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What if: The US did not drop the bombs?

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by TheImPaLeR, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Kruska,
    Read Richard Frank's "Downfall". It was quite evident that the A-Bombs were what caused Japan to surrender or rather Hirohito ordering the military to do so. Furthermore it's quite clear Hirohito had already made up his mind to surrender even before hearing the full details of August Storm. If I'm not wrong some of the military leaders were still wanting to fight on even after Hiroshima,Nagasaki and August Storm. So in the end game it was the bombs influence on Hirohito that really mattered.
     
  2. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello ickysdad,

    nobody (at least not me ;)) disputes the fact that the A-bombs caused Japan to surrender immediately.

    I wouldn't know about Richard Frank's "Downfall". However I care an awfull lot about the opinions of people such as:

    General Douglas MacArthur,
    Major General Curtis E. LeMay,
    Joseph Grew, Under Secretary of State;
    John McCloy, Assistant to the Secretary of War;
    Ralph Bard, Under Secretary of the Navy;
    Lewis Strauss, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy,
    Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff,
    chief historian of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    and last not least Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Cant really speculate. My guess? Less than a year? Regardless of common belief that the Japanese would fight to the death, August Storm seems to contradict this. The Japanese had many domestic issues (hunger was just one). After August Storm and the complete destruction of the Japanese military in Manchuria; the Japanese were now at war with both the U.S. and Russia. The end had come and they knew it.
     
  4. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Yes but Manchuria wasn't the Home Islands. August Storm actually didn't influence the surrender that much because the military leaders still wanted to carry on the war even after both A-Bombs & hearing the full details of August Storm ,it was Hirohito who intervened and ordered them to surrender & his mind was pretty much already made before hearing of the full details of August Storm.
     
  5. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    If one reads upon the talks and issues that were held between the Japanese government and foreign diplomatic channels, it is reasonable to expect a Japanese surrender at a timeframe of 1-2 month at the time the first A-bomb was dropped.
    The only topic that was still being discussd about (and US intel knew about it) was in regards to the Emperor being "untouchable" - not to be tried for warcrimes etc.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  6. USMC

    USMC Member

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    I think the second bomb just sealed the deal. Remember the Japanese didn't have a clue into how many bombs we had. (Eventhough we used all two of them)
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Tsuyoshi Hasegawa disagrees.

    Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's research has led him to conclude that the atomic bombings were not the principal reason for Japan's capitulation. He argues it was the swift and devastating Soviet victories on the mainland in the week following Joseph Stalin's August 8 declaration of war that forced the Japanese message of surrender on August 15, 1945. Others with similar views include The "Battlefield" series documentary, Drea, Hayashi, and numerous others, though all, including Hasegawa, state that the surrender was not due to any single factor.that much because the military leaders still wanted to carry on the war even after both A-Bombs & hearing the full details of August Storm ,it was Hirohito who intervened and ordered them to surrender & his mind was pretty much already made before hearing of the full details of August Storm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria_(1945)

    Such individuals exist in all nations. Thankfully the clear minded prevailed and these knuckle-heads werent listened to. ;)
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    OK, I'd consider a year a very long time. Given the food situation in Japan at that point I'd be surprised if they lasted until Summer of 46. I was thinking you ment a few weeks when you said not very long.
     
  9. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Iwd,

    Your thoughts were not at all far off from MacArthurs opinion.

    General Douglas MacArthur, the man in charge of Pacific operations, questioned the usefulness of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. His consultant Norman Cousins wrote in 1987, "The war might have ended weeks earlier, [MacArthur] said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  10. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I think the key is "unconditional surrender". There is no way that Japan would have capitulated without Allied boots on Japanese soil had the bombs not been dropped.

    IF you look at the combined number of allied troops it took to make Germany surrender, unconditionally and the beating Germany was taking, I do not think the Japanese would have put forth any less enthusiastic defense.

    MacAurthur conceded to letting the Emporer stay in place as a figure head; whereas none of the German leadership in place was allowed to remain.

    Japanese POWs were about 10% +/- of Germans. The Japanese had a history of holding out to the last man and even then found suicide a more attractive alternative than surrender. Japanese civillians were also adverse to surrender as illustrated on the "Suicide Cliffs of Saipan".

    MacAurther and Truman expected a fight, had prepared for a prolonged ground engagement, and found the dropping of sunshine to be the most expeditious means to ending the war with Japan. I do not think that the preservation of Japanese lives were formost in there decision paradigm.

    Brad
     
  11. USMC

    USMC Member

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    The Soviet invasion influenced the surrender but not by much. The Japanese were more conscious of a coming US invasion.
     
  12. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello formerjughead,

    again I will forward MacArthurs statement:

    He clearly says that in the end (after the 2 Bombs) the terms forwarded to Japan were those that could have been forwarded already before the bombs were dropped.
    So the bombs only caused two things:
    200,000 dead civilians, to ensure an immediate capitulation.

    Quote:
    General Douglas MacArthur, the man in charge of Pacific operations, questioned the usefulness of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. His consultant Norman Cousins wrote in 1987, "The war might have ended weeks earlier, [MacArthur] said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    In the quote MacAurthur is speaking form hindsight and from that aspect the dropping of the Bombs was uneccesary. I think there are a few million Allied troopers that think the bombs were very useful.

    So let's say we don't drop the bombs and enter into protracted peace negotiations; how long would things have gone on then? The dropping of the bombs let the Japanese know that the only reason their emperor was allowed to continue in place is because "we" let him do so.

    MacAuthur may have looked back remorsefully at the use of Atomic weapons; but, it is hard to imagine that he would have had the same success in rebuilding Japan without them.

    I honestly doubt the voracity of the statement. During the Korean War, only a few years later, he wanted to use them on N.Korea and China. It is clear that MacAurthur appreciated Atomic(Nuclear) diplomacy.

    The other thing you need to look at was when did MacAurthur make the statement: what was the context? was it during his campaign for President and was it made to disparage Truman?
     
  14. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Well, IMHO MacArthur knew what he was doing and talking about.

    He said, I shall return - and he did
    He also said after the Korean war, that the US should never again get involved in a war in Asia.
    Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia prooved him to be right about this too.

    Upon millions of Chinese pouring over the Yalu, I would certainly share MacArthurs proposition to nukes. ;) however in the meantime Stalin had them as well.

    According to the intel info that the Americans obtained, the moderate Japs were already offering unconditional surrender - only the emperor issue was open - and used by the Jap hardliners to gain extra time.

    Upon conceeding to the emperors "purity" (which after the bombs the US did) - even though Hirohito was IMO a warcriminal - Hirohito would have given in, just as he did - independently from the bombs.

    As I said before the two nukes just made things go faster (a couple of weeks-if at all) but gave some scientific rewards, military experience and a fantastic diplomatic stance against uncle Josef.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  15. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    MacArthur changed his views post-war like other people changed their underwear. You can put about as much credence in what MacArthur said as you can in Churchill's version of what happened in WW II. MacArthur was wrong more often than he was right.

    Mac didn't like the fact the atomic bombs were used and eliminated the need for an invasion because he wanted the glory of leading the greatest amphibious invasion in history. He also resented not being consulted about their use. Even if he had been consulted many in Washington didn't think much Mac's judgment anyway, not the least of which was President Truman. Remember, it was Mac who thought the Japanese might not attack the Philippines, in December, 1941, if only his forces didn't fire on them.

    And no, the Japanese never offered any kind of unconditional surrender until They accepted the Potsdam Declaration. Even then, they tried to insert the proviso that Hirohito's "sovereignty" would not be compromised. It was Washington (not MacArthur) who responded that Hirohito, like everyone else in Japan would be subject to the orders of the Supreme Allied Commander in Japan. In the end, the Japanese accepted an unconditional surrender, not because of the Soviets, or impending starvation, but because the atomic bombs convinced them it was no longer possible to resist. It's ab surd for anyone to think that the Japanese might surrender within a few weeks absent the atomic bombs; neither the Japanese themselves felt that way, nor the officials in Washington who were reading their diplomatic traffic. Frank lays out the whole case in "Downfall" and it is a very compelling one at that.
     
  16. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Devilsadvocate
    Offcourse it is "absurd" for you, just like anything else that doesn't fit your mindset.

    Kruska
     
  17. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Or yours?

    There were several reasons to believe the Japanese weren't going to surrender in the summer of 1945; The plans for kETSU-GO, for example, which wasn't going to take place until November of 1945 at the earliest, and probably not until the spring of 1946, and by which the Japanese Military, including initially, Hirohito, set great store.

    Another was the diplomatic initiative with the Soviets which the Japanese government felt would take months to mature, and which had only been started in late July. The Magic decrypts of Japanese diplomatic traffic certainly tended to confirm the idea that Japan was not even close to considering surrender on anything like the terms required by the US. In fact, the Magic decrypts actually stated clearly that even if the US guaranteed Hirohito's sovereignty, the Japanese government would not consider surrender. Not a single American military leader or political adviser was prepared to predict, in July, 1945, that Japan would surrender within the next twelve months.

    That is why I said it was absurd to think the Japanese were considering surrender (on terms the US could accept) in the summer of 1945. Of course, if the US was to negotiate, the Japanese were certainly willing to lay down terms to end the war, but there was absolutely no chance that the US would accept a surrender on Japanese terms, and rightly so.
     
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  18. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Then your post supports what I have been saying all along...Hirohito had done made up his mind after hearing of Nagasaki and before knowing the full details of August Storm AND IT WAS HE that ordered the surrender. He was the one affected by the A-Bombs being dropped to the degree that on the evening of August 9,1945 he had decided the time was ripe even before hearing the details of August Storm. The Military realised they could in the people's eyes could go against the politicians but there was no way to go against the Emperor. In the end what the Emperor thought & decided was the key issue.Also how much of the details of August Strom were reaching the Japanese Population? Also if the Japanese were willing to trade away Manchuria in order to get the Soviets to broker a deal for them why would August Strom become such a shock? If Soviet intervention was so important then why did the Japanese keep fighting the Soviets even well up into August?

    It's all right there in "Downfall". I'll take that source over wikpedia anytime.
     
  19. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    This sort of sketchy math undermines the whole pro-bomb argument. Millions of allied casualties ???? please, no military organization can survive 10% global casualties, and especially a tail heavy one like the US pacific effort, as most would come mostly from the rifle companies that suffered the brunt of the historical losses. 2 million men equates to the rifle strength of something like 220 divisions !!!
     
    Sloniksp and Kruska like this.
  20. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Actually, the US had the capability of producing two to three A-Bombs a month until the end of the year (1945), and three to four a month beginning in 1946. Tokyo was on the short list for later A-Bombings, so the Japanese people would finally see once and for all that their beloved Emperor was indeed human afterall....
     

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