Little Boy and Fat Man

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (5/3/01 8:34:18 pm)
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    OK, let's start the debate. Was the A-bomb necessary to end WWII?

    On the one side is the fact the home islands were in fact strangled by the Silent Service and Air, and dying a slow death. Tojo had already resigned, the Emperor was already wavering, tentative peace feelers had been put forward.

    On the other hand, we had a mutinous army in Europe rebelling on the first announcements they were being transferred to Japan after finishing "their war." Operation Downfall and the previous ones as well had indeed predicted 1,000,000 allied casualties (NOT deaths.)
    The US public was getting antsy, wanted the war to end, may not have tolerated another invasion where the sea ran red with US blood.

    I won't tell what I think until later, BUT my 17 year old son says we did the Japanese a favor. Sounds cold, but his reasoning is that the Japanese were training civilians with spears and kamikaze lunge mines. They were hoarding whole air wings with fuel for massed Kamikaze attacks bigger than any we had ever seen. Kamikaze speedboats were in every cove, the "Militia" was armed.

    The resulting bloodbath would have so fired up the US public that we would STILL be in full occupation status, maybe still fighting! Japan would NOT have had the benevolent MacArthur I as "Precept" and the Emperor would have been deposed. As a result, the Japanese Nation and economy would NEVER be what it is today WITHOUT the bomb.

    Funny thing is, I can't argue with him too much...

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 213
    (5/3/01 10:39:20 pm)
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    The lad has it correct, as far as I'm concerned, Polish -

    Not only did it bring the Japanese to their senses and get them off the fence for ending the war, it demonstrated to the world just what nuclear war meant, and I believe those images of destruction in the minds of those with access to the buttons is what deterred further nuclear warfare since.
    Also, only the most bloody minded wanted an invasion - on both sides of the conflict. Everyone else knew it was going to be a terrible, terrible fight with no holds barred. I was old enough ( to remember the ending and the feeling of relief by all that the long ordeal was over and peacetime activities would be the norm.
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    Rons Toys
    Moderator
    Posts: 94
    (5/4/01 6:48:52 am)
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    After we destroyed their industry, we helped them to rebuild and by doing so we also gave them the base to grow their mfg. They were able to increase their quality because all the machines were new. I worked as a diemaker in the mid 70's and our stamping presses were pre-WWI, at the same time the Japanese had much newer equiptment and was able to produce cars that were of better quality. Many people have said it's the American workers fault for poor quailty but you can't produce quality if you're working with junk.
    Ron

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 434
    (5/8/01 9:19:37 am)
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    You know, I learned something last night on the History Channel before I went to bed...

    Hitler sent the U 234 to Japan in the last months of the war with a half ton of Uranium 235, some scientists who were working on Germany's bomb, escorted by two Jap naval officers. They were en route when VE day happened, and when they surfaced to dispose of the two Japs who committed hara kiri on board, were captured.

    It convinced us the Japs were close to their own bomb, and Hitler was hoping they could explode one off a US west coast city and take pressure off him.

    I knew of the extensive Jap R&D in Korea into the atom bomb, but never knew of the U234 before.

    Now more than ever you can understand why Harry said yes...

    We knew the Nazis were close, now we had evidence so were the Japs...Is there ANY question they would have used it against us? Hell, the Nazis had already put a bomber over New York City as a test...and I'm sure the Japs would have found a sub and crew to kamikaze a bomb into Pearl or San Francisco Harbor...

    We just won the "race."
  2. Forsaken72

    Forsaken72 New Member

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    The war in europe was over in time so i suggest putting the question to the marines being prepped for the invasion of mainland japan. Its their lives it saved. Their opinion should be the starting point.
  3. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    No it wasn't necessary. We could have kept dropping incendiaries and burnt out all of their homes, shops and businesses which would have increased the death tool on both sides by multiples. Innocent men, women and children burnt out of their homes, their livelihood and suffering from burns, infections and exposure would have been a lot more humane that that nasty nuclear double whammy we hit them with.

    Then when we stepped ashore we would have been met by a million or two people with sharp sticks, knives, swords, spears, pikes, bows and arrows and antique firearms with nothing to lose. It would have been kind of costly for us but we sure would have killed a lot of orientals who had little or nothing to do with the war. Look how much we could have accomplished if only we had left those stupid bombs to home.

    Just think how many more windows we could have decorated at home with stars and flags because our youngsters already exhausted, tired, walking wounded got to land on Japan and found out he had to face 30 or 40 men women and children for every bullet he had in his gun and spare clips. Nope, didn't need that dumb bomb at all.
  4. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Old Grump has it right. The BOMBS were not really needed to end the war but, in the end, they saved a LOT of lives - on both sides. That is a reality that most liberals cannot grasp because it SEEMS counter-intuitive.
  5. NVSmith

    NVSmith New Member

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    -These comments are in the "for what it's worth" category. I'm retired Army & have been studying Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan proper, since the big kerfluffle over exhibiting the "Enola Gay" at the Smithsonian. I have a number of books and articles on the subject and have done research at the National Archives, the Army Historical Center and the Marine Corps Library & Historical Center at Quantico, VA. I have virtually the entire Allied and Japanese orders of battle. The Allied fleet dwarfs June 6, 1944.
    -First, there were political reasons to end the war quickly. With the war in Europe over and soldiers being discharged on “points” the thought of at least another year in combat, with the possibility of 500 thousand to 1 million casualties was not something either politicians or the public wanted to think about. The casualties at Iwo Jima and Okinawa frightened the crap out of a lot of policy makers, particularly with the heavy presence of Kamikazes at Okinawa.
    -Second, there were some alternative weapons that hadn’t been used. (A) The 22nd Air Force was finally convinced (read “ordered”) to start an anti-ship mining campaign. By 1945 most of the remaining Japanese merchant marine was hugging the coastline where US submarines couldn’t safely operate but mines were effective. (B) The Army Chemical Warfare Service developed and published a Top Secret plan to use poison gas against the Japanese. A copy of the plan was uncovered a few years back, declassified and published in Military History Quarterly magazine. (C) In addition to measures listed by previous commentators, there were plans to spray plant killers and petroleum products on rice paddies as planting season began; it was hoped to eliminate up to 80% of the domestic rice harvest.
    -Third, the largest organized Japanese military force remained virtually intact in Manchuria. That force, combined with whatever troops might be pulled out of China, would add at least an order of magnitude to Japanese defenses if they could be brought to the Home Islands.
    -By the way, the Japanese high command knew EXACTLY where we were going to attack and even had a reasonable estimate of the timeline. In contrast, the US high command completely underestimated Japanese home defense/civil defense plans and capabilities. The Japanese had thousands more suicide vehicles than we estimated including weapons we knew nothing about and hidden fuel reserves for operations.
    -The bombs brought the war to an end, partially because the Japanese had no idea how many more bombs we had; we still had the capability to invade and the Soviet Union had just entered the war, opening a new front.
    -Many, but not all, Japanese historians believe that the bombing saved countless Japanese (and American) lives while retaining at least some infrastructure that could be used for rebuilding.
    -There are other issues to consider, including one that very few historians have considered. If anyone is interested in further flagellating this deceased equine, let me know and I’ll post some more.
  6. twobit

    twobit Member

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    Well I am darn glad we had them and that we used them. My father was stationed on ASBD-3 (a floating dry dock that repaired battleships) in Guam from 1943 till the war was over. Had we not used the bombs, the ASBD-3 was destined to be moved even closer to Japan to support the pending invasion of the Japanese mainland and most likely my father's chance of being killed would have increased drastically. As it was, the Guam dry dock base was just behind the front lines, and those there endured the constant threat of attack. He survived the war and came home. Being that I was born 15 years after the end of the war, I would probably never been born if he had been moved up to support the invasion of Japan.
  7. SF Mike

    SF Mike New Member

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    My dad was 506th PIR.
    He had left the farm, crossed Europe, wounded at Eindhoven, and reissued for Bastogne.
    They were sitting in Austria after the Nazis gave up and were gearing up for the Paciic where they probably were going to be dropped inside Japan.
    The bombs prevented this.
    In their fashion, they prevented much more suffering than they caused.

    My question is wtf does this continue to be brought up?
  8. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Charles: Old Grump was saying it WAS necessary in his tongue-in-cheek way.

    Dropping both bombs did not immediately stop or even slow the war. My dad's bomb group was based on Okinawa and was bombing Kyushu in preparation for the Nov. 1st invasion. His B-24 group bombed the island the day after Nagasaki was flattened, and even flew thru the fallout after coming off their bomb run (they didn't know any better).

    He told me the A-bombs dropped plus the threat of further atomic bombing forced Japan to give up. Better a couple hundred thousand Japanese deaths than millions on both sides.
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