reply to post by crawdad1914
(Vice Chairman, U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey)
In 1950 Nitze would recommend a massive military buildup, and in the 1980s he was an arms control negotiator in the Reagan administration. In July of
1945 he was assigned the task of writing a strategy for the air attack on Japan. Nitze later wrote:
"While I was working on the new plan of air attack... [I] concluded that even without the atomic bomb, Japan was likely to surrender in a matter of
months. My own view was that Japan would capitulate by November 1945."
Paul Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, pg. 36-37 (my emphasis)
The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey group, assigned by President Truman to study the air attacks on Japan, produced a report in July of 1946 that was
primarily written by Nitze and reflected his reasoning:
"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's
opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic
bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
quoted in Barton Bernstein, The Atomic Bomb, pg. 52-56.
In his memoir, written in 1989, Nitze repeated,
"Even without the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it seemed highly unlikely, given what we found to have been the mood of the Japanese government,
that a U.S. invasion of the islands [scheduled for November 1, 1945] would have been necessary."
Paul Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, pg. 44-45.
(Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence)
Based on a series of intelligence reports received in late 1944, Zacharias, long a student of Japan's people and culture, believed the Japan would
soon be ripe for surrender if the proper approach were taken. For him, that approach was not as simple as bludgeoning Japanese cities:
"...while Allied leaders were immediately inclined to support all innovations however bold and novel in the strictly military sphere, they frowned
upon similar innovations in the sphere of diplomatic and psychological warfare."
Ellis Zacharias, The A-Bomb Was Not Needed, United Nations World, Aug. 1949, pg. 29.
"Instead of being a diplomatic instrument, transmitted through regular diplomatic channels and giving the Japanese a chance to answer, it was put on
the radio as a propaganda instrument pure and simple. The whole maneuver, in fact, completely disregarded all essential psychological factors dealing
Zacharias continued, "The Potsdam Declaration, in short, wrecked everything we had been working for to prevent further bloodshed...
"Just when the Japanese were ready to capitulate, we went ahead and introduced to the world the most devastating weapon it had ever seen and, in
effect, gave the go-ahead to Russia to swarm over Eastern Asia.
"Washington decided that Japan had been given its chance and now it was time to use the A-bomb.
"I submit that it was the wrong decision. It was wrong on strategic grounds. And it was wrong on humanitarian grounds."
Ellis Zacharias, How We Bungled the Japanese Surrender, Look, 6/6/50, pg. 19-21.
~~~GENERAL CARL "TOOEY" SPAATZ
(In charge of Air Force operations in the Pacific)
General Spaatz was the person who received the order for the Air Force to "deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will permit visual
bombing after about 3 August 1945..."(Leslie Groves, Now It Can Be Told, pg. 308). In a 1964 interview, Spaatz explained:
"The dropping of the atomic bomb was done by a military man under military orders. We're supposed to carry out orders and not question them."
In the same interview, Spaatz referred to the Japanese military's plan to get better peace terms, and he gave an alternative to the atomic bombings:
"If we were to go ahead with the plans for a conventional invasion with ground and naval forces, I believe the Japanese thought that they could
inflict very heavy casualties on us and possibly as a result get better surrender terms. On the other hand if they knew or were told that no invasion
would take place [and] that bombing would continue until the surrender, why I think the surrender would have taken place just about the same time."
(Herbert Feis Papers, Box 103, N.B.C. Interviews, Carl Spaatz interview by Len Giovannitti, Library of Congress).