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Kiwirob
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:38 am

Quoting Nav30 (Reply 49):
What's more, Italy had a good air force and a good navy.

The Navy was effectively knocked out after the Taranto raid and the battle at Cape Mataplan.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:03 pm

When I was a teen in the 80's growing up in Kansas City one of the area high schools in Independence conducted a posthumous mock trial of President Truman for war crimes over the use of the bomb. This was in an era when revisionist historians were making a lot of noise about how unnecessary the bomb was to defeating Japan. A lot of things were being declassified at that time on Japan's peace feelers thru other nations that strengthened the argument it wasn't necesary. With assurance they could keep the Emperor they'd surrender went the argument. In the Potsdam declaration, after the Trinity test, the terms were publicly modified by the allies from unconditional surrender to unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces. The difference gave wiggle room to keep the Emperor. The Japanese cabinet viewed this as weakness on our part and vowed to answer the new offer with silence. Japan was beaten but too proud to admit it is what it came down to. Now could we have demonstrated the weapon on an uninhibited atoll? Maybe but what if it was a dud? What if Japan refused to send an observer ship thinking it was a trap? Warning Japan ahead of time would guarantee all allied POW's would be marched into major cities to be human shields. Also put their forces on alert to take down Enola Gay or Bock's Car B-29's delivering the weapon. Sadly I think dropping the atomic bomb was the only way to end the war NOW!!! How would you feel if your relatives died fighting Japan in November '45 when it came out we had this in our pocket since July and didn't use it? Multiply that by several hundred thousand and it just wasn't a position any President would take at that time. The HS students in Independence acquitted Truman in their trial for these reasons. That said I look at the pictures of the victims and even 70 years later they sometimes make me cry.
 
NAV30
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:19 am

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 51):
Sadly I think dropping the atomic bomb was the only way to end the war NOW!!! How would you feel if your relatives died fighting Japan in November '45 when it came out we had this in our pocket since July and didn't use it? Multiply that by several hundred thousand and it just wasn't a position any President would take at that time.

Absolutely correct, skywaymanaz - except that I'd go further; Japan consists of a series of islands, many of which are mountainous. Conquering it by 'conventional' means would probably have taken at least two years, including at least half-a-dozen 'D-Days.' Maybe half-a-million casualties on both sides?

No doubt in my mind that the Allies (mainly President Truman) did exactly the right thing in using nukes. Probably best for the Japanese, too, in terms of fewer Japanese people killed; leave alone 'our blokes.'

[Edited 2014-10-24 21:27:05]
 
PHX787
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:27 am

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 37):
It's still a debate whether it were the atomic bombs that stopped World War II. I do think that the dropping of those bombs at that moment in time saved a lot of lives in the ensuing years, possibly up to this date, as Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed how horrific the results were.

I am convinced it stopped the war in Japan simply due to the mentioning of it by the Emperor.

If not that, then probably the USSR declaring war on Japan.
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iakobos
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:26 pm

Time to drop my very salty bag of salt...

If you have a good lot of time in front of you, read the following thread, all sources are indicated
Hiroshima & Nagasaki.... Why? (by Iakobos Feb 10 2005 in Non Aviation)

If you don't, here are a few shortcuts (non exhaustive list):

- Japan has been trying to come on (surrender) terms for ONE year

- words of Henry Stimson (sec of War and responsible for Manhattan project towards the POTUS):
May 14 “…I told him (JMC) 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.

- hundreds of cities have been flattened by the aviation, starvation is extremely high, naval blockade is complete,
industrial output is zero. Naval bombardments....at sight, are in full swing. The atomic bombs are of (comparably)
small size and low efficiency and would (did) achieve no military purpose. It took some time for the Japanese to realize
the bombs were nuclear.

- eleven weeks before the "planned" first part of Operation Downfall (Olympic) there are no operational plans in place !!!

- the boss is to be D Mc Arthur (and his HQ), while the same and his same HQ are already fully busy with Operation
Blacklist (occupation of Japan)

- Olympic involves 6 divisions, Coronet also 6.
 
slider
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:45 pm

Quoting Nav30 (Reply 49):
There was probably no alternative but to knock out Italy before going on to invade 'mainland' Europe.

I'm still not so sure about that. Italy could have been contained I think and their status as a belligerent Axis power was already minimized after the deposing of Mussolini. There wasn't really a muscular navy at all, as Italy had to use (beg, borrow and steal) any seaborne capacity they could get their hands on. Moreover, the Germans on the Italian peninsula could have been bottled up as well.

This is all counter-factual stuff, but I don't think the entire Italian campaign was totally necessary.
 
NAV30
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:21 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 55):
I don't think the entire Italian campaign was totally necessary.

In point of fact, Slider, the Italian campaign achieved its aim quite soon - the Italians surrendered in September 1943? The Germans were on their own after that?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-h...ory/italian-surrender-is-announced

As I've said, attention then turned to Monte Cassino and Rome - Cassino being captured a few days before the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944.. Then the Allied landings in the South of France followed (in August, I think)?

There can be no room for doubt, on the face of it, that the Italian campaign caused German resources to be stretched beyond their capabilities? Had the Italian Campaign not been embarked on, one suspects that the Normandy landings would have encountered a lot more resistance?

Eisenhower and Montgomery couldn't have been more different to each other, on the face of it? But, between them, they achieved a highly-successful strategy. I still remember my father (a WW1 veteran) being utterly astonished that the whole European War ended as soon as it did (May 8th. 1945).

[Edited 2014-10-28 19:24:03]
 
slider
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:12 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 56):
There can be no room for doubt, on the face of it, that the Italian campaign caused German resources to be stretched beyond their capabilities? Had the Italian Campaign not been embarked on, one suspects that the Normandy landings would have encountered a lot more resistance?

Well, this is where I think there is some interesting discussions to be had. Would the Germans have then doubled down toward the Caucausus oil fields? We don't know. If the Allies had gone up from southern France, and effectively sealed off Italy, wouldn't that have had the same effect as invading outright?

It's a fair point, though and I'll concede that.

Always makes for good discussions!!

****

One other interesting footnote to the larger core question of dropping the bomb, and this will become a more visible question once the movie Unbroken comes out (good book, BTW, great compelling story although I'm not keen on Hillenbrand's writing style).

The Japanese had 135,000 Allied POWs in their custody at the time of Hiroshima. Of those, 35,000 were Americans, but they had Americans, British, Aussie, New Zealand, and other national POWs as well. There was a "kill all" order in the works as well. The bomb had such a massively demoralizing effect that they didn't even go through with the mass kill, a rare deviation from the cruelty the Japanese effected on POWs. As a means of comparison, only about 1% of German-held American POWs died in captivity. By comparison, 38% of Americans in Japanese camps died. Torture, starvation, barbarism, forced labor, total disregard for any and all Geneva provisions, refusal and obfuscation to Red Cross officials, etc.... I think many of us have read the stories about their behavior, but it bears reinforcement that the bomb saved 135k in captivity (although SHAEF might not have even known of that number and it's presumed it did not play into the decision).
 
iakobos
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:03 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 57):
The bomb had such a massively demoralizing effect

You might believe the story you were told, like hundred of millions did and still do, but History shows a different picture.
The bombs had no demoralizing effect at all, except for the few who saw and survived it.

It took time (several days) for the Japanese to identify the nature of the bomb(s).
The effects were several orders of magnitude below the devastation of the incendiary bombings.
The Soviets knew exactly what it was from day 1.

If the 135,000 POW did play such a role, FDR would have opened the communication channels with Japan a long time before, since those overtures lasted for one full year.
 
slider
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:57 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 58):
If the 135,000 POW did play such a role, FDR would have opened the communication channels with Japan a long time before, since those overtures lasted for one full year.

I didn't imply it was a motivation, but it was a side benefit.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 58):
You might believe the story you were told, like hundred of millions did and still do, but History shows a different picture.
The bombs had no demoralizing effect at all, except for the few who saw and survived it.

I have no idea where you get this. The Japanese people were suffering mightily even before the bomb. B-29s were flying over Japan unmolested leading up to Aug 6, and then after the bomb, it absolutely crippled the spirit of much of the populace once they knew what had happened.

Now be sure you're making a distinction between the people and the leaders....that might be worth exploring. But I think each of us could find plenty of sources to cite our respective positions. Either way, they weren't going to cash it in even if a lot of their people knew the jig was up.
 
NAV30
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:34 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 59):
Now be sure you're making a distinction between the people and the leaders....that might be worth exploring.

My guess is that like other 'war leaders' on both sides, the Japanese pollies and 'top brass' had the very best in terms of warnings, bomb shelters, etc.? And were 'content' - if that's the right word   - to leave the ordinary people to take their chances while they tried to negotiate some sort of face-saving truce that would leave them in power??

My further guess is that as soon as they realised what had happened - two whole cities destroyed by just two bombs - they realised that their shelters would be no damn use from then on. And lost no time in surrendering un-conditionally?

[Edited 2014-11-03 21:37:59]
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:11 am

Quoting iakobos (Reply 58):
You might believe the story you were told, like hundred of millions did and still do, but History shows a different picture.
The bombs had no demoralizing effect at all, except for the few who saw and survived it.

  

You forgot to mention the demoralizing effect on the war council in Japan - led by the Emperor - who authorized the minister of foreign affairs to accept Allied surrender terms on August 9th, 4 full days after the Soviets abrogated their neutrality pact with Japan. Don't overlook the fact that the Japanese sent scientists to Hiroshima on August 7th and they quickly assessed that this was the work of an atomic weapon, but they calculated that the U.S. could not possibly have but one or two more left to use. That's what accelerated the timeline of the second attack from August 11th to August 9th, as the communications were intercepted by the Allies.

It wasn't the Soviets opting out of their pact, nor Hiroshima by itself; it was the attack on Nagasaki - proving not only there were more bombs, but they would and could be deployed quickly - that was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" and brought the Japanese to the conclusion that surrender was their only option.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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NAV30
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:26 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 61):
It wasn't the Soviets opting out of their pact, nor Hiroshima by itself; it was the attack on Nagasaki - proving not only there were more bombs, but they would and could be deployed quickly

My feeling is that that's exactly correct, EA CO AS. They knew damn well that the next one - even if it took a couple of weeks to build - would probably have landed on Tokyo............
 
slider
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:32 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 62):
My feeling is that that's exactly correct, EA CO AS. They knew damn well that the next one - even if it took a couple of weeks to build - would probably have landed on Tokyo............

BINGO.

Or Osaka, which was a real fear also. Osaka was the 2nd biggest Japanese city, had already endured major bombing and heavy civilian casualties, and was the primary industrial center in Japan. Talk about demoralizing?? Yeah, Osaka had already borne a major brunt of Allied bombing.
 
11Bravo
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:40 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 58):
The effects were several orders of magnitude below the devastation of the incendiary bombings.

Um, ... No. An "order of magnitude" is a multiple of ten. Like 100 peanuts is an order of magnitude more than 10 peanuts.

The large fire raid in Tokyo (operation Meetinghouse) killed an estimated 100,000 people. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima killed an estimated 70,000 and the Nagasaki raid killed 40,000. Nowhere near an order of magnitude difference.
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iakobos
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:21 pm

About 16 sqm of Tokyo's residential area were flattened and burned to the groud (300,000 buildings), not a blade of grass remained and nothing solid higher than one foot.
Average density: 115,000 people per sqm.
Who would have dared to claim that they had killed a million in a night ?

US Strategic Bombing Survey officially puts Nagasaki's death toll at 35,000.

After a few thousands of hours of research on the subject I am confident that Japan provided the ground but was not the aim, and actually it is quite easy to prove to an open mind.
Some of the US leaders at the time made it pretty clear after the war, but history books were already printed.

What better justification than the "saved 1 million US lives" ?
When will FDR's diary under the chapter "Soviet Union 1942-1945" be accessible ? probably never.
 
slider
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:12 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 64):
The large fire raid in Tokyo (operation Meetinghouse) killed an estimated 100,000 people. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima killed an estimated 70,000 and the Nagasaki raid killed 40,000. Nowhere near an order of magnitude difference.

Operation Meetinghouse....

Quoting iakobos (Reply 65):
About 16 sqm of Tokyo's residential area were flattened and burned to the groud (300,000 buildings), not a blade of grass remained and nothing solid higher than one foot.
Average density: 115,000 people per sqm.
Who would have dared to claim that they had killed a million in a night ?

From the non-atomic bombings of JUST Tokyo alone from B-29s:

Quote:
These casualty and damage figures could be low; Mark Selden wrote in Japan Focus:

The figure of roughly 100,000 deaths, provided by Japanese and American authorities, both of whom may have had reasons of their own for minimizing the death toll, seems to me arguably low in light of population density, wind conditions, and survivors' accounts. With an average of 103,000 inhabitants per square mile (396 people per hectare) and peak levels as high as 135,000 per square mile (521 people per hectare), the highest density of any industrial city in the world, and with firefighting measures ludicrously inadequate to the task, 15.8 square miles (41 km2) of Tokyo were destroyed on a night when fierce winds whipped the flames and walls of fire blocked tens of thousands fleeing for their lives. An estimated 1.5 million people lived in the burned out areas.[16]

In his 1968 book, reprinted in 1990, historian Gabriel Kolko cited a figure of 125,000 deaths.

Still trying to understand the gist of your point, sir. Whether the a-bomb was justified, whether our assertions for justification are legitimate, or whether you still believe the Japanese populace was/was not demoralized.
 
NAV30
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:59 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 64):
Nowhere near an order of magnitude difference.

Surely an important measure of 'magnitude' is the fact that each bomb only required risking a single bomber and crew, not a hundred-plus?

It is also arguable that, given that there were two distinct types of A-bomb, dropping two afforded the possibility of testing and evaluating both types before 'peace broke out'?

http://www.atomicbombmuseum.org/2_firstbombs.shtml
 
PHX787
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:42 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 61):
You forgot to mention the demoralizing effect on the war council in Japan - led by the Emperor - who authorized the minister of foreign affairs to accept Allied surrender terms on August 9th, 4 full days after the Soviets abrogated their neutrality pact with Japan.

I've been reading some articles here and there that mentioned that the emperor more or less threatened the entire war council with execution or some sort of punishment if they didn't accept the terms. From what I know, one officer committed suicide as soon as the emperor's broadcast was made.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 61):
Don't overlook the fact that the Japanese sent scientists to Hiroshima on August 7th and they quickly assessed that this was the work of an atomic weapon, but

They were there within hours.
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JeffSFO
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RE: The US Dropping Atomic Bombs On Japan World War 2

Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:06 am

Quoting moo (Reply 9):
Just an FYI, but there was more than one plane involved in Special Mission 13, which was the strike on Hiroshima - there were in fact 7 aircraft in the target area at the time, including one with a second nuclear weapon on board in case the Enola Gay had to turn back for any reason.

Six B-29s flew to Japan that day with a seventh parked at Iwo Jima as a spare but there wasn't a second nuclear weapon on that mission.

Three flew weather reconnaissance missions to Hiroshima, Kokura, and Nagasaki an hour ahead of the strike mission but turned back to Tinian once Hiroshima was 'go' and were a couple of hundred miles out to sea when the bomb exploded.

The three planes of the strike mission were the ones in the target area at the time of the blast.

The seventh B-29 landed at Iwo Jima to serve as a spare to Enola Gay in case Tibbets had to abort there due to mechanical trouble. The standby was parked by the same kind of special bomb loading pit as those used on Tinian so Little Boy could be transferred from Enola Gay and the crew would complete the mission.

From Paul Tibbets:

Quote:
A third plane following us was Chuck McKnight's Top Secret, the standby aircraft that would land at Iwo Jima, remaining there as a spare in case Enola Gay should encounter trouble en route. This possibility was so unlikely that I didn't give it a second thought. If mechanical difficulty had occurred, however, I would have landed at Iwo and transferred, with members of my crew and the bomb to Top Secret for the flight to Japan.

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