Final Victory Over Japan

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by spidge, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Whilst the war in Europe had officially ended, the Japanese were still entrenched and awaiting invasion from the allies. Their homeland defence was to be their final "Coup de grace" of defiance.

    Whilst there are specific historial events, these last days & weeks could be discussed collectively.

    I for one over the past few decades, have seen the worm turn in favour of the Japanese to a degree where the allies and particularly the USA are the bogey men.

    What are the opinions of the members?

    Can anybody visualise how this conflict could have ended with a lesser loss of life?

    I would hope that the discussions and opinions will be supported with facts so it does not go off the rails as has occured previously.

    August 6th - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
    August 8th - Soviets declare war on Japan.
    August 9th - Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
    August 14th - Japanese surrender.
    August 15th - VJ Day declared.
     
  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    Yes, they are coming up.

    I personally believe that the atomic were the best way to end the war, because the estimate of casualties was over 1 million for the American assault , not including Japanese casualties. Also take into account that almost every single Japanese man, woman and child would fight against the invaders to the death, causing a huge loss of life and great destruction of Japan. However with the atomic bombs the loss of life was a lot less (still was a round 300-500 thousand) compared to what they could have been, they also shortened the war as an assault and conquer of Japan would have taken months if not more. As a result of this I believe that the use of the atomic bombs was the right decision on the part of President Truman, even though the after effects (nuclear arms race, threat of nuclear war etc) were horrific, those at the time were not to know that and so made a decision on what would keep casualties to a minimum.

    Gnomey
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    August 9th - Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

    Much is said about whether the first bomb on Hiroshima and the second on Nagasaki should have been dropped.

    The full invasion of Japan has set the numbers of casualties on both sides of up to 10,000,000 (guesstimate). These numbers reflect the refusal of Japan to surrender on their home island. What were the numbers if they had to "fight to the death" in China and the rest of the islands and countries they still occupied before August 14th 1945.?

    It is interesting to note the chemical weapons that were in China at the surrender.

    Japan estimates its forces abandoned more than 700,000 chemical weapons in China during the war, although Chinese experts say as many as two million exist -- the world's largest stockpile of abandoned chemical arms.

    Japan will spend more than 200 billion yen (1.9 billion dollars) building a chemical weapons disposal center in China to process Japanese weapons left there after World War II.
    Jeremy Goldkorn (last update: June 6, 05)

    Would the Japanese have used those weapons? I think so.............
     
  4. Stich

    Stich Junior Member

    Also take into account that almost every single Japanese man, woman and child would fight against the invaders to the death, causing a huge loss of life and great destruction of Japan.

    I have to agree 100% with this assessment. The Japanese with their Bushido code of honor would have fought fanatically with every available citizen any invasion of their homeland resulting in catastrophic casualties to their civilian population. In fact even sharpened bamboo poles were given to civilians as a means of a last ditch effort to stop any invasion. Obviously this would have turned into wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in the least, maybe even into the millions. The dropping of atomic bombs in my opinion was the most humane way of discouraging the Japanese government in continuing this hopeless war. But I'm sure many people will disagree with my view.
     
  5. nolanbuc

    nolanbuc Senior Member

    According to the U.S. plans for the Downfall invasion, the nukes that the U.S. had on hand would probably been used anyway as tactical weapons to soften up Japanese troop formations. Further more, the U.S. would have 4 or 5 more "Fat Man" type bombs and at least 1 more "Little Boy" type ready to go in time for the spring 1946 invasion of Honshu.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the best way to force the capitulation of the Japanese government, but those who rail against those bombings fail to realize that the U.S. would have used whatever weapons it could muster to defeat the Japanese Empire and minimize Allied casualties, including every nuclear weapon they could churn out until the war ended.
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Agreed Nolan. The Allies would have faced an overwhelming amount of casualties invading Japan. The use of A-Bombs against Japan, whilst controversial is in my mind justified.
     
  7. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The invasion of Japan would have been an even bloodier mess than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both sides would have lost enormous numbers of lives. Japan would be blasted from Kyushu to Hokkaido.

    And because nobody would have learned the horrifying lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first use of atomic bombs would be more recent, and probably the stronger weapons, with even greater casualties...I think we might have seen the Third World War and nuclear holocaust the science-fiction writers proposed -- with ghastlier results.
     
  8. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Aug 11 2005, 03:00 AM
    The invasion of Japan would have been an even bloodier mess than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both sides would have lost enormous numbers of lives. Japan would be blasted from Kyushu to Hokkaido.

    And because nobody would have learned the horrifying lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first use of atomic bombs would be more recent, and probably the stronger weapons, with even greater casualties...I think we might have seen the Third World War and nuclear holocaust the science-fiction writers proposed -- with ghastlier results.
    [post=37566]Quoted post[/post]

    As Kiwiwriter so rightly states.........."Here endeth the lesson"

    It has been 60 years and the devastation that was unleashed on these two cites of Hiroshima & Nagasaki has not been repeated due to the understanding of the potential of these weapons.

    I have read lately about the bombing of Dresden and other German cities towards the end of the conflict. Dresden 1 in 20 deaths, Pforheim 1 in 4 deaths, Wurzburg 90% destroyed and there are many many others.

    What would there have been left of Japan?

    While we will never know the real numbers from Dresden, "Goebbels last PR scoop" as I read in James Holland's review of Frederick Taylors book, "DRESDEN, TUESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 1945" is the story most still believe today.

    With the release of East German documents, Frederick Taylor paints a very different picture.

    If you believe the numbers, Firebombing of Dresden killed more than Hiroshima & Nagasaki combined.

    If we mirror that carnage across Japan, as the allies would not have bombed one city then another, it would have been "blanket" with a much greater loss of life.

    Germany showed no mercy..........Japan showed no mercy.....................maybe in reality the Allies did.

    Sounds a little like the Churchill quote seen on this forum.
     
  9. jimbotosome

    jimbotosome Discharged

    In terms of absolute morality, in the making of these decisions, one is certainly no worse or better than the other (Dresden verses Nagas/Hirosh). On one hand you feel "all's fair in war" but on the other hand, on the other you think of insanity of the fact that innocent are killed down to those that are not even old enough to talk.

    In terms of strategies, I see them a little different. As far as Dresden, the US was not as angry at Germany as the British were. The reasons for the British indignity are obvious and certainly understandable, this is why they chose incendiaries, they wanted to send a message loud and clear. Two days later, the Americans came to raid with lighter bombing using demolition bombs but the city was pretty much still smoldering from the raid two nights before. From things I have read in the past, it is my impression that the US was reluctant to completely demolish Dresden but Harris thought it might persuade Germany of the futility of continuing their lost cause and they would rise up against their government, and send a message to the Russians the power of Bomber Command. In addition the Brits had been getting their citizens targeted with senseless bombings; there was also an element of wanting a pound of flesh. So, you can see a different level of animus from the Brits compared to the US.

    Likewise the US was bitter at Japan. Germany was just an enemy but Japan was an arch-enemy. To this day, WWII is thought of in the US as a war against Japan and Hitler (a nation, and a single man). This too is for obvious reasons. If you are talking in terms of moral relativity, as an American, I have always viewed the atomic bombs “justified” for many of the same reasons already mentioned in this thread, but look on the Dresden raids as a mistake. Part of the thinking of this is the levels of animus as I mentioned before.

    But there is a difference when you consider the situations strategically. I don’t know if this is simply because I am an American and see it this way, or if my reasons are right. My reason for seeing the Dresden raid as unwise the fact that the Germans were pretty disenchanted with Hitler, they were beginning to surrender, the citizenry was not resisting, so why go to that extreme? If it was to send a message to Russia as some internal memos suggest, then it was definitely the wrong thing to do. It stood to harden the people against you and could have backfired and made them “rally to the cause” of injustice. Most Germans believed they were liberating Europe from Communists. The nutcases that ran the concentration camps and various cruelties were relatively few and far between. They did not represent the majority view at all.

    Now, strategically look at the a-bombs. Japanese by and large were much more savage than the Germans. Savage people expect savage treatment in return. The Japanese were a militarist culture with a nothing to lose attitude. The Japanese worshiped their emperor even to the end where the Germans were pretty disenchanted with Hitler and had lost their will to continue. When the Allies entered Germany, the Germans wanted to surrender and most did, civilians did not resist, but they were in a corner in the east because they didn’t want to surrender to Russia. They wanted to surrender to the Allies because they believed they would be treated civilly. They knew that Russia would treat them harshly as some of the SS had treated them harshly and Russia would make no distinction.

    But the Japanese were trained to expect the worse from their captors and to resist down to the last man woman and child, that it was never over until it’s over. They were training to fight off an invasion with their citizens. Unlike the Germans, they were already in the mindset to go to the death for their emperor because they believed him to be a god. They believed ultimately that they could effectively resist the invasion “with god on their side”. With the a-bombs, there is a demonstration that there is a force that would make them question if the emperor was a “god”. Sort of like the staff of Moses swallowing up the staff of the Egyptian magicians. It is a graphical one-ups-man-ship on the image of “god was on their side” since it was demonstrated that the genie could be let out of the bottle and there’s nothing the emperor could do. It’s like boiling a frog, if you do it by slowly raising the heat, the frog never realizes it and doesn’t jump out, but if you throw it in boiling water it gets the message and reacts. You could have accomplished the same thing by continuing to systematically bomb the cities into ruins (just about any bombing was firebombing in Japan). But many more cities would have burned before the corporate realization that all would burn became reality. The a-bomb sent the message extremely fast. It wasn’t more destructive than fire bombing but had a greater psychological effect.

    From a standpoint of absolute morality, like I said, neither is any more right nor wrong than the other. Strategically, I believe there is a moral relativity in that Dresden seems a bit more unnecessary in that it took more innocent lives and the a-bombs seem to save more innocent lives than they took. If the decision was made not to use the a-bombs, I do not believe the Allies would have invaded Japan. I believe they would bombed (conventionally) until they got a surrender. Maybe that takes 2/3rds of the population of Japan in the process. I do not think the Allies would trade 500,000 men for saving the population of Japan from near total annihilation.

    Just one American’s perspective.
     

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