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LittleFokker
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75 years ago...Hiroshima

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:28 pm

At 8:15 on the morning of August 6,1945 (afternoon Aug 5th in the United States), the Enola Gay B-29 dropped the first of two nuclear bombs on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Nicknamed "Little Boy," it was the first known use of a nuclear weapon in war, and it killed over 100,000 Japanese military and citizens combined, as well as leveling almost every building in the city.

Hiroshima has since rebuilt itself into a peaceful city of over 2 million people with a large memorial near the detonation site dedicated to the memory of that day.

While President Truman acknowledged it was a difficult decision to authorize the use, he remained steadfast that he thought he was doing the right thing to bring an end to the war and save both American and Japanese lives. 3 days later, "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki doing similar damage to that city. And though the death toll was not nearly as high, it was just as impactful and quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:32 pm

Yeah, may we all pray for all the lost lives on that day. The sad thing is, this all could've been avoided. I don't want to start heated fights, but in school, we received some packets, and they had some information that the US decoded messages about the attack, and knew it was gonna happen, but they didn't know when. I don't want to start arguments, so if you can, please don't get political.
 
ltbewr
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:43 pm

Trillions spend for nuke bombs in the USA, and too many other countries. Massive environmental damage. Millions dead or prematurely dead from exposure to nuke fallout and wastes. Mostly about having a big 'tool' that is useless but as a deterrent. The horrors of Nuke power plants gone bad - Chernobyl and Fukushima. A fateful decision was made 75 years ago, for expediency to end the war, give a message to the USSR to keep out of East Asia, a new President in Truman who had little or now knowledge of the Bomb before becoming it due to the death of FDR, making the decision to perhaps show his power. The use of the USA's Nuke bombs in Japan continues to be one of the most obscene acts against humanity and continues to this day in history.
 
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:59 pm

I was kinda hoping this topic was already started. Just watched Mark Felton's latest release on YouTube. He has endless World War II stories I've never heard of, including this one: how the British prepared to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Dude is amazing in what he turns up.

Anyway... I posted this in a thread recently, but if you're interested in a fascinating read on the lead up to the end of World War II from both the Japanese and Allied perspective, grab a copy of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire by Richard Frank. https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-End-Imp ... 0141001461 Absolutely phenomenal book written with an immense attention to detail on both sides, includes tons of Japanese sources. Obviously, it spends quite a bit of time on the question of the atomic bombings and how that decision came to pass.
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johns624
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:23 am

LittleFokker wrote:
A quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
Where did you learn your history. Germany surrendered THREE MONTHS BEFORE Japan, in May, 1945.
 
johns624
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:24 am

ltbewr wrote:
Trillions spend for nuke bombs in the USA, and too many other countries. Massive environmental damage. Millions dead or prematurely dead from exposure to nuke fallout and wastes. Mostly about having a big 'tool' that is useless but as a deterrent. The horrors of Nuke power plants gone bad - Chernobyl and Fukushima. A fateful decision was made 75 years ago, for expediency to end the war, give a message to the USSR to keep out of East Asia, a new President in Truman who had little or now knowledge of the Bomb before becoming it due to the death of FDR, making the decision to perhaps show his power. The use of the USA's Nuke bombs in Japan continues to be one of the most obscene acts against humanity and continues to this day in history.
Millions of Americans who never would have been born because their future fathers would've been killed in the invasion of Japan disagree with you.
 
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moo
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:26 am

LittleFokker wrote:
Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.


I seriously died a little at seeing this...
 
LittleFokker
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:27 am

johns624 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
A quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
Where did you learn your history. Germany surrendered THREE MONTHS BEFORE Japan, in May, 1945.


My mistake...I was going off memory, and my memory of the details of WWII are a little fuzzy. I thought the fall of Japan weakened Germany, when the reverse was true.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:09 am

johns624 wrote:
Millions of Americans who never would have been born because their future fathers would've been killed in the invasion of Japan disagree with you.

"Millions" might be a stretch, as it'd required every man to have fathered *many* children, but... yes, the death toll would've been horrific. Had the whole campaign been as bloody as projected, the US could've seen deaths approaching 100,000. Some of the more astronomical fatality figures have largely been discredited or never proven to actually exist.

The "millions" could've applied to the Japanese population, military and civilian combined, though. The Japanese were prepared for total war. An invasion of the home islands would've been catastrophic for the Japanese population.
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Aaron747
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:16 am

The OP’s post is somewhat inaccurate - the second bomb did not ‘force’ Japan’s surrender. Rumors were flying through the country but there were no official announcements of the bombings. There were still attempts to backchannel with other governments by the imperial government through the period of the 2nd bomb - no decisions on surrender had been reached. Only after confirmation of declaration of war by the USSR 8/8 and a failed coup attempt on the night of 8/14 did the military government finally allow the public to receive the Emperor’s address stating acceptance of Potsdam terms on 8/15, which was recorded the previous day.
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moo
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:27 am

cjg225 wrote:
An invasion of the home islands would've been catastrophic for the Japanese population.


Why was an invasion necessary? Japan heavily relied on goods and materials shipped from China and the mainland for their needs (and oil was one of the main reasons for their attack against Pearl Harbour in the first place).

Why not embargo the country with a blockade and conduct an extended conventional bombing campaign against military and industrial targets? Either Japan would have surrendered eventually or they would have been reduced to the stone age and national control would have ended - allowing for an easier invasion in 1946 or 1947 for example. Sure, some air crews would have been lost during this campaign, but nothing like a full blown invasion in August 1945.
 
LittleFokker
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:31 am

Aaron747 wrote:
The OP’s post is somewhat inaccurate - the second bomb did not ‘force’ Japan’s surrender. Rumors were flying through the country but there were no official announcements of the bombings. There were still attempts to backchannel with other governments by the imperial government through the period of the 2nd bomb - no decisions on surrender had been reached. Only after confirmation of declaration of war by the USSR 8/8 and a failed coup attempt on the night of 8/14 did the military government finally allow the public to receive the Emperor’s address stating acceptance of Potsdam terms on 8/15, which was recorded the previous day.


I apologize for my factual errors along with any others that have been or will be pointed out by others.
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:37 am

moo wrote:
Why was an invasion necessary? Japan heavily relied on goods and materials shipped from China and the mainland for their needs (and oil was one of the main reasons for their attack against Pearl Harbour in the first place).

Why not embargo the country with a blockade and conduct an extended conventional bombing campaign against military and industrial targets? Either Japan would have surrendered eventually or they would have been reduced to the stone age and national control would have ended - allowing for an easier invasion in 1946 or 1947 for example. Sure, some air crews would have been lost during this campaign, but nothing like a full blown invasion in August 1945.

Over time I've posted some pretty in-depth (for a message board) answers to this question both here and elsewhere (as this topic has certainly come up before). But, bottom line is that the Japanese military would've punished the civilian population to hold out. There would've been a crisis of epic proportions within Japan for the civilian population. Japan would've held out as long as they could to make the Allies come to terms amenable to them.

Tangentially, there was still fighting on mainland Asia and the southwestern Pacific/southeastern Indian. So there would've continued to be death and destruction elsewhere.

The Allied populations would've never stood for the war dragging on for another couple years after Germany surrendered, either. Sure, some of the military forces could've been demobilized, but there would've been a continued high degree of military footing even with a long-term blockade.
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Aaron747
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:45 am

cjg225 wrote:
moo wrote:
Why was an invasion necessary? Japan heavily relied on goods and materials shipped from China and the mainland for their needs (and oil was one of the main reasons for their attack against Pearl Harbour in the first place).

Why not embargo the country with a blockade and conduct an extended conventional bombing campaign against military and industrial targets? Either Japan would have surrendered eventually or they would have been reduced to the stone age and national control would have ended - allowing for an easier invasion in 1946 or 1947 for example. Sure, some air crews would have been lost during this campaign, but nothing like a full blown invasion in August 1945.

Over time I've posted some pretty in-depth (for a message board) answers to this question both here and elsewhere (as this topic has certainly come up before). But, bottom line is that the Japanese military would've punished the civilian population to hold out. There would've been a crisis of epic proportions within Japan for the civilian population. Japan would've held out as long as they could to make the Allies come to terms amenable to them.

Tangentially, there was still fighting on mainland Asia and the southwestern Pacific/southeastern Indian. So there would've continued to be death and destruction elsewhere.

The Allied populations would've never stood for the war dragging on for another couple years after Germany surrendered, either. Sure, some of the military forces could've been demobilized, but there would've been a continued high degree of military footing even with a long-term blockade.


There was epic civilian crisis regardless. In the last two years of the war, hunger was commonplace for urban Japanese as the rations were reduced and poor crop yields worsened. Kids were sent to live with relatives in rural areas. People were routinely eating insects for protein. Following the war, US GHQ and Japanese authorities bungled food management and rations were around 1,000 calories a day for the first couple years.

That’s why Japanese were known for being ‘short’ in the 60s and 70s - an entire generation’s growth was stunted by the war and occupation years.
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:47 am

Aaron747 wrote:
There was epic civilian crisis regardless. In the last two years of the war, hunger was commonplace for urban Japanese as the rations were reduced and poor crop yields worsened. Kids were sent to live with relatives in rural areas. People were routinely eating insects for protein. Following the war, US GHQ and Japanese authorities bungled food management and rations were around 1,000 calories a day for the first couple years.

That’s why Japanese were known for being ‘short’ in the 60s and 70s - an entire generation’s growth was stunted by the war and occupation years.

Also true.

The common alternatives to the atomic bombs that are floated are the blockade, the Soviet invasion, and the US invasion. All of them had trade offs (including using the atomic bombs). This is one of the ultimate hind-sight arguments in human history and probably will be for the rest of existence.
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LCDFlight
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:53 am

ltbewr wrote:
Trillions spend for nuke bombs in the USA, and too many other countries. Massive environmental damage. Millions dead or prematurely dead from exposure to nuke fallout and wastes. Mostly about having a big 'tool' that is useless but as a deterrent. The horrors of Nuke power plants gone bad - Chernobyl and Fukushima. A fateful decision was made 75 years ago, for expediency to end the war, give a message to the USSR to keep out of East Asia, a new President in Truman who had little or now knowledge of the Bomb before becoming it due to the death of FDR, making the decision to perhaps show his power. The use of the USA's Nuke bombs in Japan continues to be one of the most obscene acts against humanity and continues to this day in history.


Surprised to see this strange set of comments from you.

The detonation of nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was horrific and the loss of lives was a tragedy. Yet, as great as this tragedy was, other tragedies caused by Imperial Japan were far greater, and the threat it posed, not only toward the region but to itself, was greater. These bombs were was the end of overt great power warfare for the next 75 years.

You are grasping for death statistics that might show nuclear bombs or reactors have cost many human lives. This is unfair. Nuclear technology saved hundreds of millions of lives, by ending conventional heavy warfare between great powers. The deaths from nuclear electric power are very few compared to the deaths caused by other forms of electric generation.
 
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:08 am

A recent documentary I watched stated that had it not been for the atomic bombings, General Curtis LeMay was getting ready to bring in B-17's from Europe to bomb Japan from Iwo Jima and have 24 hour per day fire bombing of Japanese cities from both the Marianas and Iwo Jima.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:12 am

moo wrote:
cjg225 wrote:
An invasion of the home islands would've been catastrophic for the Japanese population.


Why was an invasion necessary? Japan heavily relied on goods and materials shipped from China and the mainland for their needs (and oil was one of the main reasons for their attack against Pearl Harbour in the first place).

Why not embargo the country with a blockade and conduct an extended conventional bombing campaign against military and industrial targets? Either Japan would have surrendered eventually or they would have been reduced to the stone age and national control would have ended - allowing for an easier invasion in 1946 or 1947 for example. Sure, some air crews would have been lost during this campaign, but nothing like a full blown invasion in August 1945.


The invasion would have started in November 1945
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:18 am

cjg225 wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
There was epic civilian crisis regardless. In the last two years of the war, hunger was commonplace for urban Japanese as the rations were reduced and poor crop yields worsened. Kids were sent to live with relatives in rural areas. People were routinely eating insects for protein. Following the war, US GHQ and Japanese authorities bungled food management and rations were around 1,000 calories a day for the first couple years.

That’s why Japanese were known for being ‘short’ in the 60s and 70s - an entire generation’s growth was stunted by the war and occupation years.

Also true.

The common alternatives to the atomic bombs that are floated are the blockade, the Soviet invasion, and the US invasion. All of them had trade offs (including using the atomic bombs). This is one of the ultimate hind-sight arguments in human history and probably will be for the rest of existence.


There's no way the Manhattan Project (the largest scientific and engineering project in human history till the Apollo project) could have continued to remain secret after the war if an atomic bomb had not been dropped. Had there been an invasion if Japan with huge numbers if casualties, Truman would have been impeached.
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:11 am

cjg225 wrote:
I was kinda hoping this topic was already started. Just watched Mark Felton's latest release on YouTube. He has endless World War II stories I've never heard of, including this one: how the British prepared to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Dude is amazing in what he turns up.

Anyway... I posted this in a thread recently, but if you're interested in a fascinating read on the lead up to the end of World War II from both the Japanese and Allied perspective, grab a copy of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire by Richard Frank. https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-End-Imp ... 0141001461 Absolutely phenomenal book written with an immense attention to detail on both sides, includes tons of Japanese sources. Obviously, it spends quite a bit of time on the question of the atomic bombings and how that decision came to pass.


I enjoyed watching the movie "Emperor" on YouTube (It's free to watch). The plot of the movie is to decide if the Japanese Emperor, worshiped as a god by his people but accused of war crimes, should be punished or saved. Tommy "Lee" Jones as MacArthur.

The film deals with the attempted military coup of the Emperor.

https://youtu.be/POOxe1jvKoE
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Sokes
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:32 am

Should we discuss this topic from an ethic of responsibility or ethic of ultimate end view?
I believe these two views can never compromise, but let's see if this discussion comes up with one.
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Aaron747
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:25 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
A recent documentary I watched stated that had it not been for the atomic bombings, General Curtis LeMay was getting ready to bring in B-17's from Europe to bomb Japan from Iwo Jima and have 24 hour per day fire bombing of Japanese cities from both the Marianas and Iwo Jima.


No point - by July of '45 more than 50% of the city cores of most major Japanese cities (and edge cities around the largest cities) had already been firebombed.
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readytotaxi
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:40 am

I hope no country ever goes down that path again.
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:12 pm

DIRECTFLT wrote:
I enjoyed watching the movie "Emperor" on YouTube (It's free to watch). The plot of the movie is to decide if the Japanese Emperor, worshiped as a god by his people but accused of war crimes, should be punished or saved. Tommy "Lee" Jones as MacArthur.

The film deals with the attempted military coup of the Emperor.

https://youtu.be/POOxe1jvKoE

Yup. Watched it a couple years ago. Very interesting. I have a few problems with the movie, but as a Hollywood presentation, it was pretty decent. I was actually just watching some clips of it on YouTube the other day and noticed that there was a link for the Free-with-Ads version.
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noviorbis77
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:14 pm

https://youtu.be/5XX9ptCNpik

Interesting video which suggests Avro Lancasters could have been used to drop the bombs.
 
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Revelation
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:53 pm

moo wrote:
Why not embargo the country with a blockade and conduct an extended conventional bombing campaign against military and industrial targets? Either Japan would have surrendered eventually or they would have been reduced to the stone age and national control would have ended - allowing for an easier invasion in 1946 or 1947 for example. Sure, some air crews would have been lost during this campaign, but nothing like a full blown invasion in August 1945.

As above, the USSR declaration of war and their seizure of northern Japanese islands showing they intended to proceed with vigor drove the timeline.

Japan could not bear to surrender to the USSR, they knew their Emperor would have no role in a USSR-controlled Japan.

They also knew with USSR invading from the North and the rest of the Allies invading from the South they could not last long.
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ltbewr
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:51 pm

This is a follow up to my previous post and responses to it.
My mom is 91 years old. She remembers the nuke bombing on Japan. She accepts to this day the view that is ended the war, prevented the deaths of 100's of thousands of Japanese and Allied soldiers. My father who died in 2007 accepted that view too, along as in the service in 1945, that he and his brothers and friends could have been sent to do the possible horrible physical invasion of the 'home islands' of Japan. No doubt we look at it a lot differently today, to people of that time if had the 'ultimate' weapon, it has to be used to end the war. Even if we failed in developing and using the bomb then, no doubt it would have happened in the USA, for sure the USSR kept it up and they did succeed a few years later.This also meant it was a part of the futile Cold War era wars by the USA in Korea, Vietnam,SE Asia,elsewhere, political polices and murders all to keep out the spread of Communism and keep up Capitalism.

My larger point is that the development of the nuclear weapons and spin offs from it like for electrical power generation, continued with serious problems ethically, environmentally, with too many unnecessary deaths, didn't stop future wars, cost many trillions in the USA and elsewhere that could have been better spent for better health care, infrastructure and other needs. At least we have accepted fewer nuke weapons and ending of above ground/sea testing by agreements, but that is threatened by too may political leaders believing in developing them for MAD standoffs or possible threat of use to extort ethnic, religious and territorial disputes. We have also rejected in large part from 2 major (Chermobal, Fukshima) and several minor (Three Mile Island) disasters ending the use of nuclear (as well as carbon based) power generation as plants age out with shifts to solar, wind, energy use reduction, but leaving a terrible legacy of their wastes no one wants. Perhaps the only real benefit from nuclear research has been for medical treatments that have indeed save or extended the lives of millions.

Perhaps it couldn't go any other way. We have today the ability to do almost more horrible acts of violence, from germs, chemicals, electrical pulse (which nuke bombs also do), or digitally destroying the Internet. We do need to continue to remember the history of nuclear bombs, try to prevent more countries wasting money and lives to develop them, keep up the cleanup, and find better ways to get along.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:47 pm

Evolutionary ethics has left its finger prints on just about all of this. EE of course says this is how humans behave, excluded are the 'oughts'. The various 'oughts' have also brought is to where we are now, some of us doubt they can endure. I was able to visit Nagasaki while I was in the navy, went with a group of Jesuits. Particularly I remember the shrine of the mostly destroyed cathedral and the museum. It was all sobering. And difficult enough wearing civvies. We obviously stood out.
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:09 pm

noviorbis77 wrote:
https://youtu.be/5XX9ptCNpik

Interesting video which suggests Avro Lancasters could have been used to drop the bombs.

Beat you by a bit. :D
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art
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:26 pm

johns624 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
A quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
Where did you learn your history. Germany surrendered THREE MONTHS BEFORE Japan, in May, 1945.


@LittleFokker How long have you believed the war against Japan ended before the war against Nazi Germany? I'm astonished.
 
art
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:44 pm

I think that the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could quite possibly have been avoided by inviting Japanese observers to the test of the bomb in July 1945. I believe this was suggested but not accepted. Had the Japanese seen the explosion I think WWII might have ended within days, saving tens of thousands of lives, some of those lives being American lives.
 
LittleFokker
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:33 pm

art wrote:
johns624 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
A quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
Where did you learn your history. Germany surrendered THREE MONTHS BEFORE Japan, in May, 1945.


@LittleFokker How long have you believed the war against Japan ended before the war against Nazi Germany? I'm astonished.


It's not that I believed that, I really hadn't thought about it or read up on WWII in a long time, and it was a case of misremembering from school many years ago.
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:15 pm

art wrote:
I think that the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could quite possibly have been avoided by inviting Japanese observers to the test of the bomb in July 1945. I believe this was suggested but not accepted. Had the Japanese seen the explosion I think WWII might have ended within days, saving tens of thousands of lives, some of those lives being American lives.

Disagree. Even if we had done that, I doubt it impacts the decision-making by Japan. Without it being used on a real target, they'd dismiss it. Yes, the Japanese were working on the atomic bomb, too, but the government decision makers, without having direct evidence of the destruction wrought, probably would've dismissed this.
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noviorbis77
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:46 pm

cjg225 wrote:
noviorbis77 wrote:
https://youtu.be/5XX9ptCNpik

Interesting video which suggests Avro Lancasters could have been used to drop the bombs.

Beat you by a bit. :D


Sorry. Had not read the whole thread.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:48 pm

LittleFokker wrote:
johns624 wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
A quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.
Where did you learn your history. Germany surrendered THREE MONTHS BEFORE Japan, in May, 1945.


My mistake...I was going off memory, and my memory of the details of WWII are a little fuzzy. I thought the fall of Japan weakened Germany, when the reverse was true.


Neither is true. Both Germany and Japan were both very weak at the time.

To come to think of it, there are a few other things not quite accurate with your original post, according to historians. Not intended to diminish the remembrance of this day in any way. Good of you to post it.

LittleFokker wrote:
At 8:15 on the morning of August 6,1945 (afternoon Aug 5th in the United States), the Enola Gay B-29 dropped the first of two nuclear bombs on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.


To be nickpicking a bit, the "Little Boy" was not the first nuclear weapon detonated: "On July 16, 1945, in the desert north of Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first nuclear test took place, code-named "Trinity", using a device nicknamed "the gadget." The test, a plutonium implosion-type device, released energy equivalent to 22 kilotons of TNT, far more powerful than any weapon ever used before. The news of the test's success was rushed to Truman at the Potsdam Conference, where Churchill was briefed and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin was informed of the new weapon.".
Although it is significant that Stalin was informed and thus in the known.

And of course a nuclear weapon can flatten a city, and so it did on that day 75years ago with Hiroshima. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, August 9th.

LittleFokker wrote:
Nicknamed "Little Boy," it was the first known use of a nuclear weapon in war, and it killed over 100,000 Japanese military and citizens combined, as well as leveling almost every building in the city.


An estimated 90,000 to 140,000 people in Hiroshima (up to 39 percent of the population) and 60,000 to 80,000 people in Nagasaki (up to 32 percent of the population) died in 1945, though the number which died immediately as a result of exposure to the blast, heat, or due to radiation, is unknown.[url]. That said, there are of course many more who died from the result of dropping those bombs, from cancer increase or birth defects for instance.

And you have to put the 100,000mark a bit into perspective, Japan lost an estimated [url=https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slachtoffers_in_de_Tweede_Wereldoorlog]2.621.000
people, military and civilian combined. Air raides on Japanse cities from 18 April 1942 till 15 August 1945 cost between an estimated 241,000 and 900,000 people their lives. And of course flatted many cities across Japan.

This perspective is needed because only than you can fully appreciate what the news of the bombing of Hiroshima did to the military leadership. I have read somewhere, can't find it at the moment, that the bombing of Hiroshima was the third item on the agenda of the Japanese upper military commant on August 7th. And I can imagine that after 3 years of continues bombing of their cities.

LittleFokker wrote:
Hiroshima has since rebuilt itself into a peaceful city of over 2 million people with a large memorial near the detonation site dedicated to the memory of that day.

While President Truman acknowledged it was a difficult decision to authorize the use, he remained steadfast that he thought he was doing the right thing to bring an end to the war and save both American and Japanese lives. 3 days later, "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki doing similar damage to that city. And though the death toll was not nearly as high, it was just as impactful and quickly forced the surrender of Japan's involvement in WWII. Soon after, with the loss of the Japan ally, Germany surrendered as well, bringing WWII to a formal end.


That is simply not true or better it is the American pushed version of the truth, wanting to frame the horrific consequences of nuclear devices (which they only had at the time). In his "Rescript to the Soldiers and Sailors" delivered on August 17, however, he stressed the impact of the Soviet invasion on his decision to surrender.
The Soviet invation (and subsequent occupation and annexation) of Kuril Islands and South Sakhalin. The Soviet Union broke their pact: Japan and the Soviet Union signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on 13 April 1941, which was similar to the German–Soviet non-aggression pact of August 1939.

So in the end we have to conclude that the decission of the Japanese leadership was made because of the invassion of the Soviet Union not because of the Americans dropping the atomic weapons. The Americans main reason to drop these two devices because they wanted to show the Soviets what they were capable of and wanted to show in anger and they did
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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cjg225
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:27 pm

Dutchy wrote:
This perspective is needed because only than you can fully appreciate what the news of the bombing of Hiroshima did to the military leadership. I have read somewhere, can't find it at the moment, that the bombing of Hiroshima was the third item on the agenda of the Japanese upper military commant on August 7th. And I can imagine that after 3 years of continues bombing of their cities.

In no small part because information was very difficult to get. This was Japan in 1945, not Beirut in 2020. Even on August 7 the Imperial Cabinet were still trying to understand what had actually taken place in Hiroshima. There was conflicting information, there was lack of information, there was disbelief that such an event had actually taken place.

The Imperial Cabinet was meeting for interminable periods during early and mid-August. They had a LOT to discuss. Even the atomic bombs were just 1 of many, many things. And "agenda" is certainly an appropriate word; there were multiple factions in the cabinet, each with various influences and "agendas." "Third item on the agenda" has virtually nothing to do with, "Well, these other items were considered more important..." The Imperial Japanese government worked in ways that even today scholars struggle to understand.

Dutchy wrote:
That is simply not true or better it is the American pushed version of the truth, wanting to frame the horrific consequences of nuclear devices (which they only had at the time). In his "Rescript to the Soldiers and Sailors" delivered on August 17, however, he stressed the impact of the Soviet invasion on his decision to surrender.
The Soviet invation (and subsequent occupation and annexation) of Kuril Islands and South Sakhalin. The Soviet Union broke their pact: Japan and the Soviet Union signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on 13 April 1941, which was similar to the German–Soviet non-aggression pact of August 1939.

So in the end we have to conclude that the decission of the Japanese leadership was made because of the invassion of the Soviet Union not because of the Americans dropping the atomic weapons. The Americans main reason to drop these two devices because they wanted to show the Soviets what they were capable of and wanted to show in anger and they did

The decision was multi-faceted. Trying to say it was 1 factor is pushing a particular agenda in a particular direction. The Soviet Union did not have the capacity to seriously invade the large home islands. They invaded the most weakly-held portions of Japan and suffered significant casualties in doing so. They had no real understanding of amphibious warfare because they never had to do it on anything approaching the scale necessary as those operations undertaken by the Western Allies in Europe and the Pacific. Hell, their amphibious equipment came almost entirely from the Americans in the first place.

Again, I point to Downfall by Richard Frank. It's one of the most well-researched books I've ever read and includes a wealth of information from contemporary Japanese sources. The days leading up to the surrender of Japan showed an absolute mess within the Imperial Cabinet. To say, "It was the Atomic bombs" or "It was the Soviet invasion" or it was any other one factor is oversimplifying one of the most complex situations in world history.

EDIT: Holy crap. This was my 1945th post here. What a weird coincidence.
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Dutchy
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:46 am

cjg225 wrote:
To say, "It was the Atomic bombs" or "It was the Soviet invasion" or it was any other one factor is oversimplifying one of the most complex situations in world history.


Fair enough, it was a multifaceted decision and the role of (fear of) the Soviet Union invitations should not be underestimated and mostly ignored in - public - opinion in the west.

cjg225 wrote:
EDIT: Holy crap. This was my 1945th post here. What a weird coincidence.


Haha, nice coincident indeed.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
M564038
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:55 am

Exctly.
The situation was insanely complex in the japanese «leadership», it is absolutely inpossible to know what contribution the bomb had to end the war. They probably didn’t know themselves.
It could even be argued that the wqr started because there where no clear leadership in Japan.
A lot of people to do populistic, «patriotic» decisions, but no one to end the madness.


cjg225 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
This perspective is needed because only than you can fully appreciate what the news of the bombing of Hiroshima did to the military leadership. I have read somewhere, can't find it at the moment, that the bombing of Hiroshima was the third item on the agenda of the Japanese upper military commant on August 7th. And I can imagine that after 3 years of continues bombing of their cities.

In no small part because information was very difficult to get. This was Japan in 1945, not Beirut in 2020. Even on August 7 the Imperial Cabinet were still trying to understand what had actually taken place in Hiroshima. There was conflicting information, there was lack of information, there was disbelief that such an event had actually taken place.

The Imperial Cabinet was meeting for interminable periods during early and mid-August. They had a LOT to discuss. Even the atomic bombs were just 1 of many, many things. And "agenda" is certainly an appropriate word; there were multiple factions in the cabinet, each with various influences and "agendas." "Third item on the agenda" has virtually nothing to do with, "Well, these other items were considered more important..." The Imperial Japanese government worked in ways that even today scholars struggle to understand.

Dutchy wrote:
That is simply not true or better it is the American pushed version of the truth, wanting to frame the horrific consequences of nuclear devices (which they only had at the time). In his "Rescript to the Soldiers and Sailors" delivered on August 17, however, he stressed the impact of the Soviet invasion on his decision to surrender.
The Soviet invation (and subsequent occupation and annexation) of Kuril Islands and South Sakhalin. The Soviet Union broke their pact: Japan and the Soviet Union signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact on 13 April 1941, which was similar to the German–Soviet non-aggression pact of August 1939.

So in the end we have to conclude that the decission of the Japanese leadership was made because of the invassion of the Soviet Union not because of the Americans dropping the atomic weapons. The Americans main reason to drop these two devices because they wanted to show the Soviets what they were capable of and wanted to show in anger and they did

The decision was multi-faceted. Trying to say it was 1 factor is pushing a particular agenda in a particular direction. The Soviet Union did not have the capacity to seriously invade the large home islands. They invaded the most weakly-held portions of Japan and suffered significant casualties in doing so. They had no real understanding of amphibious warfare because they never had to do it on anything approaching the scale necessary as those operations undertaken by the Western Allies in Europe and the Pacific. Hell, their amphibious equipment came almost entirely from the Americans in the first place.

Again, I point to Downfall by Richard Frank. It's one of the most well-researched books I've ever read and includes a wealth of information from contemporary Japanese sources. The days leading up to the surrender of Japan showed an absolute mess within the Imperial Cabinet. To say, "It was the Atomic bombs" or "It was the Soviet invasion" or it was any other one factor is oversimplifying one of the most complex situations in world history.

EDIT: Holy crap. This was my 1945th post here. What a weird coincidence.
 
M564038
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:04 am

You have absorbed a lot of wrong information about nuclear power.
Of the accidents you mention, only Tsjernobyl had any fatalities.

The number of people that died in the chernobyl accident are less than the number of deaths PER DAY in the USA alone due to the environmental impact of fossil energy. And chernobyl is as bad as it can get.

In fact, Nuclear power is, and there are 70 years of statistics to back this up, the safest way, by a wide margin to produce energy. Death per produced energy unit is way below any other power source Including hydro power.


ltbewr wrote:
This is a follow up to my previous post and responses to it.
My mom is 91 years old. She remembers the nuke bombing on Japan. She accepts to this day the view that is ended the war, prevented the deaths of 100's of thousands of Japanese and Allied soldiers. My father who died in 2007 accepted that view too, along as in the service in 1945, that he and his brothers and friends could have been sent to do the possible horrible physical invasion of the 'home islands' of Japan. No doubt we look at it a lot differently today, to people of that time if had the 'ultimate' weapon, it has to be used to end the war. Even if we failed in developing and using the bomb then, no doubt it would have happened in the USA, for sure the USSR kept it up and they did succeed a few years later.This also meant it was a part of the futile Cold War era wars by the USA in Korea, Vietnam,SE Asia,elsewhere, political polices and murders all to keep out the spread of Communism and keep up Capitalism.

My larger point is that the development of the nuclear weapons and spin offs from it like for electrical power generation, continued with serious problems ethically, environmentally, with too many unnecessary deaths, didn't stop future wars, cost many trillions in the USA and elsewhere that could have been better spent for better health care, infrastructure and other needs. At least we have accepted fewer nuke weapons and ending of above ground/sea testing by agreements, but that is threatened by too may political leaders believing in developing them for MAD standoffs or possible threat of use to extort ethnic, religious and territorial disputes. We have also rejected in large part from 2 major (Chermobal, Fukshima) and several minor (Three Mile Island) disasters ending the use of nuclear (as well as carbon based) power generation as plants age out with shifts to solar, wind, energy use reduction, but leaving a terrible legacy of their wastes no one wants. Perhaps the only real benefit from nuclear research has been for medical treatments that have indeed save or extended the lives of millions.

Perhaps it couldn't go any other way. We have today the ability to do almost more horrible acts of violence, from germs, chemicals, electrical pulse (which nuke bombs also do), or digitally destroying the Internet. We do need to continue to remember the history of nuclear bombs, try to prevent more countries wasting money and lives to develop them, keep up the cleanup, and find better ways to get along.
 
johns624
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:30 am

While Russia did a lot of the major lifting in the ETO, I still don't think they were a major factor in the East. Japan had been fighting the US, British and China for years. I don't think that the USSR entering in without a lot of power projection would have changed their mind much.
 
stratosphere
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:05 pm

art wrote:
I think that the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could quite possibly have been avoided by inviting Japanese observers to the test of the bomb in July 1945. I believe this was suggested but not accepted. Had the Japanese seen the explosion I think WWII might have ended within days, saving tens of thousands of lives, some of those lives being American lives.


I doubt it..If you read anything about the Japanese during WW 2 they were brutal . I have little doubt anything could have swayed their minds other than brute force which unfortunately they got .
 
kalvado
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:33 pm

I would add two factors which were definitely considered when making decisions during those days
1. Okinawa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa
The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with approximately 160,000 casualties on both sides: at least 75,000 Allied and 84,166–117,000 Japanese, including drafted Okinawans wearing Japanese uniforms. 149,425 Okinawans were killed, died by suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population.
....
With the impending Japanese defeat, civilians often committed mass suicide, urged on by the Japanese soldiers who told locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping.

I would think that "Do we want another Okinawa, now 100x bigger?" was asked - or implied - in White House when invasion of main islands was discussed. If you think about it, number of Okinawa battle civilian casualties are on the same scale as Hiroshima bombing.

2. Surrender of the Kwantung Army - meaning drastic problems for supply from the continent. My impression is that Sea of Japan was mostly controlled by Japanese forces, and was a lifeline for supplies. Cutting those off would be a big factor.
 
GDB
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:50 pm

This is a documentary made in 1983, one of a series about war, the hows, whys, effects, made at a time of increased superpower tension. For this discussion, I urge skipping to 20.18, where a US writer and WW2 veteran, makes some points that have stayed with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi3uieRXRc4

BTW, they may have not had a functioning navy, Japan did however still have plenty of aircraft for suicide attacks, a large standing army both in Japan and elsewhere, do not either forget to factor in that by July 1945, many of the atrocities carried out by the Japanese Empire were coming to light.
(Mark Felton recently did an account of one I had not heard of, during the liberation of Manila).

Also consider the additional Cold War flashpoint had the USSR invaded Japan, to add to Berlin and the 38th Parallel.
The knowledge of the bomb was out there, including in the USSR, which was true even before the first test and the bombings.
Does anyone think that a peaceful, prosperous post war Japan could have emerged from a partitioned one, with a likely insurgency from fanatics too? (Remember those Japanese soldiers found on islands into the 1970's still thinking the war was on).
 
GDB
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:25 pm

There was only one way out the future superpower nuclear standoff, ironically the US was the major player in forming the organisation that could have control of the existing nuclear stockpile on it's formation, then still tiny and wholly US.
Putting it and the means of delivery under multinational control, to deter any rogue state from also developing them.
This would be under the command of the 'Security Council'.

See what I did there, in reality the US was never going to do this, nor would the USSR agree to it upon joining such a Council.
It would have saved the UK a pile of money and effort after the US broke nuclear agreements with them and Canada, France too a bit later.
But nations are governed by, in many cases elected by their people, who by force of habit abhor such dilutions of national power and prestige.
(The work the post War Labour Governments Foreign Secretary, Ernie Bevin, had to put in to persuade the US to get on board with this 'common defence thing', which we know as NATO. That was an instance of getting a nation to change long held habits, for the UK it was driven by circumstance, just 25 or 50 years before it would have been thought of as absurd. For the US it meant taken on defence responsibilities like nothing before in it's history).

That though is nowhere near the change of behavior required by a newly superpowerful nation needed to put under international control 'their' new superweapon.
No more than the British would have given up maritime domination in the 19th to mid 20th century period.
Germany and Japan have not been belligerent nations for 75 years, indeed they have been massive economic success stories, which seems to indicate that only massive, bloody defeats changes long held habits.
Germany had massive bombing, invasion from both sides (including all those vengeful Russians), then partition for 45 years.
Japan had massive bombing and two nukes.

For the Soviets, putting aside their leader, who they did not choose, had they had a say in their government in 1946, you think they would have wanted their nation to give up the chance to have their bomb, after the terrible experience of the Nazi invasion so fresh?

The problem is not the weapon, it was always going to be invented sometime, it's us.
While we stay wedded to nation states and international power.
Then there is the prospect of a rogue device, ever seen 1983's TV drama 'Special Bulletin?'
 
VSMUT
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:07 pm

johns624 wrote:
While Russia did a lot of the major lifting in the ETO, I still don't think they were a major factor in the East. Japan had been fighting the US, British and China for years. I don't think that the USSR entering in without a lot of power projection would have changed their mind much.


The Soviet attack was devastating to Japan. The Red Army forces overran Manchuria in 11 days, taking out over 700.000 Japanese troops in the process at the cost of only 10.000 Soviet lives. It was an area the size of Germany and France combined. The operation involved mass armoured thrusts, paradrops and naval assaults, everything needed to bring the war to Japan. It definitely shocked the Japanese. For comparisons sake, the western allies hadn't even liberated Malaya and Singapore at the time of surrender. Even the Philippines took US forces 11 months to fully liberate.
Russia and Japan have a long history of strife, culminating with the battle of Tsushima. Japan fully knew how they would react if they ever got the chance to get retribution for a massive military defeat, which also played a part.
 
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Revelation
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:29 pm

johns624 wrote:
While Russia did a lot of the major lifting in the ETO, I still don't think they were a major factor in the East. Japan had been fighting the US, British and China for years. I don't think that the USSR entering in without a lot of power projection would have changed their mind much.

USSR gave Japan a lot of concerns, a lot more than most people realize.

The recent biography of Richard Sorge makes for some interesting reading.

By August 1945 even those who could not say it knew Japan would lose the war.

The main concern was preserving the position of the Emperor and they knew if USSR had any input on that topic they knew what their opinion would be.
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:54 pm

GDB wrote:
This is a documentary made in 1983, one of a series about war, the hows, whys, effects, made at a time of increased superpower tension. For this discussion, I urge skipping to 20.18, where a US writer and WW2 veteran, makes some points that have stayed with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi3uieRXRc4

Cue'd to the time stamp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi3uieRXRc4&t=20m14s

I think the US leadership did have concerns about how much they could expect out of troops who had already served a long time in Europe or the Pacific Theater, however if push came to shove they would have sent them in. Consider for instance had the Trinity test failed for any one of a number of possible reasons, the invasion of Japan still would have went forward in Nov/Dec 1945, IMO.

I've read biographies of Truman and I feel the thing that closed the case for dropping the bomb was his concerns about saving American lives, saving Japanese lives, and making sure the very expensive super weapon was utilized. He was an ex-Senator and he knew the politics of not using the bomb would be disastrous for him and for his party. There's no way that was not a major element in his mental calculation of how to go forward.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:31 pm

Off the various non-aggression pacts prior to 1939, only the Soviet-Japanese pact was never violated until the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. The Japanese Navy didn’t even target US shipping bound for Russian Far East ports in accordance with pact.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:51 am

kalvado wrote:
I would add two factors which were definitely considered when making decisions during those days
1. Okinawa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa
The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with approximately 160,000 casualties on both sides: at least 75,000 Allied and 84,166–117,000 Japanese, including drafted Okinawans wearing Japanese uniforms. 149,425 Okinawans were killed, died by suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population.
....
With the impending Japanese defeat, civilians often committed mass suicide, urged on by the Japanese soldiers who told locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping.

I would think that "Do we want another Okinawa, now 100x bigger?" was asked - or implied - in White House when invasion of main islands was discussed. If you think about it, number of Okinawa battle civilian casualties are on the same scale as Hiroshima bombing.

2. Surrender of the Kwantung Army - meaning drastic problems for supply from the continent. My impression is that Sea of Japan was mostly controlled by Japanese forces, and was a lifeline for supplies. Cutting those off would be a big factor.


This is a staggering misnomer. Imperial Japan saw Okinawans as subservient second-class citizens and didn’t give a damn about them, as evidenced by US soldiers’ accounts of civilians used as human shields and weapons placed atop homes to draw US fire. ‘Avoiding another Okinawa’ was not a factor to them.
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kalvado
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Re: 75 years ago...Hiroshima

Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:55 am

Aaron747 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
I would add two factors which were definitely considered when making decisions during those days
1. Okinawa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa
The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific, with approximately 160,000 casualties on both sides: at least 75,000 Allied and 84,166–117,000 Japanese, including drafted Okinawans wearing Japanese uniforms. 149,425 Okinawans were killed, died by suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war 300,000 local population.
....
With the impending Japanese defeat, civilians often committed mass suicide, urged on by the Japanese soldiers who told locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping.

I would think that "Do we want another Okinawa, now 100x bigger?" was asked - or implied - in White House when invasion of main islands was discussed. If you think about it, number of Okinawa battle civilian casualties are on the same scale as Hiroshima bombing.

2. Surrender of the Kwantung Army - meaning drastic problems for supply from the continent. My impression is that Sea of Japan was mostly controlled by Japanese forces, and was a lifeline for supplies. Cutting those off would be a big factor.


This is a staggering misnomer. Imperial Japan saw Okinawans as subservient second-class citizens and didn’t give a damn about them, as evidenced by US soldiers’ accounts of civilians used as human shields and weapons placed atop homes to draw US fire. ‘Avoiding another Okinawa’ was not a factor to them.

you missed "in the White House" part of it. Winning the war by exterminating most of islands population likely wasn't seen as a great idea.

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