Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

WMD...was it so necessary?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Brandon Lee, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    44
    About religious pandering in reference to the BEAST you are taking you are taking 70s and later culture topics and placing it back in the 40s. Main stream religion back the wasnt as into Revelation as interpreted later at that time. It would have been ver fringe and insignificant politically.

    Beast as a word though would have been commonly used.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Not as defined in in the conventions of war at the time nor as most understand the words. The attack was targeted vs military and industrial targets not the civilian population.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    The first paragraph is rather incoherent. It was not a war crime and the rules the "winners" made after the war were considerably more restrictive.

    As to the second it is simply not a logical argument. We've had detailed discussions on what the West knew about the Holocaust and when and there is little that could have been done about it. It's also rather irrelevant to the war in the Pacfic. It certainly does nothing to invalidate the US concern over Japanese civilian casualties which is well documented.

    As for the rest saying it was "cruel" is a value judgment that conveys little of import. Which is a fairly accurate description of the rest of your rant.
     
  4. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    44
    L w d criticisms coming from u I will take as a compliment.

    Most major decisions in life are value judgements including yours. You just don't admit it.

    Incoherent is a good definition of some of your non value rants. B t w Merry Christmas!
    You really should learn the art of dialog. Maybe Santa will bring some your way.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Indeed I value logic, reason, and fact based discussions. Saying something was "cruel" is not only an opinion and a value judgment but it adds very little to the discussion. As stated war is "cruel" was dropping the bombs anymore cruel than letting famine set in? or bombing the targets in the various cities around the world? Ranting that one thing is "cruel" without any perspective on the matter is of little import or use in furthering either knowledge or understanding. Indeed the term "waste of bandwidth" comes to mind. By the way I'd like to know just which of my posts you consider "incoherent". My posts are not without their flaws but do try to make them coherent. When I rant by the way (which I do on occasion) it is indeed usually "value" based but I try to make sure that is clear as are the values I'm ranting about.
     
  6. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    I believe the point, and correct me if I'm wrong Hawk, is that they were military targets but essentially, as with the case in WWII, civilians bore a brunt of the barrages.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well I don't think anyone here has claimed that civilian casualties didn't exceed military ones but that's true of all the strategic bombing efforts I believe. Likewise it's not unreasonable to say that war in general id "cruel" so what's the point on harping on one particular issue without any attempt to put it in perspective. Indeed since the atomic bombs had the potential, which was arguably realized, to end the war were they really "cruel" with respect to the reasonable alternatives?
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    You say you agree with the above, so do I.

    Ending the War.

    It is the moral obligation of any responsible leader to end a war a quickly as possible in a manner that meets the national goal for going into a war unless that reason was morally bankrupt from the beginning or the methods used were worse than any other. Japan attacked/declared on us, so our reasons for fighting were justified. There existed only 4 viable options to end the conflict, two (Invasion & Blockade) would have cost infinitely more in lives, treasure and money. Accepting Japan's terms to end the conflict would be as quick as the bomb and 'cheap' but would leave her with at least some of her Empire and with the same delusion Germany fostered after the Great War, that they had not really been beaten. Even Hirohito's statement echoed this in his comment that the war situation had developed 'not necessarily to Japan's advantage'. Germany's delusion brought a war a generation later that was infinity worse. Could we, should we risk a Third World war that even without Atomic weapons could be a order of magnitude worse than the previous two?

    Justify the Cost.

    As you point out a vast some was spent and even vaster resources expended to create this device. Its original intent was deterrence/retaliation in the event that our enemies produced/used one of their own. Both Germany and Japan had atomic programs themselves and what began as speculation became a race. Can you really imagine there would be any moral debate on the human cost of using these weapons on a allied target? Had they been held in check the debate we would now have is if the lives lost and cost in treasure either in conventional military end of the Pacific war or in a remilitarized Japan seeking a redo was justified on any moral qualms to use the Bomb.

    Deterring Russia.

    The victory in Europe gave proof the reality that the Alliance of the Western Powers and the Soviet Union was one of convenience and not one of convergent world views. With the Allies planing for demobilization the effectiveness of such a weapon could/would keep a Russia looking at expansion of her world influence and dominance of Europe in check. Even with it Russia engaged on a Cold War/Proxy War with the west when she could have invested her 'spoils' in her own economy/people.

    Lack of Incentives Not Use.

    You elect not to use a weapon only when it offers no value to use or if it will hurt you more than a enemy.

    Revenge.

    Japan had not fought the war by the generally accepted rules of war and Indeed Japanese military doctrine called for a pitiless attitude to her enemies, so she could expect the same if against all reason she refused to accept that she already had lost the war.
     
  9. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Bridlington East Riding Yorkshire England
    Takao - with such failure to see beyond the obvious no point continuing this. Strategically no need to us the Atom bomb. Cold blooded revenge and nothing more, just the US showing off. Looking back after so many years there is no other conclusion which can be drawn.

    Brian
     
  10. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    I am by far no expert on the PTO, but please, this is a very naive approach to this argument. It's revenge because of power and that's it?

    Are you taking your ball and going home?

    I am, and I believe, will always be divided on this issue. The alternative to using the bomb would NOT have ended the war any sooner and stretched out a conflict with a very dedicated and bitter enemy. Are you aware of what happened in Nanking? This was not just a government that was idly watching the rest of their allies commit horrendous acts, they set the bar very high for genocide. This reason alone symbolized their outlook. Now, the bomb murdered thousands upon thousands of innocent people, that I cannot forget and it is horrific, however, this was not a fateful decision based on greed or power, far from it.
     
  11. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    44
    LWD, we will never agree on certain things, largely semantics.

    WW2 was not one side being 100% right and the other 100% wrong. WW2 was a compilation of many things.

    We do not agree that dropping the bomb was about ending the war with the fewest amount of civilians being US, Japanese and otherwise.

    War is terrible and cruel. I will agree that some necessary decisions can be cruel.

    I do not think this decision was the correct decision AND I do not think it was moral, correct, or necessary any more than the US decision to let Stalin take Berlin was. My conclusion about that is that Truman wanted to let the Germans and Soviets do as much damage to themselves as necessary. A US assault on Berlin would have been the more humanitarian decision. I also think Britain was being selfish in the division as well, to secure their own place at the expense of the US and benefit of the USSR.

    But it would be nice not to move to insults to defend one's point.

    What happened...happened.

    There are plenty of opinions also about how to handle the middle east from nuking to letting them kill themselves with more reasonable arguments somewhere in between.
     
  12. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Bridlington East Riding Yorkshire England
    "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."
    ("Public Papers of the Presidents: Harry S Truman, 1945", pg. 197).

    Just about says it all.

    Now, not taking my bat and ball home just moving on to a new playing field.

    Brian
     
    KJ Jr likes this.
  13. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This has become yet another productive thread on the atomic bombings.

    Have we had a constructive one at any point in the past few years?
     
  14. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    Nicely stated
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    It's more than just semantics it doesn't even look to be "largely semantics" to me. There are important things that you just seam to be ignoring.

    As for WW2 being about one side being 100% right and the other 100% wrong. Certainly both sides did things that weren't right but The war itself was due to the power hunger on the parts of Japan, Germany, and USSR so in that regard they were 100% wrong at least IMO.

    The Truman papers clearly show that military and civilian casualties in the event of an invasion were considered to be of critical import. It was also clear that it was hoped that the bomb would end the war making either of the other alternative moot. So the evidence clearly points to the bomb use being designed to end the war and consequently minimize overall casualties among both the military and civilians of the powers in conflict. To state otherwise is to ignore reality. Certainly other issues would factor into dropping the bomb but the evidence is pretty clear on what was the driving issue. As such it was not only the correct decision but the most moral solution.

    Insults?

    Not sure how the Middle East got into this discussion but IMO it's far from a one dimensional problem and I don't sea any reasonable positions along the line you defined.
     
  16. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    New England
    :) touche
     
    Brian Smith likes this.
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Only to someone who has already made up their mind and doesn't want to be confused with additional facts and reason.
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,654
    Likes Received:
    2,202
    Location:
    Alabama
    Brian,

    I can not disagree with you more stringently.

    The US lost more than 20,000 dead and over 55,000 with physical wounds taking Okinawa. The Japanese lost in excess of 77,000 dead, with an estimated 40-150,000 Okinawan civilians dead.

    All this for an island of 1200 square miles.

    Japan is 145,000 square miles.

    The numbers work out to about 62 US casualties per square mile taking Okinawa. Imagine what the numbers would have been taking the whole of Japan. Imagine again the numbers of civilian dead. It would have been horrendous.
     
    Otto and von Poop like this.
  19. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    I do not subscribe to the ulterior motives such as 'revenge' and 'teaching the Russians how good the US was' and so on.

    I my view it was all about American dead and wounded, without any real thought to Japanese dead, together with a sharp eye on public opinion. I believe from a reading that the 'polls' had the public sick of the ever rising casualties on Saipan/Iwo Jima/Okinawa etc, that indicated a slowing of public support over all. IMHO, Truman made the most courageous decision of all, and the right one.

    As I have said, what would the widows have done if he had let 'Olympic' go ahead?

    John
     
  20. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    31
    Slipdigit,

    Beat me by 2 minutes!
     

Share This Page