The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

binsfeldcyhawk2

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HumbleP1e

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It meant my Dad got to be on a ship on his way home in September of 1945 instead of being sent as part of the invasion of Japan.
My siblings and I are grateful for that. He might not have come home.
My grandfather surfaced on a naval ship on a coast of Japan at the close or the war. I don't know many specifics, but he always mentioned how going back aboard rough seas, he was nearly left behind. It's just unfathomable to me.
 

l.todd

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It meant my Dad got to be on a ship on his way home in September of 1945 instead of being sent as part of the invasion of Japan.
My siblings and I are grateful for that. He might not have come home.
Unfortunately, my family had the opposite result. My grandfather was in the Navy at the time and was sent to poke around the ruins. Apparently they didn’t really understand how much radiation was going to remain and how bad it would be. Died of leukemia at 60. I guess you can’t really say it was directly caused by that but...,
 

noleclone2

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It was the right call. They were not going to give up, even after the first one. Many more would have died on both sides. Another interesting thing is the whole world got to see how terrifyingly destructive they were and learn of the subsequent radiation fallout at a real small scale (meaning just two small bombs). I think the sobering results helped the world get to 2020 without them being used in war. Otherwise, we may have unleashed hell in the 50s-80s at a much larger scale.
 

farmandfleet

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Korea was part of Japan in 1945, Sparky. We got their before the Soviets. It was a race, no different than in Europe.
That’s a lot of speculation irresponsible on your part

obviously occupied countries would resume national borders after japans surrender and the us could have set the terms

no reason to nuke them
 

strummingram

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It doesn't really matter. They dropped the bombs, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people... and, here we are 75 years later.
 

farmandfleet

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Japan was NOT going to surrender. They were prepared to fight to the death of every man, woman and child.

The bombs saved millions of lives.
This used to be my view but Curtis Lemay types couldn’t wait to nuke someone

we still have these assholes today they are called neocons now

see John Bolton. Paul wolfowitz Richard perle

Etc
 

TheCainer

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Very interesting, well researched article on why it was the right thing to do. I have always thought so, but understand that others do not. Would love to hear explanations from those who do not think it was the right thing, why not?

https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/0...ear-truman-was-right-to-drop-the-atomic-bomb/
What people may not realize is that our air force continued to bomb Japanese cities with conventional high explosive and incendiary bombs even after the 2 A-bombs were dropped. They only surrendered about a week after the 2nd bomb. The last night of the war, we sent out over 800 bombers to bomb various Japanese cities. We kept the pressure on them until the last. Sadly, even after they surrendered, there were still a couple of aerial confrontations that led to the loss of life when Japanese fighters attacked a couple of our reconnaissance planes over Japanese cities. The Japanese were suspicious of single bombers flying overhead after the 2 bombings. Of course, this was before we had occupational forces on the islands.
 

Run&Blade

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Japan didn’t surrender in battles. The flight to the last man almost every time.

they were not rational when it cane to surrender.

That’s why it was right thing to do IMO.
 

pjhawk

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Really interesting blog post on the subject, revisionist views are that the Soviet entry into the war was the real precipitating event for the surrender because it removed any remaining strategic hopes for the Japanese and made it obvious that surrender to the Americans was the only probable possible chance to salvage any elements of the imperial system. We were already systematically destroying Japanese cities by conventional means:

There has long been a scholarly debate about whether it was necessary for the United States to use atomic weapons to bring World War II to an end. Traditionalists say yes: If not for Fat Man and Little Boy, Japan would have fought to the last man. But revisionists argue that by August of 1945: (a) Japan’s situation was catastrophically hopeless; (b) they knew it and were ready to surrender; and (c) thanks to decoded Japanese diplomatic messages, Harry Truman and other American leaders knew they were ready. A Japanese surrender could have been negotiated in fairly short order with or without the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For various reasons I’ve always found the revisionist view unsatisfactory. After all, even after the Hiroshima bomb was dropped, we know there was still considerable debate within the Japanese war cabinet over their next step. Surely if Japan had already been close to unconditional surrender in early August—and for better or worse, unconditional surrender was an American requirement—the atomic demonstration of August 6 would have been more than enough to tip them over the edge. But it didn’t. It was only after the second bomb was dropped that Japan ultimately agreed to surrender.

But although the revisionist view has never persuaded me, a new revisionist view has been swirling around the academic community for several years—and this one seems much more interesting. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a trilingual English/Russian/Japanese historian, reminds us that the actual timeline of Japanese surrender went like this:

August 6: Hiroshima bomb dropped.

August 8: Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.

August 9: Nagasaki bomb dropped.

August 10: Emperor Hirohito breaks the cabinet deadlock and decides that Japan must surrender.


So what really caused the Japanese to finally give up? Was it America’s atomic bombs, or was it the Soviet Union’s entrance into the Pacific war? Hasegawa, based on meticulous research into primary sources, argues that it was probably the latter—though not quite in the way we usually think. Gareth Cook summarizes Hasegawa’s argument in the Boston Globe:

According to his close examination of the evidence, Japan was not poised to surrender before Hiroshima, as the revisionists argued, nor was it ready to give in immediately after the atomic bomb, as traditionalists have always seen it.…Americans, then and today, have tended to assume that Japan’s leaders were simply blinded by their own fanaticism, forcing a catastrophic showdown for no reason other than their refusal to acknowledge defeat.…But Hasegawa and other historians have shown that Japan’s leaders were in fact quite savvy, well aware of their difficult position, and holding out for strategic reasons.

Their concern was not so much whether to end the conflict, but how to end it while holding onto territory, avoiding war crimes trials, and preserving the imperial system. The Japanese could still inflict heavy casualties on any invader, and they hoped to convince the Soviet Union, still neutral in the Asian theater, to mediate a settlement with the Americans. Stalin, they calculated, might negotiate more favorable terms in exchange for territory in Asia. It was a long shot, but it made strategic sense.

On Aug. 6, the American bomber Enola Gay dropped its payload on Hiroshima.…As Hasegawa writes in his book “Racing the Enemy,” the Japanese leadership reacted with concern, but not panic.…Very late the next night, however, something happened that did change the plan. The Soviet Union declared war and launched a broad surprise attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria. In that instant, Japan’s strategy was ruined. Stalin would not be extracting concessions from the Americans. And the approaching Red Army brought new concerns: The military position was more dire, and it was hard to imagine occupying communists allowing Japan’s traditional imperial system to continue. Better to surrender to Washington than to Moscow.

In some sense, the real answer here is probably unknowable. Two events happened at nearly the same time, and they were closely followed by a third. Figuring out conclusively what caused what may simply not be possible. Probably they both played a role. Still, aside from the documentary evidence that Hasegawa amasses, his theory accounts for other aspects of the war. Like the dog that didn’t bark in the night, Japan didn’t give up after the fire bombing of Tokyo. Nor did Germany surrender after the fire bombing of Dresden. And although it’s undeniably true that atomic bombs are a more dramatic way of destroying a city than conventional weaponry, it’s also undeniably true that simply destroying a city was never enough to produce a surrender. So why would destroying a city with an atomic bomb be that much different?

This is fascinating stuff. At the same time, I think that Cook takes a step too far when he suggests that Hasegawa’s research, if true, should fundamentally change our view of atomic weapons. “If the atomic bomb alone could not compel the Japanese to submit,” he writes, “then perhaps the nuclear deterrent is not as strong as it seems.” But that hardly follows. America in 1945 had an air force capable of leveling cities with conventional weaponry. We still do—though barely—but no other country in the world comes close. With an atomic bomb and a delivery vehicle, North Korea can threaten to destroy Seoul. Without it, they can’t. And larger atomic states, like the US, India, Pakistan, and Russia, have the capacity to do more than just level a city or two. They can level entire countries.

So, no: Hasegawa’s research is fascinating for what it tells us about a key event in history. But should it change our view of atomic weaponry or atomic deterrence? I doubt it. It’s not 1945 anymore.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/08/why-did-world-war-ii-end-2/
 

preshlock

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What people may not realize is that our air force continued to bomb Japanese cities with conventional high explosive and incendiary bombs even after the 2 A-bombs were dropped. They only surrendered about a week after the 2nd bomb. The last night of the war, we sent out over 800 bombers to bomb various Japanese cities. We kept the pressure on them until the last. Sadly, even after they surrendered, there were still a couple of aerial confrontations that led to the loss of life when Japanese fighters attacked a couple of our reconnaissance planes over Japanese cities. The Japanese were suspicious of single bombers flying overhead after the 2 bombings. Of course, this was before we had occupational forces on the islands.
right Hirohito didn't read the Proclamation of Surrender until the night of August 15. Even then there was a coup attempt by fanatics in the military to stop the surrender. But Japan would not formally surrender until September 2.
 

Big Hawk D-Port

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Interesting points from the article-

- The ratio of us/Japanese casualties In Okinawa and Iwo Jima was nearly 1:1. Projecting that onto a mainland Japan invasion where the territory was very challenging would have meant tons of American casualties

- The DOD ordered so many Purple Hearts in advance of the invasion that we were still pulling from that stockpile during the Iraq wars.

- Had we not dropped the bomb on Japan the idea that we would have kept ourselves from dropping it on Moscow or Leningrad is highly suspect.
 
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farmandfleet

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Interesting points from the article-

- The ratio of us/Japanese casualties In Okinawa and Iwo Jima was nearly 1:1. Projecting that onto a mainland Japan invasion where the territory was very challenging would have meant tons of American casualties

- The DOD ordered so many Purple Hearts in advance of the invasion that we were still pulling from that stockpile during the Iraq wars.

- Had we not dropped the bomb on Japan the idea that we would have kept ourselves from dropping it on Moscow or Leningrad is highly suspect.
Except real history is we gave user Eastern Europe and bankrolled their ww2 efforts with wheat money and ford trucks
 

JupiterHawk

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You have evidence in island after island that the Japanese were not the “lay down our arms type”. So why would they suddenly change when the US invaded their mainland? Just look at Okinawa. That battle lasted 82 days. 20k US died and 55k wounded. Over 100k Japanese dead. And Okinawa is just a tiny island.

PS as far as a timeline, Okinawa ended two months or so prior to the bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. The next step was the mainland invasion. The only way the Japanese were going to not fight the US is if their Emperor (who was literally a god to them) surrendered.
 
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farmandfleet

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And then we had the Cold War and the ussr killed how many innocent people under gulag communist prison ?
 
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As weird as it sounds i respect the Japanese enough to know they were never going to surrender we had to knock them out. I may be ignorant to men wanting to try thier new bomb but I think it saved alot of AMERICAN lives.
 

ghost80

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It doesn't really matter. They dropped the bombs, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people... and, here we are 75 years later.
Japan started this war and it could be said since there was no declaration of war prior to Pearl Harbor those were all innocent Americans killed in that attack.

Japan was also warned we had developed an atomic weapon and intended to use it but still failed to surrender even after the first weapon was dropped.

Sad that it had to happen but Japan owns their own nuking.
 

seminole97

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That’s a lot of speculation irresponsible on your part
obviously occupied countries would resume national borders after japans surrender and the us could have set the terms
no reason to nuke them
Remind me how many troops we put post-war in the countries liberated by Stalin?
We were invited to zero of them.
Russia still hasn't given back the parts of Japan they took at the end of that war.

IF you presume Japan fights on and doesn't surrender because the Soviets just vaporized their immobile army in Manchuria, mnole03 is right. Stalin gets a bunch of present day Japan and we don't set up shop in South Korea.
 

preshlock

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Stalin shouldn’t have enabled Hitler.
Stalin thought the war between Germany and France & Britain would be very long and bloody. Leaving the Soviet Union in an ideal position to move west.

Talk about your all time backfires.

Still the war in Europe was ultimately won and lost on the Eastern Front.
 

farmandfleet

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Remind me how many troops we put post-war in the countries liberated by Stalin?
We were invited to zero of them.
Russia still hasn't given back the parts of Japan they took at the end of that war.

IF you presume Japan fights on and doesn't surrender because the Soviets just vaporized their immobile army in Manchuria, mnole03 is right. Stalin gets a bunch of present day Japan and we don't set up shop in South Korea.
Stalin “liberated” a country ?

lolz
 

preshlock

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And then we had the Cold War and the ussr killed how many innocent people under gulag communist prison ?
no one is claiming the Soviet Union or Stalin were good guys. They were an evil empire. But during the war 3,500,000 German soldiers died. 3,100,000 were killed by the Soviet Union.
 
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