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Hiroshima Day


On the other hand, John Kenneth Galbraith is persuaded that the Japanese would have surrendered surely by November without an invasion. He thinks the A-bombs were unnecessary and unjustified because the war was ending anyway. The A-bombs meant, he says, “a difference, at most, of two or three weeks.” But at the time, with no indication that surrender was on the way, the kamikazes were sinking American vessels, the Indianapolis was sunk (880 men killed), and Allied casualties were running to over 7,000 per week.

“Two or three weeks,” says Galbraith. Two weeks more means 14,000 more killed and wounded, three weeks more, 21,000. Those weeks mean the world if you’re one of those thousands -3- or related to one of them. During the time between the dropping of the Nagasaki bomb on August 9 and the actual surrender on the fifteenth, the war pursued its accustomed course: on the twelfth of August eight captured American fliers were executed (heads chopped off); the fifty-first United States submarine, Bonefish, was sunk (all aboard drowned); the destroyer Callaghan went down, the seventieth to be sunk, and the Destroyer Escort Underhill was lost. That’s a bit of what happened in six days of the two or three weeks posited by Galbraith. What did he do in the war? He worked in the Office of Price Administration in Washington. I don’t demand that he experience having his ass shot off. I merely note that he didn’t.


Paul Fussell, later a well-known professor of English and literary historian, was (as you can read in the article above) wounded while serving as a rifle platoon commander in France in 1945.
 
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Very informative thread, thank you.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
I'm fairly sure that Mr Hitler would have used them on the UK if he'd had a viable weapon.
 

4(T)

LE
I'm re-quoting myself from older Arrse threads, but I remember seeing Gp Capt Leonard Cheshire VC appearing on a TV programme (Nationwide?) on one of the previous anniversaries. He had been UK observer for the Nagasaki bomb.

By the date of the interview Cheshire, a deeply devout RC convert, was of course famous for his philanthropic work, including of course his charity homes for the disabled. He was pretty saintly bloke.

IIRC he was asked if he thought, in retrospect, that the bombing was justified.

His reply was along the lines of "having seen what the Japs had done to our people (PoWs) and in the occupied territories, I felt then, as I feel today, that nothing was too bad for them."

Oof!

I guess if he'd been alive today, he'd simply be no-platformed.
 
I had it patiently explained to me that nuking the Japs was racist because they were Asians and we never nuked the Germans "coz they is white".

Sometimes wibble is not worthy of refutation.

And keep in mind that the bombing raids in Germany killed far more than the two nukes did in Japan. Google reckons 400k Germans were killed in total in the bombing of Germany.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Meanwhile most of the world is "fornicate 'em they had it coming...."

As previously mentioned - that was exactly what I saw written in the Book of Remembrance in Hiroshima's Bomb Museum, by a Korean visitor.

Japan may have airbrushed the Imperial Japanese Army out of their collective memory - much of the rest of 'The Greater East Asia Co-Properity Sphere' has not.

Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere - Wikipedia

Policy theorists who conceived it, as well as the vast majority of the Japanese population at large saw it for its pan-Asian ideals of freedom and independence from Western colonial oppression. In practice, however, it was frequently used by militarists and nationalists, who saw an effective policy vehicle through which to strengthen Japan's position and advance its dominance within Asia.[3]

The latter approach was reflected in a policy document released by Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare, An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus, which laid out the central position of Japan within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,[4] and promoted the idea of Japanese superiority over other Asians.
[5]


In the immortal words of Cpl S*****ton : ' Fook 'em '
 
LeMay had already written to The President in July informing him the USAAF would run out of targets by the end of August.
At the start of August, he was having to throw 600 bomber raids at towns of 50,000 with limited military value just to find something to bomb.
 
Nukes or the Ivan's, the war ended and that has to be a good thing. Japanese civilians were lining up to repel the invading Allies with bamboo spears. With that kind of mentality it would have been a bloodbath.
 
GMF, who was on the frontlines in Burma, says pretty much the same - f*** 'em, they had it coming.
And, as he points out, he didn't want to cop a packet from the non-surrendering diehard who went all Banzai on his platoon.
Didn' t US plan on half a million casualties during an invasion of mainland Japan?
 

endure

GCM
I'm fairly sure that Mr Hitler would have used them on the UK if he'd had a viable weapon.


He kicked a large chunk of the people who went on to design them out of Germany before the war kicked off. Som nam na!
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
I've read that it was the Russian invasion and the destruction of the Kwangtung army that was the real catalyst for the Japanese surrender; not so much the atom bombs.

Perhaps we should have dropped more of those bombs then.
 
I've not met a single sensible historian who doesn't shudder in dread at the thought of what was coming. The Japanese were readying to hurl their entire population at the invaders. The Allies were lining up the massed firepower of the west to receive them. Everything learned from Crushing Germany had been refined to its upmost level and perfected.

If the invasion had gone ahead the Japanese would be a minority right now.
 
GMF:

Some years ago I heard a man denounce the nuclear bombing of Japan as an obscenity; it was monstrous, barbarous, and no civilised people could even have contemplated it; we should all be thoroughly ashamed of it.

I couldn't argue with him, or deny the obscenity, monstrosity, and barbarism. I could only ask him questions, such as:

“Where were you when the war ended?”

“In Glasgow.”

“Will you answer a hypothetical question: if it were possible, would you give your life now, to restore one of the lives of Hiroshima?”
He wriggled a good deal, said it wasn't relevant, or logical, or whatever, but in the end, to do him justice, he admitted that he wouldn't.

So I asked him: “By what right, then, do you say that Allied lives should have been sacrificed to save the victims of Hiroshima? Because what you're saying is that, while you're not willing to give your life, Allied soldiers should have given theirs. Mine for one, possibly.”

It was a bit unfair, perhaps, if only because I am rather heavily built and he was an elderly philosopher and I was obviously much moved, which may have flustered him, because he was unwise enough to say that that was the point—we were soldiers, the bomb victims were civilians. I did not pursue the question whether the lives of your own soldiers should be sacrificed for the safety of enemy civilians, because if you get into that particular moral jungle you'll never come out; but I did point out that we were, in fact, civilians, too—civilians in uniform, and could he understand our possible resentment that people whose lives and liberties we had been fighting to protect (him, in fact) should be ready to expend us for the sake of Japanese?
 
I've not met a single sensible historian who doesn't shudder in dread at the thought of what was coming. The Japanese were readying to hurl their entire population at the invaders. The Allies were lining up the massed firepower of the west to receive them. Everything learned from Crushing Germany had been refined to its upmost level and perfected.

If the invasion had gone ahead the Japanese would be a minority right now.

Polmars book Downfall.

the initial bombardment would have lasted months, and all weapons were in the mix, conventional, biological, chemical and nuclear.

the gas attacks on 50 cities were predicted at the time to kill 5 million in the initial attacks on D Day -15.

from Polmar.


CW weapons

Stockpiles 1945…
5,500,000 shells, 1,000,000+ bombs, 100,000+ spray tanks, 43,000 land mines

7,500 tons of gas bombs on Luzon, 16,000 on Okinawa, 8,500 tons afloat.

Plans to spray jap crops in 1946 with 2-4-D using 1,500 aircraft on 25 sorties… and destroy 60% of jap rice production

Napalm… 'many' millions of gallons available…

BW weapons

Anthrax plant with a capacity of filling 4lb bombs at the rate of 500,000 per month.

1,000,000 Anthrax bomblets availablle for use on Kyushu in November and 2 -3,000,000 Anthrax bomblets for Honshu in March 1946

Nuclear Weapons

15 Bombs to support the initial invasion in November 1945, with a production rate of 7 per month another 28 could have been ready for Honshu in March 1946.

Attack plans for Honshu May 1946…

For a period of 180 days the beachheads would be bombarded with air and naval units and JB-2's (V1's built in the US) and the beacheads to a distance of 5,000 yds inland sprayed with chemical defoliants.

216 specially designed T-92 240mm self propelled howitzers were to be landed in the initial assault to blast away defences with 360lb HE shells.

Aircraft available from late 1945…

@ 2,000 heavy bombers, B-29's and RAF Lancasters…
300-400 medium bombers, B-24's
MANY thousands of fighters and light bombers

Bomb loads to be dropped on tactical targets…

September 1945 100,000 tons
January 1946 170,000 tons
March 1946 220,000 tons

JB-2 flying bombs (German V1's built in the US)

Monthly production of 5,000 per month by fall 1945. General Arnold planned to bombard Japan with 500 JB-2 missiles per day by the start of 1946. Missiles to be ground launched and from specially modified LST and jeep carriers"
 
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I stayed in Hiroshima a few years ago on holiday on the way to Itsukushima Island. It is really interesting why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as the targets. Hiroshima was the Div HQ for domestic defence, had been relatively untouched by conventional bombing and was fog free most of the year.

So, strategic targets but also untouched targets in order to gauge the effectiveness of the weapons.

Some of the accounts were mindblowing, a Junior Staff Officer was dispatched to find out why Hiroshima HQ wasn't responding, his reply was simply,
"Its just not there anymore."
"What isn't?"
"Hiroshima."

The museum is a little disappointing, the nuke stuff is interesting, but there's only so much melted stuff you can look at.
 
Just a reminder of the Potsdam declaration which the Japanese considered and rejected:
Yet 60-odd years later they took it upon themselves to unilaterally rewrite their borders and not a word was said by the western allies.
 
[...] but I did point out that we were, in fact, civilians, too—civilians in uniform, [...]

Japan was a weird set up in that regard. I suspect that every Japanese person came under the military hierarchy to some degree.

I always thought that the whole reasoning behind why the Japanese treated western POW's so badly, or at least the reason given, seemed lacking in its detail. The Line of "The POW had surrendered which was against Japanese martial code."

It wasn't until doing some work of the Kwantung Army I got several pieces of other info and was able to come up with a much more satisfactory answer.

1: PoW's are, under Japanese law, Considered to be a 'rank' in the military structure. It's a rank, right at the bottom of the pile.
2: The Japanese Army was incredibly brutal, and full of bullying. This was a matter of course, and seen as normal. God help the private who defaulted on a task. The Army was also rigidly hierarchical. Thus shit rolled down hill, and you could only safely brutalise those lower down.
3: Now add in the opening idea that the PoW's had misbehaved, and you get a cascade of nastieness heading down hill. It's often been noted that the Korean's guards treated PoW's were worse than the Japanese. That's simply because of the above factors, and that they as Korean's are lower in the pecking order than Japanese, but their higher than PoW's.

Mix all that up and I wouldn't be surprised to find that there's no such thing as a 'Civilian' Japanese, but I bet they'd have been herded towards the beaches.

Polmars book Downfall.

the initial bombardment would have lasted months, and all weapons were in the mix, conventional, biological, chemical and nuclear.

the gas attacks on the cities were predicted at the time to kill 5 million in the initial attacks.

from Polmar.


CW weapons

Stockpiles 1945…
5,500,000 shells, 1,000,000+ bombs, 100,000+ spray tanks, 43,000 land mines

7,500 tons of gas bombs on Luzon, 16,000 on Okinawa, 8,500 tons afloat.

Plans to spray jap crops in 1946 with 2-4-D using 1,500 aircraft on 25 sorties… and destroy 60% of jap rice production

Napalm… 'many' millions of gallons available…

BW weapons

Anthrax plant with a capacity of filling 4lb bombs at the rate of 500,000 per month.

1,000,000 Anthrax bomblets availablle for use on Kyushu in November and 2 -3,000,000 Anthrax bomblets for Honshu in March 1946

Nuclear Weapons

15 Bombs to support the initial invasion in November 1945, with a production rate of 7 per month another 28 could have been ready for Honshu in March 1946.

Attack plans for Honshu May 1946…

For a period of 180 days the beachheads would be bombarded with air and naval units and JB-2's (V1's built in the US) and the beacheads to a distance of 5,000 yds inland sprayed with chemical defoliants.

216 specially designed T-92 240mm self propelled howitzers were to be landed in the initial assault to blast away defences with 360lb HE shells.

Aircraft available from late 1945…

@ 2,000 heavy bombers, B-29's and RAF Lancasters…
300-400 medium bombers, B-24's
MANY thousands of fighters and light bombers

Bomb loads to be dropped on tactical targets…

September 1945 100,000 tons
January 1946 170,000 tons
March 1946 220,000 tons

JB-2 flying bombs (German V1's built in the US)

Monthly production of 5,000 per month by fall 1945. General Arnold planned to bombard Japan with 500 JB-2 missiles PER DAY by the start of 1946! Missiles to be ground launched and from specially modified LST and jeep carriers"

Gas would have been available down to battalion level. I always wondered what the purpose of these experiments were:
 
For those of a nervous disposition, avoid the BBC website
5 Live earlier Emma Barnet with a child survivor who somehow became the avenging angel against evil - **** me, I expected them to make the Allies out as the bad guys but it was nauseating how everything the Japanese did was simply ignored.

History is indeed being rewritten for the masses now.
 

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