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WMD...was it so necessary?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Brandon Lee, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    An insult is a personal attack. I've been following the accepted internet protocol of playing the post not the poster. If your post don't make sense or appear devoid of fact or logic saying so is perfectly acceptable. If you want to consider it an insult that's your problem. If you want to appear to be a rational adult add some fact and logic and prove your point but quit whining.

    If the bomb was going to be dropped on Germany then how can you claim it was racist to drop in on Japan? Especially when there were some who protested dropping it on Japan because they weren't the original target. The facts do not support your conclusion. The involvement of the US in WWII was to a large extent humanitarian especially events leading up to war in the Pacific now there were also political, economic, and even religious factors but the humanitarian aspects simply can't be denied by anyone who has really studied the issue. Similarly humanitarian issues have played a part in most US wars, maybe not the most important part but usually a significant one. You can go back to the Revolution or up through the invasion of Iraq and point to them.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Heads Up Folks!

    We allow more latitude for passion in the Stump than we do in the main forum. The finger pointing stops now and if we can not get back to debating the topic of the thread rather than the manners of one another it may be time to put this thread to bed.
     
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  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I second this assertion. Shape up or ship out, boys.
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Oh I see how it is. Wait around for FOUR pages, waiting on the train to wreck, a head on collision, and then find out the trains got pulled off at a siding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUc3wd4It8g
     
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  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think I've made it clear I'm not keen on 'What Ifs', but they do have their place.

    If not the bomb/s? Then what?

    Negotiated surrender?
    Not. A. Chance.
    Either from the belligerent nation (Japan), or the attacked (Allied forces). There is no political structure within Japan that could outplay the militarists, or enforce a negotiated peace upon them. Nothing. Sod all. There is also no precedent for offering conventional peace to a nation that had behaved as Japan had. Not just governmental, but also civilian populations would not accept any of the terms required to achieve anything less than total surrender. If Japan had exhibited a moment of trustworthiness or restraint in her prosecution of the war there might be scope to offer terms, but she had not, and deserved nothing in return.

    So conventional assault it is.
    Horrendous projections of allied casualties.
    Likely equally horrendous losses to the Japanese civil population in land warfare and aerial assault of cities made from wood and paper under the command of aforementioned C17th militarists who would refuse tactical surrenders across the board. Conventional fighting on the Japanese homeland would be an unimaginable bloodbath for all concerned. Even in the worst excesses of the other Eastern Front there was always at least a chance of surrender halting the slaughter. Not in Japan.

    So, a 'technological' solution was found.
    It worked.
    It left enough of Japan still standing to be occupied and eventually returned to life as a highly successful postwar nation, integrated with the rest of the world.
    It broke the lethal militarist cult for at least 50 years.
    It saved the lives of tens of thousands of starved, beaten & tortured prisoners.
    It saved the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of others, both allied and Japanese, that would certainly have fallen in conventional war.

    Objections to that solution on 'moral' grounds just do not make sense to me.
    Fifty million plus died over six years of war.
    That mass slaughter, of a kind remarkable in the entire span of human history, drew to a close with two massive bangs and a few thousand more dead.
    The only really important thing from a contemporary viewpoint was that it ended, and despite the shock power of nuclear devices to kill in one strike, those numbers pale beside conventional warfare's effects over time & geography.

    Well done to those that did it for having the fortitude to deploy such an alarming weapon, which essentially ceased the horrendous meatgrinder and allowed the next stage of geo-politics to be set.
    There would be more war, more slaughter and more horror, but the greatest worldwide cataclysm so far was directly underlined and stopped, in a manner that was clean, and in no way as horrendous as a conventional solution would have been.



    What would the nay-sayers 'what if' solution to Japanese Militarism drawing out the killing to the last man be? Every suggestion I have ever read holds no water, or melts away in the established factual history of the times, and strategic projections for assaults on the Japanese mainland.
     
  6. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Well said
     
  7. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    A complete consensus on this will never be accomplished. There are several camps ranging from those who think US policy doesn't do anything wrong to those who think US policy if most often wrong.

    Historians will pull their opinions from many documents and well support their claim.

    The truth, like most of history is somewhere in between. Where that lies will never be decided.

    My dad didn't have to be a part of the coming invasion. My uncle who was stateside training artillery went on to be a Colonel in the invasion of Inchon (Armored Calvary) and was near the Chinese border and led his men back south.

    No one knows how things would have turned out.

    We do know that the use of nuclear weapons is terrible and we all hope they will never be used again.

    We can agree to disagree on "what if's". That makes no one a lesser historian or a "lesser" American.
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I think Truman did err in one respect. It is my understanding that during the deliberations about the Potsdam Declaration the topic of retention of the Emperor, or at least a assurance that he would not be harmed/arrested was raised. A formal and clear statement to this effect was rejected.

    This was always the first objection by the Militarists as to why Japan could not surrender. To be honest I suspect that this was in part a smokescreen by them to retain their power/control over the fate of Japan. I am sure they honestly did worry about his fate, but there is a long tradition of such men doing 'what's best for the Emperor' whether its what he wants or what is best for the country.

    The harder line was taken I believe due to the up to that point intransigence shown by Japan to being reasonable, A president relying too heavily upon his adviser's due to his own personal doubts and a concern that is any appearance of walking back from the Unconditional surrender would only embolden the hardliners to expect/demand more.

    I can't say that a formal assurance of this nature prior to the First bomb would itself be enough. It might have made a difference prior to a second use. In any event it would have done much to reduce at least some of the post war speculation that the only reasons for their use was cynical.

    Truman, and his adviser's, were all too human and like all of us we tend to do the right thing to the best of our ability, but that sometimes means making the best choice out of a bad lot, knowing that no matter what you do there will be something bad generated by that choice. I feel safe in saying that no one on this forum has ever had the responsibility deciding if thousands of people will perish in one way or another, and then having to live with the choice they made.
     
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  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    While I disagree with much of what ilhawk has said he is free to disagree with me (isn't real debate wonderful?) This statement rings true, however. There is much debate about the "rightness" or "wrongness" of using the bomb to end the war with Japan. Historians on both sides will marshal facts to support their claim. Neither side will ever agree with the other, and we lesser historians will likewise never agree. For further proof, see the many threads on the use of the bomb. Reasonable people can disagree without resorting to personal attacks.
     
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  10. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    Interesting read. Read into what you want, it's still interesting.

    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb538-Cold-War-Nuclear-Target-List-Declassified-First-Ever/documents/section1.pdf

    That comes from this archive site: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb538-Cold-War-Nuclear-Target-List-Declassified-First-Ever/

    I've been on two of the Ukrainian bases (Poltava and Myrgorod). Lot's of friends in Poltava (former Soviet Colonel) and a few in Myrgorod.

    Visiting the military grave yard in Myrgorod was interesting as they had crews of Backfire bomber crashes buried together.

    No real opinion on the report. Find it interesting. It mentions population targets with no explanation other than "Secondary to air operations or something like that". Open for conjecture just like our Japan nuke arguments. The whole report is not provided, but a partial list of cities is on an interactive map. Right below the map is the list of cities and category code. Some of the "categories" seem kind of lame. Then again total nuclear war is pretty intense and inclusive.
     

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