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(io9)   An 11-minute film showing the preparation and loading of Fat Man, the bomb that wiped out Nagasaki, killed 40,000 people, and helped end WWII   (io9.com) divider line 187
    More: Scary, WWII, Nagasaki, home runs  
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4086 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Feb 2014 at 9:42 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-08 12:11:10 PM  
 
2014-02-08 08:33:09 PM  
Here's a documentary on it. Learn you some shiat.

Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.
 
2014-02-08 08:50:35 PM  
Great link, Subby. Reminds me of my father in-law. Farkin' primitive yokel. But the thing is, he was a Nebraska farmboy who decided to be a rocket scientist. He helped build my back fence and the Hubble Space Telescope. Dude was as unpretentious and as universally useful as cement.
 
2014-02-08 09:41:20 PM  
Fat man.  Otherwise known as the argument killer to people who suggest Japan was ready to surrender.  Or, you know, the five days it took after Nagasaki for Japan to surrender...
 
2014-02-08 09:52:45 PM  

doglover: Here's a documentary on it. Learn you some shiat.

Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.


It's actually a big conflict amoung historians. Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.

Either way, it was a horrible deed that had lasting impact on how major powers conduct buisness.
 
2014-02-08 09:57:00 PM  
Thank you subby!  Watching it closely to see if I can pick out my grandpa (a 509th ground crew guy on Tinian for the bombs).
 
2014-02-08 10:00:40 PM  
Is that what Fat Man was?
 
2014-02-08 10:02:01 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: doglover: Here's a documentary on it. Learn you some shiat.

Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.

It's actually a big conflict amoung historians. Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.

Either way, it was a horrible deed that had lasting impact on how major powers conduct buisness.


Why can't it be both? Lots of shiat was going south for Japan simultaneously.


World War II Timeline: July 31-August 14

July 31: Former Vichy prime minister Pierre Laval surrenders in Austria.

August 2: Some 6,600 tons of bombs, a wartime high, are dropped overnight on several Japanese cities. The city of Toyama is almost totally destroyed.

August 3: The Allies emerge victorious from the Battle of the Breakthrough, bringing an end to all Japanese resistance in Burma.

The Allies tighten the noose around Japan as U.S. bombers complete their mining of Japan's major ports.

August 6: The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing approximately 80,000 civilians in the initial blast.

A crash during an experimental jet test-flight claims the life of Major Richard Bong, the most successful American WWII flying ace (40 kills).

August 8: President Truman delivers a radio address in which he threatens to unleash more nuclear devastation on Japan.

The Soviet Union declares war against Japan.

August 9: With President Truman's signature, the United States becomes the first country to ratify the United Nations Charter.

Approximately 25,000 die as the U.S. drops a second atomic bomb, this one on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 11: The Japanese offer of surrender, delivered on August 10 and conditional on the continued sovereignty of Emperor Hirohito, is rejected by U.S. secretary of state James Byrnes.

August 12: Emperor Hirohito orders a divided Japanese government to surrender.

August 14: Washington orders the suspension of hostilities in Asia and the resumption of automobile production on the home front.

A coup attempt, in which a group of Japanese army officers tries to take the Imperial Palace and prevent surrender, fails.




That said, the bombs didn't save any lives. They ruined them. Sure projections and guesstimates said things on paper. But paper didn't have its skin melted off or watch its daughter die of leukemia from a war that happened before she was even born. That tacking on of the "sped the end of the war" all the time is just propaganda made flesh. I'll suffer no praise to be given to an uncontrolled nuclear reaction anywhere within .99 AUs of the Earth.
 
2014-02-08 10:04:52 PM  

Lawnchair: Thank you subby!  Watching it closely to see if I can pick out my grandpa (a 509th ground crew guy on Tinian for the bombs).


Are you serious?  that is amazing, the footage brings an element of reality to my imagination, it must be amazing to know somebody as involved as your grandfather.
 
2014-02-08 10:06:13 PM  
what many do not realize is thing came fairly close to the war continuing after Fat Man nuked Nagasaki and hard core members of the Japanese military still did not wish to surrender and Russia declaring war would not have likely changed their minds save to pull all the troops they could back to the home islands for a glorious last stand and a blood bath like none seen since the trenches of world war I.

Bonus: the recording of the emperor announcing the surrender to the people of Japan was the first time 90+ % had heard the voice of their Emperor.

Bottom line, With out what ever it was that made up Hirohito's mind to surrender the war would have continued  and Japan would have been invaded and would have been even further devastated and a huge number of the Japanese people would have been killed.  Allied casualties would have been in the hundreds of thousands dead and millions wounded.   Japan would have never been the same,
 
2014-02-08 10:08:45 PM  
Oh, I;m just hanging off the back of this truck with AN ATOMIC BOMB on it.
 
2014-02-08 10:14:07 PM  

doglover: Darth_Lukecash: doglover: Here's a documentary on it. Learn you some shiat.

Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.

It's actually a big conflict amoung historians. Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.

Either way, it was a horrible deed that had lasting impact on how major powers conduct buisness.

Why can't it be both? Lots of shiat was going south for Japan simultaneously.

World War II Timeline: July 31-August 14

July 31: Former Vichy prime minister Pierre Laval surrenders in Austria.

August 2: Some 6,600 tons of bombs, a wartime high, are dropped overnight on several Japanese cities. The city of Toyama is almost totally destroyed.

August 3: The Allies emerge victorious from the Battle of the Breakthrough, bringing an end to all Japanese resistance in Burma.

The Allies tighten the noose around Japan as U.S. bombers complete their mining of Japan's major ports.

August 6: The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing approximately 80,000 civilians in the initial blast.

A crash during an experimental jet test-flight claims the life of Major Richard Bong, the most successful American WWII flying ace (40 kills).

August 8: President Truman delivers a radio address in which he threatens to unleash more nuclear devastation on Japan.

The Soviet Union declares war against Japan.

August 9: With President Truman's signature, the United States becomes the first country to ratify the United Nations Charter.

Approximately 25,000 die as the U.S. drops a second atomic bomb, this one on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 11: The Japanese offer of surrender, delivered on August 10 and conditional on the continued sovereignty of Emperor Hirohito, is rejected by U.S. secretary of state James Byrnes.

August 12: Emperor Hirohito orders a divided Japanese government to surrender.

August 14: Washington orders the suspension of hostilities in Asia and the resumption of automobile production on the home front.

A coup attempt, in which a group of Japanese army officers tries to take the Imperial Palace and prevent surrender, fails.


That said, the bombs didn't save any lives. They ruined them. Sure projections and guesstimates said things on paper. But paper didn't have its skin melted off or watch its daughter die of leukemia from a war that happened before she was even born. That tacking on of the "sped the end of the war" all the time is just propaganda made flesh. I'll suffer no praise to be given to an uncontrolled nuclear reaction anywhere within .99 AUs of the Earth.


I agree with you, it was a lot of factors and there are many ways that the end could have unfolded.

The one thing certain: Japan was going to loose.
 
2014-02-08 10:16:33 PM  
There's always the asshole who has to claim the bombs weren't needed.  No shiat, we could have just thrown human lives at Japan until they surrendered.  No they weren't just about to surrender.

They had suicide torpedo submarines all along the coast for fark's sake.

Anyway, you can argue that until the cows come home.

One thing to think about is that if those two bombs weren't dropped (and it had to be two) the US and USSR would probably have used nukes against each other at some point and we'd all be super mutants right now.
 
2014-02-08 10:23:30 PM  

Vance Uppercut: Are you serious?  that is amazing, the footage brings an element of reality to my imagination, it must be amazing to know somebody as involved as your grandfather.


He liked to talk about it. But, when you're talking 1300-1500 guys at Tinian, close to 1000 or so at Alamagordo, etc, you end up with quite a few grandkids.

/ my other grandpa was at Iwo Jima, but a supply guy who didn't really get off his ship. He did meet Rosenthal, the guy who took the famous picture.
// they both kinda rocked
 
2014-02-08 10:26:17 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: doglover:

> Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.

It's actually a big conflict amoung historians. Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.



This is an interesting perspective from someone who was in the INNER CIRCLE of Japanese marshals at the end of WWII [serving as an aide].

Deputy Chief of Staff Torashiro Kawabe said at a war trial....


"When the atomic bomb was dropped, I felt: "This is terrible." Immediately thereafter, it was reported Soviet Russia entered the war. This made me feel: "This has really become a very difficult situation."

Russia's participation in the war had long since been expected, but this does not mean that we had been well prepared for it. It was with a nervous heart filled with fear that we expected Russia to enter the war. Although it was a reaction of a man who was faced with the actual occurrence of the inevitable, mine was, to speak more exact, a feeling that "what has been most [feared] has finally come into reality." I felt as though I had been given a thorough beating in rapid succession, and my thoughts were, "So not only has there been an atomic bombing, but this has come, too."

I believe that I was more strongly impressed with the atomic bomb than other people. However, even then... because I had a considerable amount of knowledge on the subject of atomic bombs, I had an idea that even the Americans could not produce so many of them. Moreover, since Tokyo was not directly affected by the bombing, the full force of the shock was not felt. On top of it, we had become accustomed to bombings due to frequent raids by B-29s.

Actually, [the] majority in the army did not realize at first that what had been dropped was an atomic bomb, and they were not generally familiar with the terrible nature of the atomic bomb. It was only in a gradual manner that the horrible wreckage which had been made of Hiroshima became known, instead of in a manner of a shocking effect.

In comparison, the Soviet entry into the war was a great shock when it actually came. Reports reaching Tokyo described Russian forces as "invading in swarms." It gave us all the more severe shock and alarm because we had been in constant fear of it with a vivid imagination that "the vast Red Army forces in Europe were now being turned against us." In other words, since the atomic bomb and the Russian declaration of war were shocks in a quick succession, I cannot give a definite answer as to which of the two factors was more decisive in ending hostilities."
http://www.japanfocus.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501
 
2014-02-08 10:28:26 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: doglover:

Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.

Either way, it was a horrible deed that had lasting impact on how major powers conduct buisness.


i62.tinypic.com
 
2014-02-08 10:28:32 PM  
Oh, I loves me some nukes. I'm endlessly fascinated by nuclear weapon technology. I've read up on all the publicly available descriptions of the innards of nukes, from the original Christy Core, to Levitated Cores, how hydrogen bombs actually function, the different tests they did... Richard Rhodes' books on the making of the atomic and hydrogen bombs are great reads. I took nuclear engineering courses in undergrad and grad school. Yummy stuff. Imagine two ordinary looking hunks of metal, they don't glow, or vibrate, just a little warm, slowly bring them closer to each other, and then, with any warning, poof! they instantly vaporize in an incandescent flash. That's not how a bomb works, but that's how numerous nuclear accidents have happened.

When I met my first nuke, an ASROC nuclear depth charge, all I wanted to do was whip out a screwdriver and open that puppy up, just to see the inside. Alas, I was surrounded by armed guards...

/stop whining about nuking the Japs. They deserved it. They earned it.
//saved my daddy's life
///don't get me started about the Mark 12A re-entry vehicle. Such awesome-ness. And sooo friggin tiny...
 
2014-02-08 10:28:43 PM  
Which one is Jake?
 
2014-02-08 10:29:33 PM  
grimlock1972:
Bottom line, With out what ever it was that made up Hirohito's mind to surrender the war would have continued  and Japan would have been invaded and would have been even further devastated and a huge number of the Japanese people would have been killed.  Allied casualties would have been in the hundreds of thousands dead and millions wounded.   Japan would have never been the same,

I never understood this.  Japan is an island, just surround the island, decimate the navy then systematically bomb all infrastructure for the next 4-5 years. Even just doing this for a year would cause massive starvation and disease and make a subsequent invasion easier. Yeah, thats horrible, and probably cost more civilian Japanese lives, but it would have saved American lives.
 
2014-02-08 10:33:25 PM  
Anyone ever hear the story of how Little Boy was delivered? Totally classified mission. You wouldn't believe how classified...
 
2014-02-08 10:35:24 PM  

doglover: That said, the bombs didn't save any lives.


the One million+ allied servicemen who didn't die and the existance of the Japanese culture would disagree with you.
 
2014-02-08 10:36:23 PM  

BigLuca: grimlock1972:
Bottom line, With out what ever it was that made up Hirohito's mind to surrender the war would have continued  and Japan would have been invaded and would have been even further devastated and a huge number of the Japanese people would have been killed.  Allied casualties would have been in the hundreds of thousands dead and millions wounded.   Japan would have never been the same,

I never understood this.  Japan is an island, just surround the island, decimate the navy then systematically bomb all infrastructure for the next 4-5 years. Even just doing this for a year would cause massive starvation and disease and make a subsequent invasion easier. Yeah, thats horrible, and probably cost more civilian Japanese lives, but it would have saved American lives.


Well, that was sort of the plan that was in effect. The fire bombing of just Tokyo killed 100K people, more than both nukes together. Presumably the death toll would have been astronomical if this had continued for years and with other cities. So, in retrospect, ending the war early was better for everyone, with no further American lives lost to having to eventually invade.
 
2014-02-08 10:37:51 PM  

lewismarktwo: There's always the asshole who has to claim the bombs weren't needed.  No shiat, we could have just thrown human lives at Japan until they surrendered.  No they weren't just about to surrender.

They had suicide torpedo submarines all along the coast for fark's sake.

Anyway, you can argue that until the cows come home.

One thing to think about is that if those two bombs weren't dropped (and it had to be two) the US and USSR would probably have used nukes against each other at some point and we'd all be super mutants right now.


www.commondreams.org

Just look what the bombs did! Surely that would have ended the war, right?

Oh wait, that's just Tokyo. We leveled it just as flat as Hiroshima and killed 100,000 people in a single raid right where the emperor lived, but the deaths of 60,000 from a different kind of bomb is going to be different to them?

No, WW2 was farked up and the strategies developed by all sides were questionable at best in the ethics department. If it happened again today it would cost millions less in civilian deaths, and trillions more in paper monies.
 
2014-02-08 10:43:41 PM  
Big Ramificationsdoglover: In comparison, the Soviet entry into the war was a great shock when it actually came. Reports reaching Tokyo described Russian forces as "invading in swarms." It gave us all the more severe shock and alarm because we had been in constant fear of it with a vivid imagination that "the vast Red Army forces in Europe were now being turned against us." In other words, since the atomic bomb and the Russian declaration of war were shocks in a quick succession, I cannot give a definite answer as to which of the two factors was more decisive in ending hostilities." http://www.japanfocus.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501

After watching that entire episode doglover posted - that's pretty much the conclusion I reached.  Stalin accelerated his Asian land war because the US actually used a nuke and he wanted to grab as much land as he could, and Japan still never considered surrender after the first bomb.  Nor did they after the second, until the Emperor weighed in.  But unless someone knows what was going on in his head at the time, it's going to be hard to say definitively if one or the other was a primary cause.  I imagine, like in most wars, it was the threat of both of them combined that finally made them realize they were beat.

In that documentary I found it most interesting that Japan, once they finally wanted to surrender, wanted to surrender to the US because they thought the Emperor would be treated better.  And after the war stories about the Russians, they were probably correct.

What I don't buy is the assertion that because the Russians moving on the Asian front was a consideration in surrendering, that meant the bombs were meaningless or useless in ending the war.  The Russian front and the bombs were both extra complications and taken together, that probably made the surrender idea take hold.
 
2014-02-08 10:44:51 PM  

lewismarktwo: There's always the asshole who has to claim the bombs weren't needed.  No shiat, we could have just thrown human lives at Japan until they surrendered.  No they weren't just about to surrender.

They had suicide torpedo submarines all along the coast for fark's sake.

Anyway, you can argue that until the cows come home.

One thing to think about is that if those two bombs weren't dropped (and it had to be two) the US and USSR would probably have used nukes against each other at some point and we'd all be super mutants right now.


Yeah, I almost think it is better that bombs were used so we could see what the effects were. I almost wonder if the reason we haven't discovered other civilization is that they didn't have this accident of history, and instead big nuclear stockpiles were built up without a weapon being used, so the danger stays theoretical until the weapons are used in a big civilization ending war. We just happened to have them deployed as a major was was winding down, so we got lucky to have the horrors of them bing used shown to everyone.
 
2014-02-08 10:46:17 PM  
I took a class on Japanese Atomic Bomb literature in college. Truly, truly horrific stuff.

This is why I like the Olympics so much. The one event that regularly occurs in history where kids get shipped overseas en mass to NOT kill each other.

/imagine etc, etc
 
2014-02-08 10:47:50 PM  

Lawnchair: Vance Uppercut: Are you serious?  that is amazing, the footage brings an element of reality to my imagination, it must be amazing to know somebody as involved as your grandfather.

He liked to talk about it. But, when you're talking 1300-1500 guys at Tinian, close to 1000 or so at Alamagordo, etc, you end up with quite a few grandkids.

/ my other grandpa was at Iwo Jima, but a supply guy who didn't really get off his ship. He did meet Rosenthal, the guy who took the famous picture.
// they both kinda rocked


My grandfather drove a landing ship and brought guys ashore at iwo jima. He was also somehow involved in the battle of midway. He never really talked about the war. He was a great man, after the war he worked the oil fields in Abilene tx driving trucks. He never got wealthy but he took care of his family and they never went without. He has since died and now I have a family, my goal is to just approximate the bar he set.
 
2014-02-08 10:55:39 PM  
a sick thing to do
but hey they'd already invested so much....

pretty much the moral equivalent
of Hitler's murdering all the jews,

but different.
 
2014-02-08 10:56:11 PM  

chasd00: Lawnchair: Vance Uppercut: Are you serious?  that is amazing, the footage brings an element of reality to my imagination, it must be amazing to know somebody as involved as your grandfather.

He liked to talk about it. But, when you're talking 1300-1500 guys at Tinian, close to 1000 or so at Alamagordo, etc, you end up with quite a few grandkids.

/ my other grandpa was at Iwo Jima, but a supply guy who didn't really get off his ship. He did meet Rosenthal, the guy who took the famous picture.
// they both kinda rocked

My grandfather drove a landing ship and brought guys ashore at iwo jima. He was also somehow involved in the battle of midway. He never really talked about the war. He was a great man, after the war he worked the oil fields in Abilene tx driving trucks. He never got wealthy but he took care of his family and they never went without. He has since died and now I have a family, my goal is to just approximate the bar he set.


This is the nicest thing I've ever read on Fark.

Holy shiat, I'm all kinds of sentimental pussy shiat tonight.
 
2014-02-08 11:00:20 PM  

BigLuca: grimlock1972:
Bottom line, With out what ever it was that made up Hirohito's mind to surrender the war would have continued  and Japan would have been invaded and would have been even further devastated and a huge number of the Japanese people would have been killed.  Allied casualties would have been in the hundreds of thousands dead and millions wounded.   Japan would have never been the same,

I never understood this.  Japan is an island, just surround the island, decimate the navy then systematically bomb all infrastructure for the next 4-5 years. Even just doing this for a year would cause massive starvation and disease and make a subsequent invasion easier. Yeah, thats horrible, and probably cost more civilian Japanese lives, but it would have saved American lives.


Not enough time really, we had to get boots on the ground before the Russians could try to claim any of Japan, But yes the bombings would have continued and savage  fighting would have ripped Japan to tatters.
 
2014-02-08 11:01:16 PM  
70,000 subby. Watch your own video.
 
2014-02-08 11:01:38 PM  
Curtis LeMay concluded that one bomb equaled about 300 B-29s in effect.
 
2014-02-08 11:05:48 PM  

whistleridge: Kaboom


That may have been the least useful link I have ever clicked on.
 
2014-02-08 11:08:10 PM  

Big Ramifications: Darth_Lukecash: doglover:

> Basically Russia joining ended the war. The atomic bombs were just another big bomb in an already horrific war. None of the hellish after effects from radiation were known yet and there were plenty of cities that were way more devastated by fire bombs than Hiroshima. So when the council met to discuss strategy, Hiroshima wasn't even considered. Nagasaki was more of the same. But Russia was a key component to the Japanese endgame strategy. They wanted to use Stalin to broker peace with the US without surrendering. Once that was off the table, they had to surrender.

It's actually a big conflict amoung historians. Some say Japan was planning to fight to the bitter end (Emperor was of this mindset) other say The Overtures to Russia was genuine, some claim those delegates had no athourity, or it was a stalling tactic.

Some claim Truman dropped the bomb because he wanted to end the war quickly, others say he dropped it as a warning to Russia.


This is an interesting perspective from someone who was in the INNER CIRCLE of Japanese marshals at the end of WWII [serving as an aide].

Deputy Chief of Staff Torashiro Kawabe said at a war trial....


"When the atomic bomb was dropped, I felt: "This is terrible." Immediately thereafter, it was reported Soviet Russia entered the war. This made me feel: "This has really become a very difficult situation."

Russia's participation in the war had long since been expected, but this does not mean that we had been well prepared for it. It was with a nervous heart filled with fear that we expected Russia to enter the war. Although it was a reaction of a man who was faced with the actual occurrence of the inevitable, mine was, to speak more exact, a feeling that "what has been most [feared] has finally come into reality." I felt as though I had been given a thorough beating in rapid succession, and my thoughts were, "So not only has there been an atomic bombing, but this has come, too."

I believe that I was more strongly impressed with the atomic bomb than other people. However, even then... because I had a considerable amount of knowledge on the subject of atomic bombs, I had an idea that even the Americans could not produce so many of them. Moreover, since Tokyo was not directly affected by the bombing, the full force of the shock was not felt. On top of it, we had become accustomed to bombings due to frequent raids by B-29s.

Actually, [the] majority in the army did not realize at first that what had been dropped was an atomic bomb, and they were not generally familiar with the terrible nature of the atomic bomb. It was only in a gradual manner that the horrible wreckage which had been made of Hiroshima became known, instead of in a manner of a shocking effect.

In comparison, the Soviet entry into the war was a great shock when it actually came. Reports reaching Tokyo described Russian forces as "invading in swarms." It gave us all the more severe shock and alarm because we had been in constant fear of it with a vivid imagination that "the vast Red Army forces in Europe were now being turned against us." In other words, since the atomic bomb and the Russian declaration of war were shocks in a quick succession, I cannot give a definite answer as to which of the two factors was more decisive in ending hostilities." http://www.japanfocus.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501


Facisinating viewpoint! The glad you shared that!
 
2014-02-08 11:13:04 PM  
One Japanese documentary I saw stated that 260,000 people died during the Tokyo fire bombings.  And with the Tokyo fire bombings, you are alive as you begin to burn.  With the nukes, you had the luxury of dying so suddenly that you wouldn't have known it was happening.
 
2014-02-08 11:16:24 PM  

Lsherm: Big Ramificationsdoglover: In comparison, the Soviet entry into the war was a great shock when it actually came. Reports reaching Tokyo described Russian forces as "invading in swarms." It gave us all the more severe shock and alarm because we had been in constant fear of it with a vivid imagination that "the vast Red Army forces in Europe were now being turned against us." In other words, since the atomic bomb and the Russian declaration of war were shocks in a quick succession, I cannot give a definite answer as to which of the two factors was more decisive in ending hostilities." http://www.japanfocus.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501

After watching that entire episode doglover posted - that's pretty much the conclusion I reached.  Stalin accelerated his Asian land war because the US actually used a nuke and he wanted to grab as much land as he could, and Japan still never considered surrender after the first bomb.  Nor did they after the second, until the Emperor weighed in.  But unless someone knows what was going on in his head at the time, it's going to be hard to say definitively if one or the other was a primary cause.  I imagine, like in most wars, it was the threat of both of them combined that finally made them realize they were beat.

In that documentary I found it most interesting that Japan, once they finally wanted to surrender, wanted to surrender to the US because they thought the Emperor would be treated better.  And after the war stories about the Russians, they were probably correct.

What I don't buy is the assertion that because the Russians moving on the Asian front was a consideration in surrendering, that meant the bombs were meaningless or useless in ending the war.  The Russian front and the bombs were both extra complications and taken together, that probably made the surrender idea take hold.


You do know that it takes more than 3 days to shift troops, equipment and supplies across the vast steppes of Russia, and as many days to establish
plans and orders for the men involved? And the Soviet attack was done to honor treaties with America, not out of a reaction to a sudden event. This isn't a TotalWar game.
 
2014-02-08 11:18:42 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: Either way, it was a horrible deed


doglover: That said, the bombs didn't save any lives. They ruined them. Sure projections and guesstimates said things on paper. But paper didn't have its skin melted off or watch its daughter die of leukemia from a war that happened before she was even born. That tacking on of the "sped the end of the war" all the time is just propaganda made flesh. I'll suffer no praise to be given to an uncontrolled nuclear reaction anywhere within .99 AUs of the Earth.


You both are welcome to think what you want, but I think that the nukes were a great thing. Recall that Japan initiated the armed conflict in the pacific, and (regardless of what we have come to learn about everything after the fact) it looked extremely unlikely at that time that Japan would surrender peacefully.

Suppose what would have happened in the event of an invasion.

The American and Japanese casualties would have likely been incredibly high. As we have learned, the Japanese were able to accurately predict the Allies' invasion plans. They had a well planned defense designed to counter the planned invasion, and casualty estimates for the Allies alone ran as high as a million (the existing total death toll for the US in WWII is less than a half-million). Estimates ran as high as 10 million Japanese losses total. In actual landing operations elsewhere in the Pacific there were kill ratios as high as five dead Japanese for every dead American. That's just counting the Japanese military, not civilians.

Let me reiterate that those are estimates of death, there would be many more who would have been maimed but lived on.

Then there is the damage to Japanese society and infrastructure. It's true that the atomic bombs damaged two cities, but if the invasion went through and those cities had later been taken by force, then the damage they suffered would have been catastrophic. You would have had high explosive and incendiary bombs dropped by the truckload by air, as well as naval bombardments, as well as damage from artillery and actual fighting. There are no harmful lasting radiological effects from those bombs, and a comparatively small amount of real estate was damaged relative to a conventional bombardment.

Finally, consider the political outcome had a full-scale invasion been necessary. First off, US-Japan relations have been highly amicable for quite a while. Had an invasion happened, there would have been no end to the animosity we would still show the Japanese. They have since become a powerful country again, due in no small part to the postwar assistance the US provided. Second, an actual invasion of Japan carried the very real risk of a Soviet invasion, resulting in part of Japan being under Soviet control at the end of the war. The worst case scenario is that something like the Korean War would have played out on Japanese soil. The best case scenario would have been something like an East Germany - West Germany situation, but instead there could have been a Soviet Northern Japan and a free Southern Japan.

Without the early surrender of Japan, they faced devastating casualties, the complete destruction of their infrastructure, and a potential North/South schism between Cold War era USSR and USA. At the time, the Allied command felt that an invasion of Japan was inevitable, so there really was no choice but to use the atomic bombs at the time that they did so. Even if they had not been used, it would have been unlikely they'd not be used at all, and would have highly likely been used in the actual invasion of Japan itself (and Allied planners expected 5-10 more atomic bombs to be ready by the start of the invasion), resulting in the worst of both worlds.

Finally, I can't help but re-emphasize the human cost. I have several great-uncles who were training for the invasion of Japan, but thankfully never went, so I personally can't find any fault in the atomic bombs use. In planning for an invasion, the US military produced 500,000 purple heart medals (awarded to injured and killed soldiers). Those medals have gone on to be given to casualties in all subsequent American conflicts, and we still have about 120,000 of them left.
 
2014-02-08 11:23:41 PM  

Lsherm: After watching that entire episode doglover posted - that's pretty much the conclusion I reached.  Stalin accelerated his Asian land war because the US actually used a nuke and he wanted to grab as much land as he could, and Japan still never considered surrender after the first bomb.  Nor did they after the second, until the Emperor weighed in.  But unless someone knows what was going on in his head at the time, it's going to be hard to say definitively if one or the other was a primary cause.  I imagine, like in most wars, it was the threat of both of them combined that finally made them realize they were beat.

In that documentary I found it most interesting that Japan, once they finally wanted to surrender, wanted to surrender to the US because they thought the Emperor would be treated better.  And after the war stories about the Russians, they were probably correct.

What I don't buy is the assertion that because the Russians moving on the Asian front was a consideration in surrendering, that meant the bombs were meaningless or useless in ending the war.  The Russian front and the bombs were both extra complications and taken together, that probably made the surrender idea take hold.


In all likelihood, the atomic bombs gave the Japanese leadership a *good* reason to surrender. I don't think the value of that can be understated. The Japanese population and military had been gearing up for years to fight to the death for the Emperor (they were expecting to die already), and simple surrender would have been a great shame for the leadership. The atomic bomb allowed the Japanese leadership to surrender under the premise that resistance would have been utterly useless.
 
2014-02-08 11:26:26 PM  
meh

upshot-knothole was cooler
 
2014-02-08 11:27:08 PM  

Bonanza Jellybean: meh

upshot-knothole was cooler


er, grable. specifically.
 
2014-02-08 11:28:33 PM  
The first bomb was dropped August 6th, which is my birthday. So I like go out for sushi and stick a firecracker in my spicy tuna roll.

/not a euphemism
 
2014-02-08 11:28:48 PM  

Fubini: Let me reiterate that those are estimates


Let me also reiterate that those are estimates. ie not real things.

NSFW This is reality. NSFW


There's a reason no soldiers with flame throwers were ever taken prisoner. There's a reason White Phosphorus and land mines are banned by treaties all around. There's a reason we have international war crimes tribunals. Some things humans can do should not be done. Just because "there's a war on" or "I was told to" isn't moral justification.

We can't un-drop any of the bombs, but we can recognize the bombing campaigns as the great evil they were, with horrors like Dresden and Hiroshima to be great scars on history reminding us to tread forward mindful of the horrors ignorance and hate can wreak.
 
2014-02-08 11:29:23 PM  

doglover: lewismarktwo: There's always the asshole who has to claim the bombs weren't needed.  No shiat, we could have just thrown human lives at Japan until they surrendered.  No they weren't just about to surrender.

They had suicide torpedo submarines all along the coast for fark's sake.

Anyway, you can argue that until the cows come home.

One thing to think about is that if those two bombs weren't dropped (and it had to be two) the US and USSR would probably have used nukes against each other at some point and we'd all be super mutants right now.

[www.commondreams.org image 400x282]

Just look what the bombs did! Surely that would have ended the war, right?

Oh wait, that's just Tokyo. We leveled it just as flat as Hiroshima and killed 100,000 people in a single raid right where the emperor lived, but the deaths of 60,000 from a different kind of bomb is going to be different to them?

No, WW2 was farked up and the strategies developed by all sides were questionable at best in the ethics department. If it happened again today it would cost millions less in civilian deaths, and trillions more in paper monies.


Let's ignore the population differences of different sized cities.  Would you rather be in a city that was firebombed or nuked?  OK, now imagine you have no idea what a nuke is, just that it wipes out an entire city in an instant and poisons the land and people.  You have every reason to believe that your enemy has an unlimited supply of these horrible devices.  Now imagine you run a country that is subject to such annihilation.  The fear of the unknown is not to be underestimated.

Yes, it seemed different to them.
 
2014-02-08 11:30:13 PM  

rebelyell2006: You do know that it takes more than 3 days to shift troops, equipment and supplies across the vast steppes of Russia, and as many days to establish
plans and orders for the men involved? And the Soviet attack was done to honor treaties with America, not out of a reaction to a sudden event. This isn't a TotalWar game.


The planned invasion of Japan would have taken a long time. The Allied plan was to attack in the south and in the middle (near Tokyo) of Japan, and then drive north if necessary. The Russians would have invaded the northern island of Hokkaido. There was a very real fear at the time that the Russians would have been able to take a significant portion of Japan (both the Japanese and Americans were afraid of what would happen).

The Allied plan to invade Japan was called Operation Downfall.
 
2014-02-08 11:31:04 PM  

Lsherm: Big Ramifications doglover:

Stalin accelerated his Asian land war because the US actually used a nuke and he wanted to grab as much land as he could, and Japan still never considered surrender after the first bomb.

I believe the USSR's shooting down of the Korean Ailines 747 passenger jet in 1983 was a vestige of that land grab.


Lsherm: Big Ramifications doglover:

In that documentary I found it most interesting that Japan, once they finally wanted to surrender, wanted to surrender to the US because they thought the Emperor would be treated better.  And after the war stories about the Russians, they were probably correct.

I saw a documentary dealing with the end of the war in Europe, focusing on the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences.

An American eyewitness related that during a break in procedings of the Potsdam Conference, off the record, Stalin said he thought it appropriate that EVERY SINGLE SURVIVING GERMAN OFFICER BE ROUNDED UP AND EXECUTED. Yep, from lieutenants upwards.

All the Yanks and Brits in earshot nearly choked on their Scotch and waters.
oi39.tinypic.com
A few thought Stalin was takin' the mickey, nervously replying "Jakers! Ya can't do that!!" type of thing.

And apparently Stalin was serious. He was all butt-hurt and incredulous and "Why the hell can't we do that?"
 
2014-02-08 11:33:02 PM  

Fubini: The atomic bomb allowed the Japanese leadership to surrender under the premise that resistance would have been utterly useless.


yup....it was their "honorable" excuse way out, given the circumstances.
They really didn't give two shiats about their people.
 
2014-02-08 11:33:49 PM  

doglover: Let me also reiterate that those are estimates. ie not real things.


Those were estimates based on the results of actual invasions of Japanese islands in the Pacific. The best case estimates would have doubled the American death toll in WII, and the worst case estimates would have tripled it.

Prior to the release of the atomic bomb, from all the historical evidence we can gather, it seemed extremely unlikely that the Japanese would surrender. Both the Americans and the Japanese thought so. If you look at the preparations done on mainland Japan, they were geared up for war.
 
2014-02-08 11:34:33 PM  

rebelyell2006: And the Soviet attack was done to honor treaties with America, not out of a reaction to a sudden event.


The Japanese were negotiating with the Russians for part of a conditional surrender while the Russians were ready for invasion.  The invasion had been planned for Aug 8 for months, so it wasn't something new.  But that Russia rebuffed Japan's offer for peace negotiations may well have been a response to the first bomb dropping.  Or not - because who farking knows?

One thing is certain:  the bombs helped end the war.  Arguing that they were unnecessary is ridiculous, even if they have to be coupled with other reasons.  They were certainly a factor on all fronts.
 
2014-02-08 11:35:19 PM  

doglover: We can't un-drop any of the bombs, but we can recognize the bombing campaigns as the great evil they were, with horrors like Dresden and Hiroshima to be great scars on history reminding us to tread forward mindful of the horrors ignorance and hate can wreak.


Ane we really can't eliminate that part of human nature that makes some people do these horrible things.
 
2014-02-08 11:40:40 PM  

doglover: We can't un-drop any of the bombs, but we can recognize the bombing campaigns as the great evil they were, with horrors like Dresden and Hiroshima


Why the fark doesn't anyone bring up the firebombing of London when using examples like these?  Because the Brits were better at surviving?
 
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