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Would you consider the atomic bombs a war crime?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by thecanadianfool, May 5, 2012.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I think most of the controversy is centered around the targets. If the bombs had been dropped at say Kure or Sasebo (military bases) the psychological effect would have been just as great (and it might well have killed just as many civilians...), but it would have been a military target and as such, less controversial.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

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

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    The cities were military headquarters for their prefects, and housing large numbers of troops. One of the bombs went almost directly overhead of some 5,000 IJA troops lined up for inspection. They were military targets. The confusion may result from the fact that they weren't bombed earlier. This was because they were put on the list of target cities before the USAAF could start bombing and the USN started making their regular visits to the home islands. The presupposition seems to be that if they weren't bombed earlier it was because there was no reason to do so. This is wrong.
     
  3. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Lets make something perfectly clear about "The Manhatten Project".

    It was concieved to be used against the theat of GERMANY. The threat posed by Germany, and later Japan, was a national emergencey that pushed the U.S. into speeding up development of this weapon. Had these circumstances not arisen, it is doubtful in the extreme whther the U.S. would have had the capacity to put the 'Project' into operation for many decades. Likely congress would not have approved this at all, but any objections to construction of this weapon were, rightly, brushed aside by the circumstances of the hour.

    So....blame the government of Adolf hitler for the bomb's construction.

    As to it's use, Japanese generals continued to hold out in the hope that the United States would "Tire of their losses" and negotiate a peace settlement. The doctrine of uncondidtional surrender suited perfectly their 'never say die' attitude to the conflict. Would they have had this attitude if their knowlege of exactly what the bomb was and how near it was to completion in 1944 have changed this 'never surrender' idiocy? Probably....but to tell your enemy exactly what you are up to is patently far silllier....so....blame the Japanese government for the U.S. having to use it in anger.

    An after effect was to keep the Russians firmly out of the occupation zone when Japan finally surrendered. This was the best thing that happened at the end of the Pac War. No meddling by the soviets. In fact, Stalin had been totally OBSTINATE about direct co-operation in the past, (look at what happened to the "Shuttle Raids" of the *th AAF, and to the co-operation from the soviets when the London Poles attempted to liberate Warsaw on their own. Was there any help from the 1st Ukrainian front then? Oh no! They claimed their offensive had "run out of steam", or that the "rasputista" stopped their advance cold.

    Very convenient from a country claiming to be 'expert' at the military management of such weather condidtions...

    Yet, Stalin managed to redeploy much troops and material to "support his allies" in a Pacific War that was already looking like a decisive 'win' for the U.S., in the name of 'support'? What balderdash! The Russian went into the Pacific for the express purpose of grabbing anything they could, and to gain a seat at the conference table...

    The 'Bomb" stopped all of that nonsense, dead in it's tracks. We had nothing to gain from soviet participation in the Pacific War, and Stalin looked very suspicious when he claimed to be attacking for our 'benefit'. Stalin was nothing more than a self serving liar, and I'm happy we dropped the bomb, despite the obvious distress and mayhem it caused to the Japanese people.

    Funny how a militaristic people like the Japanese can now claim to have 'turned over a new leaf' simply for being the victims of a weapon that was dropped to counter their own militarism. Makes them look even more pigheaded than the Soviets....
     
  4. OpanaPointer

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

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    There were moderate in the Japanese government from Meiji times to the advent of the Tojo government. The militarism of the '30s was reactionary rather than endemic, at least in my opinion.
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IMO the distinction between civilian and military targets has no meaning when talking about area bombing and WMDs, when your weapons are so inaccurate or devastating that there is a 100% certainity you are going to kill civilians, and lots of them, it makes no sense to state you are targetting a "miltary" target.
    I believe whole concept of making war by massacring civilians is aborrent, it's basically genocide, and there's a lot of evidence the bombers were doing exactly that, whether the A-bomb was a war crime I leave to the lawyers, as the people who wrote the treaties in effect at the time had no idea such a thing could be built it's not likely they addressed the issue in an incontroversial way.
    BTW nearly everybody who had a functional airforce played with "strategic bombing", the never sufficiently cursed Douet's theories of "strategic air warfare" were just too appealing to the fledgeling air services as it promised them independence. The western allies were probably in a cathegory apart as they (especially Britain) dedicated a huge amount of the war effort to it. IMO the concept roved to be a bluff, it's threat worked great for Hitler at Munich and the shock effect of bombing was critical in bringing about Polish and Dutch surrender, but when the victims managed to survive the initial shock it ended up as onother, especially horrible, form of attrition warfare. BTW there was no certainity the bombs would have a "shock effect", against Hitler they probably would not have unless most of the Nazi hyerarchy was killed allowing for a successful coup.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I tend to agree, and I don't think dropping the bombs was a war crime. I'm just pointing out that it would be less "controversial" if they had been dropped on military targets. For that matter, why not the government district of Tokyo, or the emperors palace?
     
  7. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    The way I view it, It was a war crime but also wasn't.. It was a necessary evil.

    What I would class as a war crime would have been some of the later bombings in Germany especially the bombing of Dresden a war crime straight out.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

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

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    They did drop them on military targets, as noted above. The reason the Emperor wasn't targeted was because they were convinced that he was the only authority that every Japanese soldier would obey if a surrender was ordered.
     
  9. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    If you drop a bomb on The Emperor and or his govt and leaders, you have no one to lead a surrender or peace talks...Its why many an Irish terrorist sits in govt in Ulster today. Thats a terrible example I know, but as good as any other.
     
  10. scipio

    scipio Member

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    How about the fire-bombing of Tokyo with Gel\oil bombs which deliberately set fire to the densely packed wooden structures and led to the death of many more Japanese than caused by the Atom bomb. There was really no attempt to minimize civilian deaths (in fact it seems to have set out to maximise them) and although Truman claimed that he was hitting a military base at Hiroshima, I really don't think it was upmost in his mind. The key thing was to show the Japanese Government the enormous destructive power that the US now possessed.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

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

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    HE didn't do the job. The houses were wooden, so fire is the better choice. And they were housing war industries. That made them legitimate targets.
    Half-stepping won't win a war. And the "really" there means you don't know if they did or not.
    I've always wanted to meet a telepath. What am I thinking right now?
    Yep, "This is what we can do. We will do it until you surrender. Ask yourself when Tokyo gets one."
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I agree with OP. If the Japanese didn't surrender when we dropped the incendiaries, my feeling is that we do whatever was necessary. Read about Downfall and the preparations by the Japanese to use armed civilians and their military being prepared at the very locations we planned to invade before you make any judgments. While the incendiaries and the atomic bombs killed many, it pales in comparison with the loss of life invasion would have exacted. Even with the casualties, there were some in the Japanese cabinet who wanted to continue fighting, no matter the cost. Besides, the Japanese purposely spread their industry out in the belief that the US had no stomach to bomb civilian targets. Read the other threads on this topic, then you will see the arguments of all sides.
     
  13. denny

    denny Member

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    The "winners" of war are never tried for war crimes.
    The hypocrisy of USA policy is obvious.
    They screamed bloody murder when Japan committed a "sneak attack" at Pearl Harbor.
    When was the last time the USA declared war on a country, even though our armies have already invaded them.?
    Viet Nam is the classic case. We invaded them in 1962 and did not leave for over a decade. War crime.?
    Only countries with political and financial might can even consider such a ridiculous notion.
    Damn busters is patriotic, but not for "the othert side".?
    It is endless..... since the first club was leveraged against an "enemy".
    best
     
  14. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The options were A: quit the war and allow Japan to keep its colonies remaining in China where they killed millions, B: blockade Japan and starve them all to death or C: invade resulting the deaths of millions of civillians. Japan wanted a war and they got what they wanted. There was a coup attempt by officers after the second bomb to try to force the emperor to keep fighting. THe officers thought it would be better for Japan to die then surrender.
     
  15. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  16. OpanaPointer

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

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    D: If we had wanted to wave a big dick at Japan we could have dropped poison gas on the cities, driving the population into the countryside where they would have been exposed to the weather and starvation. Very clean, very little damage to property and the fields would have had large amounts of nutrients added for next year's crops.
     
    A-58 likes this.
  17. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    No, it isn't. I suggest that you read the previous posts in this thread.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

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

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    It's them there dang Californery hippies, I tell ya!
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Wrong.
    The Japanese attack on PH was indeed murder in the sense that it violated international law of the time. Care to give recent examples of where the US has violated international law in such a way?
    Not really. We never "invaded" Vietnam. We were invited in to supress an insurgency and defend against incursions from the North. Now one can debate how wise it was but it was not an invasion nor was in in contrivention to international law. Also note that some memebers of the US military were tried for war crimes during commited in Vietnam
    Damn busters is patriotic, but not for "the othert side".?
    It is endless..... since the first club was leveraged against an "enemy".
    best[/QUOTE]

    ??? You are waxing incoherent.
     
  20. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    its obvious, typical left winger who thinks every one else is okay in war, but if the US does it then it has to be equal to Hitler
     

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