How could US drop the a-bomb on Civilians?

Discussion in 'History' started by aaqucnaona, Jan 18, 2012.

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Was Us justified in dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  1. Yes

    64.5%
  2. No

    35.5%
  1. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    53,152
    That's just wishful thinking. You can't know that alternatives would have worked. And it wasn't that bad, relatively. A-bombs are nothing compared to H-bombs. And Japanese occupation of Asia would be a horror. Millions would have died from starvation, slave labor, or direct murder. Oh sure, that's not as sexy as melting people, but it would have been far worse.
     
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well you have gotten it mixed up. The stated reason for using the nuke was to bring an immediate end to the war thereby saving millions of lives. Had the allies been forced to mount a land invasion, the estimated death toll was in the millions. Japan was weaponing civilians and intended to use every man, woman, and child as a weapon. Japan was down, but it wasn't by any means out. Japan was still very capable of inflicting a lot of death. Japan still had control of China and Korea.

    So if you would rather the loss of millions versus a 150k to 250k lives, well that is a strange morality indeed. And there is this belief with folks who share your beliefs that instant vaporization is somehow more cruel than being shot, stabbed, beaten, starved, burned, dismembered, and blown up through conventional means is somehow more humane than instantaneous vaporization.
     
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  5. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    that means never-ending war.
     
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  7. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    i'm not saying they needed to have worked merely that they needed to have been tried. we had at that point essentially total naval superiority a blockade could have stood a chance at breaking them. their were part of the government considering the potsdam offer.
     
  8. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    i'm not refering to the people at ground zero I;m talking about the people who lingered on in pain and agony because they had their flesh flash fried. an invasion didn't need to have been launched. a blockade could have broken then
     
  9. Bells Staff Member

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    22,715
    A blockade?

    Of what?

    They still occupied and had access to Vietnam and parts of Asia from that front.

    They wouldn't have surrendered with a blockade. They didn't surrender for what? Over a year's worth of a blockade and if the Allies had tried to maintain it, it would have cost even more lives, Japan would simply have rebuilt and become even more determined during the blockade itself. They were already arming the citizens and preparing them for a protracted war. They would not have surrendered.
     
  10. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, to the casual observer, it would appear that the only ones "begging the question" are those like you. The majority of the speculation occurring is yours, as most of us are reasonably accepting of the eventual fallout.
    Heh. Fallout.

    Of course, said speculation also continues to ignore other considerations which have been pointed out time and time again, so you can cherry pick your poorly written and semi-illiterate responses in complete ignorance of the wider view.

    So, here's your shot, PJ. Why don't you tell us all what the Russians and Chinese would have done in the face of an American stand down, and how you'd feel about the potential ramifications of that.

    Here it is. Your big chance.
    Don't blow it.
     
  11. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    the japanese home islands.

    and they were supllied from the homeland.

    thats revisionist history at best. Togo advocated surrender. the silence that awaited the Us that made them pull the trigger on bombing japan was Togo waiting to hear back from moscow. you are clearly unwilling to hear anything outside of your belief bells here but the fact remains we didn't have to nuke them at the that time. that was a choice when their were other options.
     
  12. Bells Staff Member

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    22,715
    It isn't belief pjdude. It is actual history.

    Moscow was holding off as long as possible to allow their troops to get there from Europe to amass and retake China and then invade Japan. Japan had the option to surrender for months and refused. In fact, Togo informed Moscow that it had no intention of surrendering in the lead up to Postdam. The Postdam Declaration also called for absolute surrender, which the Japanese again refused. They still refused to surrender when the first bomb was dropped. In the end, it took 2 nuclear bombs, the threat of Soviet and Allies invasion and the threat of more nuclear bombs before they surrendered.

    That is reality. Togo was too concerned with his own popularity to demand a surrender. Sure, he suggested it, but he was proverbially shot down by others within the Japanese leadership. He hoped the Soviets could negotiate a peace deal. Moscow had no intention to unless Japan surrendered completely. Togo refused absolute surrender and informed Moscow of this. Moscow insisted on absolute surrender at Postdam as well, knowing the Japanese would have refused. That was their condition to signing the Declaration. Japan, not surprisingly, refused and they then proceeded to arm the populace to fight in the event of the invasion. And kept refusing until it became absolutely evident that they would have been invaded on all sides and one side had nuclear bombs that it had already used. And even then, they dragged their feet to surrender, knowing they were outgunned, about to be invaded and their people facing a famine.

    I think you mistake the Japanese leadership during WWII to be reasonable and affable. They were anything but.

    Had the Soviets invaded as they fully intended to, then the death toll would have hit into the millions and the impending famine would have wiped out the rest. Unless you think that is a viable option? Because the Soviets were not going to wait it out and they had advised they were not going to wait it out.
     
  13. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    no bells its a story attached to history.

    your trying to write off anything that disagrees with you. its funny when i took geoff to task for stripping away Iranian humanity you agreed with it but here you are doing the same thing. funny how that works. and the picture you paint of the japanese does a great job of defending your position to bad it has little to do with what we know now to be true. the japanese were trying to end the war when we decided to nuke them. when we dropped the first nuke 3 ministers were behind an offer to surrender, with one more wanting to shoot for decisive battle and than offering terms; in this plan was offer to release all european colonies as independent states and disarming. the idea that japan was ready to go down fighting in a blaze of glory doesn't really fit what was actually happening behind the scenes. also given your argument that we need to nuke them to save lives i find amusing that you ignore the fact those quarter million souls killed could have been saved had we been willing to negiotiate at all which given the japanese desire to end the war fairly evident in april 4 months before we nuked them so your saving lives line really doesn't work on me. your belief that the japanese could accomplish anything by continuing to fight is bogus. had we not nuked japan they more than likely would have offered terms to the allied powers in the next couple of months
     
  14. Bells Staff Member

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    22,715
    Those souls would not have been saved.

    Had Japan not surrendered, the Soviets were right on their doorstep, ready to invade. The citizens were armed and were told to fight. In July, just before the bombs were dropped, Tojo informed Moscow that surrender was out of the question. After the Postdam declaration was rejected by Japan, Moscow amassed their troops in China and prepared to invade Japan. Had they and the allies invaded as they planned to do, those souls, as you call them, would have died. Along with millions of other souls.

    It took two bombs, the Soviets entering the war and gathered on the coast of mainland China, preparing to invade, to get them to surrender. And even then, they dragged their feet. Japan never had any intention of surrendering. Do you forget what Hirohito told the Japanese civilians on Saipan when Saipan was falling into the hands of the allies? That they should kill themselves and gain spiritual benefits for doing so, instead of surrendering or allowing themselves to be captured and held in the civilian internment camps which were created to also keep them out of combat. What about those poor souls, pjdude? Tojo allowed that order to go through and Japanese women were jumping off cliffs while clutching their babies instead of surrendering to the allies. This was the mentality of the Japanese leadership. And it was that very same mentality that saw Tojo inform Moscow that it had no intention of surrendering. Sure, they wanted peace because they knew they would not have been able to win, but they would not surrender.
     
  15. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    false. just because they wouldn't have surrendered unconditionally doesn't mean they wouldn't surrender. as the evidence we have available to us now show they japanese where looking to end the war ie surrender. in fact a lot of historians today think it was the imminent soviet invasion that was the push to surrender not the nuclear attacks. I still see your just ignoring everything that doesn't fit into what you've decided is correct. but pretending they weren't trying to offer terms like you are and claiming they weren't looking to surrender isn't convincing. no matter how many times you repeat a falsehood it won't make it true. just because you want what actually happened to have been the best case scenario doesn't mean that's the case. the simple fact remains that we could have avoided nuking japan by simply not demanding an unconditional surrender. again the fact which you continue to ignore is that the emperor had commanded his government to look for a way to end the war. this is 3 weeks after testing the waters with the supreme council for offer the allies surrendering. so no the japanese weren't prepared to surrender unconditionally that is true but they were prepared to surrender before we nuked them. they were fully aware of the consequences of an invasion of the home islands would do. again so your insistence that they refused to surrender just because they refused to do so unconditionally. in fact if the allies were just willing to say they would change the status of the emperor that would had an effect of the japanese willingness to surrender. so to reiterate your claim because they would surrender to a specific set of terms doesn't mean your claim they had any intention of surrendering true. it doesn't. also it bears mentioning that had the soviets not strung the japanese out there is the possibility of them reaching to the western allies. your overstating the japanese high level governments intention to keep fighting. they were never going to let it get to a major invasion of the home islands. they were to concerned that would end with the over throwing of the emperor.
     
  16. Bells Staff Member

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    22,715
    Paragraphs. Learn to use them. Not to mention the upper case key.

    Secondly, it was the Soviets who refused any watering down of the Cairo agreement, which called for absolute surrender. It was the Soviets who demanded that Japan categorically and absolutely surrendered.

    Stalin knew of the nuclear weapons, but did not think they would be effective enough against the Japanese - ie not strong enough.

    Thirdly, before the US dropped the two bombs and the Soviets amassed in China, Japan had made abundantly clear that they would not surrender. They wanted peace on their terms, which would have meant that they would not have faced any prosecutions for the numerous war crimes they committed. They also refused to respond to the Postdam Declaration, while hoping that the Soviets would support their efforts to a cessation to the war on Japan's terms. They were not willing to discuss those terms with the Allies. This is fact. The Allies had made clear to Japan that any surrender they desired was a military surrender and they had ensured the Japanese knew and understood that the Emperor was not going to be overthrown. Japan refused all suggestions of such a surrender.

    The Japanese only came to realise that they were in trouble from the Soviets when the Soviets invaded Japanese controlled Manchuria and regained control over those areas from Japan and prepared to invade. The Soviets knew of the bomb and knew the Allies were going to use them and they waited until they were dropped before they declared against Japan.

    Your belief or theory that the Japanese leadership were peaceniks back then is unfounded.
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Excuse me? If that was your task, you left it incomplete.

    As for your comment about unconditional surrender: yes, probably. Preservation of the Imperial apparatus appeared to be a central point in their contemplation of the surrender. And it was for that reason that it was important that the surrender be, indeed, unconditional. The Germans suffered the same for their aggressive and vicious part in the war. It was important to reduce Japan to humility in order to make the point that aggression was not to be accepted; the Imperial organization was in no way exempt. What interest have I, or anyone, in allowing the warped version of bushido that had infected their cabinet to persist? It required breaking. Hence, unconditional.
     
  18. rpenner Fully Wired Registered Senior Member

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    http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/20/gen.bush.transcript/
    This September 20, 2001 speech by Bush is cited by Wikipedia as the first official use of the term "War on Terror". Google trends only goes back as far as 2004, so doesn't give clarity.

    But in 1984, Reagan used a similar phrase "War on Terrorism" in a bid to get certain bills passed, not military action.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1984/04/27/u...r-bills-aimed-at-international-terrorism.html

    The emphasis then was with state actors, not stateless organizations.
     
  19. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    As I said, there's a big difference between delivering tiny bombs and delivering nuclear weapons.
     
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Except they weren't so "tiny" and that has nothing to do with the fact that if Japan had nuclear weapons, contrary to your assertion, it had the ability to delivery nuclear weapons on US targets both abroad and on US soil. And it remains a fact, the US did not know how far along Japan was in its nuclear weapons development program, just as it had no idea how far along the Nazi's were in their nuclear weapons development program. The US only knew both the Nazis and Japanese were developing nuclear weapons. Fortunately, the US beat them to the finish line.
     
  21. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    From Wikipedia: "A hydrogen balloon with a load varying from a 15 kg (33 lb) antipersonnel bomb to one 12-kilogram (26 lb) incendiary bomb and four 5 kg (11 lb) incendiary devices attached, it was designed as a cheap weapon intended to make use of the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean and drop bombs on American and Canadian cities, forests, and farmland." I'd call that tiny compared to Little Boy's 9,700 pounds (4,400 kg) or Fat Man's 10,300 pounds (4,670 kg). Any idea how big a balloon you'd need to lift one of those suckers?
     
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I don't suppose you realize balloons can be made with the capacity to lift larger loads? I'm just guessing but I think human adults weigh more than 33 pounds, and human adults routinely fly in balloons. Nazi's build a larger hydrogen balloon. You may have heard of one of them, the Hindenburg. It had the a payload capacity of 511,000 pounds. Larger balloons would certainly have been capable of delivering nukes to US soil. Additionally, if Japan had the them, Japan could have made smaller nukes, you know, those tactical devices I previously mentioned. Tactical nukes can be as small as 50 pounds. Also, are repeatedly stated, the US was unaware of how far Japan was in its nuclear weapons development. Under those circumstances, If I were POTUS, I would assume the worst case and act accordingly.

    And you are forgetting, Japan still had aircraft to deliver nuclear weapons. Japan still had control of China and Korea. And as previously mentioned, Japan could have planted nukes are remotely detonated them on the battlefield.

    So again, the unfortunate fact for you is that if Japan had nuclear weapons, it was certainly capable of delivering them on US targets.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    And yet, the Japanese didn't use balloons for the larger conventional bombs that they did have. Why not?

    Even the US only had three atomic bombs. The idea of risking something so rare and expensive to a delivery system as iffy as a balloon is just ridiculous.

    There were no tactical nukes in 1945. If Japan had had viable nukes, they would have used the primitive versions long before miniaturizing them.

    Feel free to give examples of operational aircraft capable of delivering existing nuclear weapons, not woulda/coulda/shoulda miniature weapons, to the US. Even for the US, which had resources far greater than Japan's, the route from Hawaii to Tinian to Japan was very precarious.

    The US, which was winning, understood the necessity of delivering a significant blow to the Japanese homeland. The Japanese, who were losing, would have understood that a nuclear attack in China or Korea would have had no impact on the course of the war.

    That's still as far-fetched as when it was previously mentioned. If Iwo Jima had disappeared in a puff of radioactive smoke, do you think that would have made the war easier for Japan?

    It certainly is not certain.

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