7
   

Did the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki essentially save the rest of Asia?

 
 
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 06:32 am
Obviously there are moral aspects in order to determine whether it was "ethically" right to bomb two entire cities but are we forgetting what the Japanese had done to the rest of Asia? Mercilessly attacking the countries around it? Japan bragged that they would take over China in just 3 months. A good example of their work: the "Rape of Nanking". Sounds nearly worse than the Holocaust. And let's not forget about Pearl Harbor.

I would think the bomb saved thousands if not millions of citizens who would otherwise have been killed by Japan.

What are your opinions on this?
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 06:55 am
By the time Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, Japan had ceased to be a credible threat to other Asian nations. The justification for the use of the weapons was military necessity. As far as ethics go, the firebombing of 66 Japanese cities carried out with conventional weapons did far more damage than the two atomic bombs combined. Personally, i've never understood the particular horror which attachs to the use of the atomic bombs. It's probably a product of ignorance of what was done with aerial bombardment in that war. The firebombing of German and Japanese cities was far worse in terms of loss of life and human suffering.
Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 11:32 am
@LazarusR,
Esentially, what Setanta said. I would add that, whether or not the dropping of A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki somehow saved the rest of Asia or not, the action certainly saved a raft load of American lives which would have been lost in any amphibious invasion Japan, no matter the eventual outcome. In my opinion, we did the absolutely right thing in using the nukes.
raprap
 
  4  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 11:25 pm
@LazarusR,
I don't know about Asia but it saved my life, or more properly made it possible.

My Dad was waiting on Okinawa for the invasion of Japan when the bombs were dropped. Dad was a LCO having made seven beach landings in the Pacific. He made it that far without a serious injury but he's earned two silver and a bronze stars getting there. By then he was a 24 year old Leutenant (USNR) who knew the Japanese would fight to the last to defend their Islands. He, along with the blooded Marines he was going to put on those Japanese beaches, knew that many if them were going to die. He and many of those heroes thanked the good lord for the bombs. It was their concerted opinion that they nade their futures possible.

After he died, 28 years later as I was going through his collected papers, I found letters to my mother and my older sister. She was two at the time he stood on Okinawa and he had written them assumming he hadn't survived. Pretty poignant making me realize what he'd survived when he was the same age I was when he'd written those letters. And it made me aware that the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasiki potentially had made my birth five years later possible.

Rap
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 11:37 pm
@raprap,
Two silvers and a bronze are pushing luck right to the edge.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 01:41 am
@LazarusR,
LazarusR wrote:
Obviously there are moral aspects in order to determine whether it was "ethically" right to bomb two entire cities but are we forgetting what the Japanese had done to the rest of Asia? Mercilessly attacking the countries around it? Japan bragged that they would take over China in just 3 months. A good example of their work: the "Rape of Nanking". Sounds nearly worse than the Holocaust. And let's not forget about Pearl Harbor.

I would think the bomb saved thousands if not millions of citizens who would otherwise have been killed by Japan.

What are your opinions on this?


Civilians were dying at a rate of 100,000 to 200,000 a month in Japanese occupied Asia as the war dragged on.

The end to the war halted those deaths.

In hindsight, Japan was likely about to surrender anyway, although this was not apparent to the US (Ike excepted) until long after the fact.

So I would say "no" on the grounds that Japan was secretly about to surrender anyway.

But if the A-bombs are given credit for making Japan surrender, then at a minimum they saved a lot of civilian lives in Asia.
raprap
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 11:17 am
@oralloy,
WTF!

Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. In the Pacific Theater of Operations the Supreme Commanders were Nimitz and MacArthur. If anyone knew of an imminent rumor of Japanese surrender it was netween these guys and Truman.

Rap
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 11:19 am
@LazarusR,
Quote:
Did the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
essentially save the rest of Asia?
From what ??
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 11:43 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Esentially, what Setanta said. I would add that, whether or not the dropping of A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki somehow saved the rest of Asia or not,
the action certainly saved a raft load of American lives
which would have been lost in any amphibious invasion Japan
,
no matter the eventual outcome.
THAT was the point (in addition to field testing our nukes).


Lustig Andrei wrote:
In my opinion, we did the absolutely right thing in using the nukes.
AGREED. About 2 summers ago,
I witnessed many people profusely thanking Major Dutch Van Kirk,
the Navigator on the Enola Gay, for his service (myself among them).
Many of them attested that he had saved their husbands, fathers or grandfathers from getting killed
in an infantry invasion of Japan,
and thanking him for the lives of their children and grandchildren.
Every Christmas, every birthday, every graduation ceremony,
every event in their lives is attributable to him
(as well as to the late Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, & crew.)


He is probably UNIQUE (as a survivor of the Enola Gay)
in being responsible for the existence of 1,OOO,OOOs of Americans,
(unless there remain survivors of Bockscar, which nuked Nagasaki).

Its almost as if (indirectly) he had 1,OOO,OOOs of children.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 12:29 pm
@oralloy,
LazarusR wrote:
Obviously there are moral aspects in order to determine whether it was "ethically" right to bomb two entire cities but are we forgetting what the Japanese had done to the rest of Asia? Mercilessly attacking the countries around it? Japan bragged that they would take over China in just 3 months. A good example of their work: the "Rape of Nanking". Sounds nearly worse than the Holocaust. And let's not forget about Pearl Harbor.

I would think the bomb saved thousands if not millions of citizens who would otherwise have been killed by Japan.

What are your opinions on this?
oralloy wrote:

Civilians were dying at a rate of 100,000 to 200,000 a month
in Japanese occupied Asia as the war dragged on.

The end to the war halted those deaths.

In hindsight, Japan was likely about to surrender anyway,
although this was not apparent to the US (Ike excepted)
until long after the fact.
Well, regardless of what Ike knew,
the Emperor of Japan knew that his war cabinette
was evenly divided between pacifists
and fanatics who demanded fighting to the death of the last grandmother.

Indeed, on the night of August 14, 1945 Major Kenji Hatanaka
led troops successfully invading the Imperial Palace,
searching in vain for a recorded speech of the Emperor
declaring surrender to the Allies, in an effort to overthrow
the government and to continue fighting
until annihilation.

This revolution persisted until about 6 AM of August 15, 1945,
the day when the Emperor's surrender speech was played over the radio at noon.

I wonder if Ike knew THAT.





David
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 02:13 pm
@raprap,
raprap wrote:
WTF!

Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. In the Pacific Theater of Operations the Supreme Commanders were Nimitz and MacArthur. If anyone knew of an imminent rumor of Japanese surrender it was netween these guys and Truman.

Rap


It wasn't an imminent rumor. It was Ike's own personal conclusion.

He only told one person (the Secretary of War, his direct superior), and when he failed to make his case, he let the matter drop.

It was likely too late to change course anyway. By the time Ike made his case, the final orders to drop the bombs had already been sent out to the field, and Truman had already departed Potsdam (though he might have still been on European soil waiting to set sail).

Truman was still at sea when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 03:12 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
Well, regardless of what Ike knew,
the Emperor of Japan knew that his war cabinette
was evenly divided between pacifists
and fanatics who demanded fighting to the death of the last grandmother.


Actually, the war faction had gotten to the point where they were willing to end the war in a draw, with a permanent ceasefire (somewhat like how the Korean War later ended).

The war faction had really expected that Okinawa was impregnable. And when we rolled right through it, it was quite a shock to their confidence.

Their idea after Okinawa was to get the Soviets to mediate peace talks, but in exchange for good relations with Japan after the war, the Soviets would secretly agree to mediate in bad faith, to Japan's advantage, allowing the war to end without Japan surrendering.

Japan was still attempting to discuss that plot with the Soviets when the Soviets declared war on them.

The Emperor was content to let the war faction pursue this strategy, but once the Soviet war declaration made the entire idea non-workable, that was when the Emperor diverged from the war faction.

The war faction's next idea was that they would repel our first attempt to invade the home islands, causing enough American casualties that we'd be demoralized and then agree to end the war in a draw. But the Emperor didn't buy it, and sided with the peace faction and ordered a surrender.



The entire "end the war in a draw" thing was pretty silly, because we'd have never agreed to it even if Japan had got the Soviets to help them. The only thing Japan really succeeded in doing was drawing out the war until they got nuked twice (though at least they ended the war before they got nuked a third time).

The military faction's last idea about repelling our invasion was also silly. We had broken their codes and knew of their huge buildup right in the path of Operation Downfall.

The war had ended before any concrete changes were made, but it seems clear that we were on the verge of scrapping Downfall and invading northern Honshu instead. Japan had little defenses there, and we'd have been able to fight our way down the coast to Tokyo.

The only real drawback would have been that we would not have had air cover from ground-based fighters because it was out of range. However, we would have started saving up A-bombs after dropping the third one on Tokyo, and we would have had about a dozen on hand to clear the beaches with just before our troops came ashore.



OmSigDAVID wrote:
Indeed, on the night of August 14, 1945 Major Kenji Hatanaka
led troops successfully invading the Imperial Palace,
searching in vain for a recorded speech of the Emperor
declaring surrender to the Allies, in an effort to overthrow
the government and to continue fighting
until annihilation.

This revolution persisted until about 6 AM of August 15, 1945,
the day when the Emperor's surrender speech was played over the radio at noon.

I wonder if Ike knew THAT.


The book "Japan's Longest Day," by The Pacific War Research Society, describes those events in great detail.

It's a worthwhile read if you haven't already read it.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 03:19 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

...Personally, i've never understood the particular horror which attachs to the use of the atomic bombs. It's probably a product of ignorance of what was done with aerial bombardment in that war. The firebombing of German and Japanese cities was far worse in terms of loss of life and human suffering.


Not in my opinion, since today atomic bomb might be just an incorrect reference to the hydrogen bomb. Now that's a much bigger boom than an atom bomb of the plain vanilla variety.

I do not believe that the "horror" is "probably a product of ignorance of what was done with aerial bombardment in that war." It is, in my opinion, a result of society promulgating that nuclear weapons are a horror, since if many countries started playing dodgeball, so to speak, with nuclear weapons, there would at some point be a nuclear winter, and then we may kiss humanity good bye.

In effect, nuclear weapons need to be a societal taboo, based on its horror, or many little countries might just decide to flex their macho muscles with a nuke or two. This is based on my belief that the world is filled with more than one A-hole.

Also, by focussing on the horror of nuclear weapons fewer people will be concerned about the firebombing of Japanese and German cities which, by the way, were the enemy back then, and if we did not get the A-bomb to work, then conventional weapons (aka, firebombing) would have had to continue on Japan. As to why Germany was firebombed, one can ask Britain, since I thought it was the RAF that did that, or am I wrong? Either way, it was valued as a demoralizing factor to a regime that truly thought they had a birthright to rule most of Europe. One can argue whether it was correct, but all arguments would be subjective, in my opinion, since the US was not threatened by Germany, yet the US lost 500,000 lives. Perhaps, the US should not question the ethics of firebombing German cities, in context of not having a dog in that hunt, yet losing one-half million lives in both theaters of the war.

0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 03:36 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I agree; I've always agreed with Truman's use of the a-bombs on Japan.

Their surprise attack on US soil that began the war essentially authorized the use of bombing Japan.

Admiral Yamamoto who was educated at Harvard knew early on that the US would win the war.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2012 03:43 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yeah, I was reading about that just last night, matter of fact. Yamamoto said right from the start that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a mistake, that Japan was not likely to win a war with the U.S. As you say, he was Harvard educated and had some first-hand understanding of American capabilities.
0 Replies
 
adnysted
 
  0  
Reply Sun 28 Oct, 2012 07:37 pm
@LazarusR,
Hell no, the bombs were NOT necessary, as many high -echelon allied commanders (including Dwight Eisenhower) pointed out at the time. It's sad, although not suprising, to see the parroting of propaganda on this thread. First off, it was the Japanese Government that bombed Pearl Harbor and committed all the other atrocities, not the Japanese people. Second, it's well documented that they had been trying to surrender for months, but wanted to keep the Emperor, and not have to endure the humiliation of "unconditional surrender."

No matter what your argument about the so-called "necessity" of the bombs, how can you condone the slaughter of thousands of innocents in the blink of an eye? I suggest you do some soul searching, think for yourself, and remember the Golden Rule, if you don't want to go to your grave as a cold-blooded apologists for mass murder.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2012 07:22 am
@adnysted,
adnysted wrote:
Hell no, the bombs were NOT necessary, as many high-echelon allied commanders (including Dwight Eisenhower) pointed out at the time.


Ike only said that to a single person (Stimson). When Stimson told him that he didn't know what he was talking about, Ike dropped the matter and never told another soul.

Ike was alone in his half-hearted opposition. No other military leader expressed any such views at the time.


As for the "lack of necessity", Japan was free to surrender before the bombs if they'd wanted.

If they really were ready to surrender, but needlessly waited until they were nuked twice before actually doing so, that was pretty foolish of them.



adnysted wrote:
It's sad, although not suprising, to see the parroting of propaganda on this thread.


Like your above fiction about many commanders saying it wasn't necessary at the time?



adnysted wrote:
First off, it was the Japanese Government that bombed Pearl Harbor and committed all the other atrocities, not the Japanese people.


Collateral damage is unfortunate, but Hiroshima was a major military center filled with tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers. Nagasaki was an industrial center with huge weapons factories.



adnysted wrote:
Second, it's well documented that they had been trying to surrender for months, but wanted to keep the Emperor, and not have to endure the humiliation of "unconditional surrender."


No, Japan's first attempt to surrender came the day after Nagasaki. There were no surrender attempts previous to that.

They did not fear unconditional surrender, as we had already backed away from that position with the Potsdam Proclamation (which was a list of generous surrender conditions).



adnysted wrote:
No matter what your argument about the so-called "necessity" of the bombs, how can you condone the slaughter of thousands of innocents in the blink of an eye? I suggest you do some soul searching, think for yourself, and remember the Golden Rule, if you don't want to go to your grave as a cold-blooded apologists for mass murder.


Collateral damage is always unfortunate, but it is silly to refer to a wartime strike on a military target as "mass murder".
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:43 am
@adnysted,
When anyone starts a war with a surprise attack that kills innocent folks, what they get in return is justified - to some extent. Back then, it was not only the US who worked on developing the a-bomb. Japan and Germany were also developing it, and if they had developed it first, do you believe they would not have used it?

You need to keep these issues in universal perspective, not just "our use of the bomb."
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2014 02:19 am
@cicerone imposter,
Pearl Harbour was not a surprise attack, CI. That's all simply USA propaganda.

See,

The Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives.

By Washington's Blog
Global Research, April 30, 2014
Washington's Blog and Global Research 12 October 2012


http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/5308192


oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2014 08:44 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
The Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives.

The reason we dropped the A-bombs on Japanese military targets was because we wanted to force Japan to surrender.
0 Replies
 
 

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