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The Hiroshima debate, emotionalism vrs history...

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posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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Am I the only person annoyed at the anti bomb stance at the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima day?

Reading the articles in the media you are left with the feeling that the nasty American forces killed all those innocent Japanese out of spite, or to test their weapon, or scare the russians.

The actual historical antecedents around the event are lost in the outpouring of "oh poor people look what you suffered" articles.

The pilot of Enola Gay, I read in the press ,was totally for the bombing and suffered attacks because of it, his views seemed to be regarded as antideluvian and out of date.

Here's another article...
news.yahoo.com.../afp/20050805/wl_asia_afp/wwiihistorynuclear_050805235006 .. one of the more tamer one, that just talk about the people and not the justification for the actions.

60 years on from Hiroshima it seems very PC to critisize the dropping of the bomb, but released transcripts of the messages between the japanese leaders shows that they would have "unleashed hell" had America tried to invade Japan.

Read this to argue against the touchy feely new age wusses who love to critisize the the actions of the past, to boost their own ego's.

Much more on this on the site...

Weekly Standard

The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion.

The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender.


[edit on 5-8-2005 by Netchicken]




posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:38 PM
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Is this post from Netchicken?


I need a beer because I agree with him.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:40 PM
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Yes, you and I do not often see eye to eye on issues Netchicken, but you are dead on. We seem to have this plague of revisionist historians with an obvious agenda.

Many of the generation critical to the use of the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are blissfully unaware of the level of sacrafice the World War II generation put forth. The risked all for what we have now. The U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and others did what they had to do.

Yes there was loss of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki but far far less than an invasion of the home islands would have cost on both sides.

But to the revisionist historian all that matters is the shameless promotion of his anti nuclear rhetoric.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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You're not the only one annoyed by it. The dropping of the bomb was entirely justified and anyone who speaks otherwise simply must not know thier history.

People and thier attempts to revise history to make the US and her allies seem as "evil" are really out of whack.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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Have you ever heard anyone say..

Thank God for Hiroshima day, because my husband / father / son came home alive



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 11:56 PM
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" Lest there be any doubt about Grew's mindset, as late as August 7, the day after Hiroshima, Grew drafted a memorandum with an oblique reference to radio intelligence again affirming his view that Tokyo still was not close to peace.

What a great find Netchicken, EXCELLENT!






The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender.


It just gets better!



From mid-July onwards, Ultra intercepts exposed a huge military buildup on Kyushu. Japanese ground forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of four. Instead of 3 Japanese field divisions deployed in southern Kyushu to meet the 9 U.S. divisions, there were 10 Imperial Army divisions plus additional brigades. Japanese air forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of two to four. Instead of 2,500 to 3,000 Japanese aircraft, estimates varied between about 6,000 and 10,000. One intelligence officer commented that the Japanese defenses threatened "to grow to [the] point where we attack on a ratio of one (1) to one (1) which is not the recipe for victory."



The picture becomes even more complex than previously understood because it emerged that the Navy chose to postpone a final showdown over these two strategies. The commander in chief of the U.S. fleet, Admiral Ernest King, informed his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April 1945 that he did not agree that Japan should be invaded. He concurred only that the Joint Chiefs must issue an invasion order immediately to create that option for the fall. But King predicted that the Joint Chiefs would revisit the issue of whether an invasion was wise in August or September. Meanwhile, two months of horrendous fighting ashore on Okinawa under skies filled with kamikazes convinced the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, that he should withdraw his prior support for at least the invasion of Kyushu. Nimitz informed King of this change in his views in strict confidence.



And this really gets me, General McArthur........

In August, the Ultra revelations propelled the Army and Navy towards a showdown over the invasion. On August 7 (the day after Hiroshima, which no one expected to prompt a quick surrender), General Marshall reacted to weeks of gathering gloom in the Ultra evidence by asking General Douglas MacArthur, who was to command what promised to be the greatest invasion in history, whether invading Kyushu in November as planned still looked sensible. MacArthur replied, amazingly, that he did not believe the radio intelligence! He vehemently urged the invasion should go forward as planned. (This, incidentally, demolishes later claims that MacArthur thought the Japanese were about to surrender at the time of Hiroshima.) On August 9 (the day the second bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki), King gathered the two messages in the exchange between Marshall and MacArthur and sent them to Nimitz. King told Nimitz to provide his views on the viability of invading Kyushu, with a copy to MacArthur. Clearly, nothing that had transpired since May would have altered Nimitz's view that Olympic was unwise. Ultra now made the invasion appear foolhardy to everyone but MacArthur. But King had not placed a deadline on Nimitz's response, and the Japanese surrender on August 15 allowed Nimitz to avoid starting what was certain to be one of the most tumultuous interservice battles of the whole war.



He did comment to Truman that, of course, any invasion authorized then could be canceled later.) With the Navy's withdrawal of support, the terrible casualties in Okinawa, and the appalling radio-intelligence picture of the Japanese buildup on Kyushu, Olympic was not going forward as planned and authorized--period. But this evidence also shows that the demise of Olympic came not because it was deemed unnecessary, but because it had become unthinkable. It is hard to imagine anyone who could have been president at the time (a spectrum that includes FDR, Henry Wallace, William O. Douglas, Harry Truman, and Thomas Dewey) failing to authorize use of the atomic bombs in this circumstance.


Man I never even considered this in my line of thinking,

This brings us to another aspect of history that now very belatedly has entered the controversy. Several American historians led by Robert Newman have insisted vigorously that any assessment of the end of the Pacific war must include the horrifying consequences of each continued day of the war for the Asian populations trapped within Japan's conquests. Newman calculates that between a quarter million and 400,000 Asians, overwhelmingly noncombatants, were dying each month the war continued. Newman et al. challenge whether an assessment of Truman's decision can highlight only the deaths of noncombatant civilians in the aggressor nation while ignoring much larger death tolls among noncombatant civilians in the victim nations.


Thats many more MILLIONS Saved!


In closing,


The Japanese did not see their situation as catastrophically hopeless. They were not seeking to surrender, but pursuing a negotiated end to the war that preserved the old order in Japan, not just a figurehead emperor. Finally, thanks to radio intelligence, American leaders, far from knowing that peace was at hand, understood--as one analytical piece in the "Magic" Far East Summary stated in July 1945, after a review of both the military and diplomatic intercepts--that "until the Japanese leaders realize that an invasion can not be repelled, there is little likelihood that they will accept any peace terms satisfactory to the Allies." This cannot be improved upon as a succinct and accurate summary of the military and diplomatic realities of the summer of 1945.




Folks Netchicken gets a WATS from me on this one, READ the whole thing!

Edit : Well if I could have I would have.!

[edit on 5-8-2005 by edsinger]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:18 AM
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I've perhaps a bit more interest than some in the yearly debate as my birthday is August 6th. Not a year passed where my celebratory day as a child did not bring mention of the 'other' significance of this date.
Additional to this was the fact that my Dad had been a Marine in WWII and was ever and firmly of the mind that the bomb was entirely justified. I share that view.

It is absolutely a fact that based on the experiences of our troops in the Pacific theatre, more Japanese would have been killed by an invasion of their homeland, than in fact died as a result of the bomb. More Japanese were being killed in the conventional bombings of Tokyo than were killed in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

The bombing of Hiroshima suffers from the very fact that it was a singular, spectacular event... a horror the scope of which is conveyed to the reader merely with the image of the infamous mushroom cloud. That image was however led to by events like the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, Japanese agression and subjugation of it's neighbor a full dozen year prior and all the brutality that Souteast Asia had suffered as a result. These latter realites are not as succinct, require more thought and discussion, not as Madison Avenue as the much touted picture of that hideous cloud under which were so many dead Japanese.
Discussion of the use of this first atomic weapon needs balance. I've made my decision.
My Dad bore a bitter attitude for most of his life toward the Japs (his words)....in his later years he'd mellowed.... and acknowledged them to have been, as individuals, valiant and determined foes. But he still had no
problem with our method of ending the conflict.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:53 AM
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There's no doubt that the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (and later Nagasaki) ended the war. And the Americans found out that their initial estimate of casualties for Operation Olympic was conservative. The did not know the full scope of Ketsu-go, the defense plan. the Japanese had almost twice as many operational aircraft as we thought they did, and invading Kyush would be way worse than Normandy -- and Honshu would be Kyushu on steroids.

I was less than a year old when Enola Gay and Bock's Car made their runs, and my mind tells me that it was the right thing to do.

But in March 2001 I wandered through Peace Boulevard watching the kids feeding the ducks and the parents with their picnic lunches and my heart was broken.

You go there and then come back and share your views on nuclear war.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 01:10 AM
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Yeah anytime you can do this to people, it's a good thing...




You guys are pretty twisted. At least if we had invaded Japan we would have been killing Japanese Soldiers, hundreds of thousands of civilians died horrificly, and genetic mutations persist to this day. Japan offered a conditional surrender weeks before we dropped not one, but two atomic bombs on CITIES. Cities where Kids, Families, and Old People live, like this kid...



The pending Russian invasion of Japan would have been the end of the war in the Pacific, but we couldn't let Russia have Japan, so we showed them our new toy. Get real, dropping the atomic bomb on cities, to save lives, that's the most twisted up doublespeak I ever heard.

I saw this picture the other day and was about to click right on by until I noticed where the picture was taken, Hiroshima.
www.nodu-hiroshima.org...



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 01:24 AM
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Well I guess we all can see twitchy didnt READ it.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 01:31 AM
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Twitch while a applaud the shock value of your picture of the child, but the simple fact is the fanatical level of resistance encountered on Iwo Jima and Okinawa were only a small glimpse into what taking the home islands would have been like.

Hmmm are you suggesting that an all out invasion by Soviet and Allied forces would have saved lives? Thats a bit of twisted logic there as well.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 01:48 AM
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This is old stuff, who really cares anymore? Useless to whine about this now.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 02:03 AM
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In terms of civilians killed, the bomb killed a lot less than the US was planing to.


The high American death toll in the much smaller invasions of the Marianas, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and elsewhere led the US army's Chemical Warfare Service to devise a plan to use massive chemical weapon attacks to support the invasion of the mainland.

The details were contained in A Study of the Possible Use of Toxic Gas in Operation Olympic, an anodyne title for an extraordinary proposal that involved two different if almost simultaneous uses for thousands of tons of chemical weapons. The main weapons to be used were two chemical blister agents, phosgene and mustard gas, together with hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen chloride.

At the time of the invasion itself, tactical strike aircraft would drop nearly 9,000 tons of chemical weapons on the defending troops in the first fifteen days, with further attacks planned at the rate of just under 5,000 tons every thirty days from then on. As US troops came ashore, they would bring in howitzers and mortars that could deliver an additional forty-five tons a day of poisonous gas on Japanese positions.

This represented a massive use of chemical weapons, but it was dwarfed in scale by the proposed attacks on Japanese cities. In what the document described as an "initial gas blitz", long-range B-29 and B-24 strategic bombers would attack a large number of cities across Japan – starting with Tokyo, fifteen days before the ground invasion started. Over the next, initial fifteen-day period, over 56,000 tons of gas bombs would be dropped on cities, followed by almost 24,000 tons of gas bombs dropped every month from then on until the war ended or all the planned targets had been hit.

Although this plan was completed only in June 1945, it originated in work started by the Chemical Warfare Service more than eighteen months earlier; as early as April 1944, a detailed study – Selected Aerial Objectives for Retaliatory Gas Attacks on Japan – had been completed assessing the vulnerability of cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka to gas attack. The analysts believed that their densely populated residential areas, with narrow streets and few open spaces, were particularly susceptible to chemical warfare. Moreover, mustard gas is readily absorbed by wood, and Japanese wooden houses would have been very difficult to decontaminate.

The intention was to maximise casualties, mostly civilian, and the study stated:

"The Gas Attack Program is aimed primarily at causing the maximum number of casualties, crippling transportation and public services, complicating and delaying the repair of HE [high explosive] bomb damage and making targets more vulnerable to incendiary attack."

By June 1945, the full gas-attack plan was submitted to Major General William N Porter, head of the Chemical Warfare Service, detailing fifty urban and industrial targets, including twenty-five cities that were particularly susceptible to gas attack. According to the report, "Gas attacks of the size and intensity recommended on these 250 square miles of urban population … might easily kill 5,000,000 people and injure that many more."

The chemical warfare attacks were never implemented, but the programme was in no sense theoretical. While the plans were being formulated, much effort was put into manufacturing and stockpiling the weapons so that they would be ready if needed. The first chemical weapon plant had been opened in April 1944 at Warners, New York state, initially producing about eighty tons of poison gas a week. This was later increased to over 400 tons a week, and more plants were built so that by 1945 the US army had over fifty million chemical artillery shells and the US army air corps had more than a million bombs and 100,000 aircraft spray tanks.

By any means necessary: the United States and Japan


No matter how we planned to kill them, it wasn't going to be pretty. Or sane.

I just find it odd how this guys book (of which the article was based) is totally contrary to the memoirs of Truman, MacArthur, Nimitz, etc. Surely they would of know about these 'ultra secret' communications.

EDIT: And the author's reasoning for not telling the public about these great reasons in the 'ultra secret' communications sounds dicey to me.

[edit on 6-8-2005 by curme]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 03:14 AM
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I think any war is sad but what about all the allies pows that never returned



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by Sth HemisphereI think any war is sad but what about all the allies pows that never returned



Well sad to say that happens in EVERY war.......WWII was shortened by months and maybe a few years, by the bomb. Many MILLIONS were saved. Yet the US was evil in some folks eyes for dropping it...

Hatred of the US can be so vogue cant it?



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:41 AM
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While I agree that the dropping of the bomb saved many lives, it also set a dangerous precedent.

We, the self-appointed police of the world, willingfully targetted civilians and blew them to hell. This action has made our criticizing of others doing the same almost null and void. We fell off our high horse that day gentlemen.

It's not emotion, it's not tree-hugging, or anything of the sort. It's simple logic. We did what we criticize others of doing right now. While a day of victory, it is also a dark day for our morality.

The good thing that came from it, was that it showed the world how horrible a nuclear war would be. If not for that day, we'd have likely found out only in a much larger conflict...with many more lives lost.

Tactically, I agree it was a good decision, but you cannot ignore the fact that we violated our own ethics in doing so.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:52 AM
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For an interesting read, with opinions similar to the author of this thread, check out Max boot's commentary in the L.A. Times the other day.

www.latimes.com...

I personally do not agree for a few reasons. First it is only sixty years after the event, so to assume that history has been etched in stone, and that the decision to nuke hiroshima was always looked at as a good thing, is false. This has been an ongoing debate for years as it should be. To claim that evaluation is revisionism is not entirely accurate.

Also as Twitchy pointed out, the Japanese offered a conditional surrender before we bombed them twice. Americas involvment in WWII was shady at best, and our decision to use Nukes was even worse. I think it is good that people are questioning our decision, maybe then it will never happen again.

With the information age upon us , it would appear for the first time in history, that history will NOT be written by the winners.


[edit on 6-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
While I agree that the dropping of the bomb saved many lives, it also set a dangerous precedent.

We, the self-appointed police of the world, willingfully targetted civilians and blew them to hell. This action has made our criticizing of others doing the same almost null and void. We fell off our high horse that day gentlemen.


Hmmm. While citybusting is not acceptable to us today, it was a valid and accepted mode of warfare for the time. While it used a novel form of explosives (for the time) was it truly any different that the massed fire bomb attacks that burned out the center of Tokyo? Its apples and oranges in that context.

It did set a precident but IMHO one that carried us through the cold war. No one wished to unleash such a destructive power again so even as we entered an arms race, the devices were not used (close maybe) but we were able to step back from the brink.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
To claim that evaluation is revisionism is not entirely accurate.
Also as Twitchy pointed out, the Japanese offered a conditional surrender before we bombed them twice.


Sigh.... It is revisionist history at its best. Japans condition surrender amounted to a return to the status quo. Would that have been acceptable to the nation that had just bled its way accros the Pacific? Being realist the answer is no. More tot he point Japan clearly had its agenda which was the preservation of its Imperial system


Japanese historians uncovered another key element of the story. After Hiroshima (August 6), Soviet entry into the war against Japan (August 8), and Nagasaki (August 9), the emperor intervened to break a deadlock within the government and decide that Japan must surrender in the early hours of August 10. The Japanese Foreign Ministry dispatched a message to the United States that day stating that Japan would accept the Potsdam Declaration, "with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler."
www.windsofchange.net...

( I know not the best source but mostly covered in Richard Frank: Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire)

Again with conditions. More to the point they were simply not willing to accept terms that were acceptable to the allies during that time. Only a revisionist would try to apply current morality and thinking on what happened 60 years ago.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Again with conditions. More to the point they were simply not willing to accept terms that were acceptable to the allies during that time. Only a revisionist would try to apply current morality and thinking on what happened 60 years ago.


How is it current morality? There were plenty of people that did not approve of it even then. Sure it might not of been that many, but there were some. Those are the people who have kept the debate alive all this time. History does not just get written as quick as some people would like. This issue is a great example of that fact.

Due to our short time here on this planet, many such as yourself tend to think of 50-60 years a long time. Historically speaking it is not. This debate will continue and will not be decided until long after we are dead.



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