The Instigator
Wolfman19
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
HellishPanda
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The atomics mission were necessary in ending the war against Japan

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 659 times Debate No: 103601
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Wolfman19

Pro

The atomic missions were necessary in ending the War in the Pacific
HellishPanda

Con

The definition of nessessary is, "Needed to be done, achieved, or present; essential." [1] Therefore, for me to win this debate I would need to find an alternative option that hypothetically could have happened that would have ended the war.

Considering that Japan was on the verge of collapse, surrender was imminent regardless of whether the bombs were dropped or not. The war could have ended by the blockade, invasion, more firebombing, etc. The atomic bombs were not needed to end the war. Therefore I won this debate unless my opponent can prove that these alternate scenarios could not have ended the war.

[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Wolfman19

Pro

Thank you accepting the debate and providing your argument for round 1. Now, before I begin my arguments, I would like it to be known that my source will be "War's end", a book written by the only person to be present on both atomic missions, Major General Chuck W. Sweeney.

In your opening argument, you have stated that Japan was close to surrendering, and as a result, making the atomic missions unnecessary. However, in reality, in 1945, Japanese ministers in Emperor's Hirohito's cabinet had no intentions of surrendering to the U.S. Many Japanese people at the time had a samurai-like mindset, viewing surrendering as dishonorable to one's family and self. As a result, surrendering to the U.S. was unthinkable for many Japanese people, especially its generals and government officials. For example, even after Hiroshima was hit, General Tojo believed that the U.S. possessed only one atomic bomb and that Japan could continue fighting. There were no plans to end the war unless the U.S. changed the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, which wasn't going to happen.
You stated firebombings or an invasion would have been sufficient enough in making Japan surrender. However, firebombings conducted by the USAF in the months preceding the atomic missions did not weaken the will of the Japanese. Now let's make one thing clear, these bombing missions were flown by hundreds of B-29s that dropped countless incendiary on Japan's cities in one of the largest air campaigns in history. And let's not ignore that fact that japan's leaders failed to evacuate cities full civilians even though U.S. planes dropped pamphlets, prompting civilians to do so. Given these facts, it is very unlikely that more firebombings were going to make japan surrender if they were willing to allow their own civilians to die. As for an invasion, it would've led the deaths of hundreds of thousands of American lives. For example, Operation Olympic, code-name for the invasion of Kyushu, would have been a blood-bath for American troops. The island was heavily fortified by the Japanese, who at that point were expecting an invasion. Furthermore, the entire civilian population of Kyushu was called upon to fight any invading force, totaling a defense force in the millions. I am sure that you have heard about Okinawa and Iwo Jima, so imagine similar battles on a larger scale.
A blockade wouldn't have made Japan surrender. Yes, it wouldn't contained Japan and deprive it of its ability to attack but the will of Japan to keep fighting would have still been strong.
Given the points that I have made, it is unlikely that a blockade, invasion, or more firebombings would have ended the war. I await my opponent's response!
HellishPanda

Con

"Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces

"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." ~ Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

"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." ~ Admiral William D. Leahy

Like I said before, the Japanese had been blockaded. Therefore they did not have the supplies to continue the war. The Japanese were pretty much defenceless and the end was inevitable.The Japanese actually reached out to Russia to make a peace agreement. America knew this because they had long ago broken the codes that the Japanese used to communicate.
The US Strategic Bombing Survey said with certainty that Japan would have surrendered in the year 1945 no matter what.

It is clear that many of the top people who commanded the Allied forces thought that the bombs were unnecessary. It was clear that Japan had indeed tried to broker peace which negated my opponents claim to Japan never wanting to surrender. By statistics, it is proven that the bombs were uneccassary. Proof of this in [1].

My opponents whole argument is basically, "the Japanese all have Samurai mentality and would never have surrendered." This is wrong on many accounts. Firstly, claiming that the majority of the Japanese people have a no-surrender mentality is negated by the fact that we know Japan tried to surrender. Secondly, the firebombing, blockade and invasion would have made Japan surrender. It is statistically proven by the article I provided. In fact, the need for an invasion was improbable based upon the survey.

[1] https://www.commondreams.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Wolfman19

Pro

Japan was only willing to accept the Potsdam Declaration on terms acceptable to them, which would've seen many government officials and Japan's emperor remain in power. When these terms were not present in the treaty, Japan chose to stall on accepting it, believing that the more American blood they spilled, the more likely the U.S. would be in renegotiating the treaty. This was never going to happen, therefore, the war was going to continue. Yes, Japan was weak and low on resources, but its will to keep on fighting was NOT broken. Furthermore, Russia invaded Manchuria so possibilities of a treaty were gone.
I would like to state that Eisenhower later recanted his statements about the atomic missions, explaining that his response was in the moment, and he didn't know the full context of the situation. Furthermore, Eisenhower also believed that Germany was close to "surrendering" in 1944, but this miscalculation led to a massive German counter offensive( Battle of the Bulge).
I have negated the notion that an invasion of the Japanese mainland or increased firebombings of Japanese cities would have ended the war in the last round. Firebombings conducted by hundreds of B-29s in the months preceding the atomic missions with the sole goal of forcing Japan to surrender did not work. They were large air campaigns but they did not break the will of Japan. Likewise, if Japan was so close to surrendering, I ask why the population of Kyushu was called upon to fight any invading force? Why did kamikazee attacks only increase as the U.S. reached closer to the Japanese mainland? Why did Japan threatened to execute American POWs? Why did General Tojo still want to fight even though Hiroshima was leveled? These are actions conducted by someone who is not looking to surrender, but rather to fight to the very end. I feel as though my opponent has avoided these points, choosing to quote emotionally charged comments from U.S. generals like Eisenhower. I have showed why an invasion would not have ended the war but only lead to more lives lost on both sides, and how firebombings and diplomatic efforts failed to make surrender before the atomic missions. Therefore, the atomic missions were necessary in ending the war.

Thank you for a nice debate, and hopefully we can debate sometime again in the future!
HellishPanda

Con

I would first like to state that this debate is about whether or not the bombs were necessary to end the war. We are not debating whether it was ethical or justified. So mentioning that the bombs saved lives or prevented millions of casualties is useless.

Refutes

My opponents states that Eisenhower didn't understand the full context of the moment. May I remind my opponent that Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied forces and would later become president. Logically speaking, Eisenhower said the quote I stated in round 2 which meant he believed that Japan was close to surrender. This is proven by the fact that America knew Japan was trying to get a treaty with Russia. So how did Eisenhower not know the full context of what was happening? He is after all Supreme Commander. My opponent also doesn't give any proof to his words that Eisenhower did indeed recant his statement. My opponent also doesn't try to refute the fact that the other admirals agreed that the bombs had no relevance to Japan's surrender. Here are more quotes pertaining to the fact that the atomic bombs had no relevance to ending the war. [1] My opponent tries to pass off these quotes as subjective and claims that they were all emotionally charged comments and therefore are not true. I could therefore state that my opponent got all his points from an emotionally charged writer who has one sided arguments and are therefore invalid. If all these comments are to be concluded as emotionally charged, then is my opponent indicating that the allied forces were led by emotionally unstable people?

My opponents whole argument is still wholly based upon the fact that Japan had a samurai-mentality and would not have surrendered unless the bombs were dropped. If this were true, by statistics, Japan should have surrendered to the firebombing. The firebombing were far more catastrophic ending with far more deaths and more land destroyed. Therefore, saying that Japan surrendered due to the atomic bombs contradicts statistics.

I would also like to state that my opponent ignores the fact that I stated that Japan had been trying to broker peace with Russia in relevance to the samurai-mentality. The fact that we know Japan tried to surrender basically negates my opponents point that the atomic bombs were the only thing that would make Japan surrender.

My opponent then asks a lot of questions which point towards the atrocities Japan committed during the war. Then my opponent claims that these were actions of a person not looking to surrender, completely ignoring the fact that Japan had indeed tried to surrender. These were the actions of someone who is desperate. And when someone is desperate, that usually means that they are close to surrendering. Which again refutes the fact that Japan would never have surrendered.

Rephrasing Points

Also an invasion of Japan by America would have ended the war. Unless you want to recant your earlier statement when you stated that Japan was weak and low on resources. If an invasion couldn't have ended the war, then you are basically claiming that all the allied forces were not enough to defeat Japan, which is untrue. Therefore, an invasion would have ended the war.

My opponent claims to have negated the fact that an invasion of Japan would have ended the war. Yet has completly ignored the fact that Russia did invade Japan. And it is proven in this article that it was the invasion of Russia which caused Japan to surrender. [2] As my opponent said, Russia attacked Japan which destroyed any plans that Japan had to surrender to Russia. This was because Japan was very keen upon preserving their culture and tradition when they surrendered and they didn't think communist Russia would allow that. This is why they surrendered to the Americans rather than the Russians.

On August 6, the first bomb was dropped.
On August 7, Japanese leaders urged their ambassador in Russia to press for a peace treaty.
On August 8, Japan's ambassador was told that on August 9, Russia would be at war with Japan.
On August 9, Russia invaded Japan very early in the morning (1 minute after midnight of August 8). The second bomb was dropped later that day.

"By the morning of Aug. 9, the Japanese Supreme War Council was meeting to discuss the terms of surrender. (During the meeting, the second atomic bomb killed tens of thousands at Nagasaki.)" ~ Exerpt of [2]

Why would Japan be discussing surrender if they had a samurai-mentality? Why would Japan discuss surrendering to the atomic bomb 3 days after it had been dropped?
The evidence clearly points to the Russian invasion as the reason why Japan surrendered. The Japanese leaders knew they had lost. They knew that their last hope for getting what they wanted was by trying to broker peace with Russia. When that failed, they began discussing surrendering to the Americans because they didn't want to surrender to the Russians.

I have proven multiple scenarios that prove that the bombs had no relevance to the ending of the war and my opponent has not disproven them.

[1] http://www.colorado.edu...
[2] http://archive.boston.com...
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by JimShady 10 months ago
JimShady
Ah wtf never mind.
Posted by JimShady 10 months ago
JimShady
meant to say |24;{56;
Posted by Wolfman19 11 months ago
Wolfman19
what?
Posted by JimShady 11 months ago
JimShady
ehh, {99;{56;
Posted by Wolfman19 11 months ago
Wolfman19
just realized that i accidentally wasted my round 1 argument. So let's just keep round 1 to just stating your argument and leaving round 2 and 3 to backing it up and counter arguments.
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