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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. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Devilsadvocate

    No, in contra to you I never term other peoples posts or opinions as absurd.

    Yes. sure Devil..., Ketsu-Go was just as realistic and dangerous to the allies as was Hitlers Alpenfortress and his Werwolves.

    Correct, however the Russians were not of concern to Mainland Japan.

    Please show me those decrypts, in order to prove your assumtions.

    Please show me those decrypts, in order to prove your assumtions.

    Correct, many of them e.g. (Eisenhower), stated some days before the bomb, that he considered the Japanese already defeated.

    Looking at your statements and forwardings, off course it must be absurd to you.
    Devil...
    But that is exactly what happened - see MacArthur

    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.

    Which BTW totally contradicts your knowledge in regards to the content of the Magic decrypts.

    An authorized web-reprint of the full text of
    "President Truman Did Not Understand,"
    Leo Szilard:

    Leo Szilard, Interview: President Truman Did Not Understand
    As you can see, not only MacArthur expressed that viewpoint

    Kruska
     
  2. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Why don't people invest in a book like "Downfall" instead of using the internet? I work as a sales associate & have afforded quite a library IMHO . If one reads that book which Frank based on primary sources one would see why DA & me feel the A-Bombs were the crucial factor and not August Storm furthermore that's why we feel the Japanese wouldn't have surrendered quickly otherwise.
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    MacArtur aside, he wasn't informed of the atomics until after they had been used. His opinion of them post-use is irrelevant. As was Eisenhower's opinion of the war in the PTO, nearly all military officers NOT involved actively in the area believed that the Japanese were "already defeated", but they (the Japanese) refused to accept the fact.

    As to the Magic decrypts, the most pertinent ones were those from July of 1945, and showed clearly that Prince Sato (in Moscow) fully understood that the requests from Tokyo (Togo) were without hope or merit.

    See:

    Nuclear Files: Library: Correspondence: Telegrams: Togo-Sato

    And while it is difficult to read them in order (he says, he replys) they can be understood if taken in the proper order by referencing back and forth by date and telegraph #.

    Truman was getting this information while the Potsdam meeting was taking place, and when Stalin informed him about the Japanese inquiries Truman was relieved that Stalin had done so. It is unknown even today whether or not Stalin knew of our having kept a complete record of all the Diplomatic code messages, and continued to read this code all through the war, in spite of many alterations of the code through time.

    Truman knew that Stalin had rebuffed the Japanese, and could therefore deal from strength with the Potsdam Declaration. As an interesting aside, Stalin DID NOT sign it, thus perhaps leaving open the possibility of a "separate peace" with the Japanese. At least until he declared war between the two bomb drops. This allowed the Red Army to continue fighting well after the surrender was announced by Hirohito, since the USSR hadn't agreed to the Potsdam Declaration "on paper". The fighting on the Kuriles and Shakalin (sp?) didn't end until the last of August.
     
  4. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Excuse me, but if we all (what we usually do) read books, we would also discuss them right? Or just read and believe whatever they state?
    Most authors write in order to promote their own personal view and opinion, therefore they have a tendency to rely or draw from sources that are voiced or in favor towards their opinion.
    Obviously Frank didn’t give too much about Eisenhower, MacArthur, etc. otherwise their statements would make him doubt his own believes or forwarding’s.
    Furthermore there are a lot of revisionist minded authors who would write about anything in order to protect or excuse actions done or committed by their respective countries.
    I personally wouldn’t give a drop of water for G.W. Bush memoires’ in regards to his primary sources in regards to Weapons of …… and his reasons and explanation as to attack Iraq.
    Or in the worst case, his reasons for dropping two A-bombs on Iraq, in order to save millions of American and Iraqi lives.
    So are we now going to discuss about the credibility of authors or about the A-bombs and the sources that we can dig up in order to justify our opinions? – which certainly is more to be found in the internet then in one book.
    Regards
    Kruska
     
  5. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I only included (by mistake) the link to the Sato-Togo telegrams, sorry 'bout that. That set of communications can be found on this page which covers most if not all the correspondence between major players, as well as the diary entires of Stimson, Truman, and Groves at the end of the page.

    See:

    Nuclear Files: Library: Correspondence: Index

    Again, my apologies. I meant to include that link as well as the one to the Sato-Togo section.
     
  6. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    brndirt1;
    Not at all - why shouldn't he speak out his opinion.?

    Those telegrams are known to me, and upon reading them (all of them) it would be a horrendous lie to insist that the Americans did not know about the Japanese thoughts in regards to surrender.

    Fact is they (Japanese were willing to surrender) - at the end it was only the Emperor question that stopped them from accepting unconditional surrender.

    And again (see MacArthur) at the end of the day - after having dropped 2 A-bombs - that is exactly what the Americans did - accepting the Emperor to be "untouchabe" - not being tried for war crimes.

    Quote from one of the Telegrams:

    The terms honour and existence refer to the Emperor and in the last telegrams this fact is very clear.

    So as to come back to the original thread and question:

    I would say that the Japanese would have surrendered within a few weeks upon the Americans forwarding/accepting the surrender terms they at the end of the day they forwarded to Japan. - no need for any A-bomb. see MacArthur.

    Charley To Bulldog: Over and out ;)

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Because Mac's opinion was "after the fact", is what I was calling irrelevant. He wasn't taken into the "know" for fear he would try to take control of their use as CinC of the Pacific theater as to "land/air" war. He was told of them only about a day or two before their use, and when he heard of them and what they could do his immediate reaction was to try and figure a way to include them into his Operation Downfall plans.

    As to the telegrams, I think you read them one way, and I another. I read them as the Japanese attempting to keep the Emperor on his throne and the sovereign of the Japan of old. That was in effect the very thing offered by the first attempt to accept the Potsdam Declaration. It was rejected, and the counter-offer of the Emperor remaining as a "figure-head", subservient to the Supreme Allied Commander, and a non-diety was sent. That was accepted.
     
  8. andya

    andya Member

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    IMO as weird as it sounds Japan is a red herring here. August 1945 Japan was a country in dissarray and were no threat to anyone but....in Berlin the mood between the West and the Soviets was a bit prickly to say the least. So, i would say, the dropping of the A-bombs was a message from the USA to the USSR saying "this is what we have got in our locker" and this is what we can do. To claim the dropping of nuclear bombs is for humanitarian reasons is rediculous.
    So ,in answer to the question, Japan would have capitulated in time but history might have a different tale to tell in Eastern Europe.
    All in all, a very interesting question.
     
  9. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    No, it's ridiculous to suggest that the reason for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was to impress Stalin. Japan was still extremely dangerous to very many people in July/August, 1942. Maybe it didn't seem that way in Europe because they were were far way. But Japan, in fact. still held major portions of China, Indochina, The NEI, Korea, and Borneo. Native peoples were being murdered and starved or worked to death every day by the Japanese. In addition, Allied POW's were dying of starvation, overwork, torture, and outright murder, every day, not to mention that Allied servicemen were still fighting Japan and suffering casualties on a daily basis. My father happened to be one of those servicemen; he had served from before Pearl Harbor, and felt his luck might run out at any time, as indeed it did for many of his buddies.

    Even if you discount the Japanese casualties that were saved bu the use of the atomic bombs, you can't ignore the fact that, at the very least, tens of thousands of human deaths were averted by dropping the bombs on Japan. Thus, it was an humanitarian act, and really the only option that made sense.
     
  10. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Yeah, sure. Neither do I....unless it happens to be true.

    Actually, that just shows your ignorance3 of the topic. The Ketsu-Go plan could have inflicted horrific casualties on the US forces involved, and was likely, at the very least, to impose a serious delay on the invasion of Japan. Japan was fully capable of, and obviously intended to, execute Ketsu-go utilizing both civilian and military personnel to do so. The Allies took Ketsu-Go very seriously, and as they gained more intelligence on the Japanese preparations for Ketsu_Go began to realize that the plans for assault landings in the Home Islands would have to revised.

    See; OPERATION KETSU-GO

    OLYMPIC VS KETSU-GO

    http://www.ww2f.com/war-pacific/25216-operation-olympic-vs-operation-ketsu-go.html

    Don't know what significance that has, but the fact that the Japanese were participating with the Soviets in attempted negotiations which would probably take months shows that they wouldn't consider surrender in a few weeks.

    They've already been posted by others on this board, and referenced in detail in Richard Frank's book, "Downfall". There is no need, and I do not intend to, post them again. If you don't want to take my word, get a copy of Frank and read it.

    But that evades the point. Nobody, including Eisenhower, was willing to predict in July 1945, that the Japanese would surrender within twelve months, let alone in a few weeks. Moreover, Eisenhower was not familiar with the PTO or Japan's situation in the summer of 1945; he admitted this in a letter to friend. So why should anyone listen to the advice of a General in Europe who was clueless about the Japanese, knew next to nothing about their politics, and wasn't privy to the decrypts of Japanese diplomatic traffic? Eisenhower and his opinion about Japan and the atomic bombs are irrelevant.

    As well as any informed person.

    Well, no that is not what happened. And as another poster has pointed out MacArthur was being quoted in 1987, which really makes him irrelevant.

    First of all, the United States never agreed to what MacArthur thinks was offered earlier. As Herbert Bix points out in "HIrohito and The Making Of Modern Japan", When the Japanese asked for the retention of Hirohito in return for their surrender, what they really wanted was the retention of Hirohito as a sovereign ruler and head of state, with ALL of his prerogatives intact. That would mean, no occupation of Japan and no purge of the Japanese militarists. This was NOT what they eventually got with the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration on August 15.

    Furthermore, as I pointed out earlier, Mac's opinion on the use of the atomic bombs is tainted by his resentment at not being consulted before their use, and by the fact that the atomic bombs robbed him of the glory of leading the greatest amphibious assault in the history of the world, and for Mac, that was a powerful reason to dissemble.

    Szilard was perhaps the most outspoken critic of actually using the atomic bombs, although throughout his involvement in their development he apparently did not consider the problem at all. However, the committee of scientists and specialists which was formed to advise President Truman on the use of the bombs did not share his concerns or beliefs, and so advised Truman. I believe that Szilard is wrong about Truman's deliberations about using the bombs, and that Truman simply came to conclusions about the issue than did Szilard. Truman was not alone in this; virtually all of his advisers, prior to the end of the war, either agreed with Truman or remained silent on the issue. Thus, from Truman 's perspective, Szilard was certainly in a very small minority of opinion at the point when he, (Truman) had to make the decision. The conclusion that Truman did not understand the implications of using the atomic bombs, can be turned around by claiming that Szilard did not understand the political and military implications of NOT using the atomic bombs.

    EDIT; As for the question of unconditional surrender, Szilard is just plain wrong. A negotiated surrender would have negated the sacrifice of resources, people, and effort that went into defeating the Japanese, and could easily have led to the situation that prevailed after Germany's defeat in WW I. This in turn might have led to the "stab in the back" mentality that created the conditions conducive to the start of WW II. There was absolutely no good reason for the Allies to accept a negotiated surrender of Japan in that it probably would have led to another Pacific War within a generation.
     
  11. USMC

    USMC Member

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    Very good point Kruska. Authors write books generally stating their own interpretation of events based on historical evidence. If every author told the exact story without their own bias then we wouldn't have so many books documenting the same thing. lol
     
  12. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Depends on the author...Franks is a very,very respected author. His bibliography includes quite a bit of Japanese primary documents. Sometimes revisionism comes along because of new info. Evidently Franks examined a lot of Japanese sources to get into the mindset of the Japanese at the time of summer-1945 , the dropping of the A-Bombs,and August Storm.
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I don't think there is a modern author that can put themselves in the mindset of anyone in the summer of 1945. All authors, historical or otherwise, have a "thesis" and it is through the written word that they prove their thesis. Some are better than others at interpetting facts without letting their own opinions and predispositions get in the way.

    Case in point:
    Yellow Raft in Blue Water written by Michael Dorris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Dorris). The book is a comming of age tale from the perspective of a 14 year old African/Native American girl who is searching for her father. The book is written in the first person.

    Hence anyone who writes a book from the perspective of another, whom they are so dyametricaly juxtapposed I have deemed to be: "Sailing a yellow raft in blue water".

    And that is what Franks is doing in his book. That doesn't mean his work is not inciteful. TOO ME it is a fictionalized account of history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_history

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_B._Frank
     
    Kruska likes this.
  14. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello ickysdad,

    have you read the book "Myths of August" ?
    Quote:
    So Udall's conclusion is: a moral atrocity
    while Devil... conclusion, after reading Frank is: it was an humanitarian act

    So much for authors and the interpretation done by its readers ;)

    As for my part I do certainly not refer to it as a humanitarian act, neither do I term it a moral atrocity,(Due to my believe that their is no MORALITY or HUMANITY in war), besides acting according to the Geneva Convention. I am simply stating that the war could have ended at the same time or maybe 3-4 weks later upon confirming to the Japanese the terms the US gave them after the two bombs anyway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

    If this is to be believed then it would indeed prove, that the A-bombs had not been the cause for Japan to surrender.

    Therefore I simply answerd on the question forwarded in this thread and on the opinion voiced out in post #2, (see my post #3) and do not involve myself in voicing out personal slogans based on a single book.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  15. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Krusaka,
    and yet on the nite of August 9,1945 after hearing of Nagasaki & BEFORE knowing the full details of August Storm Hirohito had already confided that the war had to be ended. As far as August Storm is concerned the Japanese High Command totally under-estimated the size of the attack figuring their forces there could hold, true details didn't come out till well past the time when Hirohito had already made up his mind. The Military leaders still after Hiroshima,Nagasaki, and August Storm still wanted to carry on the war those same military leaders would have continued to do so if Hirohito wouldn't have ordered them to surrender . The Military leaders could go against what politicians making up the Big Six proposed but they couldn't go against the Emperor.

    Why does everybody rely on Wikpedia so much for? I'm not saying it's useless but most high schools and colleges won't even let their students use it as a reference.
     
  16. andya

    andya Member

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    Really? So you are seriously telling me that to incinerate women children and old people is an act of kindness?? Exactly who was left to defend mainland Japan circa August 1945 ? The fighting men had either been captured killed or cut off . Perhaps there was a Japanese version of the Volkstorm waiting to ambush an invading force?
     
  17. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    formerjughead,
    Some of what you say maybe true but Franks isn't really proposing alternative history he's simply analising the history that actually was and quoting the participants.
     
  18. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Yes it was humane in the long run considering that all of war is inhumane . is it better for 200,000 to die in two bombings or let the war go on and let far more die? Remember if the war hadn't ended when it did the Allies wouldn't have been able to get fuel supplies into Japan before winter set in and Japan had a very rough winter ,so how many would have died then ? Even a delay in a few weeks to the end of the war could have had disasterous consequences.

    Another thing in criticising the US decision to drop the bombs is that it's all & fine to do it from 60+ years of hindsight but Truman and all had to make the decision from what they knew then.
     
  19. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello ickysdad,

    You said it already correctly - the Emperor wanted to surrender - the military who ever else was obliged to obey - that some hardliners didn't like the idea is understood - but didn't change the fact that Japan surrendered - upon terms that the US could have forwarded BEFORE dropping the bombs.
    Or as suggested by many Americans involved - a demonstration of the A-bomb on a deserted target.
    Fact is - the majority of the allies didn't care about Japanese lives - for what ever justifiable reason.
    And the devastating impact on a city made off course a far more solid impression on Stalin then some deserted island - right?

    As for Wiki...I am a bit short of books here in China - most of my stuff is in Germany. However certain issues are facts, and therefore can be trusted even in Wiki - or can be counter checked via other sources in case of a doubt.


    The above statement off course is not only stated in Wiki.

    Exactly, he knew that only the Emperor issue was between immediate surrender and testing some nukes.
    Regards
    Kruska
     
  20. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Except that Frank includes meticulous footnotes on every pointy he makes. Check them out and you will find that he isn't making up anything; the documentation is as he says it is. Now you may argue that Frank's interpretation is wrong, but you'd have to be pretty sharp to make your case convincing. In fact, very few historians have much trouble acccepting Frank's logic. And I will add that the no0nes who do have their own agenda to push.

    As far as I'm concerned, anyone who thinks Frank's account of the period is inaccurate, has his head in the sand.

    Generally speaking, when a work of history is said to be "insightful", it means the author has written a book about something he understands very well.
     

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