Beyond the Fourth Wall
Where webcomic readers conspire
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Beyond the Fourth Wall Forum Index -> Controversy Corner
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kurowoofwoof111
Supporting Role


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Reply with quote

I visited Japan two years ago and visited the museum regarding the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. After much inner controversy over this, I decided I was in support of the Hiroshima bombing, but not the bombing of Nagasaki. I think that the casualties for an invasion of the main land of Japan would have been catastrophic, and that Japan would have continued with the war for many years later. We heard high ranking Japanese officials saying, ''But so long as England and the United States insist upon unconditional surrender, the Japanese Empire has no alternative but to fight on with all its strength for the honor and existence of the Motherland.".
As for the bombing of Nagasaki, I feel that after the bombing of Hiroshima, we left Japan very confused, and that had more time been given to Japanese officials, we could have seen our unconditional surrender.
Anyway, I hope people can feel open enough to post their opinions regarding this, and that we can all keep a cool head.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
John Theta
Major Character


Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 487
Location: Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard this argued both ways convincingly, but don't know enough to be qualified to have an opinion.
_________________
The Stickromancer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1254
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Theta wrote:
...don't know enough to be qualified to have an opinion.

That doesn't stop most people from having one.

I like to put it this way:

An honest opinion is a common thing.
An informed opinion is a rarity.
An unbiased opinion is a contradiction in terms.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
John Theta
Major Character


Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 487
Location: Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I try to refrain from expressing opinions that I can't back up at least by an appeal to authority. Smile
_________________
The Stickromancer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Kargoneth
Minor Character


Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 38
Location: The Abyss of Oblivion, Nightmare Realm

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not believe the bombings were necessary.

Despite the apparent zealousness and confidence of the Japanese military, Japan simply did not have the supplies to repel combined American and Soviet attacks.

The civilian population was low on supplies and could not effectively restock food due to petroleum being used in the war. The population would not pose much of a threat to American forces due to hunger and starvation. After an American conventional bombing campaign which levelled much of the city, the majority of people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only civilians. I do not see how killing more Japanese civilians with an atomic weapon would save American lives.

The Japanese military could not have stopped an invasion with their lack of supplies and were near surrender.



http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,826546,00.html
http://www.doug-long.com/
http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2005/07/hiroshima-time-again.html
http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com/dispatches/2005/11/why_hiroshima_a.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Medron Pryde
Bit Part


Joined: 06 Aug 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were plenty of Japanese-held islands that ran out of petroleum but the soldiers kept on fighting.

And a mere lack of petroleum did not stop them from building weapons of war to fight us with.

Our soldiers knew from experience how fanatically the Japanese fought in what should have been hopeless situations. Our soldiers wept openly in relief when they realized they wouldn't have to attack Japan.

I can't say with any authority what the ACTUAL readiness of Japan was to fight off an attack. All I can say is that the Japanese people THOUGHT they were ready and the Americans and Russians THOUGHT they were ready and from experience they knew just how atrocious their casualties would be.

The Bomb was the only way they could think of to force the surrender that would save their lives. That it saved a lot of Japanese lives is a happy after effect for the people the lived and fought that war. And for some, happy is an overstatement.
_________________
Medron Pryde

"If someone tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Mal - Firefly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ntoonz
Minor Character


Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 51
Location: Temperance, MI

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always try to avoid judging historic decisions like these on the basis of what we know now, since what is know is almost invariably a lot more than what they knew when they made the decision.

Part of the rationale for dropping the second bomb was to prove that the US could manufacture atomic weapons, and that the first bombing wasn't just a one-shot deal (pardon the pun). It was also important to force the surrender quickly, to keep Stalin and the Soviets from grabbing up too much Japanese-occupied land on the Asian mainland.

I think the Allies might have had an idea of Japan's resources at the time, but they'd also been scared spitless by whole Kamikaze program. The idea of facing a whole population with that kind of suicidal attitude probably didn't appeal greatly to anyone, and the commanders recognized that maintaining troop morale in the face of it would cause extra problems to a logistics task that was already a nightmare.

One of the major blockage points for the Japanese was the Emperor's status. A concession to leave Hirohito on the throne might have greased the skids diplomatically, but I don't think the Allies were up to it. Most folks blamed him for starting the war; granting him any leeway would have been a pretty hard sell, particularly in the US, where a large number of people would have loved to see him tried alongside Tojo for war crimes.

So, all things being as they were, I think the second bomb had a purpose. Truman made the best decision with the resources he had. It's interesting to note that he stood by it, too. In the mid-'50's, some college kid asked him at a lecture if he regretted having ushered in the Atomic Age. Truman replied that it was a question of having a bigger gun than the enemy had, and that he never doubted that it was necessary to use it.
_________________
Licensed online comic macquettes! Get 'em at www.ntoonz.com
and join the adventure at http://rangers.comicgenesis.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Caldazar
Supporting Role


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was also a way to prove their muscles towards Soviet. I mean the Alliance was definatly worried about the big red monster even though they were temporarily on the same side. Diplomatic relations were strained at best.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Inu
Minor Character


Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can take a tram to the top of the mountain, or you can take the donkey. It is the same price. - Ron White, quoting someone else.

A quick thought: We can send our troops in there to kill everybody, or we can bomb them from our homes, the number of enemy casualties is the same.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kargoneth
Minor Character


Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 38
Location: The Abyss of Oblivion, Nightmare Realm

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troops can discriminate between combatants and civilians, bombs cannot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Inu
Minor Character


Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kargoneth wrote:
Troops can discriminate between combatants and civilians, bombs cannot.


Not necessarily. Just because someone looks civilian doesn't mean that person won't pull out a gun and shoot one of our soldiers. It has happened. And it would have happened if we went there.

Again. Same enemy casualties, less casualties for us!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ntoonz
Minor Character


Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 51
Location: Temperance, MI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inu wrote:
You can take a tram to the top of the mountain, or you can take the donkey. It is the same price. - Ron White, quoting someone else.

A quick thought: We can send our troops in there to kill everybody, or we can bomb them from our homes, the number of enemy casualties is the same.


Not in this case. Civilian casualties were projected to be much higher in an invasion than the number that died in the two bombings.
_________________
Licensed online comic macquettes! Get 'em at www.ntoonz.com
and join the adventure at http://rangers.comicgenesis.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ntoonz
Minor Character


Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 51
Location: Temperance, MI

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, the AP had a related story out today:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jg-g0TASLocXq4cMWCu_4tjjfSWAD92GT6N81

I think Tojo's opinion was indicative of the army's general opinion at the time. Maybe not the common people's opinion, but the army had the guns.
_________________
Licensed online comic macquettes! Get 'em at www.ntoonz.com
and join the adventure at http://rangers.comicgenesis.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Guest






PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you live in Japan long enough, and I have lived in Japan for 20 years now, even now you get a sense of how easily led the Japanese are and how reluctant to change opinions. The entire culture is built around doing what you're told and being like everyone else. This is something that goes way back in Japan's history and the country changes at a glacial pace.

The country has been led by corrupt and inept politicians of the same party because the Japanese are too passive to change. I'm not talking about vague claims of scandals, but absolute and obvious bribes and other actions which have been proven don't get people voted out of power. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to people and they just take it for granted that people who hold positions of authority wouldn't be in those positions if they didn't know what to do.

Given this information, I think that any ground war during an invasion would have been bloody and prolonged as whatever rigidity and passiveness we see now (and there is plenty) was almost certainly more intense during WW II. Both sides would have suffered horribly and there would likely have been more deaths on both sides than the bombs caused. It would have taken years and years before Japan would have been "defeated" and the country's infrastructure and resources would have been decimated. In the end, Japan would have suffered more. People would have died from starvation if they didn't die from war-related violence.

It's nearly impossible for Western people to inhabit the Japanese mentality because it is so dissimilar from the individual-driven cultures of the West. It's also hard because we are raised with a completely different cultural indoctrination when it comes to ethics. Japanese culture is shame-driven, not morally-driven. They have no religion to speak of. Though they superficially observe Shintoism and Buddhism, they perform rituals in a perfunctory fashion. I have never met a religious Japanese person who wasn't a Christian (and I've met very few of them).

If you have shame-based culture rather than one which is driven by some sort of ethical compass, your actions are very different. Bringing shame to yourself and your extended family is worse than death (hence the high suicide rates in Japan for everyone from high school kids who can't cope with the exam pressure to salarymen who kill themselves for failing at their jobs). I know the notion of Japanese "honor" is over-played in the West, but it's not about the honor. It's about the shame. This is why Japanese soldiers fought on even after the bombs were dropped. To do less would bring them and their families shame.

When you consider that family bonds and notions of responsibility are far more intense, and that an individual's actions not only reflect back on the family in terms of public perception of the family, but also directly in an economic sense, you can see where people may behave irrationally to avoid shaming the family. If you don't believe the family pays for the failures of the individual, I can tell you that even now in Japan, the family of a person who commits suicide by jumping in front of a train has to pay tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to the train company for the way in which the death of the jumper inconvenienced everyone else. That's right. The grieving family has to pony up a huge sum of money for the actions of a family member who did something they didn't want him or her to do. The familial links are stronger and it's reflected in the laws.

I can't even discuss WW II with most Japanese people because they only see themselves as victims and they are completely misinformed about their history. They deny their actions in Asia and completely forget the fact that they were allied with Germany and attacked Pearl Harbor. Any teaching or discussion of WW II is focused tightly and narrowly on the atomic bombs. There's huge controversy in Korea and China over the fact that Japanese history books are full of lies and denials and the fact that Japan has never taken responsibility for its part in initiating the war or the torture and atrocities it committed. One of the reasons you get Western folks who visit here playing the rewriting of history game is that it's all so one-sided and as time goes by, the West stops focusing on this but the Japanese continue to wail and display their supposed unprovoked suffering.

I don't know that anyone can say the bombs were "necessary", and they were certainly horrible things. We can't re-write history or the path it might have taken. However, the choice was certainly one that could be backed up with reason and logic as opposed to racism or calculated indifference to the deaths in Japan. I can say though with certainty that Asia's power and politics would have been very different otherwise and that Japan would not be what it is today culturally or economically had the bombs not been dropped and caused the war to be quickly and decisively finished.

When people discuss this issue, they do so as if fewer deaths may have occurred had the bombs not been dropped. It wasn't a matter of bombing-related death or no death. It was a matter of dying from bombs or land invasions, starvation and disease. You can really only debate whether there may have been significantly more or less one way or another and my opinion is that a land-based war would have not only dragged on and on, but dragged in women and children as well.
Back to top
PsychotiChicken
Undistinguished Extra


Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
If you live in Japan long enough, and I have lived in Japan for 20 years now, even now you get a sense of how easily led the Japanese are and how reluctant to change opinions. The entire culture is built around doing what you're told and being like everyone else. This is something that goes way back in Japan's history and the country changes at a glacial pace.


In a true collective the individual will changes when the collective will changes. The individuals have not yet asked themselves what should be done. I only spent 10 weeks in Japan and do not speak Japanese. I will not pretend to know much of anything about them. I did, however, grow up with a few people who are now marines. A friend since we were both 4 years old dropped into Northern Iraq in 2003. I am very familiar with the culture they came from.

On Guadalcanal the Marines felt isolated. They were ordered to hold an airstrip with no airplanes on an island they had never heard of. I have not heard any stories of marines giving up at Guadalcanal. There are stories of sick hungry Americans running through jungles and swamps behind enemy lines fighting with bayonets and machetes. The Germans expected the 82 airborne to surrender during the battle of the bulge. The encirclement happened, the troops were running out of ammunition, they knew they were running out of ammunition, but the surrender did not happen. The Japanese believed that their pilots could sweep away the resistance at Midway. They were shocked to see torpedo bomber pilots "maintain course to the last plane like samurai". Cultural misunderstanding is something that Japanese and American culture share.

When well trained human soldiers believe that holding a far away piece of land will protect the lives of his (her?) family, loved ones, and friends they will often persevere against overwhelming odds. When a mammal of many species feels that it is cornered it can become ferocious. If you squeeze a red ant it will try to bite you. Red ants do not speak English or Japanese. The species on opposite sides of the Pacific evolved and/or maintained the instinct through convergent evolution.

There were no civilians at Io Jima. Off the coast of Okinawa there is Ie. The U.S. military was shocked when they discovered that the women were charging American machine guns through heavy naval bombardment carrying javelins made from sharpened bamboo sticks. It was Ie that firmly planted the idea that the Japanese culture was nuts. The waves of kamikaze bombers reinforced the idea. A few miles away from Ie the U.S. army was able to send captured Okinawan (they considered themselves Japanese) civilians into caves to talk to the people hiding. Although we may not fully understand detailed nuances of Japanese culture the differences between the hills on Ie and the hills a few miles away are slight. Ie was a failure of American propaganda. Ie was cut off when the navy arrived. The women on Ie believed that they would be raped and then sadistically killed. They then made the rational choice to die quickly from blood loss instead. If American women are given the choice between death by gang rape and torture or death by firing squad almost all will take the bullet.

Japan's military command was intent on fighting to death after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. air force's strategic bombing survey showed that Japanese that lived near Hiroshima and Nagasaki were impressed and believed they lost the war. Over the horizon that was not the case. Japanese intelligence/security had found that many Japanese believed they had lost the war before Hiroshima. After Hiroshima they still had that belief in similar numbers.

What happened at the end was the U.S. deciding it could offer the Japanese their emperor. Offering a conditional surrender broke a century of U.S. military tradition. The Japanese had not been enjoying the war for a very long time and were eager to talk. The transcript of the conversation was printed. Printed a lot. And then the pamphlets were dropped from bombers that were not carrying any bombs. That scared the Japanese high command. Rather than taking the risk and seeing which way the masses would go, the emperor got on the radio and announced the end. If the nuclear bomb ended the war it was the bomb's effect on the U.S. public. It enabled the American high command to offer a meager concession and end the war without losing face.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Beyond the Fourth Wall Forum Index -> Controversy Corner All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group