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Aaron747
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What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:24 am

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
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JakeOrion
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:37 am

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.
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casinterest
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:55 am

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:55 am

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.
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Dreadnought
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:58 am

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.
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JakeOrion
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:06 am

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:33 am

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?
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:58 am

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.
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Geezer
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:39 am

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.

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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:54 am

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:30 am

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
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RIXrat
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:11 am

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.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:26 am

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:33 am

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]
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windy95
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:08 pm

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...
 
Northwest727
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:43 pm

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."
 
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:48 pm

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
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:51 pm

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...

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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:52 pm

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.
 
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casinterest
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:09 pm

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.
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Northwest727
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:23 pm

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.
 
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:54 pm

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:15 pm

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.
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:31 pm

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.
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Northwest727
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:31 pm

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.
 
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:34 pm

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 23):
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.

Ah, the dangers of using Wiki.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Imperial_Rescript_on_Surrender

http://gaikokiroku.mofa.go.jp/djvu/A0115/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=491

Here is the full text, as translated by Tadaichi Hirakawa by the request of Japanese Government. This English text can be found at the historical archive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan:

Quote:

To Our Good and loyal subjects:

After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.[1]

We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.[2]

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors, and which We lay close to heart. Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to secure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. 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.

We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia. The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day. The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their home and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude. The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.[4]

Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with ye, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity. Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may endanger needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead ye astray and cause ye to lose the confidence of the world. Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith of the imperishableness of its divine land and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibilities, and the long road before it. Unite your total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitudes; foster nobility of spirit; and work with resolution so as ye may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep place which the progress of the world.

(emphisis mine)

The Bomb was highlighted as a reason for surrender. The Soviets are not mentioned, apart from being one of the Allies. It looks like some revisionist wrote that wiki segment you saw.
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JakeOrion
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:09 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
Ah, the dangers of using Wiki.

I know. Great source, huh? 
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
The Soviets are not mentioned, apart from being one of the Allies. It looks like some revisionist wrote that wiki segment you saw.

I wouldn't say that isn't quite true, as stated per your quote:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
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.

To me, this implied the Soviet invasion. I'm not saying they had nothing to do with it, but everyone must consider all the factors involved that lead to the surrender of Japan. Saying it was the Soviet Invasion or Allies invading the main homeland or the bombs alone as the cause of the surrender is foolish. It was a combination of all that was happening which the A-bombs sealed their fate.

Had the Soviets not invaded nor was their any planning of the invasion of the homeland, I'm sure the bombs alone would have lead to their eventual surrender, but only after another several drops.
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Aaron747
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:19 pm

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...

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 similar shape and Nagoya, where I live now, was almost 80% destroyed as it had been host to numerous aircraft and munitions factories.

Quoting GDB (Reply 18):
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.

Yeah well the war cabinet didn't even apologize for that. Tojo tried to off himself in jail before the start of the Tokyo trials.
To this day Japanese politicians pay respects at the shrine where class-A war criminals are entombed. None of this would have been possible had they been subjected to total defeat.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 19):
The atomic bombs were the direct over reaching reason for the surrender.

In light of recent evidence this is just not accurate, unless you have some alternate Russian and Japanese translations you'd like to share with us.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):

The Bomb was highlighted as a reason for surrender. The Soviets are not mentioned, apart from being one of the Allies. It looks like some revisionist wrote that wiki segment you saw.

Again, this was because Hirohito was shrewd and his advisors sought to secure his victim legacy. In Japanese emperors are given a title rather than their names being used, and Hirohito's posthumous name was "Showa" - essentially, "bringer of peace." To my mind it is absolutely disgusting the guy who sat by and watched dictators acting in his name bring death and destruction to surrounding nations while wiping out all urban historical treasures from Allied bombing, not to mention 5 million civilians' lives, got off with a title like that.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Maverick623
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:36 pm

Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 10):
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.

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. To suggest that Japan would NOT have made similar actions against the US mainland, had they reached it, is simply burying one's head in the sand. In fact, Japan did try to firebomb the US with balloons that failed rather spectacularly.

Japan made the right move by portraying warfare and nuclear weapons as bad things, because quite frankly they are. It's disappointing that they focused so much on the A-bomb and so little on the other firebombings, but the message still stands.
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san747
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:22 am

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 17):
I mean if I had been a planner of those bombings, I would have wanted to go right for Tokyo...

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 before and admired it's beauty and didn't want to see it destroyed. Source:

http://books.google.com/books?id=6SS...timson%20honeymoon%20kyoto&f=false

Kyoto was subsequently vetoed, and Hiroshima and Kokura were selected as the two cities to drop the bomb on. But due to another twist of fate:

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/07/wo...passed-by-a-bomb.html?pagewanted=1

...cloudiness over Kokura, the pilots moved on to Nagasaki (a city that ironically hadn't even been on the original list of potential targets).

Quoting Northwest727 (Reply 20):

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.

That was true for Hiroshima, but as stated, Nagasaki wasn't even considered initally. Hiroshima was also chosen to be the first because it was in a valley and the effects of the damage could (I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong) be either analysed in an easier manner or be amplified by the bowl of the valley.
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ltbewr
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:55 am

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 the USA knew of what was one of the terrible results of WWII in Europe in letting the USSR being involved in the east to destroy Nazi Germany - the USSR gained control of half of Germany and it's former capital, Berlin, as well as what we generally call "Eastern" Europe. The Japanese nor did the USA had no desire to having Japan taken over by the USSR out of fear of them controling critical parts of the world.

Although the surrender was 'unconditional' it was in part to make sure the USA would be in control, with no other countries involved, no compromises with the USSR, although some terrible deals were done in Japan by the USA. Only a few 'war criminals' ever saw or had trials attempted on them. 1000's of Japanese officers, including those involved in horrible medical experiments, obscene killing of children, inhumane use and treatment of Allied POW's by the Japanese never saw trial. Japan's victims never had any right to sue for those atrocities in any court for compensation. All this was in part to keep Japan in our side and not support the USSR. There was also guilt about the terrible use of the atomic bombs there. Also part of that deal was the USA forces with very critical bases in Japan, even today in Okanawa.

There is little doubt that the dropping of the nuke bombs in Japan was the pivotal point in the eventual surrender by Japan, but let us not forget that it took unfortunately a 2nd bomb to get that point across and some working around by Japan in their decision to save face, an important part of their culture. That may be part of the reason to note the USSR factor by some historians.
 
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:15 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
The Bomb was highlighted as a reason for surrender. The Soviets are not mentioned, apart from being one of the Allies. It looks like some revisionist wrote that wiki segment you saw.

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 list. In a weird twist of fate, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had actually visited the city a few years before and admired it's beauty and didn't want to see it destroyed.


[quote=san747,reply=29]Kyoto was subsequently vetoed, and Hiroshima and Kokura were selected as the two cities to drop the bomb on. But due to another twist of fate:


[quote=san747,reply=29]...cloudiness over Kokura, the pilots moved on to Nagasaki (a city that ironically hadn't even been on the original list of potential targets).

The above 3 quotes are correct. The people in Kokura were incredibly lucky, while the people in Nagasaki were very unlucky.


Let me point something out here....................the events being discussed in this thread happened 66 years ago. I have no way of knowing how old anyone making replies is, other than what you have stated on your profile page. It's my assumption that many of you, possibly even all of you, may not even have been born yet by 1945; again.........that's just my "assumption", as I have nothing other than what you have stated to base my assumption on. Assuming this IS the case, then it is obvious that the many "opinions" everyone is expressing here, are all based on things that you have read, or heard, and if that is the case, I have no idea how accurate any of that is.

Quite a lot of what I have stated is based on my memory, which, while not "perfect", is still "pretty fair" for anyone of my age group. Since 1945, there have probably been 10,000 books, articles, etc. written about all of this. ( That's just a "guesstimate" ) I have probably read about half of the books written about WW2, I have known many people personally who fought in the Pacific, and just in the past 3 or 4 years, I have met three fellows who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. What I'm attempting to point out is NOT that my opinion is better than your opinion, but rather, that most of MY opinion isn't just an "opinion"..........it's that I was alive while it was happening and I still remember it as it was reported each and every day in the news.

Right now, I can anticipate many saying, "yeah, but you can't always believe what you hear in the "news"; that's very true.......you can't always believe what you hear in the news; especially if you happen to read it in the N.Y. Times, or hear it on NBC, CBS, or ABC. Having said that leads me to another "keen observation" I have made during my lifetime; that hasn't always been the case; I can easily remember when all of the aforementioned sources were reliable, non-biased and objective. Obviously, that is no longer the case. How accurate are all the books written on WW 2 ? I think it "depends" on who wrote them. I read a lot of books; I usually try to select books that are written by people whose credibility I feel I can trust. ( That sure lets a lot of present day authors out, doesn't it ? )

I see people every day quoting "wiki"..........how "credible" is that ? Again, it's anyone's guess, because you have no idea who contributed it.

So whether you think Harry Truman made the right decision or not, the fact remains, we all know what he decided.
We all know that Atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; we all know pretty much what has happened in the intervening 66 years. History is what it is.........nothing anyone can do will change it; but it never ceases to amaze me, how many people keep on trying !

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baroque
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:19 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 6):
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?
Quoting pacificjourney (Reply 10):
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.

Especially as they were not all that sure how special the atomic bomb was, but by contrast the USSR was special.

Quoting petertenthije (Reply 16):
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.

And for two reasons, by day two or day three it was clear that the Kwantung Army was doomed. Japan had not lost so large a land force so rapidly. And just as important was the invasion showed that Japan had lost its great white hope of a settlement negotiated through the Russians. Truly all was lost, and army and a strategy.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 22):
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.

Just as Dresden was another indication.

But it is comforting to think that Manhattan was the reason, as with many things, comforting but likely wrong. We never did understand the Japanese!
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:13 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 31):
that's just my "assumption", as I have nothing other than what you have stated to base my assumption on. Assuming this IS the case, then it is obvious that the many "opinions" everyone is expressing here, are all based on things that you have read, or heard, and if that is the case, I have no idea how accurate any of that is.

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 public view last Century; even some are still classified (eg. FDR diary: Soviet Union 1942-1945) and we are mainly talking here about US sources, it is even worse with Japan (many destroyed) and the SU.
Some key papers were released less than ten years ago, and they prove that the story-lines in 1945 were lies intended for public consumption...and moral well being.

A few pieces of the bloody puzzle:

The US (and GB) knew that Japan in December '41 was cornered, was going to attack and when.
(perhaps not where, although there are some elements that could lead to another interpretation)

Japan has been looking for a way out since springtime '44, and formally under Emperor's instructions since Feb '45.

The Japanese team sent to Hiroshima concluded to a magnesium or liquid hydrogen bomb.

The Soviet Army launching its August 9th offensive was 1.5 million strong, its priority was to move forward asap and skipping strong points of resistance. Their advances reached 820 km in only ten days. (note that the US Navy have been supplying a rather large number of landing ships to the Soviet fleet of the Pacific in '45)

The Truman Doctrine finds its origin just before the Potsdam (Berlin) conference. It will be the main US (and NATO) strategy for nearly four decades.
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:30 am

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

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 many (US-centric) do not seem to understand is that the major power from '43 until August '45 was the Soviet Union.
It had militarily the upper hand AND as had been the case with Germany previously, was supposed to participate in the partition of Japan !


Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
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.

Moot point, famine was reigning in Japan for a long time and it is estimated that between August and end of '45, one quarter of the population (7 out of 28 million) would have died from starvation. (for details see Mac Arthur - operation Blacklist)
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:47 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 8):
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 ?

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 July '45, nor did they have any worries occupying half of Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria.
The Soviet Army of '45 (5 million +) had more tanks, artillery, etc than all other armies combined !
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:01 am

Japan as a military power was finished.

Leo Szilard - James Byrnes meeting - 28 May '45
"Byrnes... was concerned about Russia's postwar behavior. Russian troops had moved into Hungary and Rumania (sic), and Byrnes thought it would be very difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia."
"I was concerned at this point that by demonstrating the bomb and using it in the war against Japan, we might start an atomic arms race between America and Russia which might end with the destruction of both countries."

From Joseph Davies's diary (US ambassador to Moscow) July 28
"Byrnes was still having a hard time over the war reparations. The details as to the success of the atomic bomb, which he had just received, gave him confidence that the Soviets would agree as to these difficulties. Byrnes attitude that the atomic bomb assured ultimate success in negotiations (with the Russians !) disturbed me more than his description of its success amazed me."

Walter Brown's diary (assistant of Byrnes)
"after the atomic bomb Japan will surrender and Russia will not get too much on the kill."

Admiral Leahy, chief of Staff of FDR, published in The Tribune and Washington Times on 19 Aug 45.
"Two days before FDR's departure for Yalta (4-11 Feb 45), the POTUS received a crucial, 40 page memo from Mac Arthur outlining five separate surrender overtures from highly placed Japanese officials offering terms which were virtually identical to the ones dictated in August '45 by the USA."

From Henry Stimson's diary
Apr 2 “I had a very important conference with Stettinius and Forrestal……but as soon as he came in (Stettinius) he asked to bring up emergency news that he wanted to consult us about. The principal part of this was the increasing strain of the relations between us and Russia, which, as he told us, had resulted in a pretty sharp message from the President to Stalin.”

Apr 12 H Truman is sworn in as President and the same evening is informed about the Manhattan Project. Although he was the chairman of the Senate Committee which investigated military spending, he was not in the secret before this date.

Apr 23 “…Stettinius has got in a jam with Molotov (the soviet F.M)….the subject is Poland…the Russians had apparently flatly refused to permit the agreement at Yalta…we are at loggerheads with Russia on an issue which in my opinion is very dangerous and on which she is not likely to yield on in substance.”

Apr 25 “we simply cannot allow a rift to come between the two nations without endangerous (sic) the entire peace of the world.”

Apr 25 “….the State department has got itself into a mess….they have not settled the problems that lie before the US and Russia….by wise negotiations before this public meeting (UN’s first meeting in SFo on the same day Apr 25) but they have gone ahead….and got public opinion all churned up over it and now they feel compelled to bull the thing through…it was a very embarassing meeting.” (H.T, H.S, G.M, J.F, Ernest King and others)

May 14 “…I told him (Mc Cloy) that my opinion was that the time now and the method now to deal with Russia was to keep our mouths shut and let our actions speak for words. The Russians will understand them better than anything else. It is a case where we have got to regain the lead and perhaps do it in a pretty rough and realistic way. I told him this was a place where we really held all the cards. I called it a royal straight flush and we musn’t be a fool about the way we play it. They can’t get along without our help and industries and we have coming into action a weapon which will be unique. Now the thing is not to get into unnecessary quarrels by talking too much and not to indicate any weakness by talking too much; let our actions speak for themselves.
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:10 am

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 calls the A-bomb his "royal flush to regain the strategic advantage" and it has nothing to do with Japan.

Sources among others:
Harry Truman library
FDR library
Henry Stimson diary
James Byrnes diary
CIA library (intelligence literature)
National Achives

Winston Churchill "it would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bombs, her defeat was certain before the first one fell."

General Hap Arnold"even before our B-29 dropped its atomic bomb on H, Japan's military situation was hopeless." Nov 12, 1945

General George Marshall "the bombs shortened the war by months."

General Curtis LeMay "it shortened the war by 2 weeks."

The US strategic bombing survey "based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders, it is the survey's opinion that certainly prior to Dec 31, 1945, and in all probability prior to Nov 1, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
 
ronglimeng
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:26 am

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 available, that personal bias creeps in. I sense (my own bias) that a lot of anti-bomb attitudes have a basis in anti-Americanism.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 27):
Hirohito's posthumous name was "Showa" - essentially, "bringer of peace." To my mind it is absolutely disgusting the guy who sat by and watched dictators acting in his name bring death and destruction to surrounding nations while wiping out all urban historical treasures from Allied bombing, not to mention 5 million civilians' lives, got off with a title like that.


Yeah ! How did the post-war Japanese attitudes developed the way they did and as as Aaron747 relates, a sense of victim-hood developed. Isn't anyone in Japan aware of the Rape of Nanjing and other atrocities ? Why weren't their noses rubbed in it?
 
baroque
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:29 pm

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 38):
Yeah ! How did the post-war Japanese attitudes developed the way they did and as as Aaron747 relates, a sense of victim-hood developed. Isn't anyone in Japan aware of the Rape of Nanjing and other atrocities ? Why weren't their noses rubbed in it?

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 the loss of an army in a couple of days, and they did understand they had lost their avenue for negotiation, the Russians.

Ever looked up how long it took for the Navy to admit the losses at Midway?
 
flyAUA
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:38 pm

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 and victimise themselves, regardless of all they have been through at the end of the 2nd world war.

Any other nation in this world would have used this sort of event to justify their hatred, violence and racism against others... not to mention the fact that they don't constantly have to remind us of what they have been through. Everyone knows it, but they don't rub it into our faces.

I had quite a lot of Japanese freinds throughout my school, uni, work life, and I really admire them for this! It makes them unique!  
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Aaron747
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:43 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 31):
I have probably read about half of the books written about WW2, I have known many people personally who fought in the Pacific, and just in the past 3 or 4 years, I have met three fellows who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima.

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 many war stories old-timers have cared to relate. A lot of people here understandably don't want to bring up the war at all, but you'd be surprised how much they open up when an American demonstrates genuine interest in the subject.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 31):
History is what it is.........nothing anyone can do will change it; but it never ceases to amaze me, how many people keep on trying !

Nobody's trying to change anything dude, but as with any historic event of any importance, inevitably more source materials and documentation are uncovered. Hasegawa has the luxury of being able to address these sources in three languages, and as such, is uniquely positioned to interpret them.

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 38):
Isn't anyone in Japan aware of the Rape of Nanjing and other atrocities ?

You'd be surprised how many people, especially under 40, are totally unaware. There are a lot of people with latent nationalistic beliefs who think the whole story is a lie cooked up by Western or Chinese revisionists.

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 38):
Why weren't their noses rubbed in it?

Political expediency. The same reason Hirohito is named the Emperor of Peace and was let off scot-free by MacArthur.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
iakobos
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RE: What Really Happened In August 1945?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:45 pm

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=get...taPrefix=html&identifier=ADA438112
http://www.history.army.mil/books/ww...ports/macarthur%20v1%20sup/ch1.htm

The plans for Operation Blacklist (occupation of Japan and Korea) was in hands of top commanders in July.
The boss was...D Mac Arthur and of course seconded by his own HQ.
A slightly revised version was supplied in the very early days of August (prior to Hiroshima), by August 8th all units were clearly designated.
It was put into effect on August 15.
http://www.paperlessarchives.com/wwii_japan_occupation_plans.html

Olympic (invasion), planned for November 1st has by August not reached operational planning stage...and this is less than three months before D-day...and is supposed to be headed by the same D Mac Arthur and his HQ.

It seems (in my eyes at least) as if Olympic plans have served as the platform for Blacklist, and that the latter was effectively planned (in July) to take place by begin of September, while the first became a folding screen to support the "one million lives saved".

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