Using the atom bomb

Jan 2009
5,841
50
#1
What are your thoughts on the usage of the atomic bomb in WWII? Was it necessary? Would you do it knowing what you know now.

This can get quite controversial, so let me remind everyone to keep it civil.

Personally, I think it was an awful thing to use them on actual cities. Infrastructure without population in it would have been much more moral and equally effective in my opinion (not sure if that was an option, but I'd assume there was some field or airbase somewhere).
 
Jul 2009
5,702
420
Opa Locka
#2
Carpet bomb 2 cities, doing the dame damage, killing the same people and risking hundreds of bombers and their crews or 1 bomber, 1 bomb for each city... Simple math.

People tend to focus on the civilians ignoring the nature of the war (total war) and the fact that the cities we nuked were the heart of Japan's war machine. With those cities intact Japan would of had the tanks, guns, ammo and oil needed to fight an invasion. The light and sound show was secondary to it being more efficient then carpet bombing. We also dropped leaflets on both cities telling the civilians we were about to glass the place, it's not like we just blew up some suburb neighborhood out of the blue.
 
Jan 2009
5,841
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#3
And yet... civilian casualties were tremendous. Sorry (actually I'm not), but I can't stand by that.

Showing them we had the capability would have been enough possibly. And if not, we should have carried out a more precise operation.
 
Jul 2009
5,702
420
Opa Locka
#4
And yet... civilian casualties were tremendous. Sorry (actually I'm not), but I can't stand by that.

Showing them we had the capability would have been enough possibly. And if not, we should have carried out a more precise operation.
As I said, we warned them we were going to nuke them and it was better then carpet bombing the place. And we invited them to our nuke testing sites to see the bomb for themselves, they refused.
 
Oct 2012
3,915
635
Louisville, Ky
#6
The use of this type of weapon was inevitable, and though the action was terrible...it likely explained to the world how evil they are. Had this not happened, I can imagine far worse situations for the lesson to take place in.

Given the likely hood of at least this many deaths were we to use traditional warfare on the Japanese homeland...I see it as a lesser evil.
 
Dec 2012
518
11
Madison, AL
#7
If it was such a good idea to use atomic weapons then why hasnt it been done since?
WWII was a total war. It involved entire nations. Since then we have fought limited wars. Nuclear weapons may have a place in a limited war. But they are not very likely to.

There may be some deep underground targets that require them.
 
Jan 2009
5,841
50
#8
The use of this type of weapon was inevitable, and though the action was terrible...it likely explained to the world how evil they are. Had this not happened, I can imagine far worse situations for the lesson to take place in.

Given the likely hood of at least this many deaths were we to use traditional warfare on the Japanese homeland...I see it as a lesser evil.
I thought of your first point. It is possible, but we will never know.

On the second point though given the radiation and all, I still don't see it as worth it. And again, using them in a less populous area and then threatening them with it might have been a better life-sparing operation.
 
Nov 2012
174
1
Salt Lake City, Utah
#9
Every weapon made gets used at some point....except the Omega-13 of course =)

But I agree with you myp. I think Nagasaki was especially unnecessary. Couldn't we at least have only dropped one?
 
Oct 2012
3,915
635
Louisville, Ky
#10
Every weapon made gets used at some point....except the Omega-13 of course =)

But I agree with you myp. I think Nagasaki was especially unnecessary. Couldn't we at least have only dropped one?
We tried...did not work considering the time constraints.

The second made it clear to the empire, we were quite serious.

Thus, the end of that war.

Could we have taken another course....certainly.

Would fewer people have died...not likely.
 
Jul 2009
5,702
420
Opa Locka
#11
Every weapon made gets used at some point....except the Omega-13 of course =)

But I agree with you myp. I think Nagasaki was especially unnecessary. Couldn't we at least have only dropped one?
After the 1st bomb the Japanese Army arrested the Emperor (who was planning on ordering a surrender) and started fortifying their military installations for the coming invasion. After 3 days or waiting for a surrender and only getting want amounted to a 'F*** you!' we dropped a 2nd bomb. Japanese arrogance is why the bombs were dropped, had they accepted our offer to witness a test detonation far away from any Japanese cities in the Sierra Nevada or thrown in the towel after Hiroshima, 100-60k people would still be alive.
 
Dec 2012
518
11
Madison, AL
#12
After the 1st bomb the Japanese Army arrested the Emperor (who was planning on ordering a surrender) and started fortifying their military installations for the coming invasion.
This is not correct.

The Purple Magic Summaries on the two days after Hiroshima was destroyed there was no traffic concerning the small number of casualties. What seems like a disaster to us today was insignificant to the principal actors in Japan. The Army did not arrest the Emperor.
The Japanese were discussing the B-29 targets. We were systematically destroying all of their medium to large cities.

After 3 days or waiting for a surrender and only getting want amounted to a 'F*** you!' we dropped a 2nd bomb. Japanese arrogance is why the bombs were dropped, had they accepted our offer to witness a test detonation far away from any Japanese cities in the Sierra Nevada or thrown in the towel after Hiroshima, 100-60k people would still be alive.
On August 9th, the day we destroyed Nagasaki, a far more important event was unfolding. The Magic summaries have information about the Soviet invasion on three broad fronts of Japanese-held territory in Northeast Asia but do not address Nagasaki. The Japanese Kwangtung Army had been surprised and was clearly in danger. This was far more important that a few thousand deaths and damage to another small city.

On August 10th the Magic Diplomatic Summary contains the English text of the Japanese surrender offer that will come a week later.

From today's vantage point the Soviet attack against the Kwangtung Army appears to have been the deciding action that pushed the Japanese to surrender a week later.
 
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May 2012
204
33
The motherland
#19
Japan ended up becoming a fascist state after a series of coups by far-right extremists but the emperor himself praised those 'patriotic' hooligans equivalent to the Blackshirts who guided Imperial Japan towards war and he hesitated to surrender unconditionally until the second atomic bomb was dropped because he believed in his divinity as propagated by far-right factions and he was very reluctant to lose his divine status as a living god.

Japanese historians have carefully documented Hirohito’s key role in war and postwar actions throughout the 1930s and ‘40s. It is now understood that he seldom allowed his generals and admirals to fight the war just as they wished, and that he delayed Japan’s surrender in order to preserve the imperial throne with himself on it. This last point must be emphasized. According to the accounts of individuals close to Hirohito, the emperor recognized by summer 1944 that Japan would eventually have to seek a negotiated end to the losing war. But he insisted that his armed forces first had to achieve at least one substantial military result in order to improve the surrender terms. He also rejected the idea of allowing the Allies to punish Japanese war criminals or abolish Japan’s armed forces, for they would be needed to check the Soviet Union and prevent the spread of communism at home. A year later, in late June 1945, Hirohito abandoned these preconditions: the battle of Okinawa had been lost; there would not be one-last-victory. Although he was not thinking of immediate capitulation, he was prepared to allow the Allies to punish war criminals; and even contemplated disarmament. But he (and other hardliners on the Supreme War Leadership Council) persisted in maneuvering for peace through the good offices of the still neutral Soviet Union, with the sole aim of preserving and protecting himself and the monarchy.
http://www.japanfocus.org/-herbert_p_-bix/2741
 
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Dec 2012
5
0
#20
I think that it is wrong. You can make up all the reasons for it as you want, but it is still the killing of innocent civilians. Hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children died that day. What need is there to kill innocent people???!!!