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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. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    People engaged in war production cannot be considered "civilians" in the sense of modern and total war. The atomic bombings were a tragic necessity, but brought on by the intransigence of the Japanese themselves, not Allied "bloodthirstiness". And BTW, the argument that those two cities were simply "innocent civilian" population centers with no military value is bogus.

    At least four times as many non-combatant Japanese died in conventional explosive and incendiary "fire-bombing" on the home islands as expired from either the blast effect, the heat effect, or the later (unknown at the time) radiation effect of the two atomics. General Lemay’s "Operation Starvation" had been an ongoing project for months in 1945, and Japan was loosing every floating vessel with which to fish in the sea or import rice from the Asian mainland. And they (Japanese) had the internal ability to produce most if not all of the rice, mullet, turnips and cabbage they needed, and fish farming was a long-standing practice and quite widespread. While Koi (carp) is not the best of fish, it can be raised in shallow rice paddy’s along with the rice, and protein is protein.

    While the rations would have been low, the Japanese were quite capable of surviving on fewer calories compared to Europeans. I think the ration at the end was between 1200 and 1500 calories a day, but those small rations might well have kept Japan alive and capable of fighting on their home shores for months and months, if not well into 1946. Uniformed soldier’s rations were slightly higher, at 2000 calories I believe, and civilian militia were also given slightly higher ration levels (1800?). They had slightly less than a hundred million to feed, but it may have taken a very long time for them to be overcome by hunger. The Japanese agriculture ministers themselves estimated in June of '45 that widespread hunger would certainly become a national problem by June of ’46 if birth rates remained stable, but not likely before then. They couldn’t foresee the weather either, but even they understood that Japan was on the brink of "hunger’, if not starvation.

    Lemay’s firebombing was killing more Japanese than the "atomics" did eventually, and those raids wouldn’t have stopped, so even more cities would have been turned into "black smudges" on the recon photos like Toyama did when 99% of it was firebombed into non-existence in August of 1945. And as to totaly casualties at Hiroshima in the flash of an instant, 66,000 people were killed outright and 69,000 people were injured by a less than 20 kiloton atomic explosion. Nagasaki's population dropped in one split-second from 422,000 to 383,000. With about 39,000 killed outright, and over 25,000 who were injured.

    The Imperial Japanese populace of the time had (as a mind set) the feeling that theirs was a superior culture, race and method of interacting with the universe, and as such was protected by the gods/Emperor Gods and could NOT be defeated in any conventional battle. As they had a thousand years of victory to back up their concept and belief in that "super-natural" protection, there was a precedent in place and an Emperor/God sitting on the throne. Fires could be "fought", invaders could be fought, but the forces of nature were to be accepted, and not contested as they were the "will of the gods". They had never "fought"; typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, famines, plagues, or even volcanic eruptions, they simply rebuilt after their passing.

    Hundreds, if not thousands of years of tradition (highly important in Japan even today) had held that they were the inhabitants of the "Empire of the Sun", ruled by the "Son of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess", and protected; invulnerable to outsiders if put to the test. When the "power of the Universe" is unleashed against them, something is out of "whack" in their universe. It wasn’t the "number" of deaths, it was the weapon itself which "destroyed their will to fight on". Other methods of defeat would have just meant more and nastier types of demise. And as Hideki Tojo's diary states; "the Atomic Bombs killed the god and goddess of Japan and thus forced the emperor to surrender his nation."

    Starvation is not "pleasant", being suffocated in a "firestorm" or sucked into its maelstrom to be incinerated is certainly NOT preferable to "ceasing" to exit in a nanosecond. There were at least 4 million Japanese still "under arms" officially in mid-1945 with nearly 3 million on the "home islands" alone. This is easily discovered by reading the Ketsu-Go plans which were laid out and prepared to repel the allied invaders. This does NOT count the millions of Japanese civilians (down to age five, of both genders) being trained in the use of bamboo spears, garden and agricultural tools, grenades, knives, and firearms including muzzle loading muskets and shotguns still in existence. Without the use of "Little Boy" and "Fat Man", I doubt the Japanese would exist as either a culture or an identifiable race today.

    Halsey’s statement might have become true (paraphrasing); "when we are done with them, Japanese will only be spoken in hell!". We (Americans) had been reading Japanese messages in code or not for most of the final years, and consequently we were fully aware of "Operation Ketsu-Go", and the troops, deployment, and GHQs of the operation (Nagasaki was one). Even though they were in reality finished as a war making nation, their national pride wouldn’t allow them to surrender without fighting.

    As to the targets of those two cities, factor in and try to remember that from the time of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), the Imperial Headquarters, the command center for war in Asia, and the new Military Preparatory School were all established in Hiroshima. This also gave its Ujina Harbor a distinctly military distinction from that moment on. Each time Japan became involved in any military action in Asia, Hiroshima was the base for education of officers, training, assembly and dispatching of troops. As the years went by, Hiroshima's military facilities grew more numerous and substantial.

    By 1945 Hiroshima held these "purely innocent civilian" installations; the 2nd General Army Headquarters, Chugoku Military District Headquarters (the home of the 5th Division which participated in the Nanking occupation ["rape of"] 1937), the 59th Military Headquarters, 224th Division marshaling/training area, 154th Division training, Marine Transport Headquarters, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry yards, Ujina Harbor Kawasaki ship-yards. Yupper, nothing but innocent "civilians" living in Hiroshima.

    BTW, everybody in the west who cared about the Japanese in China knew of the Nanking atrocities, since this was the same time and place where the river-gunboat USS Panay and two Standard Oil tankers were attacked and sunk, even the Nazi backed businessman John Rabe was appalled by that batch of barbarism from a "society of culture".

    Then also remember that from the beginning of the Showa (Hirohito) period through World War II, about 50 % of the all the commercial ships for transporting goods and such were built in Nagasaki. As were warships. Trace the origin of the ships; "Hyuga", "Kirishima", "Musashi" (the "Yamato's" sister giant battlship), the auxiliary carriers; "Hiyo", "Junyo", the design built carriers; "Chuyo", "Unyo", "Taiyo", "Kaiyo"," Amagi", "Kasagi", or the cruisers "Sendai", "Natori", "Kiso", "Tama", "Furutaka", "Aoba", "Haguro", "Chokai", "Mikuma", "Tone", "Chikuma", and the all the destroyers.

    Now, the destroyers produced at Nagasaki are too numerous to even consider putting on here. But please remember that Nagasaki was also the home to the Nagasaki Steel Works, Mitsubishi Electric Works, and Mitsubishi Munitions plants. Whom do you believe were building the warships and munitions? Not military persons, and NOT civilians in the strictest sense. Nagasaki was also the designated center for the defense of Kyushu Island headquarters for the planned and in place Ketsu-Go defense plan. And the casualty projections upon which Truman made his decision must also be taken into account. While not as grim as some have held over the years, they were still alarmingly bleak.

    The implied top-end figure of approximately 1,700,000 to 2,000,000 battle casualties built on the basis of the Saipan ratio was slashed down to a best-case scenario figure that was not so huge as to make the task ahead appear insurmountable, and use of a 500,000 battle casualty figure was "the operative one at the working level"^60 during the spring of 1945. Andrew J. Goodpaster was then with the Strategy Section of the JWPC. He noted that Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson used the number regularly.^61 When Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer Samuel Halpern was pulled back to Washington from the China-Burma-India Theater in May 1945 to assist in the invasion planning, the estimate was given in his initial briefing, and even Eighth Air Force maintenance crews at Clovis Air Field, New Mexico, transitioning from the B-17 Flying Fortress they serviced in England to the B-29 Super Fortress t! hey would operate against Japan, were told in May that "the invasion could cost a half million men [and that] every `Fort' they could keep in the air would mean more boys could make it home alive."^62 Halpern said forty-five years later that the 500,000 figure "made a deep, indelible impression on a young man, 23 years old. It is something I have never forgotten." ^63

    <page 539> This smaller figure, however, was based on the assumption that the U.S. military would learn to counter Japanese tactics, and it neglected the fact that, as evidenced by the casualty ratios then emerging from Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Imperial Japanese Army was likewise learning from its experiences. Thus, the "low" 500,000 number for total battle casualties, used widely in briefings, was a best-case estimate not accepted for strategic planning purposes, and it had no effect on the greatly increased Selective Service call-up, the expansion of the Army's training base, or the plans of the Transportation Corps, Medical Corps, and other U.S. Army organizations. For example, at the same time that the lower figure came into use, the Army Service Forces was working with an estimate of "approximately" 720,000 for the projected number of replacements needed for "dead and evacuated wounded" through 31 December 1946.^64

    The JCS history of its wartime activities notes that planners "pointed out . . . that in seven amphibious campaigns in the Pacific the casualty rate had run 7.45 per thousand per day; whereas, in the protracted land warfare in the European Theater of Operations it had only been 2.16 (per thousand per day)." ^65 Ongoing intelligence estimates, coupled with the 7.45/2.16 comparison, and a total of 64,391 soldiers and Marines killed and wounded to take an amount of land half the size of wartime Detroit--- the Islands of Okinawa and Iwo Jima^66--- were largely responsible for the increase
    .

    See:

    CASUALTY PROJECTIONS FOR THE U

     
  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Exactly....they are no more "innocent civillians" than the "innocent civillians" that designed and built the Atomic bombs. If one group is to be granted special dispensation then so must the other.

    The only difference is that while one group of civillians was working with rice paper and helium the other group was playing with uranium and aluminium.

    The juxtaposition of the civillian populations of Hiroshima/ Nagasaki and that of Nanking should not be over looked.

    Brad
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    There is one difference (BTW it was hydrogen, not helium) between the FuGo bombs and the atomics. Those balloon bombs only did manage to kill innocents. A minister's wife and five kids on a church picnic are certainly NOT in the same category as civilians working in cottage industry producing rifles, bayonets, and grenades.
     
  4. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I stand corrected
     
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  5. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Not a problem "formerjughead". Some even seem to want them to be "hot air" balloons somehow. Too weird to even think about a hot-air balloon using the jet-stream to fly to the west coast of America, but some posters still use "hot-air" instead of either gas.
     
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    We are here, fully aware of what is being written. We understand the differences of opinions and accept that they can be voiced within the standards and conditions stated by the owner of this forum.
     
  7. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Yeah, and all 200,000 Japanese civilians killed, were working in cottage industry producing rifles, bayonets, and grenades.

    You wana drop by a list that can prove the "occupational status" of those Japanes killed? ;)

    Jesus, birndirt I actually expect others from you than that kind of garb... response. It is totally not your style.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I never said that 200,000 were working in "cottage industry" producing war material, nor that those are the numbers from both atomic casualties. They aren't, neither the correct numbers, nor the correct "occupational status".

    Few of those in either of the atomic targets were truely 'non-combatants", since the two cities were war production cities first and foremost, and most of the "non-industry" persons had left by the time of the bomb. The population of Hiroshima had dropped from nearly 500,000 to less than 300,000. I do have a number somewhere in my files which show the number of "cottage" industy employment in Hiroshima, if you would like I'll find the stinker. Excluding school age children, the number of persons directly involved in "war production", or "military service" was over 85% of the population.
     
  9. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Thank you, Sir!
    Kruska
     
  10. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Yes, "handful of civilians". The Japanese Government in April, 1945, instituted the National Volunteer Defense measure, which essentially conscripted all males between the ages of 15 and 60, and all females between the ages of 17 and 45 into military service. These people were to receive military training and were under military discipline, thus they qualify under the Geneva Convention rules as military personnel. Moreover about two-thirds of all children under the age of 15, in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been evacuated to rural areas and were not in the cities mention when the attacks occurred. Thus, of the estimated 169,000 dead and injured at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, only a small percentage were civilians by definition, and even fewer were actually children under the age of 15.

    I can't guarantee not to insult you, as you seem to be insulted by any logical presentation of facts. As for my integrity, I'm not worried about your assessment of my integrity, LOL!
     
  11. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I believe the mods are reviewing this thread very carefully.

    BTW, I thought your "moral outrage" was preventing you from further participation in this thread??
     
  12. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    You're better than that DA. Stop the name calling and disparaging remarks, there is no place for it here. You should be able to make your point without malignant comments.

    Brad
     
  13. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Lighten up, Brad.

    Exactly what part of;

    "I believe the mods are reviewing this thread very carefully.

    BTW, I thought your "moral outrage" was preventing you from further participation in this thread??"

    do you findto be "name calling" or a disparaging remark??
     
  14. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Sorry if I disappointed you "Kruska", but when Japan recognized that a decisive battle on the mainland was likely, the First General Headquarters was placed in Tokyo and the Second General Headquarters established at Hiroshima.

    "In 1944, the U.S. forces occupied Saipan, the last strategic point of the Japanese army on the south Pacific front, and established an air base from which to attack the mainland of Japan. In November, full-scale air raids were begun, devastating the cities of Japan one after the other.

    "Under such conditions, Hiroshima City began the evacuation of students above the third grade of elementary school and of other citizens whose presence was not essential. With the threat of incendiary bombings, demolition of buildings to make fire lanes was carried out on a wide scale." 13,300 households had been dismantled by time of the bombing.

    "The city seemed to have led a charmed life. By rights it should have received two or more 500 B-29 raids which befell all other cities of military significance -- with army and navy facilities totally destroyed along with industry and housing . They did not know the city was being spared by design."

    "The air defense system of Hiroshima was supposed to be impregnable, suitable for a military base, and without parallel in other cities. The citizens were assiduous in intense anti-air raid drills. However, it was all useless in the face of the atomic bomb."

    The population of Hiroshima at the time was about 310,000 (down from about 500,000), plus 40,000 military and 20,000 daytime workers from the suburbs for at total of about 370,000 people. The entire Second Japanese Army was destroyed to a man plus others for a total of (approximately) 66,000 killed along with 4 sq. miles of buildings destroyed. (my emphasis)


    See:

    Hiroshima, Pacific War

    There is also the oft-repeated myth of 200,000 innocent people being killed. There were no innocent people in Hiroshima (and nowhere near that total of fatalities). The city was a beehive of war industry. Every home was involved in the manufacture of parts for planes, boats, shells, and rifles. (emphasis mine)

    Even bedridden and wheelchair patients were assembling booby traps to leave in the path of the American aggressors.

    Hiroshima was the linchpin in the defense of the western half of Japan. The 2nd General Army of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata, comprising over 50,000 troops, was stationed (in and) around the city. The Headquarters of the infamous Kempi Tai of over 900 officers was situated in Hiroshima Castle. In the huge complex of the shipyard they were constructing battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines and the small one-man Kaiten submarines.

    The Mitsubishi factory was making all types of tooling machinery. The Yoshikiwa Army Airfield contained a massive store of soldiers’ equipment, a large gun store, warehouses full of aircraft spares and the Army-to-Navy complex. In Hiroshima Harbour were hundreds of small boats and one-man submarines fitted with explosive warheads. These were to be used by suicide sailors to attack the ships of the expected invasion of Kyushu.

    The line-up for the defense of the Japanese homeland was massive ~ over 2,000,000 regular troops, 2,300,000 battle-hardened soldiers (were) being ferried over from China and 28,000,000 being trained. When President Truman asked General MacArthur how long it would take to overrun and defeat Japan the General replied, "If they use the same guerrilla tactics as on Iwo Jima and Okinawa it will take about ten years." President Truman was stunned. (emphasis mine)

    See:

    Bushido
     
  15. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    To me this is the important factor about the atomic bombs.

    It is without question the Japanese were looking for a way to end the war, but the Japanese rulers feared a loss of 'face' (honour) more than they did death, so they couldn't bring themselves to accept the Allies terms even though they knew they were defeated. The atomic bombs gave them the excuse they needed, they weren't defeated by the Allied forces as such, but by the power of the Sun.
     
  16. Anderan

    Anderan Member

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    I see an earlier argument over the firebombs that were floated to the US and the Atomic bombs dropped on Japan and I just have this to say, It matters not how many people were actually killed by either, its as they say, its the thought that counts. When the a-bomb was dropped it was not with the intention of killing mass ammounts of japanese, but from saving thousands of allied troops from the certain death that would have came with the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
     
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  17. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Devil...

    manytimes a day, I wish that people like you would be send to Afghanistan or simmilar war zones - so that they finally recognize what they are actually "threading" about.

    So that they get to see the real picture and especially the smell of civilians or civilians working in military production, soldiers, children, old people and others after being hit, mutilated, torn apart, or crippled by gun fire, a grenade or bomb, some still alive and trying to touch you.

    You want to check out on my PK number and rank?

    Kruska
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Trust me we are. Y'all continue discussing and we'll moderate as needed. So far, it's not reached the need for intervention on our part.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    My grandfather was part of the US occupation force in Japan in late 1945 through mid 1946. He had no doubt what so ever, after his interacton with the locals, that had he landed in Japan against a nation intent on defending it's territory, he would have faced huge numbers of 'civilians' of all ages prepared to fight to the death to prevent the taking of the Japanese islands by the US and Allied armies.

    He said that they were armed to the teeth with all manner of weapons and that they found warehouses of weapons. The Type 99 that I now own is one that he shipped home from one of these locations.
     
  20. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Let's get something straight Kruska. I don't give a damn about your military service; I've seen plenty of death in a war zone and experienced the fear, horror, and stench of the battlefield. I just prefer to keep it to myself and not flaunt it, as though it gives me some special privilege to be an ass or judge other people.

    In addition to that; my father fought in the war we are talking about. He was in that war from the day Pearl Harbor was attacked; he was actually there, until the day the Japanese officials stepped aboard the Missouri. He was in every carrier battle save one, and was ordered back to the war when everyone thought there was going to be one last gargantuan bloodletting. He was scared to death that his luck would run out, and that he would never see home again or have a chance to raise a family.

    When the atomic bomb was dropped and he realized he would go home and live a normal life again, he broke down and cried. If it weren't for this brave man who was ready to sacrifice everything for his country, I wouldn't be here today

    So I'm not particularly impressed by your high moral dudgeon over the use of the atomic bombs. I'm really not impressed by your willful disregard of the facts, as presented by Clint, myself, and others, surrounding the use of the atomic bombs on Japan. And I could care less what you think of me or my opinion. If you can't handle that, tough!
     
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