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Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

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Why do people still accept the argument that dropping atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians indiscriminately was “necessary” and "justified"? A part of the problem is that many people readily accept the weakest of excuses and can justify such crimes. Most people do not know that 67 Japanese cities had been firebombed before the two atomic bombs were used. US General Curtis LeMay, who commanded the firebombing of Japanese cities and killed up to 500,000 civilians, later admitted that he would have been tried as a war criminal if the US lost the war. Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense under President Kennedy) who had worked under LeMay for the firebombing of Japanese cities admitted later that they were behaving as war criminals in the documentary, “The Fog of War.” If we accept destroying cities and killing civilians indiscriminately were not war crimes, then what is? Do you believe what Putin is doing in Ukraine is not a war crime, then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan paid for its war crimes and leaders and others were executed or imprisoned. Victors write history. The atomic bombs must never be used again. There are so few Japanese still alive who fought in WW2 or even survivors of that war.

Japan has blood on its hands but so do many others like America and the British Empire.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I meant: "The major war criminals ARE the people who start a war in the first place.

This does not preclude those who respond to it from also being war criminals, if they commit war crimes.

Vaporizing a city of innocent civilians is as dastardly an act as humanity has ever committed. It's horrendous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I meant: "The major war criminals ARE the people who start a war in the first place.

Agreed. It starts off with an aggressor who decides to unlawfully invade another country. We are seeing this today. Russia (the aggressor) invades the Ukraine.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

FizzBit

Good question. I imagine some Japanese military leader would have argued “why use all our planes, ships, bombs, gas, etc on Pearl Harbor when we can just use one bomb?”

Germany was actually working on a nuclear bomb. They had the science, but not the technical muscle to complete it (just imagine a project Manhattan while the red armee is at your doorstep). About Japan, is anyone seriously doubting the will to use it?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I meant: "The major war criminals ARE the people who start a war in the first place.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It’s dreadful but true, targeting civilians is an inevitable consequence of Total War. Whole populations get turned to support the war effort and any attempt to weaken such an enemy makes them a military target.

So yeah, use of nuclear weapons is a war crime now. But in the context of the time, I’m not qualified to judge. It’s crucial that the horrors of World War 2 are remembered as we’re headed the same way again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The major war criminals at people who start a war in the first place.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yes, absolutely! Almost as serious of war crimes as what Japan did to more than 10 million across Asia. Make no mistake, had Japan not been doing what it did, and also attacking the US at Pearl Harbor, they would not have been the target. So, they are not innocent victims as they are often played to be. But, given the reasons for the bomb being dropped as predominantly political and to show what the Manhattan Project investment had paid for, and that there WERE of course many innocents killed in the blasts, yes, they were war crimes.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Yes, these were war crimes, as were the conventional attacks on civilians by all sides whether intentional or through negligence, at least according to our modern stance. If America had ended up losing the war, then the Americans involved would probably have been held accountable.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All wars are hate crimes in any form.

These words terrorist act and hate crimes are new words of the 21st century.

Defending oneself is another story.

To begin the aggression is a crime.

Ideally, we should be able to iron out differences by words.

But the greed and aggression has existed over 2000 years. The methods have become more sophisticated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not much point arguing a controversy again. It won't settle the issue. The more important thing is to make sure that the two Asian communist states do not use it on others. For that, Japan has to re-arm to become a normal state. Taking pride in Article 9 is no longer a ticket to peace and security.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, using nuclear bombs on civilians is a clear violation of international law and a war crime.

The US government knew that the Japanese government would surrender at once if Russia declared the war on Japan. They needed to drop the A-bomb on Japan as soon as possible.

The US government needed to drop the A-bomb on Japan twice because they wanted to test two types of A-bombs on real human bodies and correct data of the effectiveness of Aboms for future A-bomb development.

The US government needed to drop the Abomb because they had spent so much money to develop A-bombs and they are afraid of losing people's support if they didn't use them before the end of the war.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What would Japan have done if they had the bomb first? Or Germany for that matter.

Good question. I imagine some Japanese military leader would have argued “why use all our planes, ships, bombs, gas, etc on Pearl Harbor when we can just use one bomb?”

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Kniknaknokkaer

Yes. Wholesale destruction of a city and it's inhabitants, no matter how it's done, should be considered a war crime.

You mean like the wholesale destruction of Manila, Rotterdam, and countless other cities conducted by the axis? Plenty of war crimes by all sides in that case.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What would Japan have done if they had the bomb first? Or Germany for that matter.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Hindsight is always 20/20. Lots of history looks different when viewed today, as compared to when it happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both sides committed war crimes. Add up all the war crimes committed by each side and compare. Then make a decision who were the worst. I'll let you decide. All in all both sides did bad things to various extremes.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If Japan had it, they would have done the same thing, without a doubt. . If you consider the attacking of civilian targets to be a war crime then there were many war crimes committed by all sides.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yes. Wholesale destruction of a city and it's inhabitants, no matter how it's done, should be considered a war crime.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There were practical problems in 1945. Germany had surrendered and the U.S. was left practically alone to fight Japan, whose fanatic leaders were vowing not to surrender.

One leader apparently declared that it was better for Japan to shatter like a jewel. My late friend told me she and she fellow women's university students were taught to use spears on each other if the Americans soldiers tried to capture them. That's how Japan was in 1945.

In the Battle of Okinawa the U.S. lost 49,000 soldiers. (The Japanese lost over 100,000). The U.S. at that point knew a land invasion would be a horrific loss of life. Hence the atom bombs that forced Japanese surrender. Which almost did not happen because of a palace revolt.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

a brilliant sneak attack by the Japanese on the USA.

If the Americans had listened to other world powers warning them about an attack in Hawaii then might have been different. Instead the morons were convinced that Japan would launch an attack in the Philippines.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes... So was the fire bombing of Tokyo and the British destruction of Dresden.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan may have kept on fighting if it wasn't nuked. If you think they would of surrendered quickly that comes off as a bit naive. I recommend to everyone if you are not aware is to read about the Nanjing massacre, and the good Nazi John Rabe.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Pearl Harbor killed military not civilians, not non combatants, including children. Pearl Harbor did not cause generational health problems, or burns that never healed. Pearl Harbor was war, the A bombs were a war crime. The suffering caused from nuclear bombs, the horrendous deaths, that did not discriminate between children and adults, old from young, women from combatant men, the death of every living thing, the babies born with malformations, is not comparable to a brilliant sneak attack by the Japanese on the USA. The Japanese were on the wrong side, but there is no justification for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It was the first time they had ever been used. Now that we know how destructive they are, they have not been used again. It's no more a "war crime' than attacking Pearl Harbor without declaring war, and on a quiet Sunday to boot. The world now knows not to attack a free people. They will fight. Same goes for China. They fail to realize that Taiwan is a free country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For the previous question, I would say "No", since the lessons learnt from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are clear for all to see, even to young Kids, that Nuclear/Atomic Weapon attacks, kill all, and destroy everything - leaving little or nothing behind, and with a clear retaliation likely (near simultaneously), then there will be no Winners, simply Losers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Contentious question relating to a past War with a History of atrocities committed by all sides. Naturally, depending upon your background, you will have something different to say.

Perhaps rephrase this to, should Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, be collectively Nuked preemptively in order to stop existing threats upon the World ? What would be the answer ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

Answer, Yes!!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What we’re talking about is the (unnecessary) killing and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Don't forget there were the (unnecessary) killing and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the countries the IJA invaded also. There are two sides to the story.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The Japanese would have gone on fighting had they not been dissuaded !

exactly there wasnt a coup on the imperial palace for nothing, the top generals want to stop the emperor from announcing defeat and surrender, they very nearly did. there was those in the IJA that wanted to fight to the death, these are facts easily verified in history books. The Kyūjō Incident

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYoTF3chnQk

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am happy we are a pacifist country with Article 9.

and why do you think that is, America had a big part in making Japans new constitution,

maybe theyve learned that starting a war through 1st strike doesnt always work out the way you want

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

No!

The Japanese would have gone on fighting had they not been dissuaded !

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

“ The A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes. Two of the worst acts in the history of mankind. And the US is responsible for it. “

6million jews sent to the gas chambers may disagree with you,

do you know how many civilians were killed by the IJA in asia during WW2 100s thousands. so explain to us how killing Japanese civilians using a bomb, is any worse than killing civilians by a bullet or the end of a bayonet. it always annoys me how ignorant the average Japanese is to its own peoples blooding aggression to other Asians, thinking that since they were also a victim they dont need to admit their own mistakes and cruelty

Excuse me; I didn’t say they were “the worst acts in the history of mankind”; I said they were “two of the worst acts in the history of mankind”. Again, we’re not here to talk about the Nazis, we’re not here to talk about the atrocities committed by the Japanese and we’re not here to decide who had it coming; we’re here to answer the following question:

Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

The (unnecessary(!)) killing of innocent children, women, men, animals; (in this case, every living organism) – a war crime.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

StrangerlandAug. 5  06:03 am JST

No, because they were done to hasten the end of the Pacific War, ultimately saving lives.

I personally have a hard time justifying the deaths of tends of thousands of innocent civilians as being ok because it "ultimately saved lives".

We were told in HS that the A-bombs 'saved' Japan because a ground invasion by the Allies would've resulted in ALL the Japanese people killing themselves. IOW a mass suicide of an entire nation. Now that I'm grown up there's no way I can believe that malarky.

In college for a humanities class, we read a (translated) book by a Japanese author who lived during the fascist WW2 era. He detailed about how after the surrender the Japanese people had been misgoverned and LIED TO by a totalitarian regime that hid all the shameful abuses and war crimes, esp. in the Orient and Pacific. It is that way with all such nations whether their previous dictatorships were fascist, Communist or authoritarian.

Such regimes always lie to their citizens. The war criminals Hideki Tojo and his junta brought shame to Japan. I hope and pray that atomic weapons are never ever used again.

It's another day now and because of technological advancements, wars are being fought increasingly by cyberwar and drones. They won't destroy humanity, but they are nonetheless very dangerous and cause death and destruction. Just look at recent wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, ex-Yugoslavia, Libya, Ukraine and the recent cyberhackings done by various nations incl. the US, Russia and China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes. Two of the worst acts in the history of mankind. And the US is responsible for it.

6million jews sent to the gas chambers may disagree with you,

do you know how many civilians were killed by the IJA in asia during WW2 100s thousands.

so explain to us how killing Japanese civilians using a bomb, is any worse than killing civilians by a bullet or the end of a bayonet. it always annoys me how ignorant the average Japanese is to its own peoples blooding aggression to other Asians, thinking that since they were also a victim they dont need to admit their own mistakes and cruelty

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I personally have a hard time justifying the deaths of tends of thousands of innocent civilians as being ok because it "ultimately saved lives".

exactly if you want to classify them as war crimes, then you can also include the treatment of POWs by the IJA, eventhe Nazis were shocked at how they treated prisioners, the Nanking massacre's of 1000s of innocent civilians, also include the Okinawan civilians that were forced to fight for IJA and used as human shields. good NHK world documentary just how brutal the IJA were to its own citizens and even brainwashing them.

on YT

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

It's this time of year again and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings come up for discussion. Those bombs were dropped on an adversary that had no intention of surrendering despite the fact that they had already lost the war.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Yes, absolutely war crimes. Those nukes should never have been dropped on anyone, let alone a Japan that was ready to surrender. It was an experiment on people who were seen as the USA as less than human. Unforgivable.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Yes, but the fault was the Japanese government and high command. After US took the Marianas and on Saipan we saw Japanese women with their babies leaping off cliffs to die in the ocean because of the false government propaganda. US was unstoppable, and the Japanese government knew that. Unknown to US, the Japanese plan was to make it so difficult for US, the US would go to the bargaining table so Japan could keep the imperial system, no matter how many civilians died. After the B-29 Fire raids started, we felt sorry for the civilians, and even dropped leaflets telling the Japanese people the next target city, so the could save their lives. The GOJ made it illegal to read the leaflets. The GOJ did care about the people, they wanted war production to keep working. A 600 B-29 fire bomb raid kills more than a single atomic bomb. US was at wits end on how to get the Japanese to unconditional surrender. So US dropped the two bombs. It did not work! It was the Soviet invasion of Japanese territory in northern China. The fault was GOJ desire to keep the imperial system and no care for the Japanese people. Please carefully check history if you don't believe me.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Do you consider lobbing off people’s heads, rape, lack of medical attention or food, are THOSE “War Crimes”?

Then get back to me.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

The bombs ended the war without an invasion.

The burning of the cities by Curtis LeMay were war crimes.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

War crimes against combatants committed against a country that had been engaging in war crimes for 8 years?

The tens of thousands of civilians that were executed going about their day-to-day lives were engaging in war crimes for 8 years?

And that's your justification?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I believe the killing of civilian population in wartime to be war crimes. In the Second World War both the Axis and the Allies bombed civilians extensively. This practice killing civilians in war is going on as I write this.

If one rejects what I wrote in my first sentence then the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombings cannot be considered war crimes. (And remember the Germans and Japanese were developing A-bombs.)

War crimes cluster around what happens after the bombing (or whatever) when the populace is subdued. Killing a surrendered and passive foe is always a war crime. Causing an enemy unnecessary pain in wartime might well constitute a war crime, though I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted.

There is a difference between Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Nanjing massacre and the human torture experiments at Unit 731.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

War crimes against combatants committed against a country that had been engaging in war crimes for 8 years?

Ahhh, no.

Was this supposed to be a serious question?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I would love to be in a room with the leaders of US and Japan, and an interviewer asking the POTUS on live TV whether it was a war crime.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

No, stop looking at that decision from 1945 in 2022, views are very different.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What kind of stupid question this is. The only difference is whether it is prosecuted or not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes, be it firebombs, nuclear bombs, cluster bombs, etc., bombing civilians is a war crime. Be it for the greater good, or one's own team.

We act like there was no other option in a country that is mostly uninhabited mountains.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes. Two of the worst acts in the history of mankind. And the US is responsible for it.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I don’t blame anyone.I just say it’s God’s plan.

That covers everything.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Of course it was a war crime. Even though they were targeting military important areas, the number of casualties among civilians was hugely disproportionate. And it was not something US army didn’t know or didn’t expect.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They were NOT war crimes period.

Japan was given PLENTY of opportunities to surrender UNCONDITIONALLY, they REFUSED! Japan was in NO position to BARGAIN period!

I don't think I've ever seen a comment in my life where someone twists a situation, replaces it with a simplified fact, and then points to the simplified fact to show that they are actually right.

With that logic, anyone would have the right to use similar weapons on anyone who refused to surrender. Imagine a situation where Japan had nuclear weapons, attacked Pearl Harbor, and gave the US an ultimatum to surrender. Japan would then have used nukes with the understanding that the US could have surrendered unconditionally but didn't, and by not surrendering the use of nukes on civilians was legitimate and actually shortened the war and saved lives.

Does that make sense? No, it does not.

Using weapons on civilians and arguing that the military refused to surrender is simply taking defenseless civilians hostage. Not even giving them the option to evacuate, just killing civilians with the hope that maybe then the government or the military will come to their senses.

That is just absurd.

Killing civilians is a war crime and it doesn't matter what fallacious arguments are put forward to justify it. And it doesn't matter what side is doing the killing and what side the civilians are on

As @Robert Cikki said.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

In a perfect world, there would be no violence. In our imperfect world, we try to limit violence by establishing some sort of rules. But then circumstances, along with advancing technology, undermine those rules. The lamentable destruction of human life and property is undeniable; the moral label we would put on it, alas, makes for endless discussion...My family has an old friend who lost a cousin in the Hiroshima bombing--and yet she is among those Japanese who say that she might otherwise have wound up dying, as she and her classmates fought American troops with make-shift pitchforks. I don't presume to question her judgment, as I was but a few months old at the time...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

War is a crime ! !

To say the atomic bombings of innocent civilians was justifiable and necessary is sick , vile and disgusting.

The civilians were innocent.

However the Japanese army, navy and airforce were definitely not innocent and guilty of atrocious war crimes never held accountable.

The Japanese military should have only been the target.

YES - the atomic bombings are war crimes using weapons of mass destruction against innocent people.

To say it's justifiable and necessary to nuke innocent civilians in order to save innocent people is completely ridiculous and extremely hypocritical.

Both are guilty of atrocious war crimes !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not just a war crime, but an act of terror and an unnecessary display of violence. The bombs were dropped on civilians in an effort to strike fear into Japan, to scare them into surrendering even though they were already beaten, surrounded on all fronts with no hope of victory. There was no need to use such a horrific weapon, let alone twice. Imperial Japan was already finished, it's just that the Emporer and his cohorts were a little slow on the uptake. The combined might of the Allied Forces would have soon made that reality inescapable.

But it's worse than that. Nuclear weapons are the worst thing we've ever invented, and they've paved the way for the current Ukraine crisis. The "nuclear deterrent" has failed in its intended purpose. People like Putin can now use nuclear weapons as a shield while they attack non-nuclear nations, safe in the knowledge that they can't be effectively retaliated against.

There was no need for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Innocent lives were lost due to America's bloodthirsty desire for revenge, revenge for the Pearl Harbour attack. That's all it ultimately amounts to. Japan had already lost the war. It's naval forces had been repeatedly crushed, its airforce stripped down to just inexperienced pilots, its ground forces pushed back to the home islands. They refused to accept that their messages were being decrypted, costing the military so many lives and so much hardware. Their days were numbered, and the number was a very small one. What America did was little different to stamping on a fly after ripping its wings and legs off.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

All war is a crime.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm and American, and am 82 years old. I saw the headlines when I was 5 and it angered me. But, what do children know? Note that they've not yet been politicized.

It still pisses me off. A demo would have sufficed. All of the hypothetical, "it would have saved 100's of thousands of lives," are rationalizations to assuage guilt. It was ugly and is still unforgivable.

War crimes? YES ! I'm sure my good friend Yoshi who was also five and survived the Nagasaki bombing with still present burn scars agrees with me.

Bill

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I think it is difficult (as one poster put it - we battle hardened key-board warriors) for us in 2022 to relate or evaluate what happened in 1945. Some posters make excellent points about what is considered a war crime and what is not and by whom...some posters make excellent points based upon historical points of view.

In the waning days of the nazi regime - Hitler called upon everyone to defend Germany - Hitler Youth, etc.

The Allies had experienced that. The Japanese (at that time) were quite a different people from a western perspective - suicide rather than surrender (in some cases - fighting to the death - in others - just suicide)...

I think with the Japanese mentality the Americans learned fighting the Japanese - and closer to home taking Okinawa - I think it is easy to see why the rationalization of using atomic weapons was taken.

I have often thought the atomic weapons could have been deployed just as effectively as tactical weapons - eg: destroying the Yamato battle group on the way to Okinawa - but they were months apart.

Was there a tactical use for the atomic bomb that would have brought a swift end to the war after the Yamato battle group was devastated by American carrier based torpedo bombers?

My wife is Japanese - we have been to Hiroshima - it has an amazing saddening affect on you.

But as one poster put it - there were 3 days between Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And when the Emperor surrendered - what he said was, "we must endure the un-endurable" he never said "we surrender"...it speaks volumes of the Japanese mind set of that time.

Was it a war crime? likely it did save hundreds of thousands of lives

And likely - the Allies knew the mind of Stalin - and needed to show Stalin something he had not seen - which likely also saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Key issue: the majority of the American population was always taught to believe they’re the good guys… always. … apparently we have some of those “good guys” commenting/downvoting here today.

That may have been the case in the 1960s, but not since then. The facts prove that the America govt has done some terrible things both at home and in other parts of the world. I like to think that the truth in your face will make each person consider the evil their govt has done - and every govt has some evil in their past.

At the time, the atomic bombs were used, that was the only way the world would become sufficiently scared about the weapons. Every before the first tests, there were concerns by some scientiest that the entire atmosphere of earth would flash over, killing everything and everyone.

Something that ends a war sooner and gets aid to as many people suffering is probably the best solution. Japan had been very aggressive in the region for over 50 yrs, which is part of the reason for unconditional surrender being required.

Starting a war is a crime. I won't say that when the attacked fights to end it is.

"Don't start something you can't finish." That's an important lesson for everyone. US, Japan, Russian, China, Iranian, and EU, mostly, but all countries and groups need to learn that lesson.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japanese are taught in high school that in WW2 Japan invaded other countries. That is a crime. Russia has invaded Ukraine. That is a crime. Attacking Pearl harbour and Darwin in Australia were crimes. You see where I am getting at. We have to look in our own backyards and see if we are doing crimes also before pointing the finger to someone else. War is a crime. No one wins. Popular opinion is Japan wasn't nuked the war would have kept going which meant more deaths. It's a tough call.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The constitution is what has kept Japan at peace. The only G7 country to do so.

America has fought more than 100 wars. About 19 since 1945. Millions killed.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yes. Definitely. No matter what.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Yes, with the benefit of hindsight.

But I suspect that our feelings on the matter now would be quite different to how they felt at the time, having experienced 6 years of brutal war, death, destruction, rations, etc etc. I imagine there was a great deal of justified hatred, and an eagerness to simply end the horror.

So it's hard to judge that realistically from our comfortable perspective. Different times. But i think (hope) the world has learnt enough to not let it happen again

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Just an opinion, but I don’t think that concern for his subjects’ lives worried the emperor - whose voice WAS needed - very much. With the Soviets in the war he probably had nightmares of cellars a la Romanov.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

why did we not drop it on Germany

Because:

(1) Trinity bomb test was on July 16, 1945 and (2) Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

For the last 75 years, Japan is the only G7 country that has not been to war.

War itself is a crime.

I am happy we are a pacifist country with Article 9.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

War itself is the crime. Innocent people die because of war. Starting war is a crime. Killing unarmed innocents is a crime. Killing children as they sleep or play is a crime. Bombing cities is a crime. It is a fine line looking for distinctions of crimes during time of war, committed by any side. They are all crimes that would earn convictions if committed during peace time.

War is the crime, death is the result of war.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If you are referring to the leaders of Germany and Japan at that time @El Rata, please enlighten us.

DYOR, I'm not going to do that for you. You may learn a thing or two.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

They must never be used again, ever.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

No. They were just a bigger bomb.

Their after effects are comparable to poison gas and biological weapons.

That all three should be banned, absolutely.

But then again so should war if only we could.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

They were crimes against all of life. Those weapons killed all living things in the target zone. The stand as something to be truly ashamed of by all of humanity, acts to be held in disgust and contempt.

The use of those weapons were not just crimes against humanity but a crime against life, inexcusable.

You could call them the highlight of the war, or would that be lowlight, and did truly symbolize the self defeating horror of war. Life is a quest for the future, you deny life a future and life will deny you, leave you behind to fade in the void, a silent scream in the dark. Those the revel in and foment war, face a most enduring and bitter end, deservedly so.

If only we celebrated peace with such fervency and fanfare.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

At that time, NO. Now YES.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The US air force did not target civilians.

Robert McNamara's comment on the Tokyo fire bombing:

We burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo – men, women, and children… [U.S. General] Lemay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost … But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win? LeMay said ‘if we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals’. And I think he’s right – and I’d say – we were behaving as war criminals.

So if the Tokyo fire bombing was a war crime, I guess the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were too.

On the other hand, I've met a number of Japanese who were kids at the time who said the atomic bombings came as a relief.

War sucks.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The A-bombs were just as execrable war crimes as the acts of Unit 731 were.

The difference is that the USA has never pretended the bombings didn't happen.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

They were NOT war crimes period.

Japan was given PLENTY of opportunities to surrender UNCONDITIONALLY, they REFUSED! Japan was in NO position to BARGAIN period!

Many political & military leaders STILL wanted to fight after Hiroshima for crying pout loud!! And Hiroshima was a LEGITIMATE military target, it was not just a civilian population!

The bombing & the results are entirely on the politicians & military in Japan at the time, end for story.

There are millions of people alive today in Japan & overseas that would NEVER have been born if the war continued & it WOULD HAVE!

About 3-4million Japanese(civilian & military) lost their lives due to their fanatical crazy leaders, they died in vain! Considering Japan killed between 20-30million in the Far East & SE Asia, Japan's loses were relatively low. Considering what Japan did in the 1930-40s they got off relatively easy & the allies, primarily the Yanks helped Japan re-build into the country we all now know & love!

I completely agree.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Nuke me once, shame on you.Nuke me twice, shame on me.Nuke me 3 times, shame on both of us.

Adapted from Stephen King.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

If you are referring to the leaders of Germany and Japan at that time @El Rata, please enlighten us.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Yep! But victors get to write history and most people have been brainwashed to believe they were necessary evils, among other WWII lies about both the Germans and the Japanese.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Well said @GW. Too many do-gooders here who don't seem to get the world was a very different place 80 years ago. Yeah, sure. lets announce our intentions on Instagram!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Yes, of course. The bombings with at those times completely new devastating and mass killing weapons should have been announced beforehand so that the civilians had a small chance to evacuate and only military targets or installments being hit. If nowadays the Russians hit a kindergarten or hospital in Ukraine it’s called a war crime, so the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki surely were war crimes too.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Targeting cities with no military significance just to see how many human beings can be killed at one time is a war crime. General Curtis LeMay was livid that he lost the record of most humans killed in the shortest period of time from the Tokyo firebombing, as he proudly boasted.

And Truman feared the political consequences from not using the weapons that had cost so much to develop.

As the old saying goes, the first casualty of war is the truth.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

They were NOT war crimes period.

Japan was given PLENTY of opportunities to surrender UNCONDITIONALLY, they REFUSED! Japan was in NO position to BARGAIN period!

Many political & military leaders STILL wanted to fight after Hiroshima for crying pout loud!! And Hiroshima was a LEGITIMATE military target, it was not just a civilian population!

The bombing & the results are entirely on the politicians & military in Japan at the time, end for story.

There are millions of people alive today in Japan & overseas that would NEVER have been born if the war continued & it WOULD HAVE!

About 3-4million Japanese(civilian & military) lost their lives due to their fanatical crazy leaders, they died in vain! Considering Japan killed between 20-30million in the Far East & SE Asia, Japan's loses were relatively low. Considering what Japan did in the 1930-40s they got off relatively easy & the allies, primarily the Yanks helped Japan re-build into the country we all now know & love!

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

Jeff Lee: Mate they tested it. It was a sure thing and they also had the fallout data also. They knew it would work, they knew the damage it will cause. They knew the damage to civilian population. Yet they still drop the second A-Bomb knowing all this. Now came the biggest war crime commented in my eyes. After both bombing and data collected these scientists gather around a table to valuate the outcome of their inventions. And what was they outcome of this meeting?. They came away and started building a H-bomb a hundred more powerful. Not one of these great scientists state that this nuclear bombing is totally ludicrous and walk away form the nuclear industry. NOT ONE. None of scientists show any remorse for the produce they release to the world. All of them were American citizens. So you can,t defend your guilt by stating these scientists did not know if it would even detonate. When they all knew full well even after the second bombing.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Very tough question indeed.

I would say it was justified at that very moment of time but it is.. it WAS war crime!

I wonder if they could consider dropping the bombs to an unpopulated area just to show what they are capable of doing! Killing thousands of civilians is not a war.

Last night I saw a very good documentary with Japanese politicians from the time. The military really didn't want to stop the war. Japan was not signing the Poznan treaty, they started to negotiate with Stalin behind everyone's back but eventually Soviet attacked despite their promises (surprise, surprise). And the Japanese top nuclear scientist was shocked the Americans were so advansed and they actually made the atomic bomb (which he couldn't and he was sorry for that). Very complicated and complex and kudos to the emperor for taking the sole decision!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yes they were, and just like slavery and the genociding of native Americans, it's a cross Americans will always have to bear. They are guilty and they know it.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Key issue: the majority of the American population was always taught to believe they’re the good guys… always. … apparently we have some of those “good guys” commenting/downvoting here today.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@Jeff Lee. Pleased someone knows their history rather than taking the moral high ground in hindsight.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

The isolated killing or planned killing of civilians, or actions where the killing of civilians is a foregone conclusion, is simply a war crime. And I frankly don't care if it's called Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nanking, Bucha, German concentration camps, carpet bombing of German cities, burning of villages by German troops in USSR, the rape of civilians and their subsequent murder by the advancing Red Army during the liberation of Europe, Srebrenica or any other. And it doesn't matter what side did it, for what purpose or under what beliefs. And it also doesn't matter whether one contradicts it within the individual or whether it is ignored at the level of the state or government by revisionism.

They are non-combatants. They, unlike soldiers, generally don't want war, nor do they have the ability to defend themselves to the extent that armed forces do.

Trying to justify it by saying it "shortened the war" is an after-the-fact justification for an act that has already taken place. But it cannot be justified in the future, by consciously or unconsciously planning acts NOW that will lead to civilian deaths later.

That someone tries to justify it with some pseudo-argument aka whataboutism is one thing.

Your personal opinion on this is completely irrelevant. Your personal opinion and trying to justify it with an argument is also irrelevant. Your attempt to justify this with a particular mindset or racism (or other -ism) is also irrelevant.

But it doesn't change the actual thing, the act and the end result. Killing or murdering civilians, during a war and by armed forces IS a war crime.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

 History was written by the winner 

The Vietnam War wasn't. That is such a simplistic and untrue statement that the revisionists love to trot out.

Considering that they could have detonated the bombs over deserted islands as a demonstration

The didn't know the bombs would actually detonate. If they held a demonstration and the bomb was a dud, Japan's resolve to not surrender would have hardened. Truman's council spent weeks discussing such issues.

Truman, in his own words, wrote in Potsdam that Japan would surrender when Russia entered the war...

No he didn't didn't. He said in his diary that if the Russian involvement didn't make Japan surrender, then the A-bombs surely would. He was right.

Five of the six 5-star US officers at the time said it was unnecessary, 

Some officials said it was unnecessary. But Truman brought in a large number of experts, from all fields, to deliberate the bomb's use and how to effect Japan's prompt surrender. A clear majority eventually agreed to the plan that was implemented, believing it to be the best course of action. The revisionists love to cherry pick.

The direct targeting of civilians in all theatres of WWII by the ALLIES... 

The US air force did not target civilians. It routinely dropped tons of warning pamphlets strongly urging civilians to leave the cities. But two-thirds of japan's industrial facilities were in and near residential areas, often in people's homes. Precision bombing was impossible.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

No.

But talk about a crime against humanity-the UK, through its colonization of India was responsible for about 35 million Indian deaths through starvation--similar to the number of Chinese who died from Mao's famine in the late 50s early 60s.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

No. But only because America says it isn't. What the rest of the world thinks about it means nothing to them

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

One shouldn’t have to “consider” such thing. They were war crimes, plain and simple. History was written by the winner which is the reason why millions of people have a distorted view of what happened and why it happened.

Note that I’m not saying the Japanese didn’t do horrible things, nobody’s saying they weren’t the bad guys. Also, some people mention Japanese war crimes and “payback”; – a completely invalid argument.

What we’re talking about is the (unnecessary) killing and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Ah scheisse...you can't study this subject in depth and then think about it and not start to cry...

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The direct targeting of civilians in all theatres of WWII by the ALLIES was an unmitigated WAR CRIME and the targeting of completely nonstrategic cities containing almost exclusively children, women, and the elderly of a country already desperate and vainly attempting to surrender a MONSTROUS WAR CRIME. Only the most pathological and thoroughly RACIST minds (see: Teller, et alia) could consciencelessly TEST such weapons on innocent people when a single such weapon deployed, after warning, in open water in Tokyo Wan would have ended the war immediately. But Human victims were the object of the tests and what better people to do such testing on than nonWhites? ANYONE who believes the lies that it was 'necessary' admits that they have no clue to the truth and have not cared enough to investigate the truth and, really, should keep their ignorant opinions to themselves. Even some of the thugs who developed these weapons were horrified by what they had done (see: Graves, Oppenheimer, et alia). There were MANY on the side of the ALLIES who, rightly, should have been hung alongside any from the losers who were so hypocritically executed. But 'Victor's Justice' and 'Victor's Lies' do not last in history as the foolish who believe them die off and the disinterest of temporal distance allows truth to be told and the tale that will last is the abject psychopathy that was the 'ALLIES' of WWII whose own inhumanity transcended ANY crime that the losers were accused of doing.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

No - It wasn't. Without the use of the bombs there WOULD have been a ground invasion of Japan with many more deaths on both sides than the two bombs caused. A necessary evil that has so far prevented another truly global conflict.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

No.

There was a belief in the US that no Japanese person would stop fighting unless they were scared into surrender. Even civilians. Remember how over 2000 Japanese were told to kill themselves rather than surrender.

In July 1944, American troops in Saipan bore witness to a “banzai” charge, where nearly 4,000 Japanese soldiers charged American troops and fought to their death. They were following the last orders of their commander, Lieutenant General Yoshisugu Saito, who had called for this all-out surprise attack in the honor of the Emperor before committing ritual suicide. American troops also witnessed a different atrocity as they saw women grabbing children and jumping from cliffs rather than submitting to capture.

The US was surprised when Japan didn't immediately surrender after seeing the devastation from the first bomb dropped. There were 3 days between the bombings. Plenty of time to radio a surrender.

If an enemy will not surrender, what is to be done? Truman knew that putting more American lives on the ground in Japan to fight house to house was going to kill tens of thousands on both sides. He was responsible for saving US lives and the bombs did that. Sadly, 1 deployment was not sufficient for the Japanese leaders.

NOT using atomic bombs would have been just as bad for more people - Japanese and Allies in the region.

Japan's leaders were the war criminals.

Using a nuclear bomb first since the 1950s, that would be a war crime, just like systematic attacks on hospitals, schools, targeting nuclear power plants, abducting and torture of civilians, systematic kneecapping of captured soldiers, or using deadly chemical or biological weapons are each war crimes.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Dropping bombs on civilians and atomic bombs was horrific. America went on to use Agent Orange in Vietnam.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Blue,these were only test bombs,they had 12 maybe for Tokyo

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Considering that they could have detonated the bombs over deserted islands as a demonstration or, at least, aim for military targets instead of civilian ones: yes.

Don't know enough to say whether there were other means available, but there were definitely other targets available to scare the bejeezus out of the J-brass/gov and get them to surrender.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Yes. The use of such a weapon on a civilian population is the very definition of a war crime. So were the firebombing campaigns.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Push for unconditional surrender only. Ignore Emperor issue, despite repeated pleas from aides in the President + Chiefs of Staff meetings.

Drop bombs. Also let the Soviet Union attack Japan on a schedule agreed months earlier

Accept conditional surrender with Emperor in place

That's the timeline. It should be obvious where the main controversy lies.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

No, if they did not know the results but they did test it and knew full well the damage the death to civilian population it will cause if drop on a area mostly of civilians. So Yes it a war crime. But good luck in bringing it to bear.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

well Japan was agressor and have attacked many countries in region and did a lot of atrocities.just checking Nanking massacre etc.

americans understood clearly that japanese nation fanatized by gov will fight hard until last survivor so they wanted to minimize own losses like thay had say in Okinawa.

another reason for using of A bomb to show to whole world who is boss here.

last point was to get foothold in this strategic part of the world to control all area and to push through own interests.

so at the end-it was horrible what happened to people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but there is always action and reaction.Japan as agressor was defeated by allies/USSR,USA,UK and France/.

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

JeffLeeToday  06:00 am JST

No, because they were done to hasten the end of the Pacific War, ultimately saving lives. Thousands of people in Japanese occupied territories were dying violent deaths every day in the summer of 1945. Allowing the war to drag on even for a few weeks would have resulted in greater loss of life of people of all nationalities.

If the US decided to keep Japan's cities intact, Japan would have never surrendered and the death toll would have spiraled. Marquis Kido wrote later on that the emperor told him in 1946 that the damage inflicted by the US aerial bombings were the final straw prompting the emperor to make his unilateral decision (as the Supreme War Council was deadlocked) for unconditional surrender.

This I agree on. In my study during university, this was the narrative our professors taught us. If Japan wasn't nuked, WW2 in the Pacific wouldn't have ended in 1945. Just a theoretical discussion though, I wonder what would've been the third target for a nuclear strike on Japan back then if it didn't surrender?

Mr KiplingToday  07:16 am JST

War crimes are decided by the winners, or occasionally the losing side if it is the world's super power so along with the carpet bombing of Dresden, mass murder of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians among others....

Yes, this I agree on. You'll never hear about the war crimes of the allies during WW2 but I've read from historical accounts that there were. I'll leave this topic for you to research on your own.

War is never pretty and will never be fair. You do what you gotta do to survive it. As we've known from what's happening in Ukraine, any existing laws on warfare will be thrown out the window the moment war breaks out. Nobody will come out of it unscathed, but there will be one who will always be considered as the loser. In my opinion as someone who came from a country that was severely ravaged by Japan during the war, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are just small prices that Japan unwillingly paid for all of its crimes. Let's hope nukes will only be used for energy and Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be the first and last cities to be bombed with these weapons.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Five of the six 5-star US officers at the time said it was unnecessary, that Japan was already beaten. The plan for invasion was never thought to be needed.

Truman, in his own words, wrote in Potsdam that Japan would surrender when Russia entered the war and deflected the Japanese peace offering transmitted through the Swiss.

Russia declared war on Japan on August 9th. Japan announced surrender on August 15.

The terms of surrender were exactly what Japan offered through the Swiss.

The line about saving a million lives was made up by Truman in 1947 after a speech where he was roundly criticized for the bombing of civilians.

To Truman’s credit, he ordered no more bombings using devices being readied. He said he couldn’t stomach killing more women and children, unlike some battle hardened keyboard warriors here.

19 ( +31 / -12 )

Yrral Today 07:13 am JST

why did we not drop it on Germany

Because Germany surrendered three months earlier?

33 ( +37 / -4 )

Please show me a list of "The Laws of War".

7 ( +10 / -3 )

War crimes are decided by the winners, or occasionally the losing side if it is the world's super power so along with the carpet bombing of Dresden, mass murder of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians among others....

NO.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

The US dropped the bomb ,on Japanese , because they thought less of them,spite could of played a big part of the decision,why did we not drop it on Germany

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

No, because they were done to hasten the end of the Pacific War, ultimately saving lives.

I personally have a hard time justifying the deaths of tends of thousands of innocent civilians as being ok because it "ultimately saved lives".

9 ( +28 / -19 )

No, because they were done to hasten the end of the Pacific War, ultimately saving lives. Thousands of people in Japanese occupied territories were dying violent deaths every day in the summer of 1945. Allowing the war to drag on even for a few weeks would have resulted in greater loss of life of people of all nationalities.

If the US decided to keep Japan's cities intact, Japan would have never surrendered and the death toll would have spiraled. Marquis Kido wrote later on that the emperor told him in 1946 that the damage inflicted by the US aerial bombings were the final straw prompting the emperor to make his unilateral decision (as the Supreme War Council was deadlocked) for unconditional surrender.

-6 ( +27 / -33 )

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