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WWII vets mark Japan's surrender aboard battleship

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Given all the revisionism regarding WW2 history, couldn't the USN of at least towed the Mighty Mo back to Tokyo Bay for this anniversary? Now that would be a great spectacle, and the Japanese would have probably appreciated it as well.

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@timborder:

Unfortunately the Mighty Mo was scrapped. Only the fore-deck where the surrender was signed has been saved.

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The Instrument of Surrender, the document signed on this ship, can be seen in a display case at the Tokyo Edo Museum in Ryogoku. Not exactly a long line to see it.

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Unfortunately the Mighty Mo was scrapped. Only the fore-deck where the surrender was signed has been saved.

That is sad, I didn't know. Many years ago I had the pleasure of being a guest of the Marines on the USS Missouri when she visited Sydney (I was with 1 Commando at the time). Despite being in the army, I had a great couple of days eating like a pig in the ward room and watching the big guns hurl shells the size of a Volkswagen at targets over the horizon.

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OOPS, My bad, the Missouri was mothballed and then restored and returned to action and is now at Pearl.

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techall, Nonsense Where do you get your information? All 60,000 tons of old Mo is still at Pearl and still in good shape.

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Japan was defeated, the Anglosphere was saved

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I got to visit Mo docked at Pearl in 2003. Surprised to see that the deck was made of wood. Things might have ended different if that kamikaze bomb had gone off.

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NeoJam, any insight into why the Japanese wanted to invade everyone and then attacked the US? I mean, besides the old tried and true "the evil anglos will cut off our supply of raw materials that we so urgently reguire to mfg TVs and Toyotas"?

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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aye aye Cap'n

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Japanese naval planners thought they could outdo the US Navy because of the limitations on the displacement of battleships in order to go through the Panama Canal. So they built the Yamato, Musashi and Shinano (the latter was converted into a carrier), which were about 20,000 tonnes heavier than the US ships built at the time. (Yamato was over 65,000 tonnes compared to the Missouri's 45,000 tonnes.) Actually the battleship was pretty much obsolete due to changes in strategy -- carrier battle groups became the main force -- and battleships were used mostly to provide antiaircraft support for the carriers and bombard defences prior to landings, like at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. There were few engagements in the Pacific Theatre in which the battleships of opposing sides faced off against each other. The last was at Surigao Strait in the Philippines, where several of the battleships damaged at Pearl Harbor were used to cross the "T" against a Japanese force. One of the downsides of the "victory" at Pearl Harbor, it seems, was that when you sink a battleship in six metres of water, there's nothing to keep the enemy from raising it up, repairing it, and sending it back into action.

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Japan was defeated, the Anglosphere was saved

They speak English in China?

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The war was fought by the Americans to save the integrity of the the Chinese from the incursion of the Japanese. These veterans sacrifice would be for little or nothing if the US and China should go at each other's throats.

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Just another note on my (brief) experiences on the Mighty Mo (I seem to remember 3 days of constantly getting lost while being shown through the ship). Some of the ship's officers referred to firing the big guns as "killing fish". I didn't understand what they meant until I experienced a full broadside. In addition to a huge tongue of flame coming out of each barrel and the ship being physically picked up and thrown sideways, the pressure wave generated tended to flatten out the water immediately under the guns. This pressure wave was sufficient to kill/stun any fish who were unfortunate enough to be in the area. It was sort of like dynamite fishing using tactical nuclear warheads. Simply awesome!!!

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30061015, the timber deck was one of the most high classified secrets in WWII - caused by metal shortages and a desire to reduce weight. If the Japanese had known about this, any dinky little destroyer with a 5 inch gun could have taken out the USS Missouri with one or two good shots.

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national?... maybe us national news.

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Given all the revisionism regarding WW2 history, couldn't the USN of at least towed the Mighty Mo back to Tokyo Bay for this anniversary? Now that would be a great spectacle, and the Japanese would have probably appreciated it as well.

Yea... That would be something to see! Although I highly doubt any Japanese would "Appreciate" it in the manner which you suggest... It's more possible that the History Revisionist would have a field day though... I'm sure some-where along the lines they would get it printed in the new History texts that the Missouri actually started the war by shelling innocent Japanese in some beach resort town in Okinawa or something to that effect...

What in the hell is wrong with you people? Can't you see that the Japanese are actually the Victims of WW2...? (LOL...)

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timorborder

Given all the revisionism regarding WW2 history, couldn't the USN of at least towed the Mighty Mo back to Tokyo Bay for this anniversary? Now that would be a great spectacle, and the Japanese would have probably appreciated it as well.

LOL. That's got about as much chance of happening as the USAF rolling the Enola Gay out of its museum in Virginia and flying it over Hiroshima for a commemorative photo-op...

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History texts that the Missouri actually started the war by shelling innocent Japanese in some beach resort town in Okinawa or something to that effect...

What in the hell is wrong with you people? Can't you see that the Japanese are actually the Victims of WW2...?

I doubt the average Okinawan in the early 20th century had much political voice in Japanese politics that include foreign policy and war, just like Japanese women and low income earning men on the home islands who were disenfranchised and many of whom died in the war like any other 'nameless Jap-anese bastard' in the eyes of the common American. So you are correctm many Japanse were victims, a fact that is inconceivable to many allied citizens of both old and newer generations.

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History texts that the Missouri actually started the war by shelling innocent Japanese in some beach resort town in Okinawa or something to that effect...

What in the hell is wrong with you people? Can't you see that the Japanese are actually the Victims of WW2...?

I doubt the average Okinawan in the early 20th century had much political voice in Japanese politics that include foreign policy and war, just like Japanese women and low income earning men on the home islands who were disenfranchised and many of whom died in the war like any other 'nameless loathable Jap-anese bastard' in the eyes of the common American. So you are correct in stating that many Japanse were victims, a fact that is inconceivable to many allied citizens of both old and newer generations.

However, such perception has no place in this commemoration ceremony. We can readily remind ourselves that Japan as a whole deservedly suffered the pains of war for their deeds. There is no distinction of innocent Japanese from the evil ones. That distinction Americans readily make for their own bad applies to tell from the good will not be granted to the enemy.

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History has written that WWII is over and the Allied Forces won and the Japanese have been punished for their misdeeds. FranklyI feel the Ryukyu Islands have earned their INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTY -- Then let's close the book.

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timorborder, how about towing the mighty Mo to Japan so it can be scrapped? It could be arranged within sight of the 1945 ceremony. I tire of these stories of the great Americans beating the evil Japanese and the celebration of the war events. These stories and the reactions of the Americans does nothing for current relations. It does make me want to see the closure of all American bases as it would seem that the occupation of Japan is still not over. It does make me wonder what Americans truly think about Japanese today?

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What in the hell is wrong with you people? Can't you see that the >Japanese are actually the Victims of WW2...? (LOL...)

The civilians were. The military leaders were not.

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One incident not mentioned was the time this cook saved the ship from these renegade dudes with help from commissioned officers on-board! At one point - the ship actually fired live nuclear weapons at Honolulu! Holy smokes!

Thanks to a few roudhouses to the skull, a bunch of saps from the laundry and a saucy blonde - peace was restored.

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YuriOntani:

timorborder, how about towing the mighty Mo to Japan so it can be scrapped? It could be arranged within sight of the 1945 ceremony. I tire of these stories of the great Americans beating the evil Japanese and the celebration of the war events. These stories and the reactions of the Americans does nothing for current relations. It does make me want to see the closure of all American bases as it would seem that the occupation of Japan is still not over. It does make me wonder what Americans truly think about Japanese today?

You tire of the stories, but yet they MUST be told. Your leaders have continuously failed to recognize your (assuming your Japanese)nation's wrong-doing in the war, despite the aggression and horror the Japanese Army inflicted. If your text books actually told you about it, maybe you would have a bloody clue. Americans, Britons, Australians, Chinese and all the rest who fought you lot have a right to celebrate their victory and remember their loss. They earned that right on the bloody beaches of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Malaya, Burma, Nanking, etc. I tire of the whining of the Japanese and supporters who seem to loathe Americans because they had the audacity to denfend themselves when attacked, and the will and materials to win. So sorry that your tired of hearing it. I'm sure the millions of people the Japanese army murdered through aggression are tired of being dead. Japan should feel lucky that the only real lasting result of putting too much of the world through such hell is a few measely bases.

The average American today thinks rather positively of the Japanese I think (I don't hear otherwise) until someone like you mouths such crap as this.

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Japan should feel lucky that the only real lasting result of putting too much of the world through such hell is a few measely bases.

quite true

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tigermoth, actually I think rather positively of Americans until reading posts like yours. It is Japan bashing at its best. The might Mo to me is a symbol of Japan bashing and the ceremony is a sign that the wounds between America and Japan are not healed. The war has been over for 64 years, get a life! Nobody says the Americans did not have the right to defend themselves, it is the final days of the war in which America was the first and only country to nuke innocent civilians from the air. Millions of Japanese were killed to satisfy the bloodletting and to me the mighty mo is a symbol of America's revenge.

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The average American today thinks rather positively of the Japanese I >think (I don't hear otherwise) until someone like you mouths such crap >as this.

I fully agree with that. And I also believe that the average Japanese also thinks rather positively of Americans until someone like you mouths such crap as you did. My late uncle served in the USMC and was on Guadalcanal. He never had a single bad thing to say about the Japanese people or post war Japan.

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Millions of Japanese were killed to satisfy the bloodletting and to me >the mighty mo is a symbol of America's revenge.

Yuriotani, that's a load of crap.The mighty Mo is a symbol of the END of the war and a memorial to the many men who served their country to create the peace. It also symbolizes the end of a military controlled Japan, a dictatorship where the freedoms and individual rights you Japanese have known for the last 64 years did not exist. US troops are in Japan because eery Japanese administration since the ewnd of the war has felt it was in Japan's own best interests that they be there.

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YuriOtani: Quite part of your words are right; Japanese are OK today and do lots of good things to other countries… etc. But fundamentally you miss a key point: Japanese unconditionally surrendered to end the WWII. Japanese already accepted that they were guilty about the war and agreed everything the Alliance did was correct. Therefore, the Alliance committed to forgive/ protect/ reconstruct Japan and they did. This was basically the foundation of peace of past-war. So, what Japanese should do today is to keep their promise, admit their fault (don’t forget to teach their children also), not to mention some strange points like they were forced to fight… ( Japanese only could say that if they didn’t surrender unconditionally!) and not to jump up and down if others only try to memory their past righteous actions ( Japanese already accepted that 64 years ago!).

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So, what Japanese should do today is to keep their promise,

They already have. Japan is the only country in the world with a constitution that makes the use of military force iilegal.

admit their >fault (don’t forget to teach their children also),

Japanese textbooks, even including the one that China/SKorea bade a stink about all state tat Japan was the aggresor in WWII and that it caused great suffering to many Asian countries.

not to mention some strange points like they were forced to fight…

Actually one could very reasonably argue that some were. When a person lives under a military dictatorship with censored information, it's basically impossible to speak out or take actions against the state. Just ask the people in China today.

Japanese only could say that if they didn’t surrender unconditionally!) >and not to jump up and down if others only try to memory their past >righteous

Don't know what you're saying here.

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The mighty mo is a symbol of rubbing salt in a wound. The paranoia of the 20's destroyed what could of been a very strong democracy. The 1930's and the depression brought out the worst in the mainlanders. I agree that Japan did a lot of very bad things in the 30s and 40s and there is no excuse for the wrongs that happened. Have your remembered ceremonies but do not expect to be thanked for killing millions of Japanese Nationals. We are now friends which is a very good thing and both have matured as to not consider doing such things again.

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Americans don't expect to be thanked for killing Japanese during the war, that would be absurd and that's not what the service on the Mo is about. I think you're wrong - America has forgiven Japan. In truth, most younger people today know very little about the war - well, except through 'Medal of Honour' games (and no offense, but these are likely made in Japan!) and certainly do not hold a grudge. The older generation likely does, and I've spoken with many veterans who still vehemently hate the Japanese - but they lost best friends and brothers in the war, so you can hardly blame them.

We have matured and grown, which is a good thing. But remembering the past, paying homage to the dead is a good thing. Learning from the past is the best way to prevent the same mistakes in the future.

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Its obvious that Cain and Able will never resolve the issues. That's why we still need laws and abide by them. From the above, I can see that the two countries involved would get into a dog fight right away, if there was any chance. The German people repented, reflected and changed and are a much better off for having covered the whole 9 yards of it with continuous diligence to not let such a bizarre mentality exercise control over them forever more. And how about Japan?

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tigermoth, THANK YOU, I could have not said it any better! The brave men and women, who fought during that period, DO have the right to celebrate and remember their friends who gave the ultimate sacrifice and did not return. May I be the first and surely not the last to offer you a drink of your adult drink of choice if we ever cross path. Cheers!

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The mighty mo is a symbol of rubbing salt in a wound. The paranoia of >the 20's destroyed what could of been a very strong democracy. The >1930's and the depression brought out the worst in the mainlanders.

Utter nonsense. A strong democracy in Japan? The Japanese military were already making moves in the 1920s. How could you have a "strong democracy" when the authority of the Emperor was shared equally between the Civilian govt and the Military High Command?

The German people repented, reflected and changed and are a much better off for having covered the whole 9 yards of it with continuous diligence >to not let such a bizarre mentality exercise control over them forever >more. And how about Japan?

Utter nonsense. Americans don't have an issue with German or Japanese people who weren't even born during the war. It has nothing to do with "repenting". We've hads the Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf Wars I and II since 1945, as a nation and a people we don't drag history around like some others.

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YuriOtani

The war has been over for 64 years, get a life!

How I look forward to reminding you of these (your) words the next time you post on a Hiroshima/Nagasaki/A-Bomb thread...

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If you visit the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital, you will realize that, for some people, the War is hardly over...

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noirgaijin - thanks for the offer; I was in London recently and developed a taste for Strongbow Cider - but was told by a true Englishman they consider it swill. I'd still take one!

If you visit the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital, you will realize that, for some people, the War is hardly over...

And precisely the same reason that services like that held aboard the Mighty Mo take place. For most of those soldiers who fought the war sixty some odd years ago now (almost 70) it was the defining moment of their lives that they will never forget. They were just kids for the most part, pulled from their normal lives to take part in a world war not of their making and then given the huge responsibility of life and death. They made close friends and then watched them die. Most of us can only pretend to understand what effect this has on the human soul. So when they meet to pay honour to their comrades, it's not out of a hatred for a long ago enemy but a respect and, well, a love of sorts for their fellow soldiers. You often see old soldiers who were once enemies become friends and share a laugh together; it was a common experience shared by all who fought.

You don't 'get over it' - you learn from it.

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The United States should be grateful to Japan for choosing to surrender. And I think SOME Japanese would do well to recognize that such ceremonies are part of American culture, rather than as a means to rub salt into a wound. America I've seen tends to reenact its battles, wars, and historical events to honor the memory as well as to remind the people of today the extraordinary price paid. That day on the Missouri is remembered by more than just the Americans.

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SEPTIMUS, pardon me for not wanting to "honor" this event. A few days late but how about honoring the 24-August-1814? What no sense of history? It is a very historical event only not so pleasing to Americans?

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YuriOtani

You yourself have no sense of history (or common sense) if you believe that the burning of Washington D.C. by the British in the War of 1812 is even remotely equal in significance to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri marking the end of World War II.

Septimus only said that SOME Japanese would do well to RECOGNIZE this event for what it is. He certainly didn't say that any had to honor it, least of all you. You'd do well to look down on your shoulder; you may be surprised to find a large chip residing there...

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USNinJapan2, you see the USS Missouri as a memorial of American victory. I see it as a symbol of Americas might in WWII and now. It is a symbol of warning to others that they can bring down their boot on the necks with those that disagree with them. I rather like Americans just wish they would stop their "bragging". Calling the destruction of two Japanese cities such a "great" event. These acts are still hurting people, the victims of the act and those in succeeding generations that are still suffering.

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YuriOtani, 24 August 1814, that might've hurt my feelings if I was American. However, I'm sure more than one country celebrated that day on the USS Missouri. Half a world actually, the Allies.

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“I can think of nothing more valuable of this complex here ... to enable generations to come to reflect and understand,” said Abercrombie, a Democrat from Hawaii.

As a US Navy vet, when I reflect upon the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials, I think about the tragic stupidity of the attack that brought the United States into the war. The hubris of any militaristic nation causes it to believe that it can never be defeated.

But that is not all that the memorials bring to mind. When regarding the USS Missouri, I also reflect upon the completely dishonorable and criminal way in which the United States forced the end of the war against Japan. The fact that there were several cities selected for atomic bomb targets, and that those cities were not military targets of any value and so were purposely left unscathed by any attack prior to those days in August, gives every indication of a scientific experiment with ordinary innocent Japanese civilians as the guinea pigs.

If American cities had been nuked, I think I know enough about my fellow Americans to say that it is likely that we would never forgive those who could do such a thing. Primarily that is because that most of us Americans believe that we are angels of sweetness and light, send only to do good to the world. And when bad things happen to us, it can never, ever be due to anything related to our own actions.

And so, I think the memorials of the USS Arizona, Hiroshima and Nagasaki (among other sites on all sides) are very fitting in that they keep in mind the victims of the tragedy and stupidity of war. But keeping around a physical symbol and reminder of one nation's victory over another nation might serve to glorify war in the eyes of some, and so it smacks of a very crass gesture by a nation that, quite frankly, is not very mature or wise.

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Yuriotani,

People aren't bragging, they're commemorating the end of a war that killed millions. Japan was attempting an extraordinarily vicious imperial expansion and the world is happy that they were stopped. As others have mentioned, it's not just America that commemorates this day. If you're angry because others are 'bragging', perhaps you need to re-examine the reasons for the conflict in the first place. Let's talk about who was bringing the boot down on whom in the 30's and early 40's.

Millions of people will continue to commemorate victory in the Pacific. Japanese will continue rolling around in black buses broadcasting imperial military anthems. Perhaps you'd like to ask some Chinese about rubbing salt into wounds the next time your politicians visit Yasukuni. It's all rather relative, isn't it?

A large part of the reason these days are commemorated is to draw attention to the lessons of war, that they might help us make different choices in the future. It's therefore imperative in my opinion that these sites are remembered and preserved, especially in the light of the Uyoku and nationalistic elements in Japan, and others in many other countries seeking to ignore and rewrite history.

do not expect to be thanked for killing millions of Japanese Nationals

No-one expects or wants your thanks. Lives lost are lives lost. Many people do however expect and want Japan to take a look at it's own actions, beyond whitewashing them with statements like 'Japan did a lot of very bad things' followed by how terrible retaining the ship where a despicable regime was at least partly called to account is.

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it is the final days of the war in which America was the first and only country to nuke innocent civilians from the air. Millions of Japanese were killed to satisfy the bloodletting and to me the mighty mo is a symbol of America's revenge.

Who cares? It was 64 years ago. Get a life. By the way, there were no millions of Japanese victims, check any historical source. Even small Eastern European countries like Poland had much bigger loss in civilians.

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yuriotani,

Millions of Japanese were killed to satisfy the bloodletting...

Your statement is full of crap. Less than a million Japanese civilians died compared to the almost 15 million Russian civilians that lost their lives. You really need to check your history books.

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Japanese will continue rolling around in black buses broadcasting >imperial military anthems.

To use these black truck idiots to represent the "Japanese" is like using the KKK to represent "Americans" or the Neo-Nazis to represent the "Germans". You don't have to spend a hell of alot of time in Japan to catch on that the vast majority of Japanese consider them an annoyance.

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Have to comment about YuriOtani's world view. I see a lot of this in different countries around the world.

How about this? The countries of the world of 2009 are not the countries they were in 1945.

Japan was a crude thug of a nation with very little concern for the sovereignty of other nations, or human rights. China was in disarray and civil war. The US was fighting for freedom and democracy and against imperialism. The Soviets were fighting for their lives, and then to expand communism. France barely existed. Italy was in ruins and disgraced. Korea was one nation.

For some of those countries, it was their darkest period, and for others it was their finest hour. It is no exaggeration to say that EVERYTHING has changed. Japan has become a genuinely peace-loving nation. China seems to be moving strongly in one direction. The US is stumbling, to say the least. Europe is united. Russia seems genuinely and generally disinterested in communism.

Whatever feelings you might have of a US jackboot since, say, the 1960s, that was not the case in 1945. And whatever you might think of Japanese now, they were certainly not harmless in the early 1900s. Let's call it the pre-Mario jidai. In short, your opinions of Japan being a helpless victim unable to control its own destiny sound more like Japan of... oh... 2000 than Japan of 1945, or 1941, or 1936.

We are supposed to learn from history, but the lesson is certainly not that our world is a static crust. Clinging to flags and slogans and old photographs, rather than just looking at them as artifacts, will make you less able to understand the world of today.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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"When regarding the USS Missouri, I also reflect upon the completely dishonorable and criminal way in which the United States forced the end of the war against Japan. The fact that there were several cities selected for atomic bomb targets, and that those cities were not military targets of any value and so were purposely left unscathed by any attack prior to those days in August, gives every indication of a scientific experiment with ordinary innocent Japanese civilians as the guinea pigs."

Gee Yabits. I don't want to get all inflammatory, but the US nuclear effort got a big boost when the Navy was not getting the job done. I think your comment betrays some pretty thick rose-colored glasses sitting on your nose.

I fail to see how the war could have ended with less loss of life, given the circumstances, and I certainly do not see how the Navy could have done it. And nobody even considers the cost.

This "experimental" nature of the bombings shows that the US was not convinced that they were going to end the war, frankly. The US only had enough material for two bombs, and did not know if they were going to work, and if so, how well. US scientists were ready to take photo data and get back to the drawing board. They were planning ahead. Planning for worst case scenarios, hoping for success. War has ALWAYS been that way. If it seems so unbelievable to you, even as a Navy veteran, then there is hope for peace. Then, there were a lot of smart people in Los Alamos with a very simple goal. In wartime, it made a lot of sense. 65 years later, here you are playing woulda, shoulda, coulda. I guess US military leaders should have spent more time considering Japanese people's feelings 65 years in the future when they made their decisions about war.

In summer 1945, Truman did not put the cart before the horse. He finished the war and life went on. The results have been very good.

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