Anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb

This topic has already been hashed and rehashed here on the forum but today marks the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and the comments in the media, both positive and negative are flying fast and loose. I wonder what views some of the new posters have on the topic if any?
http://www.wsj.com/articles/japan-remembers-hiroshima-bombing-with-call-to-abolish-nuclear-arms-1438824991
Cap’t Jack

Where there fireworks?

Wonder if China would be taking Japan’s Senkaku Islands right now if Japan had the bomb?

I’ve held off commenting, as I am not a new poster, but since there is little response on this thread, I will say that none of the 100’s of thousands of Japanese who were killed by the atomic bombs, were sexually raped by Americans. Whereas, over a 6 week period, the Japanese in the years just prior to becoming our bitterest of enemies, in the biggest war ever, by virtue of their sneak attack on us, did sexually rape many of the 100’s of thousands of the Chinese that they killed in the “Rape of Nanking”. And BTW, some Japanese still, to this day, deny that anything particularly terrible happened in that massacre.
To sum up… Nuclear weapons bad. Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the context of the times and situation… not so bad.

I will say that none of the 100's of thousands of Japanese who were killed by the atomic bombs, were sexually raped by Americans. Whereas, over a 6 week period... "Rape of Nanking".
three cheers for tribalism in the modern age Oh and Tim, your point is . . . what?

OK,

To sum up... Nuclear weapons bad. Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the context of the times and situation... not so bad.
What about from the perspective of escalating Weapons of Mass Destruction? Industrializing the means of terror and disregard for "the masses"?? and feeding every rich enough fringe of crazies with ever more weapons? Look at the past half century of feeding ever more deadly weapons to ever more crazy people. And you believe something good is developing out of this? :blank: All I see is ever more pissed off and dogmatic crazies using ever more weapons of mass destruction against regular people and occasionally each other. {Inflicting unbelievable amounts of terror, carnage, broken lives and spirits. It's hideous.} All more than happy to use the improved generations of these weapons of mass destruction. Weapons of mass destruction that our political and business leaders are more than happy to sell them and each other. http://www.dsei.co.uk Tim, to me it seems that you are sending out a message that dropping The Bomb, twice did us (as in We The People) some favors. ???

I read Unbroken a few months back and it made me understand why people of the time would feel justified in using the bomb against this particular enemy and why its difficult to judge people without living their lives. I just started reading Hiroshima by John Hersey (1948). Its an account of the day the bomb dropped from the viewpoint of several Hiroshima residents who lived through it which shows the humanity of those we dropped the bomb on.
We can probably argue the merits and horrors of the decision to drop the bomb forever and never come to an agreement. I certainly don’t envy the decision Harry Truman had to make.

OK,
To sum up... Nuclear weapons bad. Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the context of the times and situation... not so bad.
What about from the perspective of escalating Weapons of Mass Destruction? Industrializing the means of terror and disregard for "the masses"?? and feeding every rich enough fringe of crazies with ever more weapons? Look at the past half century of feeding ever more deadly weapons to ever more crazy people. And you believe something good is developing out of this? :blank: All I see is ever more pissed off and dogmatic crazies using ever more weapons of mass destruction against regular people and occasionally each other. {Inflicting unbelievable amounts of terror, carnage, broken lives and spirits. It's hideous.} All more than happy to use the improved generations of these weapons of mass destruction. Weapons of mass destruction that our political and business leaders are more than happy to sell them and each other. http://www.dsei.co.uk Tim, to me it seems that you are sending out a message that dropping The Bomb, twice did us (as in We The People) some favors. ???
I am saying that dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the context of the times, was warranted. As to whether it would have lead to our best possible reality of today, if those atomic bombs had not been dropped, we can only surmise and debate. The good news is that, so far no other nuclear bombs have been used. Their existence would have remained even if they had not been used as they were. The horror of their use was displayed there and then. If they had not been used to bring Japan to an emphatic and complete surrender, as was warranted and necessary in the context of the times, we truly don't know what would have happened, subsequently. I doubt that it would have resulted in a world today where there is no threat of nuclear destruction. I suspect that atomic weapons would have been used, somewhere, at some point, and perhaps with even more horrific results, and, probably, less provocation for their use.

I mentioned this in a much earlier post but one of the most recent, informative and accurate books on the bombings is Hiroshima Nagasaki by Paul Ham. He dedicates a full chapter to the background for the decision to drop the bomb. His bibliography is extensive and he provides a multitude of footnotes. I recommend reading this one for anyone with a serious interest in the virtual beginning of the Cold War. The aftermath is even featured in the new movie “Mr. Holmes” which I also recommend.
Cap’t Jack

I am saying that dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the context of the times, was warranted. As to whether it would have lead to our best possible reality of today, if those atomic bombs had not been dropped, we can only surmise and debate. The good news is that, so far no other nuclear bombs have been used. Their existence would have remained even if they had not been used as they were. The horror of their use was displayed there and then. If they had not been used to bring Japan to an emphatic and complete surrender, as was warranted and necessary in the context of the times, we truly don’t know what would have happened, subsequently. I doubt that it would have resulted in a world today where there is no threat of nuclear destruction. I suspect that atomic weapons would have been used, somewhere, at some point, and perhaps with even more horrific results, and, probably, less provocation for their use.
I'll second that Tim and there's ample evidence to back your contention. The majority of the people in America saw it as justified payback for Pearl Harbor and the family members they lost in the war. Unfortunately this attitude spilled over into the growing conflict between us and the Soviet Union that led to the Cold War and the super patriotic crap that followed. Cap't Jack

fair enough.
though rather deterministic.
sure, since a b and c thus of course d, what else could we have done.
While the beat goes on . . .

The German people refused to acknowledge the “death camps”, till we rubbed their noses in it.
The Japanese people refused to acknowledge the atrocities of their military, till we rubbed their noses in it.
Think what you like of these people.
Yes some Americans committed atrocities on an individual level, but these people committed atrocities on a mass scale that defies the imagination.
What about the testing of biological weapons by the Japanese on the Chinese? Thousands of people died horrible deaths in these experiments.

Well, there were several courses we could have taken, dropped the bomb on a deserted island and invited Japanese officials to watch the carnage, let the Russians invade Japan and scarf it up into their people’s Republic, invade and fight them into extinction, or starve them out with embargoes and blockades. Lots of side rails on the cause and effect railroad. But every one of them had dire consequences. Hindsight really is better than foresight!
Cap’t Jack

Well, there were several courses we could have taken, dropped the bomb on a deserted island and invited Japanese officials to watch the carnage, let the Russians invade Japan and scarf it up into their people's Republic, invade and fight them into extinction, or starve them out with embargoes and blockades. Lots of side rails on the cause and effect railroad. But every one of them had dire consequences. Hindsight really is better than foresight! Cap't Jack
Prior to the start of the Iraq clusterfuck, the US released a video of a test of the MOAB bomb, it didn't convince Saddam to surrender. In the Gulf War 1.0, the British thought that the US had nuked the Iraqis after we detonated a fuel air explosive bomb, Iraq didn't stop fighting. Would Japan have been any different? I don't know. Some historians speculate that Stalin wasn't interested in getting involved with an invasion of Japan, and the USSR's declaration of war against Japan was basically meaningless. That might be true. What I do know, because my brother is friends with one of Harry Truman's nephews is that every year the UN brings high school kids from all over the world to the Harry Truman Presidential Library, gives them all the information Truman and his people had, and asks them what they would do. Every year, those high school kids vote to nuke Japan.

And let’s see if this goes through, or if the software thinks its spam, like it did when I included it in my previous post.
But let’s posit, for a moment, an alternative history where the US didn’t have access to the bomb, and knew that they’d have to go in and fight the Japanese on their home territory. According to US soldiers who were in the European theater, the idea of having to go to Japan (as many of them were preparing to) was a grim one. Morale was low, because they were tired of fighting. The US was estimating (rightly or wrongly) that there would be a large number of casualties, and support for the war was fading at home. No doubt, the US government would have been needing something to convince people to continue the war. They wouldn’t have had much trouble finding it, because they’d been keeping it quiet for a while.]

JAPANESE troops practised cannibalism on enemy soldiers and civilians in the last war, sometimes cutting flesh from living captives, according to documents discovered by a Japanese academic in Australia. In most cases the motive was apparently not shortage of food, but ‘to consolidate the group feeling of the troops’, said Toshiyuki Tanaka yesterday in a telephone interview from Melbourne.

One statement by an Australian lieutenant describes how he found the remains of a number of bodies, including one 'consisting only of a head which had been scalped and a spinal column'. 'In all cases, the condition of the remains were such that there can be no doubt that the bodies had been dismembered and portions of the flesh cooked,' concluded the statement. Another statement from an Australian corporal tells how he found the mutilated bodies of colleagues whom he had earlier helped to bury in Japanese- occupied territory. A Pakistani, who was captured when Japan overran Singapore and taken to New Guinea, testified that in his area Japanese soldiers killed and ate one prisoner a day for 'about 100' days. The corporal said he saw flesh being cut from prisoners who were still alive.
What do you think the US would have done if this had become public knowledge during the war? Remembering, of course, that our own soldiers had committed (and were tried for) committing war crimes. Do you think that a military force that knew if they were captured they risked being eaten would have behaved in a civilized manner? I don't. I think that they would have ripped through Japan like the Japanese ripped through Nanking. It would have been bloody and barbaric, and a far greater horror show than what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, yes, the US commanders did know about the instances of cannibalism before Japan was bombed, and they actively worked to suppress that information because they were worried about the consequences of what would happen if the soldiers and the general population of the world found out.

Now, for some more, since the board’s software thought that the full post was spam.
I highly recommend that you read Truman by David McCullough]. McCullough is one of the finest historians America has ever produced, and his bio of Truman is exhaustively researched and documented. Truman, though I doubt if you’ll believe me, is an example of America at its finest. He grew up in abject poverty, refused to accept the medical deferment that was given to him in WWI, led an artillery unit in combat, dragging the members of his unit back to their guns when they ran in terror after the Germans began shooting at them, after the war, entered politics thanks to a corrupt political machine, which he helped to dismantle once he gained office, and had met FDR less than a dozen times, before FDR’s death put him in the White House. After the war, he instituted a number of programs and policies to help the poor in America, such as the school lunch program, fought to try and get socialized medicine in the US, and despite being a racist, ordered the desegregation of the US military in the wake of the brutal murder of an African-American who’d fought in the war.
Truman was a flawed man, and he certainly made mistakes, but unlike most American Presidents of the 20th Century, he came not from wealth and privilege, but the soil, and he knew what war was, having fought it on the ground in France. That is something few American Presidents can say.
And if one is going to play the “alternative history game,” one has to wonder what would have happened if the German sub U-234 had managed to complete her final mission.]

The cargo to be carried was determined by a special commission, the Marine Sonderdienst Ausland, established towards the end of 1944, at which time the submarine’s officers were informed that they were to make a special voyage to Japan. When loading was completed, the submarine’s officers estimated that they were carrying 240 tons of cargo plus sufficient diesel fuel and provisions for a six- to nine-month voyage.[4]
The cargo included technical drawings, examples of the newest electric torpedoes, one crated Me 262 jet aircraft, a Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb and what was later listed on the US Unloading Manifest as 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of uranium oxide. In the 1997 book Hirschfeld, Wolfgang Hirschfeld reported that he watched about 50 lead cubes with 23 centimetres (9.1 in) sides, with “U-235” painted on each, into the boat’s cylindrical mine shafts. According to cable messages sent from the dockyard, these containers held “U-powder”.

One of the plans that the Allies looked into was dumping radioactive powder over Germany and Japan to kill the populations of cities via radiation poisoning. That Japan could have gotten a working bomb before the US did had U-234 made it, seems unlikely. Spreading radioactive materials over US forces does not. Back in the '80s, someone found a 1 ton block of palladium that the Japanese had abandoned on one of the islands they’d occupied. Its thought that the material was intended for their nuclear program.

I also want to point folks to this wiki entry on Japanese Unit 731: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

Unit 731 (Japanese: 731部隊 Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai?) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China). It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (関"防疫給水部本部 Kantgun Beki Kyūsuibu Honbu?). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, an officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name "Unit 731" in 1941. Between 3,000 and 250,000[1] men, women, and children[2][3]—from which around 600 every year were provided by the Kempeitai[4]—died during the human experimentation conducted by Unit 731 at the camp based in Pingfang alone, which does not include victims from other medical experimentation sites, such as Unit 100.[5]
There's more. Lots more. Nuking Japan may not have been the perfect solution, but it stopped a horror show from continuing on, and that's got to count for something.

In spite of what I have posted before, I will add that the leaders of both Japan and Germany didn’t seem to care what happened to the population, their only interest was to stay in power and maintain their position of privilege and authority.
In many ways history is repeating itself in some countries today, and the US is being criticized for trying to do something about it.

I do not want to repeat the discussion, but I am pretty convinced that it was not necessary to throw the bombs. The Japanese could have been brought to capitulation with other means and earlier.
See here], and further, for my arguments.

I also want to point folks to this wiki entry on Japanese Unit 731: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731
Unit 731 (Japanese: 731部隊 Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai?) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China). It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (関"防疫給水部本部 Kantgun Beki Kyūsuibu Honbu?). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, an officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name "Unit 731" in 1941. Between 3,000 and 250,000[1] men, women, and children[2][3]—from which around 600 every year were provided by the Kempeitai[4]—died during the human experimentation conducted by Unit 731 at the camp based in Pingfang alone, which does not include victims from other medical experimentation sites, such as Unit 100.[5]
There's more. Lots more. Nuking Japan may not have been the perfect solution, but it stopped a horror show from continuing on, and that's got to count for something.
If China, let's say, decided to drop nuclear weapons on the US and if you survive long enough to express an opinion, would you also say, it "may not have been the perfect solution, but it stopped a horror show from continuing on [for China anyway], and that's got to count for something"? It all depends on whose ox is being gored, doesn't it? Lois