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Old 16th December 2012, 04:28 AM   #81
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We have to keep in mind that the decisions made in 1945 were not based on what we know about the bombs now. They were understood to be very powerful explosives, but the lingering effects were largely guessed at. For instance, if you watch "Fat Man and Little Boy" you'll see a scene were the core of a bomb goes briefly critical. The boss directs everyone to mark their position, then he does the math to determine exposure and determines one guy is going to die. That's obviously not the case, the rest of the people in the room got significant but not immediately lethal doses of radiation and several of them would quite possibly be dead in a year or two.

To further point out what we knew about the side effects consider the tactical use plan for the bombs. If a position was deemed worthy of a nuke the bomb would be dropped and the Allied troops would wait a whole half hour before going through the area.
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Old 16th December 2012, 05:34 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Consensus? Is that what history is? A consensus?

Who writes history? The victors?

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html
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Old 16th December 2012, 05:54 AM   #83
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People who claim the victors write the history have never heard of Vietnam.
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Old 16th December 2012, 06:09 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
So why were the bombs necessary? We couldn't just wait them out without a ground war?

Did you miss the part about how millions of civilians, many in areas under Japanese occupation, would have starved to death while the US was "waiting them out"?

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
And we needed to drop two?

Yes, "we" needed to drop two, in rapid succession, in order to convince the Japanese that the bomb wasn't some one-shot wonder.

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I think we had a shiny new weapon and wanted to show it off.

Frankly, no one's interested in what you think, especially given your propensity to ignore or belittle evidence that tends to discredit your theories.

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
And Japan was defiant. I think they really brought it to us in the Pacific. Some really crazy full out battles.

So are you saying that the atomic bombings were partly out of revenge, or is this connected to your next point?

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Maybe Truman just believed they really wouldn't give up.

As has been discussed up-thread, Truman had many good reasons for believing this, and he was very likely correct.
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Old 16th December 2012, 06:15 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
We have to keep in mind that the decisions made in 1945 were not based on what we know about the bombs now. They were understood to be very powerful explosives, but the lingering effects were largely guessed at. For instance, if you watch "Fat Man and Little Boy" you'll see a scene were the core of a bomb goes briefly critical. The boss directs everyone to mark their position, then he does the math to determine exposure and determines one guy is going to die. That's obviously not the case, the rest of the people in the room got significant but not immediately lethal doses of radiation and several of them would quite possibly be dead in a year or two.

To further point out what we knew about the side effects consider the tactical use plan for the bombs. If a position was deemed worthy of a nuke the bomb would be dropped and the Allied troops would wait a whole half hour before going through the area.
Indeed. Here's my stock answer on the subject of the radiation "cover up":

Of all the many questions about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one that comes up frequently is, "How much was known about the radiation effects of the first atomic bombs before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"? Did Truman know, for example, that the bombs would produce both prompt and residual radiation? Would it have changed his decision to use the bomb?
The reason it might matter is because, arguably, the radiation effects of the first atomic bombs are what distinguish them from “traditional” incendiary raids.
Well the answer is basically, some people knew, others didn't.
1. Certainly some of the physicists at Los Alamos understood that the atomic bombs would produce significant amounts of radiation, and were likely to cause both radiation sickness and nuclear fallout effects.
2. It's also certain that Oppenheimer didn't pay much attention to this matter. Why? No-one really knows, despite a lot of research. Certainly he never really paid too much attention to the reports about radiation effects, and spoke almost exclusively of the bomb in terms of heat and blast effects.
3 Groves, the head of the Manhattan project and principle liaison with the military and political leadership didn't know. He relied on Oppenheimer.
Groves actually thought he could march American troops through an area that was recently atomic bombed, and stated as such to other Army officers and politicians.
4. The Targeting Committee and Secretary of War Stimson didn't know they relied on Groves expert input on the nature of the bombs. The notes and minutes of the Targeting Committees are available, they simply don't mention residual radiation effects.
5. Truman didn't know. Anything he got was filtered through Groves and Stimson. Groves struggled with explaining the basics of the project to Truman in terms the president could understand and care about, much less the technical details.

Why is this so? Why did the scientists (and Groves) not pay more attention to the radiation effects? I agree with Sean Malloy on this; it was a side effect of the highly compartmentalised nature of the project.

Would it have mattered to Truman? Here Molloy and I differ. I disagree with him that it would have caused Truman to reconsider the use of the atomic bombs. The acute radiation effects causes ~15-20% of the casualties of the bombs, I don't think this would have stopped Truman from authorising their use.

The radiation "cover up".
There are periodic allegations of an "atomic cover up", stating that Groves et al. tried to hide the fact of radiation illnesses. This is nonsense.
Not long after the bombing, reports started coming in that doctors in Japan were seeing the effects of radiation sickness amongst the survivors of the attacks. Groves thought they were just propaganda (and the Japanese did engage in propagandising about the bombings), trying to make the American people feel sympathetic to the Japanese. He asked his medical experts about it, they told him it was unlikely, and so he enlisted Oppenheimer to help deny that this could have been the case.
Oppenheimer's reaction was that he was happy to help, though he felt it was outside his area. I believe he genuinely thought the reports were propaganda, as well. Prior to this there actually were (uninformed) stories circulating about how Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be totally uninhabitable for generations to come. These meant that Groves was already defensive when it came to radiation effects, and already inclined to see them as nonsense. Further the Japanese did release significant propaganda about the bomb during this period. Most of it was rubbish,, like the fact that they too had atomic bombs and were just saving them up for a rainy day and now were going to use them.
To his credit, even though he dismissed the Japanese doctors’ claims, Groves also sent his own teams to Japan as soon as he could to evaluate the results themselves. They found that indeed, radiation had been a significant factor in mortality at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By November 1945 Groves had recanted and accepted that radiation sickness had occurred,
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Old 16th December 2012, 11:22 AM   #86
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By 1945 the American government has spent an incredible amount of money on the atomic bomb. The public was not aware of that. I assume most politicians neither.

If the war ends and it is discovered that soooo much money was spent, the weapon was ready, but not used, then heads would have rolled. So what is your choice? Drop it before the war ends.

Arguments about US or Japanese deaths during the invasion might have played a major role. Or not.
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Old 16th December 2012, 11:34 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by ingoa View Post
If the war ends and it is discovered that soooo much money was spent, the weapon was ready, but not used, then heads would have rolled. So what is your choice? Drop it before the war ends.
The war ends with 400,000 American GIs dead in Operation Downfall, and the public finds out that the US had a superweapon that could have brought Japan to its knees, but it wasn't used. Public says "Oh well, such is life, there wasn't time to fully test it anyway. I sure miss Uncle Elmer and pops would have an easier time getting used to peacetime life if he had hands, but you just don't go waging war with partially-tested weapons that even few of them sciencey egg-heads understand. No, I'm not going to vote for that Dewey fella."
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Old 16th December 2012, 11:40 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by ingoa View Post
By 1945 the American government has spent an incredible amount of money on the atomic bomb. The public was not aware of that. I assume most politicians neither.

If the war ends and it is discovered that soooo much money was spent, the weapon was ready, but not used, then heads would have rolled. So what is your choice? Drop it before the war ends.

Arguments about US or Japanese deaths during the invasion might have played a major role. Or not.
That's simply ridiculous.
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Old 16th December 2012, 11:41 AM   #89
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Following on catsmate1:

How long after the bombs was this picture taken?
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File Type: jpg us_military_survey_hiroshima.jpg (43.1 KB, 13 views)
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Old 16th December 2012, 12:35 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
So why were the bombs necessary?

Because the enemy's leadership was too stubborn and too irrational to accept that it had been defeated—a fact blatantly obvious to anyone giving the situation even a cursory look. A fact recognized privately by many Japanese (but whom could not say so publicly due to the irrationality of the leadership).


Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
We couldn't just wait them out without a ground war?

That option was favoured by the U.S. Navy and Army Air Force. Both felt the continued blockade and aerial bombing would eventually force Japan to surrender as it would be literally starved into submission. The problem was that at the time no one could be sure how long that would take. Weeks? Months? Years? And in the interim more Americans would be dying (not to mention the Allied prisoners of war and subjugated peoples of the conquered areas Japan still controlled) all because the enemy's leadership was too stubborn and too irrational to accept that it had been beaten.


Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
And we needed to drop two?

The decision to drop two bombs was made from the very beginning. It was felt that if only a single bomb was dropped the Japanese government could claim that, given the enormous technical difficulties in constructing an atomic bomb, the U.S. could only have one and thus Japan was safe from further atomic attack. (Japan had its own atomic bomb programs, one run by the Army and another run by the Navy, so it understood what was involved with such weaponry.) By dropping two bombs in quick succession the U.S. was saying in no uncertain terms that it possessed the ability to make multiple atomic bombs, and more importantly, it had the resolve to use such weapons if that is what it took to force Japan's surrender.


Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
And Japan was defiant.

Stupidly defiant. Only someone wholly irrational could think Japan's situation in 1945 held any hope of victory, or even of a negotiated settlement. The nation had been defeated. Soundly. To any sensible person, prolonging a war in such a clearly hopeless situation is condemning many people to needless and pointless deaths.

(It should be noted irrational defiance applied to Germany as well. With the failure of the Ardennes offensive, there could be no doubt of the outcome of the war in Europe. Indeed, once the western Allies were safely ashore in France the ultimate outcome of the war was in little doubt. So the intransigence of the German leadership also condemned to death many people who might otherwise have lived had the leadership been sane enough to recognize the reality of its situation.)
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Old 16th December 2012, 01:08 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
The war ends with 400,000 American GIs dead in Operation Downfall ...

This assumes that Japan was still at war and that an invasion actually takes place. Post-war analysis by the Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that "certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

One can read the summary report of the Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific War) here.

The conclusion was based on the fact that Japan was already in very dire condition in August 1945. It would have only gotten worse, especially as the USAAF hadn't yet begun a systematic campaign against the Japanese transportation network. The destruction of Japanese railways and key bridges, tunnels, and ferries, would have marked the death knell of the Japanese economy and the ability of the Japanese military to offer any organized resistance.
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Old 16th December 2012, 01:27 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
The conclusion was based on the fact that Japan was already in very dire condition in August 1945. It would have only gotten worse, especially as the USAAF hadn't yet begun a systematic campaign against the Japanese transportation network. The destruction of Japanese railways and key bridges, tunnels, and ferries, would have marked the death knell of the Japanese economy and the ability of the Japanese military to offer any organized resistance.
I don't doubt that. However, had history taken that course, then the title of this thread would be "Was it really necessary to bomb Japan into stone age?"
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:47 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by ingoa View Post
By 1945 the American government has spent an incredible amount of money on the atomic bomb. The public was not aware of that. I assume most politicians neither.

If the war ends and it is discovered that soooo much money was spent, the weapon was ready, but not used, then heads would have rolled. So what is your choice? Drop it before the war ends.

Arguments about US or Japanese deaths during the invasion might have played a major role. Or not.
Rubbish.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Because the enemy's leadership was too stubborn and too irrational to accept that it had been defeated—a fact blatantly obvious to anyone giving the situation even a cursory look. A fact recognized privately by many Japanese (but whom could not say so publicly due to the irrationality of the leadership).
Give how the Japanese government dealt with 'defeatism' it wasn't surprising that talk to surrender wasn't common.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
That option was favoured by the U.S. Navy and Army Air Force. Both felt the continued blockade and aerial bombing would eventually force Japan to surrender as it would be literally starved into submission. The problem was that at the time no one could be sure how long that would take. Weeks? Months? Years? And in the interim more Americans would be dying (not to mention the Allied prisoners of war and subjugated peoples of the conquered areas Japan still controlled) all because the enemy's leadership was too stubborn and too irrational to accept that it had been beaten.
Exactly, there was a lot of pressure to end the war as quickly as possible.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
The decision to drop two bombs was made from the very beginning. It was felt that if only a single bomb was dropped the Japanese government could claim that, given the enormous technical difficulties in constructing an atomic bomb, the U.S. could only have one and thus Japan was safe from further atomic attack. (Japan had its own atomic bomb programs, one run by the Army and another run by the Navy, so it understood what was involved with such weaponry.) By dropping two bombs in quick succession the U.S. was saying in no uncertain terms that it possessed the ability to make multiple atomic bombs, and more importantly, it had the resolve to use such weapons if that is what it took to force Japan's surrender.
Correct. There was some discussion in the US (especially at the political level Stimson and the Targeting Committee) over whether the fourth bomb should be used on a third city, if the Japanese didn't surrender, or stockpile it for Downfall.
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:54 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Following on catsmate1:

How long after the bombs was this picture taken?
Hmm.... If those men are part of the SBS then it'd be September or early October 1945. If they're part of Groves' team, then mid/late October '45 IIRC.

Here is the SBS report on the atomic bombings, produced in mid '46 so it does discuss radiation effects.

ETA: just checked by library; according to US DTRA the first US troops entered Hiroshima on 06OCT1945 a few days after a team from the Manhattan Project carried out a radiological survey. They entered Nagasaki on 11SEP1945.

Originally Posted by timhau View Post
I don't doubt that. However, had history taken that course, then the title of this thread would be "Was it really necessary to bomb Japan into stone age?"
And the usual suspects would still be complaining.
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:37 AM   #95
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My point with the picture is that we sent people into Hiroshima to poke around without any special gear, bare weeks after the drop.
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Old 17th December 2012, 04:33 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
My point with the picture is that we sent people into Hiroshima to poke around without any special gear, bare weeks after the drop.
And planned to send troops through even sooner if the bombs had been used during an invasion. The understanding of the radiological effects simply wasn't there in 1945.
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Old 17th December 2012, 09:28 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
And planned to send troops through even sooner if the bombs had been used during an invasion.
Yeah, 30 minutes after a drop. The rolls would have been much longer.
Quote:
The understanding of the radiological effects simply wasn't there in 1945.
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Old 18th December 2012, 02:43 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Yeah, 30 minutes after a drop. The rolls would have been much longer.
And with 7-10 bombs used, far higher. Another reason to be glad Downfall wasn't needed.
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:45 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
And with 7-10 bombs used, far higher. Another reason to be glad Downfall wasn't needed.
Marshall was expecting to get eight. If the invasion had been on the pressure to produce more might have lead to creative ways around the production problems that caused that number to be the upper limit.

The third and fourth bombs were used in Test Able and Test Baker because they were already in the Pacific. If Japan had held out a few weeks longer two more cities on the list would have gone up in smoke. If four bombs and the expect (albeit largely token) Soviet invasion didn't convince them to surrender the country would have been in much worse shape by winter, and the four horsemen would have run wild in the land.
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:15 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Marshall was expecting to get eight. If the invasion had been on the pressure to produce more might have lead to creative ways around the production problems that caused that number to be the upper limit.

The third and fourth bombs were used in Test Able and Test Baker because they were already in the Pacific. If Japan had held out a few weeks longer two more cities on the list would have gone up in smoke. If four bombs and the expect (albeit largely token) Soviet invasion didn't convince them to surrender the country would have been in much worse shape by winter, and the four horsemen would have run wild in the land.
The number available would depend on when Downfall was expected to begin, November or December.
I studied this in some detail for a previous thread, damned if I can remember which one. Marshall's expectation of eight bombs was based on the discussions between Hull and Seaman on 13AUG1945.
  • one bomb (MK3) was ready to be shipped and would be deployable around 19AUG1945
  • another MK3 around 02SEP1945
  • at least two more, probably three, in SEP1945 (all MK3; mostly the MOD0 but possibly one of the newer MOD1)
  • three additional MK 3 weapons in OCT1945
  • three or four additional MK3 weapons in NOV1945
  • thereafter one weapon every ten days
  • a second MK1 (Uranium) bomb "late in 1945", probably around mid-December
  • the later bombs would have been MK3B types, MOD0 and MOD1 with some improvements and up to twice the yield of the baseline MK3
  • it's also likely that some of the improvement in the bomb design that were being planned (and were introduced with the MK4 in 1949) would have been incorporated

Historical bomb production rates are not at all indicative of what the Manhattan project was actually capable of achieving, as the project was frozen with the end of the war, and then transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission which was aimed at peaceful use of nuclear power, until rising tensions with the Soviet Union led mass weapons production to be restarted in '49.
Historically, the Hanford plutonium complex had the B, D, and F reactors up and running by mid-45, and as of August, with the solving of the Xenon problem, were producing enough for 1 bomb every 10 days.
In addition to this, there was the Oak Ridge uranium program, which was very limited in its production capability, but could add another 3-4 bombs a year.
Also, historically, the Hanford complex added on 3 more reactors from 49-52, followed by 2 more (of a greatly improved design) by 55, and also tripled production rates at the old reactors once the bomb project was restarted after 47. All accomplished at a level of funding considerably lower than the Manhattan project enjoyed. Had the Manhattan project proceeded uninterrupted, at least the H and DR Reactors would have been up by 46, since they were pretty much identical design wise with the previous 3.

I've just re-read the minutes of the Hull-Seaman meeting and I notice that Seaman proposed tactical use of the bombs, immediately before landings, and Hull raised no radiation safety concerns.

Regarding the Able and Baker detonations, it was after this that serious questions were asked about the radiological hazards of the detonations, especially by Stafford Warren (head of the Medical Section of the Manhattan Project).
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:23 AM   #101
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Rhodes says eight, that's fine by me.
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:12 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
If Japan had held out a few weeks longer two more cities on the list would have gone up in smoke.

It is my understanding that Truman had on August 13th ordered a stay to any further atomic bomb attacks, and from then on no atomic bombs were to be used without his express authorization.


Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
And with 7-10 bombs used, far higher. Another reason to be glad Downfall wasn't needed.

Assuming, of course, the Strategic Bombing Survey's conclusion was wrong and Japan does not surrender prior to any landings.
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:57 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
It is my understanding that Truman had on August 13th ordered a stay to any further atomic bomb attacks, and from then on no atomic bombs were to be used without his express authorization.
And if Japan hadn't signaled they were ready to surrender he could have lifted that stay.
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Old 18th December 2012, 02:45 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
How many threads do we have on this topic?
Indeed.

And what is rather interesting is that all of them seem to stem from a fundamental lack of knowledge of just how different Imperial Japan was in the psychology of how they operated.
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:42 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you think of any possible scenario or justification, that would convince you that the atomic bombs were necessary?
Profanz, will you answer my question?
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Old 19th December 2012, 02:04 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by ingoa View Post
By 1945 the American government has spent an incredible amount of money on the atomic bomb. The public was not aware of that. I assume most politicians neither.

If the war ends and it is discovered that soooo much money was spent, the weapon was ready, but not used, then heads would have rolled. So what is your choice? Drop it before the war ends.

Arguments about US or Japanese deaths during the invasion might have played a major role. Or not.
30 billion in today's money. One of Truman's aides told him that he would be impeached after the war when the American public discovered that he had a weapon which could have ended the war and saved many American lives. I think that influenced him.
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Old 19th December 2012, 02:38 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Rhodes says eight, that's fine by me.
True enough. Even the minutes of the meeting between Hull and Seaman are a little confused. Anyway seven, eight or ten bombs it's have been a lot of dead.
I probably put too much detail in my previous post, it was recycled from my notes on an earlier thread.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
It is my understanding that Truman had on August 13th ordered a stay to any further atomic bomb attacks, and from then on no atomic bombs were to be used without his express authorization.
Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
And if Japan hadn't signaled they were ready to surrender he could have lifted that stay.
Indeed. From looking over primary sources (e.g. the Hull-Seaman meeting available here) it's clear that the opinion was that of two atomic bombs didn't induce Japan to surrender then they should be stockpiled for support of the invasion.
Originally Posted by John E. Hull,
The problem now is whether or not, assuming the Japanese do not capitulate, continue on dropping them every time one is made and shipped out there or whether to hold them up as far as the dropping is concerned and then pour them all on in a reasonably short time. Not all in one day, but over a short period.

Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
30 billion in today's money. One of Truman's aides told him that he would be impeached after the war when the American public discovered that he had a weapon which could have ended the war and saved many American lives. I think that influenced him.
I think that Truman was motivated more by the desire to end the war quickly and without more huge casualty figures than justifying the cost of developing the bombs.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:29 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I think that until the bombs were dropped it was a stalemate. Japan was a very worthy opponent. That can be debated I guess.
You may notice that this has NOT "been debated". I think that's because the hands in this thread know their history of that era and they glide right past such absurd statements.

Considering that you mention, specifically, "until the bombs were dropped", to stay with your chess metaphor, it wasn't so much a stalemate as it was an end game with one side (Japan) having eight bishops and their king on the board, and the other side (USA and England) having K, Q, R, R,B, B, and 8 pawns that they can convert to Qs. Japan was in perpetual check. All they could do was drag it out and hope that the black team offered a draw, and that was not going to happen.

Individually, the Japanese were fearless and fearsome fighters and in that respect, more so than any other, were a "worthy" opponent, but as a nation-state, they were going to fail after the allies cleaned up that little fracas in Europe. It was just a question of time from mid '42 on.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:41 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by ingoa View Post
By 1945 the American government has spent an incredible amount of money on the atomic bomb. The public was not aware of that. I assume most politicians neither.
Truman wasn't told until after he became President.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:52 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Truman wasn't told until after he became President.
Indeed, Stimson briefed him after FDR's death. Here is the memorandum of the briefing on 23APR1945.
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Old 19th December 2012, 05:33 AM   #111
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Cool

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Can we now get back on topic here?
It would help your cause tremendously if you actually had a topic and were forthright instead of a weasel (with my apologies to all the weasels of the word, you don't deserve to be insulted in this way).
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Old 19th December 2012, 07:09 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
It would help your cause tremendously if you actually had a topic and were forthright instead of a weasel (with my apologies to all the weasels of the word, you don't deserve to be insulted in this way).
On behalf of the M29 I accept your apology.
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Old 19th December 2012, 09:06 AM   #113
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Much speculation could be saved by going to the documents.
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:04 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
On behalf of the M29 I accept your apology.
Apology accepted on behalf of the Wiesel AWC, as well.
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:20 AM   #115
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I gotta wonder, would Profanz ever ask questions like:

- Was the attack on Pearl Harmor necessary?
- Was the invasion of Poland in 1939 necessary?

And so forth. This guy is quickly nominating himself for my "Don't bother opening a thread except to mock him" list...
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:45 AM   #116
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I think a lot of people have an issue with the idea that Japan was beaten but wasn't acting like it. They seem to think that when a nation state is in a hopeless fight they surrender. Thus they seem to think Japan must have been trying earnestly to get out of the war and those nasty A-bombs were entirely unnecessary. But they weren't because Japan's leadership was not acting like a side fighting a hopeless cause. They wanted to still kill as many Americans as possible. They wanted to keep their lands in China, Korea, and Indochina. They wanted to not have to pay for their many, many horrendous atrocities. They didn't want to be occupied. They didn't even want to have any changeover in their government.

Yes, a modern and rational nation-state would be kissing those goodbye in a bid to negotiate for basic survival but that was not Imperial Japan. They wanted to go down in a blaze of glory taking all their people with them.

And that was what America was facing in 1945. Thank goodness the nukes came along. Otherwise there is a not insignificant chance Japanese culture would not have survived at all.
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Old 19th December 2012, 11:50 AM   #117
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"Were the atomic bombs dropped on Japan necessary?"

No.

I don't think it's reasonable to make the argument that the resort to nuclear weapons was "necessary," in the sense that absolutely no other course of action was available.

The moral issues may be debatable, but that doesn't change the fact that dropping nukes was not the only possible solution.
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:30 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
The moral issues may be debatable, but that doesn't change the fact that dropping nukes was not the only possible solution.
Yes, a few more Iwo Jimas would have been possible with huge American losses.
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:32 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
"Were the atomic bombs dropped on Japan necessary?"

No.

I don't think it's reasonable to make the argument that the resort to nuclear weapons was "necessary," in the sense that absolutely no other course of action was available.

The moral issues may be debatable, but that doesn't change the fact that dropping nukes was not the only possible solution.
No it was not the only possibly solution (who here has said that?), just the best of several bad ones. I have to wonder if you have any knowledge about how terrible conditions were for the people under Japanese occupation, how badly the civilians of Okinawa suffered in that battle, and how many POW's would be killed if the war continued any longer.

Please see:
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...3&postcount=61
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:47 PM   #120
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August 25th, 1945. 85% of Americans polled said they approved of the use of the atomic bombs.

On July 20th the polls reported that 20% of Americans thought the war would end by late 1945. The rest thought it would last longer.

June 29th polls said 54% of Americans could correctly name the Emperor. Others replied "Tojo", "Yokohama", "Fujiyama" and "Hara-kiri."
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