Why not "besiege" Japan?

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ljadw
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by ljadw » 22 Apr 2019 10:49

Ironmachine wrote:
22 Apr 2019 08:56
paulrward wrote:Mr. South, if you insist on Bullet Points, here are a few:

1. We are dispassionate Scientists who are only concerned with the good of all Mankind .

2. Hitler might be capable of killing US, and he wants to do so. So, using the Atomic Bomb on Hitler is A-OK.

3. Hirohito is apparently not capable of killing US. So, using the Atomic Bomb on Hirohito is morally wrong....
Oh, the beauty of hipocrisy :lol:.
In reality:

1. We are (not!) dispassionate Scientists who are only concerned with the good of all Mankind as long as our own lives are safe.

2. Hitler might be capable of killing US, and he wants to do so. So, using the Atomic Bomb on Hitler is A-OK because we are afraid and our own lives are so precious.

3. Hirohito is apparently not capable of killing US. So, using the Atomic Bomb on Hirohito is morally wrong.... and it doesn't matter to us how many servicemen are going to die if the war goes on, because we are safe.
:thumbsup:

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 22 Apr 2019 11:40

Can anyone make a case for Japan NOT using an atomic bomb on Pearl and Corregidor if they could do it?
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by mikegriffith1 » 25 Apr 2019 20:04

The argument that we had no back-channel way to contact Japan's leaders is erroneous. How did the Japanese send us their surrender notice? Through a back channel, i.e., the Swiss. And how did we reply to the Japanese acceptance of our surrender terms? Via a back channel, i.e., the Swiss again.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Japan%27 ... iqu%C3%A9s

Japanese officials also made contact with American officials via the Vatican in January 1945.

In his 1966 book The Secret Surrender, Allen Dulles recalled that "On July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, I went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary Stimson on what I had learned from Tokyo — they desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor and their constitution as a basis for maintaining discipline and order in Japan after the devastating news of surrender became known to the Japanese people."

And Stimson reported this to Truman. So Truman knew three weeks before Hiroshima that the Japanese were willing to accept 90% of the Potsdam terms for surrender, with the sole condition being retention of the emperor and the constitution.

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by paulrward » 26 Apr 2019 02:07

Hello All ;

To Mr. MikeGriffith1 :

It is immaterial whether there was a back channel, a front channel, a side channel, or a cable news channel. The fact is, the Allies had
defeated Japan, and had publicly set the terms for their surrender at the Potsdam Conference. The Japanese had two choices: Either accept the terms outlined at Potsdam, and do so publicly, or refuse them and continue to fight until their ultimate destruction. The Japanese initially chose the second path. They REFUSED TO UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDER !

The Japanese apparently could not get their heads around the fact that their navy had been sunk, their air forces were being shot out of the sky whenever they took to the air, and their armies were being isolated and destroyed, one by one. Their egotism and ethnocentricity did not permit them to accept the concept that the gaijin could defeat them. After all, Japan had NEVER been defeated, not by the Mongols, not by the Chinese, not by the Russians, and not by the Germans. The idea that they had been defeated, and that they had no option but to surrender under the terms dictated to them by the Allies was beyond their comprehension. They were like a computer that is set up for Basic, and is confronted by a program in FORTRAN. They just DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT.

Besieging Japan would do nothing but instill in the Emperor, his Cabinet, and the Japanese Military the idea that the Allies were somehow AFRAID to invade Japan, that the indomitable Bushido Spirit as exemplified by the surviving Japanese military personnel and the civilians, who were being trained to fight as Militia, had somehow instilled such a sense of terror in the Allies that they would NOT invade, and so would allow the Emperor and his government to continue to exist and to rule over Japan, as they had done for centuries.

THIS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO THE ALLIES.

For this reason, the U.S. dropped a Uranium Bomb on Hiroshima. The following day, Prime Minister Suzuki held a press conference, at which he announced that Japan would NOT accept the Potsdam declaration. As a result, the U.S. dropped a Plutonium Bomb on Nagasaki.

The Emperor then broadcast his message to the people of Japan, which included the statement,
"...the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage...."

Mr. Griffith, anyone who has raised children has had the experience in which the child is misbehaving, and refuses to listen to the instructions or the commands of the adults responsible for his welfare. In those cases, it is sometimes necessary to get the attention of the child with the use of a leather strap, a small stick, or even the palm of one's hand.

The reason that the Allies, and principally the United States, did not besiege Japan, was that Japan could ignore the existence of such a siege in the same way they were ignoring the destruction of their armed forces and the gradual obliteration of their cities and their industries by the conventional bombing campaign then in effect. In effect, they were like a child who refuses to listen and obey. The United States had to find a way to get the attention of the Emperor and his Cabinet. We needed to make them see the light. So we used a VERY bright light. Twice.

And they finally saw the light.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward


To rephrase Hilaire Belloc :

" Whatever happens, We have got
The Atomic Bomb, and they have not.... "

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Apr 2019 06:40

mikegriffith1 wrote:
25 Apr 2019 20:04
The argument that we had no back-channel way to contact Japan's leaders is erroneous. How did the Japanese send us their surrender notice? Through a back channel, i.e., the Swiss. And how did we reply to the Japanese acceptance of our surrender terms? Via a back channel, i.e., the Swiss again.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Japan%27 ... iqu%C3%A9s

Japanese officials also made contact with American officials via the Vatican in January 1945.

In his 1966 book The Secret Surrender, Allen Dulles recalled that "On July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, I went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary Stimson on what I had learned from Tokyo — they desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor and their constitution as a basis for maintaining discipline and order in Japan after the devastating news of surrender became known to the Japanese people."

And Stimson reported this to Truman. So Truman knew three weeks before Hiroshima that the Japanese were willing to accept 90% of the Potsdam terms for surrender, with the sole condition being retention of the emperor and the constitution.
Did he mention which Japanese he was quoting?
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R Leonard
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by R Leonard » 27 Apr 2019 01:37

Once again, Mike, you only tell but 25% of the story.

Oh, yes, certain Japanese embassy type functionaries were talking to people in Switzerland, who then, in turn, spoke to someone else who, then, spoke to Dulles of the OSS; there was no direct contact. And, yes, still other functionaries were talking to the Vatican.

So, there’s your 25%. Also, you forgot to mention Portugal. Really, none of this is some great mystery, it’s just that your sources apparently don’t like the rest of the story as it doesn’t fit their narrative.

And don’t ever forget, the Allies were reading the Japanese mail between embassies and the homeland, even with regard to these unofficial, unsanctioned contacts; not unlike the comedy in Sweden.

But you seem to wish to pass over that none, none, of these “discussions” were with the full weight and authority of the Japanese Government speaking officially to the Swiss Government or, even, the Pope. It was only after the Japanese Government officially decided to throw in the towel, long about 10 August 1945 that any OFFICIAL, government authority to government authority, messages were exchanged.

You may wish, though I doubt it, to peruse the US analysis of these contacts. May I suggest the link below where it is quite clear, regardless of what various Japanese functionaries were saying, that the US was aware that these discussions were unsanctioned. And as for Dulles talking to Simpson and Simpson to the President at Potsdam, you may wish to scroll down to starting at the memorandum of 13 July 1945. If you read, you quickly see that the Japanese were talking to a Swedish gent, in Switzerland, who was relaying discussion through some intermediary hence to Dulles. Hardly sounds like an official approach to a US representative with authority to take any action (and Dulles did not).

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for- ... p_0001.htm

So, no, there were no official, sanctioned, or, even, credible, discussions going on in the Vatican, Switzerland, or Portugal.

You seem to forget that bitter, hard learned, experience, from before Pearl Harbor to the intercepted messages showing what was being said being said in various arenas, had taught the powers that were in the United States that the Japanese were not to be trusted in any way, shape or form. Unsanctioned discussions, belied by the Japanese’s own message traffic, simply added fuel to that fire. Why do you think the carriers of the 2d Fast Carrier Task Force were kept off shore during the period of the Japanese surrender? And that huge flyover? All those planes were armed to the teeth.

Operations officers for the 2d Fast Carrier Task Force . . . one of them later wrote in a missive, a copy of which is in my possession, to an author researching the days of the end of the war:

“To begin I’ll account for my whereabouts in the days of your interest. I was a brand-new fighter pilot in January 1941. Based on YORKTOWN CV-5 in June ’41, I put in a year on that ship until her sinking at Midway in Jun ’42. Chased German subs in the summer and fall of ’41 then went west after 7 Dec. Flew combat in various CV raids, Mandates, New Guinea etc. More combat in Coral Sea battle and Midway. Joined a new fighter squadron, VF-11, in Aug ’42; went to Guadalcanal for more combat. Returned stateside in the summer ’43 to help train and ready up new fighter squadrons for new carriers. In Nov ’44 was sent back to combat with orders to VAdm McCain’s staff. Remained in that assignment until Nov 1945.

“My assignment in VAdm McCain’s staff was air operations assistant to Capt John S Thach who was the operations boss running Task Force 38, the main combat element of Adm W F Halsey’s Third Fleet. My main job was to write up the operations orders that assigned and apportioned air missions and tasks to several - as many as five - task groups that made up the force. I worked with Thach on many other operations related tasks some of the most important being organizing air defenses, developing fighter employment and tactics to meet the Kamikaze threat. Also, there were new usages of our attack resources, switching away from warship targets to other objectives requiring dive bombing accuracy. For example, we were busy in July off Hokkaido working over steel plants, railroad ferries and dockside facilities.

“McCain’s flagship in the summer of ’45 was SHANGRI-LA CV-38 stationed with 3 - 4 other carriers in Task Group 38.1. Stationed also in this task group was Adm Halsey’s flagship, MISSOURI BB-63.

“This juxtaposition of the Fleet and Force flagships was important in that it permitted the two admirals to ‘talk’ to one another in a private way using a shielded signal lamp or by semaphore operated by trusted signalmen under the close scrutiny of each admiral’s ‘flag lieutenant,’ whose title really means something as far back in time as our Navy goes. This digression into the world of flag signals is made to afford understanding if how readily top commanders could speak and exchange ideas with some degree of privacy. It also explains why much of this type traffic never went into communications logs unless so directed. A pity because some of it was witty, informative, revealing and, in some cases, highly pertinent to the daily events. My admiral, McCain, was free in discussing such exchanges he considered useful to us operators, but we well understood that there was much we would never know. We knew we had his confidence by his every act, but we also were aware of his obligation to maintain Halsey’s privacy where affected.

“It was from just this type of exchange that I was alerted to the impending atomic bombing of Hiroshima. We had received normal radio notification of a special exercise (?) event (?) test (?) the heavy bombers had in prospect and adjusted our activities to keep our aircraft out of the proscribed areas. As we waited for something to happen, the Flag circuit was busy but unrevealing except for queries such as, ‘heard anything unusual yet?’ Both Halsey’s and McCain’s staffs had communications intelligence cells - experts who combed the radio spectrum for anything useful. Their targets were Japanese plain language radio programs as well as military tactical traffic and simple encryptions. The ‘real-time’ aspect of their ‘take’ was most useful to 3rd Fleet and fast carriers as we were at this time in a day to day employment trying to stifle Jap air capability and level any objectives that posed a threat to the Olympic invasion operations planned for the near future.

“In hindsight I readily believe that Halsey and McCain were aware of the Manhattan effort and were thinking it was about time for a product to issue. So, with the unusual orders to keep clear of several Japanese cities they were following the radio chatter intently. Thus, contrary to what others may have written, the carrier admirals were not taken by complete surprise, at least not the ones nearest to me in Task Force 38 when ‘the balloon went up’ that day in August 1945.

“Those were perilous times. Even though the war seemed to be winding down elsewhere, it was a real and savage thing the closer we came to the Japanese home islands. The nature of our employment forced increased exposure of ships and air people to the desperate defenders. A guided missile par excellance, the Kamikaze was breaking into our defenses; we were scrambling to counteract this smart bomb and were wildly extended as we came in close. Our best defense lay in attacking Kamikaze bases where we were fairly successful, but one escapee could give us fits and fatalities. To do our job we had to stand and take it. Worst of all it looked as though the Japanese were equipped and willing to go on indefinitely. The Japanese Navy has ceased to be a military factor, so we could concentrate on softening up the enemy for the final acts of the war. But this softening, a dangerous but unglamorous affair was costly, especially in flight-leader losses.

“I mentioned the warnings and restricted area orders incident to the Hiroshima bombing. I vaguely remember similar orders, or maybe one order covering all, when the time came for Nagasaki. There were instructions issued to us to also keep clear of Kyoto, a shrine city, though for no memorable reason. Anyway, the fast carriers were not likely to go urban unless specifically ordered. The one example of that specific I clearly recall was in a CINCPAC order which forwarded intelligence on electronics plants in the Tokyo area. There were photos and descriptions of plants suitable for and best attacked with dive bomber accuracy rather than B-29 area blasting. Some familiar names: Shibaura, Hitachi, Matsushita, Toshiba, I can remember. It was my job to develop and send the objective folders with rationale out to the task groups. We do this job in good heart as these plants were producing radar and electronic controls that had been increasing our flak losses. In the end, this campaign was to be OBE, but we felt good about it.

“Army Air and fast carriers coordinated their campaigns enough to avoid interference. Our objectives were usually outside their areas and vice versa. I cannot remember any hurt feelings. I have no strong recollections of geographic restrictions being onerous. They were something like the weather - you just planned around it and eventually things would clear up. The significant differences between B-29 operations and fast carriers helped to keep interference a small factor. In the Philippines where we had to coordinate with TacAir the possibilities for friction were greater but that did not apply over Japan in the summer of ’45.

“The account I have given here comes as that of a carrier fighter pilot in the summer of 1945 serving on the staff of CTF-38. My duty did not permit flying over hostile terrain at that time there was solace in having much to do with throwing the book at the Japs as my admiral applied his force to defeat them and end the war.

“The staff was not very large - Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, 2 captains, 2 commanders, 5 lieutenant commanders (I was the senior of them), some 8 to 9 lieutenants, maybe 10-12 lower ranks. As far as I know one of the commanders and I are the only ones left who were career navy - he USNA ’35 and I USNA ’38. We both had about the same amount of air experience, I joined the staff in November 1944 and he - now Adm Noel A M Gayler USN (Ret) - joined in April 1945.

“TF-38 operations attending the 2 September signing of the instruments of surrender on board USS MISSOURI - For reasons of prudence it was decided to have the fast carriers remain off shore fully operational during the uncertain period of this event. A photograph I have of the ceremony signed by Adm Nimitz shows clearly the many attendees. There are all the senior officers of the TF-38 staff - McCain, Towers, Baker, Gingrich, Thach, and Hearn. At the same time there was Task Force 38 off shore operating as usual. We launched 450 of our battle proven planes to fly formation over the ceremony, over Tokyo, and back to sea. The task force in the absence of its leaders carried on. Later that wondrous day, when Noel and I had a chance to think and talk, we found ourselves abashed yet proud in the realization that our admirals had left us with the big stick, the exercise of the main military power at the scene should it have been needed. For us, two fighter pilots who had been in action from the earliest days it was a rousing way to end that fight.”

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by paulrward » 27 Apr 2019 21:43

To Mr. R Leonard

Your posting of questionable tales of others do not make your comments any more rational.

I see you have retained your so winning and personable ways.

Makes one wonder how long you might last here.

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 27 Apr 2019 22:41

You ask that to a person who has been here five years longer than you? Explains your posting nicely.
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 28 Apr 2019 21:46

paulrward wrote:
28 Apr 2019 19:07
You say that to a person who has been here more than a year longer that you! Explains YOUR posting perfectly.
Ah, I didn't realize anguish was your first language. :lol:
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Apr 2019 00:31

Disdain, not contempt. I save that for worthies.
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R Leonard
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by R Leonard » 29 Apr 2019 00:56

Questionable, exactly what do you find questionable?

Is there something you know about the staff of TF-38 that nobody else knows?

Do you have a list of players?

I realize you have a preference for those who it has been demonstrated as lying about being at Midway, but if you are going to toss out allegations, it really helps to have your ducks in a row.

For example, you've never provided any shred of evidence to support you grossly exaggerated claims regarding children of serving / retired officers preference in admissions to the service academies. I provided the demographic information from USNA, let's see what you've got that shows otherwise. This being one of those "put up or shut up" deals.

And you have also, likewise, in this thread, demonstrated that you are somewhat truth challenged, yourself.

So, what, Ward, what do you find questionable in the words of someone who was on the scene?

Just because it doesn't come from one of you bar-room-buddy tellers of tall tales?

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by David Thompson » 29 Apr 2019 06:16

Several posts by paulrward, containing insulting comments about other posters, were removed pursuant to the forum rules and previous informal warnings.
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Apr 2019 11:11

David Thompson wrote:
29 Apr 2019 06:16
Several posts by paulrward, containing insulting comments about other posters, were removed pursuant to the forum rules and previous informal warnings.
My replies should have been removed and my person paddled. Apologies to the upstanding and rational forumites.
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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by sensha » 06 May 2019 13:26

paulrward wrote:
26 Apr 2019 02:07
Hello All ;

To Mr. MikeGriffith1 :

It is immaterial whether there was a back channel, a front channel, a side channel, or a cable news channel. The fact is, the Allies had
defeated Japan, and had publicly set the terms for their surrender at the Potsdam Conference. The Japanese had two choices: Either accept the terms outlined at Potsdam, and do so publicly, or refuse them and continue to fight until their ultimate destruction. The Japanese initially chose the second path. They REFUSED TO UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDER !

The Japanese apparently could not get their heads around the fact that their navy had been sunk, their air forces were being shot out of the sky whenever they took to the air, and their armies were being isolated and destroyed, one by one. Their egotism and ethnocentricity did not permit them to accept the concept that the gaijin could defeat them. After all, Japan had NEVER been defeated, not by the Mongols, not by the Chinese, not by the Russians, and not by the Germans. The idea that they had been defeated, and that they had no option but to surrender under the terms dictated to them by the Allies was beyond their comprehension. They were like a computer that is set up for Basic, and is confronted by a program in FORTRAN. They just DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT.

Besieging Japan would do nothing but instill in the Emperor, his Cabinet, and the Japanese Military the idea that the Allies were somehow AFRAID to invade Japan, that the indomitable Bushido Spirit as exemplified by the surviving Japanese military personnel and the civilians, who were being trained to fight as Militia, had somehow instilled such a sense of terror in the Allies that they would NOT invade, and so would allow the Emperor and his government to continue to exist and to rule over Japan, as they had done for centuries.

THIS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO THE ALLIES.

For this reason, the U.S. dropped a Uranium Bomb on Hiroshima. The following day, Prime Minister Suzuki held a press conference, at which he announced that Japan would NOT accept the Potsdam declaration. As a result, the U.S. dropped a Plutonium Bomb on Nagasaki.

The Emperor then broadcast his message to the people of Japan, which included the statement,
"...the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage...."

Mr. Griffith, anyone who has raised children has had the experience in which the child is misbehaving, and refuses to listen to the instructions or the commands of the adults responsible for his welfare. In those cases, it is sometimes necessary to get the attention of the child with the use of a leather strap, a small stick, or even the palm of one's hand.

The reason that the Allies, and principally the United States, did not besiege Japan, was that Japan could ignore the existence of such a siege in the same way they were ignoring the destruction of their armed forces and the gradual obliteration of their cities and their industries by the conventional bombing campaign then in effect. In effect, they were like a child who refuses to listen and obey. The United States had to find a way to get the attention of the Emperor and his Cabinet. We needed to make them see the light. So we used a VERY bright light. Twice.

And they finally saw the light.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward


To rephrase Hilaire Belloc :

" Whatever happens, We have got
The Atomic Bomb, and they have not.... "
I was the US choice to push the war to the point of unconditional surrender.

US propaganda ensured because the US was victorious. Part of that propaganda was the portrayal of Imperial Japan as an evil that had to be destroyed. But instead, what followed the destruction of Imperial Japan was North Korea, Mao's communists China, and the elevation of Stalin's Soviet Union. All three of these were worse than Imperial Japan.

So as part of the US's campaign for unconditional surrender was the decision to use the nukes. In a total war, war is hell. And yes if Japan had nukes, they would have used them. The problem is the narration surrounding the use of the nuke. That incorrect narration states that it was necessary to use the nukes thus morally correct. No, just like the Nanking massacre or the Bataan March, the use of the atomic bombs (irrelevant as to whether or not they were necessary for Japan to surrender) is a war crime. A war crime that exceeds the magnitude of many of the war crimes conducted by Imperial Japan.

Had unconditional terms been lighter, I think it would be possible that Japan would have surrendered. But the loss of Korea, Taiwan, even Okinawa, and the complete disarmament was something that would make Japan totally incapable of any foreign policy for its own interest. Interests that surely had its necessary place as demonstrated by the events the followed shortly after the destruction of Imperial Japan... the communists win in the Chinese Civil War and the US getting caught with its pants down from the outbreak of the Korean War. Had the US acted any slower, Pusan might have been captured in 1950 by the communists. And communism was stirring in Japan itself heavily in the few years after 1945. The US push for the unconditional surrender was a highly naive act in my honest opinion.

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Re: Why not "besiege" Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 06 May 2019 15:44

A fair few of us have read deeply into this.
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