The Instigator
ConservativePolitico
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
Reid
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan was a Necessary Evil

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,996 times Debate No: 19654
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

ConservativePolitico

Pro

Hello - I will be arguing in favor of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan in 1945 by the United States of America. I believe that the bombings were necessary for an American victory and the alternative would have been worse in the end.

I trust that everyone reading this understands the event in question and that no definitions need to be posted.

Round 1: Acceptance/Clarification by Con [if needed]
Round 2: Main points
Round 3: Conclusions/rebuttals

I am in favor of shorter debates in which strong points are made and then thought about so there will be two rounds of solid debating.

I am eager to start this debate and look forward to a challenger.
Reid

Con

I would actually like to define some words, but because you said no, I will concede to that.

However I have two rules, please don't cite or source anything as "wikipedia." I prefer reliable sources from major news sources and authors, not some random person. Lastly, please leave morals / philosohpy / ethics out of this debate. Clear cut facts need to be laid out and that is how (I believe) the round should be looked at, which is whoever provides the best argument through facts.

Observation: The Negative side has to prove there were alternatives to winning World War II over Japan. On top of that, the Neg side must show that its alternative would have been better in the end based on specific factors.

I look towards debating this topic and I wish you the best of luck. In the next round, I will lay out my case once my opponent has done so, and in the third round, we may argue each others case.
Debate Round No. 1
ConservativePolitico

Pro

I regret that you did not get to define what you wanted but appreciate that you respected the initial request. I also am thankful for the chance to engage in this debate.

Main points:

1) The alternative to dropping the bombs would have been worse for both the Japanese and the Americans in the long run in terms of resources by shortening the length of WWII.
2) Both American and Japanese lives were saved by dropping the atomic bombs.
3) The alternative would not have ensured an American victory.
4) Therefore the dropping of the bombs was necessary in order to secure beyond a doubt an American victory while saving lives and resources in the process.


Operation Downfall: my whole argument will be based on this operation. Downfall was an American plan to invade and occupy Japan.

1) - The alternative to the dropping of the atomic bombs would have been Operation Downfall, an American plan to invade and occupy the main islands of Japan. This invasion would have been long, expensive and bloody for both the United States and the Empire of Japan. The plans, planned ahead to January of 1946, six months later than the war actually lasted (August, 1945). [http://www.ww2pacific.com...] Operation Downfall was composed of two parts, Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. This extension of the war would have expended countless resources for both sides.

Example of resources planned: "The Strike Force, 3rd Fleet, had 21 carriers and 10 fast battleships to range up and down the length of Japan to suppress Japanese forces with priority to destroy aircraft and transportation.
The Assault Force, 5th Fleet, had 26 carriers, plus 8 detached from Strike force for the invasion period, 13 slow battleships, 20 cruisers, 139 DD, 167 DE, and support ships for a total of 800 warships. Troops and their equipment were to come from the Philippines and Marianas in 1,500 transports. All combat troops were from the Pacific theater ; none redeployed from Europe. The plan called for a diversionary display by the floating reserve on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four islands, before their landing on Kyushu. Support troops including engineers to build airfields were to land starting on Y-Day + 2 ; some of these were to come from Europe." [http://www.ww2pacific.com...]

"The following "special weapons" were established on southern Kyushu [the location for Operation Olympic].
  • Kamikazes -- 2,100 army planes and 2,700 navy planes.
  • Baku - suicide missile carried by a bomber.
  • Mini-subs, each with 2 torpedoes, 500 were building.
  • Fleet submarines -- rearm the 57 remaining that had been dedicated to re supply of outposts.
  • Kaiten - suicide torpedoes with a 20 mile range.
  • Shinyo - suicide motorboats. The army had 1-man, 17 foot motorboats. The navy had 2-man, 22 foot boats.
  • The largest surviving warships were destroyers that were prepared for suicidal attack on the invasion convoys.
  • On the land, human mines in which soldiers had explosives strapped to their bodies and were to crawl under a tank. Other explosives were packed with a suction cup to be attached to the side of a tank. And shaped charges on a long pole were to be detonated on the side of a tank.
  • Japanese paratroopers were to attack Okinawa to disrupt flight operations during the invasion period." [http://www.ww2pacific.com...]
All of these resources are now saved from use by ending the war early and bypassing Operation Downfall.

2) The projected casualties from Operation Downfall were staggering. The "low" projections showed America alone losing 456,000 soldiers in Operation Olympic [http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...]. Total "high" projections showed America losing 1,200,000 men in casualties. [http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...]

These numbers far outstrip the deaths at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Casualties by atomic bombs - Projected Operation Downfall Casualties:

Hiroshima: 135,000 Olympic: 456,000
Nagasaki: 64,000 vs. Coronet: 744,000
Total: 199,000 Total: 1.2 million (high)
[http://www.atomicarchive.com...], [http://www.ww2pacific.com...]

The US loss projections show numbers far higher than these. Even if the Japanese surrendered after Operation Olympic the losses would still be higher. Japanese loss projections were not officially calculated by the US but there were 216,000 soldiers present on Kyushu in August, two months before Operation Downfall was planned to begin. These numbers were higher than first thought and these were the numbers of soldiers alone. Civilian casualties would have also been extremely high due to American plans to bomb all key Japanese cities throughout the operation. Similar bombings earlier in the war showed casualties near 100,000. (90,000+ in the Tokyo bombings alone). I know these numbers aren't official but invading any country is bloody for the natives.

3) Invasions are unpredictable. There was no guarantee that the operation would have been successful if attempted. If the US had botched the invasion or lost too many soldiers then the Japanese could have forced us to sue for peace and such a decisive victory would not have been achieved. The atomic bombs were almost guaranteed to cause the Japanese to surrender (because we hid the number of bombs we possessed.) Of course there are no guarantees in life but the US government thought it was necessary to drop the bombs in order to avoid the bloody mess that Operation Downfall would have caused.

4) In light of these numbers and statistics it is safe to say that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan was necessary in order to save lives, save resources and shorten the war with an American victory. If we had not done this we could have possibly lost the war or the support of the American people.

Personal Experience: I lived in Japan for three years while my dad was serving in the Navy there. I learned a lot about Japanese history and I know that the Japanese would never have given up, never. They were teaching their kids and elderly how to sharpen bed posts, brooms and other household items in order to stab American invaders as they came through. It would have been a fight for every inch. Also I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and saw how awful the results of the bombings really were but I truly and wholeheartedly believe that that outcome was better for both sides than a prolonged conflict and invasion.
Reid

Con

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the Mandate of Change, said "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 is because I agree with Dwight D. Eisenhower that I must negate "Resolved: Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan was a necessary evil."

To successfully negate the resolution. I provide some observations for this round.
1. For the negative side (con) to win, they must prove there was an alternative opposed to the dropping at least of one of the bombs, and that the alternative proves better.
2. We must specifically look towards the battle of Japan in WW2, anything else is unresolutional and should not be weighed in today's debate.
3. The affirmative must prove that the dropping of BOTH ATOMIC BOMBS (Not just one) was necessary for an American victory over Japan.

Contention One: The dropping of the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki was militarily unnecessary.

[1] Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary." Eisenhower knew, as did the entire senior U.S. officer corps, that by mid 1945 Japan was defenseless.

[1] Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reflected this reality when he wrote, "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan." Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, said the same thing: "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."

[2] One day before the bombing of Nagasaki, the Emperor notified Foreign Minister Shigenori of his desire to "insure a prompt ending of hostilities". Togo wrote in his memoir that the Emperor "warned [him] that since we could no longer continue the struggle, now that a weapon of this devastating power was used against us, we should not let slip the opportunity [to end the war] by engaging in attempts to gain more favorable conditions."

First off, Dwight D. Eisenhower, concedes that the dropping of the atomic bomb was clearly unnecessary. Going to the second quote, the use of the atomic bombs created no assistance in the war against Japan, and Japan had already sued for peace. To back up that Japan had wanted peace, I provide a third quote from the Emperor to the Foreign Minister Shigenori. He wanted to have a prompt ending of hostilities, and after the first bombing, he was ready to give up. I have quoted the leader of the United States at that time agreeing it was not needed, and that the emperor was ready to discuss even though of how much pride the Japanese have. Thus, proving the second bombing was completely unnecessary. Operation Downfall, the alternative to trying to end the war, would not have been executed until three months later. After the first bomb hit, Japan was ready to end war. However, the America rushed its choice and dropped the second, unnecessary bomb. The U.S. knowingly caused masses of civilian casualties with weapons of mass destruction when one would have clearly been enough.

[1] http://www.doug-long.com...
[2] Togo, Shigenori: The Cause of Japan, page 315. Simon and Schuster, 1956.

I am now ready to hear Pro's rebuttal when ready.
Debate Round No. 2
ConservativePolitico

Pro

First I would like to point out that Con did not provide any documentation when mentioning the Japanese sue for peace. Second, I would like to point out that no dates were given for each of the provided quotes. Depending on the date of the quotes they could have been made to save face in the wake of the fallout (no pun intended) from the dropping of the nuclear bombs.

My rebuttal is thus:

The surrender of Japan was not as simple as people think.

While the Emperor made some hesitant attempts to enter peace talks with some allied nations he was overwhelmingly opposed by generals and military representatives in his cabinet. The Army and Navy were not ready to surrender and would have rather died than give up. There were even rumors about the Emperor's assassination. It was a complicated political dance within the Japanese government. It was true that the Emperor was thinking about entering peace discussions many of his supporters, advisers and other powerful figures were not ready to give up and made that clear. While the Japanese may have (still undocumented by Con) sued for peace, it was not taken seriously by the US and her allies because of the staunch militarism in the cabinet and military. When answering the Potsdam Declaration the Japanese used the word "ignore" in conjunction with Western efforts to enter peace talks and then made no response to the Potsdam Declaration. From the point of view of President Truman the Japanese were conflicted but still ready to fight. [http://worldwar2database.com...]

The army issued this broadcast in response to the Potsdam Declaration: "We shall fight on to the bitter end, ever firm in our faith that we shall find life in death . . . and surge forward to destroy the arrogant enemy." [http://www.ww2pacific.com...]

This broadcast coupled with the indecisive silence by the Japanese government led the president to make the choice that he did.

So we can see from this evidence that Japan was clearly not "ready to surrender" as Con says.

The second bomb was dropped because the Japanese still were not unified and adamant on surrender after the first bomb was dropped. "The cabinet meeting over the night of 9-10 August was deadlocked with six in favor of surrender under certain conditions, three to fight on until after the final battle had shown Japan's will, and with five neutral members." [http://www.ww2pacific.com...]

The Japanese said that there was not enough uranium in the world for a repeat performance and continued to argue about peace. Also "The Emperor had no direct authority other than the loyalty of those who would listen to him." This left the possibility of militant holdouts or direct disobedience by the Japaneses military. They still were not ready to surrender, so in the interest of time and thinking about the future and the people Truman ordered the second bomb dropped in order to ensure a complete victory.

Combating quotes with quotes:

These quotes show Japanese militarism and force of will that caused the United States to act in the way it did. Japan was not "ready to surrender".

*

"The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender." [http://www.weeklystandard.com...]

*

".... also hoped that if they could hold out until the ground invasion of Japan began, they would be able to inflict so many casualties on the Allies that Japan still might win some sort of negotiated settlement." [http://www.cfo.doe.gov...]

*

"Another myth that has attained wide attention is that at least several of Truman's top military advisers later informed him that using atomic bombs against Japan would be militarily unnecessary or immoral, or both. There is no persuasive evidence that any of them did so. None of the Joint Chiefs ever made such a claim, although one inventive author has tried to make it appear that Leahy did by braiding together several unrelated passages from the admiral's memoirs. Actually, two days after Hiroshima, Truman told aides that Leahy had 'said up to the last that it wouldn't go off.'


Neither MacArthur nor Nimitz ever communicated to Truman any change of mind about the need for invasion or expressed reservations about using the bombs. When first informed about their imminent use only days before Hiroshima, MacArthur responded with a lecture on the future of atomic warfare and even after Hiroshima strongly recommended that the invasion go forward. Nimitz, from whose jurisdiction the atomic strikes would be launched, was notified in early 1945. 'This sounds fine,' he told the courier, 'but this is only February. Can't we get one sooner?'" -excerpt from Robert Maddox [http://www3.niu.edu...]

*


From that last quote I want to point out that it says that Nimitz never communicated to Truman their thoughts about the wrongness or need for dropping the bomb meaning that the quote provided by Con was a hindsight or after the fact quote in order to make some sort of political statement. These quotes clearly contradict those given by Con, which from their context and tone seem to have been said after the fact, and didn't comply with their original thinking.

In conclusion:

From this evidence you can see that the surrender of Japan was complicated and confusing for those involved. The Japanese were not ready to surrender and in fact many had no intentions of doing so. Truman had a decision to make regarding the Japanese and he made it. From the information given to the United States by Japan, the mood, the quotes and the actions by the government led the Japanese to give off the impression that they were going to fight, made it necessary for the United States to drop the bombs for the reasons I provided earlier. The Japanese did not seriously sue for peace, nor did they want to surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped.

The Japanese could have dickered for an unknown amount of time, prompted an American invasion leading to a prolonged conflict. Holdouts, military coup, assassination and disobedience of orders were all probable if the Emperor did seriously approach peace and if the US hadn't delivered a clear crushing blow to end the war.

The dropping of the atomic bombs was necessary to a US victory and a clear unified Japanese defeat.

***

I look forward to Cons rebuttal of these obvious quotes and facts.
Reid

Con

Unlike my opponent and being nit-picky about every source and date (even though I have provided the appropriate documentation for all), I will go straight to voting issues within this round.

1. My opponents whole case is based off the assumption that the only alternative to dropping the atomic bombs was "Operation Downfall," when already the Javanese had SUED for PEACE, which the United States blatantly ignored and continued to drop the second bomb, which I have shown was unnecessary. Operation Downfall would not have been commenced for another THREE months, which would have given plenty of time to work out piece (also important to apply this into voting issue #3)

2. My opponent quotes that, "The cabinet meeting over the night of 9-10 August was deadlocked with six in favor of surrender under certain conditions, three to fight on until after the final battle had shown Japan's will, and with five neutral members." However, the site itself proves unreliable due to the fact that its references do not even work, and then references it's own site. This quote should not be weighted in today's debate and my argument (going back to voting issue #1) still stands.

3. There is written proof that Emperor Hirohito was planning on surrendering after the bombing of Hiroshima. The U.S. did not give enough time for them to officially surrender. Not only did it ruin more innocent lives, it was just done for a demonstration of power, which everyone knew the U.S. already had. Nagasaki's bombing was an unnecessary move and created the ferocious image of the U.S. being a nuclear beast. The U.S. is absorbed in its nuclear power, uncaring of the casualties of innocent people.

4. He quotes, "The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender." However, the intercepts were BEFORE the dropping of the FIRST BOMB. My opponent fails to realize this, and doesn't realize that my case is based on the dropping of the second bomb. This quote shall have no weight in today's debate.

His next quote,
".... also hoped that if they could hold out until the ground invasion of Japan began, they would be able to inflict so many casualties on the Allies that Japan still might win some sort of negotiated settlement." [http://www.cfo.doe.gov......]" The link doesn't even work. Again, he fails to realize that Operation Downfall was three months away.

I rest my case with these four key voting issues.It is because I have stuck clearly to the resolution and have defended all my arguments that I believe I have won the debate.

Resolution: Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan was a Necessary Evil
1. Showed that the dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki to end the war was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY unnecessary.
2. The alternative of discussing peace, which I showed was possible, would have saved countless, innocent, Japanese lives and the United States would not have committed war crimes and / or been considered state terrorism.

I thank Pro for this interesting debate (first one), and am eager to see the results. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Well in that light then nothing can be considered a reliable source.
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
Since I didt use wiki my sources are good...Does it t any stranger. Yes, authors and historians are cosidered good source. Can't wait to cite Dr. Seuss and Gingrich.
Posted by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
Well of course Dino, but this is the internet, not TV! :D
Posted by pcmarketx 5 years ago
pcmarketx
Well even historians disagree on certain aspects of history and have different interpretations. So to site a major news source can't just be thrown out the window but just viewed in context just as historians interpretations of history need to be viewed with a critical eye.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Haha I agree with Dinokiller.
Posted by dinokiller 5 years ago
dinokiller
News arent always reliable as it seems. Those bastards just tell us news that WE like to hear on tv.
Posted by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
"I prefer reliable sources from major news sources and authors, not some random person." Uh, sure?
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
I didn't use "anything wikipedia" and used quotes from authors and historians. These followed your guidelines. All of my sources supported each other either way.
Posted by Reid 5 years ago
Reid
I love how I specifically ask for reliable sources before the debate, and this was minimally followed. Cool.
Posted by pcmarketx 5 years ago
pcmarketx
@Pro some of your internet 'sources' would get college students 'F's' on their papers for they types of sources that they are. http://www.cfo.doe.gov..., http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...,
http://worldwar2database.com..., are just a few examples of the 'sources' you used for this debate. While I admit that con was not as convincing in some areas of the debate, the conclusions you come up with were either in lieu of the sources you found (which are do not appear to be credible) or that you used some obscure sources to prove your presupposed ideas of the reasons nuclear bombs were used on Japan. Either way, when looked at closely your arguments stand on some thin ice.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by youngpolitic 5 years ago
youngpolitic
ConservativePoliticoReidTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro uses a wide variety of convincing and elaborate evidence supporting his case while Con's seemed a little one dimensional. I thought Pro overall did a better job arguing his point and has me more convinced in my beliefs.
Vote Placed by TheAtheistAllegiance 5 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
ConservativePoliticoReidTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better documentation, better reasoned arguments, and made wider use of relevant information, while Con seemed to center his arguments around quotes alone. Con also seemed to pull an Authority fallacy by using Eisenhower's judgment as a reason not to drop the nukes, while Pro resorted more to projected deaths, financial strain, prolonged conflict, etc.
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
ConservativePoliticoReidTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: First, to claim an evil and disallow moral arguments is absurd. Second,absent defining terms the debate becomes unreasonable. Pro based his positions on subjective arguments of propaganda, on relied on the reality at the time.