Hiroshima - Nuclear weapons, then and now

Discussion in 'Education' started by -Cp, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. -Cp
    Offline

    -Cp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,911
    Thanks Received:
    360
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Earth
    Ratings:
    +363
    Today--or August 6 in Japan--is the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which killed outright an estimated 80,000 Japanese and hastened World War II to its conclusion on August 15. Those of us who belong to the postwar generations tend to regard the occasion as a somber, even shameful, one. But that's not how the generation of Americans who actually fought the war saw it. And if we're going to reflect seriously about the bomb, we ought first to think about it as they did.

    In 1945, Paul Fussell was a 21-year-old second lieutenant who'd spent much of the previous year fighting his way through Europe. At the time of Hiroshima, he was scheduled to participate in the invasion of the Japanese mainland, for which the Truman Administration anticipated casualties of between 200,000 and one million Allied soldiers. No surprise, then, that when news of the bomb reached Lt. Fussell and his men, they had no misgivings about its use:

    "We learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, and for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live."

    Mr. Fussell was writing about American lives. What about Japanese lives? The Japanese army was expected to fight to the last man, as it had during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths--and that's not counting civilians. The March 1945 Tokyo fire raid killed about 100,000; such raids would have intensified had the war dragged on. The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000.

    Read the rest:
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007066
     
  2. SpidermanTuba
    Offline

    SpidermanTuba BANNED

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    6,101
    Thanks Received:
    258
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Ratings:
    +258
    Actually, several prominent military officials believed neither dropping the A-bomb nor an invasion of the mainland would be neccessary, as Japan was already about to surrender.


    We dropped the bomb to demonstrate our new weapon to the Soviest. That was the main purpose.


    http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm



    ~~~DWIGHT EISENHOWER

    "...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

    "During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

    - Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

    In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

    "...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

    - Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63


    ~~~ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY
    (Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)

    "It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

    "The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

    - William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.


    ~~~HERBERT HOOVER

    On May 28, 1945, Hoover visited President Truman and suggested a way to end the Pacific war quickly: "I am convinced that if you, as President, will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan - tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists - you'll get a peace in Japan - you'll have both wars over."

    Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, pg. 347.

    On August 8, 1945, after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Hoover wrote to Army and Navy Journal publisher Colonel John Callan O'Laughlin, "The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul."

    quoted from Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 635.

    "...the Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945...up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; ...if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the [atomic] bombs."

    - quoted by Barton Bernstein in Philip Nobile, ed., Judgment at the Smithsonian, pg. 142

    Hoover biographer Richard Norton Smith has written: "Use of the bomb had besmirched America's reputation, he [Hoover] told friends. It ought to have been described in graphic terms before being flung out into the sky over Japan."

    Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, pg. 349-350.

    In early May of 1946 Hoover met with General Douglas MacArthur. Hoover recorded in his diary, "I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished. MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria."

    Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 350-351.


    ~~~GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR

    MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

    William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

    Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

    Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.


    ~~~JOSEPH GREW
    (Under Sec. of State)

    In a February 12, 1947 letter to Henry Stimson (Sec. of War during WWII), Grew responded to the defense of the atomic bombings Stimson had made in a February 1947 Harpers magazine article:

    "...in the light of available evidence I myself and others felt that if such a categorical statement about the [retention of the] dynasty had been issued in May, 1945, the surrender-minded elements in the [Japanese] Government might well have been afforded by such a statement a valid reason and the necessary strength to come to an early clearcut decision.

    "If surrender could have been brought about in May, 1945, or even in June or July, before the entrance of Soviet Russia into the [Pacific] war and the use of the atomic bomb, the world would have been the gainer."

    Grew quoted in Barton Bernstein, ed.,The Atomic Bomb, pg. 29-32.
     
  3. theHawk
    Offline

    theHawk Registered Conservative

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    10,850
    Thanks Received:
    2,066
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +5,739
    Japan was not about to surrender. They were given a chance before it was dropped, and didn't. Even AFTER Hiroshima they DID NOT surrender. We can sit here and try to analyze if they were "ready to surrender" for decades. Will never change the fact they chose not to surrender. The fact is the bomb saved thousands of American lives, people like my grandfather who fought against them on Iwo Jima. The Japanese fought more fierce as we got closer to the mainland. As for how many Japanese died, don't care. They were the enemy that attacked us.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    :tinfoil:
     
  5. 5stringJeff
    Offline

    5stringJeff Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,990
    Thanks Received:
    536
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings:
    +540
    The atomic bomb in 1945 was not seen as a monstrosity, or even a different, special class of weapon. At the time, it was seen as simply a more efficient way to firebomb cities. It was only after the end of the war, when we began to understand the effects of nuclear fallout, widespread radiation poisoning, etc., that we began to understand that atomic weapons were in a class by themselves.
     
  6. Just a guy
    Offline

    Just a guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    191
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +5
    The really intresting isn't the use of the bomb itself. That was rational and logical, - it was a horrible war going on and a new effective tool was supplied.

    It is the very smart guys putting it together that I question, so smart that they could calculate how isotopes would chain react with air but failing to see this weapons effect on humanity. Now we have a world full of nuclear weapons that can be used for almost any purpose. Like terrorism.

    I think scientists consequently make two errors:

    1. They don't take responsabilty for their inventions. For the sake of fame they publish what they have come up with, and then stand surprised:
    - Oh they made a deadly virus with my little gadget!?!

    2. They never test things enough! If a scientist comes up with a new great substance it's only tested for a few years. They never think of the effects in like two hundered years. Think of it: If viagra leads to second generation of men became sterile we wouldn't know yet.

    I am completley sure that if a scientist found out that mixing of two gasses would lead to a chain reaction that killed all of us, he would not only tell everyone, he would make a device aviable in the hope of that someone would prove him right.

    I'm feeling strangley bitter today.
     
  7. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
    This is why morality is the most important thing. Evil can be accomplished through many means; making evil impossible is not practical. All we can hope for is good people.
     
  8. Just a guy
    Offline

    Just a guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    191
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +5
    Well said.

    One thing though, morality takes training. So something must forgoe morality.
     
  9. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511

    There is logic behind morality, but it's complex, and by the time you were old enough to understand it it would be too late. I'm against secular humanism, not because it denies god, but because it provides no real moral framework, and at it;s core is a complete cessation of critical thought in deference to "the group".
     
  10. theHawk
    Offline

    theHawk Registered Conservative

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    10,850
    Thanks Received:
    2,066
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +5,739
    Is this supposed to be some kind of guilt trip? Lets not forget the fact that both the Germans and Russians were working on the bomb as well. If our scientists didn't create it, theirs eventually would had anyway.
     

Share This Page