Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) anthropology

Prime The Decision to Drop the Atomic BombAuthor Dennis D. Wainstock –

This Book Is A Balanced Account Of The Political, Diplomatic, And Military Currents That Influenced Japan S Attempts To Surrender And The United States S Decision To Drop The Atomic Bombs Based On Extensive Research In Both The United States And Japan, This Book Allows The Reader To Follow The Parallel Decision Making In Tokyo And Washington That Contributed To Lost Opportunities That Might Have Allowed A Less Brutal Conclusion To The War Topics Discussed And Analyzed Include Japan S Desperate Military Situation Its Decision To Look To The Soviet Union To Mediate The Conflict The Manhattan Project The Debates Within Truman S Administration And The Armed Forces As To Whether To Modify Unconditional Surrender Terms To Include Retention Of Emperor Hirohito And Whether To Plan For The Invasion Of Japan S Home Islands Or To Rely Instead On Blockade And Bombing To Force The Surrender

13 thoughts on “The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

  1. says:

    From Pearl to V J Day World War II in the Pacific, a symposium sponsored by the Air Force History and Museums Program and the Air Force Historical Foundation, 1995.The author starts out noting that we have no way of knowing if the atomic bomb would have been used in the European theater since it wasn t ready until after Germany surrendered.Japan and JewsThen the author writes about Japan and how they treated the Jews While the democracies, including the United States, resisted or forbade the immigration of Jewish refugees from Europe, Japan s policy toward them was friendly The Japanese consul in Kavno, or Kaunas, Lithuania, issued six thousand transit visas to Jews fleeing the Nazis in the summer of 1940 Shanghai, which was then controlled by the Japanese dominated government of Nanking, became home to Jewish refugees, twenty five thousand, than Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India combined The Japanese had a policy of admitting Jewish refugees to Japan and Manchukuo, or Manchuria, in spite of German protests The Jews in Kobe guaranteed to the Japanese government that the refugees wouldn t be a financial burden on Japan, and they got help from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Community Back to the bombThe author says that some scientists wanted a demonstration of the atomic bomb first, feeling that a use without a warning or demonstration would provoke lasting hatred against the United States He points out that some people believed there was a chance the bomb would fail, and that could cause trouble Also, if it was demonstrated in a remote region, it s full effectiveness wouldn t be observable there is no evidence that any military adviser ever told Truman, or clearly believed, before Hiroshima, that the use of the A bomb was unnecessary, or that the weapon shouldn t be used, or both The Emperor On the day of German s collapse, May 8, 1945, President Harry Truman called for Japan s surrender and he gave assurance that its people would not be enslaved However, he did not give assurance that its emperor system would be maintained The U.S position not to try Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal was objected to by some of the other allies.Unconditional Surrender A policy of unconditional surrender may have inhibited movement toward peace but it was difficult to reverse once it was declared It was a policy agreed upon by all of the Allied powers and supported by the American people Any softening of its provisions would represent a breach of faith and be taken as a sign of Allied weakness such that the Japanese might surrender but continue their fight with renewed confidence In addition, the divine right emperor system was, according to many Allied critics, the very core of Japanese militarism and dicftatorship Its preservation would inspire the Japanese after their defeat to once again justify war making A policy of unconditional surrender would be necessary to the Allies as they established military government in Japan, disarmed the people, and introduced political and social reforms that were sufficiently democratic and thorough going to prevent the revival of Japanese belligerence He also points out Americans equated Hirohito with Adolph Hitler and wanted him tried as a war criminal.The author says it may be a myth that the policy of unconditional surrender lengthened the war with Japan He cites three reasons 1 Japan had a pact with Germany, so Japan couldn t surrender until Germany had surrendered.2 The militarists controlled the Japanese government, and they didn t want any surrender of any kind.3 Any Japanese would talked about peace was considered a traitor and subject to arrest by the kempeitai, or military police.The author also says that Japan was not trying to start peace negotiations through the Soviet Union, but that it only wanted to make sure that the Japanese Soviet Neutrality Treaty stayed in effect If the Soviet Union was to help promote a peace process, it was to be on Japanese terms.Potsdam On July 26th, the Potsdam Proclamation was published It called on Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender the alternative being its prompt and utter destruction Japan s scornful rejection of the Potsdam Declaration provoked the President not to rescind his decision to use the atomic bombs Cities TargetedThe cities targeted for the atomic bomb use were Hiroshima, Kokura and Niigata, in that order Kyoto had been dropped from consideration.Truman referred to Hiroshima as an important Japanese Army base The actual casualties exceeded the early estimate by Oppenheimer, who thought 20,000 people would be killed Actually, 23 American POWs died, around 10,000 Koreans, and around 92,000 Japanese civilians Basically, about 500% died than were expected to die.POW TreatmentThe article says that the death rate in Japanese prisoner of war camps was 34%, while in German camps it was only 4%.Japanese Positions on SurrenderThe Prime Minister and the Foreign and Navy Ministers wanted to accept the surrender terms, with the one condition that the Emperor s position be preserved The Warm Minister, and the Army and Navy Chiefs of staff wanted three conditions to be met a minimal occupation force, the trial of war criminals by the Japanese, not the enemy, and the demobilization of Japanese troops by Japanese officers All this overlooks the point, of course, that the people who are defeated are not generally the ones who set the conditions for their defeat, something these leaders seemed to have overlooked Japan protests the use of the bomb On August 11th, the Japanese government filed an official protest against the atomic bombing to the U.S State Department through the Swiss Legation in Tokyo Combatant and noncombatant men and women, old and hyoung, are massacred without discriminationthe bombs in question, used by the Americans, by their cruelty and their terrorizing effects, surpass by far gas or any other arm, the one of which is prohibited Some refuse to give up In several cities, attempted occupations of radio stations or government officers were suppressed in a few days More serious was the determination of some in the military to continue the war Admiral Matome Ugakiled a group of kamikaze bombers to Okinawa against the American ships He and his group were lost at sea For a while, it was conceivable that a military mutiny could provoke a civil war just as the Japanese government was endeavoring to negotiate a peace with the Allied powers The author also points out that the Japanese still have around six million soldiers and over 9000 planes, many of which would be used for kamikaze missions.No morality involved in the war, from Japan s viewpoint According to Akira Irie, Defeat could be accepted as a material military failure of the nation against a wealthier foe, without questioning the moral basis of the Pacific War After the bomb, POW deaths Immediately, the United States sent bombers to drop food and clothes on POW camps and expeditions to liberate Allied prisoners In some instances, the prisoners were executed by their captors in accordance with prior Japanese directives, but in most cases the Japanese or Korean guards peacefully yielded to the new order Olympic and CoronetOperation Olympic was scheduled for November 1st , and Operation Coronet for March 1, 1946 There was some worry in Washington about political backlash if the war went on too long.By November 1st, it is possible that there would have been Japanese forces in Kyushu than American forces that were planned to oppose them There are a lot of mountains there, and that kind of warfare had already been shown to be vicious The Japanese government was going to be moved to underground areas away from Tokyo.There is apparently some evidence that Stalin planned to invade Japan, and scheduled a landing of Soviet troops in the Honshu area two months before the U.S was scheduled to invade.Japanese use of an atomic bombThe author basically says that, if Japan had developed the atomic bomb, they would have used it, so why shouldn t the U.S use theirs The use of an atomic bomb by the U.S would also have an effect on the post war world, serving as a deterrent that had been shown to work.Lives savedMacArthur felt that the use of the atomic bombs saved about 500,000 casualties for the U.S., and probably a million or for the Japanese.Invasion plusThe use of the atomic bombs did not automatically negate the need for an actual invasion of Japan I read elsewhere that some plans called for the use of 9 atomic bombs, 6 during the initial landing phases in Kyushu, and three held in reserve to attack any Japanese forces in strength that would come in as reserves.