Nukes, were they justified...

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Xanthro
Member
Posts: 2803
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 00:11
Location: Pasadena, CA

Post by Xanthro » 24 May 2002 03:05

Scott, first of all, if you define Unconditional Surrender as a warcrime, then let's just define everything as a war crime, then have the extra special war crime category for those who actually killed captives.

Plus, the Japanese were warned, they just didn't believe it.

Second, the "Unconditional Surrender" had been modified for Japan in the Postdam decree which the "rejected."

Problem with the rejection is that technically, they used a word in Japanese that can be translated two ways. One meaning would reject the treaty, the other meaning, wouldn't reject, but used as a basis for something.

The whole "war crime" was started by Japan in Mid Sept 1945 in response to allied questions over the Japanese treatment of POWs. Magic intercepts were still reading the Japanese codes.

If you've read anything about the decision to use the A-bomb, you'd know why a demonstration was ruled out. As it appears you haven't, I'll summarize it for you.

There are only two ways to demonstrate a weapon, pre-warn about the demonstration, or have no warning at all. The later was rejected because it was believed the Japanese wouldn't accept that it was a weapon. The Japanese wouldn't believe at first it was a weapon when it was actually dropped on them.

Problems with warning about a demonstration.

1) It might not work. Then you've lost credibility.
2) It allows for interception. The last thing the US needed is for one of the B-29s to be shot down and the Japanese gain the bomb.

Plus, a demonstration wouldn't work.

The Japanese didn't give up after the first bomb. They argued, "The United States only has one". They didn't give up after the second bomb either. It took the emperor to break the stalement, and it took the A-Bomb to give him the cover to do so.

Still, on the night of Aug 10, 1945, the Japanese military tried a coup against the Emperor. They STILL didn't want to quit.

Xanthro

Ron Birch
Member
Posts: 515
Joined: 05 May 2002 00:56
Location: USA

Post by Ron Birch » 24 May 2002 03:57

mmmmmmm........so it was a war crime because it wasn't demonstrated first.........uh ......yeah......because we already won, but was still at war....mmmmmmm.....hehehehehhe.......I give up :roll: :roll: :roll:

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

Warcrimes and Misdemeanors..

Post by Scott Smith » 24 May 2002 04:23

Xanthro wrote:Scott, first of all, if you define Unconditional Surrender as a warcrime, then let's just define everything as a war crime, then have the extra special war crime category for those who actually killed captives.

I don't like to use the term warcrime, as you know. As far as I'm concerned sovereigns can do whatever they want if they think it will win them the war. What constitutes excesses is different though, and I am not against international agreements that establish rules or humanitarian guidelines. I just think the whole notion of warcrimes is basically whose ox is being gored.

Plus, the Japanese were warned, they just didn't believe it.

Why would they? It was political rhetoric, rather like Ausrottung--oops we'd better not go there again. Anyway, they were already being firebombed; yes, they didn't believe in a doomsday weapon but that's not what Truman said, either.

Second, the "Unconditional Surrender" had been modified for Japan in the Postdam decree which the "rejected."

I stand corrected. The Japanese still did not know what this meant except that the Emperor would not be hung. Basically there would be no negotiation of any terms, however favorable to the victor. If I were President and the USA were about to be defeated I would do all I could to get some concrete assurances. Unconditional Surrender plays well in the newspapers but it is an atrocity as far as I'm concerned, no less than Aggression and Conspiracy, the charges made at Nuremberg.

If you've read anything about the decision to use the A-bomb, you'd know why a demonstration was ruled out. As it appears you haven't, I'll summarize it for you.

There are only two ways to demonstrate a weapon, pre-warn about the demonstration, or have no warning at all. The later was rejected because it was believed the Japanese wouldn't accept that it was a weapon. The Japanese wouldn't believe at first it was a weapon when it was actually dropped on them.

Within the context of Unconditional Surrender perhaps you are right.

Problems with warning about a demonstration.

1) It might not work. Then you've lost credibility.


So what? They know they have lost the war or at least that they cannot win it. Another B-29 firebombing raid restores that credibility for all to see, and anyway, the island is completely blockaded by submarines with starvation manifesting itself, which even the Rightwing cannot ignore. Yeah, your "demonstration" didn't work but all you've lost is the possible relevation that you would like to save those million lives waiting to invade Japan. And, unless the enemy knows that it is politically unacceptable to do anything more militarily to conclude the war, rather like the Vietnam War after Tet, then they know that they don't hold any cards and you do, so they can't just wait you out.

2) It allows for interception. The last thing the US needed is for one of the B-29s to be shot down and the Japanese gain the bomb.

You don't need to give them any details about delivery and targets and they can't stop all the aircraft coming in. Japanese air-defense was a joke at this time, especially intercepting high-altitude aircraft and at night (if necessary).

Plus, a demonstration wouldn't work.

The Japanese didn't give up after the first bomb. They argued, "The United States only has one". They didn't give up after the second bomb either. It took the emperor to break the stalement, and it took the A-Bomb to give him the cover to do so.

I disagree. the Japanese didn't have time to evaluate what the first bomb even meant. And it is incorrect to think of Japan as a military command dictatorship, such as with Hitler at the helm making decisions. It all depends on when the Japanese have to quit.

Boys home for Thanksgiving dinner! (And maybe we can discourage Soviet adventurism.)

Still, on the night of Aug 10, 1945, the Japanese military tried a coup against the Emperor. They STILL didn't want to quit.

Which was hardly a realistic assessment of the situation. So they kill the Emperor and the war lasts a couple more weeks. Big deal. Once the diehards are in control they have to assume the mantle of responsibility and that is not an easy coat to fill when things are coming apart everywhere.

Even if a demonstration would not have worked politically, it would have shown American willingness no to seek vengeance, which would have gone a long way toward worldwide acceptance of the pax americana. It would elimininate any question that Americans (whose public hated the Japs but did not hate the Germans) would be more willing to sacrifice "colored" lives than the lives of whites, friend or foe.

This is how to conduct a demonstration. You abandon the Unconditional Surrender rhetoric except for the press by getting some neutrals to sponsor the event. You bring your bomb to the designated location and set it off statically with lots of foreign and enemy observers. You show them the destruction-radius and a map of a potential city to show the outcome and los of life predicited. You tell them your demands and make any reassurances necessary for the diplomats that the "Unconditional Surrender" ballied in the press does not mean slavery or the liquidation of the Emperor.

You give them a stated and reasonable amount of time. And if they reject your peace proposal then you hit them with the thing. Even better would be a complete peace conference with neutral arbitration to settle fundamental issues multilaterally, but the USA had all the cards and they were in a position to insist on a great deal. That's a given.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 24 May 2002 17:45, edited 1 time in total.

Xanthro
Member
Posts: 2803
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 00:11
Location: Pasadena, CA

Post by Xanthro » 24 May 2002 07:33

Which was hardly a realistic assessment of the situation. So they kill the Emperor and the war lasts a couple more weeks. Big deal. Once the diehards are in control they have to assume the mantle of responsibility and that is not an easy coat to fill when things are coming apart everywhere.


Scott,
You fail to understand a key aspect of Japanese decision making. The coup wasn't to kill the Emperor, it was to prevent him from making available the tape telling the Japanese people they were surrendering.

Remember, the Emperor is divine to them. He's a living God, but earthly "policital" matters are beneath him. He isn't to get involved.

From 15Apr45 onwards, half the Japanese Governemn was looking for a way to surrender, the other half to continue the war.

If the US would have made clear the Emperor wouldn't be charged, the war could have likely ended, but the US didn't understand Japanese politics enough to know this. They thought the peace feelers were fake.

Japan would have been destroyed if the stalement in the Government was broken by the Emperor. It took the A-Bomb to allow him to step down from heaven and speak.

Even if the same cities were firebombed and more people killed, this wouldn't have given the Emperor cover to speak.

It's hard for people to understand the relationships in the Japanese government. Hirohito opposed the war, but he was in a sense powerless to stop it, though he was informed of its progress constantly. But more in the guise of informing God rather than a person.

It took the A-Bomb for the Japanese god to speak.

Xanthro

User avatar
Cezarprimo
Member
Posts: 121
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 10:28

Post by Cezarprimo » 24 May 2002 11:29

Xanthro I did not asked you to reasearch for me, and as a matter of fact I don't see where is your research, if you think that research means taking some timeline from the internet and posting it here you are very much mistaken.

Even so you strike me as a pretty creduluos person "How do we know the Japanese were surprized? Because they told us so. " no say... !? I belive that is your personal way of researching :?

Maybe when you'll make researches for me the next time you should consider that Japan had a neutrality pact with Russia from '41 and theoreticaly valid for 5 years and Japan was in no position to violate this pact, thus it had all the interest in downplaying all the movements of the russians and in doing nothing that could have been interpreted as potentially aggresive actions. Research this together with the way russians handled the german buildup in '41.

There were plenty of indications that an attack will happen but nobody on the japanese side ready to handle that indications.

Now I'll repeat myself, since the american knew at least from Yalta about the attack, if they were so interested in saving their soldaires lives they could have just waited and let the russian finish the japanes off without droping the bombs, that's in the case everyting the americans were after was saving thier soldaires.

I never said that that an attack by the Soviets was a motivation in having Japan surrender. I said that an attack by the soviets was a motivation not to drop the bombs, once again, if everyting the americans were after was saving thier soldaires.

I belive you have sufficent things to research now.
I wish you happy researching and a profound understanding of the Pacific theater :lol:

Xanthro
Member
Posts: 2803
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 00:11
Location: Pasadena, CA

Post by Xanthro » 24 May 2002 15:08

Xanthro I did not asked you to reasearch for me, and as a matter of fact I don't see where is your research, if you think that research means taking some timeline from the internet and posting it here you are very much mistaken.

Even so you strike me as a pretty creduluos person "How do we know the Japanese were surprized? Because they told us so. " no say... !? I belive that is your personal way of researching

Maybe when you'll make researches for me the next time you should consider that Japan had a neutrality pact with Russia from '41 and theoreticaly valid for 5 years and Japan was in no position to violate this pact, thus it had all the interest in downplaying all the movements of the russians and in doing nothing that could have been interpreted as potentially aggresive actions. Research this together with the way russians handled the german buildup in '41.


You are one weird fellow.

First you claim than the Japanese knew of the attack, which clearly indicates you've NEVER read any of the field reports. On 30Jul45 the Japanese were clearly not expecting an attack until at the very earliest late August 45, and then with far fewer troops than were actually used.

The battle reports are clear that the Japanese were surprised.

The timeline I gave was basic and off the top of my head, that you seem to think it's research shows your lack of ability in this arena. I simply posted it so you could become better educated about the matter since you've never read anything on it. Here's some simple links to start with, since it's quite clear you've never read the Bard Memo, or the Frank Report.

http://www.dannen.com/decision/index.html
http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~dyue/wiihist/hiroshima/ytruman.htm

My favorite part is where you argue that Japan wasn't surprised, then argue that they had a neutrality treaty, and that lead them to discount Soviet build up. Just what side are you arguing? That's in support of me, not you.

If you want to argue that the Soviets were a factor in a potential surrender before the bombs were dropped, then that part of your post contradicts that position.

If you are trying to argue that the United States should have simply let the Soviets invade Japan, while we sat around, then that shows a huge misunderstanding of world politics at the time. Plus, would have been incredibly cruel to the Japanese.

Xanthro

User avatar
Cezarprimo
Member
Posts: 121
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 10:28

Post by Cezarprimo » 27 May 2002 06:59

Thank you Xanthro for reading my post with such interest and thank you for your kind remarks upon it.
Me, beeing such a wierd fellow it comes as no surprise to me that you didn't understood it. (For the record I belive there is a slim chance that you didn't want to understand it :wink: )

Now for your enlightement :

- The japanese knew about the russian buidup very well, they were afraid to respond with a massive buidup of their own because they didn't wanted to provoke the russians in any way, not needing a new opposant in their stuation and besides I think that many of their military leaders genuinly belived that they'll be able to halt somehow the russians at least fo a while. The japanese political and military leadership didn't know how to react to the soviet buildup, but this in turn does not mean that they didn't know. That was my point and it was made in respond to your claims that the japanese were surprised.

-You brag about understanding the world politics at that time and yet you fail to understand the plain english, here it is again :
Now I'll repeat myself, since the american knew at least from Yalta about the attack, if they were so interested in saving their soldaires lives they could have just waited and let the russian finish the japanes off without droping the bombs, that's in the case everyting the americans were after was saving thier soldaires

I am arguing that the americans were hasty to drop the bombs in order to have Japan surrenderd before the russian attack. Thus they had no interest in anything else than keeping communism out of Japan and opening the doors for americans in Japan. If this is not clear we can discuss it further. :|

-I agree, leting the russians occupy Japan would have been very cruel to the Japanes :) , better nuke them a couple of times for their own good, to save them from communism :aliengray

I never read nor will I read the Bard Memo or the Frank Report, if they brought you to your conclusions I don't need to I've already seen what they've meant, if they've brougt you to your understanding of the world politics at that time I don't want to, that kind of understanding is far to profound for a wierd fellow like me.

Regards

User avatar
Phil V
Financial supporter
Posts: 1635
Joined: 21 May 2002 12:18
Location: Australia (usually)

Post by Phil V » 29 May 2002 11:57

NO.

How can certain actions by the Third Reich heirachy be referred to as War Crimes yet the use of the Atom Bomb by the allies which killed hunderds of thousands of innocent civilians goes unpunished.

Dave
Member
Posts: 73
Joined: 27 May 2002 18:35
Location: Tennessee

Gentlemen...

Post by Dave » 29 May 2002 16:06

Read the link.

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/war.term/olympic.html

Operation Olympic was the Allied plan for the primary invasion of Kyushu, and Coronet was to be the invasion of the main island of Honshu. 5 million allied troops, and 2.5 million Japanese, not counting the civilian levees who actually had ***PIKES*** and were expected to kamakaze attack the invading troops. The largest amphibious assault in all history would have proven a bloodbath for both sides. MILLIONS of Allied and Japanese casualties. Points to consider:

1) We never did anything like the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, etc. Not to mention the ritual execution and in some cases cannibalism of POWs.

2) We didn't launch Pearl Harbor.

3)We warned Japan we had a new weapon of immense power, and would use it unless Japan immediately surrendered unconditionally. Hirohito wanted to, but the generals would not hear of it.

4) We warned them again before Nagasaki, and the generals still were of a mind to fight. Even after the 2d weapon, the generals had to be ordered to surrender by the Emperor himself. The only person in Japan who thought of surrender was the Emperor, and to invade such a nation would be VERY difficult.

Bottom line: The "special weapons" (as we called them in the USN) were deployed correctly. If we had more, and the Japanese had refused to surrender, we should have slagged the island until they DID. War crime? HARDLY.

Ovidius
Member
Posts: 1414
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 19:04
Location: Romania

Post by Ovidius » 30 May 2002 13:54

Max Brandt wrote:NO.

How can certain actions by the Third Reich heirachy be referred to as War Crimes yet the use of the Atom Bomb by the allies which killed hunderds of thousands of innocent civilians goes unpunished.


1. The Third Reich had lost the war, and was subject to "Victor's Justice", which a certain Mr. Roberto around tries to convince us that was right. :mrgreen:

2. The Japanese had lost the war, and were subject to the same "Victor's Justice", which was of course the most fair, right and balanced justice possible. :P :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Harry S. Truman, on August 6, 1945, wrote:The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.


Full text of the speech here:

http://nuketesting.enviroweb.org/hiroshim/truman1.htm

~Ovidius

Ahmed
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 30 Apr 2002 22:19
Location: Romania

Post by Ahmed » 30 May 2002 14:46

You know Ovidius, "Victor's justice" is a metaphor, whereas Dave gave you arguments. It's easy (and attractive) to reject more or less official history on such matters by refusing argumentative confrontation and claiming your opponent is a nothing but a sophist.

Ahmed
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 30 Apr 2002 22:19
Location: Romania

Post by Ahmed » 30 May 2002 14:47

You know Ovidius, "Victor's justice" is a metaphor, whereas Dave gave you arguments. It's easy (and attractive) to reject more or less official history on such matters by refusing argumentative confrontation and claiming your opponent is a nothing but a sophist.

Dave
Member
Posts: 73
Joined: 27 May 2002 18:35
Location: Tennessee

Post by Dave » 30 May 2002 16:54

Harry S. Truman, on August 6, 1945, wrote:The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.


ABSOLUTELY. Japan sowed the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind.
War means fightin', and fightin' means killin'.

-Lt. Gen. N. B. Forrest

Ovidius
Member
Posts: 1414
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 19:04
Location: Romania

Post by Ovidius » 30 May 2002 17:41

Dave wrote:
Harry S. Truman, on August 6, 1945, wrote:The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.


ABSOLUTELY. Japan sowed the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind.


Not for this reason I've posted the quote from Truman, but for the part with the sun.

~Ovidius

Benjamin Fanjoy
Banned
Posts: 1723
Joined: 10 Apr 2002 10:53
Location: Canada

Post by Benjamin Fanjoy » 31 May 2002 18:26

I'am 100% against the Nuclear bombing of Japan.

The war was going to end shortly anyway, Japan had every life line cut off from her.

I belive the only reason the Yanks used it is because of all the $$$ they invested in there new toy.

As a side note, it is easy to sit here and argue over this sensitive topic, when none of us have ever gone through the nightmare of Nuclear war, or for that matter making the decision to use such matters to resolve a conflict.

Return to “WW2 in the Pacific & Asia”