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

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@FizzBit,

Not unconditionally.

Surrender was never truly unconditional as the U.S. cynically changed the surrender offer after nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign.

It was not until August 11, 1945 that the Allied response regarding surrender referred to the Emperor's continuing role in Japanese government and made it conditional to the authority of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers.

The response states:

"the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers"

Sec. of War Stimson later explained,

"the Allied reply... implicitly recognized the Emperor's position by prescribing that his power must be subject to the orders of the Allied supreme commander".

This conditional surrender offer to keep the Emperor was only made after nuking civilian targets.

The Japanese government correctly interpreted this and other statements in the Allied surrender terms to mean that the Emperor could be retained. On August 14 the Emperor told Japan's cabinet,

"I have studied the Allied reply and concluded that it virtually acknowledges the position of our note [requesting the Emperor's retention] sent a few days ago. I find it quite acceptable."

According to Under Secretary of State, Joseph Grew:

"...in the light of available evidence I myself and others felt that if such a categorical statement about the [retention of the] dynasty had been issued in May, 1945, the surrender-minded elements in the [Japanese] Government might well have been afforded by such a statement a valid reason and the necessary strength to come to an early clearcut decision....If surrender could have been brought about in May, 1945, or even in June or July, before the entrance of Soviet Russia into the [Pacific] war and the use of the atomic bomb, the world would have been the gainer."

MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan:

> "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign.

Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur,

"He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuking H&N saved no one as the Japanese had already sued for peace

Not unconditionally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, as horrible as that day was more lives we're saved because of it.

Nuking H&N saved no one as the Japanese had already sued for peace. Additionally, no land invasion would have taken place as Russian entry ended the war.

 no excuse for Japan to attack the base which killed 2403 people.

Nuking Hiroshima killed 3000 American civilians. Unquestionably a war crime.

http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/cab/200712090010.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, as horrible as that day was more lives we're saved because of it. The death toll to Japanese citizens and military if a land invasion had happened would have seen death tolls at least 3 times what they were. As for a war crime i could say the samething to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even with all the political games being played back then it was no excuse for Japan to attack the base which killed 2403 people of which 218 were civilians. So again No, it's the same with the Koreans constantly bring up their issues from the war with Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan had lost all of their gains. And they were going to lose more. Dropping the bomb was a great idea for these War fanatics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes they were. To drop such bombs knowing they would kill so many civilians can be nothing other than a war crime (and arguably the worst war crime ever perpetrated by humans in that so many died instantly and so many others soon after in agony).

You can't so easily make a final determination when so many US kids died taking Guam the Solomon's, new guinea for example.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes they were. To drop such bombs knowing they would kill so many civilians can be nothing other than a war crime (and arguably the worst war crime ever perpetrated by humans in that so many died instantly and so many others soon after in agony).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some ignorant people and politicians still thump their chests and hope that we use them again. 

The only one who immediately comes to mind is Kim Jong Un who sponsors terrific sound and light shows depicting a nuclear attack on NYC.

No one takes HIM seriously... of course?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A Canadian victim of Hiroshima recounts his exploitation as a subject of Truman's Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission:

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/a-canadian-in-hiroshima

Truman's ABCC organization studied Hiroshima victims without providing any treatment or substantive medical care. Japanese were treated like lab rats for experimentation by the American government. As the ABCC wikipedia page states:

"The ABCC did not actually treat the survivors they studied, they just studied them over periods of time."

We also know Truman lied when he stated:

"The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians."

In fact, the primary targets at Hiroshima were residential in nature with the overwhelming majority of casualties being civilian. In fact, Honkawa Elementary school was mere meters from the epicenter of the Hiroshima nuke strike. 

Harry S Truman's approval of the decision to mass murder Hiroshima and Nagasaki's women and children was perhaps not surprising given his bizarre religious delusions and feeble-minded racism. According to Harry Truman:

“I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a NI&&ER or a Chinaman... THE LORD made a white man from dust, a NI&&ER from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I....We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction PROPHESIED in the Euphrates Valley Era, after NOAH and his FABULOUS Ark....This weapon is to be used against Japan...."

-Harry S Truman

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The atomic bombings were terribly sad. One good thing comes from this horrific tragedy. It is very important. If this had not have happened people would not know the hellish consequences of using nuclear weapons. Some ignorant people and politicians still thump their chests and hope that we use them again. But, most of the people in our small world know that using them is out of the question unless we will be happy with global suicide. By the way, I could not vote yes or know because I love both Japanese and Americans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nagasaki was a major Navy base at that time. Saying that part is innocent is stretching it. If I am a ruler of a country and I am waging a war with another, of course, I would target my enemy's military installations, supply lines and nowadays, even communication networks. If bombing Nagasaki (a Navy base) is considered to be wrong, then so was bombing of Perl Harbor.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sorry, that should read: It was not a war crime to target defended cities with aerial bombardment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Ah_so

It was still in contravention of the Hague Convention.

How so? It was not a war crime to target undefended cities with aerial bombardment.

In anticipation that your answer will be something to the effect that many undefended buildings within Hiroshima were targeted, I would say this breaks the basic rule of statutory interpretation that no word within the text can be treated as superfluous or redundant. Towns and villages are collections of dwellings and buildings, so if you interpret the convention on a building by building basis, the words town and village become entirely redundant. Hiroshima as one whole defended town was a legitimate target under the Hague Convention.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No doubt about it.

A testament to man's inhumanity and cruelty.

Plenty of doubt about it. Sadly the only way to stop man's inhumanity and cruelty that was going on at that time.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The nuking of H&N was the most disgusting and cowardly war crime ever committed. It was little more than a brutal and cynical live human experiment on women and children. The depravity and racism of the US government and military is apparent from Harry Truman's demented giggling prior to his announcement of the mass murders at Hiroshima:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d42dMSAltnQ

See Kermit Beahan gloat as he claims responsibility for nuking the women and children of Nagasaki:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdJyOBriLTI&t=39s

As Brig. Gen. Carter W. Clarke, the officer in charge of preparing MAGIC intercepted cable summaries in 1945, stated:

"….we brought them [the Japanese] down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."

As the historical record shows, six of the seven US WWII five star officers concluded that the nuking of hundreds of thousands of civilians was unnecessary. In fact, the nuking was one of the most brutal and cynical atrocities ever committed. As Admiral Chester W. Nimitz stated:

"The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan. The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war…."

Truman's own diaries show that he prolonged hostilities until the nukes were ready. We also know that he lied to the US public when he stated that Hiroshima was a "military target".

Prior to nuking Hiroshima, the U.S. military had already obliterated over 60 Japanese cities with napalm and white phosphorous. This conclusively proves that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little value other than as an opportunity for the US military to conduct nuke testing on human subjects.

In this connection, Paul Tibbets is on record as stating that Hiroshima was set aside as a "virgin" test city. Additionally, the primary targets at Hiroshima were residential in nature with the overwhelming majority of casualties being civilian. In fact, Honkawa Elementary school was mere meters from the epicenter of the Hiroshima nuke strike. The fire-bombings and nuclear attacks on Japan were war crimes on par with the holocaust suffered by the Jews.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Aré there crimes in war when the only one thing is to become a victor?

War is a sublimation of conscience.

War is a hideous act which allows the goal to be paramount-the means are never questioned.

What can we learn from the acts of war?

We all know the answer....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Hague convention that was applicable at the time states:

Article 25: The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.

@Bubblegum:

More people died from the air raids in Tokyo and Dresden than the A bombs.

These would also constitute war crimes in that they deliberately targeted civilians.

While dropping one bomb may be the worst thing ever to have been created, this probably saved way more lives, military and civilian, Japanese and American than if Russia and the US invaded the mainland

I believe that you are correct and whilst they may have achieved a better outcome (although some debate this), it does not change the fact that targeting civilians was a war crime.

This was necessary to PREVENT further war crimes by the imperial army. It was the right thing to do in order to end the suffering the imperial Japanese army was inflicting on the world.

It was still in contravention of the Hague Convention.

If the question was worded, “Do you consider the saturation bombing of civilian populations a war crime I would have answered Yes. We cannot pretend that the A-bombs were a singular war crime while ignoring the millions of people killed by conventional saturation bombings.

We don't have to pretend that other issues were excluded - you are reading more into the question than is there. The question only concerns the A-bombs, which do qualify (as do the others in their own right).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's a NO from me.

THis was necessary to PREVENT further war crimes by the imperial army. It was the right thing to do in order to end the suffering the imperial Japanese army was inflicting on the world.

Not a war crime, a right and just act.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender...

Then why did they ignore the Potsdam Declaration, issued in late July?

Here's a question for you. Why is the option of... NOT pressing for unconditional surrender not even on your list of variants?

Because Japan's "conditions" included holding on to Manchuria and Korea. Postwar Asia world would have continued to be a chaotic mess if that were allowed to happen, instead of the success it did turn out to be.

Freedom that has to be reinforced by force?

10s of millions of people were Asia were liberated in the days following Japan's surrender. The Emperor's said in his surrender speech that the nuclear bombs were the major reason for his decision to stop the fighting. Peace then prevailed.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

No. To surrender is to admit defeat. Formal it may seem, but necessary.

No. Not ready to surrender. See above.

Effective sea blockade and bombing? No. Not successful enough to have forced a surrender.

I have always been taught that the USA only ever had two bombs.

When the war ended the US had used the only two bombs they had at that time. I believe the production line was still operating but a third bomb would not have been ready in just a few days. I’ve read conflicting accounts. One said the next bomb wouldn’t be ready until September at the earliest. Nevertheless, planning for Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu in November, was proceeding.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If you want to know how many A-bombs planned if Japan didn't surrender just after Nagasaki one.

Please check link:https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-planned-to-drop-12-atomic-bombs-on-japan

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One young Japanese student told me that the bomb was dropped so that the Americans could examine and study the results an atomic attack on a city, like an experiment.

I believe it was indeed an experiment to examine and study the results of an atomic attack.

The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

I can also remember reading years ago how the late Mike Royko, a popular journalist, said that it was indeed a war crime and that the Americans should have instead dropped the atomic bomb off the coast of Tokyo so that Emperor Hirohito could see its power firsthand, so that he might raise the surrender flag before it was used on Japanese cities. An interesting idea which very well might have worked.

As it turned out, the "warning shot" of Hiroshima didn't get the Japanese to surrender. Even after an entire city was wiped out, the Japanese war council voted to keep on fighting. So people advocating a "warning shot" in Tokyo Harbor really don't have much of a leg to stand on. First, the US only had three weapons; the notion that the United States should/would waste one of three of the most expensive weapons in history, essentially wasting a third of the US's capacity really never passes the smell test.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You have to understand the atomic problem. It was not just about 2 bombs. It was a lot more coming to life.

And Japan had an atomic bomb program too in link with the nazi government atomic program.

Everyone had an atomic program and URSS wanted one too. At the time, Japan may not have been able to protect its science from URSS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can you imagine how much it was to be terrified to know USA had more A-bombs to drop?

I have always been taught that the USA only ever had two bombs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I did YES because I knew USA were preparing to drop A-bombs more big cities all around Japan finalizing in Tokyo if Japan didn't unconditionally surrender by that emperor words. Can you imagine how much it was to be terrified to know USA had more A-bombs to drop?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes, of course. Every act of war where the civilians are the target, is a war crime.

That's very true today, but not in 1945. The legal rules for aerial bombardment that were in effect during WW2 were actually drafted in 1907 (The Hague Convention). They dated from a time when pilots would drop bombs out of the cockpit of their bi-planes by hand and couldn't predict with any precision where they might land. The only explicit prohibition was dropping bombs on cities that were undefended. There were no limitations on the type of bomb you could drop, or on proportionality, or on civilian casualties. These rules were only update after, and in response to, WW2.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No, strictly speaking, it was not a war crime according to the laws in effect at the time. The bombing of cities was allowed as long as these cities were defended. That said, a similar bombing today would definitely be a war crime thanks to the various treaties signed in the years after the war and in the 1970s.

The question of legality or criminality is such a narrow and objectively discernable question that it's probably more productive to ask whether the bombing was immoral, unconscionable, disproportionate, or something similarly subjective with no right or wrong answer.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

At least it is open to scrutiny, that's the most important thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why would one atomic bomb that killed apx 100,000 in one giant explosion be considered a war crime while thousands of incendiary bombs that killed apx 100,000 in one night not be?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Yes, of course. Every act of war where the civilians are the target, is a war crime.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Emperor Showa would've never pulled Japan out of the war if it was not for the atomic bombings. Technically, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved countless of Japanese, Chinese and American lives. Considering the cruel and barbaric slaughter of China by Japan before and during WWII, the bombings was kind of a "payback" by USA and their ally Kuomintang-China.

Japan killed up to 25 million chinese during the Second Japanese-Sino war 1937-1945, while losing close to 4 million. Japan would've never stopped the slaughter of China if it wasn't for the atomic bombs. Russia began invading in 1945, but mainland Japan were never really exposed to invading threats, except against long ranged bombers. So how could you win against a state who regarded their Emperor as divine, and who's Emperor would not give up. We should remember that it took 2 devestating atomic bombs to make him surrender. He could've surrendered after the first one, but it actually took him 2 atomic bombs before he threw in the towel!

All this together, an amphibious invasion of Japan with their divine Enperor who wouldn't give up, seemed naturally impossible. The bombs were terrible, but who's fault was it actually? Showa who refused to surrender after the first bomb, or the Americans who just wanted to put an irreversible end to the deadliest conflict in history? Japan didn't respect the laws of the Geneva Convention or the Red Cross during their Pacific Campaign and Sino-war, that itself is a war crime and crime against humanity.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

I believe the timeline was:

push for unconditional surrender - no allowance for Emperor

Soviets enter war on Japan on the agreed date and make huge advance - Atomic bombs dropped

Conditional surrender including Emperor offered and accepted.

The only possible conclusion is that the A-bombs alone did not end the war. The surrender accepted was far weaker than the pre-bomb one, so it is incorrect to say, as many do, that the bombs and bombs alone ended the war. Negotiations had to change for that to happen.

My personal belief is that Japan was not offered a conditional surrender with the Emperor protected because someone, possibly just Truman, wanted to test/demonstrate the bomb.

For the majority of victims, firebombing of citizens is little different. Radiation does kill, but I suspect it is not as bad as we fear. Inhalation of smoke, burns, injuries, etc. from any bombing raid will have serious long-term health effects, as will PTSD. Here's what Osaka looked like after its raids.

https://www.loc.gov/resource/cph.3c04726/

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If the question was worded, “Do you consider the saturation bombing of civilian populations a war crime I would have answered Yes. We cannot pretend that the A-bombs were a singular war crime while ignoring the millions of people killed by conventional saturation bombings.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

America had its reasons. They rushed the bomb's use after test detonations to prove they worked, but they had no real knowledge of what the results of a blast over a city would be for those in the city at the time. Some suspected but nobody knew for sure. They did know it would be bad.

Japan did not submit to unconditional surrender. Japan had one condition and it was granted. That the Emperor was not prosecuted and he and his household would remain free and unpunished.

After the mass casualties on both side for the battle for Okinawa, including mass suicides of civilians, That had to be avoided if possible for the battle for Japan proper. They chose to use the new A-Bomb as a means of getting a surrender. Some say it was only after Russia joined the allies and declared war against Japan that its last hopes for negotiated peace were gone, that Japan had no option other than to surrender or see the complete and total demise of the Japanese people and culture.

All war is to be avoided at all costs, because the cost of going to war far outweighs the cost to avoid it.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The historical facts are that the American military got away with murder disguised as " strategic necessity" for forcing the Japanese into surrender which then had further consequences leading to the unprecedented aerial bombings in Korea, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and since 9-11 the devastation of civilian populations from the air explained away as "regrettable" or by that cold-blooded term, "collateral damage".

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Since they had a choice, and it can hardly be considered a case of self-defense or whatever by that point, they purposely killed civilians to get what they want, not what they need. In other words, they killed to Feel Good.

This is it.

This is the pure horror of the attack. The decisions behind it are not as a result of some benevolent agreement with the good of mankind at heart.

It was a cold-blooded move to send a message. And not just to Japan.

If I believed in the concept of evil (which I don't) then this would be the prime example of it.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Wow, look at that score, those who said yes and no are almost equal. War is never pretty, the "winners" are just those lost less and heroes in one country maybe considered as criminals in another.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

History is written by the victors

Not as simple as that. There’s propaganda and there’s history.

Captured German generals were careful to exonerate themselves and place responsibility for the planning and conduct of WWII on Hitler. It was a story that the victors were happy to embrace as it dovetailed with their own opinions.

Only more recently have war era documents been re-examined and, given more access to archival material, re-interpretated. Conclusion: Hitler was a monster, but he had plenty of help.

I imagine that the same rectification process will happen regarding the Pacific War.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

YES OR NO IS NOT THE ATOMIC DEBATE

°

In the world of today, yes, may be. But yesterday ? USA barely knew what they were doing or the long term consequences. Pearl Habor was not exactly "fair play" either.

Venice convention did not even exist.

It is always easy to judge afterward but an ethic judgment is always taking the time into account.

At the time, Japan was considering giving the last Nazi the final technological piece in exchange for their own atomic bomb. What to do, but to go fast or faster ? History is never as simple as the single and simple interpretation of an old and convenient history book for children.

Without those bombs Japan would have been Russian and under communism. There would not be an emperor anymore, and your economy would be just recovering. What was the best for Japan ? for Asia ? for the world ?

For Asia, there would have been no example of an other way of life, where economy bring a little peace, justice, fun and freedom. Communism was not exactly the most happy in the world government. It was a military dictature.

For Pacific, there would be no memory of the life before colonisation. For the world there would not be Mario or Link or environmental neutral pacific constitution.

It is always easy to see what we lost in a battle, but I tend to look at the larger picture to judge war crime: " Was there an other way ? " Worse yes, better no. America had others benefits in using this bombs but the real goal was the fair one, and in the end a forced one by the birthing in the world of this bomb.

Do you think japan would not have use it on a pacific island if the possibility was given to them by their god ? in China ? in Corea ? Honestly ? Military were in power at the time, and they were not the kindest of them. All probability show there would have been more than two detonated bomb. USA has a world community for peace to watch out for them. Those watchers had to not be deceived otherwise, the american republic would have fall under the weigh of their own broken dream.

For me, at this time, depending on the state of my knowledge, there was no war crime but a lesser crime than the one that had to come.

°

NCM

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

I think having something unconditional was agreed by china, the UK, US, and Russia, and they all had their reason to ask for that. After all Japan wanted all those countries to submit to Japan conditions.

After all Japan wanted all those countries to submit to Japan conditions.

IMO, it is a flawed approach to compare "submitting to [certain] conditions" and "unconditional surrender", which was something relatively groundbreaking in modern history, and was also basically not done again.

But perhaps the more relevant words are "reason". In other words, they want to. It is something desirable. It is not something they need. It is not necessary.

Since they had a choice, and it can hardly be considered a case of self-defense or whatever by that point, they purposely killed civilians to get what they want, not what they need. In other words, they killed to Feel Good.

I'll also point out that it is not atypical for a weak country to deliberately fight a war against a stronger one. If every weak country had to assume every brush will lead to strong country dedicating 100% of its national power and won't stop until it is completely ruined, every weak country will be unconditionally submissive to the strong state. That's clearly not the case.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I see the yes's are edging the no's here 53% to 47%.

I'm on the no's side. I believe the A-bombs, as horrific as they were, saved lives on both sides. The Japanese, even with their capital and other cities already largely in ruins from firebombing, were not going to surrender soon.

That being said, I hope nuclear weapons are never used again except to break apart Earth-killing asteroids.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

You have to realize that Japan is a country of fads, always has. The fad of war had taken hold and it would not be stopped. If they wanted to really commit a war crime they would have bombed Kyoto, as it was on the list. But instead they chose a small port town that was an armament base, Hiroshima.

The bombings saved the US from invading Japan and millions of lives. It's a tough call and you can complain about tough calls but it was the right one, and that's the sad part about that

The right wing is still upset today that they surrendered and that hasn't gone away, and so it hides underneath, waiting

3 ( +16 / -13 )

In today's politically correct society, yes it would be considered a way crime. But that's war, bad things happen on all sides. All nations committed war crimes, some worse than others.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  04:51 pm JST

@BubblegunToday 12:38 pm JST

Here's a question for you. Why is the option of leaving well-enough alone and NOT pressing for unconditional surrender not even on your list of variants?

I think having something unconditional was agreed by china, the UK, US, and Russia, and they all had their reason to ask for that. After all Japan wanted all those countries to submit to Japan conditions.

I'm not really sure why Japan thought they should be given the right to determine the conditions of surrender. Germany, Italy weren't give the right to dictate the conditions of surrender either, so I'm not sure why Japan should have had any special rights to dictate a surrender for a war it started in the 1930s.How many were killed for the idea of an empire, that for all intents and purposes was a time that was passing. The Ottoman empire collapses, the Austrian/Hungary empires had collapsed, German, French, British, empires were all starting to collapse, while Japan was wanting to emulate these empires, by taking other countries, but that time was coming an end. There was no point trying to say we are freeing you from the europeans only to put them under a new master. People were wanting to independent.

And when you start a war, you aren't there to negotiate. Japan had its chance to negotiate for years.

Personally i have to agree with bomber Harris, when we only had one option as we stood alone.

"They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind"

stormcrow brings up many good points, and the best one is, just as japan did, when you go into a fight, you use the biggest gun you've got. Dropping the A bomb showed Russia what the US had, it forced japan to surrender quicker, saved way more lives.

btw if you think that the A bomb is a war crime, even though japan was warned would consider that japan commit many war crimes?

1 ( +12 / -11 )

No not a crime. Japan has a penchant for continuing to engage in activities even when it is well known that they're futile. The war would have dragged on with countless more casualties on both sides than what the A-bomb caused.

4 ( +20 / -16 )

I can only assume that those calling the bombings war crimes would have no problems sacrificing their family members to defeat Imperial Japan...

Why, is Imperial Japan playing up again?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Let’s be honest...

Hindsight is always 20/20

History is written by the victors

One mans war criminal is another mans hero

To me it simply is a question of being at the right place at the right time as we are humans, and we all know what humans have been doing to each other for millenniums. My only consolation is that we don’t have any more weapons to worry about (yet),

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@BubblegunToday 12:38 pm JST

Here's a question for you. Why is the option of leaving well-enough alone and NOT pressing for unconditional surrender not even on your list of variants?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I can only assume that those calling the bombings war crimes would have no problems sacrificing their family members to defeat Imperial Japan...

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

An older Japanese woman in my class began to cry as she recounted her story of seeing Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped from a nearby hilltop. She was a girl at the time, and she said that it was so horrible that there were no words to describe what she had seen.

One young Japanese student told me that the bomb was dropped so that the Americans could examine and study the results an atomic attack on a city, like an experiment.

One young Japanese lady told me how she qualified for the special insurance granted to A-Bomb survivors because her father was a survivor. He was a young boy, about 8 years old at the time, and he just happened to be walking next to a wall which saved him from the blast on the opposite side. His entire family was wiped out in that moment.

On the other hand, I had a relative, a battle scarred war hero who took part in the U.S. island hopping campaign, waiting just off the coast near Tokyo along with hundreds of thousands of other soldiers to assault the beaches. Estimates, I've been told, would have included the 1st wave going in and being completely annihilated, the 2nd wave gaining a toe-hold with something like a 15% survival rate, wave after wave, until a beachhead was created. After that, the military expected city to city, town to town, house to house fighting for every square inch of Japan from one end to the other. From the American perspective (the WWII generation anyway), the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives, or so I was told by relatives in my family who are gone now due to old age.

On the other hand, I was told by a Japanese student that the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not end the war because the Japanese emperor couldn't have known about it anyway because of the way he was shielded from any such information by the military. When I asked him about why the war ended when it did, he said the following, "The Japanese didn't want the Russians coming in and cutting off parts of Japan for itself." In other words, the Japanese gave up because they knew they were beat and expected the Americans to treat them better than the Russians.

Some Japanese students have told me that the Americans used the bomb not to defeat Japan, but to show off its newest and deadliest weapon to the world, especially the Russians.

I can also remember reading years ago how the late Mike Royko, a popular journalist, said that it was indeed a war crime and that the Americans should have instead dropped the atomic bomb off the coast of Tokyo so that Emperor Hirohito could see its power firsthand, so that he might raise the surrender flag before it was used on Japanese cities. An interesting idea which very well might have worked.

I also remember reading that Pres. Truman (many years out of office) was being heckled by a student using the A-Bomb after giving a lecture. Truman was reported to have fired back, "When you go into a gun fight, you use the biggest gun you've got." It was one of the only insightful answers he ever gave about approving the use of such a deadly bomb.

So, who's right? I honestly don't know. This debate is going to go on for a very long time.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

War is the crime! Everything about war is a crime against humanity. If you kill somebody on the street, you go to jail. If you kill hundreds or thousands of people in a war, you get a medal. That is the crime!

18 ( +25 / -7 )

More people died from the air raids in Tokyo and Dresden than the A bombs.

While dropping one bomb may be the worst thing ever to have been created, this probably saved way more lives, military and civilian, Japanese and American than if Russia and the US invaded the mainland.

While horrific, Japan wanted to surrender and asked the Russian to intervene.

On July 12, Tōgō directed Satō to tell the Soviets that:

His Majesty the Emperor, mindful of the fact that the present war daily brings greater evil and sacrifice upon the peoples of all the belligerent powers, desires from his heart that it may be quickly terminated. But so long as England and the United States insist upon unconditional surrender, the Japanese Empire has no alternative but to fight on with all its strength for the honor and existence of the Motherland.[46]

However Japan knew the terms, the emperor was to be maintained, but Japan had no intentions of surrendering.

But lets consider this, if the bombs were not dropped and the war continued, how far would the russian army come down into Japan?

They took the northern islands and it wouldn't be that hard to see them taking Hokkaido, and the US would have moved up from the south if the war continued for.....well however long it took, and there would be an iron curtain not only in Europe, but also in Japan. So ironically these terrible events probably ended a war sooner, saved more lives and stopped Russia taking more of Japan and dividing Japan.( Russia was happy to get revenge for the Russo-Japanese war 1904-05

How many Americans, Russians, British, Chinese had to continue to die?

Sometimes, when you have a double loose situation you have no choice but to choose the lesser of the two evils. Hopefully to the better of your family and friends instead of the so called enemy. Don't know anyone who would allow their father, son, friend to die over that of a person/country that started a war decades before.

While horrific, Lets consider if Japan had the bomb? They were certainly trying to develop one too. I would have no doubt in my mind, given the atrocities that Japan had committed in WW2,that had they developed such a bomb they would have used it to bring and end to the war for their people.

ref Ni-Go project, F-Go project, Yoshio Nishina.

Is this a war crime? I don't see any difference between this, and the air raids on Tokyo, Nagoya, shanghai, canton, Nanjin,Dresden, Coventry, London, Bristol,plymouth, etc I don't know but maybe War in itself, is a crime.

Unless we are living in a world of double speak where War is Peace.

If Truman could have ended the war in a week, but didn't, he would have been impeached,who knows but he had to do what was BEST for the Allies.

And for that there are many allied soldiers today, who went on to have families and grandchildren.

1 ( +21 / -20 )

Absolutely.

4 ( +25 / -21 )

Totally. The US has a lot to answer for.

Land of the Free?

Freedom that has to be reinforced by force?

1 ( +22 / -21 )

No doubt about it.

A testament to man's inhumanity and cruelty.

5 ( +24 / -19 )

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