The Instigator
MyDinosaurHands
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
Dynasty2468
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Use of Atomic Bombs to End WW2 Was Necessary

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,026 times Debate No: 55109
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

MyDinosaurHands

Con

Resolution:
America's usage of nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was needed to bring the war with Japan to an end.


First Round will be for Acceptance. If you have any questions, please ask them before you join in on the debate.
Dynasty2468

Pro

I accept! Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
MyDinosaurHands

Con

Thanks for accepting dynasty.

In order to show that the bombings were unnecessary, I must provide the alternative, better option to the bombings.

Was Japan ready to surrender?
By 1945, Japan was pretty much beat.
"What was left of Japan's factories and workshops struggled fitfully to turn out weapons and other goods from inadequate raw materials. (Oil supplies had not been available since April.) By July about a quarter of all the houses in Japan had been destroyed, and her transportation system was near collapse. Food had become so scarce that most Japanese were subsisting on a sub-starvation diet."[1]

The Japanese knew this too. Their diplomatic moves leading up to the bombings confirm this. In April of 1945 (the war ended August 15th), a new head of government was appointed, Kantaro Suzuki. His purpose was to seek peace for Japan[1]. In April and May, Japan made three attempts with the neutral countries Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to an end. The United States ordered these countries to show no interest or cooperation with these efforts[1]. By mid-June, the Japanese had turned to the Russians for help with surrendering[1].

The Japanese leadership never had any intention of 'fighting to the last man', as many people assume they did. Quite the opposite in fact.
"Japan’s leaders were in fact quite savvy, well aware of their difficult position, and holding out for strategic reasons. Their concern was not so much whether to end the conflict, but how to end it while holding onto territory, avoiding war crimes trials, and preserving the imperial system."[2]
I can't stress this point enough. The Japanese were ready to surrender, but first they wanted to try to get as good a deal as possible. This fact will become more and more important as you continue reading.


So why weren't these peace offers taken?
The Allies were bent on getting 'unconditional surrender' from Japan[1]. The purpose behind this was to ensure that none of the fellow Ally countries would cut a peace deal with the enemy country that would have negative outcomes. Each time the Japanese offered peace, they offered it with a single condition, and that was that their Emperor would remain in some form of power[1][2]. Since this violated the unconditional surrender objective, the US made sure these peace offers were not taken.

How else could this have been solved?
As things grew more and more desperate, their last hope for peace on their terms was Stalin, Russia's dictator.
"...they hoped to convince the Soviet Union, still neutral in the Asian theater, to mediate a settlement with the Americans. Stalin, they calculated, might negotiate more favorable terms in exchange for territory in Asia. It was a long shot, but it made strategic sense."[2]
Their efforts never came to fruition however.
"The Soviet Union declared war and launched a broad surprise attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria. In that instant, Japan"s strategy was ruined. Stalin would not be extracting concessions from the Americans."[2]
The above happened August 8th, the second nuke fell on Nagasaki the day after[1][2], while the Japanese leadership was preparing their terms of surrender[2].

Now with the Soviet Union gone as an option to keep the Emperor, the Japanese were forced to accept an unconditional surrender on August 15th[1][2]. So we can see that it was the loss of Russia as their possibility for conditionally surrender that lead to the Japanese surrender, and end of World War 2. Here is the alternative. Take away their hope in Russia, and the war ends.


So the nukes had no effect?
It is extremely unlikely, for several reasons. For the most part, Japan's leaders didn't care what the civilian casualties were. If they did, would they have ordered civilians to fight American soldiers on their beaches with sharpened bamboo sticks? Because they did[2]. Secondly, there had already been widespread bombing[2][3], so for the Japanese leaders who cared about civilian losses to any degree, they would've been numbed to this. Additionally, there is little historical evidence to support the theory that civilian losses influenced surrender.
"...history suggests that leveling population centers, by whatever method, does not force surrender. The Allied firebombing of Dresden in February of 1945 killed many people, but the Germans did not capitulate. The long-range German bombing of London did not push Churchill towards acquiescence."[3]

In conclusion, the use of nukes was not the reason the war ended. The war ended because Russia entered into the fighting, and Japan knew its option for conditional surrender was gone, and they gave in to unconditional surrender. So, I say that all the United States had to do was wait for Russia to invade. The bombings were unnecessary. I'm not the only one who thinks so, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey agrees with me.
"The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Navy Minister had decided as early as May of 1945 that the war should be ended even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms...

...The mission of the Suzuki government, appointed 7 April 1945, was to make peace. An appearance of negotiating for terms less onerous than unconditional surrender was maintained in order to contain the military and bureaucratic elements still determined on a final Bushido defense, and perhaps even more importantly to obtain freedom to create peace with a minimum of personal danger and internal obstruction. It seems clear, however, that in extremis the peacemakers would have peace, and peace on any terms."[1]



Thanks for reading.

Sources:
[1] http://www.ihr.org...
[2] http://www.boston.com...
[3] http://www.boston.com...
Dynasty2468

Pro

One of the interesting thing that I found out is that my source is exact opposite of the con's source. According to my source, it said that the Japan had no intention of surrender. The appeal for peace with the USSR was simply an attempt to delay the Soviet invasion. Japan had 8,000 aircraft (Most of them were kamikaze), hundreds of suicide boat, over 2 million of well-equipped soldiers, and bunch of civilian army.

Why the bombing was necessary.
When the Allie landed at the Okinawa, over 250,000 militia and civilian were killed. 20 dead Japanese for every dead American.
Using the calculation, millions of Japanese will be killed when the Allie land at the Japan.

I will predict that the Con will say this. "Even if the Allie land at Japan, Japanese would surrender right away" Or something similar. Let me say one thing. Japan is made up of bunch of mountains. If the Allie land at the Japan, the remnant of the army and the guerrilla fighters would just hide in the mountains, harassing the Allie frequently.

Also, Japan had a determined ruler. The Emperor Hirohito was a determined man. He was unwilling to surrender. But he surrendered. Why? The Japan were fighting the men, and suddenly, they were fighting against the force of the Universe. Human vs Universe? Universe wins.
Debate Round No. 2
MyDinosaurHands

Con

"One of the interesting thing that I found out is that my source is exact opposite of the con's source. According to my source, it said that the Japan had no intention of surrender."
That's not correct. The source Pro provides in the comments is on my side. I urge voters to read the article for themselves. The article repeats what I said earlier, about the Strategic Bombing Survey's assessment. They also state that both the Naval and State Departments found nuclear action unneeded. To top it off, here's a quote from his source.
"When the successful test firing of the first atomic bomb took place on 16 July 1945, Truman, negotiating with the Russians at Potsdam, decided to demonstrate America's new power to the Soviets by bombing Japanese cities, even though he knew the Japanese were trying to surrender. To ensure the Japanese would not capitulate before the bombs could be used, he deliberately refused to guarantee the emperor's safety, the only condition which, Alperovitz and others argued, was a sticking-point for the Japanese.

In the event, it was not the bombs that produced Japan's surrender - the Japanese military seemed willing to take them in their stride - but the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 9 August. Truman and his administration, then, had been guilty of an act of callous, wanton brutality, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians, including innocent women and children, to no purpose other than to intimidate the Soviet Union and establish American hegemony."

"The Emperor Hirohito was a determined man. He was unwilling to surrender."
If that was the case, why did the Emperor tell his Supreme War Council before the bombs dropped that, "We have heard enough of this determination of yours to fight to the last soldiers...We wish that you, leaders of Japan, will strive now to study the ways and the means to conclude the war. In doing so, try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past."[1]?

"He was unwilling to surrender. But he surrendered. Why? The Japan were fighting the men, and suddenly, they were fighting against the force of the Universe. Human vs Universe? Universe wins."
Here my opponent suggests that the Japanese were ready to fight it out, but once the bombs were dropped, they decided they couldn't win, so they surrendered. This doesn't make sense. First, understand that as I mentioned in the previous sources, the Japanese position was impossible. If they were to fight, they would not win. Their economy was in shambles, their oil supplies were cut off. As my opponent mentioned, the death rate was 20 Japanese per American.

So if the Japanese were to resist, victory would be impossible. Nobody decides, "Yeah, we can't win this, and I'm not interested in fighting to the last man, but I want to get a couple more people killed first. But not all the people, just some. Just cause." No. If you keep fighting in that situation, it means you're all in, you're ready to go to the last man.

And if they were ready to go to the last man, why would a nuke stop them? Sure, it was probably a surprise to know that many people could be killed so quickly, but, if the plan is to fight until you're all dead, so what? You're still on your way to the end goal. So the argument that the nuke halted them in their tracks makes no sense. If they were all in, they would've kept fighting regardless.

In that situation, they were either all in, or they were looking for a way out. I've shown that the 'all in' theory makes no sense given what happened, which means that they were looking for a way out, rendering the use of the nukes pointless and a war crime.

This idea that the 'Universe' intimidated the Japanese out of kamikaze mode is illogical. If they were in kamikaze mode, they wouldn't have stopped. Therefore, we can logically conclude their intention was peace.




Thanks for reading.

Source: [1] http://www.ihr.org...
Dynasty2468

Pro

May I ask you something. Did you EVEN read it all the way to the bottom? If you didn't, let me read for you.
"If morality is based on numbers, and in this case it must be, then perhaps not. But what is usually overlooked in this numbers game, is the number of Japanese killed on Okinawa, which amounts to a staggering 250,000 military and civilian, about 20 Japanese killed for every dead American. If we conduct the same calculation for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, we arrive at a figure of at least two million Japanese dead.
The losses in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible, but not as terrible as the number of Japanese who would have died as the result of an invasion. The revisionist historians of the 1960s - and their disciples - are quite wrong to depict the decision to use the bombs as immoral. It would have been immoral if they had not been used."
I also urge the readers to read for themselves. At his second quote, he forgot about the previous paragraph's last line.
"By the mid 1960s historians such as Gar Alperovitz had drawn up what was virtually a charge sheet, a belated indictment for war crimes."
In another word, it was just a charge sheet drawn up by the historians, describing what had happened.

"why would a nuke stop them" A nuke? There was 2 nukes. Why would a nuke stop them? In the radio, the emperor had said a sentence that can answer your question. "Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."
I await my opponent's response.
https://www.mtholyoke.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
MyDinosaurHands

Con

I won't do separate sections for my rebuttals, as my opponent didn't respond with much. I apologize to voters if my response appears cluttered.


So my opponent fires back saying that more would've died if we had invaded instead of dropping the bombs. He claims that the usage of the bombs saved lives in the long run. This would be a legitimate point, if the Japanese leadership's main intention was to fight. That was not the case, however. I have shown and defended the fact that the Japanese leadership's main goal was securing surrender terms that were as favorable as possible. As I have said repeatedly, what stopped the Japanese was the entrance of Russia into the conflict, because they were holding out hope that Russia could negotiate terms of surrender that were more favorable than unconditional.



Next he says I forgot about the paragraph's last line. I did not forget, I simply decided to not include it because it seemed unnecessary. All it says is that historians had gained a negative view of the bombings by the 1960s. My opponent says they were simply 'describing what had happened', but I don't think that is the case, given the context of the paragraph, and the use of the words 'belated indictment for war crimes'.



My opponent finishes off with a quote from the then Emperor of Japan, who says that continuing to fight would lead to massive destruction. Here my opponent is insinuating that the nukes changed Emperor Hirohito's mind on the conflict. As I have shown repeatedly, the Emperor was seeking peace long before these nukes were dropped. Just because he said that after the bombs had been dropped doesn't mean his mind was changed by the bombing. He already had his mind made up about peace. Not only did he, but so did the majority of Japanese leadership. This is evidenced clearly by the appointment of Kantaro Suzuki as head of government, with his peace agenda. The statement may have been prepared to make it look like their minds had been changed, because it would look better to say that than to admit that they'd been waiting on getting good terms of surrender, during which time America had decided to drop the nukes.

But my opponent also misses my overarching point about the kamikaze attitude most supporters of the bomb dropping say the Japanese had. I'll repeat it again. If they were ready to die 'honorable' deaths and fight to the last man, why would they care if the nukes dropped? The plan is to die anyways. The fact that they surrendered at all shows that they were not in kamikaze mode, but rather in 'preparing to surrender' mode. The timing makes it look like the bombs had a role, but we know that the Japanese government was more concerned with getting good terms of surrender than they were preserving the lives of their people.



Thanks for reading. Vote Con.
Dynasty2468

Pro

Dynasty2468 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Charliemouse, I think you should explain yourself a little. You're making a lot of bold claims without really supporting their validity.
Posted by Charliemouse 3 years ago
Charliemouse
ararmer lol you are just another american who knows nothing about the reality of anything. feel free to sit in your lovely sanctuary of a country and never know the truth. the war was between Germany and Europe, not that scum of an army you call america
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
I think a debate like this will hinge on the word "need"...
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
Charliemouse. "USA and japan were having there own little conflict while the war happened".

That WAS the war. What the hell are you talking about?

"Used the oppourtunity for another stupid invasion"

What the flying fuk? Do you even have a concept of WW2? This literarily makes no sense whatsoever and does not rate an educated response. Get over your anti-American bigotry please.
Posted by Charliemouse 3 years ago
Charliemouse
...the war really didn't end with atomic bombs. America just needed an excuse. USA and japan were having their own little conflict while the war happened and America used the opportunity for another stupid invasion. so technically this debate is pointless
Posted by Dynasty2468 3 years ago
Dynasty2468
Here's my source, I forgot about it. http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Posted by Dynasty2468 3 years ago
Dynasty2468
nice faunt btw
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 3 years ago
Seeginomikata
MyDinosaurHandsDynasty2468Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear overwhelming con win. Pro even forfeited. As a side note, I might add that the from before the war even started, the goal of the Japanese leadership was to force a compromise peace-treaty. The better they did in the war, the more favorable the terms, the point being that from the start a negotiated peace was the end goal of all Japanese warmaking and strategy.
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 3 years ago
Cold-Mind
MyDinosaurHandsDynasty2468Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made good arguments and Pro failed to refute them.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
MyDinosaurHandsDynasty2468Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Proved altntv. FF. All sources help Con.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
MyDinosaurHandsDynasty2468Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: On all fronts, Con is winning this. Pro never responds to much of his basic analysis, and his own link proves Con's point. The best he can manage is to show that things would have been bad in an alternate future where the U.S. invades Japan, but he doesn't provide any reason why this would occur, and Con provides several for why it wouldn't. So long as I believe that Con is correct in his analysis that Japan was ready to surrender before the bombs were dropped, those bombs don't effectively function towards the receipt of said surrender. Hence, I vote Con on arguments. I give him conduct as well due to the last round forfeit. S&G also goes to Con as a result of some badly written pieces of Pro's arguments, as do sources since Con's were the only ones to factor into the debate and he effectively utilized even Pro's source.