U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 01-01-2008, 06:32 AM
 
419 posts, read 1,903,964 times
Reputation: 376

Advertisements

I have always wondered what would have happened in WW2 if we did not have nukes and there was no bombing of those two Japanese Cities. I suspect that the battle of the Japanese Mainland (including Tokyo) would have killed more people in the long run and the war would have gone on for many years. I understand that even kids as young as 7 were expected to fight against the Americans. Any theories?
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-01-2008, 09:46 AM
 
6,563 posts, read 13,338,878 times
Reputation: 3206
Another likelihood is that Japan would have potentially split up post-war much like Germany as the Soviets would most certainly have played a part in the final outcome or any land invasion......

I think it's a safe bet that more people would have died. We can debate that all we want, BUT the bottom line to me has always been that it's a GUARANTEE that more American lives would have been lost if we don't drop the bombs.... Such is war. Better them than us.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2008, 10:28 AM
 
14,049 posts, read 20,282,302 times
Reputation: 23622
Yeah, the invasion of Japan by Allied forces was already planned, along with estimates of casualties, etc. "Operation Downfall" was the name of the plan. Two landing were planned on the Japanese mainland - one in November 1945 and another in March 1946. It was expected to involve eventually 3.5 million allied combat and support personnel.

Japan in turn was preparing for the invasion, Ketsu-Go. They had been preparing since 1944. They actually had no shortage of suicide aircraft, thousand of cheap planes, essentially flying bombs. Their plan was to launch massive kamakaze aircraft attacks (from hidden airstrips) at allied vessels to smash the invasion fleet. They estimated they could attack and damage 800 vessels in one strike. If a landing was achieved, the first one in November was aimed at Kyushu, Japan had some 800,000 soldiers to fight. These aren't woman and children, but hard core fanatical soldiers. Organized divisions, tank brigades. etc. They had already stockpiled supplies and ammo. Beyond the beaches, Japan is rocky and mountanous, a natural defendable fort. One giant Iwa Jima was exected - caves, bunkers, underground supply depots, fortified positions with machine gun nests and artillary covering square miles.

And then, as was stated, every civilian was expected to fight to the death. 28 million fanatics to the emporer equiped with ancient rifles and satchel charges.

Casualties on both sides, needless to say, were expected to be horrendous. Estimates - 1,000 Japanese and American battle deaths an hour in the first few days, up to a million allied casualties total. No telling how many Japanese would have died in battles and in mass suicides - 4 or 5 million is not out of the question.

During all this, the USSR would have been playing some games, just as they seized Manchuria during the final days of the war. Expect then to have gobbled up portions lightly defended China and Northern Japan, as well as Manchuria. Possibly we would have seen a north and south Japan divided as we say in east and west Germany.

Not to make this political, but it's absolutely incredible that someone can look a the dropping of the atomic bomb as a horrible and uneccessary act. It saved millions of lives on both sides by ending a terrible war.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,141 posts, read 7,931,258 times
Reputation: 6297
Admiral Bull Halsey said "After the invasion of the Japanese Mainland, the japanese language will no longer exist"
We'd have killed alot more of them that's for sure....
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,709,301 times
Reputation: 927
It is difficult to make a serious argument that the bomb on Hiroshima was too much when it took a second bomb on Nagasaki to get Japan to surrender.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,460 posts, read 24,081,482 times
Reputation: 7583
First off, Dd714's comments are right on target. The loss of life (especially among the Japanese) would have been ENORMOUS. Though obviously horrific, the dropping of the 2 atomic bombs surely saved millions of lives.

One import footnote however to keep in mind that the atomic bombings only brought about the surrender of Japan in an indirect manner. What really ended the war was not so much the bombings themselves, but the fact that they speeded up the entry of the USSR into the war against Japan. By mid-1945 it was absolutely clear to the Japanese leadership that the war was completely lost. The only thing keeping them going was the vain hope that the USSR would serve as a go-between to negotiate a more advantagous surrender. Stalin, having seen to Germany's defeat, was in the process of shifting his forces for an attack on the Japanese territories on the mainland - but in early August was not yet ready to launch the attack. So, he was in the process of leading the Japanese on, making vague promises of serving as an intermediary (while in reality having no intention of doing so at all). When the bombs were dropped Stalin became concerned that the Japanese might actually surrender before he'd had a chance to grab their mainland territories, so the attack was moved up and began almost immediately.

This attack was enormously successful, and the 500,000 man Kungtung army (Japan's mainland forces) was absolutely flattened (the only time in the war where the Japanese - who were totally outclassed by the heavy Soviet armor - surrended en-mass). The Soviets conquered all the territory down to the current border between North and South Korea in 10 days - a truly amazing success.

This unforseen attack completely demoralized the Japanese leadership, as the hope that the Soviets would help negotiate a surrender was the Japanese's last chance at an "honorable" peace, so, seeing no alternative, they surrendered.

So, the real catalyst in the surrender, was the Soviet "backstabbing" (as the Japanese viewed it), not the atomic bombs themselves - though obviously the atomic bombings were the trigger for that chain of events.

Ken
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2008, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,803,139 times
Reputation: 1303
One thing's for sure, more American soldiers would have died if we had to take Japan using conventional force. The atomic bombs ended the war in less than 2 weeks and saved a lot of American lives - I'm good with that.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2008, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,512,196 times
Reputation: 29746
One historic footnote that gets curiously overlooked in every "what if we didn't drop the bomb" discussion is that Germany had provided Japan with technology to develop a jet fighter/bomber fleet. Japan was, at most, a couple months away from being able to mass-produce a jet plane fleet that could have annihilated our Pacific fleet and all of our Pacific operating bases that would have been necessary to supply a homeland invasion. Our fighter planes would have been useless against them and nearly powerless to stop them. The Japanese Navy conducted a successful test-flight of the Nakajima J9Y the day after Hiroshima was flattened, which may explain their reluctance to surrender after the first bomb was dropped. If the U.S. military intelligence knew the J9Y was about to come online, I would imagine that was a substantial part of the calculation that eventually led to the decision to drop the bombs to try to bring the war to an end before that could happen.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2008, 07:36 AM
 
6,563 posts, read 13,338,878 times
Reputation: 3206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
One historic footnote that gets curiously overlooked in every "what if we didn't drop the bomb" discussion is that Germany had provided Japan with technology to develop a jet fighter/bomber fleet. Japan was, at most, a couple months away from being able to mass-produce a jet plane fleet that could have annihilated our Pacific fleet and all of our Pacific operating bases that would have been necessary to supply a homeland invasion. Our fighter planes would have been useless against them and nearly powerless to stop them. The Japanese Navy conducted a successful test-flight of the Nakajima J9Y the day after Hiroshima was flattened, which may explain their reluctance to surrender after the first bomb was dropped. If the U.S. military intelligence knew the J9Y was about to come online, I would imagine that was a substantial part of the calculation that eventually led to the decision to drop the bombs to try to bring the war to an end before that could happen.
I seriously doubt that Japan had much of an infrastructure left to be mass producing brand new technology. Especially if you consider that we would have already been invading the Japanese mainland and most of their holdings in SE Asia and China.

I doubt the technical knowledge would have been able to be put to much use.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
20,460 posts, read 24,081,482 times
Reputation: 7583
Quote:
Originally Posted by VAFury View Post
I seriously doubt that Japan had much of an infrastructure left to be mass producing brand new technology. Especially if you consider that we would have already been invading the Japanese mainland and most of their holdings in SE Asia and China.

I doubt the technical knowledge would have been able to be put to much use.
I agree.
There was no way whatsoever that Japan would have been able to mass produce anything. The US had already been bombing and firebombing (something the mostly wood-based Japanese cities were VERY vulnerable to) for months and by the time of the atomic bombing we were already very near to running out of targets because so many of them had already been wiped off the map. These firebombing raids were virtually as effective as the atomic bombs were, and as mentioned, the Japanese infrastructure was practically destroyed already so there was no way to mass produce anything, let alone such advanced technology as jets. Just as the ME-262 had been too late to stop the bombing of Germany, such a plane for the Japanese would have been in the same situation.

Furthermore, the major problem with Japanese aviation by this time in the war was not even so much the shortage of aircraft (and more seriously, fuel) but a complete shortage of trained and experienced pilots. One of the reasons the Japanese resorted to Kamakaze attacks in 1944 was that by that time the simple fact is that a Japanese combat pilots' first battle was likely to be his last whether he was on a Kamakaze mission or not. Becoming a skilled pilot who can win dogfights takes time and Japan's losses in this area far outstripped their capability to replace these valuable men - so, training was rushed and the end result was that Japanese pilots were woefully unprepared by this stage in the war and were easily shot down by their American counterparts - so, using the logic that you would likely die in combat anyway your first time out, the Japanese decided "why not try and take out the enemy with you" (a tactic that worked pretty well). In fact, the Japanese naval air arm (their best pilots) had been in short supply ever since the massive losses at Midway and that particular branch had never been able to recover from that blow. The army was a bit better off, but not by much. Had the US invaded Japan, there would have been mass Kamakaze attacks as what was left of the Japanese air forces were launched. No doubt these would have been devastating to the US naval forces, but they would not have stopped the invasion.

So no, a late-arriving fighter plane would have done no good whatsoever.

Ken
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top