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An Invasion Not Found in the History Books

lineartube

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Sorry for the long thread but for mil history fans, is worth reading it in full.

Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped "Top Secret". These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Only a few Americans in 1945 were aware of the elaborate plans that had been prepared for the Allied Invasion of the Japanese home islands. Even fewer today are aware of the defenses the Japanese had prepared to counter the invasion had it been launched. Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945. It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire.

In the first invasion - code named Operation Olympic - American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 - 50 years ago. Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment.
The second invasion on March 1, 1946 - code named Operation Coronet - would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain. It's goal: the unconditional surrender of Japan. With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Downfall was to be a strictly American operation. It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8 Air Force (recently redeployed from Europe), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force. More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 - would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.

Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate.

During the summer of 1945, America had little time to prepare for such an endeavor, but top military leaders were in almost unanimous agreement that an invasion was necessary.

While naval blockade and strategic bombing of Japan was considered to be useful, General MacArthur, for instance, did not believe a blockade would bring about an unconditional surrender. The advocates for invasion agreed that while a naval blockade chokes, it does not kill; and though strategic bombing might destroy cities, it leaves whole armies intact.

So on May 25, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extensive deliberation, issued to General MacArthur, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Army Air Force General Henry Arnold, the top secret directive to proceed with the invasion of Kyushu. The target date was after the typhoon season.

President Truman approved the plans for the invasions July 24. Two days later, the United Nations issued the Potsdam Proclamation, which called upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or face total destruction. Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender. During this sane period it was learned -- via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts -- that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its schoolchildren, was arming its civilian population and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses.

Operation Olympic called for a four pronged assault on Kyushu. Its purpose was to seize and control the southern one-third of that island and establish naval and air bases, to tighten the naval blockade of the home islands, to destroy units of the main Japanese army and to support the later invasion of the Tokyo Plain.

The preliminary invasion would began October 27 when the 40th Infantry Division would land on a series of small islands west and southwest of Kyushu. At the same time, the 158th Regimental Combat Team would invade and occupy a small island 28 miles south of Kyushu. On these islands, seaplane bases would be established and radar would be set up to provide advance air warning for the invasion fleet, to serve as fighter direction centers for the carrier-based aircraft and to provide an emergency anchorage for the invasion fleet, should things not go well on the day of the invasion. As the invasion grew imminent, the massive firepower of the Navy - the Third and Fifth Fleets -- would approach Japan. The Third Fleet, under Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, with its big guns and naval aircraft, would provide strategic support for the operation against Honshu and Hokkaido. Halsey's fleet would be composed of battleships, heavy cruisers, destroyers, dozens of support ships and three fast carrier task groups. From these carriers, hundreds of Navy fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes would hit targets all over the island of Honshu. The 3,000 ship Fifth Fleet, under Admiral Raymond Spruance, would carry the invasion troops.

Several days before the invasion, the battleships, heavy cruisers and destroyers would pour thousands of tons of high explosives into the target areas. They would not cease the bombardment until after the land forces had been launched. During the early morning hours of November 1, the invasion would begin. Thousands of soldiers and Marines would pour ashore on beaches all along the eastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of Kyushu. Waves of Helldivers, Dauntless dive bombers, Avengers, Corsairs, and Hellcats from 66 aircraft carriers would bomb, rocket and strafe enemy defenses, gun emplacements and troop concentrations along the beaches.

The Eastern Assault Force consisting of the 25th, 33rd and 41st Infantry Divisions would land near Miyaski, at beaches called Austin, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Ford, and move inland to attempt to capture the city and its nearby airfield. The Southern Assault Force, consisting of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 43rd Division and Americal Division would land inside Ariake Bay at beaches labeled DeSoto, Dusenberg, Essex, Ford, and Franklin and attempt to capture Shibushi and the city of Kanoya and its airfield.

On the western shore of Kyushu, at beaches Pontiac, Reo, Rolls Royce, Saxon, Star, Studebaker, Stutz, Winston and Zephyr, the V Amphibious Corps would land the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Marine Divisions, sending half of its force inland to Sendai and the other half to the port city of Kagoshima.

On November 4, the Reserve Force, consisting of the 81st and 98th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division, after feigning an attack of the island of Shikoku, would be landed -- if not needed elsewhere -- near Kaimondake, near the southernmost tip of Kagoshima Bay, at the beaches designated Locomobile, Lincoln, LaSalle, Hupmobile, Moon, Mercedes, Maxwell, Overland, Oldsmobile, Packard and Plymouth.

Olympic was not just a plan for invasion, but for conquest and occupation as well. It was expected to take four months to achieve its objective, with the three fresh American divisions per month to be landed in support of that operation if needed.

If all went well with Olympic, Coronet would be launched March 1, 1946. Coronet would be twice the size of Olympic, with as many as 28 divisions landing on Honshu.

All along the coast east of Tokyo, the American 1st Army would land the 5th, 7th, 27th, 44th, 86th, and 96th Infantry Divisions along with the 4th and 6th Marine Divisions.

At Sagami Bay, just south of Tokyo, the entire 8th and 10th Armies would strike north and east to clear the long western shore of Tokyo Bay and attempt to go as far as Yokohama. The assault troops landing south of Tokyo would be the 4th, 6th, 8th, 24th, 31st, 37th, 38th and 8th Infantry Divisions, along with the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions.

Following the initial assault, eight more divisions - the 2nd, 28th, 35th, 91st, 95th, 97th and 104th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division -- would be landed. If additional troops were needed, as expected, other divisions redeployed from Europe and undergoing training in the United States would be shipped to Japan in what was hoped to be the final push.

Captured Japanese documents and post war interrogations of Japanese military leaders disclose that information concerning the number of Japanese planes available for the defense of the home islands was dangerously in error.

During the sea battle at Okinawa alone, Japanese kamakaze aircraft sank 32 Allied ships and damaged more than 400 others. But during the summer of 1945, American top brass concluded that the Japanese had spent their air force since American bombers and fighters daily flew unmolested over Japan.

What the military leaders did not know was that by the end of July the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland.

As part of Ketsu-Go, the name for the plan to defend Japan -- the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases.

On the night before the expected invasion, 50 Japanese seaplane bombers, 100 former carrier aircraft and 50 land based army planes were to be launched in a suicide attack on the fleet.

The Japanese had 58 more airfields in Korea, western Honshu and Shikoku, which also were to be used for massive suicide attacks.

Allied intelligence had established that the Japanese had no more than 2,500 aircraft of which they guessed 300 would be deployed in suicide attacks.

In August 1945, however, unknown to Allied intelligence, the Japanese still had 5, 651 army and 7,074 navy aircraft, for a total of 12, 725 planes of all types. Every village had some type of aircraft manufacturing activity. Hidden in mines, railway tunnels, under viaducts and in basements of department stores, work was being done to construct new planes.

Additionally, the Japanese were building newer and more effective models of the Okka, a rocket-propelled bomb much like the German V-1, but flown by a suicide pilot.

When the invasion became imminent, Ketsu-Go called for a fourfold aerial plan of attack to destroy up to 800 Allied ships.

While Allied ships were approaching Japan, but still in the open seas, an initial force of 2,000 army and navy fighters were to fight to the death to control the skies over kyushu. A second force of 330 navy combat pilots were to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports. While these two forces were engaged, a third force of 825 suicide planes was to hit the American transports.

As the invasion convoys approached their anchorages, another 2,000 suicide planes were to be launched in waves of 200 to 300, to be used in hour by hour attacks.

By mid-morning of the first day of the invasion, most of the American land-based aircraft would be forced to return to their bases, leaving the defense against the suicide planes to the carrier pilots and the shipboard gunners.

Carrier pilots crippled by fatigue would have to land time and time again to rearm and refuel. Guns would malfunction from the heat of continuous firing and ammunition would become scarce. Gun crews would be exhausted by nightfall, but still the waves of kamikaze would continue. With the fleet hovering off the beaches, all remaining Japanese aircraft would be committed to nonstop suicide attacks, which the Japanese hoped could be sustained for 10 days. The Japanese planned to coordinate their air strikes with attacks from the 40 remaining submarines from the Imperial Navy -- some armed with Long Lance torpedoes with a range of 20 miles -- when the invasion fleet was 180 miles off Kyushu.

The Imperial Navy had 23 destroyers and two cruisers which were operational. These ships were to be used to counterattack the American invasion. A number of the destroyers were to be beached at the last minute to be used as anti-invasion gun platforms.

Once offshore, the invasion fleet would be forced to defend not only against the attacks from the air, but would also be confronted with suicide attacks from sea. Japan had established a suicide naval attack unit of midget submarines, human torpedoes and exploding motorboats.

The goal of the Japanese was to shatter the invasion before the landing. The Japanese were convinced the Americans would back off or become so demoralized that they would then accept a less-than-unconditional surrender and a more honorable and face-saving end for the Japanese.

But as horrible as the battle of Japan would be off the beaches, it would be on Japanese soil that the American forces would face the most rugged and fanatical defense encountered during the war.

Throughout the island-hopping Pacific campaign, Allied troops had always out numbered the Japanese by 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to 1. In Japan it would be different. By virtue of a combination of cunning, guesswork, and brilliant military reasoning, a number of Japan's top military leaders were able to deduce, not only when, but where, the United States would land its first invasion forces.

Facing the 14 American divisions landing at Kyushu would be 14 Japanese divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 tank brigades and thousands of naval troops. On Kyushu the odds would be 3 to 2 in favor of the Japanese, with 790,000 enemy defenders against 550,000 Americans. This time the bulk of the Japanese defenders would not be the poorly trained and ill-equipped labor battalions that the Americans had faced in the earlier campaigns.

The Japanese defenders would be the hard core of the home army. These troops were well-fed and well equipped. They were familiar with the terrain, had stockpiles of arms and ammunition, and had developed an effective system of transportation and supply almost invisible from the air. Many of these Japanese troops were the elite of the army, and they were swollen with a fanatical fighting spirit.

Japan's network of beach defenses consisted of offshore mines, thousands of suicide scuba divers attacking landing craft, and mines planted on the beaches. Coming ashore, the American Eastern amphibious assault forces at Miyazaki would face three Japanese divisions, and two others poised for counterattack. Awaiting the Southeastern attack force at Ariake Bay was an entire division and at least one mixed infantry brigade.

On the western shores of Kyushu, the Marines would face the most brutal opposition. Along the invasion beaches would be the three Japanese divisions , a tank brigade, a mixed infantry brigade and an artillery command. Components of two divisions would also be poised to launch counterattacks.

If not needed to reinforce the primary landing beaches, the American Reserve Force would be landed at the base of Kagoshima Bay November 4, where they would be confronted by two mixed infantry brigades, parts of two infantry divisions and thousands of naval troops.

All along the invasion beaches, American troops would face coastal batteries, anti-landing obstacles and a network of heavily fortified pillboxes, bunkers, and underground fortresses. As Americans waded ashore, they would face intense artillery and mortar fire as they worked their way through concrete rubble and barbed-wire entanglements arranged to funnel them into the muzzles of these Japanese guns.

On the beaches and beyond would be hundreds of Japanese machine gun positions, beach mines, booby traps, trip-wire mines and sniper units. Suicide units concealed in "spider holes" would engage the troops as they passed nearby. In the heat of battle, Japanese infiltration units would be sent to reap havoc in the American lines by cutting phone and communication lines. Some of the Japanese troops would be in American uniform, English-speaking Japanese officers were assigned to break in on American radio traffic to call off artillery fire, to order retreats and to further confuse troops. Other infiltration with demolition charges strapped on their chests or backs wold attempt to blow up american tanks, artillery pieces and ammunition stores as they were unloaded ashore.

Beyond the beaches were large artillery pieces situated to bring down a curtain of fire on the beach. Some of these large guns were mounted on railroad tracks running in and out of caves protected by concrete and steel.

The battle for Japan would be won by what Simon Bolivar Buckner, a lieutenant general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, had called "Prairie Dog Warfare." This type of fighting was almost unknown to the ground troops in Europe and the Mediterranean. It was peculiar only to the soldiers and Marines who fought the Japanese on islands all over the Pacific -- at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Prairie Dog Warfare was a battle for yards, feet and sometimes inches. It was brutal, deadly and dangerous form of combat aimed at an underground, heavily fortified, non-retreating enemy.

In the mountains behind the Japanese beaches were underground networks of caves, bunkers, command posts and hospitals connected by miles of tunnels with dozens of entrances and exits. Some of these complexes could hold up to 1,000 troops.

In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry.

Had Olympic come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan - "One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation" - were prepared to fight to the death. Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force. They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. Others were armed with swords, long bows, axes and bamboo spears. The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions.

At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour.

The invasion of Japan never became a reality because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Within days the war with Japan was at a close.

Had these bombs not been dropped and had the invasion been launched as scheduled, combat casualties in Japan would have been at a minimum of the tens of thousands. Every foot of Japanese soil would have been paid for by Japanese and American lives.

One can only guess at how many civilians would have committed suicide in their homes or in futile mass military attacks.

In retrospect, the 1 million American men who were to be the casualties of the invasion, were instead lucky enough to survive the war.

Intelligence studies and military estimates made 50 years ago, and not latter-day speculation, clearly indicate that the battle for Japan might well have resulted in the biggest blood-bath in the history of modern warfare.

Far worse would be what might have happened to Japan as a nation and as a culture. When the invasion came, it would have come after several months of fire bombing all of the remaining Japanese cities. The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation.

With American forces locked in combat in the south of Japan, little could have prevented the Soviet Union from marching into the northern half of the Japanese home islands. Japan today cold be divided much like Korea and Germany.

The world was spared the cost of Operation Downfall, however, because Japan formally surrendered to the United Nations September 2, 1945, and World War II was over.

The aircraft carriers, cruisers and transport ships scheduled to carry the invasion troops to Japan, ferried home American troops in a gigantic operation called Magic Carpet.

In the fall of 1945, in the aftermath of the war, few people concerned themselves with the invasion plans. Following the surrender, the classified documents, maps, diagrams and appendices for Operation Downfall were packed away in boxes and eventually stored at the National Archives. These plans that called for the invasion of Japan paint a vivid description of what might have been one of the most horrible campaigns in the history of man. The fact that the story of the invasion of Japan is locked up in the National Archives and is not told in our history books is something for which all Americans can be thankful.
in http://www.waszak.com/japanww2.htm
 

mdchachi

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Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate.
This paragraph calls the whole work into question as an exercise in biased speculation.

Not that I necessarily endorse either view (I wasn't there and I haven't studied the issue) but I'll quote a counter argument here just for the sake of balance.

From http://hnn.us/articles/172.html
Since Truman admitted pulling the atomic trigger, his main defense, expressed in numerous postwar statements, interviews, letters, and memoirs, was, in effect, not guilty by reason of (a) just deserts for Japanese war criminals; (b) ending the war quickly; (c) saving hundreds of thousands of American boys from a bloody invasion; (d) lack of viable alternatives; and (e) following God's will. But do any of these justifications stand up under cross-examination?

Question: Mr. President, let me take you back to the evening of August 9, 1945. You said in a radio address that you dropped the bomb on the perpetrators of Pearl Harbor and the torturers of our prisoners of war. But that statement was false, was it not?

Answer: It may not have been literally true, no.

Q: And even if it were, Mr. President, would that end justify incinerating a whole city?

A: We were desperate to stop a war that had already cost almost a million American dead and wounded. We wanted to stop the killing, and we did.

Q: By killing 200,000 more! Mostly women and children. When Japan was on the ropes. When Hirohito was equally desperate to surrender. When Stalin was on the verge of unleashing the Red Army. When your advisers were imploring you to give Japan a face-saving way out? That's when you decided to kill a couple of hundred thousand more of the enemy?

A: More Japs would have died in the invasion. Don't forget that. The bomb saved lives.

Q: Yes, let's come to that. On August 9, 1945, your figure for American soldiers spared by the bomb was "thousands and thousands," which climbed to 250,000 at the Gridiron Dinner that December, which topped off at 1,000,000 in a draft of Years of Decision, only to fall back to 500,000 in the published version in 1953. Can you produce any War Department document with any of those numbers on it?

A: No.

Q: Isn't it true, Mr. President, that the only casualty numbers you received for the invasion came from General Marshall in a June 18 White House meeting in which 31,000 casualties, meaning 7000-8000 dead, were estimated for the first thirty days of the Kyushu landing scheduled for November?

A: As I said in Years of Decision, General Marshall mentioned a half-million figure at Potsdam in July.

Q: Did he? But you have no record to back you up, no notes, no diary entry, and there's nothing in Marshall's archives, either. You simply made these figures up as you went along, hoping to deflect public opinion from the rain of nuclear ruin showered on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A: More American soldiers were killed or wounded in the Pacific in the first six months of 1945 than in the three previous years. On Iwo Jima we suffered 27,000 casualties in five weeks! On Okinawa, 48,000 in three months! The Japs were fanatics, fought to the death in caves and tunnels. The kamikazes were slicing up our fleet. If we went though with the invasion, we were looking at an Okinawa from one end of Japan to the other. I couldn't let that happen, not with the bomb in hand. No American or British or Jap boy died on the beaches of Japan. The bomb may have had something to do with that.

Q: All true, Mr. President, but you are charged here with the killings you ordered, not the ones you claim, in theory, to have prevented. Which brings us to the key question of alternatives. Even if we stipulate that the bomb stopped the war and thereby salvaged hundreds of thousands, even millions of lives, as war stoppages tend to do, we are still far from legal ground. The laws of war are not suspended during final battles. Besides, you didn't know the bombs would stop the war. You had diplomatic means to gain Japan's surrender.

A: But they didn't even surrender after Hiroshima, for Christ's sake.

Q: Mr. President, you were swamped with alternatives to a sneak atomic attack. Stimson, your chief of staff Admiral William Leahy, Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy, former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew, Navy Under Secretary Ralph Bard, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they all urged you to demonstrate the bomb and/or give a specific warning and/or change the terms of surrender to allow Japan to keep the Emperor. Even Churchill pressed you at Potsdam to relent on Hirohito, which was the main sticking point for the Japanese, as the MAGIC intercepts revealed. But you refused every entreaty, every appeal. You and Byrnes were hell-bent on dropping the bomb on two defenseless cities as soon as possible. What was the hurry? The invasion was three months off.

A. Hurry? The decision was discussed for months--from April to early August.

Q. The fateful order was sent to General Spatz on July 25, the day before the Potsdam Declaration, your unconditional, surrender-or-else ultimatum to Japan that contained no concession on the Emperor or specific warning about "the most terrible thing ever discovered," as you wrote in your journal on July 25. This was merely ten days after the bomb was tested. What was the hurry?

A. Apart from stopping the war against the beasts who cut off our soldiers' genitals and sewed them to their lips?

Q. Ah yes. "When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as a beast," you wrote the Federal Council of Churches of Christ on August 10. I think you know where I'm going with this question, Mr. President, so let's not get sidetracked. Your hurry was made-in-Russia. You sped up the drops to checkmate Stalin, who had promised at Potsdam to declare war in Japan by August 15. You wanted a Japanese surrender by any means necessary before the Red Army reached the Japanese mainland.

A. Stalin was our ally. I invited him to open a second front from the west. Japan had one million troops in Manchuria.

Q. Agreed. Initially, you were thrilled with the prospect of Russian help. Commenting on Stalin's Potsdam pledge, you wrote in your Potsdam journal on July 17: "He'll be in the Jap war on August 15. Fini Japs when that comes about." But the very next day, perhaps after the glowing reports from the New Mexico test sank in, your journal recorded a significant shift in strategy: "Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland."

In other words, Mr. President, virtually overnight you decided to nuke two cities without waiting to measure the effect of Stalin's declaration. You killed 200,000 people in order to end the war on U.S. terms--with the bonus of keeping Stalin out of our show in the Far East.

A. That's pure speculation. You can't prove any of it. Q. The proof lies in your Potsdam diary, Mr. President, which you carefully hid from historians. (The incriminating quotes were not disclosed until 1979.) Furthermore, Mr. Byrnes admitted in U.S. News & World Report in 1960 that the timing of Stalin's intervention influenced you and him. Byrnes was asked, "Was there a feeling of urgency to end the war in the Pacific before the Russians became too deeply involved?" He replied, "There certainly was on my part. And I'm sure that, whatever views President Truman may have had of it earlier in the year, that in the days immediately preceding the dropping of the bomb, his views were the same as mine--we wanted to get through the Japanese phase of the war before the Russians came in."

A. Next question.

Q. Emperor Hirohito. Let's get back to him. In Years of Decision , you said that Ambassador Grew's proposal to permit Hirohito to remain head of state was "a sound idea." This was in May. But the Potsdam Declaration did not move an inch from unconditional surrender. To no one's surprise, Japan rejected your ultimatum. Even after both bombs, the enemy held out for one condition--"that the said Declaration does not comprise any demand that prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as Sovereign Ruler." Now the ball was in your court. Either you surrendered on unconditional surrender, that is, let Hirohito stay on the throne, or the war would continue. We know what happened next. So the question is, Mr. President, what took you so long? Was Grew's "idea" any sounder after August 9 than before? Did two cities have to be destroyed because ...

A. War is war. I've had enough of your egghead contemplations.

Q. Well, let's move on to the divine. In the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima you thanked Providence for delivering the bomb into Allied hands and you said, "We pray that He may guide us to use it His ways and for His purpose." I can list a hundred theologians and church officials who anathematized the bomb. Can you name one who blessed it?

A. I made the only decision I knew how to make. I did what I thought was right.

Q. You thought it was right to sign a single, fire-when-ready order for two atomic bombs without allowing a decent interval for the Japanese to react to the first one?

A. They had two days.

Q. Two days? You killed one-fourth of Japan's Catholics in Nagasaki. Was that part of God's plan?

A. I could not worry what history would say about my personal morality.

Q. Which is why you are on trial, Mr. President, which is why you are a war criminal. No more questions.

Contemporary witnesses close to the scene were extremely hostile to Truman's defense. For example, Admiral William Leahy, chief of staff for both FDR and Truman, wrote in his 1950 memoir, I Was There: "It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was of no material assistance in our war against Japan... In being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

Herbert Hoover, an informal adviser to Truman, expressed his revulsion for the bomb before a gathering of newspaper editors in September 1945: "Despite any sophistries, its use is not to kill fighting men, but to kill women, children, and civilian men of whole cities as a pressure on governments."

Dwight D. Eisenhower told Newsweek in 1963 that he opposed the bomb for two reasons in a July 1945 conversation with Stimson: "First the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that damned thing. Second, I hated to see our country to be the first to use such a weapon."

Stimson wrote in his third-person 1948 memoir, On Active Service in Peace and War : "It was not the American responsibility to throw in the sponge for the Japanese; that was one thing they must do for themselves. Only on the question of the Emperor did Stimson take, in 1945, a conciliatory view; only on this question did he later believe that history might find that the United States, by its delay in stating its position, had prolonged the war." And dropped the bombs!
 

senseiman

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That is a pretty good read.

One thing that is worth noting when it comes to the consideration given to sparing innocent life by the US air force is the fact that on August 14th, 1945 the US launched a 1,000 bomber raid on Tokyo that killed many people. Consider that this raid occured after Hiroshima and Nagasaki and after the Japanese had agreed to surrender but before the surrender was actually signed. That shows a callous disregard for human life that should have been considered a war crime.
 

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I wanted to speak to this issue because it is really interesting. It also concerns a figure who I really like, Harry S. Truman. Truman to me is one of the great historical leaders of our time. He never made any pretentions about his intelligence. He always claimed to be a country boy at heart. Because of it, he was the first to listen to his advisors, who he picked, not because they supported his view, but because they were the most intelligent people (may I say it) in politics. His roster sounds like a dream team, Dean Acheson, George C Marshall, General Lucius Clay, and George F Kennan. These people would scowl at how the US acts today. If people want an EXCELLENT read, the Book Preponderance of Power by Melvyn Leffler shows how much stress these men were under after WW2, on how best to go about.

Anways, back to the issue. The article speaks to a lot of good points. It is based upon the information available at the time of decision making. This is extremely important. People can only make decisions with the information at hand. Im not even going to argue about the horrors of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, I went to the 50th anniversary of the bombing in 1995, the day will remain seared into my memory. But looking back at the event was it necessary? With a heavy heart, I believe so.
I want to look at some of the events that had occurred up to this point, and the mindset of the American leaders. Many of them were not discussed by the article. Firstly, enemy civilian casualties were not a concern in this times. As Brutal as it sounds, you cannot argue about these events. From the Blitz in England, the Siege of Leningrad, the horrors in China, there was no distinction, only the need to win. This was total war, and very few people are left who can attest to its brutality. But it was the way the world operated, if you didn窶冲 do what was necessary, the enemy won窶冲 hesitate to do it right back.. What the Nazi party did though was on a whole different level, but that is a different argument. Pose this question anybody from those times, 100,000 of them or 100,000 of us and you know what the answer would be.

The resilience of the Japanese was shocking to the Americans. From May of 1944, until August of 1945, Americans dropped hundreds of thousands of tones of bombs on Japan, to no effect. In every island that they attacked, thousands of Japanese attacked, sometimes with little more than swords, dying rather than facing surrender. The stories of Japanese civilians jumping off of the cliffs of Saipan were particularly shocking. And the Kamikazes were so frightening because of the act of self-sacrifice for the greater good was completely alien to western thought. No nation fought like that in any battlefield except the Japanese. June and July of 1945 must have been filled with a sense of dread. The Americans knew what was next, and it would be bloody beyond anything before.

As to the peace overtures made by the Japanese, these were questionable as to A- the amount they actually represented the Japanese leadership and B- what they were meant to achieve. It is doubtful that a envoy from the Emperor was going to accept his abdication. And it is not even close to assured that any peace deal struck was representative of the Japanese government. The Peace finalized on August 14th was a textbook example of surrender. It was done through official channels, with full representatives of the Japanese government. Earlier peace feelers were done through low level diplomatic contacts at various neutral embassies. Also (as to your example senseiman) the Japanese continued attacking right up to the surrender, and even after. The third fleet came under intense Kamakaze attack on the 13th, and Saburo Sakai, Japan窶冱 greatest ace, flew a mission on the 17th, downing a B-29 as a last act of defiance. Undoubtedly, the Americans were not too trusting.
Unconditional Surrender was actually brought up at Tehran Conference in 1943, after the Soviets felt confident enough they could beat the Wehrmacht. But Roosvelt was far too trusting of the Soviets as Churchill and later Truman would write. He believed that they would stick to the plans they had made. Truman questioned that belief. In his mind, and in the minds of his advisors, Russia should be given the room to live up to their obligations, but not another inch. By June of 1945 Truman could already see how Berlin and the administration of Germany was already causing friction between the West and Russia. He did not want to remove troops from Western Europe to deal with an invasion of Japan, he needed them as a effective deterrence from the Massive soviet War machine. And as pointed out in the article, he did not want to have the same problems in Japan as he did in Germany with a divided nation.

The article also speaks about the Soviets entering the war窶ヲ Although I find it somewhat doubtful that the soviets would attempt a invasion of Japan. Stalin would probably let the allies bludgeon themselves in Japan, as they had left him to the Nazis for so many years. But if the Russians did go into Japan, it would be a massacre of epic proportions. Russian attacks consisted of massive waves of infantry and tanks. And they had no niceties about culture either, they would of subjugated the Japanese to a horrendous degree, especially in light of the massive guerrilla warfare campaign that was planned.
 

senseiman

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You bring up some good points Noyhauser, but I still don't think the bombings were justified. For one, while the Japanese were adamant about not allowing the abdication of the emporer, that was about their only major demand. And in the end, the Americans allowed the emporer to remain, so I don't see why a negotiated peace wouldn't have been possible had Truman been willing to give the option some exploration.

The main argument used to support the use of bombs, that it speeded Japan's surrender and thus saved lives, is quite indefensible to me. If Germany had won the war, Hitler's apologists would be making the exact same arguments to defend the holocaust. By using the slave labour to manufacture armaments it allowed them to win the war quicker, thus saving lives, etc. Of course thats not a perfect example, Nazi Germany being a fascist state would have probably just written the whole 'final solution' out of the history books altogether, but I think you get my point.

Personally I think the decision to drop the bomb had two main reasons. One was to scare the Soviet Union. And the second was to justify the billions of dollars the government spent on the Manhattan project. Ending the war couldn't have been that high on Truman's reasons-to-drop-the-bombs checklist and, his salt of the earth personality aside, I don't think he can be viewed very favorably on this point.
 

lineartube

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Originally posted by mdchachi
This paragraph calls the whole work into question as an exercise in biased speculation.
Of course it is biased speculation.
It's the "educated" guess of the outline of an Allied invasion plan based on their available intelligence info at the time.
Based on their previous experience on their island hopping across the Pacific and the available info, they had to be very pessimist about the end result, though they were certain of victory. But victory at what cost? What would weigh more in Truman's decision: 1 million Allied plus an undetermined though a possibily equal or superior number of enemy casualties or an unknown number of enemy civilians and troops (though probably a high one based on the nuclear tests) with a chance of a few bomber crews being killed in the process?

As for the HNN piece, even the mock up trial cleared Truman, with the votes being 8 non-guilty, 1 undecided and 2 guilty. Though I would guess that the panel of experts were an all American one.
 

senseiman

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Again, it is sort of a straw-man argument to say its just a matter of comparing the number of casualties that would have resulted in an invasion and how many were killed in the bombings and that is all there is to it. There were other alternatives that need not have resulted in the massive loss of human life, mentioned above.
 

noyhauser

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Senseiman, there were no other alternatives. Peace wasn窶冲 going to happen. The Japanese had not made realistic peace overtures, one that was represented by the government. Let me repeat, Japan wasn窶冲 going to surrender, with Emperor or without. Even after the bombs were dropped, the vote was 3-3 for and against surrender. Only after the emperor pushed it through, that the war concluded. And what Japanese had in mind for keeping the emperor was nothing even close to what happened afterwards with the American intentions. The Japanese emperor now is a puppet as a result of the American administration, so that he has no role within the government. The Americans were too scared to even give him a role like the British monarchy that has the possibility of vetoing certain legislation. As well had to abdicate any sort of Deification that was part of the emperor窶冱 mantra. These were things that the Japanese were not prepared for, and did not expect at all.

By the time the peace feelers were sent out (July11th) The idea of the Soviet union as a third party was moot. The preparations for a Manchurian Invasion had been in the works for nearly two months, and Stalin wanted the invasion to give him more leverage in the east. It is doubtful they would of accepted it and used Tehran and Potsdam as a cover to prevent it.

Furthermore the decision to keep the emperor was made after the war was over. The Americans did not make plans for post war reconstruction until after the war was over. This is painfully apparent when in September, Truman goes into crisis mode over the non performing nature of the German economy. The Marshall plan wasn窶冲 instituted for another 3 years. They went into surrender with the intention removing the emperor, and afterwards later decided to keep him as a figurehead.

Furthermore, there is a huge difference between the western allies and Nazi germany. We have the information, and if the government makes a mistake, we are to know about it. We have free speech, and we are able to explore issues for the truth. Nazis would never give that a chance, and burn the books that information was written on.
 

mdchachi

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Originally posted by lineartube
Of course it is biased speculation.
It's the "educated" guess of the outline of an Allied invasion plan based on their available intelligence info at the time.
No I meant modern biased speculation. Nowhere does that article actually quote the historical document or its sources in order to reach the casualty figures it gives. Perhaps they are taking the casualty rates from America's worst battles, assuming the most possible number of troops would be involved in the invasion and using that worst-case rate.
 

senseiman

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Noyhauser,
I don't have much time so I'll have to make this brief.

I think the fundamental difference between our two views is that you are looking at this as an issue related to the perogatives of those in power. It was simply the most effective means of securing the broadest range of positive outcomes for Harry Truman.

Personally, I look at this from a moral point of view. I don't feel comfortable living in a world where any atrocity commited against innocent civilians can be explained away simply because it was militarily expedient. This goes against the very principles upon which international law and the laws of war are founded.

You say my comparison to the Nazi atrocities is inacurate because they would have simply burned the books and no one would have known about the holocaust. In my view the only difference is that the Nazi's were driven by ideological fanaticism to commit mass murder, while for the US it was merely the most convenient and risk-free way of getting what they wanted. This must come as cold comfort to the millions of German and Japanese civilians who died in American bombing raids that deliberately targeted the innocent as a means of terrorizing their enemies.

To take a more appropriate example, why not look at the Japanese use of allied slave labour to build the railraods in southeast Asia? They didn't make any attempt to hide the fact they were doing it. It was militarily expedient. It helped their war effort and had they won could have been pointed to as simply an example of the brutal nature of war, which in the end was justified because it helped save Japanese lives. In fact, a lot of right wing Japanese today make very similar arguments when trying to justify Japan's conquest of Asia. I don't buy any of it.

I don't buy that a negotiated surrender was impossible. Of course its just speculation, but simply because the two sides were far apart in their views doesn't make it impossible. That is why it is called a "negotiated" surrender.

This type of rationalization of atrocities I find quite disturbing. Its the father of the mode of thought that led US troops to "destroy villages in order to save them" in Vietnam and has allowed the US to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis through bombings and sanctions over the past 12 years in an alleged effort to 'liberate' the Iraqi people. To me it is unacceptable.
 

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Yes but look at it relatively. The Japanese, who were less that 70 years out of th Meijii, and if you read my article from the Economist, still very insular at that point, was still on a warrior based society. Cultural studies done showed that the Japanese took defeat as a very dishonorable. How many prisoners were taken at Guadalcanal when the island was taken? Less than a few hundred at most. Any other culture would of yielded thousands of prisoners. They didn窶冲 have a conception of what to do with the prisoners of war because they didn窶冲 believe in them. The Germans on the other hand, coming from a western based thought, who produced some of the world greatest philosophers of our time (Goethe, Kant) and was a westernized society, knew what they were doing was wrong with respects to Holocaust. The Japanese were ruthless and didn窶冲 have a conception of surrender because it was dishonorable. In my earlier post, I pointed out the Germans, Russian, British and Japanese all used mass bombing raids to destroy opposing nations industries. The Germans were working on bombers and nukes feverishly to use on London and the United States. The concept of strategic Bombing in 1945 was Cities have industries, which produce weapons, therefore cities needed to be bombed. Civilians who worked in industries, and produced weapons were legal targets. It was how war was fought. . This was derived from the effects of bombing on London during the Blitz in 1940. Bombing civilian populations caused lower production. The Americans never bombed Kyoto (it was on the top of the Nuclear bomb list though) because it was deemed the psychological effects would harden the Japanese to fight more. They chose Hiroshima and Nagasaki because they were large industrial centers that produced massive amounts of war material.

In all your arguments you have failed to give me a single alternative to dropping the bomb. A conventional military option is out for causing a 1,000,000+ casualties, and the Peace Deal was not a viable option because there was no indication that the Japanese were sincere in their overtures. Yes it was morally reprehensible, but it is a dilemma that needed to be answered. And was not Military expedient, but it was militarily necessary. As I pointed out, had the US removed its forces from Europe to fight a war in Japan, the Americans believed it was quite likely that the Soviet Union would strike in Western Europe. How many more people would be dead then? Is the death of 100,000 worth a million? how about 10 million? Its not a easy answer, but given the options, these were the choices. For many leaders, the Versailles Treaty came up in their heads as an example, if we don窶冲 defeat them completely, we will be dealing with this again twenty years down the line, with even more casualties. To them that窶冱 what 窶從egotiated窶 surrender meant to the Americans. Furthermore, the Soviets would never of agreed to it. The Manchurian operation was a vital aim for Stalin. He would of Vetoed a peace settlement. Sure it was what was good for Harry Truman as you said, But Harry Truman did this because he was doing what he thought was best for his people, and the allied nations. Men like Stalin or Hitler don窶冲 care whose people they trample on, and wantonly killed their own to achieve their goals. Look how much good faith Stalin had with the negotiated settlements from Tehran, Yalta, or Potsdam. He crushed democratic movement across Europe, and reneged on almost all his agreements. The Japanese were somewhat similar, where Japanese lives were worth more than Anybody else窶冱.
What you are doing is using a moral value set from today, and applying it to a period with completely different values. Maybe it shows how much we have progressed in 70 years. Konrad Lorenz窶冱 thesis about humans not understanding the implications of our weapons may not be true after all.

The problem in my mind is that there are no other alternatives some times. There are people who live today that have no compunction about using force to achieve their means. Its easy to say that well if we cause casualties we shouldn窶冲 go into any action. Were the lives of Several hundreds of thousands of Kosovars, worth the deaths of a thousand Serbians? Leaders aren窶冲 necessarily evil people. Bill Clinton wanted to do what was right. Given the chance he would of intervened in Rwanda. But people are so easy to criticize policies when no other options present themselves.
 

mdchachi

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Firstly, enemy civilian casualties were not a concern in this times. As Brutal as it sounds, you cannot argue about these events. From the Blitz in England, the Siege of Leningrad, the horrors in China, there was no distinction, only the need to win. This was total war, and very few people are left who can attest to its brutality. But it was the way the world operated, if you didn窶冲 do what was necessary, the enemy won窶冲 hesitate to do it right back..
Your first sentence is false. There was significant debate in the American military about engaging in military action that resulted in serious civilian casualties let alone deliberate targetting. Even at the time, many people -- including military people -- thought it wrong and immoral. If it was as you say, then Truman would have said, "Yeah we targeted Hiroshima civilians, so what?" He didn't -- he tried to convince himself and the world that it was a military target. In those days and still today, targetting civilians was considered to be barbaric and not something engaged in by civilized nations.
 

noyhauser

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It is certanly not false, read the sentence below it clarifies that point.


Originally posted by noyhauser
[BThe concept of strategic Bombing in 1945 was Cities have industries, which produce weapons, therefore cities needed to be bombed. Civilians who worked in industries, and produced weapons were legal targets. . . [/B]
A prime reason for firebombing raids was that the Japanese had started dispersing their manufacturing into the cities, creating whole garage industries. This made traditional strategic bombings like what occurred in Germany very difficult. Therefore Cities like Tokyo were razed in an effort to destroy those industries. Civilians were targeted as well. The Psychological effects of these bombings were also considered. This is a excerpt from a Journal I own , it is of the nuclear planning committee at Los Alamos for targets for the nuclear bomb.

窶?-Kyoto - This target is an urban industrial area with a population of 1,000,000. It is the former capital of Japan and many people and industries are now being moved there as other areas are being destroyed. From the psychological point of view there is the advantage that Kyoto is an intellectual center for Japan and the people there are more apt to appreciate the significance of such a weapon as the gadget.窶

I think it is very easy to infer from it that Civilians were thought of as legal targets during this time.
 

mdchachi

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> I think it is very easy to infer from it that Civilians were thought of as legal targets during this time.

Sure, I'm sure some people felt this way. That still doesn't make your statement "enemy civilian casualties were not a concern in this times" correct. You didn't say "some people." You can't possibly think that all people felt this way?

Admiral Leahy himself said:
It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children...窶拏/B]

And you can split hairs maybe using Bush-like or Clinton-esque logic (what does "undefended" mean?) but was Kyoto a defended target? The U.S. was a signatory to the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land:

窶弋he attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.窶
 

arnadstephen

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Should someone write a book, or do a documentary,on
what would have happened. The invasion was done, instead
of using the Atomic-Bomb.

Wouldn't these be a factor, the following
--> Japan military running out of fuel
--> Japan military , morale is low/bad
--> Japan military had few trained pilots
--> More raw recruits, than trained soldiers


A friend of mine, calls this "What If", Mentual Masturbation

_.
 

arnadstephen

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Ending the war couldn't have been that high on Truman's
It was a huge issue for Truman and the American people !
(my mother even talked about this !!!)

One thing that is worth noting when it comes to the consideration given to sparing innocent life by the US air force is the fact that on August 14th, 1945 the US launched a 1,000 bomber raid on Tokyo that killed many people. Consider that this raid occured after Hiroshima and Nagasaki
_) Just several points

_) I have read a lot about Japan/USA and WW-II

_) Some interesting points I have learned on the end of WW-II
-------> Dwight D. Eisenhower was against the use of the Atomic-Bomb
-------> Fire-bombing of Tokyo killed hundreds-of-thousands
-------> The city of Kyoto was n-o-t targeted, to spare the ancient city, and it treasures
-------> The battle of Okinawa convinced Harry Truman to use the Atomic Bomb
-------> Harry Trumman told General McArthur in the Korean-War that the Atomic Bomb would not be used. General McArthur wanted its use. Truman said it was too awfull of a weapon, and much "public" knowledge about how awfull the weapon was.
-------> That the Japanese people in surrendering were not bitter and hostile to American occupation. (IS THIS TRUE, OR A MYTH)
-------> General McArthur reign over the reconstruction of Japan, was mostly given high-marks by the people of Japan. (IS THIS TRUE, OR A MYTH !)

stephen
born: 1955

_.
 
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noyhauser

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Okay I wanted this thread to die, but I guess it won't

Kyoto was on a targeted list for Nuclear weapons. IT was deemed a psychological target. This is a HISTORICAL DOCUMENT.

Firebombings infliced far more damage to the Japanese industries than the Two bombs ever did. The whole reasoning for Firebombings under Curtis LeMay was that Japanese buildings, made mostly from wood and paper were very very combustable, so dropping as much napalm as possible would overstrech the Japanese firefighting capabilities. They were even so thoughtful to attack during low tide to prevent the Firefighters from getting all the water they needed for pumps.

Truman's main objection with McArthur in N.Korea was
A-he was being insubordinate, repeatingly underminding his authority (and was a potential candidate against Truman for the Republicans)
B- the main one, Using the bomb in China would almost certainly result in Nuclear War with the United States, not what was needed,.
 

sabro

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Renewed interest in this thread... (Never forget)

I am still interested in the Japanese view of MacArthur and the occupation.

If it went smoothly, does it justify leaving the Emperor untouched after the war?

Also, not one person brought up the attempted coup the night before the surrender. Die hard officers sought to sieze the emperor and prevent the surrender. Only because a clever valet hid the recordings in some old newspapers, and an American air raid to the north caused a blackout-- did this effort fail. If it had succeeded, a bloody war would have continued to consume lives- the greater share Japanese.

Also interesting is that prior to WWII, bombing population centers was universally condemned. Guernica and Manchuria being examples of how the entire world community condemned such attrocities. Tokyo, like Dresden were not widely condemned. Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which claimed fewer lives) were seen in this context and still are considered justified rather than attrocious. (We can only hope nothing of this scale ever happens again.)

My family spent most of WWII in an internment camp in Arizona. Some of my uncles served as interpretors during and after the war. One uncle (a hakujin) was an engineer who blew up and burned cave fortifications. To spend part of your youth torching other human beings is aweful, but he would say necessary. He served in Japan after the war and brought a war bride to California.

It seems as if the Japanese have quickly forgotton everything about the war except the Atomic bombs. The Japanese did many terrible things. From the front line soldier to the Emperor- attrocity, inhumanity, violence, and cruelty were the rule and not the exception. Americans still accept the killing of civilians- collateral damage. We should never forget how aweful the war was.
 

Kagedatsu

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I disagree with your opinion. Not only are the numbers quoted in this paragraph amounts commonly estimated, but the paragraph doesn't give those numbers as fact. It only explains that those numbers are the estimated opinions of the respective generals. Therefore, it calls nothing into biased speculation except the opinions of two people who have been dead for decades. It's not biased or speculative to include another's opinion in an article; this only serves to give both sides of the argument. And indeed this article does give both sides. If you'd take the time to read the entire post, you'd see that the Japanese side is given as well. Were it not, I would agree with you, as I most certainly sympathize with the Japanese, despite my misfortune of being born an American (xD).

Also, forgive me for digressing, but so as not to post two responses in this thread, I'll add my opinion to the whole affair ^~^. As to the claim by many Americans that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved countless lives and shortened the war, this is rather biased. It may have saved a few more lives than would be expected to be lost during an invasion, but it cost an enormous number of civilian lives in both cities. The bombing of these locations was completely unnecessary. Dropping the bombs on either an area of barren earth near a city or a forested area nearby would be just as impressive, and wouldn't have cost a single life. This would have been just as likely to evoke the unconditional surrender as it was by brutally murdering tens of thousands of civilians, whether there were any military targets in or near the cities or not. Once the leaders of Japan witnessed the results of a nuke, whether dropped on people or harmlessly dropped over uninhabited earth, they would have surrendered Revenge is a disgusting thing, in my opinion, and is likely one of (if not the only) true motive for the bombing of these two cities. The reasons claimed for doing so are absurd. This is only one of the acts committed by the U.S. that shows America to be just as morally sound and corrupt as any other country, despite the opinion of most Americans that the United State is somehow "better" or "more ethically correct" than other countries. As I stated, I am American. I say this only so that you know I'm not saying it as some "angry non-American" or terrorist ^~^. I'm not saying I hate America, obviously, but just find it offensive when other Americans pretend that the U.S. is the only "right" country and that it's never done anything "wrong", as it has committed just as many offenses as any other country. Anyway, sorry for the long and windy post. In the end, I love you all, Nipponjin and Amerikajin xD
 

Mark of Zorro

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HOLY KKKKRAP!!! This is definitely one of those threads worth resurrecting and I have only just finished the second post!!

mdchachi's long quote in response to the OP is right on the money, but I doubt anyone has directly mentioned why (could be wrong, but I have no time to read anymore)

Its OBVIOUS the quote in the OP is nothing more than a sneaky, backhanded attempt to justify the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Its a propaganda piece, pure and simple.
 
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