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What Really Happened In August 1945?  
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8135 posts, RR: 26
Posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

This has been making the rounds among academic historians for some time, but I saw an article in the Japan Times and of course looked for a US counterpart. Increasingly, in light of the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, many Japanese are becoming fervently anti-nuclear and are really playing up the victim mentality of the country in light of the recent anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But this is also igniting debate over what really ended the Pacific war, with two prominent Japanese scholars on TV last week saying that they no longer believe it was the a-bombs. They cited the work of UCSB's Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, who through the luxury of fluency in three languages, has been turning interpretations of history that have stood five decades upside down.

I have agreed for some time with the synopsis that Japanese leaders in 1945 were unwilling to capitulate, and the a-bombs did not push the surrender decision, which is the opposite of course of what all Americans are taught in junior high history classes. Rather, it was declaration of war by the USSR and attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria that finally turned the table and forced Hirohito to issue his famous surrender address.

Hasegawa - who was born in Japan and has taught in the United States since 1990, and who reads English, Japanese, and Russian - rejects both the traditional and revisionist positions. 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. Instead, it took the Soviet declaration of war on Japan, several days after Hiroshima, to bring the capitulation.

Basically the facts don't support what has been taught to American and Japanese kids for decades. The Japanese military leadership was totally indifferent to civilian casualties, and the firebombing of major cities for five months before Hiroshima did relatively nothing to their resolve to continue the war or at least find a more desirable solution to its end. I wonder how long it will take to start teaching young people the correct account?

It certainly needs to happen in Japan, so people can stop playing the victim card forever.

For the Japanese, Hiroshima is a potent symbol of their nation as victim, helping obscure their role as the aggressors and in atrocities that include mass rapes and beheading prisoners of war.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/id...why_did_japan_surrender/?page=full


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1253 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Rather, it was declaration of war by the USSR and attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria that finally turned the table and forced Hirohito to issue his famous surrender address.

I will admit that I was never taught this in school and it is embarrassing to discover this several years after the fact. What I will not agree with is that the declaration of war by USSR was solely the only reason for the Japanese surrender. I believe it was the combination of both.

First, you have two individual bombs that cause that much destruction, which there is no way you could ignore nor hide from the public. Then comes the additional shock the USSR has joined the fray, which means you are being attacked on all fronts. There was no choice but to surrender to end the war.



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2065 times:

The Soviet Union Declared war on August 8th. They invaded "Northern" Manchuria on August 9th, the same day as the Nagasaki bombing. However, the immediate threat was the US attacks on the Japanese home islands, that was the immediate threat, and it was also the US to which they surrendered to, not Russia.

I don't buy the USSR threat, that late in the game. Mind you , it had to figure into the resolution and surrender, as Japan was now totally alone.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2065 times:

So you are saying if the US didn't drop the bombs and the USSR declared war and attacked they would have surrendered?

I seriously doubt it.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2065 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 1):
I will admit that I was never taught this in school and it is embarrassing to discover this several years after the fact.

I was, but then I went to school in Texas (wink to another thread  )

No question there were a large number of people in the Japanese government and in the military in particular that preferred to die fighting to the last man than consider surrender. The A-bombs were not influential, however. In Hirohito's speech to the nation, the bomb featured prominently as a reason for the surrender -

Quote:
Despite the best that has been done by every one -- the gallant fighting of military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb,[3] the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Imperial_Rescript_on_Surrender

The Soviets are not even mentioned.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1253 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2048 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
I was, but then I went to school in Texas

Off-topic but my 7th grade history teacher felt it was more important to discuss her sex life rather than history. She should've taught in sex ed instead.



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2014 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Instead, it took the Soviet declaration of war on Japan, several days after Hiroshima, to bring the capitulation.

That is exactly what they taught us in communist Czechoslovakia. So this opinion is nothing new. However, is it true?


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1979 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 5):
Off-topic but my 7th grade history teacher felt it was more important to discuss her sex life rather than history. She should've taught in sex ed instead.

:D

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
That is exactly what they taught us in communist Czechoslovakia. So this opinion is nothing new. However, is it true?

No. The emperor's speech make it 100% clear. He had no reason to lie.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

I have no idea where Mr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa got his information from, but I can tell you where I got mine from; I was 13 years old when the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The entire country of Japan was completely devastated; BEFORE Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were like "in a daze". The A bombs were just to convince them to quit fighting. There was no TV at the time, no internet, and all the news came by the radio and newspapers. I'm sure there were many "hard-ass" military people who wanted to "fight to the last man", but I can assure you, they would have been fighting by themselves, because the Japanese people had HAD IT ! The thing about the Russians didn't even figure into their decision to surrender. The Russians were the least of Japan's worries at the time. Another thing......do you have any idea what kind of shape the Russians were in after the war in Europe was over ? Check Google and see how many casualties the Russians suffered during the war in Europe.

I can remember both of those A-bombs like it was yesterday; yes, it definitely was horrible; the whole problem at the time was, the Japanese people only saw what those two weapons did to them; they were completely "in the dark" when it came to what their military was doing to the people of China, the people of Burma, and the people of all the islands in the Pacific, that they overran; They don't "remember" all of that, but I can damn well guarantee you that every single American who was alive at the time, remembers it very well. Had there not been a Pearl Harbor, there would never have been a Hiroshima, or a Nagasaki. I have absolutely NOTHING against the Japanese people, then, or now; but they were only allowed to see one side of the story. They need to quit worrying so much about how "bad" Hiroshima was, and take a long hard look at how their military conducted themselves during the whole war.

Here's something else you can tell the Japanese; as horrible as Hiroshima was, it wasn't half as horrible as what WOULD HAVE HAPPENED the the people of America if our military hadn't defeated them. The Japanese still can't comprehend, if Harry Truman hadn't dropped those two bombs, there would have been 5 times as many Japanese casualties on their own soil, because had they not surrendered when they did, we would have been fighting them on Japanese soil within a few weeks.

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineKFLLCFII From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3301 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1913 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
The Japanese still can't comprehend, if Harry Truman hadn't dropped those two bombs, there would have been 5 times as many Japanese casualties on their own soil, because had they not surrendered when they did, we would have been fighting them on Japanese soil within a few weeks.

Neither can many comprehend on our own soil. Good post.



"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
User currently offlinepacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2732 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
The entire country of Japan was completely devastated;

So there is your answer Geezer, with the country already devastated just how would another 2 cities put to the torch suddenly make them surrender when the first 20 or so hadn't ? Not to mention as you also point out, most Japanese themselves would not have been truly aware of what had occurred in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

I'm with Aron747 and Mr. Hasegawa. It is Soviet intervention that did it. Quite apart from the scale of the soviet attack and the subsequent quick loss of Manchuria (Japan's whole reason for the war in the first place) but it was the potential upheavel defeat to the soviets represented. A soviet victory was a threat to the entire status quo not to mention a certain end to the Emporer - better to take their chances with the americans.

Much of the belief in the effectiveness of the bombs comes from the Japanese themselves. To this day it is the their advantage to portray themselves as the victims of dreadful technology rathert than address their own actions during that time.

For those unfamiliar with the Soviet attack to Manchuria in 1945 (designated August Storm by western historians but soviet designation unknown) here is a link to the orbat

http://niehorster.orbat.com/012_ussr/45-08-08/_fec.html



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

From the historical information that I have read over the decades, the Russians never intended to invade Japan. By declaring war on Japan just a few days before the end of WWII, this gave them the strategic opportunity to do a quick and easy land-grab of the Sakhalin island off the northern Japanese coast. This was what they were after and they got it and still hold on to them.

If I remember correctly, this issue continues to be brought up by the Japanese, because there was never a formal peace treaty between the two sides. Correct me if I'm wrong.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8135 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
The Soviets are not even mentioned.

Why would they be? As Hasegawa suggested in his research, the decision was made to surrender to the US to save face. You either are unaware or have forgotten that Russia and Japan fought two wars over disputed territory in the 150 years preceding WWII.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
No.

Except that it is - the historical record is not in dispute. Unless you can read Japanese and Russian fluently and dispute the documents mentioned that came to light, I don't see how you can discount these conclusions.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
but I can assure you, they would have been fighting by themselves, because the Japanese people had HAD IT !

They were starving by the millions and women in particular were increasingly in despair by as late as 1944. But none of that changed anything going into '45 as the war council was still full steam ahead. Wealthy Japanese and politicians who were for capitulation had to keep their mouths shut because the Kempeitai (secret police, Japanese Gestapo if you will) were still rounding people up neighborhood by neighborhood when dissent got too loud. I met a guy a couple years back who recalled Kempeitai beating up his grandfather following a town hall meeting where he simply asked "how much longer do we have to starve?"

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
and all the news came by the radio and newspapers

Yes but none of the news about Hiroshima or Nagasaki were very detailed. Radio Tokyo was censored by the military government and the only reports were that Hiroshima had been "seared". Given the extent of incendiary bombing the previous few months, it could easily have been perceived as just another terrible overnight raid.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
They need to quit worrying so much about how "bad" Hiroshima was, and take a long hard look at how their military conducted themselves during the whole war.

Nobody wants to do that. The nationalist conservatives saw to it that most of the unpleasant history was whitewashed from public education as soon as the US pulled out in the early 1950s.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 1):

First, you have two individual bombs that cause that much destruction, which there is no way you could ignore nor hide from the public

Again, pretty much irrelevant in light of what had already happened. That's one of the main points Hasegawa makes.
The incendiary bombing campaign of March to July '45 obliterated 60 cities and hadn't turned the military council one bit, despite the horrors of the (in some cases) nightly raids. Does this look different from Hiroshima to you?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Tokyo_kushu_1945-3.jpg/800px-Tokyo_kushu_1945-3.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/84/Tokyo_1945-3-10-1.jpg/780px-Tokyo_1945-3-10-1.jpg

Some of the Tokyo raids killed an estimated 100K in a single night, as charred bodies lay in the streets and riverbanks strewn all about. What was another 100K in Hiroshima to the madmen who were running the war campaign??

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):

I don't buy the USSR threat, that late in the game. Mind you , it had to figure into the resolution and surrender, as Japan was now totally alone.

Whether or not you want to buy it, it was a huge issue to the Japanese at the time. They were particularly concerned that Hokkaido or other disputed islands in the north would be claimed by the USSR.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 3):
So you are saying if the US didn't drop the bombs and the USSR declared war and attacked they would have surrendered?

Nobody is saying that, but Hasegawa is saying the historical documents he has unearthed show there were no surrender plans following either a-bomb until the communiques to Moscow went unanswered and the Soviets responded with invasion of Japanese forces instead.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinegeekydude From China, joined Apr 2004, 401 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1810 times:

An interesting thing about this episode is that the Soviets were able to overrun Japanese lines fairly quickly in northeast China. Guess they did not even have the time to organize effective defense as they did against the US Marines on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. As an aside, the Soviets too committed atrocious acts on Chinese soil, raping and pillaging whenever they went. Lots of old folks of my grandparents' age witnessed with they own eyes.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 12):
You either are unaware or have forgotten that Russia and Japan fought two wars over disputed territory in the 150 years preceding WWII.

They fought wars in China over the control of a large piece of Chinese territory. Think Mexico and Canada fighting in the US over who gets California.

[Edited 2011-08-16 00:37:28]


FLIB 152 'heavy' low approach...Caution wake turbulance!
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2722 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1711 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Rather, it was declaration of war by the USSR and attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria that finally turned the table and forced Hirohito to issue his famous surrender address

This is nothing new.

Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 10):
So there is your answer Geezer, with the country already devastated just how would another 2 cities put to the torch suddenly make them surrender when the first 20 or so hadn't ? Not to mention as you also point out, most Japanese themselves would not have been truly aware of what had occurred in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 10):
I'm with Aron747 and Mr. Hasegawa. It is Soviet intervention that did it.

I still think it was the total combination..They had been devasted up to that point but with the Atom Bombs and Russia jumping in was the proverbial icing on the cake. To say it was one or the other would be foolish. The fire bombing's, The loss of Okinawa, Russia in Manchuria and the Atom bomb's all must have figured in to the decision. But as was addressed in the Emperors speech the atom bomb probably was the deciding factor to end it when they did. WE had dropped two and they did not know how many more of these we had. An unlimited supply in their minds...



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineNorthwest727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1625 times:

I was told that the whole reason the second bomb was dropped (Nagasaki) was to show the Soviets what kind of technology we had...almost like "showing off."

User currently offlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3364 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
I don't buy the USSR threat, that late in the game. Mind you , it had to figure into the resolution and surrender, as Japan was now totally alone.

The Japanese had roughly 1,330,000 men stationed in Manchuria. In 11 days of combat the Soviets managed to kill or capture 720,000 of them. With the Soviets no longer fighting the Germans, they where a mayor threat to Japan. If only because Stalin did not mind suffering casualties and would take bigger gambles then the American, Australian and European allies. Only problem for Stalin preventing an all-out invasion on the short term would have been his lack of naval ships in general and landingships in particular.

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



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineCadet985 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 1551 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1617 times:

I always wondered something, and maybe someone here could answer it. If we had intended the bombs to do the most damage, why did we choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...

Marc


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13195 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1614 times:

It wasn't just the (still substantial) remaining ground forces that were prepared to fight on, they were even going to indoctrinate kids to run at the Allied invaders with explosive backpacks, meaning Allied troops would soon know they had to shoot kids.
Then again those who formulated this were also responsible for the Rape Of Nanking and numerous other atrocities.

Question, Japan has been, for over 60 years, a stable, highly prosperous, democratic nation.
Kudos to MacArthur for facilitating this, (even if some of his measures would have given present day US right wingers an orgasm of rage).
Would this have happened, at all, or in the way it did, when it did, after a full scale Allied invasion with all the slaughter that would have brought, likely for an extended period, which could have morphed into an insurgency for even longer?
THAT should be the question.

Truman made the right call.
The best way to have ever prevented it, or the other heavy bombing, would never to have attacked in the US, in an ultimately unwinnable war, in the first place.


User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 16):
In 11 days of combat the Soviets managed to kill or capture 720,000 of them.

But those 11 days extended beyond the August 15 Potsdam Surrender that Japan initiated.
The total kill/capture was a detail that took months/years to find out about.

The atomic bombs were the direct over reaching reason for the surrender. The eventual US and Soviet invasions of Japan mainland, would have sealed the deal if the Atomic bombs weren't dropped.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineNorthwest727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1588 times:

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
I always wondered something, and maybe someone here could answer it. If we had intended the bombs to do the most damage, why did we choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...

Apparently, Tokyo was choice #1, but it was covered by an overcast cloud layer, so the alternate target was Hiroshima. I believe that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were targets because of manufacturing and that they were major shipping centers.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1560 times:

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
If we had intended the bombs to do the most damage, why did we choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Because we intended the bombs to do the most damage. Tokyo and a lot of other places were already almost completely destroyed, and to truly demonstrate the power of the new weapon the target had to be somewhere that was relatively untouched.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1547 times:

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
If we had intended the bombs to do the most damage, why did we choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...

Several cities in Japan had been 'reserved' from area bombing when the Manhattan Project started getting some traction and top people started to believe 'the gadget' would work. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, obviously, also Niigata and Kokura. I believe there were others. Hiroshima was always the primary target on Aug 6, I believe Kokura was the primary on the 9th but was heavily clouded. A/C commander CHarles Sweeney then decided on a radar run at Nagasaki, also partly cloudy, as having a better chance of success. I believe the aiming point was missed significantly, but still an incredible amount of damage was done.

Tokyo by this time was in many respects a ruin from fire-bombing, largely from the massed attack in March 1945.

To this day I don't really believe the A-bomb attacks were militarily necessary to defeat Japan, although it did tend to set an example in the Japanese minds of what awaited them if they didn't surrender (thinking the US had a lot of these things when in fact there was I believe only one other available weapon). Many have written that by that point large areas of Japan were already on the brink of starvation. People were eating grass. Hard to fight on an empty belly. I'm not saying Operations "Olympic" and "Coronet" would have been pushovers, not at all, but I am not convinced they would have been an all-out bloodbath. But I could be wrong of course.

I tend to think the real point of using them was to demonstrate to the USSR that the USA had the really big stick and was willing to use it.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1253 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1450 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
No. The emperor's speech make it 100% clear. He had no reason to lie.

Actually, according to wiki, it says:

Quote:
In his "Rescript to the soldiers and sailors" delivered on August 17, he stressed the impact of the Soviet invasion and his decision to surrender, omitting any mention of the bombs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

However, there is no source for this so I can't verify it's credibility.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Does this look different from Hiroshima to you?

No, but your missing the point. It took hundreds of airplanes to cause that. It only took two to wipe out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How do you defend against that?

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
I always wondered something, and maybe someone here could answer it. If we had intended the bombs to do the most damage, why did we choose Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

Quote:
Hiroshima was described as "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focusing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target."[15] The goal of the weapon was to convince Japan to surrender unconditionally in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. The Target Committee stated that "It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released. Kyoto had the advantage of being an important center for military industry, as well an intellectual center and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. The Emperor's palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value.
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 22):
I'm not saying Operations "Olympic" and "Coronet" would have been pushovers, not at all, but I am not convinced they would have been an all-out bloodbath. But I could be wrong of course.

That was the problem: had an invasion happened, would they had simply surrendered to end the fighting, or would the allies have faced the same problems encountered at Okinawa and Iwo Jima? Remember, many Japanese committed suicide or made Banzai/kamikaze attacks rather than surrender. You have to take those experiences into account and understand the reasoning of why the atom bombs were used.



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlineNorthwest727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 22):
Several cities in Japan had been 'reserved' from area bombing when the Manhattan Project started getting some traction and top people started to believe 'the gadget' would work. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, obviously, also Niigata and Kokura. I believe there were others. Hiroshima was always the primary target on Aug 6, I believe Kokura was the primary on the 9th but was heavily clouded. A/C commander CHarles Sweeney then decided on a radar run at Nagasaki, also partly cloudy, as having a better chance of success. I believe the aiming point was missed significantly, but still an incredible amount of damage was done.

I stand corrected, this sounds correct.


25 Post contains links Dreadnought : Ah, the dangers of using Wiki. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Imperial_Rescript_on_Surrender http://gaikokiroku.mofa.go.jp/djvu/A0115/index.djvu?djvuo
26 Post contains images JakeOrion : I know. Great source, huh? I wouldn't say that isn't quite true, as stated per your quote: To me, this implied the Soviet invasion. I'm not saying th
27 Aaron747 : As previously posted, little or no value to bombing Tokyo as there was virtually nothing left of the inner 12 wards by May of '45. Osaka was in simil
28 Maverick623 : I am really not aware of anyone credible that would say that Japan did not engage in brutal warfare in the same way the US engaged in brutal warfare.
29 Post contains links san747 : Actually, Kyoto was on the top of the list. In a weird twist of fate, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had actually visited the city a few years bef
30 ltbewr : The fear of the USSR getting Japan was not only as to Japan but more so as to the USA. That factor may distort the record. Both Japan's and many in th
31 Geezer : It looks to me like some "revisionists" were behind many of the replies to this thread. [quote=san747,reply=29]Actually, Kyoto was on the top of the
32 Baroque : Especially as they were not all that sure how special the atomic bomb was, but by contrast the USSR was special. And for two reasons, by day two or d
33 iakobos : Sorry but this is a wrong conception. The history freak of 2011, irrespective of age, is abundantly fed with (genuine) documents that did not reach p
34 iakobos : Well, it is no surprise that SU-centric education presents a very different story, and as usual the historical truth is somewhere in between. What ma
35 iakobos : Stronger than ever. They had no difficulty raising a force of 1.5 million and sending it thousands of kilometers Eastwards between April and end of J
36 iakobos : Japan as a military power was finished. Leo Szilard - James Byrnes meeting - 28 May '45 "Byrnes... was concerned about Russia's postwar behavior. Russ
37 iakobos : There is ample evidence (now) from genuine sources that, past the dreamer FDR and come Truman, the future foe was the Soviet Union. Truman himself cal
38 Ronglimeng : I get a headache now listening to the discussion of whether it was useful to drop the A-bombs. There is so much need to interpret the information avai
39 Baroque : Between the things they did not know and those they did not want to know, the Japanese were really not very well informed. But they did understand th
40 Post contains images flyAUA : What I find much more admirable is that the Japanese are a very pleasant bunch of people who do not feel the urge to practice violence against others
41 Aaron747 : Unfortunate to have to point this out, but you've only talked to people on our side. In my six years living on this side, I've been fortunate to hear
42 Post contains links iakobos : http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=get...taPrefix=html&identifier=ADA438112 http://www.history.army.mil/books/ww...ports/macarthur%20v1%20sup/ch1.ht
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