Some people here (and especially on the "no" side) are outrageously stupid and full of anti-American bias and needs to seriously brush up some real history and not some PC-crap they learned in public schools.
A lot of people forget that WWII isn't some Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s where it's just soldiers meet each other in the battlefield to settle the issue. With the introduction of an airplane thanks to the Wright Brothers in 1903, it took warfare to the whole new level.
In WWII, civilians in the cities were part of the war effort since all sides mobilized it's resources to defeat the enemy. Every bomb dropped, every bullet fired, every warships carry soldiers in the sea, every warplanes fly over other countries to strike targets, every tanks used to withstand bullets/shells, every uniform clothing made for soldiers, every artillery used to pound enemy troops, all were made by civilians. Obviously it's where the army used to get these things from and kill enemy soldiers overseas. Therefore, they were a fair game.
Bombing the cities full of military importance(also housed by civilians) would deny the enemy military the resources they needed to wage war against us. And as bad as it goes, it practically worked and Japan didn't have resources left by 1945 to wage war. This term is called "Total Warfare".
To give an analogy: If a person makes a bazooka gun, then gives it to a friend, knowing full well it was going to be used for a crime, then that person is so guilty. The civilians worked in the factories and small-time industrial workshops KNOW the weapons they were making was going to be used for war, therefore represents a fair game. It was either their life or ours. Every country values their life over the others so it's obvious both sides don't give a shit but only their own.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki were military targets. The HQ of the 2nd General Army under General Shunruku Hata was in Hiroshima which commanded the defense of all southern Japan and they were 40,000 soldiers stationed in the city. In Nagasaki, it also had thousands of industries supporting the war effort especially the Mitsubishi factories making "Zero" planes used to ran the U.S. naval fleet off the Pacific Coast. The idea was to cripple their war effort, not to kill as many Japanese, as historically illiterates used to say.
And the U.S. dropped leaflets on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities on August 1st, 1945. Search "LeMay bombing Leaflet". It warned Japanese civilians that in a few days, the cities they lived in will be targeted for bombing and were advised to leave right away to save themselves from destruction. One of the leaflet statements also said, "bombs have no eyes", meaning they can't control where the bombs fell. Be it nuclear bombs, firebombs, high-conventional bombs, etc, it doesn't matter because what the warnings said on August 1st 1945 was serious.
Since most people in Hiroshima & Nagasaki did not leave, the deaths were their responsibility.
I don't see Japan doing that at Pearl Harbor nor American soldiers asked to be bombed that day. I also don't see the Japanese military doing that after conducting military operations in Asia that kill 20 million non-Japanese people as well.
And the Japanese didn't bother to surrender AFTER THE FIRST BOMBINGS. Many fanatic Japanese officers were convinced that the Americans only had ONE BOMB even they know it was. So they decided to go on with the war. However, the 2nd bomb was dropped on on Nagasaki and many Japanese officers still resisted to surrender. However, Hirohito feared that if they go on with the invasion, then the entire nation would be exterminated because the U.S. may have more A-bombs in the assembly lines. So they did,
And in response to the posting Anonymous that the invasion would only cost 100,000. Wow, you're a moron. The invasion of Japan would not just costs the U.S. 100,000 lives it also costs millions of Japanese lives too. There are rock solid basis for those estimates: Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan. Those were outlaying islands of Japan. JAPANESE CIVILIANS committed suicide rather than surrender. In Okinawa alone, civilians including woman and kids were mobilized by the Japanese Army to fight the Americans and as a result, 100,000 civilians died. Do you really think it would have been easier on the mainland? No it was not. To say otherwise is really ridiculous.
The A-bombs saved more lives than it took. If the A-bombs was't used, then the U.S. would had go back to firebomb every major Japanese cities which would have caused the same amount of deaths ad destruction. Tokyo was ripped by firebomb and more than 100,000 civilians died in a single night which was worser than the A-bombs combined. Yes the radiation was a different story but in terms of deaths and destruction, i don't see the A-bombs different from the firebombings that was practiced by all nations during WWII.
Honestly, people needs to brush up their history like the "no" side is supposed to doing.
The atomic bomb on Hiroshima was brutal, yes. On the other hand, it was the only way to stop the war. Japan was going to invade the U.S. and we were running out of supplies, people, guns, bullets, etc. It was either the bomb or lose the war. World War II was the fight for humanity, if Hitler won (not to be taken offensively) the world would have gone to hell.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that Olympic alone would cost 456,000 men, including 109,000 killed. Including Coronet, it was estimated that America would experience 1.2 million casualties, with 267,000 deaths.
Staff working for Chester Nimitz, calculated that the first 30 days of Olympic alone would cost 49,000 men. MacArthur’s staff concluded that America would suffer 125,000 casualties after 120 days, a figure that was later reduced to 105,000 casualties after his staff subtracted the men who when wounded could return to battle.
General Marshall, in conference with President Truman, estimated 31,000 in 30 days after landing in Kyushu. Admiral Leahy estimated that the invasion would cost 268,000 casualties. Personnel at the Navy Department estimated that the total losses to America would be between 1.7 and 4 million with 400,000 to 800,000 deaths. The same department estimated that there would be up to 10 million Japanese casualties. The ‘Los Angeles Times’ estimated that America would suffer up to 1 million casualties.
Regardless of which figures were used, it was an accepted fact that America would lose a very large number of men. This was one of the reasons why President Truman authorised the use of the atomic bomb in an effort to get Japan to surrender. On August 6th, ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima and on August 9th, ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. On September 2nd, Japan surrendered and America and her allies were spared the task of invading Japan with the projected massive casualties this would entail."
. As proof that the Japenese were more likely than not resistant to surrender, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Downfall
"While the geography of Japan was known, the US military planners had to estimate the defending forces that they would face. Based on intelligence available early in 1945, their assumptions included the following:
"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."
"That approximately three (3) hostile divisions will be disposed in Southern KYUSHU and an additional three (3) in Northern KYUSHU at initiation of the OLYMPIC operation."
"That total hostile forces committed against KYUSHU operations will not exceed eight (8) to ten (10) divisions and that this level will be speedily attained."
"That approximately twenty-one (21) hostile divisions, including depot divisions, will be on HONSHU at initiation of [Coronet] and that fourteen (14) of these divisions may be employed in the KANTO PLAIN area."
"That the enemy may withdraw his land-based air forces to the Asiatic Mainland for protection from our neutralizing attacks. That under such circumstances he can possibly amass from 2,000 to 2,500 planes in that area by exercise of rigid economy, and that this force can operate against KYUSHU landings by staging through homeland fields.""
I do not think any logical argument can be made against the atom bomb at this point.
The Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907 state that "the attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited". Neither Nagasaki nor Hiroshima were undefended. Therefore, they were legitimate, legal targets. Also, the Hague Draft Rules of Aerial Bombardment, drafted in 1923, state that "air bombardment is legitimate only when is directed against a military objective." Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets due to their significant military presence and industrial production capabilities. The United States did NOT violate any international rules of engagement at the time and therefore the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki do NOT constitute a war crime, end of story. It's not up for debate; it was not a war crime when it happened. Deal with it.
Okay. To start it off, we, the U.S, gave Japan an uncountable amount of chances to surrender. Before they could even reject and continue to fight for their homeland, we warned them that if they don't surrender we would destroy it, their homeland. As anticipated, they again rejected and continued to fight. So although a little bit too harsh, we dropped an A-Bomb.
The United States sent a warning to Japan and the two cities that they were going to bomb them but Japan refused to leave. By leaving many people could of lived, but since they chose to stay they chose death on themselves. It was also a revenge for poor treatment and for the bombing of pearl harbor.
The only alternative to the bombs was to invade the Japanese home land with the odds of the slaughter of many more civilians as they literally fought to the last. It was more than justified to bring the war to an abrupt end.
Before the atom bombs were dropped on Japan, there was a large scale operation being planned for the invasion of the island. Japan knew this, and were prepared to fight down to the last man in the literal sense. After the war was over, the Japanese commanders openly expressed that yes, their main goal had gone from win the war to inflict as many casualties as possible, as evident by the kamikazes. To put this in perspective, the U.S.A. produced so many purple hearts in preparation for the invasion of Japan that they are still being handed out to this day. The nuclear method was much less costly for both sides in this situation, and therefore justified.
A lot of people seem to forget that several months in 1945, the U.S. had dropped leaflets on many Japanese cities, warning civilians of air raids because they wanted to spare civilian life as possible. A few days prior to the A-bombings of Hiroshima, leaflets were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, warning civilians of air raids and urged them to leave. Basically, it say that the Japanese civilians living in those cities were not the targets but the U.S. Air Force was on it's way to attack those cities so you better leave now. Yes, the leaflets was written in Japanese and the text in the leaflets translated into this:
"Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately."
Apparently, the residents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn't leave so basically, whether they deserved it or not, their choice of staying lies in their responsibilities. In addition, the Japanese govenrment had arrested any civilian who were carrying the leaflets so what does that tell you about the Japanese govenrment at that time? Pretty sure that they do not give a damn about anyone but their own. The Japanese govenrment wanted to keep the war going in order to sustain imperial victory hoping it would achieve and conditional surrender rather than an unconditional surrender. Apparently, because of them, many Japanese civilians had to suffer long months from firebombings and two nuclear bombs on Japan. Only surrender would stop the U.S. from bombing Japan into the stone age and because of the nuclear bombs, Hirohito decided to give up the fight.
If you were the Allied Commander in Chief, what would YOUR solution have been? Deliberately sacrifice the thousands of lives of your own troops to satisfy the stubbornness of a petulant and defeated nation like Japan? Starve millions of Japanese civilians into a blockade defeat for months? Also, many people seem to forget that the Allies would have dropped more A-bombs on the beaches and nearby fortifications in Japan as tactical use instead of cities so not only it's going to affect the Japanese but also Allied forces too. Tell me how moral are THOSE actions?
Dropping the Atomic bombs on two cities achieved three very important objectives. 1) It eliminated the savage mentality of the Japanese people forever. 2) It saved countless Allied and Japanese lives by eliminating the need for "Operation Downfall" by the Allies and "Operation Ketsu-Go" by the Japanese government. 3) It warned against Russian expansionism at the conclusion of the war. We will never know how many lives were saved as a consequence but many agreed that more lives were saved in the long run.
War is hell, there is no good guys or bad guys, the goal is to achieve victory for what you can. Especially in the context of Total War where in World War II, every nation placed it's entire resources for the war effort which in a sense, makes them targets. Now, Total War doesn't exist anymore because of nuclear weapons every nation has to defend themselves.
It's easy to look back and criticized the decision when you haven't put yourself in the context of WWII and not compelled to offer any solutions.
We do what we have to protect our country and our soldiers fighting for it. Everyone who believes it was cruel and mean needs to consider the family and friends that where being mutilated and abused. America is a place of freedom and anyone who was born or was a citizen should always be able to obtain that.
OK, so I don't know much about the subject, but I think Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and killed thousands of soldiers, while the U.S Atomic bombs killed MILLIONS of innocent civilians who had not done anything wrong. These were children and normal people who had jobs. I think the US was not justified enough to take action.
Why not drop a bomb in a jungle or somewhere and show the Japanese how much damage one single atomic bomb can do, and maybe another to show that they have more than one? Then maybe the Japanese might have surrendered, without tens of thousands of civilians having their flesh scorched off.
First of all, they were on the losing side anyways, they would have surrendered before it. Second, we didn't have to drop it on Japan itself, we could've dropped it near the harbor and scared them into surrendering once they saw the true power of the bomb. Third, if we had just modified the Potsdam Proclamation(A proclamation that demanded that the Japanese surrendered unconditionally without any say) so that they could've agreed to something. Fourth, many Japanese were killed, yes, if we hadn't dropped it than both sides would have had casualties, but the area they bombed had six civilians for every soldier. More civilians were killed than soldiers in both of those bombings. Fifth, people around the area today still have radiation poisoning and cancer and many other illnesses because of the bomb. I really don't see why we had to drop it there if anywhere. The bomb should not have been dropped.
During WWII, President Truman had enlisted the help of the Soviets. However after doing this it is said that he regretted the decision as it would give the not completely trusted Soviets the opportunity to move further east. Because of this Truman needed a way to end the war quickly, and the US had already been testing atomic bombs, the timing could not have been more perfect. Soon after the testing had finished in New Mexico, President Truman was informed that the US had atomic bombing capabilities, the perfect solution to his problems. The US would be able to end the war quickly, and show the Soviets the potential of destructive force and power the US had. Soon the first bomb was dropped, but Japan did not surrender as they did not wish to fall to the terms of unconditional surrender. Under these terms their emperor system would be removed, and they could not stand for this. Therefore surrender was heavily debated on, eventually they decided to ask the Soviets for help, but it was too late for them, as the Soviets had been near the border of Japanese territory, and closing quickly upon the inland of Japan. It was now when Joseph Stalin declared war upon the Japanese. Eventually the US had another bomb to drop. They arrived to Japan within 5 hours, and the alarm had been set off in Nagasaki. But it turns out that the first plane sent was merely a weather recording plane, and the alarm was lifted. Soon after more planes came, this time carrying the bomb. They could not however drop the bomb without the third plane which had not yet arrived. Eventually they decided that they had wasted enough fuel, and decided to drop the bomb upon Nagasaki in order to make it back to the US safely because it would be the only way, they had to drop the excess cargo, the atomic bomb Fat Man. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Children killed, children who survived found themselves without parents or family. Thousands died later due to radiation. The US had responded rashly and without thought only trying to show the world that we still held power. And it was never recorded once that Truman or his officials ever questioned the use of the bomb either. It was decided without any further thought or questioning. And when the Japanese did surrender, the US cheered, but did we actually know what had happened? Children touching the bodies of their parents only to see the bodies poof into a cloud of ashes and particles only to be swept away. People everywhere died from radiation. We responded to the attacks not once but twice, causing the Japanese to decide to use kamikaze pilots. We had made them desperate with the second bombing. Many lives could have been saved if we had stopped after the first atomic bomb, Little Boy, which wasn't justified either. We could have negotiated instead...
Definitely not justifiable because many lives were lost and many, to this day, are affected by the radiation from back then. Because the United States wanted a "quick end" to the war does not mean that they can go and bomb highly populated cities to "prove their strength." There are many other ways to do that.
Japan was about to surrender, see here http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html as a matter of fact they had just recently installed a new government and the main election bid was to end the war with the allies. Japan wasn't full of mindless soldier - folk as the media has stereotyped it to have been - on the contrary, there were peace activists and it should be noted
|that on January 20, 1945, two days prior to his departure for the Yalta meeting with Stalin and Churchill, President Roosevelt received a 40-page memorandum from General Douglas MacArthur outlining five separate surrender overtures from high-level Japanese officials."
There is a real reason that the US dropped the atomic bomb - to prove to the Soviets that they had it and were willing to use it. And it work - a week after the bombs were dropped the Soviets declared war on Japan and showed solidarity with the allies.
You know what, personally I see no problem with dropping atomic bombs on a target that was military in nature, but to drop them on civilians is just barbaric and low. It constitutes terrorism and violates the Hague Convention (regarding the rules of war) that the U.S. had signed. In this sense, the U.S. were no different to Nazi Germany and Japan when it came to war crimes on enemy civilians. At least with conventional bombing, bombers aim for specific military-related targets (like a barracks, munitions factory, depot etc), but the atomic bomb destroys everything even those not related to the war effort (think about hospitals, universities, high schools, primary schools, kindergardens, religious buildings, cultural landmarks, residential suburbs etc). Going behind enemy lines to bomb their civilians is low when there was a high concentration of Japanese military in Kyushu because they were anticipating a U.S. invasion.
The point is, are dropping atomic bombs on civilian cities ever justified for whatever political goal? Shouldn't the bombs have been dropped on a predominantly military target (like on the frontline)?
If a Nazi had dropped an atomic bomb on New York City, and he pleaded that he was merely trying to "end the war and save lives", would YOU still agree to him being hanged? If so, shouldn't Truman thus be hanged for using atomic bombs on civilian cities?
With no navy, no air force, their armies losing in China, their people at home starving to death, American bombers ruling their skies, an effective American sea blockade in place, Russia having just declared war on them, and with martial law imposed, Japan was essentially defeated by August 1945. America had 100% air superiority over Japanese skies and 100% sea superiority in Japanese waters. Japan didn't even have the ability to shoot down the lone bomber that carried the atomic bomb. No atomic bombs or a costly U.S. invasion was militarily necessary to end WWII.
If I was the U.S. President I would've waited until Russia declared war on Japan on August 9, 1945 (as part of the promise they made to America). I would've waited to see if Japan would surrender in the wake of this Russian intervention (Note: this is actually what happened, Russia's entry into the Pacific War was what forced Japan to surrender). I would've waited until Japan believed all hope in China was lost (which was inevitable with the Chinese winning the war and Russia's eventual invasion of Manchuria). I would've waited until the sea blockade forced the majority of the starving Japanese people and the nervous Japanese cabinet to end the war (this is what Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz suggested to Truman, since he knew that with martial law imposed Japan was on the verge of rebellion). I would've given a public message to Japan saying that Emperor Hirohito would not be tried as a war criminal and the imperial family would be saved (this is what Gen. Douglas MacArthur wanted Truman to do, since he believed Japan only fought on to save the imperial family from post war prosecution).
These alternatives were there for Truman to use. It wouldn't of hurt to have tried them, but Truman did not use any of them. All these possibilities would've saved American lives, saved Japanese lives, given America a good image, and more importantly, ended World War II in a civilized manner. If Truman was serious about saving lives he would've tried those alternatives before resorting to the atomic bomb. It's funny how the atomic bombs were dropped on August 6 and August 9 when Truman knew that Russia would declare war on Japan on August 9. In an interview to "The New York Times" in 1946, Albert Einstein believed that Truman deliberately used atomic bombs to try and end WWII before Russia could get involved. And indeed, by looking at those dates the only logical explanation for Truman to drop the atomic bombs on civilian cities so close to Russia's intervention was to intimidate Russia.
The Japanese military might was crumbling fast. Finances were all but gone. They were already ready to surrender ... and it was only a matter of days, if not hours before it became official. So, it merely seems that America just wanted to flex their muscle and show the world what they're made of ... scare tactics for all to quiver at. Just wanting to test their weapons of mass destruction ... does not justify killing 100's of 1,000's of innocent people - women and children!! And not just once ... but, TWiCE!! Obviously they don't know when enough is enough ...
Around 2,400 American Naval personnel were killed in Pearl Harbor, and around 1,200 were injured. How is it justified, the bombing and killing of over 300,000 people, mainly CIVILIANS, due to petty revenge. Big deal, they killed 2,000 odd people; those people were military personnel. The people the Americans killed were mainly innocent civilians. Worse than the Nazis, at least they targeted potentially threatening points.
It's not a case of "Anti-American bias" it's the simple fact that Americans can't take it when others prove to them that America is not invulnerable, that they can be attacked; and then they get in a strop and kill millions of people.
The Americans are practically at fault for the Al-Qaeda as they supplied them with the weapons the Al-Qaeda are using against them.
The act of war is between soldiers. Any country or nation that takes the stance of killing civilians is cowardly because it faces defeat and desperation in the battle between soldiers. For us to debate on this topic of dropping a bomb that kills almost 200k people mostly civilians, it is ludicrous to do so. There should be no debate on this, and especially the topic of what could be done. Don't assume anyone can predict the future. By that logic, why don't we kill the millions of people in Africa dying of malnutrition by bombing them out of existence? It may alleviate their suffering, and there will be more food for all of us, but the thought of anyone debating on the subject of the Hiroshima bombing abhors me. The bombing was an act of desperation and cowardice on part by Trueman and his government. As such, it should be remembered this way.