65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
REK
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65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by REK » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:26 am

As we approach the 65th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Japan, now seems like a good time to post this short video clip.

It features a former prisoner of the Japanese Imperial Army -- one of a vast number of people whose lives were changed by the bombings in a way that is hardly ever mentioned today.

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Bgile » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:00 am

Yes, the prospect of continuing that war in a conventional sense was almost unthinkable. Interesting video.

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by yellowtail3 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:17 am

REK wrote:... one of a vast number of people whose lives were changed by the bombings in a way that is hardly ever mentioned today.
perhaps a diff view from those burnt to death by the bombs, and those with relatives burnt to death by the bombs.
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RF
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by RF » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:39 am

A different view certainly yellowtail, but without the atomic bombs there would instead be far more of them, from other bombs caused by the necessity to invade Japan itself.
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:53 am

yellowtail3:
perhaps a diff view from those burnt to death by the bombs, and those with relatives burnt to death by the bombs.
If the allies would have been forced to invade Japan into submission it was very likely that the casualties would have been masive. The US was expecting fatal casualties in the range of those of the Civil War and Japan military and civilian populations would have suffered millions of deaths (and posibly including those that died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The incendiary bombings of Tokio (that killed more than the A bombs in Hiroshima or Nagasaki) would very likely have to be repeated when the infantry got stucked in their advance by a fanatical population that would also had women and children.
The bombs certainly spared millions of lives at the cost of ten of thousands who died an horrible death.
I have always regarded war as impossible to evaluate under certain moral and ethical terms, it's a moral vaccum, sadly. I had an uncle that was with the Marines and he landed in Saipan and other islands... he came back alive instead of being put into a body bag because there was no Olimpic or Coronet invasion: I think that was those that drop the bomb was thinking.

On the other hand, if Japan (or Hitler) would have had the bomb they would have never hesitate to use it for conquering, not for finishing the war...
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RF
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by RF » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:51 pm

Which of course a point that hardly ever gets raised, as it is politically inconvenient to do so.
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:40 pm

Which of course a point that hardly ever gets raised, as it is politically inconvenient to do so.
Never the leftist, specially in this Obama [Edited by Moderator] administration, would ever mention that. After all the central european and jewish scientists that made the bomb possible do so because they feared the nazis to have it first. With London and Moscow gone and Hitler as half assed Caesar over Europe I wonder where the leftist would have ended, maybe in Auschwitz...
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RF
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by RF » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:52 pm

More likely they would be raising their right arms ramrod straight in salute of a talisman resembling a hooked cross....

Remember that in Yugoslavia in the 1990's how many diehard communists, including Milosovich, suddenly became sectarian nationalists, into ethnic cleansing.....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by boredatwork » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:35 pm

I don't completely agree with either side.

Given what was KNOWN AT THE TIME by the US the decision to use the bomb was IMO a reasonable one. However I don't think that one can say for sure that it was the best possible (likely) alternative.

Both positions rely heavily on the assumption that had the event in question NOT happened that they would be able to accurately predict the resulting hypothetical course of history, or more importantly that the people making the decision had access to sufficient information to be able to make such a prediction. Reading the history of the Japanese high command in the final year of the war, I don't think it's at all clear how such an alternate reality might have unfolded.

Yes if the bomb hadn't been dropped Japan could have gone on fighting requiring an invasion costing countless additional casualties...

However given that Japan was already looking for an acceptable way to end the war (while saving face) there is also reasonable evidence to suggest that

...Japan might have surrendered anyways due to growing economic strangulation, and especially after the shock of the USSR's declaration of war eliminating the chance for negotiated peace and subsequant manchurian offensive showing the Army's growing impotence, thereby tipping the balance in favour of the peace faction...

...OR the allies might have realized they would need Hirohito as the puppet head of state they used him for historically and softened their demand for unconditional surrender which would have given the moderates the face saving out they would need.

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by yellowtail3 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:57 pm

boredatwork wrote:
However given that Japan was already looking for an acceptable way to end the war (while saving face) there is also reasonable evidence to suggest that
Yep.

They were beat, knew it, couldn't project power anywhere, navy sunk air arm gone getting hungry and out of fuel - I don't think Japan would have been all that hard to take on the ground - and I don't think it would have been neccessary. A little more flexibility would reasonably have brought surrender w/o the nuke
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Bgile » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:16 pm

yellowtail3 wrote:
boredatwork wrote:
However given that Japan was already looking for an acceptable way to end the war (while saving face) there is also reasonable evidence to suggest that
Yep.

They were beat, knew it, couldn't project power anywhere, navy sunk air arm gone getting hungry and out of fuel - I don't think Japan would have been all that hard to take on the ground - and I don't think it would have been neccessary. A little more flexibility would reasonably have brought surrender w/o the nuke
Have you ever read personal accounts of the fighting in the Pacific? On Okinawa? Peliliu?

They didn't have a lot of stuff then, and we had to kill almost every one of them. After Peliliu and Okinawa the First Marines were pretty well combat ineffective, what with losses and combat fatigue. Why would Japan be any different?

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:30 pm

I can bring forth, if necesary, good sources but in order to make this short the Japanese would have not surrender without fighting. Is as saying that after Bagration and Overlord the Germans would surrender because it was only logical.
The Emperor, the same old man praised for his peaceful ways while feeding his fish at the Palace, make perfectly clear in July 1945 that the Imperial Institution would only go down in flames. Iwo Jima was doomed and they didn't surrender, they fought; Okinawa was doomed and the CIVILIANS threw themselves from the cliffs before being made prisioners; the same Saipan, etc. Do you think that the Yamato had a chance against hundreds of ships and thousands of planes? The Japanese didn't care, they would have fight and die, which is why the US Goverment, never a strong one, decided to launch the bombs abast all other concievable courses of action.

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by frontkampfer » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:58 am

My father and thousands of veterans and millions of Japanese lived because the bomb was dropped. The Japanese were not prepared to give up and would have made the allies pay in blood for every inch of the Home Islands taken. It was only faced with a weapon that could kill thousands without allied losses did they finally give up! I for one would very much like apologists to get over the fact that the bomb ended the war!
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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:26 am

frontkampfer:
My father and thousands of veterans and millions of Japanese lived because the bomb was dropped. The Japanese were not prepared to give up and would have made the allies pay in blood for every inch of the Home Islands taken. It was only faced with a weapon that could kill thousands without allied losses did they finally give up! I for one would very much like apologists to get over the fact that the bomb ended the war!
Hear, Hear!! :clap: :clap:
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: 65 years since Hiroshima: The lives saved

Post by boredatwork » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:59 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Iwo Jima was doomed and they didn't surrender, they fought; Okinawa was doomed and the CIVILIANS threw themselves from the cliffs before being made prisioners; the same Saipan, etc. Do you think that the Yamato had a chance against hundreds of ships and thousands of planes.
Bgile wrote:Have you ever read personal accounts of the fighting in the Pacific? On Okinawa? Peliliu?

They didn't have a lot of stuff then, and we had to kill almost every one of them. After Peliliu and Okinawa the First Marines were pretty well combat ineffective, what with losses and combat fatigue. Why would Japan be any different?
Why WAS Japan different?

Why didn't the military refuse orders and keep fighting? If the nation was already prepared to fight to the last man then why did it matter how the last man was exterminated? Afterall what's the difference between being burnt in a firestorm versus being incinerated in an atomic blast - which at that time was considered to be nothing more than a really big explosive? Certainly the army leadership didn't view it as a reason to capitulate. Why didn't the civilian population commit mass hara kiri instead of submit to the American occupation? If Hirohito was prepared to go down in flames then why didn't he?

The resistance in those locations was part of the overall army strategy that if sufficient casualties could be caused, allied war weariness would force the allies to the negotiating table where the army promised a compromise better than unconditional surrender could be attained. The difference was: a) the total defeat of Germany had already shown how far the allies were willing to go, b) the firebombings were already demonstrating that there were options much worse than unconditional surrender, c) Russia's entry into war simultaneously removed a hoped for mediator of peace, lost the manchurian colonies for which war had been started to save, brought additional resources against Japan so that allied war weariness looked remote, d) the blockade combined with firebombing, and the poorest harvest in 15 years led to fears of large scale civilian unrest; e) the preparations to resist the allied landings were nowehere near complete and largely invalidated by added complication of Russia's involvement.

Again though predicting hypothetical events is a best uncertain, Japan wasn't a carbon copy of Germany where the only way to alter political power was a revolution - the Japanese government was still a coalition that with each defeat progressively weakened the hardliner's position. The Atomic bomb brought matters to a head sooner than otherwise might have happened but the crisis in Manchuria and continued fire bombing of Japanese cities IMO would have likely brought about a similar resolution a few months later.
Last edited by boredatwork on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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