Help wanted: Did the Bomb shorten WW2? Internet scrap...

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Bravo_Bravo, Apr 16, 2006.

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  1. I've come across some pinko who is saying that the dropping of The Bomd was not really necessary and did little to shorten the War.

    I hold a different view but would like some quick help in eg. studies of number of lives saved - on BOTH sides - the willingness of the Japanese to carry on fighting, how long they could have fought, casulaty estimates should an invasion of the Home Islands been required

    Cheers

    BB
     
  2. Ask him if he, personally, would die in the place of one of the Japanese that died at N or H. Because he's effectively saying that an allied soldier should have done just that in order to defeat the Japanese militarily.
     
  3. I know that the allied casualty projections for amphibious invasion of the Japanese Home Islands were pretty nasty - but the estimated casualties on the Japanese side would likely have been even more severe... Lots of pointy stick wielding Geishas getting killed by flamethrowers and artillery.

    Personally, I'm with Mr Angry on the subject - why should one Marine, Gurkha or Matelot have to sacrifice himself to end a war that they started? Also, dropping the bomb and having them surrender meant that defeat was total, creating the conditions for the postwar government of Japan, making it the successful (and peaceful) nation that it is today...

    Aaaand, dropping the bomb kept the peace in Europe for 50 years by scaring the sh*t out of the Russkies...
     
  4. While I agree that it did help shorten the war an earlier raid on Tokoyo using incendary bombs actually caused more casualties and more homeless than either nuclear bomb. It was a display of strength on the part of the US, but sustained bombing raids targetting city after city would have had the same effect. Yet there would have been more loses, possibly on both sides (200,000 estimated died in the tokoyo bombings, about the same as the total for both nuclear weapons)
     
  5. Thanks guys.

    I've done some posting in the other place, will let you know if he comes back.

    BB
     
  6. It certainly helped shorten the war if you happened to be standing under it.
     
  7. We all know it was John Wayne who won the war in the Pacific and not a bunch of fags in a bright silver B52 ,I know the bomb might have helped a bit though...
     
  8. nodandawink wrote
    Did they start it? Militarily maybe as in bombed Pearl Harbour and of course the rape of nanking, but the US had put pressure on them economically for years.
     
  9. No mate, the Japs definitely started it. I saw it last night on ITV 4. Tora Tora Tora. The Americans had stopped supplying suet to the Pacific Rim ,and the thought of no more Dim Sums kicked everything off. Top film, and good to see real planes and not computer generated rubbish
     
  10. Just a little tit bit, having read more on the dambusters, aparrently they were scheduled to take "tall boys" and more impressivly "grand slams" over to japan which some say would have been a better solution and less civilian casualties than using the atomic option. The Americans beat them to it!!

    OS
     
  11. He is right. And he's wrong too.

    Japan was beaten, and sooner or later would have sought peace, even without an allied invasion. the country was effectively blockaded. Its air force and navy destroyed or grounded/in port through lack of fuel. The first signs of malnutrition were appearing in the rural areas. The cabinet was divided, and diplomatic peace feelers were already active.

    But....

    When you spend US$2bn of taxpayers money on a 'theoretical' weapon, hoping that the nazis don't get there first, you are going to use it ASAP. Hiroshima and Nagasiki were simply live tests to confirm the feasibility of the air deliverable weapon system. The Trinity test in New Mexico was more an excercise in physics.

    General Groves, the logistical 'project manager' for the Manahttan Project joked before the trinity test that if it fails, he will buy a House in washington, probably Pennsylvania Avenue. Asked why he replied ''Coz if this fucking thing doesnt go off, I'll have to spend the rest of my life attending congressional committee hearings trying to find out why I pissed away 2 billion dollars of American taxpayers money during the greatest war in our history!'

    The political purpose of the test was not to the Japanese, but to the Russians, who had just begun to engage Japanese forces in Manchuria/Manchukuo Puppet state. The Americans wanted to keep the Russians out of Pacific rim.

    The dropping of these weapons, and the fact that the 509th Bomb group could deliver a nuclear weapon almost anywhere in the world was the start of the cold war, and a clear signal that the US was the top dog, not because it had the biggest armed forces or the most land mass, but that it had the most money and the most destructive single weapon on the planet. (and the effective means to deliver it via B29 bomber)
     
  12. The allied casualty projection for a full scale invasion of Japan was 250,000 own troops, The projection for Japanese casualties were set at over a million, and after Okinawa these were revised upwards due to the Japanese habit of killing their women and children to stop them being enslaved by the invader. Added to all of this are the figures from the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and the extended fighting in Malaya, Indo China and the East Indies. So the two bombs avoided many more deaths and injuries than they caused.

    Additionally the destruction of the two cities demonstrated to even the most stupid, the power of those weapons and gave everyone a very healthy respect and fear of them.
     
  13. There were approx 140,000 deaths caused by the bombs but the figures get adjusted depending on source. The Tokyo fire bombings killed well over 100,000. By 1945 the political will not to use devastating weapons was gone, there would be no public outrage at the time from their use. The Americans so careful not to publicaly state that they carried out area bombing over Europe had no problems using these tactics against Japan. Some historians argue that there was an attitude of racism against the Japanese who by then were well known for their attrocties and terrible treatment of allied POW's so how could a politican face his public and say "We could have ended the war sooner but did not we're worried what people in the future might say".

    After the war ended detractors and politicans started to wonder if it had been the right thing to do and many sought to distance themselves from the tactics of area and fire bombing, atomic bombing was seen during the war as just an extension of these tactics by the majority and was probably seen in this manner by the Japanese government at the time aswell. In the same vain as not wanting to be held accountable for Dresden etc many also distanced themselves from the descision to use atomic weapons if they could.

    The main anti-bomb arguments use the fact that the US strategic bombing survey written after the war concluded that Japan would have surrendered probably by the end of October had the atomic bombs not been used and no invasion taken place. It was also known by the time the bombs were dropped that Japan was looking for a way to surrender without losing face and they were also aware of a possible Soviet invasion from the North so wanted to finish as soon as possible without giving too much away in reparations etc.

    Trumans diaries stated that the bombing saved 500,000 US lives, this led to some exaggerated post war statements such as 'a million US lives saved'. According to some sources Trumans earlier drafts had stated 300,000 allied lives saved. Estimates in 1945 actually put the allied death toll at a maximum of 200,000 with some estimates of KIA as low as 40,000 depending on how far the invasion needed to go in order to secure victory. Why Truman put the number as high as possible is probably to justify to the American people that the use of the bombs was neccessary in no uncertain terms. - By the mid 50's the American public were now under threat from Soviet bombs and so wondered who let the genie out of the lamp and was it worth it.

    I would tell your friend that yes the allies would have defeated Japan by 31 Dec 1945 had the bombs not been used and most likely without fullscale invasion. But both cities would have been reduced to rubble from conventional bombing by then and it may even have ended with Japan split along Korean lines with the Soviets controlling half the country. You could also argue that the use of the bombs helped usher in the cold war and the knowledge of atomic power prevented WW3, but that is another can of worms.

    In my opinion the use was wrong but only as so far that war itself is wrong and once you are at total war should you not try to end it as quickly as possible with as few casualties to yourself as possible? Your mate should read up on Japanese treatment of allies POW's then go and talk to the Burma Star organisation whilst there are a few of them still about. He should then have a little think as many of these lads firmly beleve they are still here today thanks to the bombing. You have to remember that even if there was no fullscale invasion of the main Japanese islands there would still have been an unsurrended(albeit dishevelled) Japanese army fighting in the far east for another 2-4 months.
     
  14. if the Bomb hadn't have been dropped and the war hawks had control of the cabinet , then the likely secenario would have been that, there would be more conventional bombings flattening every city , town , standing building in Japan, eventually invasion, the japanese race would be an endangered species, very few would be left alive to start over, leaving the country open wide for colonisation.