How could US drop the a-bomb on Civilians?

Discussion in 'History' started by aaqucnaona, Jan 18, 2012.


Was Us justified in dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    THAT IS FUNNY, especially coming from you Ice.
    Here is your problem; history just doesn’t back up your assertions. So you cherry pick through history. You ignore the unpleasant realities in favor of this mystical fantasy upon which you have absolutely no logical or reasoned basis for, hence your heavy reliance on fallacious argument.

    The reality is Japan was preparing for a very bloody invasion of its homeland. It was arming civilians. Based on battle field experiences, less than 2% of Japanese troops ever surrendered. They fought to the death. On Okinawa only 7k of 120k Japanese troops were captured. Japanese civilians committed suicide on Okinawa as well. Between 40k and 150k civilians died on Okinawa. Put that into perspective, 120k people died in the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

    You think if we would have informed Japan we had the bomb, they would have played nice and immediately surrendered. The fact is you have no basis for that fantasy. The facts are two nuclear bombs were dropped, and after days of debate the emperor’s ministers were still divided on the surrender issue. And after the emperor decided to surrender, his decision was not accepted and a coup ensued. By the way, there wasn’t a single Japanese physicist serving as a minister to the emperor. Japanese physicists were not making the surrender decision. So like your other arguments, you have a lot of chaff but little if any substance.

    The West had offered surrender terms to Japan months before the first nuclear bomb was detonated on Japanese soil. President Truman had issued warnings to Japan both before the first nuclear bomb had been deployed and after.
    The bottom line here is you don’t care about facts; evidence and reason…got it.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Of course. They didn't know the US had the Bomb, and all their offers of negotiation had been refused - what else would they do? They didn't want to roll over for an American Nanking, and that's what America seemed to be threatening.

    You have some kind of psychological problem, apparently.

    And more than 100k in the firebombings of Tokyo and Osaska. That's pretty strong evidence that it was revelation of the Bomb, not incineration of Hiroshima's civilians, that would be the key to Japanese surrender. Just as anticipated, by the US command.

    I went with the same basis for thinking quick surrender was a possibility upon Bomb revelation that Truman did, and the rest of the American command. And they were right, as it turned out.
    So? we had plenty of time - the Nagasaki design was many weeks from operational, in May of 1945.

    Of course not. No nuclear bomb warning, no nuclear program of their own (your earlier assertion was of course bullshit, and you obviously knew that), no reason to have a nuclear physicist on hand. But the Japanese physicists were very good - easily capable of evaluating US claims, had the opportunity been presented. And the US physicists knew who they were - easy communication channel, trust established.

    No terms were offered by the US. All terms offered by Japan were refused, as they had been since Midway, and unconditional surrender demanded, until May of 1945 when Los Alamos reported success. After that, the US refused to even meet the Japanese envoys until after Hiroshima.

    The terms the US thought best after Nagasaki were not offered by the US before Hiroshima.

    The Japanese did not receive a single warning about the Bomb before Hiroshima. Not one. They did not even know the US had the Bomb until two days after Hiroshima's children had been burned alive along with most of the city.
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  5. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Which is, of course, all there is to it really.

    Iceaura seems to enjoy his little speculations, but they are terribly limited. After all, once one begins to wonder what might have been had the bomb not been dropped, then one must go far further than he appears capable of.
    By way of example, post war Taiwan, post war Japan.... China. Russia.

    Personally, I don't mind how it all worked out at all.
    And Wellwisher is also exactly correct (not that it hasn't been pointed out before), in saying that Iceaura is attempting to apply 21st-century liberalism to 20th century events. It's simply a stupid thing to do.

    Lastly, there is the human element that the so-called humanists always seem to forget when pressing their little agendas on everyone else.
    In the latter stages of 1945, the Americans had been at war for a few years. So let us all imagine a scenario in which the high command went to their troops with an option:

    "Well, boys, we have a big bomb. It's going to be fairly dramatic, and a lot of Japanese are going to die. Now, to be honest, we're not entirely sure what it's going to do, but we are fairly certain it's going to make a helluva bang, and kill a lot of people. So we're not really sure we want to do this. It's going to make a bang big enough to kill women, children, everyone within a few square miles. It's probably going to flatten a city. But here's the thing - it's gonna scare the bejesus out of the Japs, and it's gonna make the Chinese stop and pay attention. It's gonna make the Russians think twice about heading East. And if it makes the Japs surrender, if it makes China and Russia think twice about going any further with this whole goddamned war bullshit, most of you get to go home.

    But, if we don't so this, we have another option. We can blockade Japan, starve them out, so to speak. Might take a few months. So we're going to have to ask you all to stay on the boats for a while longer, if we take this option. And, of course, we might end up having to defend the Pacific Rim against the Chinese, maybe even the Russians, if they decide they want Japan and Taiwan badly enough.... which we know they do.

    So here's your choice, boys.
    This bloke Iceaura thinks that we don't need to do this, it's a moral failing and we shouldn't stain our characters with a black mark it'll take decades to erase.

    If y'all turf him overboard now, we drop this puppy and a lot of Japs die.
    And then most of you get to go home. To see your wives, your children, your families.
    If we don't... you don't.
    You get to stay on these ships a while longer. How much longer, we don't actually know. Because even after the Japs surrender, we still have to worry about everyone else... China, Russia.

    So what's it gonna be, boys?"

    My guess?
    "Hey, no wait, moral failings...."

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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    That is simply nonsense. As I pointed out, Japan had been warned prior to the first bomb being dropped. Japan certainly knew the US was very capable of dropping bombs on Japanese home soil since shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and declared war on the US.
    Further there is no, absolutely no, evidence of an American Nanking. The US had been fighting Japanese forces in the Pacific for some time and there wasn’t anything even remotely similar to Nanking that can be attributed to US or Allied forces. Allied forces clearly defined the terms of Japan’s surrender at Potsdam months before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan.
    LOL, more illogical argument, why am I not impressed? Instead of pilling on the illogical arguments perhaps you should be taking a long deep serious look at yourself my friend. You are the guy who cannot make a rational argument. You are the guy who must rely on illogical argument and fantasies and rewrite history in order to make sense of your beliefs.
    As is your custom, you are contradicting yourself again. Yes it was the revelation of and the demonstration of multiple nuclear weapons detonations on Japanese soil and a mistaken belief the US had more nuclear weapons immediately ready to use on Japan. You kind of like to gloss over the details. You have absolutely no evidence that Japan would have surrendered had the US just asked nicely and invited Japanese representatives over for tea and a nuclear demonstration. In fact, history proves you wrong. But being proven wrong has never caused you to rethink your ideology. So why should you begin now?
    You keep repeating debunked nonsense. Shit doesn’t get better or smell sweeter the more times you pass it around. You have a knack for overlooking unpleasant details, details that have been repeated over and over. The fact is Japan didn’t surrender after the first nuclear detonation. It didn’t immediately surrender after the second and it was warned. You have seen the flier dropped on Japan which warned Japanese of a new and devastating weapon and of the US intent to use it if Japan didn’t surrender. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, after the second detonation on Japanese soil, Japanese leaders were still divided on the issue of surrender after days of discussion. It was a lie told by a tortured American airman which convinced the emperor to surrender. And even then, the emperor’s decision to surrender caused a coup because some soldiers refused to surrender and wanted to continue the war.

    This may come as surprise to you Ice, but Japanese physicists were not running Japan. They were physicists, not generals, and not politicians. They weren’t the ones calling the shots in WWII Japan. Japanese soldiers weren’t willing to listen to the emperor on the surrender question, so what makes you think they are going to listen to small group of physicists?
    You basically have absolutely NO evidence to support your beliefs.
    That is patently untrue as well. As has been endlessly brought to your attention, the terms of Japan’s surrender were issued at the Potsdam Conference months before the first nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan. Japan was warned, the warnings were shown to you. You have got a nice little fantasy world going on between your ears.

    And as others have noted, things have worked out pretty well for Japan and the US. Today, after US reconstruction of Japan, Japan is a prosperous, stable, advanced, well respected democracy and peaceful nation.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Notice how the evil is presented, as a forced choice in which all the decent options are simply omitted. It takes deliberate will, mental effort, to exclude the reality of the situation facing Truman in May of 1945. But even here, a dozen pages into the thread, we see repeated the same obscuring veil and misrepresentations and denials - this is symptomatic: Hiroshima has damaged the American psyche.

    This reality was not overlooked at the time. The actual issues were debated - we have records, and eyewitness accounts, and the names of the people involved. Everybody involved knew there was not going to be any invasion or extended blockade of Japan. The only matter under discussion was how best to tell the Japanese about the Bomb, how best to handle surrender or organize further Bombing if refused, etc.

    So one choice the troops might have been offered in May of 1945: should we tell the Japanese we have succeeded in developing an atomic bomb, offering evidence etc, right now while we only have the crude version built? They can't stop it, or copy it, and in fact we could have told them back in February that it was only a matter of time, but we thought it best to build one before putting it to them and now we have - so should we?

    The upside is that we think there is a good chance they will surrender as soon as they realize what we have, on terms even a little better than the ones they offered a few months ago, and you guys all get to go home in a couple of weeks. It might take a demonstration explosion, which would add to the delay, but we think a quick surrender - less than a month - is realistically possible as soon as they find out about this thing. It's that awesome.

    The downside is that if they do surrender we won't actually get to drop one on a city, and we won't get to compare our more sophisticated design in real world circumstances. We haven't got it built yet. Also, we think actually blowing up a city will frighten the Soviets and Chinese more than the threat alone, and we want to frighten the Soviets and Chinese.

    So what do you say - 1) take the risk they will surrender too quickly and we won't get to blow actual cities to hell with different design bombs, but the war ends in a couple weeks 2) or have you guys carry on fighting this ugly war far from home for another four months so we can surprise them - get two bombs dropped before they have time to react. Then see if they will surrender.

    btw: if anyone cares, the thing burns people alive. Y'know - little kids? So a quick surrender would save not only the Bomb targets and the four months of war but the victims of the firebombing we plan to do while hiding its existence. But maybe that's a decision we made at Dresden.

    Demanding unconditional surrender and offering terms are two very different things. We knew they would refuse unconditional surrender (Nanking). We refused to negotiate. We did not use the Bomb to negotiate terms, as we could have attempted.
    The Bomb was kept secret from Japan. Deliberately. So that it could be dropped on populated cities by surprise, forestalling any possibility of surrender in advance.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
    youreyes likes this.
  9. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

    From your entire post your "I don't mind" stance of using nuclear weapons on civilians is there for us to see.

    This you don't mind?

    250,000+ "official" deaths

    This you don't want prevented?

    History repeats itself, know that. USA has done everything and more of what Japan has done to have US "justify" the dropping of nuclear bombs on civilians. What city with millions of civilians do you want to be bombed in USA? Don't mind, right?
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well ignoring history is what you do. Ignoring the fact that a state of war existed between the Japan and the US. Ignoring the fact Japan first attacked the US. Ignoring the fact the US nuclear attacks on Japan saved millions of Japanese lives. Ignoring the fact that Mother Russia (i.e. Soviet Union) also bombed civilians during WWII. Ignoring the fact your beloved Mother Russia is now threatening to kill millions of civilians with her nuclear weapons - to be the first aggressor in a WWIII which would be the world against your beloved Mother Russia. You don't mind mother Russia killing civilians. And Mother Russia isn't threatening millions of civilians in order to save lives as was the case when the US attacked Japan with nukes but rather to assert some sort Russian notions of racial superiority. So don't you think it is more than a little hypocritical on your part?
  11. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    I don't mind how it all turned out, no. Which is, I believe, exactly what I said - in agreement with someone else who said much the same thing.
    I'll leave you to try to figure out what you did wrong, there.

    Yes, I do mind. Simply because I'm quite capable of asking the next question, which I've already noted you have not.

    When I get right down to it, given the choice between the USA being a dominant world power, or having them removed from the picture and considering who might step into the void, I'll take the USA.
    Idealistic notions can make one as blind to the self as a conservative opinion, in that it is all too often just as uneducated or misinformed.

    You see, you and I are conducting this little exchange under the knowledge that we're not likely to be dragged away from it. What you're failing to consider is that in the absence of the USA, a void would develop. Some other nation is extremely likely to step into that void. Some other nation is likely to have as much power and projection over the world as the USA does now, but without the constraint of relative balance. Which nation would you have that be, with all due consideration as to the most likely candidates?

    As I have already pointed out, the situation at the end of the pacific war in 1945 was rather tenuous. Too many of you are only looking at the immediate consideration, using only an idealistic notion as your guide. Russia and China may have been allies, but they most certainly were not friends. The pragmatic reality was that it was not a only question of defeating Japan - it was how to do it in such a way as to forestall any further conflict, and to end those allies' notions of carrying things further, to a point where strategic command of the Pacific region was in question.
    There is, after all, a very real possibility that the USA (and by extension, many other nations) would still be embroiled in much the same conflict decades later, albeit with shifting alliances.

    It really doesn't matter, this little conversation we're having about ethics, about the moral ramifications of dropping The Bomb. There are those of us, you see, who are aware that the Cold War might have been considerably warmer, had it never happened.

    But you don't want to know about that. You don't want to consider any of that.
    Because some hypothetical possibilities are more attractive to you than others, and you would prefer to believe that things would turn out the way you see them.

    So, no, youreyes, I don't mind how it all turned out. Could have been better, yes, but it could have been much, much worse.
    And here we are, you and I, tapping away our little opinions on keyboards six decades down the track, espousing upon our ideals and having our little digs at the USA.

    No... I don't mind.
    joepistole likes this.
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Weren't the Japanese asked to surrender before the bombs were deployed?

    Here were the leaflets telling civilians to evacuate cities after the first A-bomb takes out Hiroshima.

    • Primary Resources: Leaflets warning Japanese of Atomic Bomb, 1945
      Leaflets dropped on cities in Japan warning civilians about the atomic bomb, dropped c. August 6, 1945

      America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet.

      We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.

      We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.

      Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace-loving Japan.

      You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.


      Because your military leaders have rejected the thirteen part surrender declaration, two momentous events have occurred in the last few days.

      The Soviet Union, because of this rejection on the part of the military has notified your Ambassador Sato that it has declared war on your nation. Thus, all powerful countries of the world are now at war with you.

      Also, because of your leaders' refusal to accept the surrender declaration that would enable Japan to honorably end this useless war, we have employed our atomic bomb.

      A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s could have carried on a single mission. Radio Tokyo has told you that with the first use of this weapon of total destruction, Hiroshima was virtually destroyed.

      Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the emperor now to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better, and peace-loving Japan.

      Act at once or we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.


      Source: Harry S. Truman Library, Miscellaneous historical document file, no. 258.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yep. And they'd probably do the same thing if he had said "hey, you know what? Maybe we should be a little more honest about what happened last night here in the Gulf of Tonkin." Indeed, I am sure the people at Abu Ghraib would have tossed him in a well if he said "hey, maybe it's best to not torture people and take cellphone pictures of the torture." Those are both pretty poor arguments in support of those events.
  14. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Yes, they are. Your problem is that I did not make those arguments in support of anything, I was merely pointing out the mindset of the soldiers at the time.
    Point out one person doing that, and the next just comes wading on in making exactly the same mistake.

    Also probably worth noting (once again) that it does seem to be those who profess to be morally righteous who are the least able to actually empathise. Completely unable to put themselves in the shoes of those who were there, so to speak.
    I'd simply adore the opportunity to watch the likes of you or Iceaura wandering up to a Viking or a Mongol and attempting to commiserate with him about his obvious internal mental anguish over slicing people up with an axe and making off with their gold.

    I also notice how you completely ignore the wider political and strategic situation in order to make a moral point, again.
    So is it that you simply don't grasp it, or you're not going to touch it with a 10-foot pole?
  15. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The atomic bomb was the right thing for that time. What is not well known is Japan had a nuclear bomb program and had exploded a smaller demonstration bomb. The Japanese were only a few years behind the US, and would they would have used this weapon, too. This video tells about the Japanese nuclear program and interviews many of its nuclear scientists of the time.

  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Even if the Japanese had an atomic bomb - which is somewhat dubious - it would have been useless without a delivery system. They had no way of reaching North America.
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    A couple of things, first, Japan did have a nuclear bomb program and the US was aware of that program, in part, because the US had captured a Nazi sub delivering nuclear materials to Japan. Second, the US wasn't sure how far a long Japan was in developing a nuclear weapon. Third, Japan did have aircraft capable of delivering a nuclear device which could have been used on Allied forces in the region. Japan also had balloons which it used to deliver bombs to the continental United States. A Japanese balloon bomb killed a pregnant woman and 5 American children on American soil. So the threat of Japanese balloon bombs was a very real threat and could have delivered nuclear weapons as well as conventional weapons. Japanese balloon bombs were Japan's attempt to invoke terror on American soil with indiscriminate bombing. And finally, it wasn't necessary to deliver a nuclear weapon through conventional means to have lethal effect on Allied troops. Given the Allies were advancing toward Japan and the Japanese battle front was retreating, all Japan need to was to plant the bomb(s) and detonate them after retreating and after Allied troops had advanced, or nuclear weapons could have been placed in artillery shells which was something the US subsequently did. Those weapons are called "tactical nukes".
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    As usual, your post is nonsense.
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I want us to live and our enemies to die.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Hmm, I'd prefer them both to live. Leave the jihads and crusades to the religious extremists.
    youreyes likes this.
  21. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

    your enemies take the same stance as well.
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    the problem with that is it only continues a cycle of violence. that mind set implictily states that there is no value in peace or trying to find peaceful solutions. also it ends up as the view point you take where the morality of violence than becomes predicated on do i like them and/or can they get away with it while ignoring any sense of actual moral justification for violence. whose the agressor whose the victim becomes irrelevant all that matters than is did i deemed them my enemy i did oh well they deserved it.

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