Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 58 (9175 total)
6 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,624 Year: 4,881/9,624 Month: 229/427 Week: 39/103 Day: 8/11 Hour: 1/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Was the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan Justified?
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


(1)
Message 39 of 140 (623498)
07-11-2011 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by frako
07-08-2011 7:00 PM


Re: Missing considerations
No i am simply suggesting that japan had no choice but to surrender and would have surrendered pretty soon.
No, they wouldn't have. It was completely against the Japanese ethos. Their plan was to put every citizen on the front lines, even if all they had was pitchforks. The only reason Japan surrendered was that their entire population could be destroyed without a single soldier stepping foot in Japan. Their only plan could never come to fruition.
To better understand the Japanese psyche I would suggest that you read up on the cultural significance of "Kamikaze". In Japanese this term means "divine wind". This term was used to describe two typhoons that destroyed an invading Mongol navy in 1247 and again in 1281. Each time the Mongols were poised to invade and conquer Japan, and each time the divine wind wiped out the invading navy. Japan had gone millenia without a foreign army setting foot on sacred Japanese soil.
It is no coincidence that the Japanese suicide bombers were called Kamikazes. They were to be the sacred wind, the wave of humanity that was to keep the invaders out. It wouldn't have stopped with the pilots. It would have continued as Allied soldiers invaded the mainland.
In the long run, an invasion would have resulted in hundreds of thousand more Japanese civilian (if you can call them that) casualties than the atomic bombs cost. Those are the cold hard facts.
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by frako, posted 07-08-2011 7:00 PM frako has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


(1)
Message 40 of 140 (623499)
07-11-2011 1:33 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by dronestar
07-08-2011 10:35 AM


Re: Let the short debate begin
1. america intercepted messages from Japan to Russia indicating JAPAN WANTED to SURRENDER.
And yet they didn't.
3. america knew japan would surrender unconditionally when Japan found out that Russia would join the fight. So, america hastened the two bombings BEFORE Japan COULD surrender for an american show of power toward Russia.
Completely false. Japan was ready to fight to the last man carrying a pitchfork against a conventional invading force.
4. if ANY regards towards human life was any factor at all, america could have detonated the first bomb over water as a deterent/warning.
Detonating the first bomb over a city didn't convince them. You are wrong again.
5. The second, even more unnecessary, bomb was completely and utterly criminal. All communication was broken in Japan and america gave no time for the Japanese to assess the first bomb's damage before detonating the second.
Baloney. Three days is more than enough time. They knew where the Allied Navy was and how to broadcast to them.
PS: For what it's worth, my father also served in Japan after the war. His OPINION is that it was criminal and unnecessary also.
If he had fought on Guadalcanal or walked the Bataan Death March he might have thought differently.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by dronestar, posted 07-08-2011 10:35 AM dronestar has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 50 of 140 (623788)
07-13-2011 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by dronestar
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


Re: Sorry for the delay.
Japan WAS beaten and not a threat to the US. america could have "suffered" a few more days or weeks for successful negotiations of VERY SIMILAR eventual surrender terms.
That is complete speculation. The fact of the matter is that the Allies DID PRESS FOR SURRENDER, AND JAPAN REFUSED TO SURRENDER. If the atomic bombs had not been dropped it would have required an invasion of the Japanese homeland in order to get that surrender. The invasion of previous islands had taught us this. Japanese soldiers charged machine gun nests with nothing but a drawn katana instead of surrendering. Japanese civilians jumped from cliffs to their deaths rather than be captured by the Allies. This was on islands that were not considered to be sacred like the Japanese homeland. The precedent had been set. The Japanese did not surrender when they were beaten. Ever.
The second lesson is WW I. In that war, Germany was allowed to stay intact. What resulted was a continuation of war just 30 years later. That is why the Allies pushed for the removal of all government officials involved in the making of war and the establishment of a government that the Allies could work with. The Japanese did not agree to those terms of surrender.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by dronestar, posted 07-12-2011 4:43 PM dronestar has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 51 of 140 (623789)
07-13-2011 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Modulous
07-12-2011 6:41 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I am cautious that the impression sometimes painted of the Japanese as being suicidally loyal to the bitter end, man woman and child is a dehumanising one.
It isn't a painting. That is exactly what happened. You are aware of the Kamikaze pilots, are you not? German pilots did not strap themselves to bombs and hurl themselves at the Allied soldiers, but the Japanese did. German citizens did not commit suicide in droves to avoid being captured by Allied troops. The Japanese citizens did.
quote:
At the end of June, Hirohito sent out an imperial order encouraging the civilians of Saipan to commit suicide.[2][unreliable source?] The order authorized the commander of Saipan to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat. General Hideki Tj intercepted the order on 30 June and delayed its sending, but it went out anyway the next day. By the time the Marines advanced on the north tip of the island, from 8—12 July, most of the damage had been done.[2][unreliable source?] Over 20,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff". In all, about 22,000 Japanese civilians died.
Battle of Saipan - Wikipedia

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Modulous, posted 07-12-2011 6:41 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 1:32 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 53 of 140 (623805)
07-13-2011 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Modulous
07-13-2011 1:32 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
As I said, there were people prepared to die for their country on both sides, and that the Japanese's expression of this may be more direct.
To put it as objectively as possible, the Japanese expression of patriotism was difficult for western cultures to understand. In Europe, neither side was committing ritualized suicide instead of surrendering. Entire Allied brigades were not charging the Japanese lines with nothing but a sword in hand. It just wasn't part of western culture, and so it was quite shocking to the Allied troops. This wasn't going to change if an invasion of the Japanese homeland did occur. In fact, it would probably be much worse. While the Allied casualties may have been under 100,000 (maybe), the casualties on the Japanese side would have been horrendous.
Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.
Why not? Japan attacked the US. To use a school yard truism, they started it. They refused to give up. The math was 100,000 US troops dead and millions of Japanese civilians dead or 100,000 Japanese dead and no US troops dead. They were a little off on their estimations of civilian deaths due to the bombings, but not that far off. The cold, hard math is really in favor of nuking their country.
quote:
Incidentally, you realize that your wiki article is filled with 'unreliable source?' marks. I think my initial point was about the level of confidence we have in the 'greater good' type arguments and how we don't have it.
The description in the Wiki article is on par with several other documentaries and accounts I have seen. Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but there are many independent accounts that relate the same story. Some reports may have 10,000 civilian casualties while others may have 20,000, but the fact remains that a lot of Japanese citizens committed suicide rather than surrender.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 1:32 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 4:07 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 56 of 140 (623845)
07-13-2011 11:28 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Modulous
07-13-2011 4:07 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I understand all of this, but I haven't seen an argument that justifies murdering civilians on a massive scale. As I said, I need more than, 'they might have fought relentlessly and more of them might have ended up died if we didn't press ahead immediately'. My position is that we should have something more concrete than that.
Why does it matter if a civilian dies from a bullet or from an atomic bomb?
If it were, that same justification would have us nuking Afghanistan and Iraq.
If Afghanis and Iraqis had conquered nearly the entire Pacific theatre and laid waste to our Pacific fleet you might have a point, but you don't.
When a military makes a military strike against a military target, the appropriate response doesn't seem to be to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians. If Japan had dropped a nuke on New York - then your 'they started it' line would have more merit.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets. Nagasaki was a vital sea port, not to mention the industry that produced ordinance and ships. Hiroshima was just as important.
And I've yet to see this math, supporting to a degree that would sufficiently justify murdering as many people as they did.
Every able bodied Japanese civlian was being trained to fend of an invasion. What do you think would happen? What did happen on other islands that the Allies invaded?
But that doesn't justify murdering other citizens, right?
Collateral damage occurs in every war, even with standard ordinance. The firestorm in Tokyo produced by Allied bombing killed 80,000 civilians in a single raid.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 4:07 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 9:27 AM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 60 of 140 (623886)
07-14-2011 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Modulous
07-14-2011 9:27 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
It doesn't. Which is why I didn't say it does. Why would you even ask this question?
I ask this question because if we had not dropped the atomic bombs then just as many citizens, if not more, would have been killed by bullets and conventional bombs.
Your response is nonsensical. I was answering your question as to why 'Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.'. It seems you now agree that it isn't, and you want to say that conquering a certain amount of territory is an important factor.
Both the Iraqi and Afghani governments were overthrown in a matter of weeks. Their troops surrendered without much to-do. The total number of US and NATO troops killed over the last 10 years is on par with a week of fighting against the Japanese during WW II. The vast, vast majority of citizens in each country are not using suicide attacks against US and NATO troops. I guess I fail to see how the two are even comparable.
And I condemn the firebombing of Dresden, the blitz on London and the above mentioned attacks on Tokyo.
If not for the atomic bombs, there would have been a long campaign of conventional bombing raids with just as many, if not more, civilian deaths. Add to that the thousands and thousands of Japanese civlians that would have been put on the front lines, probably without a firearm. It would seem to me that there were going to be hundreds of thousands of dead japanese civilians no matter what.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 9:27 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 10:33 AM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 70 of 140 (623929)
07-14-2011 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Modulous
07-14-2011 10:33 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Then read what I wrote again. I said that suicidal combatants was not sufficient reason to use nuclear weapons. You asked why not. I answered. I did not say that the Pacific Theatre in WWII was otherwise comparable to the Middle Eastern conflict of the present day. You are hoping I'm saying they are otherwise comparable because that would be a crazy position that would be easily rebutted.
In the Middle East, suicide attacks are the exception, not the rule. During the island hopping crusade, suicide attacks were the rule, not the exception. That is the difference I see.
I am aware of the 'greater good' argument. I'm just saying that the evidence I have seen justifying it is insufficient.
Then we will have to agree to disagree. I think we have both made our cases.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 10:33 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 3:32 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 75 of 140 (623949)
07-14-2011 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Modulous
07-14-2011 3:32 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
But suicidally aggressive enemy forces is not, on its own, sufficient grounds to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians in my view.
The Japanese military were strong enough to take over most of the Pacific. I think that needs to be considered as well. In fact, at the start of the war it could have been argued that their military was better than the Allied forces.
Also, there is a difference between murdering citizens and collateral damage from strategic bombing.
Do you disagree with my central point that we had best be very sure that dropping the bombs would result in a net saving of lives before we do it?
I think the US was very sure, and I also think history has born that out.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 3:32 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 7:17 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 79 of 140 (623966)
07-15-2011 12:47 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Modulous
07-14-2011 7:17 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Only in name.
If you are going to discount my arguments in such a flippant manner why do we need to continue this conversation?
Was Nagasaki a vital seaport with major war industry? Yes. Please incorporate this fact into your arguments.
Strategic bombing in WWII is basically another term for indiscriminately bombing areas with the intent of killing the opponents workforce, factories and other citizens for the purposes of lowering national morale, capacity and will to make war aka intentionally and with malice aforethought, killing citizens.
See what you did here? You have blurred the line between war and murder without any inkling of what war is. If there was a ship factory that was bombed by Allied planes and a bike messenger was killed you would call it murder. You need to rethink your view of what war is.
If, for instance, the nation is teetering on the edge of surrender and are just looking for a suitable exit strategy, that might not be the time for strategic nuking, unless you want to send a message to other potential enemies.
On Saipan, the Japanese were utterly defeated. What did they do? Charge Allied lines with nothing more than katanas, or jump to their deaths. There was no "edge of surrender" where conventional warfare was concerned.
What do you make of the quotes that dronester posted that seem to indicate that some big names were not sure at all? And feeling sure and being sure might be different things, no?
I think those quotes are clear examples of remorse that are divorced from logic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 7:17 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Modulous, posted 07-15-2011 11:35 AM Taq has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024