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What if: The US did not drop the bombs?

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by TheImPaLeR, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    JW, can you (or anyone) imagine the level of death if the allies had been required to actually put "boots on the soil" of Japan? Every Japanese, of both genders trained and ready to kill the "invader". Americans would have to kill every Japanese person they saw, no matter the age or gender just out of "self defense".

    I'm glad that never had to come to pass. PTSD would be a term we Americans came to know much earlier and with much more impact than we had to post-WW2.
     
  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Noted
     
  3. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    I wonder though, considering the likely fact that the Allies could likely suffer 100,000 causalities within a month in a half; could that be the negotiated peace that the Japanese were hoping for?

    It would be logical to assume that entire divisions could be shattered and disintegrate in short times when one considers the population density of furious soldiers and Militia, would the high Allied casualties scare the American populus into negotiations?
     
  4. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I think the threat of so many Allied casualties played a large role in the decision to drop the bombs. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I firmly believe that had the powers that be knew the extent of the devastation the two bombs caused they might very well have decided to continue with conventional munitions. I am also very certain that there was a :"Holy Sh*t what have we done" response when the full magnitude of the bombing was realized; not unlike the feeling of "awakening a sleeping giant" the Japanese experienced after Pearl Harbor.

    The opinions, previously voiced, regarding the "Humanitarian" aspect of using Atomic weapons holds less credence than using them in "reciprocity" for Pearl Harbor. Simply put the bombs were the newest biggest things to drop from a plane and go boom. Nobody knew the extent of the damage they would cause, they just knew that they were big and they worked.
     
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  5. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    And as I have argued before the severe fuel shortage would have lead to far more misery for the Japanese in the winter of 1945-1946 ,as it was the Allies just did get fuel to the Japanese Home Islands in time to avert that potential disaster so even a delay of a month or two would have been very,very bad for the Japanese people . Thanks for bringing up the rice crop failure just another nail in the coffin for anybody arguing against the bombs being dropped .
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    And if they had them, they wouldn't hesitate for a nanosecond to use them on us. They would probably duct tape a samurai sword on it before dropping it....
     
  7. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Well I probably worded it wrong . I meant he researched to try & find out what the Japanese themselves were thinking or rather discussing amongst themselves at the time .
     
  8. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Yes but remember that "Fatman" had already been tested in New Mexico in July so they had some idea how powerful they were.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not at all sure about that. Indeed continueing fire bombing and blockade was going to be a lot worse for the Japanese. I've also read though I don't have the source at hand that the mass sucides of Japanese civilians on Okinawa had a significant impact to use the bombs.
     
  10. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Alright, we'll do this one at a time:

    Any document he used would have to be generated prior to 6 August , 1945. Anything after that date would have been influenced by the release of Atomic weapons. I would suspect to find that any Japanese document, regarding the continuation of the war, created after 6 August 1945 to be very concillatory, remorseful and void of hope. I am suprised that there aren't some documents created after the Bomb was dropped which state how the Japanese people were waiting anxiously for the warm embrace of the Allied soldiers and how they were decorating Hiroshima/Nagasaki for a "Welcome GI's" parade in their honor.

    This is true; however, the test had no way of replicating the conditions at Hiroshima or Nagasaki (i.e, buildings, people etc.). Here is a link to Maj. Gen. Groves' After Action Report:

    Memorandum for the Secretary of Way, July 18, 1945

    The only "Humanity" taken into consideration was that for the Allied troops. I think any references to humanitary notions towards the "saving of Japanese lives through the use of Atomic weapons" is to make Sweeny and Tibbets sleep at night. Much the same way my dad would say: "this is for your own good" right before he spanked the daylights out of me. If the bomb had failed and was unavailable in August conventional bombing would have continued.

     
  11. Anderan

    Anderan Member

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    Just a note, the firbombing of Tokyo actually produced more casualties than either of the atom bombs, individually not combined.
     
  12. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I am sorry, I worded that line poorly (if you are referring to my post). You are correct, the Tokyo fatalities and casualties exceeded the atomics individually, not combined. That said conventional explosive and firebombings did kill and wound between two and three times more Japanese non-combatants than the two atomics, combined.

    Or at least that is how I read the stats., even though the records of who and how many were living in the cities destroyed were kept in the same cities, and lost along with the people. This makes an accurate accounting difficult to say the least. The best records for Hiroshima's population ended up being the "round 'a bout" method of tallying up the military and civilian ration allotments for the district, not the actual figures for the city.
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    My grandfather got off the boat in Nagasaki and then traveled north to Tokyo, passing through a great many cities including Hiroshima. He specifically mentioned Fukuoka, Osaka, Yokohama and Nagoya.

    He was of the opinion that Tokyo was damaged far worse than either of the cities hit by atomic weapons, although with a larger loss of life by the aircrews in Tokyo than with the single bombs. Granted, Nagasaki and Hiroshima were both pretty much knocked out of war, so to speak, and where they were damaged, the damage was total or severe, but to my grandfather it did not appear to be as widespread as some other conventionally bombed cities.

    He stayed in the Isetan building* in downtown Tokyo. He told me that he could look as far as he wanted in any direction see practically no buildings still standing and they were still finding what was left of corpses as late as early 1946.

    *it was made of stone and the only standing, undamage building in the area. Isetan Shinjuku Store, Main Building Tokyo
     
  14. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Interesting that there were casualties reported almost 10 miles from the hypocenter of the detonation. The article goes on to describe the various long term illnesses attributed to "Atom Bomb Sickness".

    Granted the devestation brought by conventional munitions is noteworthy; but, the ability Atomic weapons have to taint a civilzation's gene pool for generations is down right impressive. That is the extent of the devastation I was referring to.
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    A comment had been made to the effect that we needed to look at observations and thoughts available to persons at the time of the bombings, as to the morality of their use, as determined by those living at the time.

    I was providing anecdotal information about extent of structural damage apparent to a person present then. Due to my grandfather's travels throughout Japan, he could observe bombing effects, unscientific as it was, and compare the damage that was readily apparent in multiple cities.

    He had no idea of the numbers of overt or latent casualties caused by the blast, fire or radiation exposure. He could could only casually assess the physical strutural damage to the buildings in each city as he was there.
     
  16. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Does anyone doubt that after the creation of such a weapon, that it would be used? If we look a bit further than a question of morals during a time of total war, could one say that the evidence, and lessons learned from the effects of the bombs, prevented there use in the future. If not Hiroshima then we would be discussing the atomic bombing of any number of other cities. The question being debated over and over is did the bombings save lives? I feel that yes it did, but not just Japanese lives. The threat of MAD during the cold war kept both side from firing at the other.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You sound awfully certain of that. Do you have anything to back it up?

    A quick look at wiki for instance shows:
    Operation Downfall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    If there was no concern about Japanese civilian casualties why bother to estimate them?
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That may depend on what estimates you use and how you calculate the numbers for instance looking at wiki for the Tokyo numbers:
    Bombing of Tokyo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    While at:
    Total Casualties | The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | Historical Documents | atomicarchive.com
    The total fatalities for both bombs are listed as 105,000 roughly the same. However if the Tokyo Fire Department estimate is correct the total number of firebombing fatalities in Tokyo probably exceeded the bombs by a considerable number.
     
  19. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    While I am not attempting to lessen the effects of the radiation here, it must also be remembered that what was known about the radiation that would be produced and its effects was limited to say the least.

    But with that as the paradigm, one cannot project nor alter the plans for the present (1945) with information that was unknown at the time. It was only later that the effects became more well understood, and here is an Abstract from the latest study I have seen.

    The 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bombings was commemorated in August 2005. By the end of 1945, according to the reports from both city governments, 140,000 and 70,000 deaths had occurred among inhabitants in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively (one would assume these included later deaths from radiation sickness and burns as well).

    In order to investigate late effects of atomic bomb radiation on humans, 94,000 survivors were selected and registered as cohort members of an epidemiological study, LSS (Life Span Study). On the other hand, comprehensive efforts have been continued to estimate radiation dose to individual survivors. The latest version of the dosimetry system, DS02 (Dosimetry System 2002) was adopted in 2003. Radiation dose at 1 m above the ground in open field at 1 km from the hypocenter was estimated to be 4.5 and 8.7 Gy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, while at 2 km it was 0.08 and 0.14 Gy.

    According to the recent LSS report for the period of 1950-2000, among 86,611 survivors to whom individual dose was estimated, there have been 47,685 deaths (55%), including 10,127 from solid cancer and 296 from leukemia. The statistical analysis of the recent LSS data supports a linear-quadratic dose-response model for solid cancer, while the previous analyses indicated a linear dose-response. A linearquadratic model is suggested for leukemia. (emphasis mine)

    See:

    SpringerLink - Book Chapter

    Of course the uniqueness of the atomic bombings also gave an unprecedented opportunity for the medical community to monitor the effects of radiation on cancer growths, and other radiation related illnesses. These have been ongoing and recorded since 1950 (I think) and here is a link to one from 1982.

    The table at the bottom of the page is interesting as well.

    See:

    CHAPTER 4, Overview of a Uniquely Valuable Database, RADIATION-INDUCED CANCER FROM LOW-DOSE EXPOSURE

    Now, that all said I have also seen and lost the link of course which compared those in the survey with all other Japanese outside of the areas under study. The findings there were odd, if I remember correctly the solid cancer and leukimia rates were only moderately elevated over the Japanese norm for people of the same ages and genders. I'll keep looking for that table, I know I have it somewhere. I just had those in a favorites file in my 'puter itself. The others are probably on an iomega zip disk somewhere.
     
  20. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Only this wich is a first hand account either taken from General Grove's After Action Report or an Army Correspondent who witnessed the initial test on July 18th 1945. He refers to a general attitude of those involved:



     

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