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Vampiel
October 1st, 2009, 07:56 PM
link (http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_23.htm)



On 6 August 1945 the United States exploded an atomic bomb over Hiroshima and revealed to the world in one blinding flash the start of the atomic age. As the meaning of this explosion and the nature of the force unleashed became apparent, a chorus of voices rose in protest against the decision that opened the Pandora's box of atomic warfare.
....
The justification for using the atomic bomb was that it ended the war, or at least ended it sooner and thereby saved countless American-and Japanese-lives. But had it? Had not Japan been defeated and was she not already on the verge of surrender? What circumstances, it was asked, justified the fateful decision that "blasted the web of history and, like the discovery of fire, severed past from present"?
....
"At no time from 1941 to 1945," declared Mr. Stimson, "did I ever hear it suggested by the President, or by another responsible member of the Government, that atomic energy should not be used in that war." And Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer recalled in 1954 that "we always assumed if they [atomic bombs] were needed, they would be used."
....
"During the early days of the project," one scientist recalled, "we spent little time thinking about the possible effects of the bomb we were trying to make." [7] It was a "neck-and-neck race with the Germans," the outcome of which might well determine who would be the victor in World War II. But as Germany approached defeat and as the effort to produce an atomic bomb offered increasing promise of success, those few men who knew what was being done and who appreciated the enormous implications of atomic energy became more and more concerned. Most of this concern came from the scientists in the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago, where by early 1945 small groups began to question the advisability of using the weapon they were trying so hard to build. [8] It was almost as if they hoped the bomb would not work after it was completed.


Do you think the use of the A-Bomb on Japan was justified?

If so for what reasons? If not why?

I have been thinking about this recently and wondered if the US would have done just as well without their use, on the other hand I think it saved many US soldiers lives but at the heavy cost of Japanese civilians. Given at that time and the circumstances I can easily see why the decision was made to use them.

Infinite Grey
October 1st, 2009, 08:31 PM
Do you think the use of the A-Bomb on Japan was justified?

If so for what reasons? If not why?

I have been thinking about this recently and wondered if the US would have done just as well without their use, on the other hand I think it saved many US soldiers lives but at the heavy cost of Japanese civilians. Given at that time and the circumstances I can easily see why the decision was made to use them.


It's funny you post this thread as I was thinking about this topic recently to. Nuclear weapons are often cited by the anti-science and/or anti-science incline crowd as an example of the horrors science is capable of - while usually ignoring the standards of living such awesome power has granted us. I feel the greatest purpose the "Little Boy" and "Fat Boy" really served was to school humanity on just horrific this technology is; the justifications of the time really pale in comparison. Imagine what would have happened if we had waited until we had the better weapons before learning that lesson? Until more than one country had them?

The cold war and subsequent arms race was a the scariest time in human history really, the first time global human extinction by homogeneous means was truly possible. Would the abstract knowledge of how devastating these weapons were been enough to keep people's fingers of the button? I doubt it. Just look how much trouble people have with current abstract threats; monitoring the sky of incoming asteroids, gamma bursts, global climate destabilization, pandemics and so on. Without a clear image of the consequences of an action, the average human tends on to take threats seriously.

Do I feel the justifications they gave at the time was adequate? Hell no! They hardly could appreciate just how destructive their new weapon was. Was it ultimately beneficial? Yes it was, but for reasons that would have been even more beyond them than the reality of the weapon pre-use.

Laisrean
October 1st, 2009, 10:54 PM
It wasn't necessary for ending the war. Japan had been sending peace feelers since its defeat at Midway, so the war (in the pacific at least) could have ended 2-3 years earlier than it did and with millions of less lives lost.

So bringing an end to the war was possible long before atomic weapons entered the equation. The only obstacle to peace was Allied leaders stubborn refusal to accept anything less than an unconditional surrender.

It was this demand that kept the war in both theatres going until the bitter end.

Laisrean
October 1st, 2009, 10:59 PM
They hardly could appreciate just how destructive their new weapon was.

Even greater destruction was done through incendiary bombings of cities like Tokyo and Dresden. These killed far more people and did far more damage than the two atomic bombs did.

So it wasn't as though that sort of thing was unprecedented; what was remarkable about it was this destruction was caused by a single bomb that would otherwise have taken hundreds.

Infinite Grey
October 1st, 2009, 11:09 PM
Even greater destruction was done through incendiary bombings of cities like Tokyo and Dresden. These killed far more people and did far more damage than the two atomic bombs did.

So it wasn't as though that sort of thing was unprecedented; what was remarkable about it was this destruction was caused by a single bomb that would otherwise have taken hundreds.

Again your narrow perception of events makes me glad that you have no position of authority.

Incendiary bombs were near their apex of damage potential by that time - nuclear weapons were an emerging technology and already more powerful that the equivalent incendiary predecessors. The ratio of mass to energy conversion is not even comparable. Everyone saw the might of the first nuclear weapons used, and everyone knew they would only get more effective.

Little Billy
October 1st, 2009, 11:26 PM
It wasn't necessary for ending the war. Japan had been sending peace feelers since its defeat at Midway, so the war (in the pacific at least) could have ended 2-3 years earlier than it did and with millions of less lives lost.

So bringing an end to the war was possible long before atomic weapons entered the equation. The only obstacle to peace was Allied leaders stubborn refusal to accept anything less than an unconditional surrender.

It was this demand that kept the war in both theatres going until the bitter end.

Yeah, well, don't wage total war and lose.

Haerfest Leah
October 15th, 2009, 11:16 AM
Having studied it formally, (I took a class on WWII in my senior year of college and wrote a research paper on the Manhattan Project, as I had family members who worked on it) I think the use of atomic weapons was justified; Gen. Paul Tibbets even said before dying he would have dropped Little Boy again without hesitation if needed. I think people who feel that "peace talks" would have worked during this time have not studied the situation, to include the politics, enough to fully understand it. Japan was not in any way about to just throw their hands up and play nice.

Aegun
November 27th, 2009, 07:47 PM
I was always under the impression that the A-Bomb use on Japan was for a multitude of reasons, including what has already been mentioned here. In addition, I thought its use was also to let Soviet Russia know that the US had some big toys and wasn't afraid to use them, effiectively warning the USSR not to do anything "rash" post-WW2.

Was it justified, I'm leaning towards no for the simple reason of the radiological after-effects and suffering of civilians but I conceed that more lives where "probably" saved as this part of WW2 ended sooner than expected.

Just my 2 pence :)


Aegun

seawitch artist
February 21st, 2010, 07:32 PM
I was always under the impression that the A-Bomb use on Japan was for a multitude of reasons, including what has already been mentioned here. In addition, I thought its use was also to let Soviet Russia know that the US had some big toys and wasn't afraid to use them, effiectively warning the USSR not to do anything "rash" post-WW2.

Agreed. I certainly think that part of the nuclear decision was to tame Stalin. The dying President Roosvelt had not been up to dealing with Stalin, and began appeasing his demands, the incoming President Truman insufficiently experienced for handling this sly fox and master tyrant even if Churchill was.
President Truman will have known of an agreement made that would soon be happening, the Soviet attack on Japan.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria_(1945)Operation Storm August....this enormous operation was launched on the same day as the second Atom bomb, and the sudden end of the war ended that operation in which Japan lost the Kuril Isles and Sakhalin, and still don't have them back.
Given more time a Soviet invasion of Japan and S. Korea could have seen both become 'basket cases' like N.Korea today rather than the places they are today.
That the nuclear decision also broke the Kamikaze spirit I'm also sure, Japan could not have known there was only two of these weapons and more would take a lot of time to produce.
They will have suspected an entire arsenal existed and they could be wiped out without a fight.
I really think a mainland invasion would have been an atrocious event given the examples already set.
Never forget a secret directive that could have happened also. The one to slaughter all allied POW's if defeat was imminent...these are some of the things that didn't happen because of the shock treatment the two nuclear weapons dealt.

PepperMintFairy
February 24th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Thats a hard choice for me. It did save many american lives but at the same time the radiation lasted years, affecting people who wernt even born during the war. I also think that bombing one place would have been suficient. I blame my sweedish side for my partly nutrality.

Laisrean
February 24th, 2010, 06:07 PM
It did save many american lives

Even more American lives would have been saved if we had made peace with the Japanese without trying to demand an unconditional surrender out of them. Most people don't realize that Japan had been sending peace-feelers since their defeat at Midway. That was 3 years before the war ended.

Imagine how many lives could have been saved on both sides if we had ended the war 3 years earlier.

Galen
February 24th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Even more American lives would have been saved if we had made peace with the Japanese without trying to demand an unconditional surrender out of them. Most people don't realize that Japan had been sending peace-feelers since their defeat at Midway. That was 3 years before the war ended.

Imagine how many lives could have been saved on both sides if we had ended the war 3 years earlier.

And you honestly think Japan would have just thrown up their hands with ease?

Weatherlite
February 25th, 2010, 10:19 AM
Even more American lives would have been saved if we had made peace with the Japanese without trying to demand an unconditional surrender out of them. Most people don't realize that Japan had been sending peace-feelers since their defeat at Midway. That was 3 years before the war ended.

Imagine how many lives could have been saved on both sides if we had ended the war 3 years earlier.

And the Japanese were at the proverbial peace table mere days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'm not Japanese but I do know a few people from Japan and from what I know of their way of thinking, any feelers from 1942-on were just to stall, give time to rebuild or perhaps they really woudl have been for peace, but a peace in which they kept their military intact so they could invade again once they were strong again.

Tiberias
February 25th, 2010, 10:35 AM
Even more American lives would have been saved if we had made peace with the Japanese without trying to demand an unconditional surrender out of them. Most people don't realize that Japan had been sending peace-feelers since their defeat at Midway. That was 3 years before the war ended.

Imagine how many lives could have been saved on both sides if we had ended the war 3 years earlier.

Source?

In my eyes the demand of unconditional surrender was totally justified. "Peace" with aggressive genocidal tyrants is a joke.

BryonMorrigan
February 25th, 2010, 12:42 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I do not believe that attacks on civilian populations are EVER justified. I'd rather see 100 dead US soldiers before a single dead "enemy" civilian. (*) We soldiers commit to war. We make our decisions to fight. Civilians don't have that luxury.

And while many soldiers might state their disagreement with that position, I'm willing to bet that most of them, when put in a position where they might have to sacrifice their own life for that of a civilian...even an "enemy" one...they probably wouldn't even hesitate.

That's real honor. Hoo-ahh.



__________________________________________________________________

(*) I really hate to use the term "enemy" when referring to civilians.

OneGreyOwl
February 25th, 2010, 02:10 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I do not believe that attacks on civilian populations are EVER justified. I'd rather see 100 dead US soldiers before a single dead "enemy" civilian. (*) We soldiers commit to war. We make our decisions to fight. Civilians don't have that luxury.

And while many soldiers might state their disagreement with that position, I'm willing to bet that most of them, when put in a position where they might have to sacrifice their own life for that of a civilian...even an "enemy" one...they probably wouldn't even hesitate.

That's real honor. Hoo-ahh.

__________________________________________________________________

(*) I really hate to use the term "enemy" when referring to civilians.Kind of funny ... my (late) father was a Marine in WWII (he was a bit older than my mom). He never really talked about his experiences in the war (some odd comments once in a while that I'll pass on repeating) but one time this particular topic, the A Bomb, came up. I basically voiced the opinion that it was horrible (my father died when I was in my teens so I was young enough to not realize what I might be saying). He was both furious and outraged with me, verging on tears, because he was among the Marines that they were going to be sending to storm mainland Japan if those bombs hadn't gone off. He was positive that if those bombs hadn't been dropped he would not have survived the war. He was grateful they dropped them.

Funny thought (assuming he was right), if they hadn't dropped the bomb, I wonder how many of us wouldn't be walking around now because our fathers and grandfathers died in the Pacific.

Weatherlite
February 25th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Funny thought (assuming he was right), if they hadn't dropped the bomb, I wonder how many of us wouldn't be walking around now because our fathers and grandfathers died in the Pacific.

QFT!!!!

:thumbsup:

Weatherlite
February 25th, 2010, 02:38 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I do not believe that attacks on civilian populations are EVER justified. I'd rather see 100 dead US soldiers before a single dead "enemy" civilian. (*) We soldiers commit to war. We make our decisions to fight. Civilians don't have that luxury.

And while many soldiers might state their disagreement with that position, I'm willing to bet that most of them, when put in a position where they might have to sacrifice their own life for that of a civilian...even an "enemy" one...they probably wouldn't even hesitate.

That's real honor. Hoo-ahh.


I really wanted to tear into you for a moment until I read the rest of your post. You're right...any real Soldier/Marine etc would rather die than needlessly put civilians in harm's way. Note, I said needlessly though. Industrialized warfare changed the way we do things. I personally have no problems with the way the war was conducted because AT THAT TIME there was no such thing as precision weapons to take out the industrial centers. Your best guess for accuracy from a bomber flying 30,000 feet up was somewhere around 1/4 to 1/2 mile radius so you started bombing the target early and ended late to make sure you hit it and if you happened to hit stuff around it, well....collateral damage. It sucks. It really does, but back then there wasn't much else for choices and the alternatives were out of the question. Now, i will say that when they bombed population centers just "because" I think they could have done better, but I'm certainly not going to armchair quarterback people from 70 years ago who had different mindsets and different technologies.

BryonMorrigan
February 25th, 2010, 03:21 PM
I think the main issue when "armchair quarterbacking" historical issues, is to look at the social mores of the time. For example, plenty of people were pretty horrified by the use of the A-bombs on civilian targets at the time that they were employed, including people like Albert Einstein.

To me, the idea of "Total War" is always unacceptable. Look at it this way: If you accept the idea of bombing civilian targets is "okay," then to me that also means that Al Qaeda targeting the Twin Towers was also acceptable as a military target.

And OneGreyOwl...like I said, my point was that I think that while many soldiers would disagree with me in principle (*)...if pressed into actually saving a civilian's life, they would have no problem giving their own.


______________________________________________________________

(*) Especially if they were somehow involved in the conflict...but that's a much longer philosophical issue...

BryonMorrigan
February 25th, 2010, 03:26 PM
Funny thought (assuming he was right), if they hadn't dropped the bomb, I wonder how many of us wouldn't be walking around now because our fathers and grandfathers died in the Pacific.

And I'll bet there'd be even MORE of us around if we'd never even entered WW2...

Of course, there'd probably be a lot less Jewish people...and Chinese people...et cetera...and most of Europe would probably be in the grip of a totalitarian regime...

monsnoleedra
February 25th, 2010, 03:47 PM
..and most of Europe would probably be in the grip of a totalitarian regime...

Off topic reply.....

What I think would be interesting is that I do not see Germany / Italy and Spain being able to live with each other. In that light I believe the end would still have been arrived at through some sort of battlefield action. Especially between Germany and Italy though I do believe it would have been much shorter in duration.

Phoenix Blue
February 25th, 2010, 04:17 PM
"The important thing in war is not for you to die for your country, but to make the other poor bastard die for his country." -- Gen. George S. Patton

PepperMintFairy
February 25th, 2010, 04:33 PM
"The important thing in war is not for you to die for your country, but to make the other poor bastard die for his country." -- Gen. George S. Patton

Funny in a brutal kind of way....

Nietzsche
February 25th, 2010, 04:38 PM
And I'll bet there'd be even MORE of us around if we'd never even entered WW2...

Of course, there'd probably be a lot less Jewish people...and Chinese people...et cetera...and most of Europe would probably be in the grip of a totalitarian regime...

More Americans, maybe. Certainly less Jews, Slavs, Homosexuals, Gypsies and such. Assuming Germany won(longshot, but possible). Or we'd have a Red Europe, and not the good Social-Democracy red, but Stalinism.

Yeah..

I think Unconditional Surrender was the best choice. Many, many wrongs were done on both sides. But, the Allies, and even the Soviets(for all of their raping and plundering, albeit in the sense of "Payback is a bitch") were infinitely a better choice than the Nazis or Japanese. Infinitely.

PepperMintFairy
February 25th, 2010, 05:01 PM
Imagine how many lives could have been saved on both sides if we had ended the war 3 years earlier.


Eh, War is a B*tch. But we wernt born then, so we dont have a say in what they did. But we do have a say now. we should try to focus on our own situation to keep something like that from happening again.

Louisvillian
July 24th, 2010, 04:52 PM
Do you think the use of the A-Bomb on Japan was justified?
Yes. It was very much a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't", but using it was justified by many things. Particularly in hindsight, seeing both Allied and Japanese defence and invasion plans.

By most estimations, not using the bomb would have resulted in more casualties. From various plans. The simplest plan, the continued blockade and strategic bombing of the Japanese home islands, would have resulted in the same amount of deaths that the atomic bombings produced total, by September of 1945. Continuing into 1946 would have probably resulted in a similar death toll as the low-ball estimates for invasion casualties.
The actual invasion of Japan would have likely resulted in at least a million Allied deaths, and up to ten times that in Japanese military and civilian deaths. Highball estimates range up to 4 million Allied fatalities.
And Japan's military government had no real intention of surrendering or responding to Allied demands for peace. Hell, segments of the high command tried to orchestrate a coup d'etat when they got wind of the Emperor's attempts to surrender. If the Emperor himself hadn't personally seen the devastation of Tokyo due to the firebombings, and if the atomic bombings' effects not been brought to his attention, causing him to personally sue for peace, Japan would not have surrendered until it had taken ridiculously massive casualties to both its military infrastructure and civilian population.

So, yes, like it or not, the atomic bombings saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. World War II was not a polite affair; and sometimes, doing nothing would be worse than doing something drastic and spectacular. The atomic bombings are strong and vivid reminder of that. War is not pleasant, and sometimes very unpleasant things have to be done in order to bring it to a conclusion.

Serpent
July 24th, 2010, 10:21 PM
Yes. It was very much a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't", but using it was justified by many things. Particularly in hindsight, seeing both Allied and Japanese defence and invasion plans.

By most estimations, not using the bomb would have resulted in more casualties. From various plans. The simplest plan, the continued blockade and strategic bombing of the Japanese home islands, would have resulted in the same amount of deaths that the atomic bombings produced total, by September of 1945. Continuing into 1946 would have probably resulted in a similar death toll as the low-ball estimates for invasion casualties.
The actual invasion of Japan would have likely resulted in at least a million Allied deaths, and up to ten times that in Japanese military and civilian deaths. Highball estimates range up to 4 million Allied fatalities.
And Japan's military government had no real intention of surrendering or responding to Allied demands for peace. Hell, segments of the high command tried to orchestrate a coup d'etat when they got wind of the Emperor's attempts to surrender. If the Emperor himself hadn't personally seen the devastation of Tokyo due to the firebombings, and if the atomic bombings' effects not been brought to his attention, causing him to personally sue for peace, Japan would not have surrendered until it had taken ridiculously massive casualties to both its military infrastructure and civilian population.

So, yes, like it or not, the atomic bombings saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. World War II was not a polite affair; and sometimes, doing nothing would be worse than doing something drastic and spectacular. The atomic bombings are strong and vivid reminder of that. War is not pleasant, and sometimes very unpleasant things have to be done in order to bring it to a conclusion.

I second this, although I do have a major grievance with the atomic bombings (aside from grievance of it having to go that far in order to attain a real peace). Correct me if I'm wrong, but the locations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mostly civilian targets. Dropping weapons on civilian targets is something that bothers me horribly. Dropping them on military bases, major supply depots, that seems acceptable (though even saying that puts a bad taste in my mouth). Targeting civilians with a weapon of total obliteration...that just strikes me as too cruel, even for the horrors of war. But that's just the little voice in my head that tries, in vain, to put some sort of honor and standard that battle should follow. Which I know is a load of bullshit, as battle is anything but honor and standard. But that's just my take.

Laisrean
July 25th, 2010, 06:36 AM
Yes. It was very much a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't", but using it was justified by many things. Particularly in hindsight, seeing both Allied and Japanese defence and invasion plans.

By most estimations, not using the bomb would have resulted in more casualties. From various plans. The simplest plan, the continued blockade and strategic bombing of the Japanese home islands, would have resulted in the same amount of deaths that the atomic bombings produced total, by September of 1945. Continuing into 1946 would have probably resulted in a similar death toll as the low-ball estimates for invasion casualties.
The actual invasion of Japan would have likely resulted in at least a million Allied deaths, and up to ten times that in Japanese military and civilian deaths. Highball estimates range up to 4 million Allied fatalities.
And Japan's military government had no real intention of surrendering or responding to Allied demands for peace. Hell, segments of the high command tried to orchestrate a coup d'etat when they got wind of the Emperor's attempts to surrender. If the Emperor himself hadn't personally seen the devastation of Tokyo due to the firebombings, and if the atomic bombings' effects not been brought to his attention, causing him to personally sue for peace, Japan would not have surrendered until it had taken ridiculously massive casualties to both its military infrastructure and civilian population.

So, yes, like it or not, the atomic bombings saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. World War II was not a polite affair; and sometimes, doing nothing would be worse than doing something drastic and spectacular. The atomic bombings are strong and vivid reminder of that. War is not pleasant, and sometimes very unpleasant things have to be done in order to bring it to a conclusion.

Or.. you know, the Allies could have just dropped their demand for an unconditional surrender and ended the war without either the atomic bombs or an invasion. The Japanese were more than willing to surrender, and had been sending peace feelers since June of 1942 with their defeat at Midway, so really the war could have been ended as far back as then.

Was the atomic bombing of Japan necessary? Only if unconditional surrender was necessary (which it wasn't). What gets me is the Italians were allowed to just switch sides, but the other Axis powers were afforded no such luxury and had to have their country's leveled to ruins. There was a movement to overthrow Hitler within Germany, but even if it had succeeded the Allied demand for an unconditional surrender would have remained, which I feel was bullshit.

Laisrean
July 25th, 2010, 06:46 AM
I second this, although I do have a major grievance with the atomic bombings (aside from grievance of it having to go that far in order to attain a real peace). Correct me if I'm wrong, but the locations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mostly civilian targets. Dropping weapons on civilian targets is something that bothers me horribly. Dropping them on military bases, major supply depots, that seems acceptable (though even saying that puts a bad taste in my mouth). Targeting civilians with a weapon of total obliteration...that just strikes me as too cruel, even for the horrors of war. But that's just the little voice in my head that tries, in vain, to put some sort of honor and standard that battle should follow. Which I know is a load of bullshit, as battle is anything but honor and standard. But that's just my take.

The same thing occurred when the Allied firebombed the city of Dresden in Germany in February of 1945. The war ended in early May, so how could you really justify firebombing a city and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians when the war in Europe would be over in just a few months?

Dresden is overlooked, but it actually had more casualties than either Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Probably the main reason is because the Atomic bombings were the result of just 1 bomb, but hundreds of incendiary bombs achieve a similar level of destruction...

But in all three cases it was unnecessary, because a peace could have been reached with Japan and Germany at this late stage in the war. Yeah, you can't negotiate with Hitler and the hardliners, but you can go beneath them and work out an agreement with someone else within those countries who would have Hitler and friends arrested and tried for war crimes. That's really all we should have demanded. But instead we demanded total destruction, and uncondtional surrender which left them no choice but to fight to the death.

Another Allied atrocity which is often overlooked was the mass rape of German women after the war by the Red Army, and you also had approximately 2 million Germans expelled from various countries and regions such as Silesia and Prussia which were then given to Poland and Russia. So Germany lost 1/3 of its pre-war territory, and any Germans living there were expelled or killed. Does two wrongs make a right? We're talking about German civilians here, not Hitler and his henchmen.

So yeah, I can't say as I approve of what the Allies made of their victory.

Laisrean
July 25th, 2010, 06:50 AM
"The important thing in war is not for you to die for your country, but to make the other poor bastard die for his country." -- Gen. George S. Patton

Which is also the reason why war sucks and should be avoided at all costs, and if you're in a war you need to get out of it ASAP. Dragging it on and demanding an uncondtional surrender out of an already defeated enemy, and then raping them (both literally and figuratively) in the aftermath is unnecessary, and results in more deaths on all sides involved.

Serpent
July 25th, 2010, 09:55 AM
The same thing occurred when the Allied firebombed the city of Dresden in Germany in February of 1945. The war ended in early May, so how could you really justify firebombing a city and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians when the war in Europe would be over in just a few months?

Dresden is overlooked, but it actually had more casualties than either Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Probably the main reason is because the Atomic bombings were the result of just 1 bomb, but hundreds of incendiary bombs achieve a similar level of destruction...

But in all three cases it was unnecessary, because a peace could have been reached with Japan and Germany at this late stage in the war. Yeah, you can't negotiate with Hitler and the hardliners, but you can go beneath them and work out an agreement with someone else within those countries who would have Hitler and friends arrested and tried for war crimes. That's really all we should have demanded. But instead we demanded total destruction, and uncondtional surrender which left them no choice but to fight to the death.

Another Allied atrocity which is often overlooked was the mass rape of German women after the war by the Red Army, and you also had approximately 2 million Germans expelled from various countries and regions such as Silesia and Prussia which were then given to Poland and Russia. So Germany lost 1/3 of its pre-war territory, and any Germans living there were expelled or killed. Does two wrongs make a right? We're talking about German civilians here, not Hitler and his henchmen.

So yeah, I can't say as I approve of what the Allies made of their victory.

Dresden- Who said I approved of the violent obliteration of Dreden via incendiary saturation bombing? That was dirty pool, pure and simple dirty pool. But, I understand why they did it. The part of me that isn't altruistic, that is violent, blunt and committed to making sure my enemy won't come back again knows why the allies did it. It's to show what will happen if you don't stop, to covince everyone and anyone who had an ounce of fight left in them just what will happen if you continue on this fight. It was to show them that if you don't surrender now, we will kill you all in no uncertain terms.

The Red Army- Considering what the Eastern front did to the Russian people, that the Nazi forces were going in after the Heer passed through, and started liquidating every man, woman, and child that was left...any mercy the Red Army had for the German people dried up. Vengeance was on their minds, and I can't they weren't justified. Was it right, no it wasn't. Doesn't change the fact it still happened. Even now, that subject is one to draw up all the buried hatred in Russian hearts.

We can say what we like about it after the fact, but at that time...they had no idea how far the war was going to drag on. Hitler's Germany was dug in and continued to fight to the last man, the Japanese were comitted to winning as surrender brought dishonor, and dishonor was looked at as worse than death. That is what I was always taught, by my teachers, by men and women who served, from stark reality itself and what really happened. I won't pretend I condone it, that it doesn't bother me. It does bother me, but I can't paint it in black and white. Yeah, we could have worked to undermine the German government. But other things happened. I wouldn't know about the details of weither or not anything liked that could have worked. I do know about the Valkyrie plot, and how it failed and how those men were made examples of.

The Japanese, if I recall correctly, their government wanted to stop the fight. The Emperor himself was talking to the Allies for peace, til his generals tried to overthrow him because they didn't believe in surrender, as surrender meant disgrace and they would rather die than be disgraced. It's only in the fires of an atomic sun did they realise there was honor down the road they persued, that preserving that honor would come at too high a price. And that is war, and war is in human nature. It's a horrible, ugly, dirty business that humanity continully get's better at. We can armchair philosophise all we want, say how the war should have gone here and here, but in the end it changes nothing. The realities still happened, and all we can do is understand the sides, the multiple variables of ideology, tactics, drive, ambition, hopes, fears, dreams, technology and how they came together.

All I say we can do, is do our best to understand things as they really happened, consider every side of the conflict, learn from it. Doesn't mean we have to condone anything. More importantly, we should be grateful to those men and women who fought and died doing the job that others wouldn't. Their good, their bad, are lessons we are to learn as their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. That way when the next war inevitably comes it'll come after a long period of peace, and after we remember what the cost of war will be at the end. But that's assuming we've learned anything.

That's just my take, and I make no claims that my take is valid to anyone else or holds any answers. It is merely reflection of what I've seen.

Shanti
July 25th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Japan attacked our military. We attacked her people.
Was it justified? We call targeting civilian populations terrorism these days!

Sharedaughter
July 25th, 2010, 08:21 PM
Dresden- Who said I approved of the violent obliteration of Dreden via incendiary saturation bombing? That was dirty pool, pure and simple dirty pool. But, I understand why they did it. The part of me that isn't altruistic, that is violent, blunt and committed to making sure my enemy won't come back again knows why the allies did it. It's to show what will happen if you don't stop, to covince everyone and anyone who had an ounce of fight left in them just what will happen if you continue on this fight. It was to show them that if you don't surrender now, we will kill you all in no uncertain terms.
The Red Army- Considering what the Eastern front did to the Russian people, that the Nazi forces were going in after the Heer passed through, and started liquidating every man, woman, and child that was left...any mercy the Red Army had for the German people dried up. Vengeance was on their minds, and I can't they weren't justified. Was it right, no it wasn't. Doesn't change the fact it still happened. Even now, that subject is one to draw up all the buried hatred in Russian hearts.

We can say what we like about it after the fact, but at that time...they had no idea how far the war was going to drag on. Hitler's Germany was dug in and continued to fight to the last man,the Japanese were comitted to winning as surrender brought dishonor, and dishonor was looked at as worse than death. That is what I was always taught, by my teachers, by men and women who served, from stark reality itself and what really happened. I won't pretend I condone it, that it doesn't bother me. It does bother me, but I can't paint it in black and white. Yeah, we could have worked to undermine the German government. But other things happened. I wouldn't know about the details of weither or not anything liked that could have worked. I do know about the Valkyrie plot, and how it failed and how those men were made examples of.

The Japanese, if I recall correctly, their government wanted to stop the fight. The Emperor himself was talking to the Allies for peace, til his generals tried to overthrow him because they didn't believe in surrender, as surrender meant disgrace and they would rather die than be disgraced. It's only in the fires of an atomic sun did they realise there was honor down the road they persued, that preserving that honor would come at too high a price. And that is war, and war is in human nature. It's a horrible, ugly, dirty business that humanity continully get's better at. We can armchair philosophise all we want, say how the war should have gone here and here, but in the end it changes nothing. The realities still happened, and all we can do is understand the sides, the multiple variables of ideology, tactics, drive, ambition, hopes, fears, dreams, technology and how they came together.

All I say we can do, is do our best to understand things as they really happened, consider every side of the conflict, learn from it. Doesn't mean we have to condone anything. More importantly, we should be grateful to those men and women who fought and died doing the job that others wouldn't. Their good, their bad, are lessons we are to learn as their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. That way when the next war inevitably comes it'll come after a long period of peace, and after we remember what the cost of war will be at the end. But that's assuming we've learned anything.

That's just my take, and I make no claims that my take is valid to anyone else or holds any answers. It is merely reflection of what I've seen.

Bolding, underlining, italics mine.

:thumbsup: QFT



Japan attacked our military. We attacked her people.
Was it justified? We call targeting civilian populations terrorism these days!

Bolding mine.

Yes, but would we if The Bombs had not been dropped and the horror of their effects not been broadcast worldwide? Would we if the nazi's attempted genocide of the Jews not taken place and then published wordlwide(tho some today do not believe that happened)? Would we if the genocidal wars in Bosnia had not taken place and been broadcast? And just in the last couple of weeks an attempt at genocide in the Middle East has been mostly nipped in the bud(I don't remember at the moment the name of the country).

How many of us can even half comprehend the idea of a family member being murdered by a father, brother, or uncle because they have been seen to have threatened to impugn the family's honor in even a minor way? How many times have we read about this taking place in some Middle Eastern countries today?

I think the connecting point in WWII Germany(which also started WW I) and Japan, and today's terrorists is CULTURE. Conquer, conquer, conquer--for power, for space, for ????. Germany and Japan have changed--but would they have had the war gone any other way? We cannot know that, and all our hindsight cannot tell us that. We were not being brought up then, or were too young to be aware of anything except hurting in the belly area or wet in the diaper area :weirdsmil.

Second-guessing our parents' and grandparents' decisions for that time gets us nowhere except Frustrationville. It's done, it's past, in CANNOT be changed!!

[QUOTE=Serpent;4196508]All I say we can do, is do our best to understand things as they really happened, consider every side of the conflict, learn from it. Doesn't mean we have to condone anything...........Their good, their bad, are lessons we are to learn as their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We all know that playing "What If.." does nothing to change "What Is". It only paralyzes us, prevents us from exploring "What Can Be Done" to "Better the Situation", which I see as the main points of Serpent's quote immediately above. In actuallity, maybe the main points of his(?)her(?) whole post.

How many of us have seen the quote "History repeats itself"? Does it have to? I don't think so. But I also think that it will continue to do so over and over as long as we continue to insist on playing "What If" instead of looking for "What Can Be Done" to "Better the Situation".

Glo

Laisrean
July 26th, 2010, 01:09 AM
Dresden- Who said I approved of the violent obliteration of Dreden via incendiary saturation bombing? That was dirty pool, pure and simple dirty pool. But, I understand why they did it. The part of me that isn't altruistic, that is violent, blunt and committed to making sure my enemy won't come back again knows why the allies did it. It's to show what will happen if you don't stop, to covince everyone and anyone who had an ounce of fight left in them just what will happen if you continue on this fight. It was to show them that if you don't surrender now, we will kill you all in no uncertain terms.

No, it was actually done out of vengeance. Dresden was full of German refugees, women, and children. They couldn't surrender because they were never combatants in the first place.

Laisrean
July 26th, 2010, 01:20 AM
The Red Army- Considering what the Eastern front did to the Russian people, that the Nazi forces were going in after the Heer passed through, and started liquidating every man, woman, and child that was left...any mercy the Red Army had for the German people dried up. Vengeance was on their minds, and I can't they weren't justified. Was it right, no it wasn't. Doesn't change the fact it still happened. Even now, that subject is one to draw up all the buried hatred in Russian hearts.

An oft overlooked little detail in all this was that the Red Army were no saints. Yeah, they raped German women and killed and expelled Germans from their homes after the war, but they also guilty of invading and annexing the Baltic States, the eastern half of Poland, and large parts of Finland both before and during the war.

WW2 started when Hitler invaded Poland and France and Britain declared war on Germany, but they didn't declare war on the Soviet Union who also invaded Poland simultaneously. The territory the Soviets took from Poland was never returned, even after the war. Instead, Stalin stole territory from Germany and gave it to Poland as compensation, but the land they stole from Poland was never returned, even to this day.

Stalin and his regime was responsible for the mass murder of millions of civilians, which by any logic makes him just as evil as Hitler. Yet for some reason the western Allies let all of that slide.

One of the most disgusting betrayals of the Allies during WW2 was when Britain declared war on democratic Finland because they were at war with the Soviets (Britain's ally at the time). So Britain declared war on a fellow democracy just to help out some totalitarian asshole.

Louisvillian
July 26th, 2010, 04:14 PM
Japan attacked our military. We attacked her people.
Was it justified? We call targeting civilian populations terrorism these days!
Yeah, because these days, we're not engaged in a state of total war.


Only if unconditional surrender was necessary (which it wasn't).
I strongly disagree. Unconditional surrender of the two major Axis powers, and the utter destruction of their capability to make war, was the only way peace could be assured in Europe and the Pacific.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the locations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mostly civilian targets.
They were not. Hiroshima was the general headquarters for the Japanese 2nd Army, responsible for the military defence of all of southern Japan, as well as a communications and supply centre, and a staging area for Home Islands troop movements. Nagasaki was a large manufacturing centre for ships, ordnance, munitions, and was the headquarters of Mitsubishi's steel and arms manufacturing division.
They were definitely military as well as civilian targets.

Which, again, isn't to say that they were nice things. But war is not a nice thing. If you're in it, you have to do what you can to bring it to a swift end on the best terms available to you. The atomic bombings, in concert with the existing air campaign, did precisely that.

Laisrean
July 27th, 2010, 04:34 AM
I strongly disagree. Unconditional surrender of the two major Axis powers, and the utter destruction of their capability to make war, was the only way peace could be assured in Europe and the Pacific.

Italy was one of the major Axis powers but we didn't have to utterly destroy Italy in order to end the war with them. Then again, we didn't demand unconditional surrender from Italy, so perhaps that was why.



They were not. Hiroshima was the general headquarters for the Japanese 2nd Army, responsible for the military defence of all of southern Japan, as well as a communications and supply centre, and a staging area for Home Islands troop movements. Nagasaki was a large manufacturing centre for ships, ordnance, munitions, and was the headquarters of Mitsubishi's steel and arms manufacturing division.
They were definitely military as well as civilian targets.

No shit. Pretty much true of any city in every major country involved in WW2. But that doesn't justify the murder of civilians. That's the same argument that one professor used to defend 9/11 because everyone in the towers was "little eichmanns" I say bullshit. Killing civilians is never acceptable. If that is what it takes to force the enemy into an unconditional surrender then you're better off just accepting a conditional surrender then and not be a monster and lose your soul.

Laisrean
July 27th, 2010, 04:43 AM
Yeah, because these days, we're not engaged in a state of total war.

We've killed innocent civilians in this current war on terrorism. Actually, more civilians have probably ended up killed than actual terrorists in this current mess. I remember the civilian death toll from the war in Iraq alone a few years ago was over 250,000 and it has to be a good deal higher than that by now.

But seeing as how 60 million died in WW2, it really doesn't compare. I'm just pointing out that Civilians are being killed. That's true of every war really. Just as Ben Franklin said, there's never been a good war or a bad peace. I agree with him, and since WW2 was the worst war in human history that makes it more true for it. If we could have ended it a few years sooner by not demanding so much destruction of our enemies then millions of lives could have been saved.

Remember, every day we demanded unconditional surrender was one more day people in concentration camps were being killed. Could you live with that on your conscience? Is it more important to you to kill Japs and Krauts than it is to save Civilians (of all nationalities)?

It would have been best for the world if WW2 had never happened at all, but since it did the next best thing would have been if it had ended much sooner. And if that meant conditional surrenders instead of unconditional ones, I would have took it in a heartbeat.