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What if: The US did not drop the bombs?


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#1 TheImPaLeR

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:17 AM

What if the US, even if the nuclear bombs were ready by early 1945 for Japan, opted not to drop it and instead used conventional warfare? From conventional bombing to eventually 4 main island invasions.
Implications on the casualty both on US, JIA soldiers and civilians and prolonging the war vs Japan? Would this have ended with the annihilation of the Japanese race?

Personally I think that in all irony, the bombs actually saved Japan from extinction. Convincing the Japanese government and military to unconditional surrender was the main goal of the US.

Hope this subject was not tackled earlier, otherwise please lock, thanks!
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#2 Otto

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:48 AM

I'm of the belief that the A-Bombs saved countless US and Japanese lives. Judging by the way Germany suffered in the final months of the war, I suspect that Japan would have suffered a similar, slow, grinding, and costly death. Not necessarily extinction, as we are talking about the Americans here, a nation with plenty of racial Japanese in her population. Now if an army like the nazis had conquered Japan, then the possibility of extinction increases dramatically.

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#3 USMC

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:00 PM

The Japanese people were preparing for an all out war to sacrifice themselves for the Emperor. Millions of Allied casualties and millions of Japanese people would be killed. The use of these weapons is quite unfortunate but it was for the common good for the Japanese race as a whole.

#4 Kruska

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:17 PM

Hello USMC,

this issue was indeed already discussed on this forum before.

The Japanese people were preparing for an all out war to sacrifice themselves for the Emper


Any proof for this? all Japanese were issued with knifes and .....
Part of the Japanese government was preparing for negotiations in their favour and highlighted a ritual suicide possibility for its citizens.

Millions of Allied casualties

IMHO, certainly not.

Millions of Japanese people would be killed

Yes surley, but not due to combat or invasion - but due to the already existing starvation due to food and medical shortage.

The use of these weapons is quite unfortunate

Yes indeed

But it was for the common good for the Japanese race as a whole.

Sounds extremly sarcastic to me, serves always as a very good reason to justify the usage of the bombs.

I believe that in the case of the US not making use of the A-bombs, Japan would have surrendered within 2-3 month due to the continued bombing of Japan and the above mentioned starvation and medical supply problem. So indeed far more Japanese would have died due to these above mentioned causes then those who were killed by the A-bombs.

But why waste time, and spend further billions on conventional warfare, plus risk the losses of allied lives, if 2-3 already paid for bombs might just do the job faster. These reason to me sound far more honest and acceptable for those days, than what some people/groups nowadays try to make out of it in regards to having saved millons of Japanese from starvation.

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Kruska

Edited by Kruska, 07 January 2010 - 10:24 PM.

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#5 Devilsadvocate

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:23 PM

The Japanese people were preparing for an all out war to sacrifice themselves for the Emperor. Millions of Allied casualties and millions of Japanese people would be killed. The use of these weapons is quite unfortunate but it was for the common good for the Japanese race as a whole.


I agree.

At least 6 million Japanese civilians would have died of starvation alone because of the failure of the Fall, 1945, rice crop. That would be on top of the millions of Japanese and US casualties from the invasion. In early 1946, the US prevented a famine in Japan by shipping 800,000 tons of emergency food to Japan. That certainly wouldn't have happened if the atomic bombs had not been dropped. In the absence of the atomic bombs, the war might have gone on for as long as one to two more years.

The interesting thing is, that Operation Downfall (the overall code name for a ground invasion of the Japanese Home Islands) envisioned dropping as many as nine tactical atomic bombs on Japan to aid the invading troops. Thus, Japan might have not only faced major ground battles, but also the destruction wrought by four times as many atomic bombs as were used historically.

#6 USMC

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:57 PM

I agree.

At least 6 million Japanese civilians would have died of starvation alone because of the failure of the Fall, 1945, rice crop. That would be on top of the millions of Japanese and US casualties from the invasion. In early 1946, the US prevented a famine in Japan by shipping 800,000 tons of emergency food to Japan. That certainly wouldn't have happened if the atomic bombs had not been dropped. In the absence of the atomic bombs, the war might have gone on for as long as one to two more years.

The interesting thing is, that Operation Downfall (the overall code name for a ground invasion of the Japanese Home Islands) envisioned dropping as many as nine tactical atomic bombs on Japan to aid the invading troops. Thus, Japan might have not only faced major ground battles, but also the destruction wrought by four times as many atomic bombs as were used historically.


Operation Downfall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The war would have been extended greatly if the atomic bombs were not used.

#7 Otto

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:23 PM

A little tangent, but relevant to the topic. I believe it would have been unethical not to use them.

Not only would the use of them directly save Allied lives, which is a primary concern for the Allied leadership. It would save Japanese lives from starvation or as a direct result of the fighting. On top of this, the US atomic program ate up literally billions of dollars that otherwise could have been spent on a heck of a lot of conventional weapons. Armaments that could have saved countless US lives if used during the war that were never made. It would be very difficult to justify the non-use of a weapon that could end a costly 6 year world war.

The only debate (if any) is whether the 2nd bomb was needed. The bombs were dropped fairly close together, and there is some discrepancy about the Japanese attempting to negotiate surrender while the 2nd bomb was sent.

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#8 brndirt1

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:45 PM

What if the US, even if the nuclear bombs were ready by early 1945 for Japan, opted not to drop it and instead used conventional warfare? From conventional bombing to eventually 4 main island invasions.
Implications on the casualty both on US, JIA soldiers and civilians and prolonging the war vs Japan? Would this have ended with the annihilation of the Japanese race?

Personally I think that in all irony, the bombs actually saved Japan from extinction. Convincing the Japanese government and military to unconditional surrender was the main goal of the US.

Hope this subject was not tackled earlier, otherwise please lock, thanks!


It has been addressed as a topic, but it never hurts to point out that it might have come to that, the complete eradication of the Japanese people as a racial entity. "Bull" Halsey might have gotten his wish (paraphrasing) when he steamed into Pearl Harbor post Dec. 7th attack; "When we are done with them, Japanese will only be spoken in hell!" It wasn't just that the atomics killed so many, nor that it was "one bomb, one city". Their psycological/religious value as a weapon, especially against the Japanese cannot be ignored.

Starving is an especially horrible way to die, but that would take much more time to bring the slightly built Japanese to their knees. They could grow rice, turnips, cabbage, mullet, and Koi in the home islands as well as fish the near shore with throw nets, and while the fare would be slim and their calories limited, they could survive for quite some time (at a reduced population number) even with fire-bombings. America was tiring of war, and with the threat of Hitlerism now non-existent, the Japanese seemed to be the lesser of the two evils. How to bring them to the surrender table as quickly as possible is the question. In the case of the firestorms, WOW what a scary thing that would be. Not a blinding second between life and death (in the atomic blast area). But, hours and/or days of bombing to finally build up a self-sustaining fire with hurricane force winds sucking people, debris, and animals into the center of the fire. More civilians died as the direct and infection rates of the firestorms than both atomics and the radiation effects combined.

Can you imagine being caught out on the street when the 150 mph wind started dragging you down the street while bricks "popped", asphalt boiled, and lamp-posts softened and bent in toward the "heart of the blaze"? How terrible would those moments be psychologically? Or how about doing the intelligent thing and getting into a shelter below ground level ? As the roar of the wind moving down the channels of the streets increased, the oxygen in your shelter would be "sucked out" to feed the fire, there you would be suffocated. Or as many Japanese did, jump into a canal to escape the fire, and there be boiled alive. Must have taken much time for all of those nasty things to happen.

The firestorm created in Toyama just a few days before the Hiroshima bombing devoured about 98 percent of the city, neither Hiroshima or Nagasaki suffered that extent of loss. The very "effectiveness" of the Toyama firestorm may have unwittingly made the second atomic on Nagasaki necessary. With the huge devastation at Toyama, and similar (but lesser) destruction at Hiroshima those in command wondered if it really was a "new" weapon, or just an improvement on the creation of firestorms which the Americans were getting better and better at. They never sent scientists to either Hiroshima or Nagasaki to measure radiation levels until after Aug. 10th.

Fire, no matter how destructive, is a natural occurrence, and can be combated. Harnessing a "force of nature", especially the "power of the universe" (incorrect, but used by Truman in his speech), against an "Empire of the Sun", ruled by a "Son of the Sun" was emotionally, politically, and militarily too much to deny as the "beginning of the end". In the minds of many religious Japanese we had captured their goddess and used her power against them. The Japanese religion, Shinto, teaches that the emperor is the descendant of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. As such in 1945 he was a living god and could, according to the Shinto religion control nature such as the power of the sun. Shintoism further teaches that the emperor has a duty to bring all the peoples of the world under the rule of Amaterasu a sun goddess whose power is the power of the sun itself.

This bomb, using the "basic power of the universe" made Hirohito, as her son, a "fake" and thus showed him and the others in the war cabinet to be without the divine mandate of the goddess. That the hated enemy now had her mandate was more than sun just a shock to the average Japanese; it in affect destroyed their world view and their very view of themselves as Japanese.

The Japanese would have fought the allies until they were all dead or we had gone back to the US and given up, for fighting men is easy. But how does one fight a goddess? Japan and her people, still deeply religious, believed in the goddess's mandate from heaven, they had no choice but to surrender. The Japanese knew better than to fight with nature, and this was clearly a force of nature. They could fight people who invaded, fires, bullets, and the impact of conventional bombing. They could not and never did fight nature, not tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, or volcanic eruptions. Soviet entry in to the war between the two atomic explosions, helped make the decision more urgent; but 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". T

The bombs psychological value as a weapon out weighted their destructive and killing power. With the power of their oldest goddess, the creator of Japan and spiritual mother of their emperor now in Allied hands, I wonder if they felt that they had no choice but to surrender. Japan's view of itself now came to be in question.

And if the atomics had not been used, or had been duds, don’t forget that "The Divine Wind" of Typhoon Louise did hit Okinawa in October of 1945; this was the anticipated staging area for the launching of the "Olympic" portion of "Operation Downfall". There were slated to be nearly 4,000 army, navy, and marine aircraft that would be packed into the small island of Okinawa for "Olympic" alone, not counting the thousands of ships, large and small which would have been crowded in "Buckner Bay" or around the tiny island.

Here is a link much better than "wiki" concerning Operation Downfall:

Transcript of "OPERATION DOWNFALL [US invasion of Japan]:* US PLANS AND JAPANESE COUNTER-MEASURES" by D. M. Giangreco, US Army Command and General Staff College

Typhoon "Louise" was an abnormality, a fluke, one in a million. Navy meteorologists predicted that the out of season storm would (after they recognized its existence), sweep northward, pass between Okinawa and Formosa, and die out in the East China sea. That is NOT what occurred.

The most devastating storm ever encountered by the US Navy began on the evening of October eighth, when the storm changed direction and abruptly veered to the east. Now there was insufficient warning to allow the ships remaining in the harbor to get under way in order to escape the typhoon. By mid-morning of the ninth, torrential rains lashed by 80 mph winds, and rising 50 foot waves caused the 150,000 men remaining on the island to seek shelter and "hunker down" in the caves/trenches only recently abandoned by the enemy. By early afternoon their "tent city" was blown away, as were the most of the food supplies by the now 100 mph winds. By late afternoon the winds topped out at 150 mph, and waves were at 60 feet in the bay. The storm raged over the island for nearly twenty hours, and then slowly headed out to sea. Then as if it were a late, but still avenging "divine wind", it doubled back, and two days later howled in from the ocean to hit the island again. This last landfall seemed to deflate "Louise", and she quietly died off a day later in the Sea of Japan and the bodies began to wash ashore. This was the most potent typhoon recorded in Okinawa up to that time, a larger one struck years later, but up to then "Louise" was the record-holder.

The toll on even the relatively small group of ships remaining after "Downfall" had been canceled was still staggering. Almost 270 ships were sunk, grounded or damaged beyond repair. Fifty-three of the ships in too bad a state to be restored to duty were duly decommissioned, stripped and abandoned on site. Out of 90 ships which needed major repair the Navy decided only 10 were even worthy of salvage, and so the remaining 80 were simply scuttled or scrapped. General Joseph (Vinegar Joe) Stillwell, the 10th Army Commander, asked for immediate plans to evacuate all hospital cases from the island by air. All the aircraft had been destroyed, all power was gone, communications and supplies were nonexistent. The harbor facilities were useless.

Partially extracted from:

Typhoons and Hurricanes: Pacific typhoon, October 1945

Just imagine how many men would have died in the staging area if it was full rather than being only a token "handful" of 150,000 who were still there. Casualties were low considering the extreme violence of the storm. This was very probably due to the active and well directed efforts of all hands in assisting one another, particularly in evacuation of grounded and sinking ships. By mid-October, reports had been sifted and it was found that there were 36 dead and 47 missing, with approximately 100 receiving fairly serious injuries. That surely might not have been the result if the personnel numbers had been as large as proposed for the invasion. My uncle Robert, machinist mate first class, was one of those listed as missing, his body was never recovered.

The Japanese military and many of its common people fervently believed that the American conventional bombers could be fought, and the invaders would be repelled. They all seemed to share a mystical faith that their country could never be invaded successfully and that they, again, would be saved by the "divine wind". It looks to me like they nearly were. I wonder just how tenaciously they would have fought if "Louise" had devastated our invasion force if the "atomics" were not used, or if the "atomics" had been duds, or not had the effect of forcing the surrender of the Japanese, and Typhoon Louise had devastated the staging area of Okinawa, I also wonder how far the Soviets would have advanced down the main islands in these instances.

I wonder if America and the western allies could have even begun to prepare to launch another invasion for quite a bit of time! BTW, there was another typhoon which hit a "landing area", the following spring and in the exact area where the second portion of "Downfall" (Coronet) was slated to land at that time. The plains around Tokyo were so soaked that any vehicular transport would have been next to impossible, as it was historically.

The atomics probably saved more than just lives, Soviet domination of both a North Korea and a North Japan, in the Far East springs to mind. Now there would have been an East and West Germany, a North and South Japan as well as North and South Korea. How many more Japanese would have been victims of Stalin and his successor's "gentle treatment"?
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#9 USMC

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 12:58 AM

A little tangent, but relevant to the topic. I believe it would have been unethical not to use them.

Not only would the use of them directly save Allied lives, which is a primary concern for the Allied leadership. It would save Japanese lives from starvation or as a direct result of the fighting. On top of this, the US atomic program ate up literally billions of dollars that otherwise could have been spent on a heck of a lot of conventional weapons. Armaments that could have saved countless US lives if used during the war that were never made. It would be very difficult to justify the non-use of a weapon that could end a costly 6 year world war.

The only debate (if any) is whether the 2nd bomb was needed. The bombs were dropped fairly close together, and there is some discrepancy about the Japanese attempting to negotiate surrender while the 2nd bomb was sent.


Yes. It was an attempt to save lives.

#10 FhnuZoag

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:26 AM

This is an old debate, but the crux of the matter is: is it concievable that the Japanese would have surrendered anyway, without the bombs and without an invasion?

Personally, I think it was quite possible, actually. The Soviets sweeping into their occupied territories was a big deal. At the very least it would have been fairly simple to just bottle up the Japanese and neutralise their ability to do any damage. You might not have gotten a full and unconditional surrender out of it, more a negotiated cessation of hostilities, and the war would have dragged on for longer - but not particularly bloodily.

Beseige Japan. Then when they start starving, start dropping food parcels labelled with american flags. They can sit on their beaches with bamboo spears waving their fists for a few months, try to order their citizens to burn US food aid instead of consuming them, but it's not going to be long before they start feeling awfully stupid.

Really I just question the notion that without bombing, an invasion is the only option.

#11 Devilsadvocate

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:40 AM

This is an old debate, but the crux of the matter is: is it concievable that the Japanese would have surrendered anyway, without the bombs and without an invasion?

Personally, I think it was quite possible, actually. The Soviets sweeping into their occupied territories was a big deal.


Yes, it was, but not in the way you think. The Japanese were willing to put Manchuria on the table as a bargaining chip, if it would get the Soviets to assist them in negotiating a peace deal with the US. So losing Manchuria to a Soviet invasion, while disappointing, was not such a set back to the Japanese, and certainly not enough to make them surrender.

At the very least it would have been fairly simple to just bottle up the Japanese and neutralise their ability to do any damage. You might not have gotten a full and unconditional surrender out of it, more a negotiated cessation of hostilities, and the war would have dragged on for longer - but not particularly bloodily.


I don't see how this could have been accomplished. The Japanese not only occupied their Home Islands, but still held huge areas of China, Indochina, The NEI, and Singapore/Malaya. To try to "neutralize" Japan's "ability to do any damage" would require that something be done about these areas; the natives in these areas were continuing to starve to death and be murdered on a daily basis. Allied servicemen would continue to die and be injured, as well. Simply sitting on our butts and waiting for the Japanese to decide they had been beaten was NOT a viable option.

Moreover, getting an unconditional surrender from Japan was an important part of our war objectives, because it was necessary to purge Japanese society of the militarists who controlled it. The Allies did not want a repetition of the "stab in the back" mentality that arose in Germany after WW I.

Beseige Japan. Then when they start starving, start dropping food parcels labelled with american flags. They can sit on their beaches with bamboo spears waving their fists for a few months, try to order their citizens to burn US food aid instead of consuming them, but it's not going to be long before they start feeling awfully stupid.


That would only hurt the Japanese civilians. Japan was already besieged and was already experiencing substantial starvation, but the Japanese military continued to be well fed. The Japanese military should have felt stupid just continuing to resist, but they didn't, and there was no telling how long they would remain that way. Again, just sitting on our butts was not a viable option.

Really I just question the notion that without bombing, an invasion is the only option.


It wasn't the only option; basically there were four main options, blockade, bombardment, and invasion, the fourth being to try a combination of all three. Yet no one could predict which would work best, or which would be the quickest, and in any event, each option had the drawback that it was certain to cause more casualties on one or both sides than the use of the atomic bombs was likely to cause.

Anyway you look at it, the use of the atomic bombs was a gamble, but was the option which appeared to offer the best possible combination of results. From Truman's perspective it would have been, as one poster put it, unethical not to use the atomic bombs. I would go even further and state that, in my opinion, it would have been a crime against humanity not to use the atomic bombs against Japan.

#12 Kruska

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

This officially sanctioned fairy tale that the war would not have ended unless the bomb was dropped exists in spite of the fact that, as even the chief historian of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had to acknowledge in 1990,

the consensus among scholars is that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan and to end the war within a relatively short time. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it.

Formerly classified documents and the personal diaries of key players have been made available to the public in the decades since the war. Anyone familiar with those documents would conclude that the bomb was unnecessary--except for characters such as Will and the now-fallen Newt Gingrich. They have a stake in keeping the lie alive that the Second World War was the "good war," that the U.S. was pure in its desire to get rid of fascism and usher in an era of global peace and prosperity, and that it was purely a victim of Japanese aggression. However, even as events unfolded in 1945, many of Truman's closest advisers and high-ranking military officials thought that Japan was already defeated and that they would soon surrender on terms that would be agreeable to the Allies.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and later president of the U.S., was informed by Stimson that the U.S. was going to drop the atomic bomb on Japan,

I voiced my misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of "face.

Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Truman, told his biographer Jonathan Daniels that after Truman assured him that the bomb would be used against a military target and only because it would save American lives, "they went ahead and killed as many women and children as they could which was just what they wanted all the time. In his autobiography, Leahy states,

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

Even 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.
The list of people close to Truman who felt that Japanese surrender was possible without the bomb or an invasion is staggering: Joseph Grew, Under Secretary of State; John McCloy, Assistant to the Secretary of War; Ralph Bard, Under Secretary of the Navy; and Lewis Strauss, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, to name a few more. Shortly after the war ended, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that

certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945 [the date U.S. forces were to invade Japan--ed.], Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

But even if there had been an invasion of Japan, the claims advanced by Truman, Churchill, and others that the invasion would have resulted in the deaths of 250,000 to a million American soldiers were invented after the fact. U.S. military planners' estimates of the number of deaths that would result from an invasion varied between 20,000 and 63,000

While it is clear from the record that Japan was already defeated and "the atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all," as Major General Curtis E. LeMay bluntly asserted in September 1945, the reason for the slaughter of nearly 300,000 civilians and the destruction of two cities makes no sense unless the larger picture is considered. If the U.S. had merely wanted to play with its new deadly toys, it could have taken the advice of many scientists and advisers who were proposing a demonstration in an unpopulated area with representatives from various countries present. The fact is that the administration was thinking beyond the war to the time in which the victorious Allies would redraw the world map. The main contenders for dominance in the postwar period were the U.S. and Russia.

The bomb held an increasingly important place in the administration's approach to both the war in Japan and its relationship with Russia throughout 1945. The Target Committee had been set up in April 1945 to consider where to use the new weapons--months before the first test took place at Alamogordo and in spite of increasing evidence that Japan wanted to negotiate its surrender. Also, though both Churchill and Stalin were pushing for a meeting to take place with Truman in June, he deliberately postponed any such meeting until July 15 (the Potsdam conference)--so that it would occur after the bomb had been tested and Truman could better decide how to use it in his diplomatic discussions with the other Allies. On the ship on the way to Potsdam, Truman said of the upcoming test at Alamogordo, "If it explodes, as I think it will, I'll certainly have a hammer on those boys. It is clear that he was referring to U.S. ally Russia and not to Japan.
In mid-May, Stimson had a long conversation with McCloy about how to "deal with Russia," which suggested an incentive to explode the bomb. Stimson said it was a time to

let our actions speak for words. The Russians will understand them better than anything else. It is a case where we have got to regain the lead and perhaps do it in a pretty rough and realistic way.... I told [McCloy] this was a place where we really held ›ll the cards. I called it a royal straight flush and we mustn't be a fool about the way we play it. They can't get along without our help and industries and we have coming into action a weapon which will be unique.... [L]et our actions speak for themselves.


Regards
Kruska

Edited by Kruska, 08 January 2010 - 10:38 AM.

Imagine there is a WAR!!! - and your TV doesn't work

#13 lwd

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:33 PM

What if the US, even if the nuclear bombs were ready by early 1945 for Japan, opted not to drop it and instead used conventional warfare? From conventional bombing to eventually 4 main island invasions. ....

What happens if the bombs are not dropped is somewhat problematic.
Japan might have surrendered but certainly not in August and perhaps not in 45. There is a very good chance Olympic would have been postponed and extensivly revised. US intel in August was becomeing pretty well convinced that the Japanese had a pretty good idea where we were going to land and were waiting for us. If Olympic is postponed then its spring before the weather is likely to be good for an invasion. There is a pretty good chance the Japanese surrender by then although the possiblity exists that they don't. If the US does go ahead with Olympic the casualties on both sides are going to be horrific. This is actually perhaps the best situtation the Japanese will get for their suicide weapons and they planned on targeting the transports so it will be very bloody for the US. Things might get bad enough that atomic weapons are used tacticallly and/or poison gas.
Pretty much all the reasonable alternatives produce more casualties on both sides.

#14 USMC

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:48 PM

Good point. The Japanese may have surrendered thru continual bombing raids. But I think this would take quite some time.

#15 Sloniksp

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:04 PM

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (Japanese historian) claims that "the atomic bombings were not the principle reason for Japans capitulation"

According to him and others, Japan would not have been able to hold out and surrender was inevitable.

I believe that the bombs shortened the war (not by much) and no doubt saved lives. However, (IMO) what is commonly overlooked is the unique opportunity to show the world (in particularly a former ally) of a new kind of weapon.... Such a demonstration simply could not be overlooked and came conveniently at the right time.

Edited by Sloniksp, 08 January 2010 - 05:26 PM.

The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#16 USMC

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

Very good point. If the US did not deploy the atomic weapons the Soviets probably would not have found out about it.

#17 Sloniksp

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:28 PM

Very good point. If the US did not deploy the atomic weapons the Soviets probably would not have found out about it.


Oh the sneaky Russians knew.... ;)
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#18 Devilsadvocate

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:43 PM

Very good point. If the US did not deploy the atomic weapons the Soviets probably would not have found out about it.


The Soviets already knew about the atomic bombs before they were dropped. They had spies embedded in the Manhattan project and knew almost as much as Truman knew about it. In fact they were then trying to develop their own atomic bombs.

It was a side benefit, or so Truman's advisers thought, that the power of the bomb would be communicated to the Soviets. But that wasn't the primary reason for the use of the atomic bombs; the rapid and decisive end of the war with as few casualties as possible was the main reason to use the bombs.

All of the post war statements buy former US leaders and advisers were designed to cover their own butts or to further their own agenda. MacArthur, for example, wanted to lead the greatest amphibious invasion in history and was disappointed that the atom bomb prevented that. Virtually none of Truman's advisers counseled him NOT to drop the bombs before the fact. Richard Frank in his book, "Downfall" confirms that fact.

As for, the Japanese author who claims the atom bombs did not cause the capitulation of the Japanese, overwhelming documentary and circumstantial evidence argues otherwise. The man who made the ultimate Japanese decision to surrender also says otherwise; according to Frank, Emperor Hirohito states, it was the atomic bombs which most strongly influenced his decision, and Herbert Bix in "Hirohito and The Making of Modern Japan" confirms this.

#19 lwd

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:16 PM

...I believe that the bombs shortened the war (not by much) ....

What do you consider "mot by much"? Certainly they wouldn't have surrendered in August. I'm far from an expert on this but haven't seen anything to indicate that the peace party was strong enough to force a surrender even in September. By October things might be getting desperate enough but personally I wouldn't have put any money on it being in 45.

#20 USMC

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:28 PM

Yes I agree with you lwd. The time to mobilize and prepare for the invasion of the home islands itself would take months. The war may have gone on for another year. Who knows..

#21 ickysdad

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:29 PM

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.

#22 Kruska

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:41 PM

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
Imagine there is a WAR!!! - and your TV doesn't work

#23 Sloniksp

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:57 PM

What do you consider "mot by much"? Certainly they wouldn't have surrendered in August. I'm far from an expert on this but haven't seen anything to indicate that the peace party was strong enough to force a surrender even in September. By October things might be getting desperate enough but personally I wouldn't have put any money on it being in 45.


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.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#24 ickysdad

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:08 PM

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.


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.

#25 Kruska

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:18 PM

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
Imagine there is a WAR!!! - and your TV doesn't work




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