Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hiroshima Day

This year is the seventy tooth anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

Readers need to be reminded that President Truman was presented with two horrific alternatives.

On the one hand, the launching of a nuclear attack on Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) would cost the lives of some 200,000 Japanese civilians and military personnel and some 400 Allied POWS.

On the other hand it was estimated a frontal assault on mainland Japan would kill some three million Allied and Japanese military personnel and Japanese civilians, prolonging the war by six to twelve months.

The rest is history.

How ironic it is that on this anniversary we are seeing a bellicose nuclear North Korea sending missiles into Japanese waters and talking seriously of launching a nuclear attack on mainland USA.

This has led to the US considering arming Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons.

I suspect President Trump will find himself facing the same dilemma faced by President Truman. Does he wait for a nuclear warhead to explode over an American city or does he go in destroy the Nork regime, incurring casualties in South Korea?

The hope he put in Chinese intervention was in vain but I don't think he will wait for thousands of Americans to be killed in America before taking action.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Like all other lefties you seem unable to remain civil. Goodbye.

David said...

Like Vet's blind spot with the origins of the Korean War, you seem to have drunk the propaganda Kool-Aid on the ending of WW2.

If you cared to read the history rather than the propaganda I believe you will see that Japan's surrender had far more to do with the threat of being divided by Russia and America, like Germany had already been, and was about to happen to Korea. The Japanese were terrified that if the Russians invaded their EmperorGod would be executed and that would destroy the soul of the nation.

Many more Japanese had already died in American bombing attacks that were to die at Hiroshima.

The death toll at Hiroshima was the second highest, behind the firebombings of Tokyo.

On the area of a city destroyed, Hiroshima ranks 4th,

And on the % of a city destroyed, Hiroshima ranks 17th!

A total of 68 Japanese cities were substantially destroyed by US bombing, 66 of those using conventional weapons.

It is a convenient lie to state that the war ended sooner because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but that is not supported by the evidence.

The Veteran often refers to the "fog of war" as an explanation for horrific acts, but just as often the fog of historical inaccuracy is used to justify new horrors.

I suspect President Trump will find himself facing the same dilemma faced by President Truman. Does he wait for a nuclear warhead to explode over an American city or does he go in destroy the Nork regime, incurring casualties in South Korea?

So all those billions the yanks have put in to defense are going to be incapable of stopping a single missile? don't make me laugh!

Trump is saber rattling, like all tyrants before, deflecting attention from his domestic woes. He is incapable of getting legislation through Congress, every day exposes more of his lies, and the inquisition is inching closer and closer towards impeachment.

The Veteran said...

There you go David ... airbrushing history again. 'It is a convenient lie to state that the war ended sooner because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but that is not supported by the evidence'. What evidence? As an historian I'd like to know. References please.

David said...

Airbrushing history? I'll leave that to Adolf.

When the firebombing of 66 other Japanese cities, with greater loss of life, had not brought Japan to its knees, why would 2 more events just the same but with a different weapon, suddenly do so?

You don't see a connection between the Japanese haste to surrender and the Russian declaration of war, the invasion of Manchuria and Sakhalin?

As Adolf, and now you, are the ones claiming it was nuclear weapons that caused the surrender of Japan it is incumbent upon you to make the case.

But, in the spirit of education, here are a few points of view.

Truman exulted in the obliteration of Hiroshima, calling it “the greatest thing in history.” America’s military leaders didn’t share his exuberance. Seven of America’s eight five-star officers in 1945 — Gens. Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and Henry Arnold, and Adms. William Leahy, Chester Nimitz, Ernest King and William Halsey — later called the atomic bombings either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both. Nor did the bombs succeed in their collateral purpose: cowing the Soviets.

A good place to start is with an unusual and little-noticed display at The National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington. A plaque explaining an exhibit devoted to the atomic bombings declares: “The vast destruction wreaked by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the loss of 135,000 people made little impact on the Japanese military. However, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 9 August — fulfilling a promise made at the Yalta Conference in February — changed their minds.”

As an historian, I hope that these articles help you to a better understanding than the overly simplistic one you seem to hold at the moment.

The Veteran said...

David ... thank you and, as it happens, I disagree. Events were moving very fast but, in short, the 'bomb' was the catalyst exacerbated by the Russian invasion of 'Manchukuko'. But even then there were elements in the military who wanted to continue the fight while it was the Emperor who broke the impasse.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but not overly useful in determining how things might have panned out. You need to put yourself in the mind of the decision makers with the information available to them at that time and there is no doubt they came to the reluctant conclusion the the Americans possessed the power to destroy the Japanese nation.

p.s. I have never placed much store in the Huffington Post.

paul scott said...

The West will have to look forward to the ultimate confrontation with China, either at the South China sea, or at the proposed Pacific island chain.
The best time to confront the monster's military and naval aggression is now, for there is no question of China's intention.
Likely required, the full Truman, but as surgical as possible at naval and military bases.
We will have to forgo the benefits of trading with a monster. Xi makes Mao look like a boy scout.

Anonymous said...

The best time to confront the monster's military and naval aggression is now, for there is no question of China's intention.

Yes it was China that trashed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan , Somalia &c. &c. &c.

And White Anglo Saxons are the Master Race destined to rule the world and keep the yellow, brown and black people in their place by bombing them into the stone age for their own good and to make the world safe for homosexual marriage and trans gender whales

Waikikamukau News said...

What a dick you are, Adolf DLT. Cannot abide being challenged by facts, so just press the delete button and give a spurious reason.

David said...

So, Veteran, all you can do is shoot the messenger? History is revised as more knowledge comes to light, previously secret documents are released and the immediate need for propaganda has gone.

Fact - Japan had been trying to negotiate a peaceful end since May.

Fact - Japan did not surrender after Tokyo was firebombed. More people died that night than in Hiroshima, but the Japanese leaders were willing to sacrifice a city to save the Emperor.

Fact - Not only did Japan not surrender after Hiroshima was bombed, the war council didn't even see the need to meet. To them, it was just one more city. 67 and counting, and no surrender.

Fact - if the US really wanted to end the war without incurring massive casualties then the best places for the 2 bombs to have been used would have been the large military bases in Kanto and Kyushu, where the Japanese were preparing to defend.

Fact - When the second bomb hit Nagasaki, Japan was still preparing to defend and the US was still preparing to invade. Why is that so if the weapons had been so devastating?

Fact -The Japanese hand was forced by the entry of Russia in to the Pacific War. The Japanese knew they could not defend on two fronts and they did not want to be partitioned by the US/USSR Axis.

Fact - The US knew of Stalin's intention to break his non aggression pact with Japan and to launch attacks on Manchuria. This was discussed at Yalta, meanwhile the Japanese had hoped Stalin would aid a peaceful resolution.

Fact - The US was gazumped in Europe by the Soviets and were determined to prevent that happening in Japan. These two bombs were a demonstration of what the US had in store for Russia if Stalin didn't play ball.

These are the facts, argue with them if you will, but as an historian I expect sources.

I am unsure if you referred to any of the sources I provided, or you just saw HuffPost and moved on.

Did you read this one?

Stars and Stripes is a US military publication, not given to hyperbole, with access to US military information, and well respected among serving and retired US forces.

The Veteran said...

David ... again, we agree to disagree. It's as if you never bothered to reflect on my 4.05 post. I repeat, hindsight is great in trying to airbrush history but it doesn't wash with me. Read Hirohito's speech to the Japanese people which effectively ended the war and learn.

One final comment ... in your 11.50 post you implied that I use 'the fog of war' as a justification for horrific acts. No I don't but shit happens in war.

But there was no fog of war in the My Lai massacre; likewise the Katyn Forest massacre;
likewise the Banka Island execution; likewise the murder of 50 allied officers following the Great Escape. There is a huge difference between events such as those and incidents that occur in the heat of battle but I wouldn't expect those who have never experienced combat to understand that.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Losers never learn.