How could US drop the a-bomb on Civilians?

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

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

  1. Yes

    64.5%
  2. No

    35.5%
  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Why would they need to? Japan’s strategy was to send numerous bombs rather than a few larger bombs. These bombs were not finely targeted weapons. Japan didn’t have weather satellites. More and smaller bombs increased the odds of success.
    Just because Japan uses smaller balloon weapons, it doesn’t mean they were not capable of doubling the size of the balloons. You seem to think the Japanese were incompetent dolts. They were and are anything but that.
    Well this gets to the point that I have repeatedly ignored. Neither Japan nor the US knew how far along each was in the development of nuclear weapons. Japan falsely thought the US was further along in nuclear weapons development because they believed the testimony of a tortured American pilot.
    No there were not, but neither side knew that. You are assuming that the decision makers on both sides knew what we know today. And that just wasn’t the case.
    Well rather wasting more of my time, how about you doing some googling? I think you answered your question as to why Japan made smaller balloon bombs. But nuclear weapons would have made larger bombs worthwhile for Japan to build larger balloon bombs.
    Well, that isn’t clear. But, it would have had an effect on Allied forces invading Japan. I’ve already outlined how Japan could have used nuclear weapons on Allied forces during an invasion of Japan. Up until Japan’s surrender, Japan was still conducting attacks on Allied forces.
    Well, just because you cannot wrap you mind about remote detonation of weapons, it was a well-established technology at the time. If Japan had detonated a nuclear device on Iwo Jima, they would have killed a lot of people and would have repelled the Allied invasion and that was Japan’s goal. Japan wanted time to recoup, a Japanese nuclear weapon would have given them that time and it would have made the war much more costly in terms of lives lost and mutilated bodies.
    Just because that fact runs counter to your beliefs, it doesn’t mean it isn’t certain. It’s a fact. Japan could have easily delivered nuclear devices on Allied targets, if it had nuclear weapons via the previously mentioned delivery vehicles.
     
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  3. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    The Japanese invasion of China and other countries of the far east, early in the war, demonstrated how brutal the Japanese military was at that time. This has been called the Asian Holocaust, where nearly 4 million civilians were killed. They were like the Nazi's of the far east. If they, like Germany, had the bomb ready, they would have used it.

    The surrender of the Japanese was due to their own guilt, and the retribution that was due. If they had been in the right, they would have fought on. But they knew all their sucker shots, early in the war, meant they were in for a retribution beating. The A-bombs gave them a way to avoid eye for an eye, since it did not kill 4 million of their citizens. But it was so scary, that it sort of emotionally balanced things out, so peace could happen sooner; national penance.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    For decades, many Japanese felt a strong sense of revulsion for what their country had done. Now that the people who were alive at that time are slowly dying off, a new generation is saying, "Enough of hating ourselves. Those were our grandparents and great-grandparents, not us. This is a new country, let's be proud."

    Japan watchers--both Japanese and foreigners--see Prime Minister Abe as the promoter of this new pride.

    Japan has been assimilating foreign cultural influences for centuries... notably Chinese, but also European and, since the war, American. It will be interesting to see how this works out.
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    And there was no reason to think that they had enough nuclear weapons to use that approach.

    Or, how about backing up your own speculations?

    And the fact that they didn't do it suggests that they couldn't.
     
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Oh, well that is easy for you to say 70 years after the fact. But it just doesn't comport with known facts. As previously mentioned, the US knew Japan had an nuclear weapons development project because it had captured nuclear material transfers from Nazi Germany to Japan. And that is all the US knew at the time. So baring some sort of ESP, there is no way for the US to have known how far along Japan was in its nuclear weapons program, just as it had no knowledge of how far along the Nazi nuclear weapons program was until after the regime had collapsed.
    What, you cannot google? Japan had airplanes. Japan still occupied large swaths of land in China and Korea that were largely untouched by Allied attacks. All that is needed to deploy a nuclear device is a plane large enough to carry it. So if you are to believed, Japan had no supply planes. And then we have all the other delivery methods which have been discussed. You are the one made the initial claim that Japan didn't' have the capability to deliver nuclear weapons. When you provide credible proof of your assertion, I will google for you.
    LOL, they didn't do it because they didn't have nuclear weapons.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    How could Japan deliver weapons they didn't have. That is indeed a sideshow argument my friend.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    But as has been repeatedly pointed out to you, the US didn't know what nuclear capability Japan had and didn't know until after the war just as it didn't know Nazi Germany's nuclear capabilities until after the war, just as Japan didn't know the nuclear capability of the US until a couple of nuclear devices were dropped on their cities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    I googled the fact that Japan had no operational aircraft capable of lifting a nuclear weapon. I googled the fact that their balloon bombs were nowhere near the size of nuclear weapons. It's your turn to google and provide something other than empty speculation.

    Exactly. If they had 'em, why didn't they use 'em? The Americans only got close enough to Japan to use theirs because the Japanese didn't have the ability to stop them.
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Then provide the evidence which supports your assertion that Japan didn't have the ability to deliver nuclear devices if it had them and I will help you out per my last post. And actually what you discovered were balloon bombs were capable of delivering nuclear devices to the US. You should have learned nuclear devices can weight as little as 50 pounds or as much as 10,000 pounds. In either case, balloons were capable of delivering nuclear weapons to the US mainland as evidenced by Japan's balloon bombs.
    There is this thing called time Sideshow, you may have heard of it. Things change. A few months earlier, the US didn't have a nuclear weapon either. One day the US didn't have a nuclear weapon, the next day it did. It's that old time thingy. Things change. The US didn't know when or if Japan would have nuclear capability. For all the US knew Japan could have deployed and detonated a nuclear device at any time prior to surrender.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    I can carry a phone around in my pocket but it would not have been reasonable for the Americans to assume that Hirohito could do the same. They had to go with what they knew about nuclear weapons, which was that they weighed 10,000 pounds and cost a fortune. They could not reasonably have assumed that Japan had enough of them for a scatter-gun balloon-borne attack. (They might have wished that the Japanese were stupid enough to squander their resources on such an approach.)
     
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Seriously, and you think that makes sense or is somehow relevant?

    Well, they did go with what they knew and that is one of your problems. The US didn't know how many if any nuclear devices Japan had. The US choose to develop large nukes. Japan may have decided to develop smaller nukes as they did with the balloon bombs. But in any case, Japan certainly had the capability to build larger balloons if need be which would have been capable of delivering the kind of nuclear bombs the US dropped on Japan to US soil. As previously pointed out to you, one Zeppelin sized balloon could have delivered fifty one 10,000 pound nuclear devices to US soil.

    And cost really isn't relevant. This is a survival decision, and need you be reminded that Japan was a monarchy where the monarch was the absolute power? So you think nuclear weapons were a squandered waste of materials? Well Japan and Nazi Germany and the US didn't think so. And history has shown they were not wrong. What you seem incapable of understanding is the US didn't know what Japan was doing with respect to its nuclear weapons program. The US only knew Japan had a nuclear weapons development program.
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    They weren't the idiots you make them out to be. They had a pretty good idea that Germany was well behind them and that Japan was behind Germany. Nuclear physics is a fairly small club; it was no big secret where the experts were.

    The US developed the only nukes they knew how - the same as they developed large phones before small ones.

    They used a lot of small balloons for a reason - most of them didn't reach their targets. They would have been stupid to put all of their eggs in one basket.

    Of course it is. You can't spend what you haven't got and you usually don't choose to spend what you've got on pie-in-the-sky instead of conventional means of ensuring your survival. The US had the resources to spare; Japan did not. The whole war in the Pacific was about Japan's lack of resources.

    The US could afford to squander more than anybody else. Germany was ruled by a lunatic who lost the war because he squandered his resources on killing Jews instead of fighting his real enemies. Japan didn't squander nearly as much as you fantasize because they didn't have it to squander.
     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    Here's how it works: I say there's no Bigfoot and you say there is. You're the one who needs to provide positive evidence. If you have any, why don't you provide it instead of asking me to prove a negative?

    I'm saying it isn't so until there's evidence. Show us the evidence.
     
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    LOL, yeah, that is how it works. You began this discussion when you said Japan didn't have the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon. So where is the evidence to support your assertion? You have none. That is why you are obfuscating. You are not being asked to prove a negative. You are being asked to prove your assertion, an assertion which runs counter to the already provided evidence. And you have consistently ignored the evidence to the contrary which I have provided...oops. Don't you recall the discussion of balloon bombs, remote detonations, airplanes, etc.?

    The unfortunate fact for you Sideshow is that Japan was still a very potent military force at the time of surrender. It still had possession of China and Korea and had a standing 2 million man army in the homeland islands. That is one of the many very unpleasant facts you like to keep ignoring.

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2539100?uid=3739672&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21106229734321
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Oh, so US leaders had ESP then. Just because US leaders didn’t know enemy secrets, it doesn’t make them idiots Sideshow. It just makes them human, you know humans without ESP like most of us.

    Here is a little history lesson for you Sideshow. Einstein, one of the greatest brains in human history and foremost physicist and German emigree, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt urging Roosevelt to develop nuclear weapons because he thought Nazi Germany was developing and could develop a nuclear weapon. That was a big thing for Einstein, because Einstein was a pacifist. It was at Einstein’s behest the US began developing its nuclear weapon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%E2%80%93Szil%C3%A1rd_letter

    Allies were such “idoits” they bombed Nazi Germany’s heavy water production facilities several times, because the Allies knew Nazi Germany had an active nuclear weapons program. Ironically, it was the experts (i.e. physicists) who most feared Nazi Germany’s nuclear capabilities the most.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_heavy_water_sabotage
    Oh and where is your evidence for that one?
    Oh and where is your evidence? Some of them didn’t reach their targets, but many did. But balloon bombs didn’t have the effect Japan intended. Many if not most detonated in remote areas and the US government actively suppressed the one instance in which a woman and five children were killed. It is much easier to suppress the knowledge of small detonations versus atomic bomb sized detonations.
    And none of that changes the fact that contrary to your assertion, Japan had the capability to deliver nuclear weapons to US soil.
    You don’t get it. In an absolute monarchy, the sovereign owns everything.
    Well that is your belief, but that is all it its. The US didn’t squander its nuclear investments. The US was certainly the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Nazi Germany lost the war for a number of reasons. It wasn’t just one thing that brought Germany to an end. But how is that relevant to your assertions? It isn’t.

    Your premise here is that investing in nuclear weapons equated to squander. That is a big leap; actually, that is a fantasy. Nazi Germany desperately needed a super weapon. Nazi Germany’s possession of nuclear weapons could have materially changed the course of the war. That is why physicists (e.g. Einstein) urged the US government to develop a nuclear weapon. Nuclear weapons were a game changer. If Japan had nuclear weapons it would have materially changed the course of the war. Unfortunately for you, history just isn’t supportive of your beliefs.
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    6,585
    What I said was, "They had no way of reaching North America." I have dismissed nuking China and booby-trapping Iwo Jima because they wouldn't have had any significant effect on the outcome of the war.

    You have consistently refused to provide any evidence for your wild-eyed speculations.

    Japan surrendered because the US demonstrated that they could destroy Japanese cities at will. There army was potent like Mike Tyson in a broom closet. They had the power but no room to use it.
     
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Well, they could have nuked an invasion fleet. That's definitely possible. As for what it would have done to the war - it could have damaged the political willpower to prosecute it. That's a definite axis WRT American military strategy: domestic willpower. I'm not sure what might have ensued had they managed it. Would American voters have panicked, assuming that the Japanese had many such bombs? Would they have turned resolute, demanding that the war be prosecuted to its end? Would they have shyed away from invasion? Would they have demanded retribution in kind? Alternatively, they could have refused surrender and waited for an American beachhead, then flattened it. A hundred thousand American casualties might well have been the end of all support. The other side of that, though, is that the Russians might then have invaded the Home Islands. Or backed off.

    They were fairly far from a weapon, but then again science happens in rapid leaps also sometimes.
     
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Well actually, you said more than that. Below is what you actually wrote.
    And where is the evidence to validate your claim a nuclear detonation in China and booby-trapping Iwo Jima (assuming you meant with nuclear devices) would not have had a significant effect on the outcome of the war? Nuclear warheads would have made it much easier for Japan to defend the Japanese homeland.

    One of the many unfortunate facts for you is contrary to your claims, Japan had nuclear weapon delivery capability. It is relatively easy to deliver a nuclear weapon. That is one of the problems we face today. That is why the West is so very concerned about the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
    LOL, so Einstein and his fellow physicists were “wild eyed speculators” were they? Well I think that sums up the idiocy of your beliefs and the increasingly desperate nature of your argument. I have provided many documents as evidence. You have provided none… zip, zero. Your refusal to acknowledge fact, to acknowledge evidence, and your overwhelming ignorance of facts is in itself substantial evidence of either your cognitive impairments or ignorance.
    With a single weapon, the atomic bomb, and the false belief the US had many more such bombs, combined with the fact the Soviets had just declared war after the US first detonated a nuclear device that is why Japan surrendered. You have this preference for simplistic thinking.
    Did you not read the Jstor document I previously posted? I’ll repost it for your edification. A 2 million man army is more powerful than Mike Tyson in a broom closet. The fact you believe otherwise speaks volumes of your delusion. Let's put some perspective on that, currently the US Army has 546,047 active duty troops.

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2539100?uid=3739672&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21106229734321


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    6,585
    Einstein didn't speculate that Japan would waft nuclear weapons across the Pacific by balloon.

    The question here is not whether Japan could have eventually produced a nuclear weapon. The question is whether or not President Truman and his advisors took that threat seriously. Did they drop the bomb on Hiroshima to forestall the imminent threat of a nuclear attack by Japan?

    I think not. You have presented no evidence to suggest that they did.
     
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,910
    Well that is woosing out. You actually, think that makes a difference? No, Einstein didn't speculate on specific battle tactics which Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany would employ. Why would he? Einstein and his fellow physicists were not clairvoyants or generals. And that doesn't change the unpleasant fact for you and contrary to your assertions, Japan did have the ability to deliver nuclear bombs on US targets if it had nuclear weapons.
    No, that has never been the argument. The argument has been about the US perception of Japan's nuclear weapons capability.
    I think it is pretty obvious Roosevelt and subsequently Truman, took the threat of an Axis nuclear weapon very seriously. They created the Manhattan Project in response to Einstein's letter to Roosevelt which warned him of that danger. Now your unwillingness to recognize that fact doesn't make it go away.

    Truman used the nuclear weapon to end the most destructive war in human history, and it did. Japan wanted to stall for time. More time worked to Japan's advantage. It allowed them to continue the murderous control of China and Korea. It gave them time to regroup and rebuild. Truman wasn't going to give them that time, and rightly so. Truman didn't drop the nukes on Japan to forestall an "imminent" threat of nuclear attack by Japan. That is a straw man. Ending the war, ended the prospect of a Japanese nuclear weapon too. But the reason for using nuclear bombs on Japan was to end the war which also ended the prospect of a Japanese nuclear weapon.

    Well, you are moving the goal post. The discussion has never been about how seriously President Truman took the threat of a Japanese nuclear bomb. The US knew Japan had a nuclear weapons program. The discussion has been about the justification for Truman's use of nuclear bombs on Japan.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  22. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    6,585
    You keep equivocating Germany with Japan. Yes, they took GERMANY's nuclear capability seriously. They targeted GERMAN nuclear facilities because they knew they had them. Why would they not know if Japan had corresponding facilities?
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Apparently you don't know what the word "equivocating" means. I suggest you look it up before you use it.

    You keep cherry picking your way through history friend. Allies knew of Nazi Germany's heavy water facilities because they had intelligence agents and rebel forces on the ground in Europe who told them. They didn't have such agents in Japan. As a result, the US had far less intelligence with respect to Japan. The Allies didn't have resistance forces and intelligence agents on the ground in Japan as they did in Europe. As I said before, FDR, nor any of his generals had ESP.

    The US knew Nazi Germany had shared its nuclear weapon intelligence, designs and materials with Japan because the US had captured German U-boats with nuclear materials and the designs needed to build nuclear weapons en route to Japan.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

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