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Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

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Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?
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The Felonius PopePosts: 324Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 amLocation: Arizona

Post Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

These questions have been bothering me lately, and I figured I would get some people's opinions on the matter:

1. Were the atomic bombings necessary?

2. If the bombings were necessary, should the United States have waited longer than three days to drop the second bomb?

3. Were the conventional bombings of Japanese cities necessary?
Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:57 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2775Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

Greetings,

1. No;
2. Yes - preferably not at all for the first, let alone the second;
3. No.

I trust I don't need to explain why.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:01 pm
The Felonius PopePosts: 324Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 amLocation: Arizona

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

I'm opposed to the bombs as well, but recently I entered into an ethical debate with a group of patriots and according to them I got my ass handed to me.
Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:20 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 4985Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

I recall reading many years ago that the Japanese had offered to surrender before the bombs were dropped and it was rejected by the Allies. I always meant to check but never did, (thanks for reminding me, by the way).

Anyone wanna debunk that?
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:42 pm
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

Prolescum wrote:I recall reading many years ago that the Japanese had offered to surrender before the bombs were dropped and it was rejected by the Allies. I always meant to check but never did, (thanks for reminding me, by the way).

Anyone wanna debunk that?


I'd have to look up the source, but from what I understand the Japanese attempted to open talks of surrender after the first bomb, but a mistranslation lead to the message being "We refuse to surrender" and so there was a second bombing.
Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

The Felonius Pope wrote:1. Were the atomic bombings necessary?
No. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only used to test out the new type of weapon, one of uranium and one of plutonium, on a civilian population and to impress Joseph Stalin as the world was being divided up into new spheres of influence. As has been pointed out the Japanese were already trying to surrender before either bomb was dropped. They had thought to negotiate a favourable surrender through the Soviet Union after delaying the land-based US invasion with entrenched positions in the South. However, once the Soviet Union declared war and would attack via the relatively undefended North, the Japanese war council realised it had to surrender to the USA.

2. If the bombings were necessary, should the United States have waited longer than three days to drop the second bomb?
On the basis that dropping a nuclear weapon was necessary, then probably yes. At least long enough to hear about a surrender coming through.

The Felonius Pope wrote:3. Were the conventional bombings of Japanese cities necessary?
No. Bombing of civilian targets is counter to the war effort as it consistently strengthens the will of the people to resist those who are killing them, think of the Nazi bombing runs in Britain or the drone killings of civilians in the Middle East by the USA. Targeted bombing of military and military-related industries is the most effective use of aeroplanes in war-time.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:15 am
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The Felonius PopePosts: 324Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 amLocation: Arizona

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

Aught3 wrote:No. Bombing of civilian targets is counter to the war effort as it consistently strengthens the will of the people to resist those who are killing them, think of the Nazi bombing runs in Britain or the drone killings of civilians in the Middle East by the USA. Targeted bombing of military and military-related industries is the most effective use of aeroplanes in war-time.


Good points, Aught3. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the allied bombing campaign over Europe failed to break the will of the German civilians, the German bombings of Stalingrad and Leningrad failed to force the Soviets to surrender, and the Japanese atrocities in China failed to sufficiently demoralize the Chinese.
Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:44 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

The Felonius Pope wrote:Good points, Aught3. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the allied bombing campaign over Europe failed to break the will of the German civilians, the German bombings of Stalingrad and Leningrad failed to force the Soviets to surrender, and the Japanese atrocities in China failed to sufficiently demoralize the Chinese.
Exactly, it never works. The bombing of Germany in WWII is a great example because it wasn't until the Americans got involved with their targeted bombing of fuel refineries that bombing runs started to have an impact on the German war machine.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:50 am
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 666Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

1. Depends of the necessity. For the surrender of Japan? No. At that time Japan had pretty much no fighting power, no navy left, no airforce and the self defense organizations were handing out bamboo spears. Even without the atomic weapons there would have been no military reason to invade Japan as it would have been cheaper in both material and men to just blockade and keep on bombing. The reasons were geopolitical and for those it was necessary. It can be claimed that one reason Stalin didn't start a winter campaign against the western allies was because of the horrible demonstration in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

2. Three days was way too little time to the Japanese high command to realize what had happened. Though Japan produced world class nuclear physicists in the 30's there is no way they understood what they were facing in so little time. Again, for the geopolitical point is was important to show the Soviets that the US not only had more than one bomb but also that they were willing to use them in larger numbers. I believe that some in the top ranks of US military thought they should destoy at least five Japanese cities just to make a point to the Soviets, who's actions in Europe during the summer had made it quite clear that they weren't going to let the countries they "liberated" to claim soverenty. Also at August '45 Japan was looking for pretty much any way out of the war just as long as they could save face and the Emperor. A conditional surrender wasn't enough for the allies though.

3. Deliberate targeting civilians in war is, and was, a warcrime. Ever wonder why the destruction of Coventry wasn't in any of the lists for warcrimes in the allied prosecutions? Apart from the old "they knew the attack was coming" of course. Even when it was pretty clear that not only population bombing and "de-housing" was not effective on the enemy morality but also that it was way more effective to bomb the enemy industry (after bombing got so accurate that you could hit something smaller than a city) people like Harris insisted on killing more and more civilians. In Europe city bombing actually cost many lives now in Germany, but in the allied armies. In Japan the problem was that by 1945 the Japanese industry was pretty much shut down and the only targets for the new b-29's were cities. But still bombings like the Tokyo firestorms were, from a military point of view, of little effect. When those happened it was all too clear that Japan was beat, even if they themselves didn't accept it.

I think it's important not to just look at Japan and the US in the case of the atomic bombings but also more globally, specially at the actions of Soviet Union.
Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:27 am
The Felonius PopePosts: 324Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 amLocation: Arizona

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

Visaki wrote:The reasons were geopolitical and for those it was necessary. It can be claimed that one reason Stalin didn't start a winter campaign against the western allies was because of the horrible demonstration in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Couldn't the United States have dropped a warning bomb off of the coast of Japan? Also, didn't Stalin already know about the willingness of the United States to drop bombs on civilians in order to win a war?
Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:46 pm
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

Visakis point reminds me a bit of the whole role of the U.S. in the European Theater, they weren't militarily vital to defeat the Germans, however their actions did discourage the U.S.S.R. from an immediate expansion after the fall of Berlin.
Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:51 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 666Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Were The Atomic Bombings Necessary?

The Felonius Pope wrote:Couldn't the United States have dropped a warning bomb off of the coast of Japan? Also, didn't Stalin already know about the willingness of the United States to drop bombs on civilians in order to win a war?

They could have and as far as I know it was discussed. But the problem was that the US needed a demonstration of the weapons power and the easiest way to do that is to drop it on a city. Dropping one on the ocean or even in the winderness just doesn't match. Also the US didn't actually know how effective the bomb would be on targets, Trinity was only done to make sure the more complicated implosion type design worked. Again, there is no target like live target (unfortenately) and it's not like the US wanted to build a whole city just to make a good test of the bombs. That's why the target cities were saved from much of the bombings before the atom bomb strikes.

As for bluejatheists post, one has to remember that not only did the US presense in Europe possibly save us from a Soviet controlled Europe but, ironically the US quite possibly saved Soviet bacon from the Werhmacht with it's material help, of which importance it's almost impossible to overstate, and made the Soviet threat to west Europe a possibility.
Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:30 pm
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