Historic Aviation > Aviation History

64th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing

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Not to mention the second bomb was totally unnecessary.

F-111 C/C:
Like it says in my bottom quote..."Wars are won by carrying the 'heavy iron' downtown"!


--- Quote from: valkyrian on August 05, 2009, 04:06:36 PM ---OK, killing innocent civilians isn't a crime of war?
What is the difference between the German General who decided to kill Jews and the American General who decided to drop the bomb?

Oh! i forgot! The first one lost the war while the second won the war and decided how to write the History.

Any action against civilians is a crime of war. Can anyone feel proud about this?

--- End quote ---

The UK fire bombing Dresden?
The Japanese attacking hospitals at Pearl Harbour, the stuff they did to the civilians in China?
The Soviets?

In every war there have been civilian casualties, its to do with morale, if the masses don't have the morale, the war won't be fought!

The US dropped the bombs to prevent upto an estimated 1,000,000 casualties from the US and Japan, because the Japanese would've defended their islands to the death. If there was another way around defeating the Japanese and liberating the Pacific, they would've done it! The bombs were the quickest and most effective solution, even though they killed 100,000+ civilians...How many Japanese civilians would've died if the US invaded the islands? Millions.

--- Quote from: Webmaster on August 05, 2009, 04:39:24 PM ---Not to mention the second bomb was totally unnecessary.

--- End quote ---

The Japanese underestimated both the damage to the city and they didnt think the Americans had more bombs.

Detailed reports of the unprecedented scale of the destruction at Hiroshima were received in Tokyo, but two days passed before the government met to consider the changed situation. At 04:00 on August 9, word reached Tokyo that the Soviet Union had broken the Neutrality Pact, declared war on Japan and launched an invasion of Manchuria.

A-bombing of NagasakiThese "twin shocks"—the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entry—had immediate profound effects on Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, who concurred that the government must end the war at once. However, the senior leadership of the Japanese Army took the news in stride, grossly underestimating the scale of the attack. They did start preparations to impose martial law on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Anami, to stop anyone attempting to make peace. Hirohito told Kido to "quickly control the situation" because "the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us."

The Supreme Council met at 10:30. Suzuki, who had just come from a meeting with the Emperor, said it was impossible to continue the war. Tōgō Shigenori said that they could accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, but they needed a guarantee of the Emperor's position. Navy Minister Yonai said that they had to make some diplomatic proposal—they could no longer afford to wait for better circumstances.

In the middle of the meeting, shortly after 11:00, news arrived that Nagasaki, on the west coast of Kyūshū, had been hit by a second atomic bomb (called "Fat Man" by the Americans). By the time the meeting ended, the Big Six had split 3–3. Suzuki, Tōgō, and Admiral Yonai favored Tōgō's one additional condition to Potsdam, while Generals Anami, Umezu, and Admiral Toyoda insisted on three further terms that modified Potsdam: that Japan handle her own disarmament, that Japan deal with any Japanese war criminals, and that there be no occupation of Japan.

Because the U.S. military planners assumed "that operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population", high casualties were thought to be inevitable, but nobody knew with certainty how high. Several people made estimates, but they varied widely in numbers, assumptions, and purposes — which included advocating for and against the invasion — afterwards, they were reused to debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Casualty estimates were based on the experience of the preceding campaigns, drawing different lessons:

In a study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April, the figures of 7.45 casualties/1,000 man-days and 1.78 fatalities/1,000 man-days were developed. This implied that a 90-day Olympic campaign would cost 456,000 casualties, including 109,000 dead or missing. If Coronet took another 90 days, the combined cost would be 1,200,000 casualties, with 267,000 fatalities.
A study done by Adm. Nimitz's staff in May estimated 49,000 casualties in the first 30 days, including 5,000 at sea. A study done by General MacArthur's staff in June estimated 23,000 in the first 30 days and 125,000 after 120 days.When these figures were questioned by General Marshall, MacArthur submitted a revised estimate of 105,000, in part by deducting wounded men able to return to duty.
In a conference with President Truman on June 18, Marshall, taking the Battle of Luzon as the best model for Olympic, thought the Americans would suffer 31,000 casualties in the first 30 days (and ultimately 20% of Japanese casualties, which implied a total of 70,000 casualties). Adm. Leahy, more impressed by the Battle of Okinawa, thought the American forces would suffer a 35% casualty rate (implying an ultimate toll of 268,000). Admiral King thought that casualties in the first 30 days would fall between Luzon and Okinawa, i.e., between 31,000 and 41,000.
Of these estimates, only Nimitz's included losses of the forces at sea, though kamikazes had inflicted 1.78 fatalities per kamikaze pilot in the Battle of Okinawa, and troop transports off Kyūshū would have been much more exposed.

A study done for Secretary of War Henry Stimson's staff by William Shockley estimated that conquering Japan would cost 1.7 to 4 million American casualties, including 400,000 to 800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities. The key assumption was large-scale participation by civilians in the defense of Japan.
Outside the government, well-informed civilians were also making guesses. Kyle Palmer, war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, said half a million to a million Americans would die by the end of the war. Herbert Hoover, in memorandums submitted to Truman and Stimson, also estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 fatalities, and were believed to be conservative estimates; but it is not known if Hoover discussed these specific figures in his meetings with Truman. The chief of the Army Operations division thought them "entirely too high" under "our present plan of campaign."

The Battle of Okinawa, the very last pitched battle against Japan, ran up 72,000 casualties in 82 days, of whom 18,900 were killed or missing. (This is conservative, because it excludes several thousand U.S. soldiers who died after the battle indirectly from their wounds.) The entire island of Okinawa is 464 square miles; to take it, therefore, cost the United States 407 soldiers (killed or missing) for every 10 square miles of island. If the U.S. casualty rate during the invasion of Japan had only been 5 percent as high per square mile as it was at Okinawa, the United States would still have lost 297,000 soldiers (killed or missing).

Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.

That's why I can support the decision for the first bomb, however the second bomb just three days after... that is not in response of Japan not surrendering, that was going by the plan. I think the Americans also underestimated the destruction and aftereffects. As you discovered yourself, the government already decided to end the war, the Americans did not allow them enough time to let internal politics do its work and convince the military leadership of the sheer devastation.

I believe there's also enough evidence now to suggest that neither the bombs nor an invasion would have been necessary to end the war soon. I don't remember the details, but anyway, that's with hindsight. For such reasons one could also not support the decision. Too bad these surveys never explore the reasons behind the people's answers. Then the researchers could at least also substantiate their claim that younger people do not know enough about the WWII.

But valkyrian's point is that it is not something to celebrate. You mention some other examples of bombing civilians, as if that makes it right, it doesn't, nobody is proud of those... they are commemorated, not celebrated.


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