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Why did America get away with bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Watch

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    didn't they drop pamphlets all over the city the day before warning all the citizens to get out?
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)
    No, not really. The International Standards that were applied to those in the Second World War are really the same international standards that are applied today. I believe they are largely based upon the Just War theory provided by Aquinas.

    So your claim that the Second World War requires special treatment is not one reflected in reality.
    Sorry but what? Pretty sure the Rules of Engagement during the world wars (as is evident by the the nature of the war) were nothing like the ones of today. How can you type that garbage with a straight face? I'm just looking at a time line of the "laws of war" and most of them either didn't involve certain countries, prohibit certain acts or never made it into effect. In fact many acts were introduced due to what appears to be results of both world wars for example the Chemical Weapons Convention, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons etc.

    Feel free to point me to a law that was both internationally recognized, accepted and directly outlawed what was done.

    There was no industrial or military significance to the atomic bombs.

    Considering that Japan was already defeated by that point and depended heavily upon imports to maintain their industry, there was little they could do with their factories that would prove to be a threat to the Allies.
    You have reading comprehension problems. As a response to somebody criticizing American choice of target I stated their reasons for picking Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Pretty sure, while crippled, mainland Japan remained unconquered (They refused the Potsdam Declaration effectively meaning they were still at war) and please don't try to rewrite history and claim that Hiroshima and Nagasaki held zero industrial/military significance.

    At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of some industrial and military significance. A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops.
    The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials.


    Neither am I sure, what your point is regarding carpet bombing. The fire bombing of cities is irrelevant to the issue of the atomic bombings. One does not negate or justify the other.
    The point is that sixty or so other cities were subjected to strategic bombing killing about 500,000 Japanese and leaving 5 million homeless or the thousands upon thousands of civilians killed by British bombs. It doesn't matter if it's done over a period of months or in a day the fact remains that there were other incidents in the world war that caused more damage.

    All of what I typed was in response to somebody who is clearly looking at America in a vacuum and wants them to be held to account. Try not taking things out of context.

    So your justification is that since the rest of the world couldn't be bothered to reduce civilian atrocities then the Americans shouldn't either. :rolleyes:

    I cannot be bothered to read on.
    No, my point is that it's stupid to demonize America based on an act of war that resulted in 0.4% of deaths during that war while other bombings/campaigns by other countries caused similar/more deaths. Should Britain be trialed on war crimes for the Dresden, Hamburg and Pforzheim bombings?

    ":rolleyes:"
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    Who was gonna argue with a country that had nuclear bombs? What could anyone do about it?
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    (Original post by CombineHarvester)
    Yes, I think others in this thread (and the older thread) would benefit from reading that material. I've found that people who haven't studied the event in depth tend to tag along with the US government's story of why it occurred. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were untouched before the bombs dropped so after the bombings (still the only time nuclear weaponry has been used in war) the whole world could see the complete, unadulterated level of death and destruction which occurred as a result of nuclear bombs and that the US were willing to use them given the opportunity. The opportunity was available to them because they were the only state to possess such weapons so there was no risk of a return attack of similar proportions (especially as they claimed they had far more nuclear weapons in stock ready to use). As you highlighted in that post, it had zero effect on Japan's decision to surrender but it would look good for both the US and Japan to claim as such.
    You're twisting it. The goal of the weapon was to have Japan surrender unconditionally to the Potsdam Declaration. They wanted to demonstrate to Japan that unless they do so Japan would be completely leveled (they went for a psychological factor amongst others) so they had both cities taken of the list of nightly air raids not to mention Hiroshima for example was a bad incendiary target due to rivers. The ultimate realization is that without being able to fall back on mediation from Moscow and the sheer power of the atomic bombs they were left with no choice but to surrender.

    Also Kyushi and Honshu were due to be invaded and Japanese soldiers were notorious for fighting to the death (there was even some conflict in response to the surrender). Upwards of 20,000 Americans died just by taking Islands. The death toll for both sides due to a mainland invasion would have been huge.

    How can it have had "zero effect" on Japans decisions? Following the bombings and the Japanese surrender Hirohito said:

    Moreover, the enemy now possesses a new and terrible weapon with the power to destroy many innocent lives and do incalculable damage. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

    Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
    Not to mention the fact that it prompted Japan to adopt an anti nuclear weapon policy.

    And on a final note lets get one thing clear regarding the Soviet role. It's said to have had a greater impact (greater does not = 100% of the reason) than the bombings because the Soviet involvement hindered any hopes Japan had of ending the war (on terms favorable to them) through Moscow. What do you think would have happened in the Soviets didn't get involved? Bare in mind Japanese mentality for example the Chief Commander of their army opposing surrender and instead hoping to fight a battle on mainland Japan that would maximize allied causalities in the hopes to evade surrender or to alter the terms. They would have fought on either way and it was a culmination of Soviet involvement and the prospect of total destruction (the threat of further bombing should they not surrender). Not sure how you can say it had zero effect insinuated that America did it just for the fun of it.

    And finally would people be talking about this if these cities were carpet bombed? I'm sure people wouldn't really care even if it resulted in a similar amount of casualties. I mean people don't seem to care about the 67 other Japanese cities obliterated.
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    Question has an odd premise. Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki specifically? Why not Tokyo, which was extensively fire bombed? Why not Berlin or Hamburg? Why not London (no one was tried for the Blitz, even though the Germans lost and the relevant people were captured)?

    The prejudice against nuclear weapons simply for being nuclear weapons is bizarre - far more people were killed by the conventional bombing.
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    (Original post by thisisnew)
    Sorry but what? Pretty sure the Rules of Engagement during the world wars (as is evident by the the nature of the war) were nothing like the ones of today. How can you type that garbage with a straight face? I'm just looking at a time line of the "laws of war" and most of them either didn't involve certain countries, prohibit certain acts or never made it into effect. In fact many acts were introduced due to what appears to be results of both world wars for example the Chemical Weapons Convention, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons etc.

    Feel free to point me to a law that was both internationally recognized, accepted and directly outlawed what was done.
    No, I said "The International Standards that were applied to those in the Second World War are really the same international standards that are applied today".

    By those I meant the Nazis/Japanese.

    That does not mean that those Standards were set in stone during the war. Some of them such as the Geneva Convention were. Most were set after or at the end of the the war, to charge the Nazi's during the Nuremburg Trials.

    These have not changed significantly in principle.


    (Original post by thisisnew)
    You have reading comprehension problems. As a response to somebody criticizing American choice of target I stated their reasons for picking Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Pretty sure, while crippled, mainland Japan remained unconquered (They refused the Potsdam Declaration effectively meaning they were still at war) and please don't try to rewrite history and claim that Hiroshima and Nagasaki held zero industrial/military significance.
    And I said that your reasons are nonsense because Japan could not import the materials to run these these industrial facilities. Furthermore, they were defeated militarily so any military significance of these cities was minimal.

    Therefore, bombing them made no difference whatsoever and the only significance laid in the past.




    (Original post by thisisnew)

    The point is that sixty or so other cities were subjected to strategic bombing killing about 500,000 Japanese and leaving 5 million homeless or the thousands upon thousands of civilians killed by British bombs. It doesn't matter if it's done over a period of months or in a day the fact remains that there were other incidents in the world war that caused more damage.

    All of what I typed was in response to somebody who is clearly looking at America in a vacuum and wants them to be held to account. Try not taking things out of context.
    I know what your point is. It is a largely erroneous to the discussion.

    If Britain had killed 60 million prior to the dropping of the atomic bomb, it makes no difference to the argument whether it is justified to dropping of the atomic bombs by America.




    (Original post by thisisnew)

    No, my point is that it's stupid to demonize America based on an act of war that resulted in 0.4% of deaths during that war while other bombings/campaigns by other countries caused similar/more deaths. Should Britain be trialed on war crimes for the Dresden, Hamburg and Pforzheim bombings?

    ":rolleyes:"
    0.4 0.2 0.1? Who cares?

    It is discussion regarding the use of Nuclear Bombs upon a country that was clearly defeated and posed no significant military threat by America.

    Your use of other examples of atrocities in the war does not then negate the gravity of the act.
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)
    -
    So you're reasoning boils down to "Japan was already defeated"? First of all Japanese soldiers were notorious for fighting to the death and their sheer ferocity. They executed hundreds of thousands of people on several occasions. For example they killed around 400,000 thousand Chinese civilians by testing chemical weapons on them. They raped 80,000 women and murdered countless civilians when capturing Nanking.

    Prior to surrendering the Chief Commander of the Japanese army called for a last stand on mainland Japan in the hopes of causing so many allied deaths that they can either evade surrender or drastically alter the terms (they refused to surrender unconditionally before).

    Baring this in mind think about what would have happened if Operation Downfall went ahead. The Americans would have gone through with their ultimatum of the complete and total destruction of Japan. Yes Japan was effectively crippled but that doesn't change the fact that both cities still had an important role to play should the mainland invasion have gone through. I mean you make out as if Japan had no infantry left... Pretty sure a mainland invasion of Japan would have been one of the bloodiest conflicts in WW2.

    It was a culmination of no way out via Moscow and the prospect of Japan being obliterated that ultimately lead to the surrender. They were making good on their ultimatum of further bombings should Japan resist surrender. The use of atomic weapons was an extreme use of force as was relentlessly flattening 67 other cities and killing even more people by carpet bombing yet nobody ever brings that up. Why can't you see the relevance of that? Are you aware that the bombing campaign was still going on during the time of the atom bombs. If it wasn't atom bombs then that city and those people would have died via conventional bombing and you wouldn't give two ****s about them.
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    (Original post by Hilux)
    Question has an odd premise. Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki specifically? Why not Tokyo, which was extensively fire bombed? Why not Berlin or Hamburg? Why not London (no one was tried for the Blitz, even though the Germans lost and the relevant people were captured)?

    The prejudice against nuclear weapons simply for being nuclear weapons is bizarre - far more people were killed by the conventional bombing.
    Summed it up for me, thanks.
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    It was seen as a necessary evil at the time.
    Any other option would have been a lot more costly in terms if Allied lives, especially as the Japanese simply would not surrender. They would have fought to the very death.
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    (Original post by Square)
    **** you dolphin and **** youuuuuuuuuu whale.

    As these forums seem to be the worst ****ing place for serious debate, ****ING THIS.


    I'm guessing most people in this thread are ignoring conventional bombing, and fire bombing (I mean ****ing dude, I'd rather be obliterated in a second or two than burned alive), and the general awfulness that is a WORLD ****ING WAR. Meh.
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    in all seriousness, the only people who bark on about this is the loony 'blame america first' brigade.

    japanese people are glad to be free of their imperial past, and as horrific as these bombings were, it was a way to end the war quickly without more or less killing the entire population and half of the us army and possibly continuing the war for years.

    peace is like sausages, you dont want to see how its made.
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    Amongst the tripe in this thread (and there's plenty of it) I've seen some decent arguments in favour of America's actions. However, it seems to me that America was a victim of it's own arrogance. By posing an ultimatum to the Japanese government with full understanding of Japan's survivalist mentality, America was committing itself to a bloody campaign in which a significant amount of civilians would be killed, and all this when there was little or no threat to America's own mainland territory. The argument that the alternative would be worse is fallacious in light of the fact that it was America that created the two unfavourable options. I fail to see what loss there would have been if America had used lesser weapons in targeted bombing attacks prior to carrying out either option. The risk to its own soldiers would have been minimal and the risk of mass civilian casualties lessened. Instead, America operated like the oppressive militant power that it has been for the previous century and set the standard of violence for future conflicts.
    Furthermore, it could well be argued that it's own actions increased the global demand for nuclear weaponry; the symbolism being that acquiring nuclear weaponry will act as a precursor to exerting global influence, and we can see that the demand for nuclear weaponry in the Eastern sector of the world is everpresent.
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    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen for several reasons:
    1). They were important targets (industrial and military centres)
    2). They would not be attacked by August 1945.
    3). The location would increase the damage caused by the blast (hills reflecting etc).
    4). Obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan.
    So it was a kind of demonstration to Japan. They could have bomed Tokyo for example.

    Also 26th July Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration. It basically said "If you don't surrender many of you will be killed".

    After the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman announced, "If they do not accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the likes of which has never been seen on this earth." This was followed by the dropping of leaflets and radio broadcasts to Japan. Still they did not surrender.

    Onto why they dropped the bomb.

    The expected casualty rate for US forces attacking Japan would have been 500,000 to 1 Million. Considering how many amphibious operations the Allies had already done, them predicting such a large figure is alarming as, with their vast experience, it is probably accurate.

    Millions of Japanese military and civilian casualties were expected. The Japanese had trained literally millions of old men, women and children to fight (like Hitler did in the Battle of Berlin - except more soldiers than Hitler had). At the time of the bombing the Japanese cabinet were about to issue an order that all men aged 15 - 60 and all women from 17 - 45 were to be conscripted for military service. This would amount to an extra 28 million Japanese trained troops.

    The Japanese government had also laid out plans for every single allied prisoner of war to be executed if the allies attempted an invasion. This would have meant over 100,000 deaths of POWs.

    The Japanese code of bushido — "the way of the warrior" — was deeply indoctrinated in the population. The concept of Yamato-damashii equipped each soldier with a strict code:
    Never be captured,
    Never break down,
    Never surrender.
    Surrender was seen as dishonourable. Each soldier was trained to fight to the death and was expected to die before suffering dishonour.

    The dropping of the atomic bombs was utilitarianism in action on an ultimate scale. It was the right thing to do.
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    Dear friends,

    Several of you have had simply brilliant answers to the original question above--particularly "HiLux"--and I want to thank these for your thoughtful input and helpful answers to the same question that I was having when I did my own search on this question.

    I think that part of our problem is that we soon forget the small details of history, and are so easily swayed by modern rhetoric--that so often glosses over the main points, to distract us with irrelevant questions, such as whether the deaths were due to nuclear destruction, or whether they were due to ordinary bombing, regardless of how many were killed, or regardless of what they had done to provoke the invasion in the first place. The women who re-write and teach us history in our universities have certainly pulled the wool over our eyes and distracted us greatly with these irrelevant aspects of war; hundreds of thousands of innocent Chinese are slaughtered for the sake of expanding the Japanese empire, and yet these simple-minded teachers of the blind are more concerned about the children who died in Hiroshima.

    (Would that the Japanese had bombed Berkeley, California, instead of Pearl Harbor! We would have had fewer of these teachers around today, and perhaps a little better education about what really happened during the war.)

    What a good point: casualties among the invading forces were altogether avoided by choosing to drop the A-bomb from above. It is interesting how willing some people are to excuse any potential deaths among the Allied forces, and even the 100,000 British and American P.O.W.s that would have died in an atomic bombing of Tokyo, but yet refuse to accept the casualties in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of the enemy himself.

    How good it is to be reminded of the facts, so that those of us with rational minds can appreciate what finally happened.

    I lived in Japan myself, for five years, in the 1990s, and understand that their respect for authority is infinitely greater than ours in the West--although I must confess, it had seemed logical to me also, at first, to have dropped the bomb on Tokyo, instead; I am reminded by your comments that it was a much more efficient method to have the emperor surrender--so that all the rest of the nation would respect and voluntarily obey his decision--than it would have been for the Allies to kill him, and leave the rest of Japan in perpetual chaos, subject only to their stubborn principle of "never surrendering."

    In fact, that answers yet another question that I would have posed myself: why did the Allies not kill the emperor, once he was captured? The answer then, (at least, in part) must be so that they could easily control all the movements of the Japanese by simply directing the emperor and his remarks, from then on.

    Thanks again for all the answers.
 
 
 
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