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47 replies
Berlin:1945: A-bomb. Some thoughts
Phil Hendrie Fan
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Since this is the anniversary of Hiroshima being nuked, I was wondering if people had any opinions on this…

Germany had capitulated before the atomic bomb was perfercted. If they hadn’t, would the United States have dropped an atomic weapon on Berlin and other German cities?

Japan was a very different, faraway and foreign place back then, and wouldn’t have elicited the same sympathy, maybe, as a nation closer to home.

A significant percentage of the US population back then was of German ancestry.
I wonder how different the reaction would have been, if any, if a European city full of civilians and war refugees, had had an atomic bomb dropped on it.

Also, why didn’t the US first drop the bomb on a remote island off the Japanese coast or on a remote target, and then give an ultimatum/threaten to do the same to a city, rather than sacrificing Hiroshima and Nagasaki when they did.

If Japan was the superpower, or if Hollywood was located there, I think we’d have a very different morality about what happened, whatever is said about lives having been saved in the long-run.

Am I right, or am I talking out of my?

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I think you are right that it was easier to drop the bomb on Japan and it wouldn’t have likely been dropped in Germany. Heck, even to this day the atrocites that took place in Japan aren’t mentioned too often in historical accounts. I mean, very few people realize that the firebombing of places like Tokyo killed more people (immediately anyway) than the nukes did. The first two bombers would do runs in a giant "X" and then every bomber behind them would drop their load on and around the X. Anyway, the Japanese were definitely more heavily propagandized as inhuman monsters.

As for dropping it on the cities instead of an island you’re forgetting a crucial part in this.

It sounds callous but those who built it weren’t sure what it would do and everyone was interested to see what would happen. So interested that I doubt much could have stopped us from dropping them. The geography of each target was taken into consideration as well because they wanted to see the results in a certain kind of landscape. I can’t remember which but Nagasaki or Hiroshima was not the original target…it was a secondary.

The scientists who built it were actually taking bets amongst themselves as to whether or not dropping the nuke would literally serve as a catalyst in a massive reaction that would end the world. They weren’t sure.

We had invested A LOT of money in that program and we’d be god damned if we weren’t going to drop em. I can’t remember his name but the military head of the project who facilitated the establishment of the Hanford Nuclear Complex in Washington (where nuke fuel was being made) is on record saying as much.

You know we even offered the nuke to the French, or were at least thinking about it, in Vietnam? They were getting their asses kicked.

So yeah…crazy days.

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I’ll add some more later, but just to answer vera’s tiny question.

Nagasaki wasn’t an original target. Hakata (where Fukuoka’s airport is located on the tip of Kyushsu) was, which was a better target logistically.

There was too much cloud cover so they couldn’t do it.

Weather saved the people of Hakata and doomed those of Nagasaki.

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quote:
Germany had capitulated before the atomic bomb was perfercted. If they hadn’t, would the United States have dropped an atomic weapon on Berlin and other German cities?

Japan was a very different, faraway and foreign place back then, and wouldn’t have elicited the same sympathy, maybe, as a nation closer to home.

A significant percentage of the US population back then was of German ancestry.
I wonder how different the reaction would have been, if any, if a European city full of civilians and war refugees, had had an atomic bomb dropped on it.

I think it would’ve happened. From the photos I saw of Dresden, it might as well have been hit with a nuke.

quote:
Also, why didn’t the US first drop the bomb on a remote island off the Japanese coast or on a remote target, and then give an ultimatum/threaten to do the same to a city, rather than sacrificing Hiroshima and Nagasaki when they did.

They only had 2 in the arsenal. If one were "shot across the bow" so to speak, the war would have never ended because it took 2 to get the Japanese to surrender, and even then they almost didn’t surrender. I guess we were able to bluff like we had and endless supply of these things. If they knew we had only 2, they’d have kept fighting.

quote:
If Japan was the superpower, or if Hollywood was located there, I think we’d have a very different morality about what happened, whatever is said about lives having been saved in the long-run.

I don’t feel sorry for Japan. I feel bad for kids or anyone dead that wanted nothing to do with the war, but it was their nation that launched a war against ours. If you look at the atrocities they did in China, Korea and Phillipines prior to attacking us, I don’t think anyone would feel so bad for them. Shit that’s right up there with anything Saddam did. Every anniversary we will get woe unto us sob story about the nukes, but you won’t hear much about all the people they slaughtered and raped across Asia. Whenever we see those photos of the mushroom cloud, I’d like also see photos showing what they did to Nanking. They finally picked a fight with an opponent that gave them more than they bargained for.

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It is not just "estimated fatalities" and &quotossible loss of life", stats that made the U.S. drop the bomb. We were poised to invade, and the very real numbers would have been unbelievable. The Americans would have lost 1.5 million men, and up to 2 million or more Japanese would have been kiled.. So, when you consider we ended-up killing 200,000 of the enemy, and lost a million fewer Americans, it was a no-brainer…

I am leaving from EWR with $4000 for 9 days

MunichBeerBoy

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quote:Shit that’s right up there with anything Saddam did.

That is simply an amazing statement.

I don’t think there is any comparisson between Japans aggressive war against Asia, or its colonial practices in Korea and Manchuoko and what Hussein did against his own people, Kuwait and Iran (with support, natch).

Yet your statement seems to indicate that Hussein was on a level of a Tojo or a Hitler, when as far as tyrants go, he was relatively small beer.

I really would like to know whether that was a mistake in typing or if your opinions on Hussein, have been, er, swayed, to put it nicely.

Amazed!

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quote:It is not just "estimated fatalities" and &quotossible loss of life", stats that made the U.S. drop the bomb. We were poised to invade, and the very real numbers would have been unbelievable. The Americans would have lost 1.5 million men, and up to 2 million or more Japanese would have been kiled.. So, when you consider we ended-up killing 200,000 of the enemy, and lost a million fewer Americans, it was a no-brainer…

I’ve heard that so often, must be true..

Well, those are estimates. It is impossible to know the real deal of what would have happened. Japan would have fought on, America wouldn’t have put up with the losses of course.

Now, let us remember, these weren’t soldiers who died – these were hundreds of thousands of civilians, akin to those who died at the WTC but on a much more awful scale.

Sure, maybe the expedience was necessary, but like vera pointed out, the firebombings of Tokyo and other cities killed far more than the nukes did. A bombing raid of Tokyo killed 100,000 peoplein one swoop.

So, they could have done that too I suppose, but the biggest reason for using the nukes, IMO – to show the Russians and the rest of the world who was the big dog.

BTW, anyone who thinks it was a good thing to do, probably has never set foot in Japan, and certainly not in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. A visit there should certainly should be an eye opener.

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I agree with Modulis that I don’t feel sorry for Japan for bringing us the war.

I do feel sorry for those civilians who were caught up in it though. It is not as if the Japanese were of all one mindset in this. Many were against the war, wanted no part in it, and were on the whole: innocent.

If we’re going with Iraq analogies it might be a good one to make the bombing similar to blaming the innocent Iraqi men some of our troops beat, raped, and tortured to death for what Saddam and Co. did. Maybe we did rape a couple of the bad eggs that helped Saddam but that doesn’t make the good guys that we raped guilty by ethnic association.

Just as Americans are not explained, at least in our bubbled minds, by the acts at Abu Ghraib that we weren’t supposed to see. (kind of like ‘soilent green is people’ on the scale of accidental glimpses into the blissfully ignorant unknown).

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Japan has a blemished war record, absolutely.

A lot of the scientists who developed the atomic bomb petitioned Truman not to use it on enemy cities, but their petitions were never heard.

Is that true, that the US had only two of the bombs at the time?
I would have thought they could have made more without too much delay once the first trials were successful.

When I first learned about Hiroshima in school, and pretty much anytime I’ve heard it discussed the old line comes up that it was justified as it ended the war and saved more lives on both sides.
I never thought too much about it, but now my thinking is that it was propaganda from the Truman administration to clear their names for history and keep the national conscience clear. The argument has been repeated many times since then. I wonder if it’s not wearing thin after all the years, or at least under historical analysis. I don’t know-I’m just thinking out loud so to speak.

It did end the war early, but does that make incinerating civilians on such a large scale permissable? Was it a war crime, and if history was more objective, would the US war cabinet be remembered less admirably?

The Japanese were an incredible power to be at war with, but I have to agree with sickboy that a big part of it was to show the Russians, and anyone else getting ideas, that America was not to be messed with (especially the Russians who now had half of Europe, and expanionist ideas).

It doesn’t sit right though; the world’s self proclaimed good guys being the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in wartime, and on civilian targets to boot.
I don’t make that statement because America is an easy target these days, but out of incredulity the more I think about it.

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Phil Hendrie Fan wrote:
It doesn’t sit right though; the world’s self proclaimed good guys being the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in wartime, and on civilian targets to boot.
I don’t make that statement because America is an easy target these days, but out of incredulity the more I think about it.

Well, as they say, "To the Victor, the spoils…….

….and the Victor revises the history books.

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And the revision that I see now is all the "shoulda-coulda" talk. Today’s conversation is all pretty far removed from the heat of world war, when the planet was at stake. It’s always a curiosity to me that internationalist post-baby-boomer wannabe generals, often with little in their lives that threatens their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, can presume to put themselves in the place of Truman or American citizens, people who had already lost tens of thousands of men and women and whose throats would have been cut and whose entire civilization would have been stood on its head had the Allied effort failed. Success was everything at that point. Unqualified success. They were desperate to end the war in any way they could as quickly as they could. They lacked the kind of technology that we possess today that makes modern warfare, theoretically, at least, more plannable and predictable. But you guys can judge them. And you are only discussing this issue today – and discussing it in English – because those people had the right vision for the planet and the courage to rescue it in any way they could conceive. Clearly, you ought to be thankful for the outcome and less critical of the method.

You know what was really wrong about WW II? The Axis effort to subdue the planet.

If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb, why have the people and governments of Japan and Germany not stood together to condemn our actions and to charge the US with war crimes?

What makes us "good guys" is clearly the discriminate use of such military might around the planet that we have demonstrated over the decades – in fact, considering our arsenal, we seem to err on the cautious side when it comes to conflicts and place our own servicemen in harm’s way when conflicts might be settled with the nuclear option instead. Obviously, we spend superbillions on nuclear subs, etc., that are never really used to their potential, so it’s not just a matter of getting some big cowboy bang for your buck. It’s an insult to the winners of WW II to say such stuff. Just spit on them, already.

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quote:
And the revision that I see now is all the "shoulda-coulda" talk. Today’s conversation is all pretty far removed from the heat of world war, when the planet was at stake. It’s always a curiosity to me that internationalist post-baby-boomer wannabe generals, often with little in their lives that threatens their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, can presume to put themselves in the place of Truman or American citizens, people who had already lost tens of thousands of men and women and whose throats would have been cut and whose entire civilization would have been stood on its head had the Allied effort failed. Success was everything at that point. Unqualified success. They were desperate to end the war in any way they could as quickly as they could. They lacked the kind of technology that we possess today that makes modern warfare, theoretically, at least, more plannable and predictable. But you guys can judge them. And you are only discussing this issue today – and discussing it in English – because those people had the right vision for the planet and the courage to rescue it in any way they could conceive. Clearly, you ought to be thankful for the outcome and less critical of the method.

You know what was really wrong about WW II? The Axis effort to subdue the planet.

If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb, why have the people and governments of Japan and Germany not stood together to condemn our actions and to charge the US with war crimes?

What makes us "good guys" is clearly the discriminate use of such military might around the planet that we have demonstrated over the decades – in fact, considering our arsenal, we seem to err on the cautious side when it comes to conflicts and place our own servicemen in harm’s way when conflicts might be settled with the nuclear option instead. Obviously, we spend superbillions on nuclear subs, etc., that are never really used to their potential, so it’s not just a matter of getting some big cowboy bang for your buck. It’s an insult to the winners of WW II to say such stuff. Just spit on them, already.

Huh?

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quote:If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb, why have the people and governments of Japan and Germany not stood together to condemn our actions and to charge the US with war crimes?

Ha!

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What’s the problem? Hung over?

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Russ, your message would be easier to take without the histrionics. Insulting to the winners of WW II? Just spit on them? Good grief!

I, too, grow weary of the hand wringing and condemnation that goes on every August. It is very easy for us to 2nd guess what our leaders chose to do at the end of a long, costly war. Civilians die and civilians were going to keep dying in Japan until something decisive was done to end the war. Yes they were going to lose eventually any way, but fighting on to the bitter end was certainly a part of their culture and national identity, as surrender meant dishonor. I don’t have alot of pity for the Japanese- they were the aggressors in Asia, and they were guilty of alot of atrocities.

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quote:
Russ, your message would be easier to take without the histrionics. Insulting to the winners of WW II? Just spit on them? Good grief!

Bingo.

As for our ‘restraint’ I think it’s a funny way to look at US History in Warfare…not that the US is alone in being…‘restrained’ (?)

No money in nuking places as well.

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quote: What’s the problem? Hung over?

Says the guy who whines about ad hominem…

But it is funny, and for the record no,but I did think you were on the sauce when you wrote that. Seemed like a drunk shooting his mouth off at the end of the bar complaining about not getting respect.

I know, I know, probably wrong, I can admit that from time to time.

Just an impression.

quote:If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb

I will take this out of context to say, OMG what if we said that about 9/11 or the London Metro which sums up to me basically the usefulness of killing civilians to get your way…. but that wasn’t why I guffawed.

quote:If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb, why have the people and governments of Japan and Germany not stood together to condemn our actions and to charge the US with war crimes?

I don’t like this statement at all. The wording is so twisted, you have made it into a rhetorical statement to prove your belief.

I think your statement is clearly wrong.

I know countless times the Japanese have condemned the actions. I know countless people in Japan who believe they are war crimes. True, the Germans haven’t spoken out very much, but why do you think that is? The Germans did take a lot of blame rightfully so, unfortunately America refused to push Japan to do the same and the atomic bombs made Japan look like a victim (wrong in the sense that Japan was an agressor and butcher, right in the fact that hundreds of thousands of innocents were murdered)

You misleading statement seems to indicate that a lack of condemnation (incorrect) means they thought it was right, which is a clear fallacy.

As for charging the US with war crimes, you know what a joke that is so there is no point in getting into that.

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Hey guys, I saw a powerful documentary on the History channel last night about Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings. I think it was pretty balanced and I learned alot about the war that I didn’t know before. In fact, I have even changed my position on the bombings. I now think it was unnecessary to bomb the cities. Truman had basically made his mind up to do it, and pretty much said that there would be no negotiation until after the bombs were dropped. The Japanese were attempting to negotiate a surrender through the Soviets, on THEIR terms. Their terms meaning that the Japanese imperial systems would be held in place. The US wanted unconditional surrender and wanted to charge Hirohito on war crimes and presumably kill him.

At the time the bombs were dropped, Japan had pretty much been a done deal. Their air force was destroyed and they knew it was pretty much over.

Someone said that the bombings had a lot to do with sending a message to the Soviets. Yes, this is correct, the documentary pulled quotes from the US government saying just that, that the bomb would be a chance to show the Russian what could happen to them if they don’t pull out of east Europe.

My position still stands that Japan was not a victim by any means and that they brought this on to themselves, but I also think the bombings were unnecessary because they were already trying to negotiate surrender. And even after we bombed them, we ended up letting Hirohito off the hook anyway, so it was really for nothing.

So there you have it. I changed my mind on the bombings. I was under the impression that the war was raging on feverishly at the time the bombs were dropped and that was the only way to get them to stand down. But that wasn’t the case. Nothing wrong with changing your mind in light of the facts.

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quote:
And the revision that I see now is all the "shoulda-coulda" talk. Today’s conversation is all pretty far removed from the heat of world war, when the planet was at stake. It’s always a curiosity to me that internationalist post-baby-boomer wannabe generals, often with little in their lives that threatens their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, can presume to put themselves in the place of Truman or American citizens, people who had already lost tens of thousands of men and women and whose throats would have been cut and whose entire civilization would have been stood on its head had the Allied effort failed. Success was everything at that point. Unqualified success. They were desperate to end the war in any way they could as quickly as they could. They lacked the kind of technology that we possess today that makes modern warfare, theoretically, at least, more plannable and predictable. But you guys can judge them. And you are only discussing this issue today – and discussing it in English – because those people had the right vision for the planet and the courage to rescue it in any way they could conceive. Clearly, you ought to be thankful for the outcome and less critical of the method.

You know what was really wrong about WW II? The Axis effort to subdue the planet.

If it really was the wrong thing for the US to nuke and firebomb, why have the people and governments of Japan and Germany not stood together to condemn our actions and to charge the US with war crimes?

What makes us "good guys" is clearly the discriminate use of such military might around the planet that we have demonstrated over the decades – in fact, considering our arsenal, we seem to err on the cautious side when it comes to conflicts and place our own servicemen in harm’s way when conflicts might be settled with the nuclear option instead. Obviously, we spend superbillions on nuclear subs, etc., that are never really used to their potential, so it’s not just a matter of getting some big cowboy bang for your buck. It’s an insult to the winners of WW II to say such stuff. Just spit on them, already.

So……….

Having discussions or merely bringing up the subject exactly 60 years later, to the day, is somehow bad, Russ? I mean, we’re not talking about dropping conventional bombs on a civilian population, mind you! This is about the worst kind of weapon of mass destruction that humankind has imprinted upon the face of the earth! And, WE, the U.S. have the sole right to use it when WE see fit? How dare you insult the post-baby boomer generation(and thereafter) for asking questions and commenting about the nuclear option used on Japan. We have every right to inquire about nuclear weapons, war, and international conflicts. You want everyone to accept YOUR vision of history without the slightest deviation from your truth from the books you’ve read! Yeah, that’s just so objective and progressive.

Then again, we all know your ‘open-mindedness’, don’t we?

On another note, I don’t doubt that in the heat of warfare, especially WWII, that judgement wasn’t always crystal clear. And, the top leaders made some questionable decisions(that seemed right at the time). In hindsight, after doing my share of reading from several different perspectives, I can see why certain patterns of thinking developed regarding a quicker end to the war. As I’ve said before, WWII was the textbook example of "us vs. the bad guys" conflict. No question as to why the Allies needed to go to war with Germany and Japan. No question as to who the bad guys were. No question that we wanted to hit them with all we’ve got. But, at what cost!

With new technology, comes the human factor that must evolve to accomodate it. We are STILL dealing with the spectre of nuclear technology. It’s been 60 years since we last used them in the sole purpose to kill. Do you not think that is significant? Do you not think that it is important to weigh the human factor(with the hindsight that we now have) in with modern warfare? There’s a reason why it’s only been used once! Yes, we’ve gone to war since then, and if I understood you correctly, we should have used them in the later wars? Explain the logic to me. Explain how that would have made this a safer world. Explain how less of our soldiers would have died in the long run.

Knowing that others were hot on our tail to developing nuclear weapons following WWII, what makes you think that anything other than restraint was wise for civilization? Talk about being so far removed from the ‘front’! Your arrogance and blind obedience to what you’ve been taught shows your dated way of thinking.

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Academia, like everything else.., is subject to the prevailing political climate. That America is fairly unpopular nowadays goes without saying, so there’s no surprise really that historians – who often don’t have any other way of making themselves feel important – look to take advantage of that and search for a way to reinterpret things to fit peoples’ current thinking(or more often, when cheap MTV politics plays any part, lack thereof..) Revisionist history is more often than not misguided in just that way(I mean, in my opinion at least.. Trying to learn to be more diplomatic..)

Just look at this discussion. It all pretty much boils down to whether America was ever really the "good guy". Of course it was.. The more interesting(and difficult) topic though(and more difficult to prove..) is that America still is.. Despite how cheap revisionist historians try to spin it..

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Nice post Moddy, hope I can find the doucmentary myself.

Here is some photos I found of it.

http://mdn.mainichi-…

For the record, the death count in Hiroshima was over 200,000 people.

How anyone can support that is beyond me.

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Mod – be cautious about altering your perspective on the basis of one TV show.

Syd –

quote:As I’ve said before, WWII was the textbook example of "us vs. the bad guys" conflict. No question as to why the Allies needed to go to war with Germany and Japan. No question as to who the bad guys were. No question that we wanted to hit them with all we’ve got. But, at what cost!

I think you missed the point. You seem to think war is some kind of gentleman’s board game that is played by rules. Or something like polo. It wasn’t "going to" war, but winning the damned thing that truly mattered. Saving enemy civilians here and there was – as it should have been – a far more minor consideration. There is no sense shackling yourself with morality when the enemy doesn’t in a must-win situation. From all I’ve read, the security of the planet was not a foregone conclusion when the bombs fell. I’m pleased – and I think the vast majority of Germans and Japanese feel the same – with the results we achieved vs. the cost.

Of course, you need to remember that the Axis powers, had they put the bomb together first, would not have hesitated to destroy as many American, British, and Canadian cities as they pleased. You understand the Nazi response to anyone who opposed them in England, Russia, etc., right? After getting the shit bombed out of itself for not yielding to Germany’s demands, England’s sympathy for Germans and their allies must have been pretty tapped out. In the eyes of the allied countries’ citizens, any allied life was surely worth 10 or 100 or 1000 Axis citizens’ lives. It’s not hard to put myself in their place. After the kind of devastation Japan and Germany had undertaken, the "human cost" was not much of a consideration at that point. It’s all about context. Extraordinary threats, extraordinary measures to ensure success, not dabble in it.

Ruthlessness in war has its place. Perhaps the fear and respect engendered around the planet by Nagasaki and Hiroshima has done much to keep evil powers everywhere timid and contrite, to save thousands or millions of lives in the interim. Like you said, there’s been no nuke stuff since.

quote:Having discussions or merely bringing up the subject exactly 60 years later, to the day, is somehow bad, Russ? I mean, we’re not talking about dropping conventional bombs on a civilian population, mind you! This is about the worst kind of weapon of mass destruction that humankind has imprinted upon the face of the earth! And, WE, the U.S. have the sole right to use it when WE see fit? How dare you insult the post-baby boomer generation(and thereafter) for asking questions and commenting about the nuclear option used on Japan. We have every right to inquire about nuclear weapons, war, and international conflicts.

The entire premise of modern-day control of nuclear weapons is that some countries are good guys and have the skills to manage nukes while others are not.

Questioning the morality of your grandparents’ generation is stupid. All you have to do to understand the importance of the moral decisions they took is to consider what your life would be like today if the Axis powers had succeeded. The only real immorality would have been to give the Axis a small window of opportunity.

quote:Your arrogance and blind obedience to what you’ve been taught shows your dated way of thinking.

It’s so quaint of you to assert that only people who think like you do think for themselves, to assert that the only good ideas are new ideas (which in a nutshell is the problem in education today.)


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I rather doubt that the death toll from Hiroshima was over 200,000.. Sounds like inflated numbers to get inflated sympathy.. Or more probably, to apportion inflated blame and criticism..

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Here is one figure from Wikipedia which states that 80,000 killed out right, 60,000 more by the end of the year and 237,000 in total.

http://en.wikipedia….

quote: I rather doubt that the death toll from Hiroshima was over 200,000..

Ok, now tell me why you think this.

quote:Sounds like inflated numbers to get inflated sympathy..

What are you basing this on?

quote:Or more probably, to apportion inflated blame and criticism..

Dropping powerful weapons on civilans doesn’t need to be inflated to be horrific. Look when the Arabs do it..

Oh, and for the record, people are still suffering and dying of things related to their experience at the bombing, 60 years on.

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I’m generally rather fond of the Japanese and their culture, and for what it’s worth I do have sympathy for what happened to them. But, to put it oh-so-simply.., those were different times and different circumstances.

Something I’ve noticed recently is how vague catastrophe-related numbers get when money or politics has anything to do with it(and eventually it always does..) For years I had always thought that 100,000 people had died in Dresden, and when I read a book review in The Guardian claiming it was more like 35,000 I was immediately irked(the guy was an ass though – typically anti-German British – in the way he presented his arguments..) He did make some interesting points though(for ex. that it was Nazi propoganda that inflated the numbers and what their specific objectives were in doing this, etc..), so in the end, upon further consideration, I’m willing to believe that the number probably was rather lower.

In more recent times, the tsunami disaster in Asia is another typical example. I was speaking with a girl a few weeks ago who sort of casually mentioned that the tsunamis killed 500,000. Now, what I have heard is more in the range of 150,000 – 200,000. But of course when there’s aid and redelevopment money at stake..

So anyway I’ll just finish by saying that I simply don’t know. My point is that I’m always skeptical when people talk about these things. More often than not there is an agenda behind the numbers(I’m tempted to say ALWAYS..)

After all, "there are no facts, only interpretations."

Forgive the pretension.

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Fair enough, just like after 9/11 when the figure was much higher than the actual, and came down much slower than it really should have.

I’m sure the Japanese figure would be hard to figure out, as some were vaporized and others died of complications, slow deaths etc.. therefore trying to get an accurate figure must have been incredibly difficult, but its one of the few instances where people were dying year after year afterwards.

The German figures must have been a mess too as they had no idea who was there at the time as it was rather full of people.

Regardless, both were attacks against civilian populations which I could never possibly justify.

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quote:
Mod – be cautious about altering your perspective on the basis of one TV show.

Syd –

quote:As I’ve said before, WWII was the textbook example of "us vs. the bad guys" conflict. No question as to why the Allies needed to go to war with Germany and Japan. No question as to who the bad guys were. No question that we wanted to hit them with all we’ve got. But, at what cost!

I think you missed the point. You seem to think war is some kind of gentleman’s board game that is played by rules. Or something like polo. It wasn’t "going to" war, but winning the damned thing that truly mattered. Saving enemy civilians here and there was – as it should have been – a far more minor consideration. There is no sense shackling yourself with morality when the enemy doesn’t in a must-win situation. From all I’ve read, the security of the planet was not a foregone conclusion when the bombs fell. I’m pleased – and I think the vast majority of Germans and Japanese feel the same – with the results we achieved vs. the cost.

Of course, you need to remember that the Axis powers, had they put the bomb together first, would not have hesitated to destroy as many American, British, and Canadian cities as they pleased. You understand the Nazi response to anyone who opposed them in England, Russia, etc., right? After getting the shit bombed out of itself for not yielding to Germany’s demands, England’s sympathy for Germans and their allies must have been pretty tapped out. In the eyes of the allied countries’ citizens, any allied life was surely worth 10 or 100 or 1000 Axis citizens’ lives. It’s not hard to put myself in their place. After the kind of devastation Japan and Germany had undertaken, the "human cost" was not much of a consideration at that point. It’s all about context. Extraordinary threats, extraordinary measures to ensure success, not dabble in it.

Ruthlessness in war has its place. Perhaps the fear and respect engendered around the planet by Nagasaki and Hiroshima has done much to keep evil powers everywhere timid and contrite, to save thousands or millions of lives in the interim. Like you said, there’s been no nuke stuff since.

quote:Having discussions or merely bringing up the subject exactly 60 years later, to the day, is somehow bad, Russ? I mean, we’re not talking about dropping conventional bombs on a civilian population, mind you! This is about the worst kind of weapon of mass destruction that humankind has imprinted upon the face of the earth! And, WE, the U.S. have the sole right to use it when WE see fit? How dare you insult the post-baby boomer generation(and thereafter) for asking questions and commenting about the nuclear option used on Japan. We have every right to inquire about nuclear weapons, war, and international conflicts.

The entire premise of modern-day control of nuclear weapons is that some countries are good guys and have the skills to manage nukes while others are not.

Questioning the morality of your grandparents’ generation is stupid. All you have to do to understand the importance of the moral decisions they took is to consider what your life would be like today if the Axis powers had succeeded. The only real immorality would have been to give the Axis a small window of opportunity.

quote:Your arrogance and blind obedience to what you’ve been taught shows your dated way of thinking.

It’s so quaint of you to assert that only people who think like you do think for themselves, to assert that the only good ideas are new ideas (which in a nutshell is the problem in education today.)


Russ, if you criticize me for saying that I think war is run as some "gentlemen’s board game" with rules and such, I think it is YOU missed the point. What you accept as open-and-shut case facts may please you and help you sleep at night, but……..I don’t know, it’s my nature to inquire. Sorry.

You see, as I said before, I understand the the collectively- accepted reasons why the U.S. dropped 2 nuclear bombs over Japan. However, I don’t rest on my armchair historian’s laurels there. I realize that things are more complex than that(especially in war!), so I tend to step back and try to look at the big picture. If that means questioning why we did certain things in recent history, then shoot me. After all, if our grandparents died for our freedom then, what good is having the freedom of thought and not exercising it?

And, to set the record straight, I never questioned their morality. I only question the LEADERS. See the difference?

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There is nothing to debate… killing civilans to fulfill your agenda is great if it is us, bad if it is them.

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Modulis, I respect your post here a lot. Not many people on here would openly admit to changing their opinion. Although, I have to admit, it is a bit of a surprise to me that you didn’t realize that negotiations were in progress and Japan wanted to surrender when the bombs were dropped, considering how much you used WWII as an example during our past discussions on here about war.

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quote:
Modulis, I respect your post here a lot. Not many people on here would openly admit to changing their opinion. Although, I have to admit, it is a bit of a surprise to me that you didn’t realize that negotiations were in progress and Japan wanted to surrender when the bombs were dropped, considering how much you used WWII as an example during our past discussions on here about war.

I’d known that Japan was attempting to negotiate a surrender on their own terms, but what I didn’t know was that they were weakened to the extent that they were. I’d thought that the US was justified in ignoring their terms because it would’ve been like Hitler and his cronies surrendering under the condition that he gets to remain in power all the while Germany keeps attacking. But McArthur ended up letting Hirohito remain as emperor in the end. It seems that’s all that Japan wanted in order to surrender was to allow Hirohito to remain in power, we didn’t accept that and bombed them. then ended up allowing him to stay anyhow when we said we were going to try him on war crimes. I hadn’t known all the detail about their terms of surrender before.

I have a book on my shelf called Downfall: The End of the Japanese Empire. Been meaning to read it for awhile to get more details about the pacific war, but haven’t had time to dig in.

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Seems to me Germany is a moot point.

How anxious was Japan to surrender?
Japan endured horrific firebombing on its civilians and still did not give up. People in Japan’s occupied territories were starving to death by the hundreds of thousands—still no surrender.
This book (haven’t yet read it[url=‘http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/4770028873/ref=cm_cr_dp_pt/102-8503909-2652930?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=283155&s=books’]Japan’s Longest Day[/url]would indicate that Japan’s decision to surrender was a painful one.

Correct me if I am wrong; my understanding is that the Allies wanted ‘unconditional surrender,’ something that Japan would not agree to.
A question: Did Japan officially offer to surrender before or indeed, after, the first bomb? Was keeping the emperor Japan’s only requirement?
Was wanting to keep Hirohito a symbolic need? Maybe the higher-ups were worried about the starving masses becoming disorderly? BTW—I’ve read that there was a third bomb available (but not yet fully put together) after Nagasaki, but Truman forbade its use.

Taking the bomb out of the equation, Truman was faced with the blockade efforts as well as continued conventional bombing—and invasion.
In the context of 1945, our country having been through its second World War, it probably seemed that using the A-bomb was ultimately more humanitarian than the firestorms of bombs that Dresden and Tokyo had sustained.

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We could have kept fire bombing their cities, inflicting even worse death counts, and still boiled people alive.

The nukes were dropped because we WANTED to drop them to see what they would do.

Could you imagine what would have happened had we not dropped them there and just sat there with this weapon that, as far as we knew, could really blow the shit out of the desert outside of Los Alamos and Vegas?

We NEEDED to see what it would do. We spent too much money, time, and political capital into the program to develop them.

NOT using them was never an option.

quote:
“It always appears to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.” (General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold. Commanding General of the US Army Air Forces under President Truman)

“I thought that our country should avoid shocking the world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this moment, seeking for a way to surrender with a minimum loss of face.” (General Dwight D. Eisenhower)

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon … was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender … My own feeling was that being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and war cannot be won by destroying woman and children.” (Admiral William D. Leahy, Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

Harry Truman ignored “an opportunity to negotiate surrender that would have ended the killing in the Pacific in May or June of 1945.” (Stewart L. Udall, US Congressman)

… “that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan … It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisors knew it.”(J. Samuel Walker, Chief Historian, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

April 27 — A Target Committee (headed by Jimmy Byrnes) select cities of Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata as possible targets for bomb. Incendiary bombing over these cities is stopped by US in order to have “intact targets” still “worth” bombing. Members of committee: Vannevar Bush, former dean of Engineering at MIT; James Conant, pres. of Harvard; Carl Compton, pres. of MIT

August 9, 1945 — Truman in radio broadcast to US listeners: “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished to avoid the killing of civilians.”

Quotes and Data from:
www.unr.edu/chgps/My…

Minutes from the second target committee:

7. Psychological Factors in Target Selection

A. It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released.

B. In this respect Kyoto has the advantage of the people being more highly intelligent and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that a large fraction of the city may be destroyed. The Emperor’s palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value.

http://www.dannen.co…

On July 16, 1945, when the atomic bomb was tested at Trinity, Los Alamos scientists were the first humans to witness the power of a nuclear weapon.

Even 32 kilometers (20 miles) away, observers felt the heat of the explosion on exposed skin. The radiation level in the rising mushroom cloud was so intense that it emitted a blue glow.

Eyewitness Accounts of the Trinity Test
http://www.dannen.co…

A lot of other declassified documents:
http://www.dannen.co…

quote:
Dr. Joseph Rotblat was one of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. He heard Groves say the the main reason for the bomb was to subdue the Soviets…. In 1944, Dr. Rotblat left Los Alamos in disgust:

" IN MARCH 1944 I experienced a disagreeable shock. At that time I was living with the Chadwicks in their house on the Mesa, before moving later to the "Big House;" the quarters for single scientists. General Leslie Groves, when visiting Los Alamos, frequently came to the Chadwicks for dinner and relaxed palaver. During one such conversation Groves said that, of course, the real purpose in making the bomb was to subdue the Soviets. (Whatever his exact words, his real meaning was clear.) Although I had no illusions about the Stalin regime—after all, it was his pact with Hitler that enabled the latter to invade Poland—I felt deeply the sense of betrayal of an ally. Remember, this was said at a time when thousands of Russians were dying every day on the Eastern Front, tying down the Germans and giving the Allies time to prepare for the landing on the continent of Europe. Until then I had thought that our work was to prevent a Nazi victory, and now I was told that the weapon we were preparing was intended for use against the people who were making extreme sacrifices for that very aim." (Dr. Rotblat, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, p. 18).

Rotblat, Joseph, Dr. "Leaving the bomb project". Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, August 1985, pp.16-19).

A picture of Trinity: http://en.wikipedia….

By the time the atom bomb was ready to be used Germany had surrendered. Leo Szilard and James Franck circulated a petition among the scientists opposing the use of the bomb on moral grounds. However, Groves strongly disagreed with this view and advised Harry S. Truman, the USA’s new president, to use the bomb on Japan.
http://www.spartacus…

quote:
In June 1945, Truman ordered the U.S. military to calculate the cost in American lives for a planned assault on Japan. Consequently, the Joint War Plans Committee prepared a report for the Chiefs of Staff, dated June 15, 1945, thus providing the closest thing anyone has to "accurate": 40,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 150,000 wounded, and 3,500 missing.

While the actual casualty count remains unknowable, it was widely known at the time that Japan had been trying to surrender for months prior to the atomic bombing. A May 5, 1945 cable, intercepted and decoded by the U.S., "dispelled any possible doubt that the Japanese were eager to sue for peace." In fact, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported shortly after the war, that Japan "in all probability" would have surrendered before the much-discussed November 1, 1945 Allied invasion of the homeland.
Truman himself eloquently noted in his diary that Stalin would "be in the Jap War on August 15th. Fini (sic) Japs when that comes about."


http://www.ccmep.org…

General Leslie Groves was less cryptic: "There was never, from about two weeks from the time I took charge of this Project, any illusion on my part but that Russia was our enemy, and the Project was conducted on that basis."


From the last website as well.

During the same time period, President Truman noted that Secretary of War Henry Stimson was "at least as much concerned with the role of the atomic bomb in the shaping of history as in its capacity to shorten the war." What sort of shaping Stimson had in mind might be discerned from his Sept. 11, 1945 comment to the president: "I consider the problem of our satisfactory relations with Russia as not merely connected but as virtually dominated by the problem of the atomic bomb."

Stimson called the bomb a "diplomatic weapon," and duly explained: "American statesmen were eager for their country to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip."

"The psychological effect [of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] on Stalin was twofold," proposes historian Charles L. Mee, Jr. "The Americans had not only used a doomsday machine; they had used it when, as Stalin knew, it was not militarily necessary. It was this last chilling fact that doubtless made the greatest impression on the Russians."
It also made an impression on J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director at Los Alamos. After learning of the carnage wrought upon Japan, he began to harbor second thoughts and he resigned in October 1945.

In March of the following year, Oppenheimer told Truman:

"Mr. President, I have blood on my hands."

Truman’s reply: "It’ll come out in the wash."

Later, the president told an aide, "Don’t bring that fellow around again."

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Anyone ever hear of Michelle Maulkin? she’s a Filipina conservative that wrote a book defending Japanese internment. Haven’t read the book, but looked at some of the commentary on amazon. Like Ann Coulter, she’s either loved or hated and nothing in between. Sounds like an interesting read nonetheless. Not saying I necessarily agree with her conclusions, but it is an alternative opinion. She mentions that half the people interned during WWII were of European descent. Gotta admit, they never taught that in school.

(she’s cuter than Ann Coulter at least)

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quote:
Anyone ever hear of Michelle Maulkin? she’s a Filipina conservative that wrote a book defending Japanese internment. Haven’t read the book, but looked at some of the commentary on amazon. Like Ann Coulter, she’s either loved or hated and nothing in between. Sounds like an interesting read nonetheless. Not saying I necessarily agree with her conclusions, but it is an alternative opinion. She mentions that half the people interned during WWII were of European descent. Gotta admit, they never taught that in school.

(she’s cuter than Ann Coulter at least)

My ex-gf’s mom was also a conservative filipina. She used to dish about how she thought FOX news was all that, and that Dubya was the Man! Hahaha. My poor ex, she would just roll her eyes and shake her head once her mom got started on one of her political diatribes against the Left. LMAO!

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quote:
Anyone ever hear of Michelle Maulkin?

Yeah. Sometimes she’s ok but most of the time she’s a pretty shallow hack. She toes the republican line very well and rarely shows much thinking for herself. Just my opinion though…

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quote:
quote:
Anyone ever hear of Michelle Maulkin? she’s a Filipina conservative that wrote a book defending Japanese internment. Haven’t read the book, but looked at some of the commentary on amazon. Like Ann Coulter, she’s either loved or hated and nothing in between. Sounds like an interesting read nonetheless. Not saying I necessarily agree with her conclusions, but it is an alternative opinion. She mentions that half the people interned during WWII were of European descent. Gotta admit, they never taught that in school.

(she’s cuter than Ann Coulter at least)

My ex-gf’s mom was also a conservative filipina. She used to dish about how she thought FOX news was all that, and that Dubya was the Man! Hahaha. My poor ex, she would just roll her eyes and shake her head once her mom got started on one of her political diatribes against the Left. LMAO!

If your girlfriend had the same views as her mom, would you have dated her?

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quote:
quote:
quote:
Anyone ever hear of Michelle Maulkin? she’s a Filipina conservative that wrote a book defending Japanese internment. Haven’t read the book, but looked at some of the commentary on amazon. Like Ann Coulter, she’s either loved or hated and nothing in between. Sounds like an interesting read nonetheless. Not saying I necessarily agree with her conclusions, but it is an alternative opinion. She mentions that half the people interned during WWII were of European descent. Gotta admit, they never taught that in school.

(she’s cuter than Ann Coulter at least)

My ex-gf’s mom was also a conservative filipina. She used to dish about how she thought FOX news was all that, and that Dubya was the Man! Hahaha. My poor ex, she would just roll her eyes and shake her head once her mom got started on one of her political diatribes against the Left. LMAO!

If your girlfriend had the same views as her mom, would you have dated her?

Hmmm. Good question. I honestly don’t think so. Yet, my ex was more or less apolitical(ok, admittedly, more uninformed, rather). She was interested to learn about the general things, but not necessarily the background. Still, she questioned my beliefs and the beliefs of her mother equally. I liked that. But, we had a good thing and I just didn’t talk too much politics, history, etc. with her. Didn’t need to.

But you know, Modulis, I think even YOU would have put politics/sociology/religion on the shelf if you met her mother. Some topics are best not brought up with certain people.

Oh yeah, and her mom didn’t really like/trust black people.

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But, we had a good thing and I just didn’t talk too much politics, history, etc. with her. Didn’t need to.

I hear that. Best just to stay away from subjects, esp these days.

quote:
Oh yeah, and her mom didn’t really like/trust black people.

There are bigotted morons in every group on earth. I learned that from a young age. I must say that Filipinos are probably amongst the least racist people I’ve dealt with from MY experience. Though I’m sure they’ve got their bad apples like any.

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Going back to the original question as to whether or not the U.S. would have used a nuke on Germany. I think it would have been possible. If the allies were repelled at Normandy, or Hitler’s winter counter-offensive of ’44-‘45 were successful, that may have given his scientists enough time to develop their own nuke. Hitler was far from being a capable military strategist, so there may have been the possibility that the Germans drop their own bomb on say, London. If thatwere to have happened, I think it would have been more probable than possible that Berlin would have been hit.

I’m not that ignorant that I don’t believe race didn’t play a part in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but there was also a true hatred by many of the Allies(Americans, British and Canadians) towards the Japanese, more so than the Germans, and some of it justified. Whereas POW’s from those three countries could expect somewhat humane treatment from their captors, the opposite was true of the those that fell into Japanese hands. American POW’s in German hands suffered well below a 10% percent mortality rate. Those in Japanese suffered close to 40%. Some of the shit that the Japanese did was comparable to what Mengele did in the death camps. POW’s were tied to trees and had hand grenades detonated in front of them so that Japanese medics could train. They would be left outside, naked, in sub-freezing wheather to see what the effects of frostbite would be, and how long it would take to die. They would be used as living targets for bayonette practice, or be decapitated by commanders showing soldiers how to kill with one blow in close fighting. Wonderful little things like that.

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quote:American POW’s in German hands suffered well below a 10% percent mortality rate.

I was reading about this yesterday on Wiki so here is some follow up.

quote:If you were a Nazi prisoner of war from Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (but not Russia) you faced a 4 per cent chance of not surviving the war; [by comparison] the death rate for Allied POWs held by the Japanese was nearly 30 per cent.

As for some of the atrocities that clunker mentions, you can find more details here, about the doings of Unit 731.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

It is pretty sick shit to say the least, of course, there experiments were not unwelcomed :

quote:The United States believed that the research data was valuable because the allies had never conducted this type of human experimentation. Also, the U.S. did not want any other nation, particularly the Soviet Union, to acquire data on biological weapons. Therefore, in exchange for the data, the United States did not charge the officers of Unit 731 with war crimes.

The Russians tried the officers they found, and presumably executed them, but perhaps they used them as well.

Now, this is all sick and twisted, but if anyone thinks this justifies the bombing of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, may as well change your religion and join Al Queada right now.

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quote:Now, this is all sick and twisted, but if anyone thinks this justifies the bombing of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, may as well change your religion and join Al Queada right now.

Agreed, I’m just pointing out what many people’s mind-set was.

I was also using figures from memory, and I could have sworn the mortality rate was around 36-38%.

The following I’ve read about many times before, and just as outrageous as the deal they made was, was that there was not a huge public outcry about it when it became public knowledge. http://en.wikipedia….

Imagine Mengele and his "assistants" being allowed to go free in exchange for their "research".

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clunker, I found a documentary online that says that the Japanese tested a nuclear device 6 days after Hiroshima. I haven’t had a chance to do it, but by the sounds of it, the Japanese were mere weeks away from having their own.

I will write more after I finish it in a day or two!

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quote:
clunker, I found a documentary online that says that the Japanese tested a nuclear device 6 days after Hiroshima. I haven’t had a chance to do it, but by the sounds of it, the Japanese were mere weeks away from having their own.

This is a first to me.

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I remember hearing about it; it seemed sort of like water under the bridge to me, but I can see why it is good to discuss this stuff.
Sickboy is this what you are talking about?[url=‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_atomic_program’]Japanese atomic program[/url]

[url=‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Japanese_atomic_program’]Japanese atomic program disputed[/url]

[url=‘http://vikingphoenix.com/public/JapanIncorporated/1895-1945/jp-abomb.htm’]atom bomb ingredients[/url]
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — When a captured Nazi U-boat arrived at Portsmouth, N.H., toward the end of World War II, the American public was never told the significance of what was on board.
The German submarine was carrying 1,200 pounds of uranium oxide, an ingredient for an atomic bomb, bound for Japan. Two Japanese officers on board were allowed to commit suicide.

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I believe it is Cil.

Wish I had the time to watch it so I could say more, but it will have to wait a while. Here is the info about the documentary :

quote:A revealing look at the untold story of Japan’s atomic bomb, and how they may have detonated a nuclear device just two days before surrender. Since the end of WWII, conventional wisdom claimed that Imperial Japan was years away from building an atomic weapon—this special shatters this view. Using once secret Japanese wartime documents, we provide evidence that Japan had world- class nuclear physicists, access to uranium ore, and cyclotrons to process it. They devised an innovative way to deliver the bombs using 400-foot long Sen Toku submarines, capable of carrying and launching airplanes. Most startling—just six days after Hiroshima, Japan tested its own atomic device on a small island 20 miles off the Korean coast. The sobering conclusion is that Japan may have been just weeks behind the US in the race for the bomb.

On a related note, most experts believe that Japan can be a nuclear power in hours, which only complicates NE Asia security even further.

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Sick, interesting stuff, I’d never heard anything about the Japanese being anywhere remotely close to having their own nuke.

I also have a question for you on a somewhat related topic. I remember reading about two months ago that there were huge protests and rallies in China regarding Japan. I’ve read many times before that apparently the Japanese omit many facts from their schools’ textbooks, and pretty much gloss over their role in WWII. Supposedly, some textbooks still portray Japan as only trying to liberate other Asian people from Western powers in the ’30’s and ’40’s. I think it was in ‘The Rape Of Nanking’, that I read that one high school teachers students were surprised to learn that Japan and the U.S. had fought a war against each other, and wanted to know who won. Do people there talk about the war at all, and if so, do you get the impression that they may be re-writing, or distoring their own history?

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The textbook issue just makes me laugh and more misanthropic at the same time.

All nations history textbooks are distorted, especially at a young level I believe – in Canada, Quebec has different textbooks than the rest of Canada – mine were much more pro British.

Back to Asia, sure Japans are very distorted, as they do minimize a very big event like the war (I doubt any people really don’t know that it occurred however). Then again there is a lot of history to cover but that is no excuse for avoiding major events such as this.

What makes me laugh is the pot calling the kettle black. Who is upset in the row? China and South Korea. From what I understand the South Koreans dont mention all the North Koreans, suspected collaborators, political prisoners that were summarily killed. They don’t get into massacres by the U.S. backed junta and they certainly don’t discuss their rapes and massacres of Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War. Sure the latter case is small in comparrison to what the Emperoro’s army did, but ignoring your own mess doesn’t make you more right.

As for China, they are probably the last country that should complain about other nations having biased materials. I can remember looking through an ESL textbook in BJ which said that travel in America is dangerous because black people like to steal things. Yup, how accurate indeed. I am sure they don’t give Mao and his reign an honest look, or Tiannemen or any of the horrible things they did.

Not to mention that in SK and China their books are strongly anti Japanese which makes a big difference, while Japanese textbooks are only pro Japan, not anti any other country.

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Firstly, I let you lot prattle on about this subject in ignorance.

The power and devastation of the atom bomb was already known, July 15, a couple of months before the first military deployment in Hiroshima the Trinity Testing took place, the first nuclear explosion. The scientists knew what this bomb could do, as did the military top brass and politicans.

No excuse that anybody was testing anything

Modulis wrote:

quote:
They only had 2 in the arsenal. If one were "shot across the bow" so to speak, the war would have never ended because it took 2 to get the Japanese to surrender, and even then they almost didn’t surrender. I guess we were able to bluff like we had and endless supply of these things. If they knew we had only 2, they’d have kept fighting.

This is not true, the second bomb was dropped as a scientific experiment, the first bomb had arealdy been tested, a Uranium device, what was dropped on Nagasaki was a Plutonium device…. any country wouldn’t have surrendered striaght up, the scale of the devastation and loss of life wasn’t known… the Japanese Govt didn’t know this was a radiation weapon and so on.

For me this was a war crime, as was the bombing of Dresden and other allied actions against Germany. Thr desired effect would have been acheived by bombing one of the main outlying Islands, heavily fortified… much more useful data could have been gathered as tO the military usefullness of these weapons. In effect the USA created the doomsday armageddeon cold war scenario. The arms race was based on total population centre coverage.. M.A.D & and we all lived under this fear for 50 years, in fact GWB is taking us back there with is tactical nuke testing program.

I wonder if Milosovic or Hussien would get away with the defence, that killing 5000 Ethinc Albanians or Gassing Kurds was an attempt to save lives and end the war quickly.

Don’t think so, you Americans are a fucking joke, take the plank from your own eye before discussing splinters elsewhere!

BTW: Hitler had the V2 and Chemical / Biological warheads, he never used them for fear of a tit-for-tat… but had an A bomb been dropped, the response might not have been a unconditional surrender, as mentioned, the US industrial A bomb program had only outputted enough fuel for a handful of bombs, the Nazis could have devastated western and eastern Europe if they chose. The reason Toyoko wasn’t bombed and neither would have been Berlin is very simple if you idiots think about it, there’s got to be someone to call a surrender, if you blow the capital up, the emperor or Fhurer would be killed or die of radiation sickness, bit stupid is it not like you lot are ??

3 days between bombings, one of them had to be a war crime.

quote:
Other Japanese sources have stated that the atomic bombings themselves were not the principal reason for capitulation. Instead, they contend, it was the swift and devastating Soviet victories on the mainland in the week following Stalin’s August 8 declaration of war that forced the Japanese message of surrender on August 15, 1945. Certainly the fact of both enemies weighed into the decision, but it was more the fear of Soviet occupation that hastened imperialistic Japan’s acceptance of defeat.

Again, like the end of the European war, the Americans like to re-write the history books.