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Was America justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Japan?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Trip Jab, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Trip Jab

    Trip Jab New Member

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    I personally feel that it was a good thing to end the war and that the U.S was justified but at the same time I feel that America could have handled it some other way.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    No.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    How?
     
  4. Trip Jab

    Trip Jab New Member

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    I think that maybe we could have ended the war with some sort of peace treaty, but I suppose that Tojo had too much of an ego to do so. We perhaps could have dropped a none radioactive bomb, that way the people of Japan wouldn't still have the traces of radiation.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Tojo wasn't in the Cabinet then. Togo was, but he was, again, Foreign Minster.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And we did drop non-radioactive bombs. They burned 16 square miles of Tokyo one night.
     
  7. Trip Jab

    Trip Jab New Member

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    Oh okay. So does this mean that a peace treaty was possible in some way or was the government of Japan have too concerned with self- pride (or something of that nature)?
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    a
    We did end the war with some sort of peace treaty...Treaty of Peace with Japan, signed in San Francisco, by 48 nations, on September 8, 1951, and entered in to force on April 28, 1952.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_San_Francisco

    As to entering into a peace treaty prior to dropping the Atomic bombs, it was a very, very, very remote possibility. The United States was not about to do so, simply for the fact that by entering into a peace treaty, would mean peace on Japanese terms, and not peace on US terms. The US was looking for a sound military defeat of Japan, to prevent the fiasco that led to the rise of Nazi Germany, ie. - the military was stabbed in the back by the politicians.
    Further along these lines, the Japanese were unlikely to agree to American terms, as the Japanese were holding out for retaining their holdings in Manchukuo and Korea, which the United States was not about to let them keep. There were some other terms that the Japanese were holding out for, but they escape me at the moment. But, suffice it to say that neither side was going to agree to terms of a treaty.


    A non-radioactive bomb...How quaint. If we could have developed a 12,000 - 16,000 ton bomb...What weapons system would we have used to deliver it?

    Not to mention that we had turned to ash roughly 50%-75% of the area of most of Japan's large and medium sized cities.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    There were very few, if any, in the Japanese Cabinet who wanted a peace treaty. The naval "war party" wanted no part of any peace discussion. The Japanese people were taught how to repel the invaders using whatever means possible. An American blockade (is this better, lwd?) of Japan was considered, but it would have resulted in millions of civilian deaths. An invasion of the Home Islands would likewise have caused unacceptable losses on both sides. Dropping the bomb was a military necessity. At the time, there was there was general agreement with this policy. Later backtracking was more "Monday morning quarterbacking".
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    My grandfather was in Tokyo late December, 1945. He said you could look as far as you wanted in either direction and not see a building standing, the fires had been so widespread.
     
  11. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Are you referring to the various radiation-related illnesses, or the radiation itself? Neither Hiroshima or Nagasaki are (or were) radioactive. The radiation levels were low even in the immediate aftermath of the bombings due to the fact that both weapons had low yields and were air-bursts. Completely off-topic, but recent research including data from Hiroshima in particular has brought to light convincing evidence that - contrary to popular belief - low levels of radiation are harmless or even beneficial to health.

    EDIT for clarity and to satisfy CAC ;): By "radioactive" I mean "radiation above background levels". There is of course natural radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just as there is everywhere else in the world.
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    It is funny to me that the navy wanted to continue the war, when they had very few ships with which to continue the fighting. If I am not mistaken, by August, 1945 all but about one or two of the ships that participated in the Pearl Harbor attack had been sunk.
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Yes GP...there is more uranium in the world than gold...in trace amounts...just about every house brisk has uranium in it and has radioactivity..im not sure about the beneficial side unless we are talking cancer...
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The militarists wouldn't allow a peace treaty. The ambassadors to Switzerland and Sweden were begging for instructions on what they could say about peace, and were getting nothing. We were reading their communications and knew that the Cabinet was split on this and the guys with the guns were saying "NO!"
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Bushido. They refused to accept the idea of defeat. And they had literally thousands of minisubs, manned torpedoes and suicide boats to command.
     
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  16. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    In common informal usage, "radioactive" means "radiation above background levels". You are referring to background radiation. Radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not above background levels. Of course radiation is natural and is present everywhere (but note that most of it does not come from uranium). Most people could care less about background radiation and won't even think of the fact that they're being irradiated every day. For example, you get significant radiation from the sun and cosmic rays. In fact, you get a dose about 50-100% higher living in a city like Denver CO than you would get in New York City yet I have never heard of anyone moving to minimize their dose. By eating a single banana you are ingesting radioactive Potassium, yet I hardly hear people stating that bananas are radioactive and taking steps to avoid such a horrifying activity.

    And uranium in your house is of magnitudes less importance than Radon. Vitrified uranium in the concentrations you'd find in a brick pose no health threat.

    EDIT: As for the potential lack of negative impact and/or benefits of low radiation doses, see this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2663584/
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    We knew next to nothing about "fall out" or residual radiation then. Teams from Alamagordo were in the cities a few weeks after the test. Col. Groves and Oppenheimer were photographed right next to the tower of the Trinity Test the day after that first bomb went off.
     
  18. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I agree 100pc GP...my memory says that the Japanese over turned the top 2 meters of ground to "bury the ground radiation"
     
  19. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Absolutely correct. There was no knowledge of fallout so the fact that both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki drops were air bursts had nothing to do with an intent to lower residual radiation. In regards to Trinity, yes -- I've seen the photos. Makes you cringe a bit, doesn't it? Unlike Fat Man and Little Boy, Gadget's fireball did touch the ground with the result that ground zero is still about 10 times above background IIRC.
     
  20. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Was America justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Japan? Read up on a few items like the Rape of Nanking and The Bataan Death March for starters, and for shitz and giggles, look at the way the Japanese bastards treated POWs in general.

    I think we should've dropped more. We had them coming off the assembly lines. Just one mission with a dozen or so atomic bomb loaded B-29s targeting various targets in Japan at one time. That would've have been something to see. Or hear.

    So I vote absolutely YES.
     

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