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wantafanta
07-08-10, 03:45
http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/hiroshima.htm


Fascinating historical reading here. Excerpted:

Though already eleven and a half miles away, the Enola Gay was rocked by the blast. At first, Tibbets thought he was taking flak. After a second shock wave (reflected from the ground) hit the plane, the crew looked back at Hiroshima. "The city was hidden by that awful cloud . . . boiling up, mushrooming, terrible and incredibly tall," Tibbets recalled. The yield of the explosion was later estimated at 15 kilotons (the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT).

On the ground moments before the blast it was a calm and sunny Monday morning. An air raid alert from earlier that morning had been called off after only a solitary aircraft was seen (the weather plane), and by 8:15 the city was alive with activity -- soldiers doing their morning calisthenics, commuters on foot or on bicycles, groups of women and children working outside to clear firebreaks. Those closest to the explosion died instantly, their bodies turned to black char. Nearby birds burst into flames in mid-air, and dry, combustible materials such as paper instantly ignited as far away as 6,400 feet from ground zero. The white light acted as a giant flashbulb, burning the dark patterns of clothing onto skin (right) and the shadows of bodies onto walls. Survivors outdoors close to the blast generally describe a literally blinding light combined with a sudden and overwhelming wave of heat. (The effects of radiation are usually not immediately apparent.) The blast wave followed almost instantly for those close-in, often knocking them from their feet. Those that were indoors were usually spared the flash burns, but flying glass from broken windows filled most rooms, and all but the very strongest structures collapsed. One boy was blown through the windows of his house and across the street as the house collapsed behind him. Within minutes 9 out of 10 people half a mile or less from ground zero were dead.

patriots88888
07-08-10, 03:52
Not exactly the kind of anniversary I like to celebrate. Let's pray (hope) something like this never has to occur again.

wantafanta
07-08-10, 04:07
There are several ways of looking at this event.
One is that it was necessary force a stubborn enemy to bring an end to a long and costly war that claimed millions of lives, and 400,000 US soldiers.

Another view that I have come to embrace as an adult is more complex. The US and its Russian allies were already at the beginning of the Cold war. The Russians were poised to invade Japan from the north from the Kurile islands. The US was ready to invade the Japanese mainland, after having taken the island of Okinawa in the south. President Truman, looking ahead, was unwilling to accept a Russian takeover of Japan in a postwar map, so he felt pressured to end the war as quickly as possible without the help of Russia. That way, the US would not have to share Japan with Russia when hostilities ended. This all makes sense to me. Because Japan, although it refused to surrender technically, was all but defeated. The US had control of the Pacific once again. The Japanese were reduced to recruiting teenagers to fly suicide missions. It was pititful. By conventional means, the war would have dragged on perhaps another 6 months and cost more American lives, but all those civilian Japanese lives would have been spared.

QiX
07-08-10, 04:17
Whatever lead to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, throwing barely untested bombs over such a large civilian population is not war, it's terrorism.

wantafanta
07-08-10, 04:24
Whatever lead to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, throwing barely untested bombs over such a large civilian population is not war, it's terrorism.

Actually, I quite agree with you. It was a monumental slaughter of innocent lives. Nothing was spared. Hospitals, schools, churches. It was the rough equivalent of 100 9-11s. Probably much worse.

Ward Dragon
07-08-10, 04:32
That's how war is fought. Tokyo, Dresden, London, all were bombed during WWII and all suffered civilian casualties. Conventional fire-bombing claimed far more lives than the atomic bombs ever did. The only reason the atomic bombs are singled out is because of the powerful symbol it represents, one single bomb being able to do what traditionally would have taken an entire fleet of planes to deliver. That gave the Japanese emperor a way to accept surrender without losing face because there was no denying that the US was more powerful. Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a horrible decision to have to make, but it would have been even more horrible to drag the war out longer and claim more lives in the long-run.

voltz
07-08-10, 04:36
Whatever lead to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, throwing barely untested bombs over such a large civilian population is not war, it's terrorism.

Nixon made that choice and from what he thought would strike at the heart of the enemy, he snuffed out innocent civilians who had nothing to do with it.

I agree with you, it was indeed terrorism and the coldest thing ever done in our nation's history.

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-08-10, 04:46
Nixon made that choice and from what he thought would strike at the heart of the enemy, he snuffed out innocent civilians who had nothing to do with it.

I agree with you, it was indeed terrorism and the coldest thing ever done in our nation's history.

Nixon?? Nixon was a LCDR in the Navy when Hiroshima was bombed... Perhaps you meant Truman? In any case, I'm sure a land invasion of Japan would have been far more productive, right?

Ward Dragon
07-08-10, 04:48
Nixon made that choice and from what he thought would strike at the heart of the enemy, he snuffed out innocent civilians who had nothing to do with it.

I agree with you, it was indeed terrorism and the coldest thing ever done in our nation's history.

Truman. But anyway, I think FDR putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps and stealing all of their property was worse. They were our citizens, on our side, and to treat our own like that is unforgivable.

Also, the firebombing of Tokyo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_firebombing) was worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No one ever complains about that though, I guess because it's "conventional."

Killercowz
07-08-10, 04:50
Even if it was war, killing thousands of innocent lives to end it, is just not the right solution.

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-08-10, 04:50
Truman. But anyway, I think FDR putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps and stealing all of their property was worse. They were our citizens, on our side, and to treat our own like that is unforgivable.

Also, the firebombing of Tokyo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_firebombing) was worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No one ever complains about that though, I guess because it's "conventional."

They estimated a land invasion of Japan would claim a million American lives... So unless anyone here is in favor of throwing the nations youth into a meat grinder, the right thing was done, for both sides.

Ward Dragon
07-08-10, 04:52
They estimated a land invasion of Japan would claim a million American lives... So unless anyone here is in favor of throwing the nations youth into a meat grinder, the right thing was done, for both sides.

I agree. It was a terrible thing to have to do, but the alternative was worse.

voltz
07-08-10, 05:07
Nixon?? Nixon was a LCDR in the Navy when Hiroshima was bombed...

Sadly I got mixed up. :rolleyes:

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-08-10, 05:09
Sadly I got mixed up. :rolleyes:

I blame it on my inferiority complex.

wantafanta
07-08-10, 05:12
That's how war is fought. Tokyo, Dresden, London, all were bombed during WWII and all suffered civilian casualties.

So then you agree that it was wrong for the US to invade Iraq, because when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds, that's the way wars are fought? Even in war, there are rules. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime, I believe. And I believe Hitler's attacks on London were a war crime.

Sgt BOMBULOUS
07-08-10, 05:18
So then you agree that it was wrong for the US to invade Iraq, because when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds, that's the way wars are fought? Even in war, there are rules. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime, I believe. And I believe Hitler's attacks on London were a war crime.

I'd hate to see your opinions on Tecumseh Sherman...

Ward Dragon
07-08-10, 05:21
So then you agree that it was wrong for the US to invade Iraq, because when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds, that's the way wars are fought? Even in war, there are rules. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime, I believe. And I believe Hitler's attacks on London were a war crime.

The most recent Geneva Convention didn't exist until after WWII, so it was not a war crime to target civilians prior to 1949.

Edit: And Iraq did agree to the Geneva Convention, so any targeting of civilians after that qualifies as breaking the treaty.

Goose
07-08-10, 06:04
I doubt many chinese will be feeling sorry for them, consierdering they 'pacified' almost 3 million chinese back then. And the way they killed them didnt last just 1 second either. Nanking pretty much sums up how Japan conducted themselves in China:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

Most westerners in the Pacific, and chinese would have had this, or other attrocities in mind when those bombs were dropped.

QiX
07-08-10, 07:04
The most recent Geneva Convention didn't exist until after WWII, so it was not a war crime to target civilians prior to 1949.

Edit: And Iraq did agree to the Geneva Convention, so any targeting of civilians after that qualifies as breaking the treaty.

[
Laws of War :
Prohibiting Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons (Hague, IV); July 29, 1899 (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/hague994.asp)
Declaration signed at The Hague July 29, 1899; Senate advice and consent to ratification February 5, 1900; Ratified by the President of the United States April 7, 1900; Proces-verbal of first deposit of ratifications (including that of the United States) at The Hague dated September 4, 1900; Entered into force September 4, 1900; Proclaimed by the President of the United States November 1, 1901; Expired September 4, 1905; a new declaration on the same subject was signed on October 18, 1907.
]

Or this would not apply since Enola Gay was not a balloon? But independently of existing laws or not, the fact that your enemy is wrong doesn't make you right. Killing civilians in a war is morally wrong, always.

Goose
07-08-10, 07:22
Or this would not apply since Enola Gay was not a balloon?

A baloon is a static observation post by there standards, not an aircraft in the same sense as a Zeppelin, if thats what you thought it was. Besides that law wouldnt have existed more then a decade or so, as it would have to had been modified for the Air corps of all the countries in the First world war. Which it seems it wasnt. Then it would have to be further modified for the creation of Air Forces.

If its not even remotly explicit, it means nothing in terms of warfare.

QiX
07-08-10, 07:51
Open the link and read:
"The Contracting Powers agree to prohibit, for a term of five years, the launching of projectiles and explosives from balloons, or by other new methods of similar nature." (underlined bold italics by me)

Notice that this agreement expired in 5 years then a new one was made in 1907 with the same subject

See more here: http://www.icrc.org/IHL.NSF/INTRO/245?OpenDocument

"Of the great Powers only Great Britain and the United States ratified the Declaration. The attempts, in 1907, to adopt a permanent prohibition of the discharge of projectiles from the air led to the insertion in Article 25 of the Hague Regulations on land warfare, which prohibits the attack or bombardment of undefended towns, villages, etc., of the words "by whatever means" in order to cover attack or bombardment from the air."

Cochrane
07-08-10, 08:28
I still havenít come to a conclusion whether these bombings were the right thing and necessary, but I can certainly understand why the US government at the time thought they were. Still, the end result is an immense human tragedy (exactly like the conventional bombings, of course), and I think all nations should do whatever they can to prevent it from ever happening again.

Goose
07-08-10, 08:40
"Of the great Powers only Great Britain and the United States ratified the Declaration.

And who were the ones that didnt? So the people were discussing here cant claim we've broken an agreement, as they were never part of that agreement in the first place.

Draco
07-08-10, 08:45
Whatever lead to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, throwing barely untested bombs over such a large civilian population is not war, it's terrorism.

Hiroshima was chosen because it had a minimal civilian population relative to its importance. Nagasaki was necessary to prove that there was more than one. It too was chosen to minimize the overall effect of the bomb on the island as a whole.

patriots88888
07-08-10, 09:13
I see many in this thread who know are knowledgable with their history. Hopefully we'll get to see some more humility and compassion along with it.

I don't care if it's war on the grandest scale or a skirmish amongst two individuals... with conflict such as this, there isn't any right or wrong, only casualties. I'm not implying that compassion doesn't exist, it's just that I haven't seen very much of it. Which kinda baffles me to be honest. When considering the end result and the potential for reoccurence, does it really matter who is to blame?

scoopy_loopy
07-08-10, 09:27
It was a monstrous thing that was done, in a war of many monstrosities. :(

Let us all hope with every once of our beings that humanity never descends to such acts ever again.

Goose
07-08-10, 09:47
When considering the end result ...

The end result is one of the most advanced and peaceful nations in the world.

Turning people with values like this:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/Republic_of_China_Armed_Forces_Museum_Nanking.jpg

To this, the new mascot of the JSDF, Prince Pickles:
http://www.japanprobe.com/2007/01/pickes4.gif

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 11:39
A horrific but neccessary tragedy. It ended up saving more military and civilian lives from both sides in the end. It wasn't terrorism, it was just war. Sad I know but that's the way it worked. At that point all that needed to be done was end the war as quickly as possible and with as few casualties as possible.

knightgames
07-08-10, 12:26
I still havenít come to a conclusion whether these bombings were the right thing and necessary, but I can certainly understand why the US government at the time thought they were. Still, the end result is an immense human tragedy (exactly like the conventional bombings, of course), and I think all nations should do whatever they can to prevent it from ever happening again.

That's the whole point, right there. We can hand wring, blame and remunerate all sides, but in the end if we haven't learned our lesson then other than stopping the war what good did it do? We like to think there is a moral superiority to our actions in war, but the end result is always the same - death. Sadly I don't think we're any closer to beating our weapons into plowshares than we were 64 years ago.... 94 years ago....144 years ago... and on and on and on.

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 12:44
I think it's because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the US and Russia never went into a nuclear war with each other.

larson n natla
07-08-10, 12:53
I can't imagine how somebody could have literally no compassion and wipe out an entire city with an untested atomic bomb.

The effects and radiation still linger today with babies being commonly born with deformities and disease. It is horrible.

scoopy_loopy
07-08-10, 12:58
Has anybody else read Sadako, or had an illustrated version read to them as a child? :(

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 12:59
I can't imagine how somebody could have literally no compassion and wipe out an entire city with an untested atomic bomb.

The effects and radiation still linger today with babies being commonly born with deformities and disease. It is horrible.What do you think they should've done instead?

I really want to know what other people would've done if they were in Truman's shoes. It's quite easy to sit back and say how horrible it was and how the bomb should never have been dropped but how would you have beaten Japan?

Capt. Murphy
07-08-10, 13:18
August 6th. That's my girlfriend's birthday. :pi:

& Her grandparent's (on her Mother's side) Anniversary is on Sept. 11th. :eek:

knightgames
07-08-10, 13:42
I can't imagine how somebody could have literally no compassion and wipe out an entire city with an untested atomic bomb.

The effects and radiation still linger today with babies being commonly born with deformities and disease. It is horrible.



Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm. Not to be rude, but honestly that's such a short sided perspective that it doesn't even consider any side of the conflict, except the bombing itself. I can't justify the bombing by saying the Japanese were bad through there actions in Manchuria, and also in the U.S.'s own war effort between Japan. They we're ruthless in their treatment of the enemy in the war.

BUT...... to understand the bombing you have to understand the magnitude of WW2 ITSELF and how stopping it was so important. It had nothing to do with compassion or the lack there of. One HAS to look at the total picture before making a judgment like that. Had the enemies had possession of the bomb they would have done the same. There is no moral upper ground in any of this.


Good point by Tony. It was a sure detriment between Russian and the US during the cold war. Who knows what kind of world we'd have now would it not for August 6th.

larson n natla
07-08-10, 13:42
What do you think they should've done instead?

I really want to know what other people would've done if they were in Truman's shoes. It's quite easy to sit back and say how horrible it was and how the bomb should never have been dropped but how would you have beaten Japan?

How about not destroy the lives of innocence with no reason.

It is very easy to say it was horrible because it was, it is also very easy to say 'there was no other way' but surely dropping an atomic bomb on a city should have been the very last resort it was gratuitously violent.

To the comment above me, I was merely commenting on the subject of the thread the war itself was catastrophic and caused the death of many.

michaeldt
07-08-10, 13:52
Has anybody else read Sadako, or had an illustrated version read to them as a child? :(

I've seen a Manga cartoon of Sadako

Goose
07-08-10, 14:00
How about not destroy the lives of innocence with no reason.

It is very easy to say it was horrible because it was, it is also very easy to say 'there was no other way' but surely dropping an atomic bomb on a city should have been the very last resort it was gratuitously violent.


No reason? Ok lets say an invasion took place. We would have to bomb each city as we came to them, as they are garrisons of enemy troops, and as battles before had proven, fighting house to house would cause a stalemate that could last years, like the nazis in Russia.

Your saying that bombing every city in our way to get to the seat of power is prefered to dropping 2 bombs on 2 cities?

Remember, we dropped 1, waited for there reaction before dropping the second.

Drone
07-08-10, 14:08
For someone it is tragedy for others it was just a part of the Manhattan project

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 14:10
How about not destroy the lives of innocence with no reason.

It is very easy to say it was horrible because it was, it is also very easy to say 'there was no other way' but surely dropping an atomic bomb on a city should have been the very last resort it was gratuitously violent.It wasn't done with no reason - quite the opposite in fact. The whole point was to force Japan to surrender (thus end the war). Not only that but a bloody allied invasion of Japan was also averted as others have pointed out.

larson n natla
07-08-10, 14:13
No reason? Ok lets say an invasion took place. We would have to bomb each city as we came to them, as they are garrisons of enemy troops, and as battles before had proven, fighting house to house would cause a stalemate that could last years, like the nazis in Russia.

Your saying that bombing every city in our way to get to the seat of power is prefered to dropping 2 bombs on 2 cities?

Remember, we dropped 1, waited for there reaction before dropping the second.

I'm saying it may have saved time but it was wrong, I don't support war in anyway so I really can't suggest alternatives and I didn't come in to the thread to argue.

If you support the dropping of the bombs that's your opinion but I don't 200,000 people occupied that city and of that roughly 40,000 were Military members that's 160,000 lives that were no threat to Americans. I just can't fathom it but I also don't want to argue.

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 14:15
I'm saying it may have saved time but it was wrong, I don't support war in anyway so I really can't suggest alternatives and I didn't come in to the thread to argue.

If you support the dropping of the bombs that's your opinion but I don't 200,000 people occupied that city and of that roughly 40,000 were Military members that's 160,000 lives that were no threat to Americans. I just can't fathom it but I also don't want to argue.How is it wrong if the end result was the conclusion of the bloodiest war in human history? Sure, it came at a cost of thousands of civilian lives but there would be many civilian casualties regardless.

Dennis's Mom
07-08-10, 14:35
I still havenít come to a conclusion whether these bombings were the right thing and necessary, but I can certainly understand why the US government at the time thought they were. Still, the end result is an immense human tragedy (exactly like the conventional bombings, of course), and I think all nations should do whatever they can to prevent it from ever happening again.

I think it's really easy to Monday morning quarterback this decision. I don't think the decision to drop the bomb made lightly and may have saved more civilian lives in Japan. An land invasion would have been very protracted.

There's a Japanese author (K. Oe) who was a child at the time of the surrender, and he wrote about it. He says the day that Japan surrendered, all the shops were closed, the streets were empty. Everyone was inside, huddled around the radios listening to the Emperor's radio address announcing the surrender.

He remembers all the adults in tears. You, of course, will think it's because Japan lost, but that wasn't why they were crying. It was the Emperor's voice. The Emperor spoke in human voice. To the Japanese, the Emperor was a god. No commoner had ever heard him speak.

The Imperial government had already issued orders for Japanese civilians to commit suicide rather than be taken captive. Over 10,000 civilians did just that in the Battle of Saipan.

Anyone who thinks a land invasion would have automatically saved lives is not taking into account the Japanese culture of the time. We will never know what that result will be, but it was not our decision to make.

Cochrane
07-08-10, 16:08
I think it's because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the US and Russia never went into a nuclear war with each other.

Probably true. One factor many people like to forget is that prior to this, the world had no idea how devastating an atomic bomb could be. The scientists in the Manhattan project and the US government had a vague idea, certainly, but effects such as radiation poisoning weren't understood well even in the 1950s. The US government placed volunteers within harmful proximity of bomb tests to "harden" them against the fall-out long after Hiroshima.

Some people argue in this thread that the bomb should not have been used precisely because it's long-term effects were unknown. Not necessarily a bad idea, but at that time, radiation sources and sickness caused by them were so infrequent that scientists had no reason to believe it would be more harmful than a very huge explosion, or the quite nasty phosphorous bombs that were in widespread use at the time.

That, in itself does not justify it, but it can help to explain why the decision was made.

scoopy_loopy
07-08-10, 16:12
So... why couldn't it have simply been dropped off the coast? Then the second could have been used on a "real" target, if the Japanese refused to surrender.

Forwen
07-08-10, 17:22
So... why couldn't it have simply been dropped off the coast? Then the second could have been used on a "real" target, if the Japanese refused to surrender.

Because it would flood half the country...

Draco
07-08-10, 17:25
The lives lost to the bomb were a drop in the ocean compared to the total cost of the war globally.

QiX
07-08-10, 18:16
And who were the ones that didnt? So the people were discussing here cant claim we've broken an agreement, as they were never part of that agreement in the first place.

The Hague Conventions were an international aggreement proposed to define what should never be done in any war against anyone. Since then the use of chemical warfare and hollow point bullets were also banned everywhere, among many other advances. Unfortunately this particular Declaration was not ratified by the rest of the world, but it was signed by the US. You can expect that the japanese army to act according to an aggreement they didn't sign, but the americans did sign it.

Hiroshima was chosen because it had a minimal civilian population relative to its importance. Nagasaki was necessary to prove that there was more than one. It too was chosen to minimize the overall effect of the bomb on the island as a whole.

Allow me to quote myself here:

...the fact that your enemy is wrong doesn't make you right. Killing civilians in a war is morally wrong, always.

In a war it's expected you send soldiers to kill soldiers. No matter how many american casualties were avoided, killing civilians is just wrong.

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 19:17
killing civilians is just wrong.The main point here is that civilians would've died either way.

QiX
07-08-10, 20:43
The main point here is that civilians would've died either way.

Oh, yes. But how would they die? How many? By whose hands? We will never know, right? And this is a subject where these answers would make all the difference.

Dustie
07-08-10, 20:45
Let the terrible history be a lesson, a warning.

Mad Tony
07-08-10, 20:46
Oh, yes. But how would they die? How many? By whose hands? We will never know, right? And this is a subject where these answers would make all the difference.Well, it's fairly likely more would have ended up dying. Even if the Japanese weren't as fanatical and dedicated to their country I still think it would have been a bloody invasion.

QiX
08-08-10, 00:30
Well, it's fairly likely more would have ended up dying. Even if the Japanese weren't as fanatical and dedicated to their country I still think it would have been a bloody invasion.

Well, at least in a regular invasion the lifes of babies, children, women, seniors and unarmed men would in most cases be spared, the armed civilians would have a change to surrender. Even if the total of civilian casualties exceeded the total of deaths in the atomic bombs, the americans would record their actions as war heroes instead of mass murderers. Personally I list Truman side by side with Hitler, Mussolini, Hiroito, Stalin, Castro, Ceaucescu, Franco as one of the most coward genociders in the 20th century.

Come on, guys. babies were born deformed and without brains, the population suffered the most horrible forms of cancer for decades after the attacks. How can you guys defend such a crime? Nothing could excuse that, never!

Catracoth
08-08-10, 00:34
Even if it was war, killing thousands of innocent lives to end it, is just not the right solution.

Tell that to the chaps who flew an aeroplane into the World Trade Centres in New York.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 00:50
Well, at least in a regular invasion the lifes of babies, children, women, seniors and unarmed men would in most cases be spared, the armed civilians would have a change to surrender. Even if the total of civilian casualties exceeded the total of deaths in the atomic bombs, the americans would record their actions as war heroes instead of mass murderers.No they wouldn't have. What don't you understand about air raids? Conventional bombs dropped from airplanes don't discriminate between civilians and military personnel.

I think the American high command probably thought it was best not to send tens of thousands of men to their deaths at the cost of being seen as mass murderers in the eyes of certain individuals who can't see the bigger picture.

Besides, I see American soldiers who fought in WWII as war heroes (along with soldiers from all of the other Allied nations).

Personally I list Truman side by side with Hitler, Mussolini, Hiroito, Stalin, Castro, Ceaucescu, Franco as one of the most coward genociders in the 20th century.Then you either don't really know what those men did (Hitler and Stalin especially) or you have some sort of grudge against Truman.

How can you compare the president of a country at war with another country who made the difficult decision of dropping the bombs and not risking the lives of thousands of his fellow countrymen to avert a bloody invasion to people like Hitler and Stalin who slaughtered millions because of their race or political opinions? What separates Truman from the likes of Stalin and Hitler was that he did what he thought was necessary to bring peace and minimize any further casualties.

Oh and by the way, I'm not a huge fan of Truman although I do think he showed good leadership for the short period of time he was president while the US was at war.

Come on, guys. babies were born deformed and without brains, the population suffered the most horrible forms of cancer for decades after the attacks. How can you guys defend such a crime? Nothing could excuse that, never!It's not a crime. It's war. If it's a crime then so too were the air raids over Japanese cities before that.

The reason why we're defending it is because it's highly likely that more people would've died (on both sides) if the Americans had invaded instead. I doubt anybody actually knew the true power of the bombs anyway and what effect that would have on people.

wantafanta
08-08-10, 00:51
The most recent Geneva Convention didn't exist until after WWII, so it was not a war crime to target civilians prior to 1949.


So, then, the NAZIs who exterminated 6,000,000 Jews in Buchenwald and Treblinka and other death camps weren't guilty of any war crimes because the latest edition of the Geneva Convention wasn't yet released? Then what were those Nuremburg trials all about?

I can see what is happening here. There is a definable contingent bent on defending US actions at any cost, a clear case of misguided patriotism. I'm sorry, but it is just plain wrong to deliberately bomb civilian targets. Wrong is wrong. And the notion that it would cost 1,000,000 lives to take Japan in an invasion I just am not buying. As I pointed out, the Japanese were defeated. The US had free reign in the South Pacific. They were a beaten enemy, whether or not they knew it. And yes, there well could have been a demonstration of the A-bomb off the coast of Japan and it wouldn't have flooded the country. Many US ships were in the vicinity of H-bomb underwater tests in the pacific and they did not swamp.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 00:56
I can see what is happening here. There is a definable contingent bent on defending US actions at any cost, a clear case of misguided patriotism. I'm sorry, but it is just plain wrong to deliberately bomb civilian targets. Wrong is wrong. And the notion that it would cost 1,000,000 lives to take Japan in an invasion I just am not buying. As I pointed out, the Japanese were defeated. The US had free reign in the South Pacific. They were a beaten enemy, whether or not they knew it. And yes, there well could have been a demonstration of the A-bomb off the coast of Japan and it wouldn't have flooded the country. Many US ships were in the vicinity of H-bomb underwater tests in the pacific and they did not swamp.It's nothing to do with "defending US actions". The US certainly didn't get it all right during WWII (Nuremberg bombing in 1945 for example, however, I think they got what they deserved then) although given the outcome of the atomic bombs being dropped I think they made the right call.

I also think it's wrong to avoid bombing civilian targets if you can end the war quicker and minimize casualties by doing just that.

The key thing that everybody needs to remember when ranting about what a travesty Hiroshima and Nagasaki were is that before then the bombs had never been used on a population center. If the US (or any other country for that matter) had used nuclear weapons on another country in a war after that I'd probably condemn the action.

Ward Dragon
08-08-10, 00:58
Then what were those Nuremburg trials all about?

Genocide.

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 01:02
Well, at least in a regular invasion the lifes of babies, children, women, seniors and unarmed men would in most cases be spared, the armed civilians would have a change to surrender. Even if the total of civilian casualties exceeded the total of deaths in the atomic bombs, the americans would record their actions as war heroes instead of mass murderers. Personally I list Truman side by side with Hitler, Mussolini, Hiroito, Stalin, Castro, Ceaucescu, Franco as one of the most coward genociders in the 20th century.

Come on, guys. babies were born deformed and without brains, the population suffered the most horrible forms of cancer for decades after the attacks. How can you guys defend such a crime? Nothing could excuse that, never!

This is not exactly true. You've heard of Desdon right? And after the imprisonment by the Japanese in Burma, I have my doubts that Japanese would have been taken prisoner or treated humanely had they been.
And everybody writes their history to make them look like the good guys...

It wasn't a decision that was made lightly and I highly doubt Truman made the decision himself.

wantafanta
08-08-10, 01:05
Conventional bombs dropped from airplanes don't discriminate between civilians and military personnel.

You can aim at military targets. The bomb goes where you drop it. Now, if you just lob bombs indiscriminately into another country, that's another matter, and civilians will be killed. But that would be a waste of military resources and criminal



It's not a crime. It's war. If it's a crime then so too were the air raids over Japanese cities before that.

War is not a legal free-for-all that excuses criminal and amoral behaviour. There are crimes committed during wartime and there are trials.

What I seem to be picking up here very subtley is that Japanse lives were expendable, that they less than human. That somehow Japanese women and children and babies were just so many lab rats to be exterminated and no big deal. If Hitler or Japan had used an A-bomb on London or New York, I think you'd see things differently.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 01:06
It wasn't a decision that was made lightly and I highly doubt Truman made the decision himself.I think he did actually. However, isn't his priority to make sure the US suffers as few casualties as possible and that they win the war? If it is, he did just that. I think as the American president it would've been wrong to send tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen out to die when he could end it all without a single one getting hurt.

You can aim at military targets. The bomb goes where you drop it. Now, if you just lob bombs indiscriminately into another country, that's another matter, and civilians will be killed. But that would be a waste of military resources and criminalNot necessarily. Bombs don't always hit their targets dead-on (remember they didn't have laser-guided missiles in the 40s) and it's likely there will be civilians involved somehow (e.g. workers at an ammunition factory).


War is not a legal free-for-all that excuses criminal and amoral behaviour. There are crimes committed during wartime and there are trials. I fail to see how it's a crime or amoral when it brought the war to a swift halt and ultimately saved lives.

What I seem to be picking up here very subtley is that Japanse lives were expendable, that they less than human. That somehow Japanese women and children and babies were just so many lab rats to be exterminated and no big deal. If Hitler or Japan had used an A-bomb on London or New York, I think you'd see things differently.Nobody's saying Japanese lives are worth less, although you have to consider that at the time the US and Japan were at war so American and Allied lives must take priority over the enemy. That's what happens in war. You try and minimize casualties on your side and do whatever is neccessary (within reason) to force the enemy into surrender.

Oh I would, but that's because during WWII the Germans and the Japanese were the aggressors. They were the ones fighting to conquer.

knightgames
08-08-10, 02:17
How about not destroy the lives of innocence with no reason.

It is very easy to say it was horrible because it was, it is also very easy to say 'there was no other way' but surely dropping an atomic bomb on a city should have been the very last resort it was gratuitously violent.

To the comment above me, I was merely commenting on the subject of the thread the war itself was catastrophic and caused the death of many.



When the allied forced gained the upper hand in the war and were finally able to make progress against Japan the battles were long, hard, and full of casualties that were never expected. Read about the bloody encounters at Peililu. I believe it was Okinawa where citizens fought with bamboo spears. When they couldn't defeat the advanced army they fled in the night to end up committing suicide of the cliffs into the water. 1600 people died.

The bombs WERE the last resort. How many more Japanese citizens would have died than in the blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Was it wrong? War is wrong. But there are times that require disturbing things to be done. I believe it was the better option at that time.

QiX
08-08-10, 04:44
No they wouldn't have. What don't you understand about air raids? Conventional bombs dropped from airplanes don't discriminate between civilians and military personnel.

You can aim at military targets. The bomb goes where you drop it. Now, if you just lob bombs indiscriminately into another country, that's another matter, and civilians will be killed. But that would be a waste of military resources and criminal



^This. Actually it is clear to anyone that the targets were civilian only, the most populated areas in both cities. Not any military facility in a range of miles, not a single ammunition factory. The bombs were intended to kill civilians, unaware of an incoming attack, which is very very different than civilians killed by accident for being near a military target. Blame it on the lack of satellites and poor intelligence resources? More: some can say they didn't know about the true power of the atom bombs. But after the Trinity test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test)) they had at least a reasonably accurate idea of the size of the blast radius. They had the purpose to kill at least a hundred thousand civilians when they decided to drop the bombs

I think the American high command probably thought it was best not to send tens of thousands of men to their deaths at the cost of being seen as mass murderers in the eyes of certain individuals who can't see the bigger picture.

Besides, I see American soldiers who fought in WWII as war heroes (along with soldiers from all of the other Allied nations).

If you go to war, you send trained troops, and you expect casualties. Also you send troops to kill military trained soldiers, that's how the game is played. I trully see the brave american soldiers who fought bravely agains motivated enemies in foreign territory as heroes, I really do. Also the poor pilot and tripulation sent to drop the bombs, how could I blame them? They had no idea what was that strange device the were sent to drop. But the high command involved in the whole Project Manhattan were definitely responsible for war crime, and president Truman, even if he didn't command the operation he is the highest responsible. At least for allowing that monstrosity to be made. See, Hitler probably never killed a jew, or Bin Laden never kidnapped any airplane. Are they less guilty? Of course not: they were the heads of the events made under their command

Then you either don't really know what those men did (Hitler and Stalin especially) or you have some sort of grudge against Truman.

No, nothing personal, really. I would have the same feelings against anyone in charge of the US govt. during end the WWII, assuming he allowed to happen the bomb experiments in both japanese cities.

How can you compare the president of a country at war with another country who made the difficult decision of dropping the bombs and not risking the lives of thousands of his fellow countrymen to avert a bloody invasion to people like Hitler and Stalin who slaughtered millions because of their race or political opinions?

Oh, easy: the three of them commanded the massacre of innocent people. Thousands or millions, what's the difference? Is Al Qaeda less guilty because they killed only about 3000 people while Hitler and Stalin reached the number of millions? Of course not. It's because of the nature of their crimes that I compare them, not for the numbers.

It's not a crime. It's war. If it's a crime then so too were the air raids over Japanese cities before that.

Again: your enemy's crimes don't excuse your faults. If you want to play the hero and fight again't the evil you should make sure that your acts wont equal you to this evil. Even more surpass it. US crossed the line then, the heroism of millions of american soldiers should not be blurred by a coward act of mass murder.

The reason why we're defending it is because it's highly likely that more people would've died (on both sides) if the Americans had invaded instead. I doubt anybody actually knew the true power of the bombs anyway and what effect that would have on people.

One more reason to condemn the bombing: They didn't even know exactly the effect of the bombs on living beings. One thing they knew for sure was that the blast radius would be big enough to carbonize a mid sized town completely. Only this fact confirms the intention of the massacre, they didn't expect to kill few people.

This is not exactly true. You've heard of Desdon right? And after the imprisonment by the Japanese in Burma, I have my doubts that Japanese would have been taken prisoner or treated humanely had they been.

It doesn't matter. The simple fact that they didn't have the chance to see an incoming attack and raise a truce flag makes the act criminal.

And everybody writes their history to make them look like the good guys...

So you admit you learned world history through biased books? You just gave the reason why one should never trust the winners' version.

It wasn't a decision that was made lightly and I highly doubt Truman made the decision himself.

Again, Hitler never killed a jew, Bin Laden never kidnapped an airplane. It's no excuse.

War is not a legal free-for-all that excuses criminal and amoral behaviour. There are crimes committed during wartime and there are trials.

Even deeper: If you are in a war it's expected that you follow and obbey an even more strict and rigid code of conduct than the normal citizen in times of peace, for you are the one with the guns. You make mistakes with a gun in your hands and you should be punished even harshly. War leaves no space for mistakes, for they will never have the chance to be fixed again.

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 05:15
I think he did actually. However, isn't his priority to make sure the US suffers as few casualties as possible and that they win the war? If it is, he did just that. I think as the American president it would've been wrong to send tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen out to die when he could end it all without a single one getting hurt.


What I meant was I doubt he made it alone. I'm sure he had advisors and such to help him make the decision. Anyways it's not really important. What's done is done.

Ward Dragon
08-08-10, 05:22
What I meant was I doubt he made it alone. I'm sure he had advisors and such to help him make the decision.

Yeah, his advisors convinced him not to nuke Kyoto because of the cultural damage it would do to Japan. Rather they went for Hiroshima because it would send the same message of how powerful the bomb was without causing irreparable harm to Japanese culture and identity.

Also, Hiroshima and Nagasaki did play a role in the Japanese war effort:

The target of Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance, containing Japan's Second Army Headquarters, as well as being a communications center and storage depot.
...
The city of Nagasaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki) had been one of the largest sea ports (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_port) in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ordnance), ships, military equipment, and other war materials.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

scoopy_loopy
08-08-10, 05:27
Just an excert from the wiki article I found interesting:

During the war "annihilationist and exterminationalist rhetoric" was tolerated at all levels of U.S. society; according to the UK embassy in Washington the Americans regarded the Japanese as "a nameless mass of vermin".[85] Caricatures depicting Japanese as less than human, e.g. monkeys, were common.[85] A 1944 opinion poll that asked what should be done with Japan found that 13% of the U.S. public were in favor of the extermination of all Japanese, men women and children.[86][87]
News of the atomic bombing were greeted enthusiastically in the U.S.; a poll in Fortune magazine in late 1945 showed a significant minority of Americans wishing that more atomic bombs could have been dropped on Japan.[88] The initial positive response was supported by the imagery presented to the public (mainly the powerful mushroom cloud) and the absence of evidence of the human effects—photographs showing corpses and maimed survivors—were suppressed, and reports were censored.[88] As an example, a member of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Lieutenant Daniel McGovern, used a film crew to document the results. The film crew's work resulted in a three-hour documentary entitled The Effects of the Atomic Bombs Against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The documentary included images from hospitals showing the human effects of the bomb; it showed burned out buildings and cars, and rows of skulls and bones on the ground. When sent to the U.S., it was mentioned widely in the U.S. press, then quietly suppressed and never shown. It was classified "top secret" for the next 22 years.[89]
Imagery of the atomic bombings was suppressed in Japan during the occupation[90] although some Japanese magazines had managed to publish images before the Allied occupation troops took control. The Allied occupation forces enforced censorship on anything "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility", and pictures of the effects of the people on the ground were deemed inflammatory. A likely reason for the banning was that the images depicting burn victims and funeral pyres evoked similarities to the widely circulated images taken in liberated Nazi concentration camps.[91]

Source. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki)

Tombraiderx08
08-08-10, 05:28
I dont think the president is ever the sole reason a decision is made, but, anyhoo, i hardly see why this is something that should be celebrated :/

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 05:29
It doesn't matter. The simple fact that they didn't have the chance to see an incoming attack and raise a truce flag makes the act criminal.
That's war, how about 9/11? The point I was making was that had the US not nuked, then they'd have likely used firebombing, which is a fairly rotten way to die in it's own right, and civilians would have died anyways. Add to that what the POWs went through at the hands of the Japanese and I wouldn't be surprised if US Soldiers just shot on sight rather than accept surrender.



So you admit you learned world history through biased books? You just gave the reason why one should never trust the winners' version.
Don't we all? It wasn't until Middle/High School that we actually got to see the US in a somewhat negative light. I never meant to imply that I believe just the winner's version, just that the winner's version tends to be the one most believe.



Again, Hitler never killed a jew, Bin Laden never kidnapped an airplane. It's no excuse.
I never said it was.

scoopy_loopy
08-08-10, 05:33
That's war, how about 9/11?

I would think that a civilised nation could act on a higher moral ground, than Al Quaida... And last I checked, no where near 400, 000 people died from 9/11.

Catracoth
08-08-10, 05:37
I dont think the president is ever the sole reason a decision is made, but, anyhoo, i hardly see why this is something that should be celebrated :/

Not to mention that the President can't go through with a decision unless it's given the go ahead by congress.

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 05:39
I would think that a civilised nation could act on a higher moral ground, than Al Quaida... And last I checked, no where near 400, 000 people died from 9/11.

So I could have chosen a much better example, but it was the first one that popped into my head. My point is that war isn't fair. And that's all I'mma say here :p

scoopy_loopy
08-08-10, 05:39
Not to mention that the President can't go through with a decision unless it's given the go ahead by congress.

Er, the bombings were made by executive order of the President.

Ward Dragon
08-08-10, 05:40
I would think that a civilised nation could act on a higher moral ground, than Al Quaida... And last I checked, no where near 400, 000 people died from 9/11.

WWII cost millions and millions of lives. In terms of death toll, bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki is no different from firebombing Tokyo or any other city that got bombed during the war. If you're arguing that no city should have been bombed at all, fair enough on moral grounds, but that would pretty much make the war unwinnable for the Allies. If the Allies hadn't been allowed to bomb Japan at all then the war would have went on forever. Japan couldn't win due to lack of resources, but without a clear reason to surrender they'd have fought to the bitter end until every last person was dead and couldn't fight any longer. That outcome isn't in anybody's best interests.

Catracoth
08-08-10, 05:43
I would think that a civilised nation could act on a higher moral ground, than Al Quaida... And last I checked, no where near 400, 000 people died from 9/11.

A civilised nation? Tell me, what exactly was the kiloton yield of the bomb America dropped on Hiroshima?

scoopy_loopy
08-08-10, 05:45
WWII cost millions and millions of lives. In terms of death toll, bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki is no different from firebombing Tokyo or any other city that got bombed during the war. If you're arguing that no city should have been bombed at all, fair enough on moral grounds, but that would pretty much make the war unwinnable for the Allies. If the Allies hadn't been allowed to bomb Japan at all then the war would have went on forever. Japan couldn't win due to lack of resources, but without a clear reason to surrender they'd have fought to the bitter end until every last person was dead and couldn't fight any longer. That outcome isn't in anybody's best interests.

I know, I know, I just think some people are quick to defend America just cause they were "the good guys". I'm glad Japan was forced to surrender, they did some truly horrid things.

Japan was a direct threat to Australia, so as children we learnt tonnes about their tactics and their completely different ideals in war and their treatment of prisoners in school. All of it was pretty horrible.

Ward Dragon
08-08-10, 05:55
I know, I know, I just think some people are quick to defend America just cause they were "the good guys". I'm glad Japan was forced to surrender, they did some truly horrid things.

Japan was a direct threat to Australia, so as children we learnt tonnes about their tactics and their completely different ideals in war and their treatment of prisoners in school. All of it was pretty horrible.

Ah, in that case I agree. I think it's impossible to judge the morality of these actions without the context of the war, so I guess I'm on the opposite side because I see people very quick to condemn the bombings in order to make the US look bad. I mean, there is no moral equivalency between trying to end the war quickly versus rounding up and executing millions of people due to their race and/or religion. It's just not the same thing. It's terrible that the world came to a point where WWII happened, and where so many people died, but desiring to end that war as quickly as possible is not evil. I don't think anyone should take joy in the deaths that were caused by the bombs, but rather be relieved that more didn't die in a long and drawn-out invasion of Japan.

Catracoth
08-08-10, 05:57
In all honesty, I don't think one country is better than another when it comes to tactical warfare - they've all done some pretty horrible things to one another.

Ward Dragon
08-08-10, 05:59
In all honesty, I don't think one country is better than another when it comes to tactical warfare - they've all done some pretty horrible things to one another.

Yeah, it's only in the last 50 years or so that real rules of war have been written to protect civilians. Prior to that, total war was the norm.

Goose
08-08-10, 06:07
In all honesty, I don't think one country is better than another when it comes to tactical warfare - they've all done some pretty horrible things to one another.

Trust me, what Japan did to China and surounding areas, is almost on Par with the nazis, only difference is, the Japanese didnt even attempt to hide it from the world.

How ever we decided to enter Japan, by those 2 bombs, or by usual force, there cities were going to end up like this:
Germany:
http://ring.mithec.com/images2/40-49%20dresden%20destroyed.jpg
Holland:
http://www.poachers.org.uk/mktgarden2/bombed.jpg

It was the same all along the road from Normandy and Stalingrad to Berlin.

aktrekker
08-08-10, 06:27
A civilised nation? Tell me, what exactly was the kiloton yield of the bomb America dropped on Hiroshima?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_yield
Hiroshima was 12-15 kilotons.
Nagasaki was 20-22 kilotons.

For comparison, check http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2010/02/rescue-of-trapped-survivors-in-world.html

In Indo China (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) from 1965-73 America dropped 6,727,084 tons of bombs, compared to 2,700,000 tons dropped by the Allies in Europe during WWII and 656,400 tons dropped by the Allies in the Pacific war against Japan. Blast overpressure damage areas and related casualties from collapsing buildings and flying glass and debris scale as the two-thirds power of yield which is called "equivalent megatonnage (EMT)", so 1 megaton of TNT in the form of a million separate ton of TNT bombs is equivalent to 1,000,000(1/1,000,000)2/3 = 100 separate one-megaton nuclear explosions. Assuming the 6,727,084 tons of bombs on Indo China were 1 ton TNT bombs, the damaged area and casualty rate is equivalent to 6,727,084(1/1,000,000)2/3 = 673 separate one megaton nuclear explosions which failed to win the war.

Goose
08-08-10, 06:51
For comparison, check http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2010/02/rescue-of-trapped-survivors-in-world.html

If America had dropped that many atomic bombs in one day, there wouldnt be a war to fight, so i dont see the articles point.

aktrekker
08-08-10, 07:04
The point was comparison.

The number of conventional bombs dropped on Japan equal more tonnage than the two atomic bombs combined. Using the same calculation they use, the 656,400 tons equals about 65 1-megaton bombs.

Goose
08-08-10, 07:21
The point was comparison.

The number of conventional bombs dropped on Japan equal more tonnage than the two atomic bombs combined. Using the same calculation they use, the 656,400 tons equals about 65 1-megaton bombs.

But with an entirely different effect.

Drinking 8 litres in a day is different to drinking 8 litres in one sitting, one would kill you, the other wouldnt.

aktrekker
08-08-10, 07:39
If you look at the pictures in a previous post you can see that the cumulative effect can be very similar. But without radiation.
And the rest of the article examines survival rates and how the survival was accomplished. It tries to draw conclusions about how it might be possible to survive a similar attack.

I gave that link just to compare with the use of conventional bombs.

knightgames
08-08-10, 09:34
Even deeper: If you are in a war it's expected that you follow and obbey an even more strict and rigid code of conduct than the normal citizen in times of peace, for you are the one with the guns. You make mistakes with a gun in your hands and you should be punished even harshly. War leaves no space for mistakes, for they will never have the chance to be fixed again.


Spoken by someone who's never been in a war? You don't go into a war by electing to lose your men in battle. Technology advancements have always been used to eliminate as many allied casualties as possible. Whether it be the bow and arrow over rocks and clubs or nuclear weapons verses conventional weapons.

The target? I'd have preferred a more military rich environment. But it wasn't. Do you think for one second that if Japan or Germany had the bomb that they'd have NOT used it?

Communications of the day were nothing like today's up to the minute rehashes. Had the U.S. elected a military target it could have easily been propagandized away by the leaders. I think (sadly and ashamedly I admit IMO) a civilian target needed to be hit so that the opportunity to kill the will of the peoples would stop the war. That, and to unequivocally show we had the military superiority.

In some ways I guess that makes my country no better or no worse but I believe the dropping of the bomb was militarily necessary to keep a larger death toll from arising - both soldiers and civilians.

I guess when Truman said 'The Buck Stops Here' one has to think that also includes the demonization from being the one who ordered dropping the weapons.

In was there IS no moral equivalencies. Second guessing is for quarterbacking.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 10:37
^This. Actually it is clear to anyone that the targets were civilian only, the most populated areas in both cities. Not any military facility in a range of miles, not a single ammunition factory. The bombs were intended to kill civilians, unaware of an incoming attack, which is very very different than civilians killed by accident for being near a military target. Blame it on the lack of satellites and poor intelligence resources? More: some can say they didn't know about the true power of the atom bombs. But after the Trinity test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_%28nuclear_test%29)) they had at least a reasonably accurate idea of the size of the blast radius. They had the purpose to kill at least a hundred thousand civilians when they decided to drop the bombsHiroshima and Nagasaki did have some significance in the Japanese war effort. I think the bombs were just intended to kill people, but more than that they were intended to to force the Japanese into surrender.

I don't think anyone could have predicted what would happen regarding the radiation poisoning. Unfortunately the effects of the bomb on people couldn't be fully realized until they were used on a population center.

If you go to war, you send trained troops, and you expect casualties. Also you send troops to kill military trained soldiers, that's how the game is played. I trully see the brave american soldiers who fought bravely agains motivated enemies in foreign territory as heroes, I really do. Also the poor pilot and tripulation sent to drop the bombs, how could I blame them? They had no idea what was that strange device the were sent to drop. But the high command involved in the whole Project Manhattan were definitely responsible for war crime, and president Truman, even if he didn't command the operation he is the highest responsible. At least for allowing that monstrosity to be made. See, Hitler probably never killed a jew, or Bin Laden never kidnapped any airplane. Are they less guilty? Of course not: they were the heads of the events made under their commandYou see what you're failing to understand is the motive behind these men. Why did Hitler want to exterminate the Jews? Because he didn't consider them "Aryan" and thought they were inferior beings. Why did Bin Laden want to kill as many people as possible on 9/11? Because he hated the west and what it stands for. Why did Truman authorize the dropping of the atomic bomb? Because he wanted to win the war against Japan and prevent any further Allied casualties. Can you not see the difference there?

Oh, easy: the three of them commanded the massacre of innocent people. Thousands or millions, what's the difference? Is Al Qaeda less guilty because they killed only about 3000 people while Hitler and Stalin reached the number of millions? Of course not. It's because of the nature of their crimes that I compare them, not for the numbers.See my post above about motives and what they were trying to achieve.

Again: your enemy's crimes don't excuse your faults. If you want to play the hero and fight again't the evil you should make sure that your acts wont equal you to this evil. Even more surpass it. US crossed the line then, the heroism of millions of american soldiers should not be blurred by a coward act of mass murder.I was referring to the American bombings of Japanese cities. Not entirely different to the atomic bombings really - both were intended to beat the enemy while limiting casualties on their own side.

One more reason to condemn the bombing: They didn't even know exactly the effect of the bombs on living beings. One thing they knew for sure was that the blast radius would be big enough to carbonize a mid sized town completely. Only this fact confirms the intention of the massacre, they didn't expect to kill few people.Well it was either that or carbonize dozens of cities through firebombings and then send in hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to mop up and take out any Japanese soldiers showing resistance. You'd be crying war crime either way.

Unless of course, you would've proffered it if the Allies had just left Japan alone.

Catracoth
08-08-10, 14:39
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_yield
Hiroshima was 12-15 kilotons.
Nagasaki was 20-22 kilotons.

Exactly. Hardly a civilised nation with a yield that extreme.

QiX
08-08-10, 18:11
Spoken by someone who's never been in a war? You don't go into a war by electing to lose your men in battle. Technology advancements have always been used to eliminate as many allied casualties as possible. Whether it be the bow and arrow over rocks and clubs or nuclear weapons verses conventional weapons.

Read my post again. Do I need to haver been in a war to understand a simple principle of responsibility? A manicure can hurt someone else's finger, a surgeon can kill someone, but the mistake of an air traffic controller can kill a couple thousands. The responsibility of a general is greater than the soldier's for his decisions put more lifes in danger, it's so obvious.

The technology doesn't make difference here. Either if you sent thousand men with clubs to slaughter children or you send an airplane it's the same crime, only one is "cleaner". The fact that the US invented thew ultimate form of mass murder only makes them carry a greater responsibility for their bad decisions could then hurt so many more innocents. The US had the decision in their hands, they chose to cross the line.

The target? I'd have preferred a more military rich environment. But it wasn't. Do you think for one second that if Japan or Germany had the bomb that they'd have NOT used it?

Well, they did not. Plus if the heroes choose to act like the bad ones for a greater good, you'd better fear the heroes.

Communications of the day were nothing like today's up to the minute rehashes. Had the U.S. elected a military target it could have easily been propagandized away by the leaders. I think (sadly and ashamedly I admit IMO) a civilian target needed to be hit so that the opportunity to kill the will of the peoples would stop the war. That, and to unequivocally show we had the military superiority.

In some ways I guess that makes my country no better or no worse but I believe the dropping of the bomb was militarily necessary to keep a larger death toll from arising - both soldiers and civilians.

I hear a taliban speaking here. See, a dozen suicide volunteers capable of maximizing the enemy casualties. Doesn't it make sense? They can probably bring a logical demonstration on why 9/11 was necessary, but they are no less criminals for that. Also if the allies have a list of good reason why they instantly carbonized a civilian population just to kill the will of the enemy, I hear this explanation and my mind translates "we choose to inflict terror and scare the enemy away". That is terrorism, am I wrong?

Hiroshima and Nagasaki did have some significance in the Japanese war effort. I think the bombs were just intended to kill people, but more than that they were intended to to force the Japanese into surrender.

Again, terror used for a reasonable and logical objective.

I don't think anyone could have predicted what would happen regarding the radiation poisoning. Unfortunately the effects of the bomb on people couldn't be fully realized until they were used on a population center.

Making guinea pigs out of men, bravo! Hurra for the scientific progress!

You see what you're failing to understand is the motive behind these men. Why did Hitler want to exterminate the Jews? Because he didn't consider them "Aryan" and thought they were inferior beings. Why did Bin Laden want to kill as many people as possible on 9/11? Because he hated the west and what it stands for. Why did Truman authorize the dropping of the atomic bomb? Because he wanted to win the war against Japan and prevent any further Allied casualties. Can you not see the difference there?

A good motive does not excuse a bad action. There is no such a thing as a massacre for a greater good. I'm analizing the actions here not the excuses.

I was referring to the American bombings of Japanese cities. Not entirely different to the atomic bombings really - both were intended to beat the enemy while limiting casualties on their own side.

I don't believe conventional bombs dropped on civilians are less criminal.

Well it was either that or carbonize dozens of cities through firebombings and then send in hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to mop up and take out any Japanese soldiers showing resistance. You'd be crying war crime either way.

Or instead explode their military facilities untill they could not keep fighting for lack of men and resources? Or a siege, they are in an island anyway, it would be easy. Japan had a much smaller army than the allies, after all the war casualties they were lacking soldiers. The Kamikase attacks show how desperate they were, a good siege and the war would not last one month or two. Ah, but I forgot US had to show to the world their brand new toy...

Unless of course, you would've proffered it if the Allies had just left Japan alone.

Siege and targetting military facilities, man. Germany and Italy had already fallen then. Japan would not stand alone.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 18:30
Making guinea pigs out of men, bravo! Hurra for the scientific progress!What? :confused: All I was saying was that they had no way of knowing what effect the bombs would have because they had never been used on people.

A good motive does not excuse a bad action. There is no such a thing as a massacre for a greater good. I'm analizing the actions here not the excuses.It wasn't a bad action. If it was, then so was everything everyone did during the war.

Or instead explode their military facilities untill they could not keep fighting for lack of men and resources? Or a siege, they are in an island anyway, it would be easy. Japan had a much smaller army than the allies, after all the war casualties they were lacking soldiers. The Kamikase attacks show how desperate they were, a good siege and the war would not last one month or two.That wouldn't have worked because of the way the Japanese were prepared to fight to the last man. Besides, you can't expect military intelligence to be that good.

Siege and targetting military facilities, man. Germany and Italy had already fallen then. Japan would not stand alone.I don't get it, how hard is it to understand that the Japanese were different to the Italians and the Germans in their dedication to the emperor?

You seem to think it was just a case of bombing a couple of factories and that's it - war over. It wasn't like that. Even the Germans kept on fighting until Berlin had been captured by the Russians and they weren't half as fanatical as the Japanese.

Draco
08-08-10, 18:38
Japan would not exist today if we had not used the bomb.

Smog
08-08-10, 18:43
I think more significant than the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki themselves was the aftermath, and I'm not talking about fallout. The resulting proliferation of nuclear weapons and the Cold War stalemate has created a world where any nation could have a nuclear stockpile. There can no longer be a repeat of 1945. Once one missile is launched, everyone loses. Perhaps the effects of the Manhattan Project haven't yet been fully felt, and a few more years of war would seem insignificant next to a full-on nuclear apocalypse. All it takes is a single nuke.

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 18:49
Ok I said i wouldn't post in here anymore, but I s'pose I lied :o


Or instead explode their military facilities untill they could not keep fighting for lack of men and resources? Or a siege, they are in an island anyway, it would be easy. Japan had a much smaller army than the allies, after all the war casualties they were lacking soldiers. The Kamikase attacks show how desperate they were, a good siege and the war would not last one month or two. Ah, but I forgot US had to show to the world their brand new toy...
The Kamikaze attacks don't just show desperation, they show extreme loyalty. Those men went to die for their country, families, and honour. If the US had used a siege tactic the Japanese likely would have all starved to death before surrendering. The war probably would have lasted for years then. Look at how hard it was to take islands like Okinawa, then imagine that all of Japan would be like that. **** dude the US would be invading their home!
Also consider that the US was rather ****ed going into WW II, I think there was a revenge factor.

Siege and targetting military facilities, man. Germany and Italy had already fallen then. Japan would not stand alone.
Japan was more or less standing alone though. I don't recall hearing of the Germans or Italians fighting in the Pacific. I could be wrong though. Also how do you know that they weren't disguising their military facilities as civilian factories and such, and even then, those civilian factories and such could have been pumping out equipment for the military.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 18:51
I think more significant than the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki themselves was the aftermath, and I'm not talking about fallout. The resulting proliferation of nuclear weapons and the Cold War stalemate has created a world where any nation could have a nuclear stockpile. There can no longer be a repeat of 1945. Once one missile is launched, everyone loses. Perhaps the effects of the Manhattan Project haven't yet been fully felt, and a few more years of war would seem insignificant next to a full-on nuclear apocalypse. All it takes is a single nuke.As far as I remember countries were already working on their own nuclear weapons programs before the bombings. IMO the only thing dropping the atomic bombs changed was that countries would be petrified of using them in future.

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 18:53
As far as I remember countries were already working on their own nuclear weapons programs before the bombings. IMO the only thing dropping the atomic bombs changed was that countries would be petrified of using them in future.

This is true, Germany was apparently working on their own nuclear weapons. And had the Axis gotten them I think we all know they'd have used them.

QiX
08-08-10, 19:59
All right, I'll raise the white flag here. I was about to select paragraphs on your posts to reply but i feel this thread is going nowhere, none of the parts will convince the other. I hope my opinion is not considered an offense by any of you, my apologies if it was. I was just expressing my point of view on this controversial subject, but it's obviously not coming into a consensus. See you guys around in the rest of the forums ;)

Alpharaider47
08-08-10, 20:02
All right, I'll raise the white flag here. I was about to select paragraphs on your posts to reply but i feel this thread is going nowhere, none of the parts will convince the other. I hope my opinion is not considered an offense by any of you, my apologies if it was. I was just expressing my point of view on this controversial subject, but it's obviously not coming into a consensus. See you guys around in the rest of the forums ;)

I take no offense what so ever :p Thanks for providing an interesting discussion. I can say that you kept it much more civil than my AP US History class which branded me "Hitler" after numerous debates on WW II =/

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 20:18
All right, I'll raise the white flag here. I was about to select paragraphs on your posts to reply but i feel this thread is going nowhere, none of the parts will convince the other. I hope my opinion is not considered an offense by any of you, my apologies if it was. I was just expressing my point of view on this controversial subject, but it's obviously not coming into a consensus. See you guys around in the rest of the forums ;)The only part I found offensive was how you held Truman in the same light as Hitler and Stalin.

QiX
08-08-10, 20:57
The only part I found offensive was how you held Truman in the same light as Hitler and Stalin.

I admit it: they can't be compared. Their acts and motivation were completely different, and Truman was a great leader during the most violent times humanity ever saw. I just feel bad about him for the way the war ended. If he could avoid being the only president to ever drop atomic bombs over human targets I would list him among ther greatest leaders ever, but he is definitely not among the worst ones. My mistake, I'm sorry.

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 21:27
I admit it: they can't be compared. Their acts and motivation were completely different, and Truman was a great leader during the most violent times humanity ever saw. I just feel bad about him for the way the war ended. If he could avoid being the only president to ever drop atomic bombs over human targets I would list him among ther greatest leaders ever, but he is definitely not among the worst ones. My mistake, I'm sorry.That's fair enough. I can understand why you might think of him as a bad leader because you thought what he did was wrong (which I can also understand). As you said though, you just can't compare him to the likes of Hitler.

Uzi master
08-08-10, 22:51
Ok I said i wouldn't post in here anymore, but I s'pose I lied :o

The Kamikaze attacks don't just show desperation, they show extreme loyalty. Those men went to die for their country, families, and honour. If the US had used a siege tactic the Japanese likely would have all starved to death before surrendering. The war probably would have lasted for years then. Look at how hard it was to take islands like Okinawa, then imagine that all of Japan would be like that. **** dude the US would be invading their home!
Also consider that the US was rather ****ed going into WW II, I think there was a revenge factor.

Japan was more or less standing alone though. I don't recall hearing of the Germans or Italians fighting in the Pacific. I could be wrong though. Also how do you know that they weren't disguising their military facilities as civilian factories and such, and even then, those civilian factories and such could have been pumping out equipment for the military.

just to pick at this, but The U.S. I think ONLY came to war for revenge, if i recall they didnt do much till they themselves where attacked.

(maybe cause theres no oil there?:p)

Mad Tony
08-08-10, 23:11
just to pick at this, but The U.S. I think ONLY came to war for revenge, if i recall they didnt do much till they themselves where attacked.Actually they did. They were sending us vital supplies when we were being bombed by the Germans in 1940. In fact I think if it hadn't had been for the isolationist lobby in America at the time Roosevelt would've done more.

(maybe cause theres no oil there?:p)Wth? :confused: I hope you're just joking.

Alpharaider47
09-08-10, 01:12
just to pick at this, but The U.S. I think ONLY came to war for revenge, if i recall they didnt do much till they themselves where attacked.

(maybe cause theres no oil there?:p)

As far as they tell us in school here that actually is the *only* reason the US finally entered. I think I recall hearing and reading in my AP US History class that the US was debating whether or not to join, but was sending supplies to the allies overseas(this time I don't think they were arming the Germans like WW I :p) I'm certain they knew that Hitler wasn't going to be content with conquering Europe.
Pearl Harbour was what finally ****ed everybody off enough to go to war.

Actually the Japanese were after our oil. I believe I read that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour to cripple the US Navy in order to buy time to get at oil reserves in the Pacific, or something along those lines. Could be wrong though, I was paying more attention to the European front in that class :p

knightgames
09-08-10, 02:00
Ok I said i wouldn't post in here anymore, but I s'pose I lied :o

The Kamikaze attacks don't just show desperation, they show extreme loyalty. Those men went to die for their country, families, and honour. If the US had used a siege tactic the Japanese likely would have all starved to death before surrendering. The war probably would have lasted for years then. Look at how hard it was to take islands like Okinawa, then imagine that all of Japan would be like that. **** dude the US would be invading their home!
Also consider that the US was rather ****ed going into WW II, I think there was a revenge factor.

Japan was more or less standing alone though. I don't recall hearing of the Germans or Italians fighting in the Pacific. I could be wrong though. Also how do you know that they weren't disguising their military facilities as civilian factories and such, and even then, those civilian factories and such could have been pumping out equipment for the military.


I posted earlier about the Japanese on Okinawa. When they knew the battle was lost many (1600 if memory serves me) committed suicide than rather be ruled by the invading allied forces. Can one imagine what would have happened if a land attack occurred on 'mainland' Japan?

Entering into a battle on Japan's homeland WOULD have raised the death toll considerably. Civilians and soldiers would have died needlessly. After all, if the allies had such an upper hand, then why didn't Emperor Hirohito surrender?

Personally, I don't think wasting one allied soldier was worth an invasion. As distasteful.... as disgusting... as horrifying.... as brutal as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were, it was the better of two options. In the context of war I can't judge... nor will I. (except to say that war is wrong.... but sometimes one must do what one has to to protect.)

Approximately 55,000,000 people died in World War Two. If it took a third bomb to stop the war I'd support that. What's sadder and more inhumane than dropping the bombs is that we (humanity) refuse to look at the 55,000,000 and say THAT'S ENOUGH!!!!!!


We're pointing fingers and placing blame about Nagasaki and Hiroshima while the bigger picture goes unnoticed. Realizing that war doesn't solve anything we refuse to grasp peace. The sacrificed thousands died for nothing other than stopping a confrontation.

Sad.

QiX
09-08-10, 03:13
I'm back in this thread for only one reason. Now august the 9th is Nagasaki's bombing anniversary. The only kind of celebration I think would fit the occasion is to ask to you all here, whatever are your thoughts about the event, to dedicate a minute of your life to wish peace on the World and that we never again get to see another war like that. In honour of all the victims of World War II, whatever side they fought.

Peace all

Ward Dragon
09-08-10, 03:18
I'm back in this thread for only one reason. Now august the 9th is Nagasaki's bombing anniversary. The only kind of celebration I think would fit the occasion is to ask to you all here, whatever are your thoughts about the event, to dedicate a minute of your life to wish peace on the World and that we never again get to see another war like that. In honour of all the victims of World War II, whatever side they fought.

Peace all

That really is the most important lesson to be learned :tmb: May we never see another war like that ever again.

scoopy_loopy
09-08-10, 03:19
I'm back in this thread for only one reason. Now august the 9th is Nagasaki's bombing anniversary. The only kind of celebration I think would fit the occasion is to ask to you all here, whatever are your thoughts about the event, to dedicate a minute of your life to wish peace on the World and that we never again get to see another war like that. In honour of all the victims of World War II, whatever side they fought.

Peace all


:tmb: :hug: I really love the memorial services overseen from both sides. There was a really tear wrenching one recently on the television about a rediscovered battle between Australians and the Japanese and the things both sides had to say for each other was simply touching. If the Vets from the war itself can get over their prejudiced hate, than the rest of the world has no right not to.

Mad Tony
09-08-10, 10:42
If the Vets from the war itself can get over their prejudiced hate, than the rest of the world has no right not to.Fortunately I think most people have got over their prejudiced hate. Ironically enough the US for example maintains strong relations with Japan and Germany but is often at odds with Russia and China.

knightgames
09-08-10, 16:21
I'm back in this thread for only one reason. Now august the 9th is Nagasaki's bombing anniversary. The only kind of celebration I think would fit the occasion is to ask to you all here, whatever are your thoughts about the event, to dedicate a minute of your life to wish peace on the World and that we never again get to see another war like that. In honour of all the victims of World War II, whatever side they fought.

Peace all

Now that we can all agree on. I personally don't know why anyone would chose the word celebrate when describing the anniversary of the bombings. For me it's always been a commemoration - to remember the horror of the day - that hopefully mankind would learn "to make no war forever."

Gregori
09-08-10, 20:43
They did not really have to drop the bombs on those cities. Japan was massively inferior to the United States as a military power. The US mainland was never really treatened during the course of the war. I've to credit the United States with inventing modern terrorism with these acts. And as means of coercion, it works very well. That doesn't justify it any more than 9/11 is justified.

When the Tokyo and Nurembourg trials were conducted, the Allies were very careful on what they the considered war crimes so they could avoid having to judge and arrest themselves. So firebombing civillian areas is not a war crime, because the aliies did the most of it. If were honest about it, both sides committed absolutely horrible and unjustifiable crimes against humanity and should have been both punished.

I think their is tendency to moralise states in terms of good and evil when most of them are pretty amoral. Its nice fairy tale picture of the world to envision the noble just allies and the evil axis powers. Its very Star Wars, but not reality. This way, all evil actions are justified by the "good" states and then are demonised when the wrong people commit them. There is nothing new about this.... every state or group in history has claimed its actions were for moral purposes and the greater good. You should be immediately be suspicious if anybody makes these claims.

I don't think the allies could have been sure that the atomic bomb would force japan to surrender. The will to be seen to "win" would have trumped all humanitarian concerns had terrorism not worked and there would have been a war of attrition. I don't think the allies even needed Japan to surrender, since it was pretty pathetic and not a real threat.

What the US gained from the bombing was an attempt to assert itself as the supreme superpower by demonstrating that it had a WMD, unlike anything anybody else had at the time. That was too massive an opportunity to pass up for moral concerns in the eyes of those in power. If it was the other side that had the bomb, there is no doubt they would have used it and be making the same excuses that it was for just reasons and they were really "saving lives" etc etc

Hypocrisy really does make the world go around!!!

QiX
09-08-10, 21:36
... I personally don't know why anyone would chose the word celebrate when describing the anniversary of the bombings. For me it's always been a commemoration - to remember the horror of the day - that hopefully mankind would learn "to make no war forever."

A celebration of birthday or any happy event is usually a party, but sad events are also celebrated. Every anniversary is a celebration, an event to honour the memory of an important occasion.

Mad Tony
09-08-10, 22:25
They did not really have to drop the bombs on those cities. Japan was massively inferior to the United States as a military power. The US mainland was never really treatened during the course of the war. I've to credit the United States with inventing modern terrorism with these acts. And as means of coercion, it works very well. That doesn't justify it any more than 9/11 is justified.

When the Tokyo and Nurembourg trials were conducted, the Allies were very careful on what they the considered war crimes so they could avoid having to judge and arrest themselves. So firebombing civillian areas is not a war crime, because the aliies did the most of it. If were honest about it, both sides committed absolutely horrible and unjustifiable crimes against humanity and should have been both punished.

I think their is tendency to moralise states in terms of good and evil when most of them are pretty amoral. Its nice fairy tale picture of the world to envision the noble just allies and the evil axis powers. Its very Star Wars, but not reality. This way, all evil actions are justified by the "good" states and then are demonised when the wrong people commit them. There is nothing new about this.... every state or group in history has claimed its actions were for moral purposes and the greater good. You should be immediately be suspicious if anybody makes these claims.

I don't think the allies could have been sure that the atomic bomb would force japan to surrender. The will to be seen to "win" would have trumped all humanitarian concerns had terrorism not worked and there would have been a war of attrition. I don't think the allies even needed Japan to surrender, since it was pretty pathetic and not a real threat.

What the US gained from the bombing was an attempt to assert itself as the supreme superpower by demonstrating that it had a WMD, unlike anything anybody else had at the time. That was too massive an opportunity to pass up for moral concerns in the eyes of those in power. If it was the other side that had the bomb, there is no doubt they would have used it and be making the same excuses that it was for just reasons and they were really "saving lives" etc etc

Hypocrisy really does make the world go around!!!Most people accept that both sides did some horrible things (although despite what you may think the actual outcome of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - the end of the war - is a good thing) but you'd have to be ignorant, dumb, incredibly biased or all three to think both sides were as bad as each other like they were in WWI. That's the message I'm getting from you post anyway. Can't say I'm surprised.

Gregori
09-08-10, 23:35
Most people accept that both sides did some horrible things (although despite what you may think the actual outcome of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - the end of the war - is a good thing) but you'd have to be ignorant, dumb, incredibly biased or all three to think both sides were as bad as each other like they were in WWI. That's the message I'm getting from you post anyway. Can't say I'm surprised.

Its not surprising you believe that. After all, you've been told it and the victors in a war write the history to look favorably on their actions. If the Axis powers had won, there is no doubt they would have written the history to justify their actions and claim to be the "good" side. The public would be told to believe this in their countries....just like you believe your countries propaganda. Nothing has changed in history. Powerful nations and groups always say their actions are righteous.

I'm not incredibly biased or ignorant at all. Unlike you, I'm not trying to take sides. Your particular bias is to view the allies as holy and good and the axis as evil and the dark side. This is a fairy tale and fairy tales are comforting because they're a simple view of the world that doesn't require too much thought. And if you happen to think you're on the "good side", you can justify any evils and still feel good about yourself. I know its fashionable to gullibly swallow everything you're told in the west by the predominant powers but its not interesting or enlightening.

I like to see states as amoral entities that are each trying to increase their power at the expense of the others. Sometimes this creates moral and/or immoral outcomes, but its usually an after thought. It depends on whether the policy aligns with that state's political goals.


I think the 100'000's people who were killed by the Atomic Bombs would disagree with you that it was a good outcome for them. I doubt you would choose to be personally vaporised for a "good outcome".


I think some genuinely good things did come out of the World War II, but these were incidental... not because of the high moral intent of the powers involved. For one, I'm glad all the European colonial powers lost their empires from the war. I'm glad Hitler's attempt at colonizing Europe was stopped.

Ward Dragon
09-08-10, 23:48
I like to see states as amoral entities that are each trying to increase their power at the expense of the others. Sometimes this creates moral and/or immoral outcomes, but its usually an after thought. It depends on whether the policy aligns with that state's political goals.

This I agree with, although I still take sides depending upon which state's agenda most closely serves my own. I mean, looking at it today, I'm alive and free and the same can be said for British, French, Germans, Italians, Japanese, and most other countries involved in the war. Therefore it's a good thing in my mind that the Allies won and things have turned out the way that they did. I'm quite sure things would be different (and much worse) if Hitler had won. But then I probably wouldn't be around to know how bad things would be since I wouldn't exist in the first place, but whatever, you get my point :p (My grandfather was going to be in the land invasion of Japan if the bombs hadn't been dropped, so I probably wouldn't exist if the war had continued any longer)

I think the 100'000's people who were killed by the Atomic Bombs would disagree with you that it was a good outcome for them. I doubt you would choose to be personally vaporised for a "good outcome".

I read a book called The Bells of Nagasaki written by a survivor of the bombing and his view was that it was a sad necessity to end the war and he hoped that people would learn from it and never have another world war. That's the general view I have. It's terrible that such a situation existed in the first place, but given the context I think the bombings did save lives overall and now it's our job to learn from it and make sure that never happens again.

Gregori
10-08-10, 00:11
I read a book called The Bells of Nagasaki written by a survivor of the bombing and his view was that it was a sad necessity to end the war and he hoped that people would learn from it and never have another world war. That's the general view I have. It's terrible that such a situation existed in the first place, but given the context I think the bombings did save lives overall and now it's our job to learn from it and make sure that never happens again.

That's one person....who survived!! Doesn't speak for the hundreds of thousands who died. If you were going to die, I doubt you would sign up to that. Our job should have been to make sure it never happened in the first place. Bombings don't save lives, they only take them. The use of force was excessive against a much inferior enemy that wasn't a threat to the US homeland. If you think being seen to "win" is the most important thing in the world, to be the most powerful dominant nation... its easy to see why things become "necessary". Any amount of people's lives lost in that power game will be justified. If you're interested in saving people's lives, there are ways that don't involve nukes, land invasions or firebombing.

Mad Tony
10-08-10, 00:27
Its not surprising you believe that. After all, you've been told it and the victors in a war write the history to look favorably on their actions. If the Axis powers had won, there is no doubt they would have written the history to justify their actions and claim to be the "good" side. The public would be told to believe this in their countries....just like you believe your countries propaganda. Nothing has changed in history. Powerful nations and groups always say their actions are righteous.I may have learned about WWII in school but that doesn't stop me doing outside research. Being an avid WWII buff I'd say the large majority of the things I know about it didn't even come from my schooling.

I don't believe in my nation's "propaganda". To be fair the only time the media or the government even mention WWII is when talking about commemorating British soldiers who fought for us during the war. The only thing they instill in us is to show respect for WWII veterans.

Yeah, if the Axis had won they probably would have done that but the big difference here is that the Axis powers were the ones who started the whole thing (and let's not forget a not so little thing called the Holocaust).

I'm not incredibly biased or ignorant at all. Unlike you, I'm not trying to take sides. Your particular bias is to view the allies as holy and good and the axis as evil and the dark side. This is a fairy tale and fairy tales are comforting because they're a simple view of the world that doesn't require too much thought. And if you happen to think you're on the "good side", you can justify any evils and still feel good about yourself. I know its fashionable to gullibly swallow everything you're told in the west by the predominant powers but its not interesting or enlightening.I don't have such a black and white view of the two sides but I do have enough knowledge of WWII to know that the Axis were the aggressors and the Allies were the defenders. You've got to look at intentions as well as actions. Sure the Allies weren't perfect but you've got to understand that the Axis powers (mainly Germany) did some pretty messed up stuff that far outweighs anything the Allies did.

I'm not biased either. I'm British so naturally I would view us and other Allies in a better light but that doesn't mean I don't accept that we did some bad things too. You seem to get a kick out of telling me how gullible I am and how I take in all this alleged propaganda but as I explained earlier, there really isn't much in the way of propaganda regarding WWII and I've already said numerous times I accept the Allies did some bad things too.

I like to see states as amoral entities that are each trying to increase their power at the expense of the others. Sometimes this creates moral and/or immoral outcomes, but its usually an after thought. It depends on whether the policy aligns with that state's political goals.Except it isn't always like that. Countries like France, Britain and the USA didn't enter the war because they just wanted more power, they entered it because they were either being threatened by the Axis powers or attacked. In the case of France and Britain they entered the war because they stood up and said "enough is enough" when the Germans and Russians invaded Poland.

This may seem like a bit of a simplistic view but it also happens to be what actually happened as well. The main western allied powers were fighting a war because they wanted to stop Hitler from taking over Europe and forcing its inhabitants to live as slaves in servitude to the German Reich.

I think the 100'000's people who were killed by the Atomic Bombs would disagree with you that it was a good outcome for them. I doubt you would choose to be personally vaporised for a "good outcome".Look at the bigger picture. The war ended right there and then and it's very likely more would've died had a mainland invasion been attempted. For all you preach about how much you hate war I find it odd that you are strongly against something which ended the most devastating war in human history. The bombings were the lesser of two evils.



Get a damn perspective.

Ward Dragon
10-08-10, 01:05
That's one person....who survived!! Doesn't speak for the hundreds of thousands who died. If you were going to die, I doubt you would sign up to that.

Same could be said for any of the other 55 million people who died during the war. Why draw a distinction between deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki versus deaths in Tokyo, Dresden, London, or any other city in the world that was attacked during the war? It was a bloodbath that killed so many people from so many different countries. I think it's perfectly understandable to want to end it as quickly as possible.

Our job should have been to make sure it never happened in the first place.

It's easy to say that now, but given the context of the war which the US didn't start, what should the US have done differently? I really can't think of anything that would have resulted in a peaceful solution.

Bombings don't save lives, they only take them. The use of force was excessive against a much inferior enemy that wasn't a threat to the US homeland.

Thousands of Japanese people actually committed suicide rather than surrender. If the emperor hadn't ordered everyone in Japan to stand down and accept surrender, it's extremely likely that there would be no Japanese population today. The culture that the Japanese people grew up in was designed around honor and would have ensured that most either fought to the death or committed suicide rather than surrender. We needed to give the emperor a reason to surrender without losing face, not only to save our own soldiers but to save Japan as well.

If you think being seen to "win" is the most important thing in the world, to be the most powerful dominant nation... its easy to see why things become "necessary". Any amount of people's lives lost in that power game will be justified.

Survival also has to be taken into account. At the time, it wasn't about being the most powerful dominant nation, it was about getting out of an extremely bloody war without losing any more soldiers. Gruesome as it may be, the calculations were done and it was determined that the shocking power of the bombs would be the quickest way to end the war with the least loss of life on both sides. It would also allow Japan to recover after the war because cities like Kyoto would still be intact, whereas a land invasion would likely result in the destruction of every city in the way.

If you're interested in saving people's lives, there are ways that don't involve nukes, land invasions or firebombing.

Those ways don't work if the enemy is intent on fighting to the death. Perhaps the US could have simply blockaded Japan and waited until every single Japanese person starved to death or committed suicide, but that's hardly more humane or desirable.

ozzman
10-08-10, 01:31
RIP those thousand of inocent souls that died that day, same on the US for killing the innocent , not at all virtuous

Alpharaider47
10-08-10, 02:16
I think it's also important to note that the Axis powers were killing civilians themselves, it's something that perhaps a few people are forgetting.

knightgames
10-08-10, 02:24
A celebration of birthday or any happy event is usually a party, but sad events are also celebrated. Every anniversary is a celebration, an event to honour the memory of an important occasion.


Understood, but the connotation of the word celebrate is often times of a joyous occasion. This is hardly that. I know I'm splitting hairs but I think it should be a very somber reflective thing.

You're aware of my stance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but despite that I am also enormously saddened by it on a human level. In the BIG picture none of the participants of WW2 were any better than the other. Blood is on every ones hands.

But mankind will continue to make war. We'll hate and demonize the enemy. It's just the way it is. Will we learn?

Alpharaider47
10-08-10, 02:28
Understood, but the connotation of the word celebrate is often times of a joyous occasion. This is hardly that. I know I'm splitting hairs but I think it should be a very somber reflective thing.


Well... let us celebrate the end of a bloody war waged across the Earth, let's celebrate those who survived, and the sacrifices of *all* who died for their beliefs right or wrong, good or bad. And let's not forget the horrors of this second World War so that we can do our best not to repeat them.

wantafanta
10-08-10, 04:54
They did not really have to drop the bombs on those cities. Japan was massively inferior to the United States as a military power. The US mainland was never really treatened during the course of the war. I've to credit the United States with inventing modern terrorism with these acts. And as means of coercion, it works very well. That doesn't justify it any more than 9/11 is justified.


100% right on. My feelings excatly. At that point in time, Japan was pathetic, militarily. Nothing likes it's proud self of just 4 years earlier. So pititful, it was sending teenagers on one-way missions as human kamikaze bombs.

As I said, I believe the US was frantic to defeat Japan before the Russians moved in from the north as they were on the verge of doing. Truman was looking ahead to the post-war map, and couldn't stand the thought of a Russian-ized Japan. So he had to finish the job in a hurry and without Russia in the picture. That is why those bombs were used.

The idea of exterminating 200,000 lives in order to "save lives" is ludicrous and smacks of racial superiority of whites over Asians. In fact, I believe the true Japanse death toll from both bombs could be 1,000,000 - taking into account long term cancer rates and other radiation induced illnesses.

Draco
10-08-10, 06:24
You believe anything. But even if you are right, what does it change? Nothing.

QiX
10-08-10, 06:56
You believe anything. But even if you are right, what does it change? Nothing.

Dude, it changes everything in a scale of values! If you guys defend the bombing of civilians as a valid option at war you are forgiving Hitler for London or Bin Laden for New York, afterall they had their reasons it they did what they did for the success of their causes. The reasons can never excuse terrorism, civilian population offer no immediate risk to a military operation, thus killing defenseless civilians of justifying such act equals you to the same criminals your government is trying to stop. We're talking human lifes here. If you are that coward just say nothing in respect of the dead. One baby dead in Japan by american hands could be your grandfather today, and the reasons you guys are giving for we should believe it was for a greater good are pathetic.

Draco
10-08-10, 07:05
The very simple fact of the matter is:

All of those same people would be dead in a conventional invasion... plus 10-20x more on the Japanese side alone.

You apologists are forgetting some extremely critical facts. Like for example the Japanese way of handling defeat (suicide). Kamakaze pilots get a lot of attention, but the truth is, there was not very many of them and they weren't some kind of desperation maneuver, it was an honorable death.

The Japanese would not exist as a culture or a people today if the bomb hadn't of ended the war.

QiX
10-08-10, 07:18
So a coward extermination to prevent them from having their honorable death? Come on, you can't be serious...

knightgames
10-08-10, 10:36
100% right on. My feelings excatly. At that point in time, Japan was pathetic, militarily. Nothing likes it's proud self of just 4 years earlier. So pititful, it was sending teenagers on one-way missions as human kamikaze bombs.

As I said, I believe the US was frantic to defeat Japan before the Russians moved in from the north as they were on the verge of doing. Truman was looking ahead to the post-war map, and couldn't stand the thought of a Russian-ized Japan. So he had to finish the job in a hurry and without Russia in the picture. That is why those bombs were used.

The idea of exterminating 200,000 lives in order to "save lives" is ludicrous and smacks of racial superiority of whites over Asians. In fact, I believe the true Japanse death toll from both bombs could be 1,000,000 - taking into account long term cancer rates and other radiation induced illnesses.

It's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy after 60 years ain't it?

And yet look what happened in Russia after WW2 during Stalin's reign. Would you want that to befall Japan? I'm sure the civilians of East Germany are quite fond of the post WW2 years.

Some of you can't see past your own moral superiority. Strategically it was the right thing to do. 55,000,000 people died because several like minded factions decided to throw a good war. I have no doubt that should Japan or Germany have possessed a bomb, they'd have used it too. If Germany had long range bombers they may have tried to take a swipe at the U.S. with conventional weapons No matter how repulsed I am at the bombing I believe it was the right action at the time.

Saburu Sakai (one of Japan's fighter aces) retells of a mission he was to execute over Burma. They were ordered to shoot any escaping airplane fleeing. He came upon a transport plane filled with people. The passengers were woman and children. The passengers frantically waved to get his attention- hoping for mercy. Suburu noticed the children and the blond woman waving who reminded him of a childhood teacher and had mercy upon them. When meeting that woman decades later he commented to her that he disobeyed his mission but thought it wrong to execute fleeing woman and children. He did the right thing yet the point of my relaying this story is that the Japanese 'government' had ordered horrible commands. How many other pilots did as Suburu Sakai did? How many followed their leaders commands?

No nation in a war is without blood on it's hands. IMO the bombings reduced the number of deaths dramatically. We can posture, guess, run simulated scenarios in our head, but we'll never know the outcome should a different strategy have been employed. What it didn't cost was one more allied soldier who was over there defending against a war THEY didn't start.

Oh BTW? It smacks at racial superiority because that's how you break down the world.

Ward Dragon
10-08-10, 10:48
If Germany had long range bombers they may have tried to take a swipe at the U.S. with conventional weapons

Of course. Germany even tried to convince Mexico to go to war with us (Zimmermann telegraph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmerman_Telegraph)). True that was WWI, but shows that Germany wouldn't pass up a strategic opportunity if they had it (or thought they had it). And I'm not saying that's a bad thing either (it makes sense from their point of view in trying to win the war) but I'm glad they lost so it's good that it didn't work out for them.

Mad Tony
10-08-10, 10:54
100% right on. My feelings excatly. At that point in time, Japan was pathetic, militarily. Nothing likes it's proud self of just 4 years earlier. So pititful, it was sending teenagers on one-way missions as human kamikaze bombs.It doesn't matter how crap their military was at that point - they were willing to fight.

The idea of exterminating 200,000 lives in order to "save lives" is ludicrous and smacks of racial superiority of whites over Asians. In fact, I believe the true Japanse death toll from both bombs could be 1,000,000 - taking into account long term cancer rates and other radiation induced illnesses.Why do you always have to bring racism into things? As commander in chief of the US armed forces it was Truman's job to limit American casualties. It's got nothing to do with racial superiority. This is what you do in war - try and limit casualties on your side and defeat the enemy. I doubt when he authorized the use of the atomic bomb he had Japanese lives in mind but as it happened he ended up saving them by avoiding an invasion.

knightgames
10-08-10, 10:55
Of course. Germany even tried to convince Mexico to go to war with us (Zimmermann telegraph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmerman_Telegraph)). True that was WWI, but shows that Germany wouldn't pass up a strategic opportunity if they had it (or thought they had it).

Hmmmm. Interesting read. Seems like Carranza was a smart man.

Draco
10-08-10, 10:55
So a coward extermination to prevent them from having their honorable death? Come on, you can't be serious...

Japan declared war on the US, the US had the right to end it any way possible. PERIOD.

Nevermind the Japanese lives that weren't lost due to their surrender, what about the American lives?

Mad Tony
10-08-10, 10:59
what about the American lives?According to some people it's racist to even consider them.

knightgames
10-08-10, 11:01
According to some people it's racist to even consider them.


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