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Thread: World War 1 & 2

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    Tidbits re the World Wars that come under my radar and maybe I can relate with some of the oldies here.

    In my early years the political scene was dominated by the Cold War and not learning much about the War in earlier years I am catching up a bit. I am finding it still has a lot of relevance to today's politic.

    One of big crimes in my day was the Soviet interference in Hungry, but nothing was mentioned how Hungry had helped Germany invade the USSR only a decade or two earlier.
    With the older generation dying out their knowledge goes with them. Some have interesting points that are not covered in extensive media programs. For example how Stalin repositioned his war factories away from where Germany's single-engined aircraft could not reach.
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  2. #32
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Today (in my American time) is the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, which probably saved Nell's life, and she is still going strong at 100.
    Well according to news just yesterday from Japan, they only surrendered because the USSR had declared war on Japan, not because of the A and H bombs.
    (will transfer to World Wars thread wnen locate)
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    Well according to news just yesterday from Japan, they only surrendered because the USSR had declared war on Japan, not because of the A and H bombs.
    (will transfer to World Wars thread wnen locate)
    America did not have the H bomb in 1945 so that is unlikely to have an effect. But apparently the declaration of war by the USSR was a significant factor which shortened the war that is often overlooked by American historians.

    Not sure how it related to saving Nell's life since there were obviously many dangers after the Japanese surrender for Dutch nationals in Indonesia anyway (as mentioned above).
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    America did not have the H bomb in 1945 so that is unlikely to have an effect. But apparently the declaration of war by the USSR was a significant factor which shortened the war that is often overlooked by American historians.

    Not sure how it related to saving Nell's life since there were obviously many dangers after the Japanese surrender for Dutch nationals in Indonesia anyway (as mentioned above).
    Even stronger statement is correct. There was no need to bomb Japan - they were about to surrender anyway. The only reasons why USA bombed Japan were 1) to try a new weapon and 2) scare Russians to make them more agreeable. Hundreds of thousands dead was a sacrifice they were happy to make. Never said sorry btw.

  5. #35
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    I noticed that President, in attempting to justify the bombing mentioned of saving 250,000 American servicemen lives by the bombing (i.e. to make Japan surrender unconditionally), yet in the nuke debates of the seventies and eighties the figure by conservative forces were only 40,000 lives were saved. It appears that Negasaki had already being bombed 5 times and so an unimportant city already. Also mentioned yesterday was how about 50 Japanese cities were already destroyed so another 2 more did not make a difference. They stated that they were afraid of the USSR destroying their emperor system (the emperor may have been frightened).
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Today (in my American time) is the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, which probably saved Nell's life, and she is still going strong at 100.
    The war was already lost. In fact some sources suggest that the war was both 1) perfect excuse for the US to test their bomb and 2) perfect excuse for Japan (at the cost of many lives) to justify the surrender. Other than that, no other accomplishements - just a humanitarian tragedy that killed many people.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    The war was already lost. In fact some sources suggest that the war was both 1) perfect excuse for the US to test their bomb and 2) perfect excuse for Japan (at the cost of many lives) to justify the surrender. Other than that, no other accomplishements - just a humanitarian tragedy that killed many people.
    The problem is, the Japs would not admit that it was lost. Even after the second bomb, the hardliners wanted to continue their Ketsu-Gō or decisive battle plan. The surrender was not until 15 August. Also, the last throes of the Japs were the worst—each month that the war was prolongued cost a quarter of a million lives, mainly in Japan's conquered Asian territories. Truman not unjustifiably feared a country-wide repeat of the Okinawa slaughter.

    Emperor Shōwa himself admitted that a major factor in the surrender was the bomb:

    Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

    Historian and priest Fr./Dr. Wilson Miscamble of the University of Notre Dame has a thoroughly researched book and video on the facts: The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan (Cambridge Essential Histories), 2011; and

    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  8. #38
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    A video on the ethics of dropping the bomb does nothing to advance the thesis that it shortened the war. In the review to Miscamble's book MD Gordin staes the main issue...

    So why did the Japanese government surrender? We simply do not know the answer, because we do not have records of the deliberations of those August days; they were destroyed between surrender on August 15th and the American occupation on September 2nd. Studies by scholars such as Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan, 2005), based on archival work in English, Russian, and Japanese, and Sadao Asada (“The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan’s Decision to Surrender—A Reconsideration,” 1998)9 are forced to rely on testimonies from a subset of those involved (key military officials had committed suicide), all of which exonerate Emperor Hirohito from blame. (These retrospective accounts may very well be accurate; we just have no way of corroborating them.) In Miscamble’s account, analogous to the compression of the atomic-bombing assumption to a unitary decision by Truman, the crucial moment collapses to the emperor without elaboration: “In his own crucial deliberations the atomic attacks appeared to weigh most heavily” (p. 99). The evidence is too thin to make so precise a judgment, and Miscamble offers no hint that there are grounds for reasonable debate. (The same body of evidence can be used, for example, to argue that Hirohito delayed surrender: Herbert Bix, “Japan’s Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation,” 1995).
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #39
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    A video on the ethics of dropping the bomb does nothing to advance the thesis that it shortened the war. In the review to Miscamble's book MD Gordin staes the main issue...
    A video summarizes the main points of the book. Who is MD Gordin?

    So what do you think Truman should have done instead? As far as he could tell, the Japs were prepared to fight as suicidally as in Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He knew that the Japs had threatened to execute POWs if the home islands were invaded. He knew the mounting death toll in Asia every month the war was prolonged. Also, if no nukes were dropped, the Allies would have continued with the conventional bombing that had cost most lives than the two nukes.

    Robert James Maddox, Professor of History Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, wrote a highly critical review of Hasegawa's book.

    Critics of Truman, including MB above, fail to differentiate between Japan hopelessly losing the war and Japan admitting to itself that it was hopelessly losing the war. Note that Soviet Marshal Alexandr Vasilyevsky's victorious invasion of Manchukuo didn't start until three days after Hiroshima, and Emperor Shōwa didn't give this as a reason.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 07-08-2015 at 01:58 PM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    A video summarizes the main points of the book. Who is MD Gordin?
    Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton.

    http://www.princeton.edu/history/peo...?netid=mgordin

    The point is that Truman didn't make a conscious decision to drop the bomb. The entire war effort was premised on the assumption that it would be used pretty much as soon as it was ready and there doesn't seem to have been any presidential level deliberation based on the calculus of the death toll of the bomb vs the death toll of a land invasion of the whole Japanese archipelago.

    Regardless of the ethical side of the American use of the A bomb, the fact remains that the argument that it was more or less decisive than the USSR declaration of war cannot be known definitively. As I said in my original post, the USSR declaration has been overlooked by many American historians (many of whom put forward the orthodox view) and there is some argument that the significance of an imminent Soviet involvement in the Pacific theatre was at least as important.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    Even stronger statement is correct. There was no need to bomb Japan - they were about to surrender anyway.
    Your evidence for this is, what, exactly? Hiroshima was 6 Aug, Nagasaki 9 Aug, but even then the Japs didn't want to surrender and didn't until the 15th. Historian Richard Frank writes:

    The Japanese did not see their situation as catastrophically hopeless. They were not seeking to surrender, but pursuing a negotiated end to the war that preserved the old order in Japan, not just a figurehead emperor. Finally, thanks to radio intelligence, American leaders, far from knowing that peace was at hand, understood—as one analytical piece in the ‘Magic’ Far East Summary stated in July 1945, after a review of both the military and diplomatic intercepts—that ‘until the Japanese leaders realize that an invasion can not be repelled, there is little likelihood that they will accept any peace terms satisfactory to the Allies.

    Also, war diaries show:

    HIDEKI Tojo, Japan's prime minister for much of World War II, wanted to keep fighting after the atomic bombings because he believed surrender was a disgrace, according to journal entries published today. Tojo, an army general, ordered the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought the US into World War II but was forced out as premier in 1944 as the tide of the conflict turned.

    “ ‘Without fully employing its abilities even at the final moment, the imperial nation is surrendering before the enemies’ propaganda,’ Tojo wrote, as quoted by the newspaper. ‘I never imagined the torpor of the nation’s leaders and people,’ he wrote.
    “Tojo said that Japan was surrendering because it was afraid of more atomic bombings and of the Soviet Union entering the Pacific front.
    “But Tojo warned Japan ‘will come off as a complete loser by accepting unconditional surrender, even if it makes a few demands.’ ”

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    The only reasons why USA bombed Japan were 1) to try a new weapon and 2) scare Russians to make them more agreeable.
    How about: doing what the Potsdam Declaration warned about: using a new, far more powerful weapon. The main reason was not to scare the Russians but to scare the Japs, who were preparing to defend the home islands with the ferocity of Okinawa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    Hundreds of thousands dead was a sacrifice they were happy to make. Never said sorry btw.
    Nor should they. It's the Japs who should say sorry for their undeclared attack on Pearl Harbor, their brutalization of Asia, sadistic treatment of POWs, and using Korean women as sex slaves.

    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    I noticed that President, in attempting to justify the bombing mentioned of saving 250,000 American servicemen lives by the bombing (i.e. to make Japan surrender unconditionally), yet in the nuke debates of the seventies and eighties the figure by conservative forces were only 40,000 lives were saved.
    Not serious: the Battle of tiny Okinawa cost America over 20k dead, and the Japanese over 77k soldiers plus 30–100k civilians (depending on the source), out of a total population of 300k.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  12. #42
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton.

    http://www.princeton.edu/history/peo...?netid=mgordin
    Right. His review wasn't even that unfavorable, and he clearly thinks that the main revisionists have lost the argument:

    Miscamble’s The Most Controversial Decision provides the most succinct and up-to-date version of the orthodox account of the atomic bombing of Japan, and those looking to direct students to such a book would be well advised to use it.11 The orthodox have, after all, effectively countered Alperovitz’ main ontentions. The historiography now needs to go beyond the twinned argumentative structures of orthodoxy and revisionism. Instead of trying to connect the military and political lines, historians might focus on the points of rupture (which could perhaps explain the puzzling contrast between wartime competence and postwar confusion concerning the bomb), trace the careers of mid-level individuals who straddle both periods, or follow the military history of the bomb more comprehensively into the postwar period. In any event, it is certainly time to stop talking about revisionism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The point is that Truman didn't make a conscious decision to drop the bomb. The entire war effort was premised on the assumption that it would be used pretty much as soon as it was ready and there doesn't seem to have been any presidential level deliberation based on the calculus of the death toll of the bomb vs the death toll of a land invasion of the whole Japanese archipelago.
    Yet Miscamble documents the casualty estimates shown to Truman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Regardless of the ethical side of the American use of the A bomb, the fact remains that the argument that it was more or less decisive than the USSR declaration of war cannot be known definitively. As I said in my original post, the USSR declaration has been overlooked by many American historians (many of whom put forward the orthodox view) and there is some argument that the significance of an imminent Soviet involvement in the Pacific theatre was at least as important.
    The USSR invasion was also apparently overlooked by the emperor, who instead mentioned this new terrible bomb.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Right. His review wasn't even that unfavorable, and he clearly thinks that the main revisionists have lost the argument:
    In terms of the claims that the A-bomb events were a demonstration of force to the Soviets and were explicitly known to be unnecessary from a military point of view, that is correct. However that is not the issue of contention here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Yet Miscamble documents the casualty estimates shown to Truman.
    Sure but does not change the fact that the decision was effectively made a long time before that and the integration of the nuclear weapon program in the war effort meant there was no decision point for Truman to consider those estimates and make some decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    The USSR invasion was also apparently overlooked by the emperor, who instead mentioned this new terrible bomb.
    As already shown the critical documentation and key eye witnesses were never available to the Americans and so a definitive determination cannot be make to the level of confidence attempted by Miscamble.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    In terms of the claims that the A-bomb events were a demonstration of force to the Soviets and were explicitly known to be unnecessary from a military point of view, that is correct. However that is not the issue of contention here.
    Clearly it is, since Vlad was spouting that discredited revisionist view. Maddox points out that Truman seemed happy to learn of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, which shows how unreasonable the "scare the Soviets" idea is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Sure but does not change the fact that the decision was effectively made a long time before that and the integration of the nuclear weapon program in the war effort meant there was no decision point for Truman to consider those estimates and make some decision.
    He still had to order the bombing, and we know about the various casualty estimates of an invasion of the home islands. When Okinawa was fresh in American minds, the estimates were very persuasive. Michael Kort also scathingly reviewed Hasegawa's attempt to revitalize the demolished revisionist case (Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society 7(3), January/February 2006):

    Revisionism’s heyday lasted until the 1990s. Then the historiographical ground began to shift. A new body of scholarly work emerged, often based on hitherto unavailable documents, which countered revisionist arguments that the atomic bomb was primarily a diplomatic weapon in 1945, that Japan would have surrendered prior to the planned U.S. invasion had the bomb not been used, and that projected casualty figures for the anticipated invasion of Japan were far lower than those cited by supporters of the decision to use the bomb. The scholars producing these books and articles provided powerful support for Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan. Thus Edward Drea’s MacArthur’s Ultra: Codebreaking and the War against Japan (1992) chronicled how Allied intelligence tracked the Japanese military buildup on the southernmost home island of Kyushu in the months prior to Hiroshima, a buildup that demonstrated Tokyo’s intent to fight to the bitter end and rendered all “low” casualty estimates dating from the spring and early summer of 1945—the estimates relied upon by revisionist historians—obsolete and irrelevant months before American soldiers were scheduled to land in Japan. In 1995 Robert P. Newman’s Truman and the Hiroshima Cult demolished the credibility of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey’s claim that Japan would have surrendered in the fall of 1945 absent both the atomic bombs and the Soviet entry into the war, while Robert James Maddox’s Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Later effectively dismantled what was left of the “atomic diplomacy” thesis. Two years later, in “Casualty Projections for the U.S. Invasion of Japan, 1945-1946: Planning and Policy Implications” (The Journal of Military History, July 1997), D. M. Giangreco conclusively documented the existence of enormous casualty projections, some of which undeniably reached Truman and his top advisors. The next year, in “The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan’s Decision to Surrender––A Reconsideration” (Pacific Historical Review, November 1998), Sadao Asada, relying on a thorough review of Japanese-language sources, exposed as untenable the contention that Japan was prepared to surrender before Hiroshima or that a modification of the Potsdam Declaration guaranteeing the status of the emperor would have produced a Japanese surrender.

    These and other works culminated in Richard B. Frank’s Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, published in 1999. Frank brought together the evidence already mentioned and a great deal more, including crucial Japanese-language sources, leaving virtually every aspect of the revisionist case in tatters. It was not long before Downfall gained widespread recognition as the definitive work on the subject. Against this background, the cancellation of the Smithsonian Institution’s proposed exhibit to mark the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, which relied almost exclusively on revisionist scholarship, was only the most publicized setback suffered by proponents of the revisionist case during the 1990s.

    Hasegawa’s Racing the Enemy runs counter to this scholarly current.

    Michael Kort is professor of social science at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has written several books on the Cold War and the Soviet Union, including The Columbia Guide to the Cold War (Columbia University Press, 1998).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    As already shown the critical documentation and key eye witnesses were never available to the Americans and so a definitive determination cannot be make to the level of confidence attempted by Miscamble.
    But we have the diaries discovered showing that there were powerful forces in Japan opposed to surrendering even after the bomb.

    Miscamble's book shows that even high-up generals didn't really understand the bomb; they just thought it was basically an extremely powerful explosive, like dropping thousands of tonnes of TNT. So General Marshall had ideas that smaller nukes could be used to aid a land invasion,
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 08-08-2015 at 01:43 AM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  15. #45
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    If the Yanks would have taken out the Emperor and family instead of the A Bombs it would have been interesting. There may have been revenge on POW.

    Then the Japaneses could be complaining 100 years later as the Russian loyalists are still doing when their royal family were taken out by those dirty Bolsheviks.
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