Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Did Japan surrender because of Bomb or Russians?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by DangerousBob, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. DangerousBob

    DangerousBob New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    11
    Was reading about some people who are of the opinion that the Japanese did not surrendered because of the Bomb but because the Russians declared war and invaded them.

    The Russians declared war on Japan the same day the Bomb was dropped on Nagasaki (August 9th). Japan surrendered not long after, so take your pick at what was the cause of their surrender - I want to hear it!


    IMO
    Personally I think its a combination of events but mainly lean more towards the Bomb. Even after reading more about their views with Russia. Simply because today, they (Japanese) seem to put more focus on the Bomb in their media and arts as their undoing.
     
  2. DocL

    DocL Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    12
    The Russians were being opportunists-- they knew the war was ending, and they wanted to get in on the peace treaties, etc. They did not pose a military threat to Japan at that time. I believe it was the bombs which did it.
     
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    London UK
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    My impression is the bomb was by far the most significant but certainly the Soviet invasion didn't help matters. Others think just the opposite. I don't find much to support that position but then they would likely say the same about mine.
     
  5. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    409
    The Imperial Rescript on Termination of the War specifically mentions the 'bomb' and never mentions the Soviets...

    [SIZE=medium]“…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives.”[/SIZE]
     
  6. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    To answer your question, the bomb, as indicated by Son-of-a Gun's termination quote above. I always find the above line interesting and amusing as well "the situation has developed not in Japan's advantage and the trends of the world are not in her interest."
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    That must certainly be in the running for understatment of the millenium.
     
  8. Earthican

    Earthican Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    157
    I found the views in this article, based on a book, to be substantial.
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/08/07/why_did_japan_surrender/


     
    Triple C likes this.
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yet the fact that a single bomb dropped by a single aircraft could produce such devestation was significant. I've also read that the Japanese sceintist were familiar enough with US capabiities to suggest that the US simply didn't have enough enriched Uranium to produce another bomb any time soon. The second bomb meant that there were potentially many more available or soon to be available. I think the first bomb gave impetous to the "peace" party as to a lesser extent the Soviet actions did but it was the 2nd bomb that convinced Hirohito to take action personally and that action brought about the surrender.
     
  10. DangerousBob

    DangerousBob New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    11
    That is how I have always looked at it. It is also heavily influenced in their media and culture today.
    You don't see many Japanese films or books about the Soviets invading Manchuria. But you do see countless films and novels about the devastation of the two Blasts. Regardless of why they surrendered then. Today it seems they blame the drops. I guess it really depends on who you talk to.
     
  11. mconrad

    mconrad New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    4
    Indeed the bomb is specifically mentioned in the public surrender announcement, but the Soviet declaration of war is also referred to under the "trends of the world all turned against her" phrase. Of course the bombs and the Soviet invasion both contributed to the Japanese surrender, but I tend to give the Soviet threat the somewhat greater weight.

    A communist occupation was something the imperial entity would not survive, so I think the Japanese realized that the time to surrender was now, before Soviet troops landed. If the only threat was the Americans, I think the Japanese would have easily stalled for weeks.

    The reason the bomb got top billing in 1945 and ever afterward is to save face. Supposedly, Japan was defeated by an unfair and cruel weapon, something that was even more immoral that whatever the empire may have done during the war. That's the story and they're sticking to it.

    In an interesting counterpoint, it is also important to Americans to credit the bomb with being the number one reason for the surrender. That would 1) give sole credit to the USA and none to the communist USSR, and 2) squash any objection that maybe the bomb was perhaps a tad immoral.
     
  12. scipio

    scipio Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    122
    Bix more or less agrees with Hasegawa.

    At the conclusion of the Okinawa defeat in June, the debate in the ruling establishment of Japan, that is to say the formal government of Suzuki, Navy, Army and the Court Party (which was of course Hirohito) was not about Surrender but how to achieve a satisfactory surrender.

    Hopes had vanished of winning, but there was a chance of using the coming split between the Soviets and the Anglo/Americans to achieve an honourable peace. It had been a disappointment to the Court that the Neutrality Pact between the USSR and Japan had not been renewed in April 1945 as Japan had wished. However, the Japanese and the Emperor in particular was trying right up to the last minute to involve the Soviets, attempting to send Prince Konoe to negotiate with Stalin (the Japanese were willing to offer the remainder of Sakalin and the Kuriles as downpayment) to mediate a softening of the "unconditional surrender terms demanded at Potsdam and earlier at Cairo by the Americans.

    The first Bomb was basically ignored but the launching of the Soviet Attack the following day was momentus - now there was no possibility of splitting the Allies and was absolutely nothing on offer but Unconditional Surrender (unfortunately Byrnes and Truman left a chink in this apparently clear statement of intent).

    The second Bomb gave the Japanese (it took a slight of hand by the Foreign Minister, Togo, to persuade the Emperor) to agree to accept Potsdam Terms (but slightly modified). The split was that the Hardliners wanted to continue the struggle in the hope of extracting extra conditions from the Allies such as War Crimes to be investigated and tried in Japan by Japanese Courts.

    Navy Head, Yonai called the Bomb a "Blessing sent from Heaven" - they now had all the excuses needed to agree the Surrender which could be likened to a Natural Disaster; not a Tsunami but an Evil Atomic Explosion visited on a victimised Japanese Population. So Japan was not defeated - the Americans simply possessed superior technology.

    As far as the Japanese people are concerned (according to Bix), the Emperor and the Head of Court, Kido, were paranoically concerned the Japanese people would react against their leaders if the War continued much longer.

    Sorry just seem mcconrads contribution whilst editing - apologies for any duplication.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    But to what point? With the dropping of the second bomb it became clear that the US didn't have to invade to destroy Japan. Once that's clear then the question becomes what can you gain by holding out. In this case clearly not much. A Soviet occupation would be bad but it's not clear that it was in the offing. The Soviets takeing Manchuria did make it clear that they weren't going to be able to keep it. So that may have hastened things a bit.

    Or not. Even if it was to save face that was what was needed in part to end the war was it not?

    Given that at that point there was no Soviet Western alliance vs Japan that simply doesn't make sence to me.

    From what I've read these "attempts" were rather half hearted and lacking in any real offical support.

    I'd certainly like to see some sources on this.

    That seems to be at odds with what I've read. For one thing Tojo wasn't Freign Minister and indeed wasn't in the administration after July 22. Also from what I've read Hirihito was in the peace party convincing him to accept the terms wasn't so much the problem as having him break with tradition and publicly announce his acceptance of them especially given the deadlocked council. Nor were the Potsdam Terms modified at least officially from what I've read.

    That rather confirms the importance of the second bomb does it not? The surrender decision was political and the bomb allowed it.

    This may not have been "paranoically" at all. Remember that mid to low level indivicuals had acted against high level ones for years in Japan if they though the high level ones were doing "the wrong thing". Assasinations and assasination attempts were frequent during the years that lead up to WW2 and the failed coup attempt after the announcement of the surrender could easly be viewed as an extension of that process as could potential actions by the other side.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,643
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Location:
    God's Country
    LWD, Scipio was correct the Foreign Minister was Shigenon Togo. Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister from 17 Oct. 41 to 22 July 44.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    My appologies. I even looked up the Foreign minister and didn't see the it. Checking again found out that Japan had 5 Foreign Ministers in 45. So the one I looked up wasn't the right one.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minister_for_Foreign_Affairs_(Japan)
    No excuse for mistaking a "g" for a "j" except for declining vision.
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    There was, according to the Army hardliners, the belief that surviving a American occupation a virtual impossibility for the Imperial system. More to the point a Soviet occupation was a near impossibility without significant, if not massive logistic support from the United States. The Soviet Union had next to no capacity to land troops in any number, let alone supply them for extended combat operations. Yes the Soviets was a colossus, on land, but at sea they were not much better off than Japan at even this point in the war.

    Yes the Soviet offensive had a impact as it conclusively eliminated the possibility of a significant neutral power could be engaged in speaking on the behalf of Japan with American led alliance against her. I do not regard it as the primary reason for Japan's capitulation.

    In the final analysis, only the Emperor had the clout to over ride the Army hardliners (and their dwindling allies in the Navy) and even that was tenuous when the final army plot to "secure" the Emperor and confiscate the Imperial announcement is considered.

    In my opinion the loss of Okinawa and the conduct of the war to that point brought Hirohito a quarter of the way to his decision, Hiroshima, half way. The Soviet attack three quarters away and Nagasaki brought him fully home to the idea that Japan must surrender. It did not matter if America continued the blockade, invaded or continued to rain down conventional or atomic bombs, Japan was doomed and allowing the final climatic battle so that the Army could save face could not be allowed. Something had to be saved, even at the cost of the Imperial system.
     
    USMCPrice likes this.
  17. scipio

    scipio Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    122
    [​IMG]
    had not relaised this thread s[​IMG]
     
  18. scipio

    scipio Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    122
    Had missed this thread - I believe I was asked to support my arguments with "facts".

    The above is taken from the Unpublished tapes from he World at War Series.

    Kase wass Secretary to Togo, Foreign Minister

    Kido was Chamberlain to Hirohito.

    They therefore represent the nearest thing possible to hearing from the Foreign Minister of Japan and the Emperor

    There is much more detail in Bix - Hirohito and the making of Japan but he supports the above. However, the spits in the Japanese War Cabinet are more than Hardliners versus Doves - Togo was the only one who was prepared to see a "Constitutional" Monarch and manoeuvred Hirohito into this avenue when almost all the others would accept nothing less than the continuation of the ultimate power of the Emperor.
     
  19. scipio

    scipio Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    122
    I believe you are referring to right wing militarists - these definitely could have endangered Hirohito's ministers but never himself. Their warped logic being that the Emperor could be badly advised by his Minister - thus the assassinations in the early part of Hirohito's reign.

    I am referring to the "Left Wing". The Intelligence Section was reporting to the Palace about the increase in absenteeism and criticism of the emperor throughout the workforce. The Communist Party had been eliminated early on but was always thought a threat. If these had come to power (and the Socialists ruled briefly after the War before being out manoeuvred by MacArthur and the LDP) then Hirohito could well have been removed.
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Unfortunately neither excerpt supports the premiss that Japan's surrender was prompted upon the Soviet attack into Manchukuo. In Kido's statement he asserts War Minister Anami insisted on one final battle at the American beachhead to convince the US to give more generous terms.. In truth however this is nothing more than the militarist position from the very beginning of the war. Granted their hoped for spoils were more limited now, but no less unrealistic.

    More telling is Kido's admission that lower ranking Army officers were intent on a national suicide or as he states gyakusatsu. In this he could only be in reference to troops stationed primarily within the Home Islands, the best troops remaining to Japan, the only ones he might actually have contact with and those most likely to engage American troops in the near future. Certainty this is Anami's appreciation based on Kido's comments on what the War Minister insisted upon.

    Kase's comments are no better. He acknowledges that at best they had only a "nominal" existence of a neutrality pact (renounced by SU on August 5, 1945). That they in effect clung to nearly the same illusion that Hitler had at approximately the same point in the war for Germany that a Soviet-Western conflict could/would erupt at any moment and that the SU just had to rely on the aid of a militarily bankrupt Japan to prevail.
     

Share This Page