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Atomic Bomb: Justified?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Jackson, Nov 8, 2000.

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  1. Jackson

    Jackson Member

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    I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the atomic bomb? Do you think it was justified? Do you think invading Japan would have been a better decision?

    Since we are the only Atomic power to ever demonstrate our force (on an enemy), we tend to want to keep that power away from others. Do you think the Manhatten Project influenced other countries seeking Nuclear power?

    Another thing: Some people say that we shouldn't send more American lives into Japan to get killed, when we can just drop a bomb and they surrender. The price is just too high. But a devastating fact: The Atomic Bomb was dropped on Civilians. Millions died or suffered from radiation. Do you think this is right?

    Let's hear your thoughts.

    ------------------
    "Goddamn it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
    - Captain Henry P. "Jim" Crowe (Guadalcanal, January 13, 1943)
     
  2. CoWBoY MoRoN

    CoWBoY MoRoN Member

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    That's a subject we have already discussed a lot. [​IMG]

    I think the A Bomb was justified, because it was an effective tool to end the war with a low human lives cost.
    Invasion of Japan would have been a blood bath, for both sides. The strategic bombing and incendiary raids were killing more civilians than the A Bomb, and Kamikaze actions would have killed many, many more. Not speaking of disease and starvation.
    Remember too that the Red Army was attacking Japan at the same time, Hokkaido may have been lost with the Kourile Islands.

    Some think a "public test" to show the power of the new secret weapon could have made the Japanese surrender, others say warned Japanese would have used POW as human shields. I don't know (i doubt Japanese had enough POW in mainland Japan, and others couldn't cross the sea), i personnaly think the bombing of Nagasaki (august 9th) was a bit early after Hiroshima (6th), Japanese governement hadn't enough time to realise the destructive power of the new weapon.
     
  3. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    Jackson-
    Please read "Invasion Japan" on this same topic. There was a good discussion on the use of the bomb against Japan there.
     
  4. Ron

    Ron Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jackson:
    I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the atomic bomb? Do you think it was justified? Do you think invading Japan would have been a better decision?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It was very justified. An invasion of Japan would not have been a better decision. Most likely taking more from both sides.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Since we are the only Atomic power to ever demonstrate our force (on an enemy), we tend to want to keep that power away from others. Do you think the Manhatten Project influenced other countries seeking Nuclear power?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think the fact that we HAD that power influenced people to want it. Germany and Japan wanted to produce a bomb. As well as the soviets...the allies (meaning US and Great Britian) just beat them to it. Us using it just made the Russians put more effort into their atomic bomb program.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Another thing: Some people say that we shouldn't send more American lives into Japan to get killed, when we can just drop a bomb and they surrender. The price is just too high. But a devastating fact: The Atomic Bomb was dropped on Civilians. Millions died or suffered from radiation. Do you think this is right?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is hard to say what is right and what is wrong in a war. Killing of civillians is horrible. However our intentions were clear: to end the war...save lives of american's (and in long run spare japan an invasion) Hitler killed civilians and it was a crime because hitler killed civilians not to complete the war or advance it to his favor...he did it because he hated them. Bombing of cities was designed to break the people's support of the war. hitler tried it with Britian too. We bombed the 2 cities to end the war and break support for it and both worked out. The only thing is just that the second bomb was premature. However maybe Japan was SO fanatical that the armed forces wanted to really beat it into them to make them understand? but you can argue that the second was premature.



    <FONT COLOR="#ff0000" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by Ron on 09 November 2000 at 07:52 PM</font>
     
  5. Mito

    Mito Member

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    War sucks...
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think that the atomic bomb was used correctly in this situation. The Japanese were killing more and more Americans the closer the Americans got to the Japanese main islands. An assault on mainland Japan itself would have been more costly for the americans AND Japanese then both the atomic bombs. We'd be looking at another D-Day situation, if not a whole lot worse.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I think the bombs were used correctly. It was projected that the US forces could suffer 1 million casualties. I had an uncle in the USMC 1st Marine Division and one in the Armys 80th Division under General Simon Bolivar Buckner who was KIA on Okinawa if memory serves me correctly.

    My uncle was one of 2 men from his company, to come out from the Okinawa campaign uninjured.
     
  8. A.GREG

    A.GREG Member

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    I totally agree with whoever thinks that it was justified. I think of it in the sense that it an invasion would have costed many millions of lives on both sides. The bomb made it out so there was only many lives lost on one side, the Japanese.
     
  9. Doc Raider

    Doc Raider Member

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    I completely think that is was justified.

    If I remember college history correctly (it was over 3 years ago) the invasion of japan had been drawn up. It involved heavy bombing, much of which was incindiary. Civilians would have been burned to death in very high numbers. I personally don't know which way is a worse way, but does it matter?

    I think that the actual allied invasion of Japan is almost unimmagineable as far as US casualties. They made estimates and supposedly produced all the purple hearts that they'd have to send to families - I guess those purple hearts lasted all the way through Vietnam (could be folklore though). Would've been like Normandy times what, ten?, in an area where the locals could have been just as vicious as the troops. And they didn't run around with their hands in the air saying "Kameraden" when they knew they were beat, either.

    I interview lots of vets. If "you" (not directed at any one personally) were one of them, you'd be pretty damn happy about the whole thing. My uncle thought that after the war in Europe, he was gonna be sent to Japan to die in the invasion. Could've been right. All I know is that my Grampa was on Guam, as a medic, waiting to go. My Gramps didn't have to die in the invasion, and neither did a hell of alot of other "grandpas". It was a war, and we were trying to win. I don't understand why people get so sh#tty about it today.
     
  10. Lone Soldier

    Lone Soldier Member

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    There is no way in hell that the A bomb is justified :mad: I mean how can you balance all those innocent lives against war and conquest :confused: it just isn't fair nor is it right to waste more life than is absolutly neccessary!!!
     
  11. WALT

    WALT Member

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    This is directed mostly at "lone soldier" but not in a mean spirited way. The Japanese Army was both brutal and fanatical. The innocent people you speak of were the Chinise and the people of the Philipines, Malaysia, Indochina, and all the outer Islands of the Pacific. the Japanese Army murdered them by the tens of thousands.
    to me, the reason to drop the bombs was not only to end the war, and save lives in the long run, which is true, but rather, to force the Japanese to except the fact that they were defeated. All you need to do is watch a few hours of the "Kamikazis" crashing into u.s. warships to see that they would not surrender.
    How many more Marines, salors, and soldiers would you sacrafice to save Japanese ?
    Ask me,and I would say...NONE.. ! We have given enough, all over the Pacific. I belive those men were innocent to.
    I want to be clear. I do not hate the Japanese people. That was a different time, and because they were defeated totaly....they moved on to become a different people, the people they are today.
    I hope you read this, and understand that I am a war baby myself. My father was in the 1 st. Infantry, 6 th Division.....he was on the way for the finial push for Japan when the bombs were dropped, and the war ended...Im glad it went that way, for he was "innocent"....Thank you for listening, and forgive the spelling, im just a soldier.
    FOOT NOTE: my fathers Division was rerouted to Korea to round up Japanese prisoners, and send them back to Japan. He was ordered by his sargent to shoot a jap soldier with the BAR he was carrying....He refused that order, because the war was over...I have always been proud of him for that.I think that reflects the overall feeling of most of the allied soldiers. Kill them, so all the killing will stop. Not because you hate them, but because evil must be defeated....Walt
     
  12. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Excellent post Walt and I fully agree with you. My Uncle was also in the Pacific War serving under General Simon Bolivar Buckner. My UNcle was in several battles and mose notedly fought on Okinawa.

    Im VERY glad that the "A" bombs were used, especially so that I did have a chance to grow up with an uncle. I never had a chance for a Grandfather--one was already dead by the early 40's--the other who had 2 ships torpedoed by German Uboats, I never met as he died in 1969 in Walla Walla Washington, at the Old Sailors home--and I was about 1-1/2 years old.

    I had other relatives that were also in the war and I am VERY glad that they all made it out alive. Some of it CAN be credited to the usage of the "A" Bombs.

    Its ALWAYS a shame that innocent civilians get killed and theres NOTHING we can do to change that fact.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Gents :

    I think we have to look at ourselves and put our minds back into the 1940's. If we would of been there, especailly on the Pacific front, you bet you would of voted for the dropping of the big one ! There is no doubt in my mind that it had to be done. As you said Carl, and others, a shame that innocents had to feel the terrible pain of losing so many, but war is hell no doubt about that. Wonder what everyone's thoughts are though about the smashing of the city of Dresden, was this justified ? should put this on the Deutschland link......

    In a world of distorted truths and a changing of what really happened it is easy especially for the younger generation to get a polluted sense of what really happened during the uncertain times of 1945.

    E
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Thanks Erich. And my thoughts on the bombing of Dresden was that it was nothing but sheer murder. Samething goes for the russians sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff.
     
  15. Captain America

    Captain America Member

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    "A legend has grown up that this young man {ie, the US Marine}is a killer, he takes no prisoners, and gives no quarter. This is partly true, but the reason is not brutality, not just vindicative remembrance of Pearl Harbor. He kills because in the jungle he must, or be killed. this enemy stalks him, and he stalks the enemy as if each were a hunter tracking a bear cat. Quite frequently you hear marines say: I wish we were fighting the Germans. They are human beings like us. Fighting against them must be like athletic performance-matching your skill against someone you know is good. Germans are misled, but at least they react like men. The Japs are like animals. Against them you have to learn a whole new set of physical reactions. You have to get used to their animal stubbornness and tenacity. they take to the jungle as if they had been bred there, and like some beasts you never see them until they are dead." -Pacific Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey

    Do you think that a people described in this way would lay down and not fight to the death in defense of the emperor...?? The fact of the matter is the dropping of two Atomic bombs on Japan was justifed. The loss of life(civilian included) would have been unimaginable.

    Also, the US was not the only country pursuing an active nuclear project at the time. The Germans, USSR and even Japan had all taken steps to ensure the procurement of fissile material before the end of the war. If Germany or Japan had achieved their goal, would they not have dropped a bomb in downtown London or NY? I think all this moral relativism is clouding the simple fact that the Allies had to prevail by any means necessary. If not, perhaps we would all be saluting pictures of Hitler or Tojo this very day...

    A useful resource can be found here:
    http://www.dannen.com/decision/
     
  16. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Of course the use of the A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified, War is repugnant business, and desperate times call for desperate measures.
    I mean-the deaths caused by both the bombs are miniscule compared to the casualty figures that wouldve followed had a land war ensued!!!
    It was basically the lesser of two evils, and therefore wholly justified...
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I agree that if the only other way to stop the war was an invasion on Japan, then the A-bomb was justified, even how horrible it sounds.If I had to consider either killing 100-200 000 or more of my country´s men in order to take Japan or destroying a couple of enemy cities with an A-bomb, I´d take the latter.
    There´s been talk on Japan´s possbile peace negotiations at the time which might not be so untrue as they had to face losing the war anyway at the time. Was there more details in some part of the forum, or does somebody have more info on this?
    If this is true then Truman sent the bombs for no good reasons. But so far I must admit I agree on dropping the bombs.
     
  18. Ron

    Ron Member

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    The Potsdam conference in 1945 specifically requested the unconditional surrender of Japan.
    Which japan promply rejected. This happened before the bombs were dropped.
     
  19. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    I just read this quote by the leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler on his "Posen-speech" in Oct. 1943:

    "Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interests me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished. (...) When somebody comes to me and says, "I cannot dig the anti-tank ditch with women and children, it is inhuman, for it would kill them," then I have to say, "You are a murderer of your own blood because if the anti-tank ditch is not dug, German soldiers will die, and they are sons of German mothers. They are our own blood." That is what I want to instil into the SS and what I believe have instilled into them as one of the most sacred laws of the future, Our concern, our duty is our people and our blood. It is for them that we must provide and plan, work and fight, nothing else. We can be indifferent to everything else. I wish the SS to adopt this attitude to the problem of all foreign, non-Germanic peoples, especially Russians. All else is vain, fraud against our own nation and an obstacle to the early winning of the war."

    So basically Himmler says that it is of no interest to him whether 10,000 enemy civilians die if this saves the lives of German soldiers and help to win the war.

    "For the generation that fought World War II, the bomb ended the greatest horror in their lives. For their children, the bomb began the greatest horror of their lives."

    Professor Mark Stoler

    [ 10 October 2002, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: AndyW ]
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yes, recommendable reading for all interested in WW2 Germany.

    The total Posen Speech here translated in English:

    http://www.cwporter.com/posen.htm

    But...

    In the same speech Himmler seems to have other thoughts on the handling on the prisoners that were gained in the beginning of Barbarossa:
    ------

    From the attack in 1941 part:

    "The Russian army was driven together into great pockets, destroyed, taken prisoner. We did not then value the mass man as we do now, as raw material, as manpower. Which is not a shame in the end, if one thinks in terms of generations, but it is regrettable today due to the loss of manpower: the prisoners died by the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands from exhaustion, from hunger."

    ------

    But anyway, more than pure mass they were not to him, but losing valuable man power, even he wondered about it!

    :D
     
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