In Truman's Place, What Would You Have Done?

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by ghvalj, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Member

    Bombing Japan was the correct decision. In Hell to Pay it was pointed out that the Japanese were prepared for both Olympic and Coronet. The cost in American lives would have been higher than we would deem acceptable.
  2. aurora-7

    aurora-7 Junior Member

    Considering what the battles were like on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, I would have assumed the land battles would have been as bad if not worse, especially since it was apparent no surrender was forthcoming. The depths of fanaticism seemed infinite.

    Japan's problem was the had nearly ten years of history for militaristic expansion and it had become well known they treated indigenous populations as their occupiers. It was near impossible to feel sympathy for them.

    Even though their citizens were essentially in a police state, their leadership seemed as willing to drive them to extinction in resistance as Hitler would have done with his people if they hadn't decided to surrender after his death. The Germans were willing to surrender in the thousands -the Japanese weren't.

    Citizens of all allied combatant nations wanted the war over NOW and to poses the capability of hurting the enemy to extent of destroying a single city with a single bomb, what was there to debate?

    Sure, it would have been humane not to drop the bomb but how would the people of the allied nations reacted to have found out such a weapon existed but was not used for concern for civilian casualties when our own citizen soldiers were still in harm's way?
  3. CM3

    CM3 Junior Member

    The exact same thing! Truman was the man of the hour and enough was enough with all the atrocities the Japanese had done throughout the war. My fathers unit was scheduled to be in on the invasion and may God bless this man who saved many American and even Japanese lives by his order to use the atomic bombs.
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I was about to reply to this thread when I had the good sense to scroll back and see that I had already made a comment, This happens when you get to my age :(

    I did however notice that I wrote:


    and by the way.......hindsight had not yet been invented at the time.

    I think that statement covers quite a lot and I am likely to use it again in the future.

  5. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    My dad's opinion was quite stark... he firmly believed that the American's wasted the opportunity to finish them, let alone drop just the two...

    As for the Emperor, wasn't that down to MacArthur... the last war-time leader to remain in power, iirc...
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    My dad's opinion was quite stark... he firmly believed that the American's wasted the opportunity to finish them, let alone drop just the two...

    As for the Emperor, wasn't that down to MacArthur... the last war-time leader to remain in power, iirc...

    Hi HC

    Could you expand on what he meant by finish them?

    Seems the occupation went pretty smoothly but I haven't read a lot on it.
    My main area of interest there is between Aug 15 and Sept 2 of 1945. Fascinating period, to me at least.

    If it means obliterate them completely, remember that it was a while before the US had any more A-bombs. Many months, I think, so that would have meant a long battle in spite of the atomic attacks.
  7. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    My dad's opinion was quite stark... he firmly believed that the American's wasted the opportunity to finish them, let alone drop just the two...

    As for the Emperor, wasn't that down to MacArthur... the last war-time leader to remain in power, iirc...


    Those that fought the Japanese and particularly those who were POW's all seem to have those stong opinions. Not that it wasn't entirely justified but far more bitterness and outright hatred than seen from the European vets.
  8. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    hy ghvalj. in answer to your inquiry,drop mensioned by others,the americans stood to loose a million men,i think they had done plenty,oh.and while i am quoting others.drop onother one,all the best.p.s.dont look directly at the flash.bernard85,
  9. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Dave... he was involved in the 1944 Chindit ops with the 1st Cameronians...
    Tim... there were 3 of us at school that had dad's the same age that served in distinctly different areas - HMS Belfast on the Russian Convoys, my dad's Burma experiences and one girl who's dad was in opne of the first groups to open up the concentration camps and see the truth of the attrocities - he held the same opinion of the Germans, I can assure you...
    Oh I knew dad was bitter about them but never knew how bitter until he had an accident on route to work (hi-value insurance investigator for a Lloyds underwriter, post many years in the Met Police) - I used to haunt bookshops looking for sci-fi works (personal preferred writing genre) and spotted a book...

    This is from my present manuscript...
    ... As a final example, which I seriously considered as being the title for the story: in the early 1980’s, he was in a central London hospital with a broken hip after slipping and falling heavily on the pavement on his way to work. As a tongue firmly planted in cheek joke, I gave him a one-inch thick, highly detailed book, about the creation of the first Nuclear weapons, from conception right through to their use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to cheer him up. Having been kept relatively in the dark about his views, and never having been that interested in history, I had no true idea of how dark his view of the Japanese people was. His conclusion was that, “It was a good story, but the outcome was flawed, as they (the Americans) had stopped at two.” The two being the weapons loosed upon those two cities. This comment was not made in a joking manner, he was being sincere: he fully believed that if the Japanese race were wiped off the face of the Earth, it would not be enough to repay what they had done. I do not think any of us can understand this level of hatred, unless they have endured something similar…

    He was not a POW, just had to fight them from behind the lines for a few months...
    Personally, a lot of water has flowed under that bridge...
    canuck likes this.
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

  11. Biggles Prime

    Biggles Prime Junior Member

    The majority opinion I agree with, and I was pleased to read the opinions of some of the protagonists in these historic events.

    That said, I think we must be wary of not taking account of the emotional turbulence that prevailed in those years. There was a huge opinion that placed revenge at the top of their list of reasons to drop those bombs. We must respect that opinion and understand the reasons for it.

    There were very few "innocent citizens" in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both cities were huge centres of production of war materiel and in this light we are entitled to look upon those factory workers as virtually the equivalent of combatants. Cool heads in the US saw the destruction of Japan's ability to conduct war.

    The opportunity to test these new weapons with the great majority of home civilian approval in a live and real life situation was a golden one not to be compromised by humanitarian qualms or moral/ethical niceties. Very, very, few people were inclined to place importance on the subtleties and nuances as they pertained and even fewer cared about the holier-than-thou historian and philosopher who fifty and more years later would patronise the citizenry and military of the time with "reinterpretations" in order to maintain their station in the academic hierarchy. It must be emphasised also that the philosophy of war shared by the Allies vastly differed from that of the Japanese.

    I'm sure there are other significant contributing factors than those I've laid out here.
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    This subject has cropped up on virtually every ww2 site on which I have posted and my feelings have never varied by one iota.

    Go see what I had to say on posting #15.

  13. Biggles Prime

    Biggles Prime Junior Member

    A few brief addenda pertinent to the actual question.

    I believe the US was indeed fortunate to have two men of sufficient calibre in consecutive presidencies to bring the conflicts to a successful conclusion.

    The pressures being exerted on these men were enormous and would have overwhelmed many lesser statesmen.

    Having studied the history for many years I have found myself agreeing more and more that the nuclear weapons should have been deployed. The shock and sense of futility thus aroused among the more perceptive Japanese leaders carried the day.
  14. beeza

    beeza Senior Member

    As I recall the general feeling of the day was whacko ! Give ém another one and lets get this war over so the boys can come home to live in peace again.

    The Japanese had caused enough mayhem over the past 10 years or so to last a life time and a little retribution coming their way was welcome.

  15. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    As has been speculated in terms of the political motivation for Overlord, namely the Soviet threat to occupy Western Europe, this piece also suggests that impending Soviet involvement influenced the A-bomb decisions.
  16. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    On 1st August 1945 there was an Imperial Edict sent to all Japanese Armies ordering them to execute every Prison of War in their possession.

    On 15th August this was rescinded as the Allies demanded as part of the Surrender of Japan.

    However this did not stop further be-headings which continued until 27th August when the last prisoner of war, an Australian was beheaded, Borneo.

    It is quite clear that the Emperor and his Court did not care how many of the Citizens of Japan were killed as long as they could negotiate the continuation of the kokutai, the Imperial Way,the maintenance of the Emperor.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    It should come as no surprise to members of this fine site that I am now in my early 90s.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, it must be self evident that at some time in the future I will no longer be around to state my case when thread topics similar to this one are posted for general discussion

    Could I therefore ask that when this occurs, some kind member will post on my behalf the views I expressed in Comment #15 and in particular re-print the postscript which goes "and by the way.......hindsight had not yet been invented "

    Wills and ethan like this.
  18. ethan

    ethan Member

    Nicely said Ron,

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