A thought

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Phil V
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A thought

Post by Phil V » 22 May 2002 13:34

At the conclusion of the War a number of high ranking German officers and officials were executed for war crimes. Some of these individuals were directly involved in various actions and others were somewhat indirectly involved.

Yet there was nil trial for the American president / commander in chief who killed hundreds of thousands of civilians by ordering the dropping of the Atom Bomb on two of Japans most densely populated cities.

Lastly, how may Russian military commanders / soldiers or officials were bought to trial for various attrocities against the German civilian population during the last days of the War.

There is no denying the holocaust.

But it seems only the losers had to pay the toll.

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Birgitte Heuschkel
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Re: A thought

Post by Birgitte Heuschkel » 22 May 2002 13:36

Max Brandt wrote:But it seems only the losers had to pay the toll.


Winner gets to write the history books, nothing new there.

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 22 May 2002 13:46

Well, it was common both then and now taht atrocities were comitted. I don't think that any Allied commanders should be brought to justice, I think some of the German ones shouldn't...

Christian

Tarpon27
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Post by Tarpon27 » 22 May 2002 15:35

Max Brandt wrote:


Yet there was nil trial for the American president / commander in chief who killed hundreds of thousands of civilians by ordering the dropping of the Atom Bomb on two of Japans most densely populated cities.


In an attempt to clarify some of the rhetoric with the issue brought forth, one can find information from the time period in question that answers why targets were chosen, and estimates of death counts.

Per casualities:

1. Casualties.--The most striking result of the atomic bombs was the great number of casualties. The exact number of dead and injured will never be known because of the confusion after the explosions. Persons unaccounted for might have been burned beyond recognition in the falling buildings, disposed of in one of the mass cremations of the first week of recovery, or driven out of the city to die or recover without any record remaining. No sure count of even the preraid populations existed. Because of the decline in activity in the two port cities, the constant threat of incendiary raids, and the formal evacuation programs of the Government, an unknown number of the inhabitants had either drifter away from the cities or been removed according to plan. In this uncertain situation, estimates of casualties have generally ranged between 100,000 and 180,000 for Hiroshima, and between 50,000 and 100,000 for Nagasaki. The Survey believes the dead at Hiroshima to have been between 70,000 and 80,000, with an equal number injured; at Nagasaki over 35,000 dead and somewhat more than that injured seems the most plausible estimate.

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey,
"The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki",
Chairman's Office, 30 June 1946

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/docs/1946/4 ... urvey.html


Hiroshima's population was estimated at 340,000 the seventh largest city in Japan prewar; had a poulation of 380,000 at wartime peak, and was estimated at 240--245,000 when it was bombed. (A sixth evacuation of city residents was in progress at the time the bomb was dropped; five previous relocations of citizens had already occurred.)

Nagasaki's population was estimated at 240,000 at the time of the bombings.

The highest death counts I have seen put total deaths, after the bombings in both cities at ca. 250,000, including directly killed, plus casualities, illness, exposure, etc. (In 1990, the Japanese census had Hiroshima at ca. 3 million.)

Estimates of American casualities, with 1.5 million combat troops (up to 4.5 million total in support) involved in the invasion ranged from 250,000 casualities for the amphibious landing at Kyushu alone while also landing on Honshu with an initial 22 combat divisions against one million Japanese defenders.

It should be noted that:

[...]

Camlpaign Killed, wounded missing (Not including wounded) U.S. to Jap

Leyte 17,000 78,000 1:4.6

Luzon 31,000 156,000 1:5.0

Iwo Jima 20,000 25,000 1:1.25

Okinawa 34,000 (Ground) 81,000 1:2

7,700 (Navy) (not a complete count)

Normandy

(1st 30 days) 42,000 - - - - - - -

The record of General MacArthur’s operations from 1 March 1944 through 1 May 1945 shows 13,742 U.S. killed compared to 310,165 Japanese killed, or a ratio of 22 to 1.

There is reason to believe that the first 30 days in Kyushu should not exceed the price we have paid for Luzon. It is a grim fact that there is not an easy, bloodless way to victory in war and it is the thankless task of the leaders to maintain their firm outward front which holds the resolution of
their subordinates.


[...]

Minutes of Meeting held at
The White House on November 18
June 1945 at 1530.

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/docs/1945/450618-wh1.html


Lacking adequate supply and logistics, the Imperial Navy decimated, little air cover, the campaigns against Japanese held islands in the latter part of the war had less US casualities in certain actions.

However, parking the hundreds of ships required for the invasion of Japan, within range of Japan's remaining air assets, was going to cost ships, sailors, air crews, plus the carnage of the amphibious landings and then land campaigns. Kyushu was to be used for deployment of wings of B-29 bombers to strike the rest of the Japanese islands.

Some historians have downplayed initial estimates of American casualities, but it is hard to argue that it would not cost several hundred thousand American casualities and realistically even 1-3 million Japanese dead, plus the complete obliteration of the physical infrastructure.

Was it a war crime to use the atom bomb? Or is it a war crime to end up killing 2, 5, or 10 times the number of Japanese by invading and leveling the country? Would any leader not use the bombs had he been in Truman's shoes, or would he blithely order the deaths of several hundred thousand citizen soldiers, and the slaughter of several million of the enemy who sometimes chose suicide to capture or surrender?

Regards,

Mark

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Scott Smith
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ATOMIC BOMBINGS...

Post by Scott Smith » 22 May 2002 21:55

Tarpon27 wrote:Some historians have downplayed initial estimates of American casualities, but it is hard to argue that it would not cost several hundred thousand American casualities and realistically even 1-3 million Japanese dead, plus the complete obliteration of the physical infrastructure.

Was it a war crime to use the atom bomb? Or is it a war crime to end up killing 2, 5, or 10 times the number of Japanese by invading and leveling the country? Would any leader not use the bombs had he been in Truman's shoes, or would he blithely order the deaths of several hundred thousand citizen soldiers, and the slaughter of several million of the enemy who sometimes chose suicide to capture or surrender?

The only reason that an immediate invasion of Japan was deemed necessary was because the Soviets were entering the Japanese war (to fulfill their treaty obligations) and Truman's diplomatic and military geniuses realized that the Communists were poised to inherit half of Asia from the Japanese. OOPS! :oops:

Therefore they could not negotiate a peace or wait until the blockade and conventional bombings could have a political effect on the sprawling Japanese oligarchy's willingness to negotiate. An assurance on the meaning of "Unconditional Surrender" as being mere rhetoric as far as Japan was concerned would have been helpful, particularly if a neutral arbitrrator could be found to faciliate negotiations/demobilization. The Japanese had already put forward peace-feelers and even asked the Soviets to arbitrate (who were understandably not interested).

The Americans wanted to hurry and use the bomb to impress the Soviets and to tests its effects. Four cities were saved from conventional bombing for that purpose, two of which were hit with atomic weapons. Arranging a harmless demonstration of the Doomsday Weapon for Japanese representatives could have sufficed. Big deal if we keep Army and Navy troops in garrison a little longer and postpone VJ day! Of course, the most impressive aspect about the bomb was its mass-murder potential but the Japanese oligarchs were not stupid.

Using the atomic bombs was unecessary and THAT is why it was a warcrime. However, Truman was the President of a SOVEREIGN nation and sovereigns can conduct wars any way they see fit for victory.

Unless they lose.

Therefore, in the next major war, maybe more A-bombs need be used to INSURE victory.

No, we don't want to lose unconditionally.

We don't want that.
8O

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Victor´s Justice?
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Re: A thought

Post by Victor´s Justice? » 22 May 2002 22:49

Birgitte Heuschkel wrote:
Max Brandt wrote:But it seems only the losers had to pay the toll.


Winner gets to write the history books, nothing new there.


Yes, so we can´t even discuss and criticize such double standards, am I right?

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Victor´s Justice?
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Post by Victor´s Justice? » 22 May 2002 23:00

Was it a war crime to use the atom bomb? Or is it a war crime to end up killing 2, 5, or 10 times the number of Japanese by invading and leveling the country? Would any leader not use the bombs had he been in Truman's shoes, or would he blithely order the deaths of several hundred thousand citizen soldiers, and the slaughter of several million of the enemy who sometimes chose suicide to capture or surrender?


Sorry, this can simply be called a coward warcrime along with a thought bursting with prejudice, because Japs were not stupid to the extent of fighting for nothing.

This was victory the "easy way", because you can´t see the obliterated dead down there, just wonder what happened. As Tibbets once said: "What have we done??"; I think he was unable to find such answer through all his lifetime.

War has an intrinsic code of honor, and it´s about military targets, one-on-one fighting and heroic resistance acts; too bad it´s not applied anymore.

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Birgitte Heuschkel
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Re: A thought

Post by Birgitte Heuschkel » 22 May 2002 23:15

Victor´s Justice? wrote:
Birgitte Heuschkel wrote:
Max Brandt wrote:But it seems only the losers had to pay the toll.


Winner gets to write the history books, nothing new there.


Yes, so we can´t even discuss and criticize such double standards, am I right?


I for one see no issue with discussing, criticising and questioning. I see a lot of just that right here in this forum which is one reason I come here, as opposed to "merely" reading the published material. Questioning the truth is healthy for any society. If we do not question, we are just cattle.

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Birgitte Heuschkel
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Post by Birgitte Heuschkel » 22 May 2002 23:16

Victor´s Justice? wrote:War has an intrinsic code of honor, and it´s about military targets, one-on-one fighting and heroic resistance acts; too bad it´s not applied anymore.


If there has to be war in the first place, yes, by all means, let's keep it between the soldiers.

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Scott Smith
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WHY WAR?

Post by Scott Smith » 22 May 2002 23:41

Birgitte Heuschkel wrote:
Victor´s Justice? wrote:War has an intrinsic code of honor, and it´s about military targets, one-on-one fighting and heroic resistance acts; too bad it´s not applied anymore.

If there has to be war in the first place, yes, by all means, let's keep it between the soldiers.

Good point, but if there is not something worth the population fighting TOTALLY for (i.e., a Total War) then why can't such limited conflicts not be settled without violence? Perhaps by neutral arbitration. That would be a little better, perhaps, than a chess game or a demolition-derby held on the moon. And if our team loses, then what, do we just give-up our homes or "illegal settlements," or as in the famous Star Trek episode, waltz right into the disintegration-chamber when the computer says so?

Violence catalyzes the human spirit but my question is, if the stakes are not high then why fight? And if the stakes ARE high then you are going to bring your maximum resources to bear to achieve victory at any cost or tactic.

Rather than obsessing about somebody else's warcrimes, we should ask ourselves what conflicts are really worthwhile and seek other solutions to the ones that are not worth the stakes of annihilation or potential annihilation.

Just my two-cents.
:)

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Post by Victor´s Justice? » 23 May 2002 04:29

There is a very good book from a British historian (John Keegan) called "One History of the War"; it goes way beyond the usual Clausewitzian Total War concept, investigating why men fight wars.

It´s pretty funny, but I understand that simply a man goes deep into animal roots when he sees no other choices to get what he wants; just transfer such concept to any powerful country, and you see why Public International Law is presently utopia..!

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Post by Ron Birch » 23 May 2002 04:37

I have read many interesting comments on this "A bomb" fixation and have read some assinine comments. I for one don't believe it was a "war crime" but like others this is my opinion, it seems to me that each camp is firmly entrenched in it's view and the same arguments keep coming up. But as suggested before maybe taking a view of the aftermath on what may or may not have changed if the bomb was used or not................just a suggestion since it seems like this has been beaten to death.

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Post by Tarpon27 » 23 May 2002 11:35

Victor'sJustice wrote:

Sorry, this can simply be called a coward warcrime along with a thought bursting with prejudice, because Japs were not stupid to the extent of fighting for nothing.


What do you base this statement on?

The US, and its Allies, were not going to accept any terms but unconditional surrender, that in turn meant that a way of life and a governmental system that had been in place for several thousand years was going to be eliminated (and was spelled out during the hostilities). The Emporer, the Son of Heaven, and believed as a direct descendant of the gods, was to be no more, and that was a prospect that the Japanese could not accept. Japan's national identity was built around the concept of the God-Emporer.

The US would not accept the Emporer, as it allowed for the creation of the working Japanese government to be co-opted for the purpose of waging an aggressive war of conquest that it had started long before 1941, including Manchuria and incursions into China.

In the 1920s--1930s, there were endless struggles for power amongst the Japanese government that were based on the desire to elevate Japan to a great power status; elements for military invasion to acquire the needed raw materials and resources fought with pro-peace officials.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the strategist of Japan's naval campaign, including the strike at Pearl Harbor, was under threat of death by pro-war factions, while he himself advocated peace, believing that Japan could not win a war in the Pacific against the US; he had been part of the naval treaty talks and had spent considerable time in America over the years.

Obviously, the hardline military/war faction won out over Japanese pro-peace advocates, and that included Yamamota, who then did as every Japanese was expected to do: completely do their duty to a war that the Son of Heaven had approved as presented him by the government.

The following cables are from Japan's ambassador in Moscow; Togo is foreign minister Shigerori:

TOGO SHIGENORI


Togo was the Japanese Foreign Minister, a position similar to the U.S. Sec. of State. He held this position from Oct. 1941 to Sept. 1942 and from April 1945 to Aug. 1945. Togo attempted to prevent war with the U.S. in 1941, altho he later defended Japan's decision for war (Togo, "The Cause of Japan", pg. 178 - 190). When asked in April 1945 by Premier Suzuki to again become Foreign Minister, Togo refused on the grounds that Suzuki was not committed to ending the war. When Suzuki said that Togo could work to end the war, he accepted the position (U.S. Army, "Statements of Japanese Officials", #50304).

As Foreign Minister, Togo was a member of Japan's Cabinet, the government decision-making body. He was also a member of the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, known as the Big 6 since it had 6 members. The Big 6 was very influential in war policy decisions.

Togo, more than anyone else in the Japanese Cabinet, pushed Japan toward peace. His efforts were restricted by the military to petitioning Russia to help Japan end the war. When the Japanese Cabinet was unmoved to surrender by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, Togo worked with Premier Suzuki and Privy Seal Kido to have the emperor request the Cabinet to surrender. It was this that brought Japan's surrender.

(Togo Shigenori is not to be confused with the Japanese Primier/Minister of War Tojo Hideki or Admiral Togo Heihachiro).

http://www.doug-long.com/togo.htm


Togo was removed from office by military hardliners for his unwillingness to commit Japan to war.

Read these excerpts from Togo and Sato on what the actual Japanese government, in 1945, believes per US invasion:

-----
The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Togo) to the Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato)

[Translation]

[Tokyo,] July 12, 1945 --8:50 p.m.
Secret
Urgent

893. Re telegram 891 and others.

[...]

"His Majesty the Emperor is greatly concerned over the daily increasing calamities and sacrifices faced by the citizens of the various belligerent countries in this present war, and it is His Majesty's heart's desire to see the swift termination of the war. In the Great East Asia War, however, as long as American and England insist on unconditional surrender, our country has no alternative but to see it through in an all-out effort for the sake of survival and the honor of the homeland. The resulting enormous bloodshed of the citizens of the belligerent powers would indeed be contrary to His Majesty's desires, and so it is His Majesty's earnest hope that peace may be restored as speedily as possible for the welfare of mankind.

[...]

The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Togo) to the Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato)

[Translation]

[Tokyo,] July 17, 1945--p.m.

Secret
Urgent

913. Re your telegram No. 1392.

[...]

2. Not only our High Command but also our Government firmly believes that even now our war potential is still sufficient to deal the enemy a severe blow, but against an enemy who can make repeated attacks we cannot always be completely free from anxiety. In such times, we continue to maintain our war strength; if only the United States and Great Britain would recognize Japan's honor and existence we would terminate the war and would like to save mankind from the ravages of war, but if the enemy insists on unconditional surrender to the very end, then our country and His Majesty would unanimously resolve to fight a war of resistance to the bitter end. Therefore, inviting the Soviet Union to mediate fairly does not include unconditional surrender; please understand this point in particular.

[...]

The Japanese Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Sato) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Togo)

[Translation]

Moscow, July 20, 1945--6:30 p.m.

Very secret
Urgent

1427. Re your telegram No. 913.

After considering this matter most carefully, I wish to express my unreserved opinion in the following manner:

1. Since July 14 an American task force has been operating in the waters off the northern section of Honshu Island; they have come close to the shore in the areas of Kamaishi, Muroran, and Mito and have shelled them in a naval bombardment; we have heard that their carrier-based planes have been menacing traffic between the mainland and Hokkaido and have sunk a great number of ships. Our defensive measures, according to enemy broadcasts, have been next to nothing, even with our Navy and Air Force. This is most regrettable, but it may also be taken as the truth in the matter of how weak our war potential has become. If this trend continues, with every passing day the enemy fleet should be more able to move at will, as though it were unopposed. Actually, the names of the ships comprising the task force and even the name of the task force commander have already been ostentatiously broadcast, hurling an open challenge to the Japanese Navy.

2. On the other hand, the enemy air forces based in areas such as the Marianas, Okinawa and Iwo, attach various parts of Japan almost continuously, Large metropolitan areas have already been destroyed and the bombings have even reached out to the small and intermediate-sized cities, quite aside from arms-production facilities and oil-storage dumps. The successive destruction and conflagration of our cities continue. Moreover, just as our anti-aircraft defenses have manifestly decreased in their effectiveness in comparison with the days when the B-29's first started their attacks, so have we also had the command of the skies wrested from our grasp. We cannot assess this any other way.

3. Once the command of the skies has been taken from us by the enemy, our fighting strength will decline at an accelerated rate. This is quite clear if you look at Germany's example. Furthermore, once you have relinquished the mastery of the skies to the enemy it is well nigh impossible to regain it without outside assistance. For the Empire there is no hope other than that of mass production of aircraft in Manchuria. This development is quite recent and it is not only difficult to be sure just how much to expect from Manchurian production but also Manchuria itself is about to become a victim of mass bombing from nearby Okinawa.

4. Although I cannot know with certainty whether there is going to be an enemy landing on the mainland, I do not have sufficient faith to declare such a thing impossible, and I believe that we should be prepared for a landing, considering the thorough manner of the landing tactics in the enemy's Leyte operations, although there may be some differences because of geographic conditions. Furthermore, assuming that a date for the landings has been set, it is equally clear that this would be after our fighting strength has been completely destroyed.

In order to knock out our fighting strength, the enemy will pay special attention to depriving the people of the means of their livelihood, besides directly destroying military installations and industrial plants and bombing the cities. The enemy must know about our food shortage. They must also have a thorough knowledge of how great an influence the present autumn harvest will have on our fighting strength; and so plans on their part to destroy our crops should not be considered impossible with the coming of harvest time. For instance, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the enemy will ascertain the period when the paddies are dry and the rice-plants are ripe throughout the nation and devise methods of burning these up at one stroke. As far as they are concerned, it is a weakness of ours which they should only naturally exploit.

If we lose our autumn harvest, our situation will be absolutely critical and we will be in no position to continue the war. Our empire, which has already lost command of the skies, can do nothing to combat the above circumstances; we are at the mercy of the enemy and committed to whatever the enemy should will.

5. As I have already urged in my telegram No. 1143, continuing the war after our fighting strength has been destroyed should be considered impossible. It goes without saying that the Imperial Army and the populace as a whole will not surrender to the enemy as long as there is no Imperial command to do so; they will literally not throw away their spears until the last man. But even if the officers and men and the entire citizenry, who already have been deprived of their fighting ability by the absolute superiority of the enemy's bombing and gunfire, were to fight to the death, the state would not be saved. Do you think that the Emperor's safety can be secured by the sacrifice of seventy million citizens?
With the above thought in mind, I have come to the conclusion that the individual's position, the honor of the military, and the pride of the people cannot take the place of the state, and that there is no other way for us than to hurry and make up our minds to advocate peace.

6. I had been thinking that the peace proposal through the special envoy mentioned in your telegram No. 893 , which was to be put forward in Moscow, was most right and proper. The dispatch of the special envoy however, unfortunately met with disapproval from the Soviet side (my telegram No. 1417), making it necessary to contrive some other way.
Once peace has been decided upon, although it may be difficult to avoid some harsh conditions which the Japanese citizens must endure as a result, we should be prepared for such an eventuality and have our military representatives and theirs conclude an agreement to terminate hostilities within the shortest possible time; we should put a stop to further sacrifices.

One of the conditions for peace that will require reservation and emphasis on our part is the matter of protecting our national polity. This will have to be for us an absolute requirement, and the fact that it will require us to make a strong impression on our opponents to this effect has already been stated in my telegram No. 1416. Regarding this matter of protecting the national polity, one way is to consider the matter one of a domestic nature and therefore excluded from the terms of a peace treaty. In this case, however, even though it may be but a formality, it will be necessary to hold something like a constitutional convention to hear the people's voice for the sake of appearances. And it cannot be expected that there will be no open opposition to the maintenance of the national polity from some extreme leftists at such a convention. Again, convening a constitutional convention may itself run counter to our Constitution; and if we are to cope with emergency circumstances, it will be necessary to find appropriate solutions regarding such criticisms of unconstitutionality.
On the other had, we may be able to solve the problem of our fundamental form of government with this formality and it may even be relatively easy to get the enemy's agreement, but I find this difficult to judge. In fact, if we resolve to have the Imperial Household above as under the general will of the people, our national polity might, indeed, carry a great deal of weight throughout the world.

7. What I mean to say as a peace proposal is to approve most of the enemy's conditions with the exception of the protection of the fundamental character of our form of government. As long as the fundamental character of our government is preserved, it would mean that our country's honor and existence will be guaranteed in the minimum degree, and I trust this will not run counter to the purport of your telegram No. 913-2 (please refer to my telegram No. 1416).
8. Our country is literally standing at the crossroads of destiny. If we were to continue the war under the present circumstances the citizens would die with the satisfaction of having truly served their country loyally and patriotically, but the country itself would be on the verge of ruin. Although it is possible to remain loyal to the great and just aims of the Greater East Asia War to the very end, it is meaningless to insist on them to the extent of destroying the state. We should protect the survival of our country even by enduring every kind of sacrifice.

Since the Manchurian incident Japan has pursued a policy of authoritarian rule. In the Greater East Asia War she finally plunged into a war beyond her means. As a result, we are confronted with the danger of having even our mainland trampled upon. Since there is no longer any real chance of success, I believe that it is the duty of the statesmen to save the nation by coming quickly to a decision to lay down our arms. If we seek peace, of course, we know roughly what the terms will be by observing the example of Germany. It is inevitable that the people will have to endure the heavy pressure of the enemy for a long period of time, but the nation will live on and we may be able to recover our former prosperity again after several decades. The government should certainly select this path. I ceaselessly implore that we put His Majesty's mind at ease without any delay whatever.

In the postwar dawn we must strive to carry out thoroughgoing reforms throughout the country, to democratize politics in general, and to do away with the domineering and self-righteous attitude of the bureaucrats in order to realize a truly harmonious relation between the Emperor and the people. The scorn for diplomacy and the indifference to international relations, even before the Manchurian incident, were the cause which brought about our present misfortune. In view of the fact that we shall encounter problems in finding a way out of our difficulties while being buffeted about by the storm of international relations in the postwar period, we recognize the urgency of adopting the best political system which will attach importance to future foreign relations.

Since entering into the anti-Comintern pact our foreign policy has been completely bankrupt. The whole thing had its inception in our splitting the world into an Axis force and an anti-Axis force by joining forces with Nazism. For the future, we must clearly recognize our past mistakes and fundamentally reconstruct our foreign policy.

9. In obedience to the Imperial proclamation of war. It was the bounden duty of all the people to devote every effort to the achievement of the war objectives. Therefore I also endeavored to contribute my humble efforts to this cause. In view of the present situation, however, I consider it necessary to recognize frankly that the prospects in the present war have become desperate. The theory that we should counterattack with all our strength, if the United States and England should land on our mainland, and thus make them tire of the invasion should be carefully evaluated. I might have had some faith in the firm belief of the military and the government that our war potential can still inflict quite a blow on the enemy (your telegram No. 913-2) and I might have placed some hope in this if we had not yet lost control of the skies and of the sea. Today, however, we find ourselves in a situation in which we cannot repel the daily attacks of the enemy naval and air forces and in which our production facilities are continuously being destroyed. Moreover, we must consider that this situation will become rapidly even worse as time passes. The resulting imbalance of the opposing forces cannot be rectified no matter how heroically our soldiers and people fight. It also goes without saying that groups such as organized guerillas cannot accomplish much in the face of modern weapons. Thus, after an enemy landing on our mainland, there would be a struggle for every inch of land and repeated valiant fighting until we became exhausted and finally laid down our arms. By that time, as can be seen in the case of Germany, the entire country would already have been trampled by the enemy and the national sovereignty would have been transferred to an occupying power.
I only pray that we may quickly terminate the present situation, in which we can no longer hope to achieve our future objectives and in which we continue to resist simply from past inertia, and that we may save hundreds of thousands of lives which would be uselessly sacrificed and thereby stop short of the destruction of the nation, save our 70,000,-000 people from misery, and endeavor to maintain the survival of our race.
I realize that it is a great crime to dare to make such statements, knowing that they are contrary to the views of the government. The reason for doing so, however, is that I believe that the only policy for national salvation must coincide with these ideas. Therefore, even though I am criticized as being a defeatist and am asked to take the responsibility of submitting to this criticism, I assert that I must willingly accept the responsibility.

Thus I was able to express my views freely, and I need not repeat them further. I beg that you understand that the motive which prompts me to say these thing is my sincere concern for the country. I cannot cease praying that my words, because of too much concern, may not result in unfounded and distorted views.

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/docs/togo-sato-index.html

Note that the citizens will NOT stop fighting for "honor" and the existence of the Emporer, nor will they stop fighting without a direct order from the Emporer himself, and that means the Emporer would eliminate his own position. The Emporer was raised with the weight of responsibility for the position of Son of Heaven, and I assume that he would find eliminating the social and cultural identity of Japan, with its thousands of years of history, probably unbearable. Yet, he did do it, in the end.

And finally a brief look at the last major battle of the Pacific: Okinawa.

-----

Battle of Okinawa


Okinawa was the largest amphibious invasion of the Pacific campaign and the last major campaign of the Pacific War. More ships were used, more troops put ashore, more supplies transported, more bombs dropped, more naval guns fired against shore targets than any other operation in the Pacific. More people died during the Battle of Okinawa than all those killed during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Casualties totaled more than 38,000 Americans wounded and 12,000 killed or missing, more than 107,000 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts killed, and perhaps 100,000 Okinawan civilians who perished in the battle.

The battle of Okinawa proved to be the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. Thirty-four allied ships and craft of all types had been sunk, mostly by kamikazes, and 368 ships and craft damaged. The fleet had lost 763 aircraft. Total American casualties in the operation numbered over 12,000 killed [including nearly 5,000 Navy dead and almost 8,000 Marine and Army dead] and 36,000 wounded. Navy casualties were tremendous, with a ratio of one killed for one wounded as compared to a one to five ratio for the Marine Corps. Combat stress also caused large numbers of psychiatric casualties, a terrible hemorrhage of front-line strength. There were more than 26,000 non-battle casualties. In the battle of Okinawa, the rate of combat losses due to battle stress, expressed as a percentage of those caused by combat wounds, was 48% [in the Korean War the overall rate was about 20-25%, and in the Yom Kippur War it was about 30%]. American losses at Okinawa were so heavy as to illicite Congressional calls for an investigation into the conduct of the military commanders. Not surprisingly, the cost of this battle, in terms of lives, time, and material, weighed heavily in the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan just six weeks later.

Japanese human losses were enormous: 107,539 soldiers killed and 23,764 sealed in caves or buried by the Japanese themselves; 10,755 captured or surrendered. The Japanese lost 7,830 aircraft and 16 combat ships. Since many Okinawan residents fled to caves where they subsequently were entombed the precise number of civilian casualties will probably never be known, but the lowest estimate is 42,000 killed. Somewhere between one-tenth and one-fourth of the civilian population perished, though by some estimates the battle of Okinawa killed almost a third of the civilian population. According to US Army records during the planning phase of the operation, the assumption was that Okinawa was home to about 300,000 civilians. At the conclusion of hostilities around 196,000 civilians remained. However, US Army figures for the 82 day campaign showed a total figure of 142,058 civilian casualties, including those killed by artillery fire, air attacks and those who were pressed into service by the Japanese army.

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http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... battle.htm
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Regards,

Mark

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Victor´s Justice?
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Post by Victor´s Justice? » 24 May 2002 03:13

Sorry, Tarpon, but not even an endless/substantiated quote/reply based on Occidental comments will make me accept two A-bombs on civilian populations, just that.

If you think of the japanese population as numbers made to ensure the Pax Americana, then you can easily go with the atom option; if you think of them as equal people, not.

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Post by Tarpon27 » 24 May 2002 10:50

VictorsJustice wrote:

Sorry, Tarpon, but not even an endless/substantiated quote/reply based on Occidental comments will make me accept two A-bombs on civilian populations, just that.



But that is not the point; I did not ask of you, or anyone, to accept the use of nuclear weapons, nor was it the statement of yours I disagreed with.

You originally stated:



VictorsJustice wrote in an earlier post:
Sorry, this can simply be called a coward warcrime along with a thought bursting with prejudice, because Japs were not stupid to the extent of fighting for nothing.



I do not consider the Japanese "stupid" to fight and die, in fact, probably be slaughtered, while defending their home islands while at the same time, killing a few hundred thousand American troops and sailors. I consider it a part of their culture to do exactly that, and frankly, it displays a remarkable sense of nation and the committment of its citizens to even consider such actions.

Japan had never been invaded. Their culture was built around the notion that the Emporer was a lineal descendant of their gods and that the Land of the Rising Sun was protected, as evidenced by a typhoon that once dismembered an invading, superior naval fleet.

The Way of the Warrior precluded surrender for much of the Japanese military, and ritual suicide was still an honorable death, a practice that is traced back to the original samurai. The eastern concept of "losing face" is still deeply imbedded culturally today, and stronger than what is found in western society.

At Okinawa, there are films and pictures showing Japanese civilians leaping to their deaths of cliffs rather than be captured by invading troops.

One can argue that the concept of unconditional surrender was unfair, but the political reality of 1945 was that the Allied nations were not about to negotiate with the Axis forces on surrender terms. And it is my opinion, that both Germany and Japan were treated quite benignly by the Allies; within a few years, both Japan and Germany were sovereign states, with their own governments, and both became world economic powers. The credit for their incredible come-backs belongs to the people of those two nations, and no country was more shrewd in its use of capital than Germany in rebuilding its economy.

When Curtis LeMay left the European theater, and took over B29 bomber operations in the Pacific theater, he switched bombing tactics, as the B29 raids were relatively ineffective due to deployment (they flew across Iwo Jima, which was still Japanese controlled, and an early warning line for the homeland), flew at over 30,000 feet (thereby encountering the often 200 mph jetstream over Japan, making bombing almost impossible), and had missions sometimes lasting 22 hours, with no safe landing for crippled aircraft, or those low on fuel (no forward air bases, and no fighter support).

LeMay switched to low level (3000-6000 feet) night attacks, and also loaded incendiary bombs. Which did more damage than both of the atomic (fission vs today's fusion) bombs dropped; also recall, the US dropped leaflets on Japan warning of the use of the bomb, although it was probably certain no one would clearly understand their nature.

I think several hundred thousand American troopers and sailors would have died, plus probably 1--3 million Japanese; even those amazing numbers seem conservative to me. Plus, the Japanese islands would have been obliterated, with the physical infrastructure destroyed, as well as the fishing fleets. And the Japanese citizens would have been fighting with tools, rocks, and spears, preferring honorable death to the humiliating dishonor of having Japan occupied by a barbarian foreign army...those prayer shrines to their ancestors were not just some props.

Taking away the cultural, religious, and most of all, the political reasons why both the US and Japan had little choice in the matter of ending the war, I find it difficult to understand why several million Americans and Japanese needed to die when a weapon was available that could end the fighting and posturing in a matter of days, and not months of what would have been the bloodiest fighting of WWII.

Regards,

Mark

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