggression. At the very least, such a fight would have been one helluva brawl, and would have mapped a Post-War Europe somewhat differently than that of our present experience.

By dropping two bombs on Japan in quick and well publicized succession The US not only obviated the need for the Allies to undertake the largest Sea-Born Invasion in History, but was relieved the task of simultaneously defending against the largest Land-Based Invasion of all time. I'd call that a bargain for humanity.



timber
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 04:05 pm
tim, What I do not understand is why the Germans were able to decimate the Russians on so many battle fronts in Russia towards the end of the war, if as you say, they had "at the end of WWII, The Soviet Union disposed under arms in Europe something on the order of 200+ Divisions, well trained, well equipped, and well seasoned, operating with the benefit of interior logistic lines." There seems to be some inconsistency of the stories I heard while I visited St Petersburg two years ago, and what you are claiming. c.i.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 04:26 pm
c.i., in all respect, I would question the foundation and agenda of the St. Petersburg stories. Having undergone a 1000 day siege, with starvation, disease, and exposure added to the general unpleasantness of war, Lenigrad and Lenigradders might be expected to have a particular perspective. War, Famine, and Pestilence will do that to you ... "It jes' don't git no worse 'n that".

Among other works, Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe", Churchill's epic war memoirs, Omar Bradley's "A Soldier's Story", and John Toland's "The Rising Sun" discuss at length and in detail the period encompassing the ends of The War in both Europe and The Pacific.




timber
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 04:56 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
why the Germans were able to decimate the Russians on so many battle fronts in Russia towards the end of the war


History doesn't support the proposition. Germany lost the initiative on the Russian Front no later than their failure at Stalingrad. The Kursk Side Trip debacle some months later marked the beginning of the German Collapse. 1943 saw no German Victories of more than local significance, and none of any but immediate consequence. Nor did any subsequent year. From the Summer of 1943, The German's "Russian Front" was doomed. Soviet momentum built inexorably, but at a deliberate, Soviet-Set pace. As of 8 May 1945, The Soviet Union was in comfortable possession of somewhat more of Europe than had been hoped, and than was later agreed to (the final Post-War Partition of Europe ... the Europe/Soviet Bloc thing most of us grew up with). I for one am very happy it never "Came to Blows" between The Eagle and The Bear, with or without nukes.



timber
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 05:49 am
C.I., sorry for delay (it is due to difference in time zones between Israel and the USA). I cannot provide a link, since I got an information from the printed press in Russian. I have read articles dealing with the issue of the Soviet plans of attacking the former allies in some of the liberal editions in the late "glasnost" stage while being a Soviet citizen (ca. 1988-90). They appeared in majority of the anti-Communist media in the period mentioned. If I have time, I shall make a search online for the information, but I cannot promise: I have promised to my boss to prepare at home a draft of some form for billing a client, so I shall be somewhat busy.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 11:32 am
Here's a link that talks to some of the German-Russian conflict, but I'm unable to come to any conclusions one way or the other.

http://2ndww.tripod.com/Russia/ussr.htm

c.i.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 11:46 am
The first one was probably necessary but the second one probably wasn't.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:08 pm
c.i., an article from the link you provided goes somewhat to the matter, and draws a conclusion congruent with my earlier remarks.

http://2ndww.tripod.com/Kursk/myth.htm

" ... Germany's defeat was already certain in June of 1944. The Nazis had been beaten by the Soviet Union in a ferocious clash in the east that dwarfed all other fighting, not only in sheer numbers, but in viciousness, loss, and misery. Yet we in the West continue to parade the myth - if only by not telling the full story - that we defeated Nazism.

The West helped mightily, to be sure, but the lion's share of the victory belongs to the Russians and other nationalities of the old U.S.S.R. For them, there was bitter irony in Saving Private Ryan: The evening the film was released and celebrated across North America was the 55th anniversary of the last day of the battle of Kursk.

Kursk, not Normandy, was where the Nazis' fate was sealed. It was there, in the summer of 1943, that Germany made its last great offensive drive, igniting a titanic tank battle. The Soviets won, and followed the victory with great offensives all over the front. By the fall of 1943, 60 per cent of the ground occupied by the Germans had been retaken and the Soviets had unequivocal superiority on land and in the air. German offensive power had largely been destroyed and only retreat and surrender lay in their future ...

... The scale of the war in the east defies description. At its peak, the Red Army had 12 million men in uniform. It faced the vast majority of Germany's armed forces - 70 per cent in June 1944. At times, the front line stretched over 1,500 miles ... "

At the end of The War in Europe, The Allies had roughly 3.75-4 Million men on the ground. The Soviets had over 12 million in place ... with nearly 4 million of them IN GERMANY PROPER! The Soviets, apart from their manpower superiority, had overwhelming advantages in Armor, Artillery, Tactical Air Assetts (Though The Allies were far better off as to Strategic Air Assetts), and were operating at the end of logistic lines that were secure, landbound, and largely Rail. The Allies much smaller continginent was supplied muchly by Ocean Convoy, with incredible snarls and chaos at the Allied-Built Temporary Ports and Allied "Restored" Port Cities on The Continent. Of critical difficulty to the Allies was Petroleum; Almost all of it was refined in America, Tanker Shipped to Britain, from where most of it arrived by specially laid Cross-Channel Pipeline to a hastily built facility near Normandy, and was primarily truck-transported from the Continental terminus to the fighting units. The Soviets had no such difficulties ... their units were supplied with a constant stream of Petrol Trains directly from the Oil Field of The Caucasus and from captured Romanian Fields.



timber
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:10 pm
steissd, Are you referring to WWII or a later period? I know that N. Khrustchev said, "We will bury you" on a visit to the US. My memory of the conflict between the US and Russia is very hazy, and I do not recall Russia's plans to overtake Europe. c.i.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:17 pm
Wilso wrote:
The first one was probably necessary but the second one probably wasn't.


Wilso, The Japanese were specifically warned of assured utter devastation. They made no effort to capitulate. The first Bomb was dropped. The Japanese did not tender capitulation. They were warned of more of the same to follow. They did not respond in satisfactory manner. They continued to carry out preparations for Homeland Defense while Japanese Naval, Air, and Land Assetts continued hostile action. The Second Bomb was dropped. The Japanese capitulated. End of argument.


timber
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:19 pm
timber, good thing they didn't know we didn't have a third! Does anyone know the estimate for how long it would have taken to build a third bomb? In war, time spans tend to shorten.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:33 pm
Bill, it would have been a matter of weeks at most. Additional munitions were in various stages of production, and in fact were scheduled for shipment to Okinawa around the end of August, I believe. They would certainly have been deployable by early September, the planned Invasion Date for Operation Olympic.



timber
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 12:35 pm
Since we are back to the original question, the documents (?) of this link seem to be quite interesting (e.g. the Bard Memorandum, June 27, 1945 - Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard wrote that use of the bomb without warning was contrary to "the position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation," especially since Japan seemed close to surrender):

Documents On The Decision To Use Atomic Weapons On The Cities Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki
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