Hiroshima, why they had to drop the bomb

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Hiroshima, why they had to drop the bomb

60 years on from Hiroshima it seems very PC to criticize the dropping of the bomb, but released transcripts of the messages between the Japanese leaders shows that they would have "unleashed hell" had America tried to invade Japan.

Weekly Standard

Read this to argue against the touchy feely new age wusses who love to critisize the the actions of the past, to boost their own ego's.

... the release of the complete (unredacted) "Magic" Far East Summary, supplementing the Diplomatic Summary, in the 1990s revealed that the diplomatic messages amounted to a mere trickle by comparison with the torrent of military intercepts.

The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion.

The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender.

Ultra was even more alarming in what it revealed about Japanese knowledge of American military plans. Intercepts demonstrated that the Japanese had correctly anticipated precisely where U.S. forces intended to land on Southern Kyushu in November 1945 (Operation Olympic). American planning for the Kyushu assault reflected adherence to the military rule of thumb that the attacker should outnumber the defender at least three to one to assure success at a reasonable cost.

American estimates projected that on the date of the landings, the Japanese would have only three of their six field divisions on all of Kyushu in the southern target area where nine American divisions would push ashore.

The estimates allowed that the Japanese would possess just 2,500 to 3,000 planes total throughout Japan to face Olympic. American aerial strength would be over four times greater.

From mid-July onwards, Ultra intercepts exposed a huge military buildup on Kyushu. Japanese ground forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of four. Instead of 3 Japanese field divisions deployed in southern Kyushu to meet the 9 U.S. divisions, there were 10 Imperial Army divisions plus additional brigades. Japanese air forces exceeded prior estimates by a factor of two to four. Instead of 2,500 to 3,000 Japanese aircraft, estimates varied between about 6,000 and 10,000. One intelligence officer commented that the Japanese defenses threatened "to grow to [the] point where we attack on a ratio of one (1) to one (1) which is not the recipe for victory."

Concurrent with the publication of the radio intelligence material, additional papers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been released in the last decade. From these, it is clear that there was no true consensus among the Joint Chiefs of Staff about an invasion of Japan. The Army, led by General George C. Marshall, believed that the critical factor in achieving American war aims was time. Thus, Marshall and the Army advocated an invasion of the Home Islands as the fastest way to end the war. But the long-held Navy view was that the critical factor in achieving American war aims was casualties. The Navy was convinced that an invasion would be far too costly to sustain the support of the American people, and hence believed that blockade and bombardment were the sound course.

The picture becomes even more complex than previously understood because it emerged that the Navy chose to postpone a final showdown over these two strategies.

The commander in chief of the U.S. fleet, Admiral Ernest King, informed his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April 1945 that he did not agree that Japan should be invaded. He concurred only that the Joint Chiefs must issue an invasion order immediately to create that option for the fall. But King predicted that the Joint Chiefs would revisit the issue of whether an invasion was wise in August or September.

Meanwhile, two months of horrendous fighting ashore on Okinawa under skies filled with kamikazes convinced the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, that he should withdraw his prior support for at least the invasion of Kyushu. Nimitz informed King of this change in his views in strict confidence.

.... much more facinating information on the site.....
By netchicken: posted on 5-8-2005

why is this occuring at the same time the chineese populace are also angry at japan over textbook issues? its very convienient to seperate Japan from its allies at a time when Japanese and Chinese economic interests are beggining to merge.

my best guess is the dual goal of increasing anti war resentment and trying to get the republican (and mod dem) foothold out of china while furthering weaking relations between japan and america. it has commie written all over it. of course thats just my opinion? does anyone agree/disagree?
By protoss7: posted on 10-8-2005

Well... I only have one thing to say one the matter. I'm Pro-Japan/ VERY anti-America. Need i say more...?

By Razalin: posted on 12-8-2005

If you are pro japan and anti American then does that mean you disagree with dropping the bomb?

If so what do you think about the Japanesse atrocities during WW2 that lead to this situation?
By netchicken: posted on 13-8-2005

This post ignores 2 important facts. First, Japan may very well have surrendered within a month or so. It had virtually no petroleum to help them survive the winter to follow, and internally surrender was discussed seriously as an option. The second was that Japan's last gasp militarily ended in April. The battle for Okinawa was about obtaining airfields, not about winning the war. Pilots and submarines had great difficulties finding any targets left to attack. The number of Japanese combat aircraft remaining was irrelevant, because the number of competent pilots was close to zero due to lack of fuel for training. The Marianas turkey shoot in 1944 made this obvious.
By rp1588: posted on 24-9-2009

Hindsight is a great thing to have, but at the time they knew nothing of that. Besides, as they have never actually dropped the bomb before, the impact of what they were doing would not have been that great. If I was in their shoes, I would have dropped the bomb to keep my own boys alive. Wasting allied lives when the outcome is inevitable is not acceptable.

Japan could have surrendered when it became obvious to them that they could not win, but they never did, they are just as complicit in the outcome, if not more so, than anything the Allied soldiers did.
By netchicken: posted on 24-9-2009

I think that Japan should have let the sleeping dog lie, so to speak. Would've won them the war and spared them two cities and an eternity of humiliation. Also, suicide bombers should get a kick in the balls, then put in rubber rooms for the rest of their natural born lives.

In the end, the show of force certainly ended the war quickly, without drawing out the deaths. No one can argue (without sounding like an idiot) that had we not dropped the bomb there would have surely been 10x the number of deaths, and a lot of them civilian, since war isn't pretty and Japan doesn't exactly have a volunteer force, and in any case the war would have entered the cities as well, a natural repeat of the Germans invasion of England.

The plain and simple facts were that the Japanese thought that they had us outnumbered, and that if they fought to the last man they would win, heavy casualties being an acceptable cost of victory. They did not believe that America had the power to destroy every last one of them, and that so long as a single soldier is standing they would be victorious.

That fundamental belief that their culture and people could not be eradicated suffered a heavy blow with the detonation of two nuclear bombs above two of their small cities. It became a very real possibility to them that America could kill every last person in Japan, and would if they had to. Faced with this possibility of extinction, and oblivious to the fact that those were our last two bombs, they surrendered before we could theoretically hit Tokeyo. It must have been hard, growing up believing that your nation is the best and all-powerful, then facing utter oblivion like that.

Perhaps the war could have been won without the bombs, I'd like to think it would have, but they were a tremendous help to be sure. If given the choice I'd vote to do it all again, and is fitting retribution to an attack on U.S. soil, even if it's just an island off our coast. Al Qaeda of course is obviously made up of idiots who never took world history, or they'd have realized that getting America involved in any type of war was usually not beneficial to the provoker. Very bad move, and now here we are in year 9 of stomping a mud hole in terrorists' asses like no Iraqian police force ever did. The middle east can thank us later, or hate us, whichever. Countries like Iraq sicken me, and should be purged from the face of the earth.

Here's an idea. Build a huuuuge fence around the Iraq. Send in troops to evacuate the country, forcefully if necessary, screening everyone intensively before being allowed to leave the country. If they don't pass the screening then they serve time in jail for any past terrorist activity. Then, when all the civilians are out, we carpet bomb the mother f******g sandbox and say goodbye terrorists and their hide-outs. Maybe nuke a few mountains, napalm some forests, collapse every cave we can find, then cover the entire country with the worlds largest minefield. (By the way, mine fields are sooo much more effective than fences. Sure, there will always be a few idiots every once in a while who'll try to cross using metal detectors, but we all need a good laugh, and a news of another dipshit dying trying to illegally cross a border should lighten up our day)

Terrorists hide in third world shit-hole countries such as most of the middle-east. You don't see this sort of thing running out of control in the U.S.A. or Britain. That's because we police our countries properly. This will serve as a lesson to every other country on Earth, shape up or we'll remove you from existence. We're happy with whatever you choose to do so long as it doesn't negatively effect our lives. Maybe evacuate Israel too while were at it and turn it into a crater, that way no more fighting is taking place over it, (same policy my dad used on me and my brother as a kid...share it or you'll never see it again). If any other country becomes the new haven for extremist groups we'll give them until the time it takes us to finish building a wall around them to get control over their population. The money we save from having to occupy these countries should cover the cost of the project.

So in other words, Japanese got what they were asking for, Al Qaeda is getting the beating it's been asking for, and I'm just curious as to who's stupid enough to volunteer to be next.
By peregrine: posted on 25-9-2009

Peregrine, I generally agreed with most of what you said right up until you decided to carpet bomb Iraq. If I had a solution to the problem I would say so, it is a tough situation to deal with. What is USA doing there? I know that they wouldn't admit to finding WMD's anyway, so there must have been a good reason for invading a sovereign country. Being ruled by a tyrant like Saddam is not a reason, otherwise Iran, North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe etc would be fair game too. There does not appear to have been any connection with 911 either.

I appreciate the US being the worlds policeman, don't get me wrong there, but sometimes the decisions are hard to fathom, and do the US no favours in the PR stakes. It is much harder to fix the problem the right way than it is to just bomb the motherf#@%ers, and when you have that option, it is too easy to use it instead and often that just delays and amplifies the problem.
By Kingy: posted on 26-9-2009

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