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A different take on the lives saved by the bomb

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by dash rip rock, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. chris the cheese

    chris the cheese Member

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    Let me google that for you

    No, I paraphrased it and provided you a full reference.


    Indeed, you do. And you aren't going to accept it you are going to have to get up off your behind and do some research if you want anymore... like everybody else.

    Have you ever looked at the referneces of an academic history book. What you describe as "shotgun sourcing" is standard academic practise of all historians and publishing houses (provided the latter even bother to include references at all). So why is it good enough for the historical profession, but not for you?

    The book will cost you a whole cent on Amazon.

    I did provide a page number as well as a publishing year and I paraphrased the comment. Which is more than I needed do.

    You would fail critical source analysis 101 with that attitude. Because something is in writing does not equate that it was said.

    Short of reproducing a copy of Japanese diplomatic traffic there is no way to provide that 'proof'. You, like everybody else, are just going to have to take Hoyt, and all professional historians for that matter, at his word unless you want to hunting through his references, and the references of his sources, etc.

    Basically what you are doing is refusing to accept the content of a work of historical research, and demanding an unreasonable degree of research on the part of your online opponent to confirm the veracity of the history book they are citing, because you don't want to accept that you might be wrong.

    Well that is exactly what you are doing now.

    Nonsense. If the reference was to a document stored in an archive 3,000 miles away how precisely could I reasonably be expected to check it? Or if the author cites another book which you don't have and are unwilling to purchase? Your demand is utterly unreasonable, and serves only to deflect the possibility that you might have to accept the possibility that you are not as well informed as you previously thought.

    Why? Like I said I provided you with a full reference. A professional historian submitting an article for peer-reviewed publication wouldn't have to submit anything more, what makes you worthy of greater expense of effort and time?

    'Fair use' does not exist in the UK.

    And what would that be?

    You think wrongly. To highlight the part you clearly failed to read:

    "The person making the copy does not make copies of the material available for a number of people."

    My emphasis. By posting sections online I am making that available to a near limitless number of individuals.

    How is what we are engaging in a book review? This is a book review:

    JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

    No.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That link didn't point to google.
    It's quite clear that we are interpreting things differently. Therefore your paraphrasing it is suspect.
    Like just about everyone else I've provided sources and quotes to significantly more detail than you are. Check out the references given on this forum and you'll find that very few simply give a book. There are a number of good reasons for this. One is you have the source while many (and not just those who post) don't. Therefore it is much easier for you to post a little more info and save the rest of us a lot of time. Note that even if we had the book going through the whole thing to find the part you are talking about is not necessarily a trivial process especially if we don't interpret it the same way.
    Acedemics are sourcing for academics and they can be expected to have or at least have access to even rare books. That assumption is not justified in respect to the vast majority of readers on this and other similar forums.
    Which clearly illustrates why I don't trust your interpretations of things. The cheepest I could get it there from what I can see is $4. The nominal cost of $.01 and the $3.99 shipping. Of course it would take days to get here as well. I may do so but until then your interpretion of things remains simply that as far as I'm concerned.
    I see you did indeed provide a page number. Whether or not its more than you "needed to do" is a matter for the moderators. Certainly you didn't help your position by not doing as much as others here normally do.
    No. But if it's in writing and the parties involved have access to it so they can at least concur that that was what was "said" it means there is little question of what the words are. That's what matters. Verbal communications are hard to rely on. People sometimes don't say what they mean and people don't always clearly hear what was said, furthermore over time the memory of exactly what was said tends to degrade. Thus "hear say" evidence isn't considered to be particularly good. From what you said we have your interpretation of hear say evidence. Not something I'm going to put a lot of faith in.
    Well if it was mentioned exactly when these assurances were given we could at least check out the timing.
    At this point I'm more inclined to doubt your interpretation of Hoyt than I am Hoyt.
    Not really. Indeed just looking at the review on Amazon raises questions in particular this bit:
    From:
    http://www.amazon.com/Japans-War-Pa...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305639959&sr=8-2
    Which raises significant questions and indeed implies an agenda.
    No. I'm refusing to accept your interpretation of said work. The validity of the book is another matter.
    Why would you be siting it as the primary underpinning of your arguement if you don't have access to it.
    Apparently you don't see the difference between a book and a discussion on an internet forum. They are considerably different in case you hadn't realized it.
    But of coures it does as I showed in a later post. Different official name but the same principle.
    The text of the surrender document and the US reply to the Japanese initial acceptance of Pottsdam with caveat. Actually someone else may have provided them. I'd have to look back but the point is links and text were both provided.
    I'll give you that one. But the Critiscim or review still holds. Then of course there's the matter of it being copyrighted in the US which would mean that "fair use" is applicable.

    Looking through the reviews on Amazon I do find some that tend to point to signficant problems with the book. From the link above we have the following;
    The worst review said
    When you look at the positive reviews (4 or 5 stars) 2 essentially said nothing. Another kept mentioning allied "war crimes" vs the Japanese, 2 others didn't address the relevant chapters. Looking at the pattern I'm inclined to be skeptical of his chapters about the bomb.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looking up a bit more info on Hoyt. He was primarily a journalist. The only assiciation I can find with a college or university is he was a part time lecturer at the University of Hawaii for 4 years.
    See:
    Edwin Palmer Hoyt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Edwin Palmer Hoyt | LibraryThing
    lists his occupations as: Writer, producer, and directer. Note the abscence of historian. While this doesn't preclude his books being accurate it does raise the question of whether or not he should be considered a professional historian.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Professional or if you prefere Academic historians are expected to follow certain rules with respect to their writings and are subject to peer review. Non prefessional/academic historians are not driven by the same concnerns. Their writeings may indeed be superior to much of what is out there but they can also be very biassed. The non academic author may be motivated by bias and/or simply sales and doesn't have to worry much about peer review. In the case of Hoyt the sheer number of books he has written make one wonder how well researched they can be. For instance I think Hornfisher stated that his last book took him something like 5 years to write while Hoyt wrote over 200 if I am remembering correctly and on a wide variety of topics. Now that said such problems can also exist in academia as has been demonstrated by such as Irving and to a lesser extent Stephen Ambrose. But then you have characters like Basque and Snell both journalist turned authors.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I prefer academic, professional just means you are getting paid for your work. All authors are "expected" to follow certain rules pertaining to their work, not just academics. Of course, not all authors follow them, ask Ambrose.

    You are correct, the academics live by the old "publish or perish" rule.

    The majority of Hoyt's books focused on the Pacific War. I found those that I have read to be fairly well researched.

    Perhaps, Hoyt is just a more proficient writer. After reading Hornfischer's latest outing, "Neptune's Inferno", I am inclined to believe that. "Neptune's Inferno", seemed like Eric Hammel's earlier work "Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea", with some extra chapters describing the opening naval battles of the Guadalcanal campaign.


    Instead of several posts that a little more than open conjecture and no proof on the veracity of the author and his books, I would humbly suggest that if you want to question Hoyt's research, you back it up with proof of his failings.
    By this, I mean more than misspelled Japanese names.
     
  7. chris the cheese

    chris the cheese Member

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    It did if you left it long enough. It has a demonstration for you first.

    Sure. Which is why I have provided you with a full reference, complete with page number, with which to check if you are that way inclined. But as this is even more tedious and long winded that actually writing out the relevent short sentence:

    "A new meeting of the cabinet was called. General Anami announced that the Americans had rejected the one condition the Japanese had invoked and that Japan must now fight on to the death.
    Foreign Minister Togo said that he had been to the Imperial Palace where he had audience with the emperor, who accepted the Allied reply.

    Once again the cabinet discussion dropped off into interminable argument. It was finally resolved by a message from the Japanese minister in Stockholm, who said the Americans were giving assurances that in spite of Soviet demands, there would be no deposing of the emperor."

    Hoyt, p. 407.

    But how do you know I haven't made that up?

    Incidentally, though Hoyt doesn't mention it the cable also stated that the British were leaning towards deposing the Emperor, and that in the minister's opinion the Americans would likely change their minds if Japan didn't accept soon. Doubtless you will want a source for that too, but in this instance you will have to do without because I can't recall which of the many books/articles I've looked at on this topic it came from. You really are going to have to take that one on faith alone.

    So? As noted the book is hardly uncommon, and can be acquired easily. Not that it really matters. I provided the reference so they could acquire and check if they really wanted to.

    I saw that back on page 8 you provided a website. A site which contained many facts but no references. One is forced to wonder why you are willing to place your faith in that site but not in those whom your talk to. Actually, that isn't true; you accept the website because its conclusions agree with the arguments you are attempting to make. Presumably you trust me less because I told you that a widely published authority provided a fact that doesn't sit well with your preconceptions.

    As for following precedence on this board, in terms of referencing and sources, note the following post which demands no more or less of the reader than my reference did:

    http://www.ww2f.com/sacred-cows-dead-horses/11977-no-bomb.html

    You know I probably would have done (as I did earlier for someone else with a different work), had you not implied that I was being disengenous and asked politely.

    Going through the whole thing? Hardly necessary given that I gave you a page number.

    The method which academics, and others, gain access to books is by visiting a library or purchasing a copy. Just like everybody else. Oh, you get sent a copy if you review a copy for a publication.

    Me: "and the author does not give details in greater depth. If you want archival research, to outline those kinds of details in their minutiae, you are going to have to do it yourself."

    I can't give you details, paraphrased or quoted, if Hoyt doesn't give them.

    Hmm, well given that your interpretation of the Allied responce on 11 Aug 1945 as well as your interpretation of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act have both proven to be demonstrably faulty I think you should be more inclined to doubt your own powers of comprehension and interpretation than mine. But that is just my opinion.

    Touché. But the point remains unchanged, the book is cheap and easily available.

    If other people not only reference books, but then go through that books references, subsequently visit archives to fill in further details, when told by an individual that the source is not good enough, then surely you do indeed have a committed membership.

    Well thank you for that critique of oral history, I'm sure than Alan Nevin's is turning in his grave. But as I'm sure he would respond that the precise same criticisms (lack of clarity and objectivity) could be levelled at written sources (also history 101).

    Except, of course, I have given you the tools to go check what Hoyt wrote for yourself.

    What, that he takes a side (and not a particularly uncommon one) on the bomb debate? In that case I can think of a great many historians who presumably draw your ire.

    Again, this is why I provided you a full reference, so you don't have to.

    I don't, as noted I pointed out that your reading of the US responce to the Japanese was wrong anyway. This is an aside. But on the subject of accepting what other historians have written and researched on faith: it happens all the time.

    On the contrary, I see it just fine. The problem here isn't the medium of discourse (where the principals remain the same) rather it is the individual and attitudes I'm dealing with which are problematic.

    You didn't post that, Takao did. And your reading of it, in my opinion, rested on reading what you wanted it to say.

    Nope, as shown.

    I think you are on dubious grounds with that one.

    I would need to see a page number to check that for myself, but I do not recall Hoyt making that precise argument. Rather his position was that Hirohito was swayed by the realisation that the Allied would literally destroy everything if pressed, and he got that idea largely from the fire-bombings rather than the atomic bombs. Hardly an unreasonable conclusion, and Hoyt was not the first (and certainly wasn't the last either) to make that argument.

    Good.

    As you yourself noted his peers in the acadamy gave him a job, albeit he only held it for four years, on the strength of his record as a writer of history books. He made his living writing these books. Surely that speaks for itself. A better question is whether he was an academic historian.



    It includes him on the second list, ww2 historians. Not that what wikipedia says should necessarily be taken at face value.

    Irving was never an academic historian. As in he never held an academic position, or affiliation with a university and held no academic qualifications in history.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sigh, I see my sarcasm was lost on you...

    Go back and look at ALL four links I provided, you are looking specifically for Edwin Palmer Hoyt. He is in all four lists. Here is a helpful hint, look under "H".
     
  9. chris the cheese

    chris the cheese Member

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    I do apologise.

    That is certainly becoming true, if it isn't already. In order to even get a full time post as a junior historian at a university in the UK it is typical that the applicant have at least a monograph and a number of articles to her or her name. Even post-doc researchers and temporary contract staff need to have at least a couple of articles if they want to get a job. And the pressure doesn't seem to ease even once your in post. Gone are the days when people like Keith Thomas spent 20 years researching and writing a single book and publishing little else while maintaining an academic career.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I clicked on it and it didn't even point to google. Left it on? If someone says here's a link that points to google and another webpage comes up I kill it.
    So the Emporer had accepted the allied reply.
    OK we have a message that staes unnamed Americans are giving unspeciffied and possibly verbal "assurances". I certainly wouldn't give this the weight you do.
    Actually that rather reinforces my point. This is not an acceptance of the Japanese demand by the allies it's meerly stateing that some want to remove Hirihito and some don't. Certainlly not a guarantee.

    Since your assumptions are not correct your deductions are rather in question. My interpretation of the Allied responce has not been proven wrong at all. I will admit that I missed one sentence that voided part of my interpretation of the UK Copyright act.
    Taking a side isn't the problem. Letting it bias your selection of facts and interpretation of them is. It's not clear that has happened here but it's certainly an open quesiton.

    You have stated it. On the otherhand I don't believe it. Indeed I think your way of reading the response is much more problematic. The Japanese reading of it would be even more so.
    Indeed but that's not at all what was implied by the previous wording. From what I've read Hirihito had been pretty much of that opinion by late spring of 45 well before the bombs dropped. The key however was the effect on other members of the cabinet and thier perception of the effect on the Japanese officer corp.
     
  11. Chesehead121

    Chesehead121 Member

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    Frankly, thank god we "only used the bomb to scare the Russians. Quite a coinkidink that the European cycle of war every 40 or so years stopped, isn't it?
     
  12. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    You appear to be arguing with a strawman here, Mr. Cheese. My post was a response to the previous post. The Japanese military on the big six most definitly wanted to continue the war. The conditions they required would have made it more an armastice than a surrender. According to Army Staff records as well as staff notes taken at the Big Six meeting on August 9, Anami stated that because of the bombs and the Soviet entry "there is no chance of winning on the basis of mathematical calculation, but there will be some chance as long as we keep fighting for the honor of the Yamato race. If we go on like this and surrender, the Yamato race would be as good as dead spiritually."

    This was the essence of Bushido. This was the code that the Japanese military lived by throughout the war. Surrender was considered the most dishonorable act imaginable. This was the very reason the Japanese decided to start a war they knew they had no chance of winning.

    We in the west have always had a difficult time wrapping our minds around this. To us the day of infamy was December 7, 1941, to the Japanese it was February 15, 1942. On that day 90,000 British troops who still had the capacity to fight surrendered to a much smaller Japanese force. To the Japanese this was the most dishorable of acts. To Percival it made perfect sense-he had no chance-why needlessly throw away the lives of his men. (Had he known what was in store for them, he may have reconsidered.)



    Again. this is a strawman argument. No one here is saying the Japanese never considered ending the war prior to Hiroshima.
     
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  13. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    Last year I was at "Hypocenter", the point under which the Nagasaki bomb was detonated.

    There is a monument there to mark the location, and nearby is a "Peace Park" to which many nations have dedicated sculptures to peace. I had a tremendous sense of sadness simultaneously with a tremendous sense of joy. I was standing where, in an instant, a score of thousands of people were killed, yet was standing at the place that also saw THE LAST USE of nuclear weapons in my lifetime. That was some 66 years ago. Quite an accomplishment for a strife-torn world with literally thousands of nuclear warheads stashed away in several nuke-capable countries. I was sorry for the untold suffering of world peoples in war, but GRATEFUL for the peace that nuclear weapons have given us for 66 years, and counting.
     
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  14. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    That would be quite an experience and would certainly evoke a great deal of conflicting emotions.
     
  15. tcrpe

    tcrpe recruit

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    My brothers and I were all required to read Chuck Sweeney's book, my dad provided us each a copy.

    Amazon.com: War's End: An Eyewitness Account of America's Last Atomic Mission (9780380788743): Charles W. Sweeney, James A. Antonucci, Marion K. Antonucci: Books


     
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  16. thecanadianfool

    thecanadianfool Member

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    In my opinion..it had to be done, otherwise half of you might not have been here right now. Yes it was cruel to test the bombs on civilians (which in itself is a war-crime). On that note I would saftley say that both sides are guilty of terrible atrocities. The air-raids on Hamburg and the fire bombing on Japanese cities caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. So it goes to show that the victors really do wright history, There were no war-crime trials for the men who were responsible for the death of civilians during air raides and the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the expected bombing of the two other Japanese cities.

    So remember folks, there are no good or bad guys in war-time.
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The firebombings of Japanese cities happened because regular bombing from high altitude just did not work. Due to the high winds prevelent in that area the bombs were scattered all over the place. Therefore, Curtis LeMay ended high-altitude day bombing and went to low-level night fire bombing that was aided by the wood and paper construction of Japanese cities. So, at least there was a reason for this. In no way can it be compared to the horrible Japanese cruelties visited upon the Chinese and Korean peoples. The JIA killed un-numbered thousands, if not millions, as brutalization training for their men. The scale of rape was such that it made the Soviet entry into Germany look like a Shriner's meeting. Compare the U.S. occupation of Japan with the Japanese occupation of China and Korea and see what you get. There was no comparison!
     
  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Sorry, I think you are incorrect. Both the Germans and Japanese atrocities were committed as an extension of government policy. Both, but especially the Japanese, saw their enemies as less than human, so it was OK to eliminate them. The Allies, without benefit of hindsight, did only what they had to do to win and conserve lives. How they treated their defeated enemies is testament to that. If either the Germans or Japanese was triumphant, they would not have been as magnanimous. If the bomb was ready for the Germans, it would have been used. The Japanese and their government were warned of a new and destructive weapon. Had the Japanese government not chosen the non-surrender policy, I don't think the bombs would have been dropped. As it was, the Allies were prepared for the war with Japan to require an expensive (in terms of lives) invasion. The bombs, as destructive as they were, paled in comparison to the amount of lives that would have been lost in such an invasion.
     
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  19. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Well said, Lou. I would only add that it is naive to equate "good" with "perfect". Of course there were good guys and bad guys, as Lou explained. It is also true that the "good guys" weren't perfect. As for going after civilians, does the Holocaust count as going after millions of civilians? Does the Rape of Nanking count as going after civilians? Both of these civilian atrocities occurred long before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which also were arguably military targets. As for the cliche that "the victors write the history", well, that is easily refuted:

    Japanese Rewriting Wartime History? which links to this 2009 article from The Telegraph.
     
  20. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Thanks for the support, Tommy. The Japanese had a habit of decentralizing their industries, so every city was, in effect, a factory. The government convinced the average person that the Allies (especially the Americans) were like rabid dogs who would harm them. Witness Saipan, where the Americans were unable to convince the civilians they meant them no harm.

    The Nazis, with their concept of a master race, were not much better, but they concentrated mostly on the Jews. I think they were defeated before they could expand their policy to others.
     

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