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Did Japan surrender because of Bomb or Russians?

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

  1. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Right up to the last moment the Court Party (ie Hirohito) hoped to involve the USSR. They had asked Stalin to receive Prince Konoe - when the Russians invaded they knew then the game was up. The Court Party persisted in this belief despite being told by the Togo and the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow that Stalin would not get involved in a separate peace deal.

    The combination of the bombs and the Soviet invasion (not the military threat - but the fact that there was now no hope of splitting the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans) sealed Japan's fate.

    http://s20.postimg.o...ufi25/kase3.jpg

    Sorry something is going wrong - link shows another bit of Kase's comments.

    As I indicated the War Cabinet was very split. To varying extents, the "hardliners" wanted to fight on in the hope of improving the surrender terms - this is Anami's position but all realised that they would need to surrender at some point.
     
  2. scipio

    scipio Member

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    [​IMG]


    Worked this time!

    I am trying hard to understand your argument Belasar - are you saying that the Soviet attack had no effect and that Hirohito would have surrendered in any case when the second bomb exploded?

    If so, I think it is time for you to provide some hard evidence.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The OP is questionable : it is not a question of or ...or

    If there was no Bomb,Japan would have surrendered because of the Soviets . If there was no DOW by the Soviets,Japan would have surrendered because of the Bomb .
     
  4. DangerousBob

    DangerousBob New Member

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    Thats pretty much how I look at it. But considered both happen on the same day...
    I guess they surrendered to both??

    Imagine being in the war room.. "Sir the Americans have dropped another one of the new super bombs... and the Soviet Union just invaded us."
     
  5. scipio

    scipio Member

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    I agree with that. It took both events (bombs and Soviet attack) to get Hirohito to impose his authority and accept unconditional surrender.

    It is a conclusion that I have only recently arrived at - in the past I would not have considered the Soviet entry into the Pacific War as important and would have subscribed to "the Emperor accepted surrender to save his people from further devastating nuclear attack".
     
  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    OTOH,but,it is subjective and almost impossible to prove,I have the impression that for Japan,the bomb was more important :why did Japan continue the fighting in 1945,while Lemay was burning its cities ? Very crude:Lemay could not kill all the Japanese,thus the US had to invade,but,this would be to costly,thus there will be a peace of compromise .

    But the Bomb changed everything :with the Bomb the US could kill enough Japanese to break the morale of the civilians,thus an invasion was no more necessary,thus it was over for Japan .

    The Soviets ? They could not do what the US were doing/would do :no invasion,no Soviet Lemay,no Soviet Bomb"only" the invasion of Manchuria.

    It is also questionable that it took the Bombs AND the Soviets to obtain a Japanese capitulation :the fact that both happened does not prove that both were needed. If there was "only" Lemay and the Soviets in Manchuria,Japan would probably give up .If there was Lemay and the Bomb ,Japan certainly would give up .And,we had Lemay,the Bomb and the Soviets .Very difficult to say who was number one,but my guess would be the Bomb.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But in reality the Emporer seldom if ever truly had "ultimte power" indeed had the council not been deadlocked it's not clear he could or would have acted. While the Japanese have given lipservice to the concept of the Emporer having ultimate power for most of the time there has been an Emporer he has been prevented or at least discouraged from taking direct action. Indeed by becoming a "Constitutional" Monarch the Emporer may have actually been given more power. While much of it would by symbolic he could speak out much more readily and given the reverance the people had for him it would carry considerable weight.

    I'm not so sure. I suspect that without the bombs the war would have gone on until the home islands were invaded or famine became a severe problem. The same would likely have been the case if only one bomb had been dropped. IMO the second bomb was what empowered Hirohito to authorize the surrender. However lacking the Soviet invasion there may have been more resistance to the point of the post declaration coup even being successful. Of course it's impossible to prove any of the above or disprove it either.
     
  8. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Although on 15th August in his address to the nation the Emperor talked about the evil new weapons (the bomb) and did not mention the Soviet attack, two days later he completely changes his tune:

    In his rescript to the Japanese armed forces, he makes no mention of the Bomb but talks instead of the soviet attack

    [​IMG]
     
  9. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Soviet invasion had a couple of effects. The Japanese were hoping the Soviets would help negotiate a peace and there were a large amount of troops in Manchuria that Japan could try to bring back to Japan.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    This appears to have been a rather half hearted hope as the effort was pretty minimal in this regard.

    From what I've read this was no longer the case. The Japanese forces there had pretty much already been gutted and withdrawing them would guarantee that they wouldn't keep Manchuria which was one of their objectives even that late in the war.

    Of course the Soviet invasion also took Manchuria off the table as well.
     
  11. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Just who was the audience for this rescript? It was the armed forces of Imperial Japan ,do you think the average Japanese soldier/sailor would understand if told of an A-Bomb being used? No they probably wouldn't but they might understand it being told the SU,another major nation coming into the war as being the reason. Sadao Asada explains that in his work on the Atomic bombings. Now as I understand Richard Franks "Downfall" the Emperor more or less made up his mind after hearing of Nagasaki but before knowing the full details of August Storm", in fact per the latter it seemed at first they were told it was basically something small scale in nature. Furthermore even AFTER both bombs and hearing full details of August Storm the Japanese military still wanted to fight on but it was Hirohito who stepped in and said enough!!!!

    Some other points..

    1. The shock of Soviet Union declaring war? In April,1945 Moscow informed Tokyo their neutrality pact wouldn't be re-newed and Japanese mainland forces informed Tokyo that the SU was concentrating forces opposite them. In July,1945 Soviet women working in SU's Tokyo Embassy as well as wives & children of male personnel left Japan for home. To be fair in very August,1945 the Japanese still felt it would be about a month before the SU declared war but still it's quite evident the Japanese knew the SU was coming in on the war).

    2. Loosing territory entering into the surrender equation? The Japanese had done written off their Asian mainland holdings in early 1945 so holding onto them didn't enter into their surrender decision. That is per Kettsu Go not being invalidated by the SU overrunning Manchuria-Korea.

    3. The A-bomb could be considered to render Kettsu Go pointless(meaning the US may not have to invade Japan to bring a close to the war) whereas August Storm didn't necessarily nullify Kettsu Go.This is per statements made by Anami and Umezu.

    4. We also have Hirohito's letter to his son date 9/9/1945 where he blames his countries defeat on dis-regarding science, a certain reference to the A-Bomb.

    5. Now per the Imperial rescript on August 17 not mentioning the A-Bomb,in order to get the IJA scattered all over Asia and the Pacific to stand down mention wasn't made of the A-Bomb simply because an average Japanese soldier couldn't comprehend just what an A-Bomb was whereas simply stating the SU coming into the war was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back just might. However it all still devolves around the fact that the military still wanted to fight after Hiroshima,Nagasaki and August Storm but Hirohito decided the issue making up his mind after Nagasaki but before knowing full details of August Storm. The average IJN soldier from Anami/Uzema down to private could maybe go against the military chain of command but the emperor had to be obeyed,i.e. an IJA soldiers ultimate duty.

    My sources are Richard Frank's "Downfall", Michael Kort's "The Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb" and Sadao Asada's "The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender -A Reconsideration" " (or actually his review of "Racing the Enemy" in Journal for Strateigc Studies 29, Number 1)
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    For the emperor, the bomb was the factor. However it took a deadlock in the imperial council for Hirohito to be able to say surrender. I wonder if the Soviet decision influenced any of the council?
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The council had been deadlocked since Spring I believe. The bombs provided the impetous for Hirihito to act.
     
  14. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Look at this away.. First...The council as LWD has stated had been deadlocked since the spring of 1945.
    Second........The military faction of Anami & Umezi stated that the SU's entry into the war didn't nullify Kettsu Go,which was the plan that they felt would inflict so many casualties on the US that the latter would come to the table.

    Third...Even after Hiroshima,Nagasaki and August Storm this military faction was very willing to carry on the war.

    Fourth.....It was Hirohito that broke the deadlock , ordered the Japanese armed forces to surrender and his mind was made up after hearing of Nagasaki but before hearing the full details of August Storm,which up till that time had been reported as a very localized affair not the massive blitzkrieg that it was.There were reports even the that IJA army in Manchuria was handling the situation well.

    Fifth...Understand that even if Umezi ,Anami or both ordered a surrender their subordinates may not have obeyed that order BUT a Japanese soldier per their culture knew the Emperor had to be obeyed.IMHO one reason Tokyo wasn't a target is that the US wanted to make sure there was somebody around to order the average Japanese soldier to surrender. The Imperial Rescript of August 17,1945 has been made an issue here but as Sadao Asada said in a review back in the late 90's no mention was made of the A-Bomb simply because an average Japanese soldier/citizen(or even an American? British?) couldn't comprehend what the weapon really was. So the Soviet entry into the war mentioned in said rescript,in fact reading the rescript it doesn't really give the SU entry as the main reason or even an equal reason for ending the war. It says the situation "here and abroad". However as I just stated the average Japanese soldier wouldn't understand the concept of the A-Bomb furthermore as stated earlier the military wanted to carry the war on anyways but it was Hirohito who forced the military to cave in,a soldier could disregard the orders of his superior officer but the Emperor per their culture had to be obeyed.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Not only could subordinates refues orders but if he considered the order as being an insult to Japan or the Emporer he could (and on a number of occasions in the 30's and 40's some did) kill said supperior.
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    lwd,

    If Japan refused to surrender, the US would still be obligated to invade. George Marshal was going to wait a few months to get five bombs and use them instead of artillery preparation to clear the coasts.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Perhaps. I believe Nimitz plan just called for an extended blockade though. There's also the question of when the invasion would have occured. It was becoming more and more apparent that the Japanese had anticipated the general location of the planned initial invasion. This might have been enough to delay the invasion until the spring of 46. Which would have given the blockade plan more time to work as well.
     
  18. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Also I'm wondering just how the Typhoon that hit Okinawa in October,1945 would have impacted the planned invasion? Or how many more casualties and/or damage to shiping,lift capability said Typhoon would have inflicted?
     

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