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View Full Version : Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki:



ippolito
24-11-04, 16:59
Yesterday I saw in tv a history program that for 90 minutes
there were all the steps before the us airforce aircraft
left usa and straight to some targets that were differents in case of
fog and bad weather....
the reportage was in color and the pilot cannot image what kind
of power had that bomb.
It is my opinion that no one in 1945 in usa could image what kind of bomb
was that exactly and how many people could kil or leave radiations for years and years creating baby monsters.
There were 100.000 killed among the civil population women children
in less than a minute in Hiroshima.
Many bodies had dissapeard completaly.
I think that was a very dark moment for the us white house
the decision to send in japan 2 bombs it is my opinion was a big mistake of truman and hiw entourage.
Till today 2004 fortunanly us has been the only country in this world
to use such dark death weapon....and all we hope that will reamin the only one for the rest of the history of the world.
What is your opinions?
Which are the japanese' of this forum opinions?

No-name
26-11-04, 00:55
There is no doubt in my mind that the A-bomb was a horrific "dark death weapon." It's effects and the toll was terrible and terrifying. I am glad that it has never been used again, and I hope it never will.

As a high school history teacher, I have argued both sides- that it was justified and that it was not. I have struggled with this for years, but I believe the decision to use the bomb, and to use it on civilians was the only decision Truman could have made. The battles of Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa demonstrated that the Japanese would continue to fight, and that civillians would continue to die in mass numbers. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civillians were bombed, burned, strafed and starved before the Atomic bomb was dropped. Yet the government and the emperor did not surrender. The larger parts of the Japanese economy and military lay in ruins- with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civillians stranded on islands and in China, the Japanese Navy at the bottom of the ocean and the Airforce reduced to suicide attack. Japan was defeated, but would continue to fight on and on and on. There was no sign of giving in, no sign that the slaughter would end. Projections of a million US casualties were made.

As president, what other decision could be made? There were only two bombs-- and so the attack was really a bluff-- the bomb had little tactical value- it would not ease the number of casualties an invasion would cause... and should we have kept firebombing the population night after night until there was nothing left and no one left to surrender? He had to hope that something this aweful would force a surrender. (And remember that the surrender almost didn't happen, a last minute coup by junior officers against the emperor was only unsuccessful by dumb luck)

And I hate this answer because it basically says the end justifies the means- I think this is a poor foundation for ethical reasoning.

zeroyon
26-11-04, 13:09
I think the A-bombs were not necessary. I do believe however, that it was definatley a better solution than invading japan. Not just better for less american casulaties, but there would have been an enormous amount of japanese casualties as well if the USA invaded japan, and japan woud look nothing like it does now. Most of the temples, historical atrifacts, etc of japan would have been destroyed, and all of the cultural heratige that japan still has today would be all but gone. Most major cities would have lied in ruin when everything would be over and done with (not just hiroshima and nagasaki), and it would have been complete chaos. With japan's suicidal fighting style in WWII, it would have been a absolute real hell on earth. I know that a projection of over a million american casualties was made if the USA decided to invade japan, but i guarantee that over 10x that number (even higher) of japanese casualties would have resulted if the USA invaded japan.

Also, the USA didn't need to drop the A-bombs over major cities. If they dropped them in a much less densley-populated area, I think it might have still got the message across, without all the unneeded casualties.

EDIT: also... a quick question Ive always wondered. Is WWII covered in depth in school in japan like it is in the USA? What about Germany? I would imagine that it might hurt national pride if this topic was covered extensivley in school in japan and germany, so Im really curious...

Anyone know?

ippolito
26-11-04, 17:05
Well if you thinkkthat was the only way to stop the war they could
bomb military bases or the pacific sea fleet....but not 2 towns...with civilians
they could demostrate such superior destructive bomb and convince th jp
imperor to finish thre war before to attach jp main cities.
All the story it something that they (the project managers) were loosing the control of the situation a want to try how powerfuls was that bomb without calculating how many people they were going to kill.
Sorry but i would (if Truman) never use such black death bomb on towns.

No-name
27-11-04, 01:06
The US military chose populated cities that were large and untouched to show difinitively the power of the devices. Planners wanted a high number of casualties. A less populated area would not do. Cities of higher military and economic importance had already been bombed. The pacific sea fleet was for the most part either sunk or scattered. And a single military target would have been too small.

The Russians had also declared war a few weeks earlier and were looking to grab as much territory as possible. So it may have also been important to demonstrate to Moscow how powerful a weapon we had in our arsenal.

There was a (minor) military target in Hiroshima- The Army southern command. It was destroyed.

The reasoning is "the ends justifies the means." I am still uncomfortable saying that because it ended WWII and the killing all around the pacific, that it was a good thing and it was justified. At least we can take solice in that the sacrifice of two cities and their people may have saved the lives of countless others.

ippolito
27-11-04, 12:58
Sorry I am not agree, even I respect your point of view I still think
that a such powerful governement could find another solution
as skared them bombing an empty island in the pacific with japanese observer and give them an ultimatum or you decleare defetad or we bomb some of your
main towns and refusing this offer you will be the responsable of the death 100s
thousend of civilitians....
Don't you think that this could convince jp to be surrended...and won...
They belived in the bushido but not stupid...the Emperor in front of a such distructive weapon would (perhaps) his country won...
Do not forget all the deaseas and baby monsters that fo years and years came
as for the radiations and people died after years with cancer etc.....
Anyway this history and you will continue to teach as the school books require
about Vietnam there were many films that were a mile stone of a stranage war loosed in which milions of vietnamises died and also many us soldiers
As I saw a lot of films about the pacific war..and european field against hitler.
But it seems that noone could talk or produce a film in that forgotten part of world history. Do you have your opinion about this?
It is look strange no one there would make a critics by a film like many did for Vietnam...
have a nice day

No-name
27-11-04, 19:17
Japan had already been given ultimatums and had refused to surrender in spite of hundreds of thousands of civillian deaths. The potsdam declaration, leaflet drops and radio broadcasts calling for surrender were all ignored-- and dozens of Japanese cities were firebombed- killing far more civillians than the atomic bomb. If burning Tokyo to the ground didn't work, then why would bombing some deserted island work?

babar-san
27-11-04, 20:22
i too have struggled with this unfortunate decision made by the united states administration at the time. in the end, i feel that japan got the short end of the stick. there is a question of morality that is rarely taken into consideration on this subject. in 1940 hitler held repeated meetings with the japanese military, you can find documentation on these talks in the writings of adolf eikman, hitlers chief of command to the ss party. hitler had persuaded japan to tackle the us, while he concentrated on the whole of europe. at the time, both parties thought this to be a good strategy, little did japan know what unearthly power the united states had uncovered in the years leading up to the monstrous show of force in question. japan made a decisive mistake. against hitlers advice, japan attacked the us, (pearl harbor) 10 months ahead of schedule. a criticle mistake. its an ironic story, because it was hitlers own scientists that developed the bomb. 3 years prior, hitler had refused continued funding for the research of the atom bomb. upon this decision, the 2 scientists responsible defected to the uk for further research, they in turn, were handed over to the united states, who gave them unlimited funding for research. the critical error was that originally, the 2 german scientists thought that it would take over a ton of enriched uranium to produce the weapon, material that was hard to find and incredibly expensive to refine at the time. litttle did they realize that it would take less than a pound. upon discovery of this miscalculation, research zoomed forward at an unpresedented rate, and soon, the world saw the first example of the a bomb. the reason i feel that japan in some ways did not deserve such horror is that at the time, it would have been impossible to bomb germany, with our allies bordering the country. japan on the other hand, was geographically isolated, and fallout posed no threat to our allies. arguably, hitler deserved to be bombed far more than the japanese, but that was just not possible.
i have spoken to many japanese on this matter, being american and wanting to have a strong relationship with japans ppl. nearly every japanese i talked to admitted that the attack was provoked, being that they attacked the united states first. i was very supprised to hear this. of course, no one beleaves it was the right thing to do, but as has been stated, there was no other alternative. the war had raged on for nearly a decade, and it had to end. i do not think it was right, i do not think we should have used such a horrible device on civilians, it just goes to show how tenacious the japanese are when it comes to war, alongside the germans. the united states and great britain wanted that war to end. with the death of 20 million russians and 6 million jews, countless american, british, and french casualties, along with massive loss of life for the japanese and the germans, the death toll would continue to rise beyond those experienced with the bomb. it was a quik and simple way out. as horrible and in-humane as it was. but japanese history is no stranger to in-humanity, just look at the rape of nanking, absolutely barberous. but then again, whitch world power can claim that they are humane?

No-name
27-11-04, 21:33
Well said. The Japanese people got the short end of the stick. As did the German people, the Russian people and the Chinese people. In war, it is the innocents that pay the greatest price and bear the greatest burden. In WWII millions of civillians were targeted, and suffered arial bombardment, loss of property, dispossesion,starvation, torture, deprivation, rape, and murder.War is all hell, and most of its victims are innocent. No one deserves to be burned alive or irradiated.

Today, people are returning to what's left of their homes in parts of Fallujah. They probably don't deserve what they will find.

I'm interested to hear other opinions. (Esp. from Japan) Can you make this a poll?

ippolito
29-11-04, 16:42
To see and fill the traditional bombs could not change th jp position
to assist to the distruction that an a-bomb could do I think there were perhpas 50% of possibilities to let them understand that the story was over..
But us gov wanted to try anyway that bomb
If there were no other solutions...why 2 and not one?
The destruction of Hiroshima and 100.000 died I think was a very strong message to the imperor....
What I wish with this dialog is to undestand if they did (truman &co)
all the best to not bombing with atomic one.

No-name
30-11-04, 05:33
The "traditional" bombs used in Tokyo in other large cities were nothing like any that had been used before. The incidiaries were clustered in large canisters which were slowed and burst open above the city releasing little time delayed tubes of napalm. These tubes landed and then burst spewing gooey burning jelly for a dozen yards.

You may be right, maybe one would have been enough. The emperial government gave no indication in the days before Nagasaki. Maybe a demonstration would have worked. I don't think Truman seriously considered either of these options.

babar-san
04-12-04, 03:45
just wanted to add a few things i had forggoten last time i replied to this post. the reason it is hard to find either side (us or japan) at fault is that because of economic pressure put on japan by the united states in 1931, before america joined the war. at the time, japan relied heavily on the united states for steel, oil, minerals, and petrol. because of japans involvement with germany and italy, the united states placed embargo's on these resources, without them, japan could not fight a war.
may i say also that no one in washington at the time wanted any part of this war, except for president roosevelt. he saw the war as an opportunity for america to become a world super-power. how right he was. without resources, japan was "forced" to fight. so they attacked pearl harbor, a plan that hitler thought would keep us out of the war for at least another year, having a chunk of our navy destroyed. like i said before, this was a critical mistake of enormous proportions. after having declared war on the united states, italy and germany were obligated to join a head-on war campaign
. agree'ing to aid the cause of the other two, should they plunge into full-fledged war. this sealed the 3 nations into an unbreakable agreement. so when japan declared war on the united states, italy and germany were obliged to join the war.
so you see, in my eyes, we sort of "forced" japan to fight. they of course attacked the united states first "physically", but they really had no other choice. roosevelt knew this, and used this knowledge to his advantage, to show the world that america, was a dominant force in the world. that is why i feel japan got the short end of the stick, they had no chance.

cicatriz esp
04-12-04, 08:28
EDIT: also... a quick question Ive always wondered. Is WWII covered in depth in school in japan like it is in the USA? What about Germany? I would imagine that it might hurt national pride if this topic was covered extensivley in school in japan and germany, so Im really curious...

Anyone know?

Either it's not covered, or no one pays attention in class. My girlfriend who grew up in Osaka had only a faint idea of what the holocaust was. She knew it had to do with jews and not much else. I would also bet that the Pacific war is not given an in depth treatment.

bossel
04-12-04, 08:29
italy and germany were obliged to join the war.
Not really, AFAIK.


they really had no other choice.
They had. Eg. they could have stopped attacking China.

babar-san
04-12-04, 22:20
Not really, AFAIK.


They had. Eg. they could have stopped attacking China.

according to the trilateral agreement between gemany, italy, and japan, the italians and the germans were obligated to fight america, this was a document signed by all three countries, and by signing it, they were "required to fight".
this is the essence of the axis powers.

no one "has" to do anything. but by not adhearing to their own policies, japan would be going against its very own tradition of "saving face".

bossel
05-12-04, 00:09
according to the trilateral agreement between gemany, italy, and japan, the italians and the germans were obligated to fight america, this was a document signed by all three countries, and by signing it, they were "required to fight".
this is the essence of the axis powers.
Not really.
The pact says: "to assist one another with all political, economic and military means when one of the three contracting powers is attacked"
Japan was not attacked, it attacked 1st.

ippolito
05-12-04, 10:36
Now after many years and thks to Gorbaciov many old secrets documents came out from underground.
Few knew that there were an agreement betwen hitler an stalin...germany lost
most for the russia campaign ....in which a lot of german soldiers were killed or captured...or died for the cold.
If russia were taking the war against uk and france with germany italy and japan
the war was winned perhaps who knows?

Japan was not attacked, it attacked 1st.
Yes it is true they attacked a militare force the navy and they bombed
ships not houses....it was an attack without a war declaration and a big mistake by the jp.

babar-san
05-12-04, 21:36
Not really.
The pact says: "to assist one another with all political, economic and military means when one of the three contracting powers is attacked"
Japan was not attacked, it attacked 1st.


yes, but japan had already signed the document, meaning they were supporters of the cause, and intended to enter the war, but, they could not because of the us opposition and embargo's, so, what were they supposed to do? tell germany "ahh, we cant enter the war because the united states, a country who hasnt even entered the war, embargoed all of our resources"? in a sense, they were attacked, economically. to "assist" germany, they had to have these resourses, so yes, they attacked the us, but the united states provoked the attack. im not saying it was right, but japan had no idea we had the bomb, and as said before, the japanese never back down from a fight.

bossel
06-12-04, 01:10
yes, but japan had already signed the document, meaning they were supporters of the cause, and intended to enter the war, but, they could not because of the us opposition and embargo's, so, what were they supposed to do? tell germany "ahh, we cant enter the war because the united states, a country who hasnt even entered the war, embargoed all of our resources"? in a sense, they were attacked, economically. to "assist" germany, they had to have these resourses, so yes, they attacked the us, but the united states provoked the attack. im not saying it was right, but japan had no idea we had the bomb, and as said before, the japanese never back down from a fight.
Well, Japan started it all by attacking China. The US embargo was a reaction to Japan's imperialist war. Can't really see how any blame can be laid upon the US.

The Tripartite Pact was not so much about joint war efforts but about spheres of interest & mutual support. That doesn't mean that all pact members had to fight (or declare war on) the same enemies.

Whether the Japanese knew if the US had the bomb (which they didn't have in 1941) doesn't really matter.

Anyway, the A-bomb was originally intended to hit Germany. Japan was unlucky to hold out long enough to let the US finish the development.

babar-san
06-12-04, 08:39
Well, Japan started it all by attacking China. The US embargo was a reaction to Japan's imperialist war. Can't really see how any blame can be laid upon the US.

The Tripartite Pact was not so much about joint war efforts but about spheres of interest & mutual support. That doesn't mean that all pact members had to fight (or declare war on) the same enemies.

Whether the Japanese knew if the US had the bomb (which they didn't have in 1941) doesn't really matter.

Anyway, the A-bomb was originally intended to hit Germany. Japan was unlucky to hold out long enough to let the US finish the development.


hmmm..... good point, i dont know that much about the japan-chinese conflicts pre-ww2. most of what i know about japan and chinese conflict happened throughout the 14-18th centuries, not much knowledge about warfare between them in modern history. but, i think the point i was trying to make is that the united states eagerly intervened by placing such pressure on japan. i mean, why else would america care about an imperialistic country, attacking a communist country? if it wasnt for hitler, we would have been rootin for japan, not squeezing their economy. and while the trilateral agreement didnt in fact "impose" an ultimatum to commit forces to the war effort, it happened anyway.
im definatley not placing a blame on the united states, but the reason i feel that japan did not deserve such a blow, is that like you said, "originally", the target was germany. but you and i both know, that not in 1000 years, would america drop nuclear weapons on germany. the reason for this is plain and simple. our allies bordered germany. we had interests at stake that could not put our allies in harms way, so, we turned instead to the georgaphically isolated japan, a perfect place to show our strength. my point is, germany arguably deserved it more than japan. the united states has forever now had a hard-on for communist countries, more so than imperialist countries. imperialist countries, in the eyes of the american government, do not pose a fraction of a threat to our way of life the way communism does, or rather did.
and that is because communism is an idealistic form of government, or at least thats how congress saw it, fearing a spread of communist ideals to other countries like your own. japan never really posed a significant threat to the united states militarily, but they were the scapegoats for a war that had to end, and there was no way in hell that america was going to drop a bomb on western europe.

No-name
06-12-04, 08:45
I would like to believe that Japan had no choice. That the US or China or the Phillipines had somehow provoked the orgy of blood that was visited upon them. I would like to believe that Japan really did not conduct the war in the manner that it did. I would like to believe that the US had no other choice but to target population centers and bomb the country into the stone age and finally vaporize two populated cities. It would be nice if the greatest jump in technological knowledge was not motivated by our desire to kill one another. Unfortunately this is our history. We have to deal with it as humans and hope that we learned something.

bossel
07-12-04, 07:58
why else would america care about an imperialistic country, attacking a communist country?
Err..., I see that you don't know much about pre-WWII affairs. China was not Communist. Chiang Kai-Shek was a nationalist. If Japan had not attacked China again (after 1931) in 1937 it most probably would never have become Communist. Just before the Japanese attacked, the Communists were almost finished.


but you and i both know, that not in 1000 years, would america drop nuclear weapons on germany.
I disagree. Germany was lucky to be beaten in the beginning of 1945. If the war had developed differently, probably (one of) the bombs would have been dropped on Germany.
What's more, carpet bombing on cities in Germany had pretty much the same effect as dropping A-bombs. Eg. the victim numbers in Dresden even may have been bigger than those in Hiroshima. Probably at least 35,000 victims, though estimates for the total number of dead range from 25,000 up to 200,000 (some even higher).


my point is, germany arguably deserved it more than japan.
Not really. What the Japanese did in China was not much better than what Germans did in Eastern Europe.


japan never really posed a significant threat to the united states militarily, but they were the scapegoats for a war that had to end
Neither did Germany pose much of a threat to the US. But it all depends how you define "significant threat".

I'm surely no supporter of dropping A-bombs on Japan. I see it as a warcrime. Yet you cannot really say that the Japanese were lured into that war & that there was some big conspiracy against Japan. Fact is, Japan started the war in China & it started the war against the US. Bad choices.

babar-san
07-12-04, 09:03
Err..., I see that you don't know much about pre-WWII affairs. China was not Communist. Chiang Kai-Shek was a nationalist. If Japan had not attacked China again (after 1931) in 1937 it most probably would never have become Communist. Just before the Japanese attacked, the Communists were almost finished.


whoa, whoa, whoa.....Chiang Kai-Shek never seized complete control of china. i may not know that much about pre-ww2 chinese, japanese conflict, but i do know this much-The Chinese Communist Party ultimately began with the intellectual ferment of the May Fourth Movement, or the New Culture Movement, which began in 1911. Frustrated by the Qing court's resistance to reform and by China's weakness, young officials, military officers, and students\inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-Sen\began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and creation of a republic. A revolutionary military uprising, the Wuchang Uprising, began on October 10, 1911 in Wuhan. The provisional government of the Republic of China was formed in Nanjing on March 12, 1912 with Sun Yat-Sen as President, but Sun was forced to turn over power to Yuan Shikai who commanded the New Army and was Prime Minister under the Qing government, as part of the agreement to let the last Qing monarch abdicate. Yuan Shikai proceeded in the next few years to abolish the national and provincial assemblies and declared himself emperor in 1915. Yuan's imperial ambitions were fiercely opposed by his subordinates and faced with the prospect of rebellion. Yuan broke down and died shortly after in 1916, leaving a power vacuum in China. His death left the republican government all but shattered, ushering in the era of the "warlords" during which China was ruled and ravaged by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders.
A little noticed event (outside of China) in 1919 would have long term repercussions for the rest of Chinese history in the 20th century. This was the May Fourth Movement. The discrediting of liberal Western philosophy amongst Chinese intellectuals was followed by the adoptation of more radical lines of thought. This in turn planted the seeds for the irreconcilable conflict between the left and right in China that would dominate Chinese history for the rest of the century.
In the 1920s, Sun Yat-Sen established a revolutionary base in south China and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With Soviet assistance, he entered into an alliance with the fledgling Communist Party of China (CPC). After Sun's death in 1925, one of his protégés, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party or KMT) and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule in a military campaign known as the Northern Expedition. Having defeated the warlords in south and central China by military force, Chiang was able to secure the nominal allegiance of the warlords in the North. In 1927, Chiang turned on the CPC and relentlessly chased the CPC armies and its leaders out of their bases in southern and eastern China. In 1934, driven out of their mountain bases (as the Chinese Soviet Republic), the CPC forces embarked on the Long March across China's most desolate terrain to the northwest, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan'an in Shaanxi Province.
During the Long March, the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong.The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CPC continued openly or clandestinely through the 14-year long Japanese invasion 1931-1945, even though the two parties nominally formed a united front to oppose the Japanese invaders in 1937, during the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945 portion of World War II. The war between the two parties resumed after the Japanese defeat in 1945. By 1949, the CPC occupied most of the country. In 1938, the Soviet Union recognized Mao as the leader of the CCP, and in 1945, he was elected the Chairman of the CCP Central Committee, Chairman of the Politburo, Chairman of the Secretariat, and Chairman of the Military Commission. Mao was the CCP.
so you see, it's not acurate to call pre-mao china "nationalist", because it was considered illegitimate by the ccp, and the soviet union, and Chiang Kai-Shek's KMT was never recognized as a ruling governmental structure for all of china. certainly, the united states would have liked to see him in complete control, but this never happened, obviously, as Shek was overthrown by Moa's peasant armies, and exiled to taiwan, where he proclaimed taipei as "the capitol of the republic of china", claiming to retake the mainland, whitch never happened. and lets not forget, the founders of the Chinese Communist Party were a prominent leader in the New Culture Movement, Li Ta-cha'o and Ch'en Tu-hsiu. Iconoclastic and brilliant, he fundamentally disagreed with the ideas of the other major leader of the New Culture Movement, Hu Shih, who believed that Chinese society should be changed gradually, "drop by drop." Ch'en, however, believed that Chinese society should be changed all at once in a revolution modelled after the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1921, he formed the Chinese Communist Party, which came under the supervision of Gregory Voitinsky, a Soviet representative of the Comintern (Communist International). On July 20, 1921, the CCP held its first congress with twelve Chinese and two Russians present. Li Ta-ch'ao could not make it, but those in attendance including the later leader of the Communist revolution and Communist China, Mao Tse-tung. it seems to me that communism was the recognized governmental structure even during the divided nations strife between the KMT and the CCP. the KMT collapsed after Shek was displaced, and his "nationalist" ideals went with him.

and about germany posing a threat, i certainly think that if hitler had fortified austria, and not devided his forces, we would have had a much more difficult time in defeating him. his military was the best in the world at the time, and without the combined efforts of the british and french, i dont think it would have been so easy.

bossel
07-12-04, 18:38
Chiang Kai-Shek never seized complete control of china.
Are you trying to be funny? 1st you tell me that Japan was "an imperialistic country, attacking a communist country" while the Communists at the beginning of all-out-war in 1937 numbered maybe 100,000 people & were threatened with total extinction. Now you tell me that China wasn't nationalist because Chiang didn't control 100% of the country?


but i do know this much
You know, I think it's part of netiquette to name your sources, esp. when you cut & paste such lengthy pieces as you did. Wikipedia (http://www.google.de/search?num=30&hl=de&q=A+little+noticed+event+%28outside+of+China%29+in +1919&btnG=Suche&meta=) is a free encyclopedia, but I suppose they like to be mentioned as a source, anyway.


it seems to me that communism was the recognized governmental structure even during the divided nations strife between the KMT and the CCP
I can't see how anything in this article contradicts what I said before.
In 1937 Chiang was in control of most of China & he was head of state. The Communists declared the "Chinese Soviet Republic" in Jiangxi province, which existed from 1931-34, but that was it. I wonder, if you could name some countries outside the Comintern which recognized any Communist leadership of 1930's China.


it's not acurate to call pre-mao china "nationalist", because it was considered illegitimate by the ccp, and the soviet union
Now you're really funny. Because the CCP says so, the Chinese government was illegitimate? Which legitimation would a Communist government have?
Even the Soviet Union, which was in favour of the Chinese Communists, had to deal with Chiang as the head of the Chinese state.

Sr Pasta
07-12-04, 20:56
The dropping of the atom bombs, as well as the fire bombings of japanese cities, should have been war crimes then and are definitely war crimes under current international law. IMO, those responsible should have been set on trial for crimes against humanity.


It is my opinion that no one in 1945 in usa could image what kind of bomb

I believe you underestimate the racism of western countries. A lot of people in the U.S. supported genocide, just as people in England, France or Spain did during colonialism. (Or, just as many people does today during the occupation of Iraq, one might add.)

"John Dower's depiction of the hatred of America's leaders and people toward the Japanese during World War II shocked me. He mentions a December 1945 Fortune poll that found 23 percent of the respondents wished the U.S. had the chance to use "many more of them [atomic bombs] before Japan had a chance to surrender" (1986, 54). The poll results vividly reveal the depth of the hatred many Americans must have felt during the war."
http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/papers/hiroshim.htm

"Unconditional surrender, as an ill-defined slogan, did not foreclose any possibility, no matter how horrendous. A quick glance at American speeches, opinion polls, and movies would not reassure Japan. Thirteen percent of the respondents wanted to "kill all Japanese"; another 33 percent wanted to destroy the Japanese state. Life magazine showed photos of American war trophies sent home to loved ones in the form of hollowed out Japanese skulls."
http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/Pearlman/pearlman.asp

http://www.eupedia.com/shop/showproduct.php/product/329/sort/1/cat/12/page/
http://www.kosovo.com/sk/rastko-kosovo/istorija/ccsavich-propaganda.html

babar-san
07-12-04, 23:16
Are you trying to be funny? 1st you tell me that Japan was "an imperialistic country, attacking a communist country" while the Communists at the beginning of all-out-war in 1937 numbered maybe 100,000 people & were threatened with total extinction. Now you tell me that China wasn't nationalist because Chiang didn't control 100% of the country?


i dont see the humor in any of this, sorry. as for netiquet, i did not use the link you posted, in fact, most of this (except for names) i already knew, when i find the page again, i will post it. while its true that the republican era of china lasted from 1912-1949, the original discussion between you and i was the intervention and interest in chinese-japanese conflict by the united states. while chiang was head of state for the KMT,south and central china, he did not control the entire country, this is one reason the united states had a presense there. this "republican" form of government was not recognized as a legitimate government by the UNITED STATES, that is why we had stategic commanders in china aiding chiang, we wanted to see it ferment into a lasting , unified chinese government, but this did not happen. my point is, that the country was devided throughout this era, with the ccp and kmt battling constantly, with a strong support for mao by the chinese ppl. especially after chiang turned on the ccp as he did. his nationalist government was never recognized by the united states as being "the one, true, governmental structure for china". maybe to everyone else, but not to the us. we knew well ahead of time that the comintern had a hand in chinese governmental reform.
and would continue to do so, under the direction and aid of the soviets. this was a very unstable time in chinese history obviously. but with the soviets and the ccp growing in numbers, and the country devided, the united states was weary, because us-soviet relations were less than polished, and intervention could have meant an early start to ww2, in a much diffferent fashion. so, when i say its not acurate to say that china was "nationalist" at this time, is because the country was still devided, and the united states felt that communism was inevitable, but underhandedly tried to sway that inevitability.

bossel
08-12-04, 01:18
the original discussion between you and i was the intervention and interest in chinese-japanese conflict by the united states.
& I still can't see how you can come to the conclusion that China of the 30's was a Communist country.


this "republican" form of government was not recognized as a legitimate government by the UNITED STATES,
Do you have any evidence that the US did not recognize the GMD government?
China was member of the League of Nations. I doubt that you will find the Communists representing China there.


maybe to everyone else, but not to the us.
Ah, I see. We the US! Everybody else is irrelevant. You're a Bushite?


the united states felt that communism was inevitable, but underhandedly tried to sway that inevitability.
Sources?



I believe you underestimate the racism of western countries.
Well, I don't doubt that there was a heavy racist undertone regarding Japanese during & after WWII. Yet I don't think this is related to dropping the bombs.

From one of your links:
"According to Leahy's notes at the Washington Conference (May 1943), "the grand strategy of the war remained fixed on achieving unconditional surrender of the Axis powers in Europe while [only?] maintaining pressure on Japan to secure positions from which her ultimate surrender could be forced." At the Cairo Conference (November 1943), the communiqué drafted by Harry Hopkins, at Roosevelt's instruction, made the obligatory demand for unconditional surrender. Then, it set specific stipulations, consistent with a series of position papers. drafted by State Department professionals and Asia specialists. None of the points were draconian, at least compared to those imposed on Germany. Japan was to be "stripped of all" its overseas conquests, presumably to quarantine a nation that Roosevelt believed was genetically disposed towards acts of lawless violence. The president's policy of isolating Japan from the rest of Asia may have smacked of political eugenics, but nothing was said about occupation, demilitarization, war trials, or the emperor of Japan."

As you can see, there is a certain racist attitude ("genetically disposed...") but still the drafted conditions were not as strong as those regarding Germany.

babar-san
08-12-04, 10:10
[QUOTE=bossel]Do you have any evidence that the US did not recognize the GMD government?[QUOTE]


[QUOTE=bossel]Ah, I see. We the US! Everybody else is irrelevant. You're a Bushite?[QUOTE]

do you have any evidence that it did? my main source of information on this subject i owe to my grandfather, colonel william h. cleland (retired), who fought in the korean conflict, and has extensive knowledge of ww2, us involvement with china, before and after the revolutionary war, and us wartime policy. i think its safe to assume he knows more about this subject than you or i.


[QUOTE=bossel]Ah, I see. We the US! Everybody else is irrelevant. You're a Bushite?[QUOTE]

a bushite? thats a bit snide, you obviously dont understand the politics of the united states government. i dont like bush anymore than anyone else that opposes his policies. funny how you are quick to turn this discussion into something personal. true china was a member of the league of nations, under a republican state, but the united states had the foresight to understand that this would not last. soviet influence within the ccp forshadowed the events that inevitably led to the collapse of the kmt. the united states knew this well in advance. are you forggeting again that the debate between you and i was started because of my view on american policies? do not mistake this as a biased opinion.
we the united states? are you implying that my opinion is based on american superiority? thats a load of bs. i am simply providing the objective position of the us policy makers during the 22 years the revolutionary war had its greatest impact on chinese government. the plain and simple fact is that the united states took into consideration that during the entire revolution, it could be viewed in essense, a complete quagmire of fuding factions, hardly a unified , "nationalist" country, with secure governmental structure. as for the rest of the world view, i cant speak for them.

an example of the forshadow >
American imperialism assisted Chiang by pouring in munitions and other supplies, and even direct military intervention in the transport of Kuomintang troops to Manchuria and North China by the US fleet and air force. Chiang had initial successes, but all in vain. He was leading a dying regime, more archaic than even the Czarist regime in Russia. So rotten was the regime that large parts of the supplies were sold by officials to the Stalinist armies for gold, and ministers and other officials in Chiang's government pocketed a great part of the dollars supplied for the war by America. Only the lesser part of the supplies and munitions actually reached the Nationalist troops at the front.

The military commanders ceaselessly intrigued against one another, as in all doomed regimes. Chiang, for example, starved General Fu Tso Yi, the only outstanding general who showed any real capacity on the Nationalist side, of supplies, for fear he might seek to replace him. The generals were outclassed by the superior strategy and tactics of the Red Army command.
However, the main reason for the victories of the Chinese Stalinists has been readily pointed out by Mao Tse Tung: the social questions involved. 'Land to the peasants,' as in the Russian revolution, sounded the death knell of feudal landowners and their corrupt regime. In large part, the Chinese Stalinists have carried out the agrarian revolution. That is the significant difference between the struggle in 1927 and now. It is this which has been responsible for the melting away of the armies which Chiang tried to use to crush the agrarian rebellion. Chiang's armies are composed of peasants - the poorest peasants at that - who have not enough money to escape conscription by bribing the officials. > http://www.marxist.com/TUT/TUT4-1.html

chiang's oppression of the peasantry in the area Mao was driven from, Central and South China, in the 6,000-mile retreat to the mountain fastnesses around Yenan, where a 'soviet' republic was set up, had an indigenous population of around 10 million. this played a crucial role in support for mao, as chiang taxed them so heavily and burdened them with unbelievable treatment, conscripts for the red army were in no short supply, so, in responce to your comment on the 100,000 communists left at the end of this conflict is far from the actual number of active comminist supporters.

this entire argument started by my understanding of the position taken by the united states during this unstable revolution. not once have i tried to contradict the fact that for a short time, the "world view" of china was pointing in the direction of nationalism, a view that the united states did not legitimize, because of chiang's underhanded tactics and decision making, meaning, the united states understood that nationalism would not ferment to a stable form of government, instead concentrating on the eventual "outcome" of the revolutionary war. we remained indifferent to chinese policy until the war was over. while we tried to help chiang, it quickly became clear that he was a corrupt leader, and not to be trusted. with the soviet issue in play also, why do you think we had 2 strategic commanders advising mao, and chiang, at the same time? gen stillwell, and the other dope whos name i cant remember.

Mao Zedong was the chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1935 until his death. Under his leadership, it became the ruling party of mainland China as the result of its victory in the Chinese Civil War and the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

one more thing, i totally disagree with you about dropping atomic bombs on germany. it was "considered" just once, after realizing how powerful the weapon really was, then quickly dismissed because of the safety of our allies. our allies had more financial and internal interests in germany than we did. carpet bombing became the popular choice. i dont think the united states would have ever commited to dropping a nuke in western europe.

No-name
08-12-04, 18:31
This discussion has taken an interesting turn. My knowledge of 20th century Chinese history is rather limited (and I teach history)...so this is rather interesting.

My two cents:

I believe that the US would have had no qualms about dropping the atomic bomb on Germany. At the time, the experts were far more impressed by the blast effect than worried about radiation and fallout. (Beside, normal weather patterns would have carried the clouds over the USSR.) Germany didn't last long enough, and the day and night bombing campaign had left no suitably pristine cities. (Even though the bombing of Japan was more thorough, it was an entirely American operation-- and so suitable targets were preserved for the bomb.)

Should Aerial bombing of civillian populations be a war crime? (as it is defined by several international agreements now) And this was not invented by the US, only perfected...Japan was among the first nations to target cities from the air.

Should the victors of a conflict charge members of their own military services with war crimes? (I doubt this will ever happen.)

Racism played a role in WWII. But the United States did not choose Japan. Japan attacked the United States. American propaganda consistantly dehumanized the Japanese relying heavily on well worn racist stereotypes. Fighting in the Pacific took on a brutality not seen on the western front of the European theater. The Chinese as "Allies" were not depicted as subhuman.

Someone said that the US had British and French help in Europe... French? The French resistance did give limited support, but I think the Soviets deserve a little credit for defeating Germany.

ippolito
08-12-04, 18:50
Well we could make a book with all these writtens
on my side I still consider a bad act against humanity to "try" like an experiment
to bomb against civilians with such kind of destructive power....you all can write pages and pages of history.....but the results don't change.
I also conside a bad act against nature and animals those french exsplosions
in Polynesia....one of the most beatiful places in this world...
About my words I wrote a question....why cth cinema production has never did a film about that dark moment?
We saw many films about Vietnam ....Korea Pacific war etc....
Perhaps there weren't any hereos in that story?
Regards to all of you

babar-san
08-12-04, 20:36
Well we could make a book with all these writtens
on my side I still consider a bad act against humanity to "try" like an experiment
to bomb against civilians with such kind of destructive power....you all can write pages and pages of history.....but the results don't change.
I also conside a bad act against nature and animals those french exsplosions
in Polynesia....one of the most beatiful places in this world...
About my words I wrote a question....why cth cinema production has never did a film about that dark moment?
We saw many films about Vietnam ....Korea Pacific war etc....
Perhaps there weren't any hereos in that story?
Regards to all of you

actually, there is a time period movie directed by zhang yimou , while he was starting to become famous worldwide for his incredible cinematography, and choice of stories. they were very controverstion in china, as he is the only director in cumminist china's history to have gotten away with some of the things said in his films. he directed a film called "their lives", about a family caught up in the revoltionary war, very sad story. but acurate to the nail. some of his other notables are "raise the red lantern" (my fav), about a young highschool female graduate who intstead of going to college is wed to a ritch nobleman, and becomes his third concubine.

bossel
08-12-04, 21:24
do you have any evidence that it did?
Actually, I do. The US recognized the Nationalist Chinese government on 25 July 1928. But that's just from a history book, not such a great source like a

grandfather, colonel william h. cleland (retired),
I think, in the same book it says that the US was the 1st country to restore tariff autonomy to China after recognition of the Nationalist government.


a bushite? thats a bit snide, you obviously dont understand the politics of the united states government. i dont like bush anymore than anyone else that opposes his policies. funny how you are quick to turn this discussion into something personal.
Personal? If you say that the GMD government was illegitimate because it may have been recognized by "everyone else, but not to the us", then that sounds pretty much like Bushite talk: Either agree with us or you're irrelevant.


the collapse of the kmt. the united states knew this well in advance.
Wow, a bunch of clairvoyants in the US administration? They must have been quite good, esp. considering the fact that the Communists were almost finished in the mid 30's.


are you forggeting again that the debate between you and i was started because of my view on american policies?
Only partially. Forgot the Tripartite pact?


i am simply providing the objective position of the us policy makers during the 22 years the revolutionary war had its greatest impact on chinese government.
The "objective" position through the eyes of your granddad.


www.marxist.com
Now that's a great objective history source.


one more thing, i totally disagree with you about dropping atomic bombs on germany. it was "considered" just once, after realizing how powerful the weapon really was, then quickly dismissed because of the safety of our allies.
It didn't really have to be considered since Germany capitulated before the bombs were ready. For the rest, I refer to Sabro's last post.




Should Aerial bombing of civillian populations be a war crime? (as it is defined by several international agreements now) And this was not invented by the US, only perfected...Japan was among the first nations to target cities from the air.
Regarding bombing of largely civilian targets, I came across an interesting website (http://home.att.net/~betsynewmark3/DebateonBomb.htm).

Quote:
"1. Unanimous resolution of the League of Nations Assembly, Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing From the Air in Case of War, League of Nations, September 30, 1938[...]
I. Recognizes the following principles as a necessary basis for any subsequent regulations:
1) The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal;
2) Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable;
3) Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighbourhood are not bombed through negligence."

Hence atomic or carpet bombing of cities can be considered illegal, even back then.

No-name
08-12-04, 23:46
arding bombing of largely civilian targets, I came across an interesting website (http://home.att.net/Pbetsynewmark3/DebateonBomb.htm).

Quote:
"1. Unanimous resolution of the League of Nations Assembly, Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing From the Air in Case of War, League of Nations, September 30, 1938[...]
I. Recognizes the following principles as a necessary basis for any subsequent regulations:
1) The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal;
2) Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable;
3) Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighbourhood are not bombed through negligence."

Hence atomic or carpet bombing of cities can be considered illegal, even back then.

Thanks. This is an awesome website-- with lots of information and sources for both sides of this debate. There are several persuasive essays in this collection.

The question lingers in my mind though because the so-called strategic bombing of Germany and Japan were probably instrumental in ending WWII. Does the ends justify the means? Could the war have been won without the (probably illegal) massive bombing campaigns?

bossel
09-12-04, 01:57
Does the ends justify the means? Could the war have been won without the (probably illegal) massive bombing campaigns?
I don't think carpet bombing of cities helped the war effort very much. For what I know, it may have even strengthened morale of the population. Industrial production didn't really suffer that much, either. In the 2nd half of 1944 German production of war related materials was higher than ever.

Indiscriminate carpet bombing was not really effective. Selective bombing of eg. railroads & oil refineries was much more efficient.

babar-san
09-12-04, 08:48
Actually, I do. The US recognized the Nationalist Chinese government on 25 July 1928. But that's just from a history book, not such a great source like a

I think, in the same book it says that the US was the 1st country to restore tariff autonomy to China after recognition of the Nationalist government.


Personal? If you say that the GMD government was illegitimate because it may have been recognized by "everyone else, but not to the us", then that sounds pretty much like Bushite talk: Either agree with us or you're irrelevant.


Wow, a bunch of clairvoyants in the US administration? They must have been quite good, esp. considering the fact that the Communists were almost finished in the mid 30's.


Only partially. Forgot the Tripartite pact?


The "objective" position through the eyes of your granddad.


Now that's a great objective history source.


It didn't really have to be considered since Germany capitulated before the bombs were ready. For the rest, I refer to Sabro's last post.




Regarding bombing of largely civilian targets, I came across an interesting website (http://home.att.net/~betsynewmark3/DebateonBomb.htm).

Quote:
"1. Unanimous resolution of the League of Nations Assembly, Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing From the Air in Case of War, League of Nations, September 30, 1938[...]
I. Recognizes the following principles as a necessary basis for any subsequent regulations:
1) The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal;
2) Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable;
3) Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighbourhood are not bombed through negligence."

Hence atomic or carpet bombing of cities can be considered illegal, even back then.


man, you are the king of taking things out of context, who said anything about agreeing with the united states on this issue? i certainly have not tried to persuade anyone to do so. also, the link i posted was for historical references about china, not the objective american position on chinese government. i thought you would have at least figured that one out? i think american policy during this time is a bit more complicated than just "recognizing" the nationalist party alone. we had to recognize the party, because we were sending them transports and munitions, otherwise, it would have seemed very much like a direct military intervention in the eyes of the ccp, and a possible attack from us forces, that would have pulled the soviets farther into this mess. something the united states did not want to happen. as for my dear ole granddad, he didnt spend half of his life in the army and attain the 3 stars on his collar to not know what hes talking about. "recognizing" and "legitimizing" are 2 diffferent things, the later, is something i dont think ever happened, otherwise, we would not have needed 2 strategeic commanders in the field advising both parties. (one reason why mao denounced his invitation to come to the united states and visit the pres.) no, i havnt forggoten about the tripartite pact, just deviated from it.
of course we lifted tarrifs from china after chiang took office, who wouldnt have?
and i dont think you have to be clairvoyant to understand that intervening in chinese affairs directly at this time could mean war with the soviets, who had a heavy hand to play in helping form the ccp.
anyway, its been fun debating this subject, but its gettin old......just like my granddad :wave:

bossel
09-12-04, 16:34
who said anything about agreeing with the united states on this issue? i certainly have not tried to persuade anyone to do so.
What I wrote: "If you say that the GMD government was illegitimate because it may have been recognized by "everyone else, but not to the us", then that sounds pretty much like Bushite talk: Either agree with us or you're irrelevant."


also, the link i posted was for historical references about china, not the objective american position on chinese government.
Historical references by a Marxist website, again: Great!


we had to recognize the party, because we were sending them transports and munitions, otherwise, it would have seemed very much like a direct military intervention in the eyes of the ccp
In 1928?


and a possible attack from us forces
Huh? Which attack? Why should the US attack? Whom?


he didnt spend half of his life in the army and attain the 3 stars on his collar to not know what hes talking about.
Certainly, I understand. Makes him an expert in Chinese history. Obviously. How could I doubt?


"recognizing" and "legitimizing" are 2 diffferent things
When you recognize a government, you pretty much say that this is the legitimate representative of the country to deal with.


the later, is something i dont think ever happened, otherwise, we would not have needed 2 strategeic commanders in the field advising both parties
Yep. That's completely logic.


and i dont think you have to be clairvoyant to understand that intervening in chinese affairs directly at this time could mean war with the soviets
Who talked of "intervening in chinese affairs directly"? What I reacted upon was your " true china was a member of the league of nations, under a republican state, but the united states had the foresight to understand that this would not last. soviet influence within the ccp forshadowed the events that inevitably led to the collapse of the kmt. the united states knew this well in advance."
That's what I would call clairvoyant abilities: Knowing in the mid-30's (when the Communists were almost finished, as I said before) that the GMD would fall some 15 years later.
Taking things out of contex? Look who's talking...

No-name
13-12-04, 07:41
The dropping of the atom bombs, as well as the fire bombings of japanese cities, should have been war crimes then and are definitely war crimes under current international law. IMO, those responsible should have been set on trial for crimes against humanity.


the web sites are fabulous. I completely understand your opinion and I agree with the moral assessment. The bomb was a horror beyond horror. I would never underestimate the affect racism had on the dropping of the bomb-- my mother and her family spent many months in interment camps due to this racism. Furthermore the US propaganda machine used racism to generate support for the war. (In Europe we villified the Nazi Hun, but in the Pacific the Enemy was the Japanese race...) Racism was patriotic. Truman's racist assessment of the Japanese was based in part on the Imperial Army's conduct toward civillians and POW's-- and was accurate in that context.

I do not see, however in the context of their time and with the resources available to the united states how a different decision could have been reached. The Japanese started the war. Their brutal militaristic expansion needed to be stopped. The tenacity and brutal ferocity of the Japanese soldier ensured that the killing would go on long after any reasonable hope of a negotiated settlement had passed. Lots of people, including civillians were dying daily. It showed no signs of stopping soon. Truman took the path with the least risk and the greatest immediate benefit from his point of view.

As wishy washy as my previous post was, I'm going to stick to my basic opinion: It was a Faustian choice that effectively ended the war and saved lives.

That being said-- I hope what Bossel said about the strategic bombing campaign in europe being a failure is true. I'm not sure at all if moral indignation alone will stop this from happening again. I hope people will remember what a horrific weapon the bomb is. I hope every US president will view war in all its glory with the blood and death and widespread suffering and destruction before starting anything. (Especially if you can't find your WMD's... hey wait, isn't a pre-emptive invasion also illegal as a war of agression?)

ippolito
13-12-04, 17:15
When germans were bombing all the british soldiers were running away
When british were bombing all german soldiers were running away
when americans were bombing all germans and british were running away.

This just a little innocent funny story but the new way to bomb everywere anytime with any kind of bomb is a us way to defeat the enemy.
this will give a victory...but also killing a lot of civilians...
This kind of war haqs been actuted in vietnam also with napalm but did not
helps to reach a victory.
Some kind of war can be done this way lke the pacific but as we all have seen
in Falluja is a dood to door guerrilla and big bombs will not do a lot...only many civilians died....in this case men to men fight.
Is not possible easly to win a war without deads on your side...
bombing so much is a clear way to kill a lot of number of people there....
is not important if children men women soldiers.....just bomb and bomb again
I am agree about:
The dropping of the atom bombs, as well as the fire bombings of japanese cities, should have been war crimes then and are definitely war crimes under current international law. IMO, those responsible should have been set on trial for crimes against humanity.

No-name
13-12-04, 20:12
I still think would make a good opinion poll. I don't know how to set it up.

ippolito
13-12-04, 21:11
I still think would make a good opinion poll. I don't know how to set it up.
sorry can you be more clear? tks

Duo
13-12-04, 21:23
Personal? If you say that the GMD government was illegitimate because it may have been recognized by "everyone else, but not to the us", then that sounds pretty much like Bushite talk: Either agree with us or you're irrelevant.


But I'd say bossel that what you are describing is not being a bushite, but is something that is deeply intrenched into the deep psychology of the US. Something that Robert Lifton would call "superpower syndrome", a beleif in the omnipotence and untouchability of the nation.

No-name
05-01-05, 02:58
Domo Arigato lexico

I think the bombs were horrible. So was firebombing Japanese cities. Both should be war crimes. But that's my opinion now, in hind sight, out of context, from the comfort of my safe office. I hope weapons of this sort are never used again.

IN context, it is difficult to think that Truman would or could make any other decision. From the American 1945 perspective, aerial bombing of civillian targets was already the norm. A terrible war, in which all the rules of conduct had been rewritten, was raging unabated and seemingly without end. The US military had seen the resolve of the Japanese over and over again, to fight past the point of any reasonable chance of success, to fight in any way possible, to the death, and to inflict the maximum number of casualties. The invasion of Japan was planned and large numbers of deaths on both sides were predicted. Truman had to drop the bombs.

In the last thread I mentioned that I hated this sort of reasoning- That the end of the war justifies this type of carnage and this selection of target.

We were angry after 3000 innocents were slaughtered on 9/11. But nothing is said about the 9000 or so Iraqi civillians that were killed and continue to die. Even if the war is justifiable, even with the most accurate weapons and most careful planning "collateral damage" is unavoidable. Can we justify this loss of life?

bossel
05-01-05, 20:58
Checked "serious war crime", but even without other options I'd still hold that view. Targeting civilians is IMO always a war crime.

digicross
05-01-05, 22:20
Interesting experiments. (It should be added to the list)

Not that everyone like interesting experiments though.


It should be noted that the fire bombing of Tokyo is much more devastating and more torturing than both the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The effect on the events in Nagasaki and Hiroshima is shock (to the ones who survived), while the effects for the events in Tokyo is terror (to the ones who are about to die and the ones who currently experienced the bombing).


The atomic bombings weren't done for a speedy war resolution, it was done to make people angry and fight each other (both in the present at that time and the future like now), and also for experiments.

Even before the atomic bombings, the Japanese government already offered to surrender... twice.

Though it should be noted that both governments (the Japanese government and the U.S.A. governments) are nothing more but puppets controlled by the same puppet master.

Just think, the Japanese government has no gain at all for attacking Pearl Harbour. Even if it have a grouch against the U.S.A., it can kick its butt later when it already captured South East Asia / East Indies.

And also the U.S.A. government has no gain at all at participating at the Pacific war, and also the European war.

The reasons these two governments go into wars was because they weren't acting on their own.

The same goes for the current wars.



Nevertheless, what has already happened has already happened. Past is past. Just leave it that way. No fuss. Nothing.

Besides, it was around 60 years ago! Most of the people who survived it are already grandparents (or great grandparents) or dead. The last thing they want to do is dig up old painful memories.

Man... Sometimes I wish many more people would be ignorant of history, since history can be used to make people fight each other. "War crimes", "War criminals", "War crime trials", and so on, those are nothing but a ploy to make people fight each other, can all of you people see that?


I remember a World War II story. Two people meet each other, long after World War II. After some talking with each other, they later found out that they both experienced the same event, one is bombing the city where the other one lives, while the other one was attacking the airplane that was bombing his city.

They become close friends though.

The moral of the story? Who cares!




Now... If you want to do a war, here are some tips;.

The best war is fought by making your enemies gave away their country to you without any battle. War is done through deception. Know your enemy and yourself. Divide and conquer is an effective strategy.

With my computation, I deduced that humankind's common enemy isn't human, as in, NOT a homo sapien.

No-name
05-01-05, 22:31
Even before the atomic bombings, the Japanese government already offered to surrender... twice.


Hmmm. I was under the impression that the first offer didn't come until August 12, after both bombs. Do you have a source?

Hey Digicross, I noticed you fly an Indonesian flag. How are things with you? Is there anything we can do?

Bossel-- I agree with your sentiment. People playing war should be required to stay away from houses and children.

Brooker
08-01-05, 09:36
Targeting civilians to achieve a military/political goal is just NOT OK. The ends DON'T justify the means.

No-name
08-01-05, 09:44
Targeting civilians to achieve a military/political goal is just NOT OK. The ends DON'T justify the means.

I wish I could agree with you. I want both my boys to live in a world where you are right and I am wrong about this.

I don't see another way (and I include the bombing campaigns in Germany and the firebombing of Japan in this) that the allies could have won the war. To have in your hands the means to end the death and destruction and not use it might also be called criminal.

No-name
18-01-05, 07:31
Only ten responses? (Seven replies?)... I thought this would be a much more controversial and interesting topic on this forum.

We are talking about the only use of a nuclear weapon against a civillian population ever. Talk about WMD's. The US has them, has used them and uses the rumor of their presence to invade another sovereign nation.

lexico
18-01-05, 14:30
Only ten responses? (Seven replies?)... I thought this would be a much more controversial and interesting topic on this forum.

We are talking about the only use of a nuclear weapon against a civillian population ever. Talk about WMD's. The US has them, has used them and uses the rumor of their presence to invade another sovereign nation.I understand your indignation about the lack of response. I try to find a reason for it such as wanting to avoid conflict or the fact that these incidents belong to the remote past. But I can only speak for myself. Because I am both ignorant about the subject, and inhibited by it.

The only thing I am sure of is that I had more than once applauded the dropping out of vengence. And I am ashamed to admit it. The more I think about it, I feel there is something inherently wrong about the whole thing.

When Albert Einstein suggested the bombing, he probably did not realize the true extent of the consequences. Fifty-five years later, when he was voted the most influential figure of the 20th century in the New York Times poll (was it Newsweek? I forgot.), it really burned me. People only think about the magnitude of the TNT equivalent of the bomb invented by this scientist. And that makes him important? I feel sorry for him for his involvement in such a horrendous act of human anhilation. He is probably the most guilt-torn man ever known. May he rest in peace, if that is permitted. May I rest in peace when I'm gone.

The only practical reconciliation or healing I've found was in art pieces that dealt with the subject; having at least some people trying to see nuclear warfare without prejudice is the only comfort I can get on a conscious plane.

But this is far from enough. I don't think I know enough to say any more. I hope to though.

No-name
18-01-05, 22:57
Einstein had very little to do with the development of the bomb. The letters he wrote in the thirties were basically warning that Germany would develop a bomb in time, and the US should also look into it. To take the idea of an atomic bomb from theoretical physics to practical application took room fulls of geniuses like J. Robert Oppenheimer, and lots and lots of cash.

I used to be appalled by the inhumanity of dropping such a horrendous weapon- especially on the targets that were chosen, and I still am. But I was born twenty years after the event, and the context of WWII has to be taken into consideration.

I think this is important because people tend to forget how nasty an implement this was. I think when people see that 9000 Iraqi civillians were killed in the invasion, they shrug those lives off. When the US continues to spend more money on better nuclear technology even without the Soviet threat, when military spending far outstrips humanitarian aid, when the former Soviet Union can't even account for half of its bombs and material, that this is an important issue.

So someone should chime in and set me straight. American imperialists like me that justify the incineration of a hundred thousand civillians in the name of peace deserve to be taken to task- especially by those who were targeted by this atrocious act.

Shooter452
20-01-05, 05:08
Only ten responses? (Seven replies?)... I thought this would be a much more controversial and interesting topic on this forum.

We are talking about the only use of a nuclear weapon against a civillian population ever. Talk about WMD's. The US has them, has used them and uses the rumor of their presence to invade another sovereign nation.

I keep trying to respond but these attempts are by nature lengthy. Each time I start, my 'puter pukes on me or the 'Net pukes, or something goes "ka-blooey" and all my cogent prose goes down the toilet.

I will try again.

No-name
20-01-05, 05:15
I keep trying to respond but these attempts are by nature lengthy. Each time I start, my 'puter pukes on me or the 'Net pukes, or something goes "ka-blooey" and all my cogent prose goes down the toilet.

I will try again.
lol... nuclear gremlins.

I'm watching The Final Battle on DTMS- it asks the question: Was the dropping of the atomic bombs necessary? Hmmmm. Comment to follow.

lexico
20-01-05, 06:38
I keep trying to respond but these attempts are by nature lengthy. Each time I start, my 'puter pukes on me or the 'Net pukes, or something goes "ka-blooey" and all my cogent prose goes down the toilet.
I will try again.I've experienced that myself. I have lost hours of work; when I say "preview," my explorer loses the connection, and my unsaved text in the reply window is gone forever. That is if I forget to make a back up right before clicking "preview." It must be the way local carriers are trimming seemingly loose clients after a certain period; maybe 30 mins or 1 hr. Save, save, save, as vigillence is the price of liberty. :wave:

lexico
22-01-05, 11:13
I used to be appalled by the inhumanity of dropping such a horrendous weapon- especially on the targets that were chosen, and I still am. But I was born twenty years after the event, and the context of WWII has to be taken into consideration.I am interested that your views had shifted from one to another; well so have mine, although in opposite directions. I wonder what might have been the turning point for you. Well, to speak for myself, getting to know a couple of Japanese persons came first. I would say that was a positive thing for me because they were really nice people. Then watching Japanese film/anime like Akira and Gojira gave me a sense of what might be working in the minds of these Japanese artists. Not that anybody said anything, but I began to see the inhumanity of the bombing. But that's only me.
I think this is important because people tend to forget how nasty an implement this was. I think when people see that 9000 Iraqi civillians were killed in the invasion, they shrug those lives off. When the US continues to spend more money on better nuclear technology even without the Soviet threat, when military spending far outstrips humanitarian aid, when the former Soviet Union can't even account for half of its bombs and material, that this is an important issue.To "forget" and to "shrug those lives off" is probably not an act of free will. I suspect, well again speaking for myself, firstly "ignorance," and secondly, the inability to process any decision because it is beyond my scope and too overwhelming. You do understand that "ignorance" and "being overwhelmed" are not contradictory, btw. Important yes, but that's a formal decision only, a kind of passive admission that it "should be important," not necessarily that I realize the magnitude of its true significance. It probably will take me time and other things for that to happen. I don't know about others, though....

So someone should chime in and set me straight. American imperialists like me that justify the incineration of a hundred thousand civillians in the name of peace deserve to be taken to task- especially by those who were targeted by this atrocious act.Why do you wish to be criticized? I'm sure it's not because you enjoy the excitement of heated debates or winning an argument. Curiosity, of course we are all curious beings, but that also counts out as the primary reason. So why?

As a matter of fact, you raised an important point that I tend to agree to.
Why are there no Japanese flags in this thread, or the previous one?
Is it a language thing? Do you think if we posted a Japanese version of the poll somewhere, it will get some reasonable number of responses from Japanese individuals? But I thought we had many Japanese members already. Should we try the Japanese subforum? Or even somewhere else? Or is it too remote, timewise, or taboo for our Japanese members to talk about these things?

No-name
22-01-05, 21:12
Wow, I just realized that there are no Japanese flags here. I would be definitely interested in those particular thoughts. There are many nihonjin that post in English. I need to hear from them.

I'm definitely torn between an idealism of what "should be" and the reality of what "was". Truman had in his posession a device of nearly inconceivable destructive power that would inflict maximum casualties on enemy civillians with little or no risk to American lives. I could, in all probability, end the war. This was the reality sixty years ago.

The documentary I watched the other night argued that millions would have died if the war continued. Russia would have entered the war and taken Asian territories. The Japanese would have murdered tens of thousands of POW's and hundreds of thousands of civillian prisoners. A million Japanese civillians and soldiers would have been stranded in China. The destruction in Japan would have been far more complete. Japan would have probably ceased to be a nation. And so the bombing was justified because of the outcome.

It is far too easy, having benefitted from that outcome (My uncles and father would have been involved in the invasion of Japan) with sixty years behind me to point the finger and say "bad." I have to look at the decision in context and realize that it was the only reasonable one the President could make.

And this is the source of my conflict: The ends justifies the means. Bad historical precedence in my opinion. I don't believe civillians should ever be targeted. Aerial indiscriminate bombing nuclear or otherwise-- should be a war crime. But that is what we did-- in the last "good" war.

Brooker
23-01-05, 04:28
Only ten responses? (Seven replies?)... I thought this would be a much more controversial and interesting topic on this forum.


Well, in my case (and probably the case with several other people also) I've had lengthy, heated debates about this in the past that were very draining and, although I'm very passionate about the issue, I just don't want to get into it again.

Anything I would say, would just be expanding on what I've already said.


Targeting civilians to achieve a military/political goal is just NOT OK. The ends DON'T justify the means.

That statement really sums up my feelings on the issue.

mad pierrot
23-01-05, 05:06
Only ten responses? (Seven replies?)... I thought this would be a much more controversial and interesting topic on this forum.

I thought the same thing. I've actually been pondering what to write but I always end up with a huge essay I think is crap. So, here it is in one sentence:

It wasn't necessary, but it was inevitable.

Seriously, there are lots of good sources out there supporting that 1) Japan was ready to surrender, and 2) that it wasn't. I've been to Hiroshima, and even talked to a survivor. (Thanks to Kansai Gaidai's Prof. Scott.)

No-name
23-01-05, 06:00
I would definitely like to visit Hiroshima one day.

I am unaware of sources that indicate that Japan was willing to surrender before August 1945. The Potsdam declaration remained unaswered and the war continued unabated. The military continued to prepare for Japan's invasion, and to develop new weaponry.

The day before the surrender there was an attempted coup by jr. army officers at the palace to prevent the surender. Even after the bombs, there were those in Japan that were unwilling to accept defeat.

mad pierrot
23-01-05, 06:05
Sabro,

If you're really interested I'd be happy to go dig them up for you. When I was at Kansai Gaidai, we were given the following essay question: "Would you have dropped the bomb?" Suffice to say, it sparked alot of debate, especially when the whole class went to Hiroshima and listened to Mrs. Yamaoka speak. (The survivor.) Alot of good material was brought up by both sides of the argument.

lexico
23-01-05, 20:16
You know what, I think we could all benefit from a trip to Hiroshima or Nagasaki someday.
Without the real link, I have a feeling that I might get drained like Brooker said earlier. What did you feel about the lady, mad pierrot?

Flashjeff
24-01-05, 12:29
The dropping of the bombs continue to be a hell of a thorny issue to this day, especially since it inadvertantly led to nearly fifty years of terrifying fear of Mutually Assured Destruction afterward, thanks to the Cold War. While 150,000 lives were lost, and that can never be forgotten, the death toll could've been many times higher if Allied forces had invaded the home islands while the Japanese Army was intent on fighting to the death. Such a battle might've made Okinawa look like a back alley brawl by comparison. Even though I'm retired military (Navy), I wish the bombs hadn't been dropped. While I don't excuse the decision to have done so, I can understand the terrible rationale.

mad pierrot
24-01-05, 15:16
What did you feel about the lady, mad pierrot?

Depressed. Really, really depressed. She was practically in ground zero, actually, and only barely survived. (She was rescued by her mother from under a pile of rubble.) Her neck had melted into her shoulder, and her fingers were stuck together. She's had surgery over 8 times, I think, to repair the physical damage, she's part blind, also deaf in one ear, and has malignant cancer. She spoke in Japanese (there was a translator) and I was just starting to learn Japanese when I went to see her, but I understood some. I'll never forget when she said "Jigoku mita." ("I saw hell.") She went on to describe bodies clogging the rivers, people with their guts falling out, etc. (She also said she can't eat sausage anymore after seeing what she saw.) All in all, I felt like sh*t for days after hearing her talk. On the other hand, it was inspiring to hear her say she doesn't hate America or hold anything against the US for dropping the bomb.

No-name
24-01-05, 18:23
Maciamo-- I hope no one ever has to suffer like that again.

NagoyaIan
25-01-05, 16:43
Japan had already been given ultimatums and had refused to surrender in spite of hundreds of thousands of civillian deaths. The potsdam declaration, leaflet drops and radio broadcasts calling for surrender were all ignored-- and dozens of Japanese cities were firebombed- killing far more civillians than the atomic bomb. If burning Tokyo to the ground didn't work, then why would bombing some deserted island work?


This is arse. Japan was already seeking to surrender when the first was dropped, and the second was dropped out of scientific curiosity. Both were not needed. Japan already knew the war was lost at this point. As for the fire bombing of Tokyo, that was another horrific act by the Americans at the time. But it was also a lot earlier in the war, when there was still a chance of, if not victory, of a favourable peace treaty.

To say the massacre of hundreads of thousands of civillians was in any way justified is horrific.

NagoyaIan
25-01-05, 17:02
I also hear that Japan had already tried to surrender before the first bomb was dropped, and the second was dropped out of scientific curiousity. That and the fire bombing of Tokyo were horrendous things to do. There is no justification for it. Japan was finished, even if it wouldn't surrender, it had lost the means to fight in any meaningful way.

NagoyaIan
25-01-05, 17:09
I don't think carpet bombing of cities helped the war effort very much. For what I know, it may have even strengthened morale of the population. Industrial production didn't really suffer that much, either. In the 2nd half of 1944 German production of war related materials was higher than ever.

Indiscriminate carpet bombing was not really effective. Selective bombing of eg. railroads & oil refineries was much more efficient.

In fact, it did. In Europe, an RAF squadron accidentally droped thier bombs on a civillian city after becoming lost. This led to the Germans bombing civillians in England as retaliation. The fact that many more bombing raids attacked citys rather than military targets actually helped the industrial/millitary infrastructure survive. Without this, Britain would have been defeated.

No-name
25-01-05, 18:53
I also hear that Japan had already tried to surrender before the first bomb was dropped, and the second was dropped out of scientific curiousity. That and the fire bombing of Tokyo were horrendous things to do. There is no justification for it. Japan was finished, even if it wouldn't surrender, it had lost the means to fight in any meaningful way.

I will check sources, but I don't know of any serious surrender discussions before the 1st bomb. In Hirohito's writings he tells of being in his garden when a US bomber dropped leaflets warning that Tokyo was going to be bombed the next day. He new then that the war was lost, but it was more than a month before Hiroshima. According to my sources it wasn't until the second bomb that the Emperor offered "unconditional" surrender.

Ending the war ASAP: There is a justification for the bombings of all of Japan's major cities (it may not be a great one, but it is a justification). And if Japan was finished militarily, but they still were killing allied soldiers and civillians daily. Entire suicide units were being organized to use planes, boats, subs, and any other means possible to kill the invading Americans. A plan to launch bombers from three large submarines to attack the Panama canal was in the works. The killing continued.

I don't mean to minimize the suffering of the nation, but Japan continued to fight on well after any hope of winning was gone. Japan could have avoided the whole thing by not starting the war. They could have surrendered in 1943, or 1944, or earlier in 1945. It may have been meaningless, but Japan still had millions of soldiers, and still presented a significant threat. If Japan had not surrendered when it did, the US bombing campaign would have been stepped up, and the shelling of coastal areas by battleships would have began. Millions of Japanese soldiers and civillans stranded around the Pacific by the destruction of the Imperial Navy were starving.

I'm certain that scientific curiosity played a role- why else did we choose previously untouched cities? Racism also played a role. I think in the Pacific we saw the Japanese people- the entire race- as the enemy unlike with Germany and Italy where it was Hitler, the Nazi's, and Mussolini that were the personification of the enemy. Checking the Soviet expansion was probably another reason.

In 1945, my father was in Italy waiting to be redeployed for the invasion of Japan. My uncle was in the Pacific clearing caves and bunkers as an engineer. Three of my other uncles were in Japanese language school waiting to be deployed as interpreters. I doubt that all of them would have survived an invasion of Japan.

No-name
25-01-05, 23:18
Help me out. I need a source on Japan seeking to surrender before the first A-bomb.

What Bossel said about the ineffectiveness of the strategic bombing campaign in Germany is pretty persuasive.

The firebombing of Tokyo and most of the rest of Japan began six months before Hiroshima.

I will never say that bombing civillians is good, nor will I try to say that it was not horrific. I think it is too easy to place our comfortable modern perspectives on the decision to drop the bomb, and forget the terrible context in which horrific things seemed justified.

No-name
25-01-05, 23:26
This article is pretty good:
The Great Tokyo Air Raid - An Enormous War Crime
By Hiroaki Sato, JapanTimes.co.jp 10-1-2
http://www.rense.com/general29/asdi.htm

"...one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of noncombatants in all history."
Gen. Curtis LeMay, the man responsible for the bombing campaign.

He also said "I am glad that we won the war...if we had not, I should be tried as a war criminal."

NagoyaIan
26-01-05, 02:20
I will check sources, but I don't know of any serious surrender discussions before the 1st bomb. In Hirohito's writings he tells of being in his garden when a US bomber dropped leaflets warning that Tokyo was going to be bombed the next day. He new then that the war was lost, but it was more than a month before Hiroshima. According to my sources it wasn't until the second bomb that the Emperor offered "unconditional" surrender.

.

Unnconditional surrender, maybe. But that dosn't mean that they wern't trying to surrender on slightly more favorable terms before that.


Ending the war ASAP: There is a justification for the bombings of all of Japan's major cities (it may not be a great one, but it is a justification). And if Japan was finished militarily, but they still were killing allied soldiers and civillians daily. Entire suicide units were being organized to use planes, boats, subs, and any other means possible to kill the invading Americans. A plan to launch bombers from three large submarines to attack the Panama canal was in the works. The killing continued.

Which justifies wiping out two cities? I notice that you only mention invading Americans, I take it you have forgotten about the British, Australian and Kiwi troops? And all the other nationalities involved?



I don't mean to minimize the suffering of the nation, but Japan continued to fight on well after any hope of winning was gone. Japan could have avoided the whole thing by not starting the war. They could have surrendered in 1943, or 1944, or earlier in 1945. It may have been meaningless, but Japan still had millions of soldiers, and still presented a significant threat. If Japan had not surrendered when it did, the US bombing campaign would have been stepped up, and the shelling of coastal areas by battleships would have began. Millions of Japanese soldiers and civillans stranded around the Pacific by the destruction of the Imperial Navy were starving.

However, the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima didn't start the war or seek to continue it. But they are the ones that suffered.

How can an island nation without a navy be a significant threat to anyone? Given that the Allies had almost complete control of the air.


In 1945, my father was in Italy waiting to be redeployed for the invasion of Japan. My uncle was in the Pacific clearing caves and bunkers as an engineer. Three of my other uncles were in Japanese language school waiting to be deployed as interpreters. I doubt that all of them would have survived an invasion of Japan

Which is justification for nuking 2 cities? My fiancees grandfather faught in the pacific in WW2, and he is from Hiroshima. Her Grandmaother was there the day the bomb was dropped. Luckily enough they live far enough away from the main city for her not be affected (he was away fighting at the time).

War is bad, but why is it justified that one group of people die so that another group don't have to? Would it be worse if your family members or my future family members were killed?

And, strangly enough, Gaijin like me arn't to popular with my fiancees Grandfather. Even though I'm not American.

No-name
26-01-05, 05:37
Unnconditional surrender, maybe. But that dosn't mean that they wern't trying to surrender on slightly more favorable terms before that.



Which justifies wiping out two cities? I notice that you only mention invading Americans, I take it you have forgotten about the British, Australian and Kiwi troops? And all the other nationalities involved?




However, the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima didn't start the war or seek to continue it. But they are the ones that suffered.

How can an island nation without a navy be a significant threat to anyone? Given that the Allies had almost complete control of the air.



Which is justification for nuking 2 cities? My fiancees grandfather faught in the pacific in WW2, and he is from Hiroshima. Her Grandmaother was there the day the bomb was dropped. Luckily enough they live far enough away from the main city for her not be affected (he was away fighting at the time).

War is bad, but why is it justified that one group of people die so that another group don't have to? Would it be worse if your family members or my future family members were killed?

And, strangly enough, Gaijin like me arn't to popular with my fiancees Grandfather. Even though I'm not American.

I appreciate your opinion. Although I disagree, I whole-heartedly embrace the sentiment. I hate the "ends justify the means" rationale. I wish I had something better.

Significantly higher numbers of Japanese would have died had the A-bombs not been dropped. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Japanese would have died in the next few months of that war. That bomb may have saved both of your fiance's grandparents. But that thought was probably never in Truman's mind.

War is horrible. (Every one should stop. Civilllians should never be targeted) Truman had in his posession a device that could possibly end the war with little risk to any of his own people. To pursuade him to not use it because innocent enemy civillians would die is not entirely realistic. I think we always need to place the event into the proper historical perspective.

Japan, even as an island nation, continued to be a threat even after the destruction of its navy and most of its cities. Although its people were starving, the economy was still geared to produce planes and bombs and bullets. Whatever they could get in the air, on the water, or across land was meant to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy. Japan still had in its control millions of Chinese who were suffering and hundreds of thousands of civillians from other countries as well as POW's. These people were being starved, beaten, overworked and killed. I'm not certain that the US would simply stop at the coast, declare victory and then go home. I'm not sure this is logical. The terms were unconditional.

Although the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not start the war, their government did. This government willing entered into war and was the first to target civillians and to bomb areas indiscriminately. Even as the war turned, this government would not surrender and should bear most (but not all) of the blame for the suffering of their own people.

Glenn
26-01-05, 07:20
I understand the opposition to the "ends justify the means" theory (I don't necessarily subscribe to it either), but I'm not sure that there was an alternative to dropping the bombs. If there was, I'd like to know about it. From what I've read, Japan did not offer to surrender before the bombs were dropped, and even after the second one was dropped, there were those who wanted to continue fighting so that they could possibly surrender on better terms for Japan. The Japanese government refused the Potsdam Declaration, which would have ended the war, and the dropping of the second bomb is attributed to the lack of a prompt response by the Japanese government.

It has seemed to me for a while now that the situation is analogous to one in the movie Crimson Tide, in which there is a leak in one of the submarine compartments, and the people trying to fix it get stuck in the room as it fills with water. It comes to a point where the decision has to be made to lock them in there and let them drown, or lose the enitre submarine and crew. Yeah, it's cruel and coldhearted, but what would you do? The anology may not hold up completely, but it seems to me to be valid for this discussion.

My source for the historical facts is Kenneth G. Henshall's A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312233701/qid=1106716716/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-8877370-3002337?v=glance&s=books).

No-name
26-01-05, 08:42
Domo Arigato Glenn. I agree with you, and I kinda' get the analogy. However in your anology the decision is harder because you actually want to save the crewmen. They are not your enemy nor are they trying to harm you. If you want to get into the mindset of a war, you have to get into that kill or be killed survival mode. It may also help to convince yourself that your enemy is different, evil, or subhuman.

My friend gave me the analogy of two boxers, one that is out on his feet, but refuses to give up. The ref doesn't stop the fight. Do you hit him again?

About Truman's decision: When a nation's leader is at war shouldn't he consider the lives of his own citizens and soldiers more important than those of his enemy?

NagoyaIan
27-01-05, 03:57
Well, a lot of that is at odds with what I have read, but I'd be hard pressed to find the sources. And it's quite an emotive issue, one on which it would be hard to change peoples minds. I know it would be almost impossible for someone to change my mindset on this topic. But I will say one thing, and thats that there was a element or racism involved. Basically, the Japanese were seen as less than human, and thus it was acceptable to do things to them that wouldn't have been done to Europeans.

No-name
27-01-05, 05:15
I can agree with most of what you say. I have actually changed my mind on this topic twice- once after my HS history teacher had us write position papers on the bombing and then held a "Truman Trial." Although my paper condemned the bombing, I was selected as the chief defense attorney. I was so upset when I won. Through college and teaching history during the last 18 years, I have arrived at what I argued here. (But I hate it. Gandhi would not approve. Jesus would not have dropped the bomb.)

Although I agree that racism played some role, I don't think Truman would have hesitated to incinerate a pair of german cities.

We always have to remind ourselves how horrible it was (like the holocaust or rape of Nanking) and dig into how humans can do these things to each other. It helps keep us from repeating them.

NagoyaIan
27-01-05, 05:18
I think that the only good thing to come from it is that everyone saw what a horrific weapon the neuclear bomb is, and thus no-one has used one since.

No-name
27-01-05, 06:10
The end of World War II wasn't a good thing?

Hanoi
30-01-05, 20:03
I would say that the US atomic bombing of the two cities served two main purposes. 1) a a revenge for what the Japanese did to the Pearl Harbour.
2) a deterrent to the Soviet Union.

bossel
31-01-05, 01:11
In fact, it did. In Europe, an RAF squadron accidentally droped thier bombs on a civillian city after becoming lost. This led to the Germans bombing civillians in England as retaliation. The fact that many more bombing raids attacked citys rather than military targets actually helped the industrial/millitary infrastructure survive. Without this, Britain would have been defeated.
You are right insofar as that the distraction of the German bombers helped the British military. But that only proves the point I made: the Luftwaffe was rather successful only as long as they targeted military objects.

AFAIK, you're wrong about the RAF bombing Berlin accidentally. It was the other way round: the Luftwaffe accidentally bombed the London docks (on Aug. 24,1940), which incensed Churchill so much that he ordered Berlin to be bombed (on Aug. 25). The utter destruction of an arbour in a Berlin suburb in turn incensed Hitler so much that he ordered the bombing of British cities. Which led to the German defeat in the "Battle of Britain."



I would say that the US atomic bombing of the two cities served two main purposes. 1) a a revenge for what the Japanese did to the Pearl Harbour.
That may have been one of the purposes, but does that justify it?

NagoyaIan
31-01-05, 01:55
I would say that the US atomic bombing of the two cities served two main purposes. 1) a a revenge for what the Japanese did to the Pearl Harbour.
2) a deterrent to the Soviet Union.


Wiping out two cities of civilians was revenge for dropping conventional bombs on a military target? How do you work that one out?

No-name
31-01-05, 23:26
Wiping out two cities of civilians was revenge for dropping conventional bombs on a military target? How do you work that one out?
Justification is a difficult word. Killing is wrong, but in a war, people kill each other. How do you justify taking even one life? Any aerial bombing of civillian targets is hard to justify, but the Allies flattened Germany, too. (It was a war they will tell you.)

Take into context the entire pacific war. Pearl Harbor was not the only target of Japanese bombs. Think of a dozen cities in China, South East Asia, the Phillipines...but revenge is still a poor reason. "They started it." seems rather childish. How about military expediency- kill your people to save our own people? Ending the war and saving lives on both sides?

The Truman decision: If you had in your power the means to stop the endless slaughter of thousands of soldiers and civillians a day, in a war that you did not start, at the cost of thousands of their civillians, but at the risk of none of yours... some would consider it a crime not to act. Whether for some idea of revenge, or a childish tit for tat, or as a threat to future agressors and a demonstration of strength, or as that deal with the devil to end the war-- whatever justification you choose, it will seem a pale excuse to those who suffered from it, and it would not even weigh on that President's decision to drop the bomb. I'm certain he could make no other decision.

Glenn
01-02-05, 06:53
I wanted to say that my mind isn't 100% made up on this issue. There is still a lot that I don't know about what actually happened. I understand that the racism element may have been there, but at the same time there weren't many people around the world who were very sympathetic to the Japanese at the time. They commited horrific crimes against the natives of the lands that they were conquering and against POWs. I think that it's understandable that they were viewed as less than human, just from the acts that they had committed. Again, this isn't my personal belief per se, but I can understand it. One thing that I found quite interesting is that there was discussion of eliminating the entire Japanese race, because they were seen as being a threat to the world due to their ultra-nationalism and own racist beliefs.

Also, I've given it some thought, and I wonder if the Allied forces could have bombed Japanese factories and military locations conventionally to bring the war to a close, thereby not involving civilians (at least not as many as in the case of the atomic bombs) and showing the Japanese that there was no possible way that they could continue to fight. This seems to me to be the best possible scenario. I wonder if the thought occurred to anyone in power.

Glenn
01-02-05, 08:50
I've merged the two threads into one and tried to prune the resulting thread for continuity. I hope this works out well.

No-name
01-02-05, 18:44
Domo Arigato, Glenn
Good Job.

I have not changed my opinion, but I am very unhappy with the reasoning behind it. I find myself rooting for those who believe it to be a war crime and hoping they will convince me.

Sabro

No-name
07-02-05, 23:19
"Survivors - and historians -also argue the bomb was dropped because the United States wanted to make a show of force to the Soviet Union in the opening round of the Cold War. And they contend the United States did not want to let a $2 billion project go unused.

Even some Manhattan Project scientists had doubts about dropping the bomb on a city. Some signed a petition requesting a demonstration explosion in water or on an island near Japan to impress the Japanese leaders.

Glenn Seaborg, one of plutonium's discoverers, signed that petition. "It just seemed like a good possibility that Japan would have surrendered without the loss of lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki."We may have been wrong. They may not have surrendered," Seaborg said. "It was not a clearcut matter. You could argue the other side." But Seaborg said he would sign the petition again today.

U.S. leaders feared a demonstration with a still largely experimental bomb could easily fizzle - and not impress anyone."They argued that the sooner we used it on Japan, the sooner we would end the war," Seaborg said.

Japan appeared determined to continue the war in the summer of 1945.

Struggles were waged among Japan's top military and civilian leaders on whether to fight or surrender, but the pro-war military factions dominated.

Despite the internal debate, Japan's leaders publicly presented a united front of defiance to the outside world.

Because the Allies had broken Japan's codes, the men responsible for making the decision to drop the bomb had some clues about the split among Japan's leaders. But debate continues today on how much the Allies knew.

On July 26, 1945, Allied leaders issued the Potsdam Declaration, calling for Japan to surrender or face destruction.

Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki described his reaction to the Potsdam Declaration as "to kill it with silence" - the equivalent of saying, "No comment."

But the Japanese military told newspapers July 28 that Suzuki's reaction was to "treat it with silent contempt." And that was the message received by the Allies.

Some Nagasaki survivors like Uchida blame the military for continuing the war until the bombs dropped. He said he felt "rage, anger and fierce fury" at Japanese military leaders "for not surrendering when they knew we had lost the war."

The first atomic bomb fell Aug. 6, 1945, on Hiroshima. Hirohito and the military knew about that city's destruction later that day, but were paralyzed by indecision. Hirohito did not meet with his supreme war council until about 11 a.m. Aug. 9, within minutes of when the second bomb fell on Nagasaki.

In the first days after the Hiroshima attack, Japan's government tried to keep the awesome destruction a secret from the rest of the nation. "The Japanese military did not want people to know about the atomic bomb," said Tsuia Etchu, founder of Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb museum. Etchu was an army officer in the city of Fukuoka when the bomb fell.

Vague newspaper accounts were published Aug. 8, describing a new bomb inflicting "considerable" damage on Hiroshima. Nagasaki Prefecture's governor learned about the true extent of Hiroshima's devastation Aug. 8 from an eyewitness.

Uchida criticizes the speed of the second bombing. "Three days was not enough time to make the decision to surrender."

But after Hiroshima, the United States wanted to hit Japan with a second bomb quickly to create the illusion it had many atomic bombs ready, instead of just two.

On the afternoon of Aug. 9, after learning of Nagasaki's destruction, Japan's supreme war council remained split 3-3 on surrendering.That evening, Hirohito persuaded the die-hards on the council to accept surrender. "If the bomb was not dropped on Nagasaki, the military would have continued the war," Etchu said. "I think dropping the atomic bomb shortened the war.""

I found this article on the web. (http://archive.tri-cityherald.com/BOMB/bomb15.html) It brings up every point we've discussed here.

I still have not found any evidence of a Japanese desire to surrender before the bombs were dropped.

Aristander
25-07-10, 07:33
I for one am glad that the bombs ended the war, because my father was training for Operation Olympic, which would have been the invasion of Kyushu.
Before the dropping of the bombs the estimates of casualties that would be suffered by the US invasion forces to conquer Japan ran from 1.7 million to 4 million, with 400,000 to 800,000 deaths. The estimate for Japanese civilians and military was from 5 to 10 million people.
In preparation for the invasion the US manufactured 500,000 Purple Heart Medals (given for combat wounds or in case of death in combat.) There are still over 100,000 in stock, even with all the combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I believe that President Truman looked at these estimated casualties and did not think he had choice. If he had not authorized the use and the US would have suffered half of that number of casualties he would probably been tried as a war criminal by the American people.

LeBrok
25-07-10, 21:12
I agree with last two recent posts (didn't have time to read all). As terrible as this might sound, Japanese should be glad for atom bombs. War ended much faster with fewer casualties on both sides, especially on Japanese side. Fire bombing of Tokyo did more carnage than both atom bombs, and no one protesting it much.
Japan, being an aggressor, plus committing countless crimes again humanity all over Asia, shouldn't play the victim and blame "all bad" USA for dropping a bomb or two.
Other than that I like Japanese, they are a great addition to variety of human kind.

Rastko Pocesta
28-04-11, 17:27
The ultimate crime against humanity. Those responsible for it should have been tried after the victory was achieved.

LeBrok
28-04-11, 19:56
If you spent more time reading and thinking, instead of mindlessly posting today, you might resemble more of a human being. :rolleyes2:

Rastko Pocesta
29-04-11, 02:12
If you spent more time reading and thinking, instead of mindlessly posting today, you might resemble more of a human being. :rolleyes2:

Curtis LeMay - for war crimes and crimes against humanity which constitute the crime of genocide against the Japanese people in the bombings which destroyed fifty to ninety percent of all cities in Japan. The total number of victims will never be known, but millions are in question. That same LeMay was employed by further administrations and in 1961 was the vocal advocate and proponent of the use of nuclear weapons in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Without doubt the worst war criminal on the Allied side of the World War II. What is Dresden compared to what Allies did to Japan?

LeBrok
29-04-11, 05:36
What would be your choice?
1. Sacrifice 2 millions of your citizens/soldiers conquering one Japanese island after another, Okinawa times a 100. Plus millions of Japanese would be killed in this process too.

2. Drop a powerful bomb, kill hundreds of thousand of enemy (ones that started the war), without loosing lives of your citizens, scare hell out of Japanese and finish the war in weeks.

What is your choice Rastko if you were a president of USA?
Would you become a war criminal to save millions of lives on both sides??? Or maybe a hero? Can you be both?

Melusine
29-04-11, 06:34
Rastko:

Have you actually read the History of Japan during 1937 and 1945 (WW2)?


The Japanese killed over 30 million Filipinos, Malays, etc, and over 23 million Chinese, and this is just a "small sample" of what the Japanese did and would have continued doing if they had not been stopped by the bombs.

Source Wikipedia Google How many chinese did japan kill by country in WW2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes

And while your at it look up the rest of the Google search references.

Makira

Rastko Pocesta
29-04-11, 18:52
Rastko:

Have you actually read the History of Japan during 1937 and 1945 (WW2)?


The Japanese killed over 30 million Filipinos, Malays, etc, and over 23 million Chinese, and this is just a "small sample" of what the Japanese did and would have continued doing if they had not been stopped by the bombs.

Source Wikipedia Google How many chinese did japan kill by country in WW2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes

And while your at it look up the rest of the Google search references.

Makira

And the imperialist actions of Japanese Empire justify mass murder of innocent civilians? By the way, nuclear bombs had lasting effect on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and generations suffered from it. And generations will suffer.

It was not Hirohito who suffered, but women, elderly and children.

LeBrok
30-04-11, 05:59
It's easy to be a demagogue from behind a desk filled with idealistic books.
What would you do in real life if you were president of US?

1. Sacrifice 2 millions of your citizens/soldiers conquering one Japanese island after another, Okinawa times a 100. Plus millions of Japanese would be killed in this process too.

2. Drop a powerful bomb, kill hundreds of thousand of enemy (ones that started the war), without loosing lives of your citizens, scare hell out of Japanese and finish the war in weeks. You can save trillions of dollars of your peoples money shortening the war and millions Japanese lives too.

Are you still thinking?
Real life dilemma dude, make your hands dirty, spill blood, save your people, be a man Mr Booksaint.

Rastko Pocesta
30-04-11, 21:12
It's easy to be a demagogue from behind a desk filled with idealistic books.
What would you do in real life if you were president of US?

1. Sacrifice 2 millions of your citizens/soldiers conquering one Japanese island after another, Okinawa times a 100. Plus millions of Japanese would be killed in this process too.

2. Drop a powerful bomb, kill hundreds of thousand of enemy (ones that started the war), without loosing lives of your citizens, scare hell out of Japanese and finish the war in weeks. You can save trillions of dollars of your peoples money shortening the war and millions Japanese lives too.

Are you still thinking?
Real life dilemma dude, make your hands dirty, spill blood, save your people, be a man Mr Booksaint.

Enemy soldiers?! Children are enemy soldiers?! Generations suffered and suffer and will suffer from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan would most likely surrender soon after the invasion began, so talking about 2 million dead soldiers is silly...

how yes no 2
03-05-11, 23:32
It's easy to be a demagogue from behind a desk filled with idealistic books.
What would you do in real life if you were president of US?

1. Sacrifice 2 millions of your citizens/soldiers conquering one Japanese island after another, Okinawa times a 100. Plus millions of Japanese would be killed in this process too.
why on earth do you need to conquer Japanese islands?
if they lost the war, that does not mean USA had right to occupy their land...
and especially the right to test new horrifying weapon on civilians


2. Drop a powerful bomb, kill hundreds of thousand of enemy (ones that started the war), without loosing lives of your citizens, scare hell out of Japanese and finish the war in weeks. You can save trillions of dollars of your peoples money shortening the war and millions Japanese lives too.

how is civil population of two big towns an enemy?
in what way is such an attack different from 11/09 attempt of some Arab fanatics to scare hell out of Americans and finish decades of USA messing in their matters?

LeBrok
04-05-11, 04:09
Ok ostriches, pull up your heads off a sand and make a choice, the real life choice.
Your noble and idealistic blah, blah, blah doesn't run countries or win wars!

LeBrok
04-05-11, 04:55
Enemy soldiers?! Children are enemy soldiers?!
Why do you value life of women and children more than men/soldiers?
Besides, most soldiers were not volunteers. You forgot to tell Americans not to kill Japanese soldiers, because they were forced to fight by their government.


Generations suffered and suffer and will suffer from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan would most likely surrender soon after the invasion began, so talking about 2 million dead soldiers is silly...

What?! 2 million dead men is silly, especially if they are your countrymen?! Wouldn't you bomb 100 000 Croats or Bosniaks and make many suffer to save 2 million Serbian men, and finish a war in one week? Save your father, brother, and your friends that can die in a war too. Keep in mind that you are a president and lives of all your countrymen is in your hands. You can save them or send them to slaughter.
Instead you're playing humanitarian card of saving enemies women and children, because you don't like the atom bomb. Dude, how many women and children would die if fighting starts on streets of Tokyo?! Oh, but that's ok because they would die from normal bombs and bullets.
You are even not considering the fact that japan would be all in ruins with millions more killed. But that's ok, it would be from normal bullets and to rebuild it it's about dirty money, no biggy. Oh, and maybe it won't be that bad because maybe they will surrender sooner.

LeBrok
04-05-11, 05:11
why on earth do you need to conquer Japanese islands?
if they lost the war, that does not mean USA had right to occupy their land...
and especially the right to test new horrifying weapon on civilians
First of all you need to tell Japanese that their god/emperor lost the war, and they would never believe you. The Japanese government would proclaim victory regardless.
Secondly, you would leave all their occupied nations in Asia to Japan. But who cares, they are just Asians, and we know how well Japan was treating them.
Thirdly, not finishing Japan would leave a possibility of recovery and new Japan/US war.
On top of it if you treated Japan this way, why wouldn't we leave Germany with Hitler in power in pre war borders???!!! All peachy, all fixed, let's go home.



how is civil population of two big towns an enemy?
in what way is such an attack different from 11/09 attempt of some Arab fanatics to scare hell out of Americans and finish decades of USA messing in their matters?
Who told you there is a difference???

Reinaert
05-05-11, 18:24
The Americans lied all the way through history.

The American Navy had a good weapon that was kept secret. Their submarines were able to destroy the Japanese shipping during the last year of the war. Before that time, the torpedo weapons had a lot of flaws.
And they developed a good aiming system.
So... Supply ships were sunk.
Many Japanese soldiers were simply stuck on islands. Somewhere in the ocean. No supplies, no food.

Another thing is, the USSR kept a very large Japanese army at bay in North East Asia.
Americans never even mentioned that.

Dropping the bombs was a war crime. Period.
And not necessary. The Japanese were giving in already.
Don't forget the hoax of Pearl Harbor was created in the first place to beat the hell out the Japanese.
The USA simply wanted to use the weapons that had cost them such a large amount of investments!
There must have been a lot of panic, because the war was nearly over!

himagain
20-01-12, 06:01
It is a sad fact that every social group and every country contains persons who work in collusion
to take the property/territory of others. It is sad that war is as ingrained in societies as it is. It is
also sad that a percentage of the peace loving majority of humans ultimately suffers immeasurably
at the extended hands of extremely dominant persons.

Seanp
12-11-17, 18:29
First of all you need to tell Japanese that their god/emperor lost the war, and they would never believe you. The Japanese government would proclaim victory regardless.
Secondly, you would leave all their occupied nations in Asia to Japan. But who cares, they are just Asians, and we know how well Japan was treating them.
Thirdly, not finishing Japan would leave a possibility of recovery and new Japan/US war.
On top of it if you treated Japan this way, why wouldn't we leave Germany with Hitler in power in pre war borders???!!! All peachy, all fixed, let's go home.


The Japanese military basically copy pasted the German military technology with more or less success, while Nazi Germans were helped out by American companies including the IBM which created computers for the Nazis including the the Grandfather of George Bush who helped them to give loans, and Rockefeller who brought oil through South America to the Nazi state in secret operations. in other words the Nazi Germany couldn't stand a chance without the technological help of the US.
They had neither the military nor technically advance to make a real threat against US, to make a reference not even North Korea a few years ago had the ability to reach the shores of American lands, let alone the Japanese in the 40's. It's been proven by non US biased historians that the US were prepared for an attack on Hawaii from the Japanese military forces, but it was part of a plan to have the American public's sympathy to get involed in war, in other words a propaganda to deceive the public into thinking Japanese are a real threat to American freedom, I guess you know the sufferings and deaths of Japanese citizens during the World ward II, that was basically a racial based holocaust against hard working Americans who had just one thing in common: They had Japanese ancestry.

Hitler's American business partners


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMKnH2BlkBA

Mayama
04-03-19, 15:16
Its just horrible.

ZakICarey
01-11-19, 21:01
Definitely a crime against humanity.