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Old 01-03-2008, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
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The only thing that is sure is that hundreds of thousands of people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki wouldnt have been burned and vaporized and the survivors left with agonizing pain and disfigument and cancer. In my opinion all the comments about the horrible consequences of not dropping the bombs are rationalizations to avoid accepting responsibility for the act. If it had been New York and Chicago...I don't think we would say, "Oh ya, now I get it; they had to do it."
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:39 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elston View Post
The only thing that is sure is that hundreds of thousands of people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki wouldnt have been burned and vaporized and the survivors left with agonizing pain and disfigument and cancer. In my opinion all the comments about the horrible consequences of not dropping the bombs are rationalizations to avoid accepting responsibility for the act. If it had been New York and Chicago...I don't think we would say, "Oh ya, now I get it; they had to do it."
And firebombing is a better way to die?
Several conventional raids in WWII killed similar numbers of people to those lost in the atomic bombings (Dresden and Tokyo for example) and there is NO reason to beleive that Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have been subjected to the same treatment. War is Hell. That is it's nature, and LOTS of people die - whether they die from an atomic bombing that (even indirectly) ends the war or they die in a long series of devastating and horrible fire-bomb raids really doesn't matter.

The long-term effects from the radiation are the only real difference between the 2 weapons (other than the pyshological impact (which HELPED by ending the war in this case). The radiations effects are indeed a major concern, but not the immediate death and destruction (they would have happened anyway).

Criticism of the US atomic bombing is admirable from a humanitarian standpoint, but really pretty ignorant of the facts. There is NO doubt that the bombing saved millions of lives - most of them Japanese (FAR more than were lost in the atomic bombings).

War is an ugly business and if you don't want to be on the receiving end of that ugliness, you shouldn't get involved in it.

Ken
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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A fascinating question. My take:

A full blown invasion of a nation consisting of several huge islands and lots of small ones. A nation run by a fanatical military junta who had spent the better part of the prior 15 years or so rampaging through Asia.

It would have required as many troops as we could muster. And not just Americans. Every Canadian, British, Kiwi, Australian, Filipino, Chinese, Dutch, Indonesian, Indian and French soldier who could carry a rifle would have been mobilized. I can even imagine us having taken a few German and Italian divisions along.

We would have emptied Europe of manpower thus giving the USSR the green light to push towards the Atlantic or, at the very least, delaying reconstruction of vital European infrastructure and the solution to a huge refugee problem. Or we would have needed the Red Army and Japan would have been split like Germany was or Korea still is. Russia still holds a few islands they grabbed from Japan at the time.

And the invasion of Japan itself? Well I reckon it would have been an array of different battles. Firstly, there would have been multiple D-Day type invasions in multiple locations. Carpet bombings of all Japanese cities. All of them. Then fighting the Imperial Army on their home soil. If they had to be burned out of caves on Iwo Jima, what would they have been like on their own soil? Then there would have been kids and women either shooting at us or becoming suicide bombers. Finally, a prolonged guerilla war or an Iraqi like insurrection would have been very likely. The death toll would have been unimaginable and the conflict could have stretched on for years.

War is laying waste to the other side with all means at your disposal until the other side says enough. It would been irresponsible as well as stupid for Truman not use the bomb, which others were trying to get as well.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:59 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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PS - Consider too the millions of people being brutalized daily throughout the Japanese conquered territories (the Japanese were incredibly CRUEL and BRUTAL masters) and the tens of thousands of Allied POWs wasting away in Japanese prison camps with little or no food or water. And then there were the tens of thousands of starving Japanese soldiers isolated by the Island Hopping strategy of the US navy - troops cut off from food and basic medical supplies. All of these people were FAR better off once the war ended - and the sooner it ended the better off those people would be.

Ken
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
The only thing that is sure is that hundreds of thousands of people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki wouldnt have been burned and vaporized and the survivors left with agonizing pain and disfigument and cancer.
That's true. Millions, not hundreds of thousands, but millions of Japanese would have been burned, vaporized and generally blown to bits in the bombings that an invasion of the home islands would have entailed. Every major population center would have looked like Hiroshima and Nagasaki.



Quote:
In my opinion all the comments about the horrible consequences of not dropping the bombs are rationalizations to avoid accepting responsibility for the act. If it had been New York and Chicago...I don't think we would say, "Oh ya, now I get it; they had to do it."
In my opinion, people who think the Bomb a bad decision are not looking at the obvious facts and are inserting their own agenda into the question.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:40 PM
 
14,039 posts, read 20,256,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elston View Post
The only thing that is sure is that hundreds of thousands of people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki wouldnt have been burned and vaporized and the survivors left with agonizing pain and disfigument and cancer. In my opinion all the comments about the horrible consequences of not dropping the bombs are rationalizations to avoid accepting responsibility for the act. If it had been New York and Chicago...I don't think we would say, "Oh ya, now I get it; they had to do it."
Your answer hints at some ignorance of the facts, one is that Japan had been firebombed (and so had Germany, and so had Allied cities) extensively during world war 2 and several fire bomb attacks actually took more lives than the atomic bombing as Lord Balford indicated. You have to look beyond the stigmata of "OH IT'S A NUCLEAR WEAPON" and face the fact that it is a weapon, one word. Weapons are made to kill, and this war, sadly enough, was a total war for survival that targeted every person, every machine, and every piece of square earth in the country because the enemy (and us) were using virtually every person, every machine, etc in fighting the war. That's total war.

You are also looking at it from the perspective of 60 years later. Think of that time, where something like 50 million people perished in WW2. Do you have any concept of the relief to the world that Japan surrendered? Only a person alive at that time can comprehend it. Do you think they balked because *gasp* it was due to a nuclear weapon? They could care less, and let me tell you, if my history is correct we only had the two atomic bombs available to drop on Japan (more would take months to produce, ship over, etc) - but if we had more and Japan did not surrendor I have no doubt that no one would have balked at turning that country to a glass wasteland. And, again, it would have been the right decision and I would have no trouble sleeping at night thinking about it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
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It boils down to a simple concept. If you don't want to get destroyed, don't pick on someone who will get upset and fight back. Let's all remember, they started it. So why do we have to be PC about this. They are the ones that should be apologizing to us.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighPlainsDrifter73 View Post
It boils down to a simple concept. If you don't want to get destroyed, don't pick on someone who will get upset and fight back. Let's all remember, they started it. So why do we have to be PC about this. They are the ones that should be apologizing to us.
Exactly! I have met scores of people who are completely ignorant to this. They think everything started with Pearl Harbor when Japan had actually been subjugating most of Asia for years. Or they think the US started it when in reality WWII had been going on for almost three years before Japan dragged us into it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
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My Father was on a ship heading for Japan when we dropped the Atomic Bombs, He says that Truman was best President ever for probally saving his life. Our troops diidn't have to be PC back then, they were trained to kill the Enemy and the enemy was the Japanese all of them. We expected to have huge casulaties and we fully expected to battle the Japanese Army as well as civilians ( Women and Children too).. The Japanese may well have tried to fight till the last man, woman, and child. Our troops were more than willing to accomodate them.. Remember the propaganda of the time.. The Japanese were just Vermin to be exterminated...
We were way more civil to the Germans than the Japanese and visa - versa
The Japanese were brutal to everyone and we were brutal to them
(and frankly if you don't feel that way about your enemy you should not go to war)
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:00 PM
 
999 posts, read 4,252,710 times
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Quote:
The only thing that is sure is that hundreds of thousands of people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki wouldnt have been burned and vaporized and the survivors left with agonizing pain and disfigument and cancer. In my opinion all the comments about the horrible consequences of not dropping the bombs are rationalizations to avoid accepting responsibility for the act. If it had been New York and Chicago...I don't think we would say, "Oh ya, now I get it; they had to do it."
I think there would have been far more civilian deaths had the bombs not been dropped to speed along an UNCONDITIONAL surrender. I think an effective naval blockade along with more conventional bombing would have starved the Japanese into an eventual unconditional surrender over a longer period of time if the bombs had not been dropped. This would have resulted in far more civilian deaths due to starvation and disease as the remaining food stores would have been channeled to the military as they prepared for the inevitable invasion.

All in all, Japan fared pretty well considering they lost.
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