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Were the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings justified?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by almoststew1990, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. adolf hamster


    Joined: Oct 18, 2012

    Posts: 7,036

    i was watching a video recently about the chap who survived both bombings, apparently he had returned to work in nagasaki and was trying to explain to his boss about a bomb that destroyed a city, his boss didn't beleive him, although not for long.

    i still hold that it was necessary, they were (by modern standards) quite low yeild bombs and as horrific as the loss of life during and after was it's probably better that it happened so early in our history of nuclear development, before we'd really got the hang of manufacturing armageddon.

    nuclear bombs are a dirty phrase in our dictionary because we've seen first hand how devastating they can be, if we hadn't had that experience the phrase wouldn't have been as dirty and perhaps the MAD policies of the cold war wouldn't have been quite so effective, if it hadn't been japan in ww2 then maybe it would have been china during the korean war, or the us fleet during the cuban missile crisis, or some other event.
  2. SeatIbiza

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 21, 2008

    Posts: 1,054

    Location: Cotswolds

    Why not?

    The Japanese were fanatics and, about to surrender or not, they believed that a deity was running their country and I suspect the potential "surrender" was only a ruse. In reality, they wouldn't have stopped without significant intervention = nuke. Yes it's terrible that it was used, but it's history now and thankfully it was the first of the nuclear bombs. Imagine if a modern one was deployed today...

    Also, look up Japanese war atrocities against China and Allied powers from 1937...they're not (weren't at least) stand up people...
  3. DrToffnar


    Joined: Jan 25, 2013

    Posts: 3,042

    Great post! Just finished Anthony Beavers Second World War and unfortunately (even despite it's length) certain things like this it has to skip over or at least not devote a great deal of pages covering.
  4. Evangelion


    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 23,613

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia


  5. Blackjack Davy


    Joined: Aug 16, 2009

    Posts: 3,189

    Then you understand wrong and you fail to comprehend the mentality of the Japanese imperial mindset of the time, japanese were conditioned to to not surrender at any cost the samurai tradition they harkened to preferred death to dishonour and surrender was most definitely seen as dishonour part of the reason british troops who surrended at Singapore etc were treated so badly in POW camps were because they were seen as being thoroughly dishonorable for not having fought to the last man. Japan was well aware it was losing the war but nevertheless had plans to defend every inch of soil to every last man, woman and child should troops attempt a landing on japanese soil hence the decision for the bomb.

    There are no good answers to any of this, just less bad ones.
  6. Twinz


    Joined: Aug 20, 2019

    Posts: 134

    Location: SW Florida

    I read a lot about the battle for Iwo Jima. We took the island quickly but the Japanese kept fight long after they were "already defeated" and we lost a lot of people to the "defeated" enemy on that island alone.

    They were a formidable enemy that demonstrated a willingness to fight to the last if ordered to so and be effective fighters. I don't think "already defeated" gives the Japanese the respect they earned in the battles leading up to the mainland.
  7. wazza300


    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,018

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    They were given opportunities to surrender on a number of occasions in which they refused so yes the (bomb) was justified imo

    Surrender is shamed upon in japanese culture,who were loyal to their emperor,maybe this was lost in translation to western culture but they surrendered anyway so I dont know why they just didnt surrender at the first chance,many lives would have been saved
  8. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,107

    Ever seen the Jim Jones cult?
  9. StriderX


    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 22,423

    Was it not Hirohito that desired the war to end rather a lot earlier than the government desired and was it not that the immense pressure from the military that meant the government had to side with them ultimately?

    I'm pretty sure that was the case wasn't it?
  10. Orionaut


    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 6,857

    Most people fail to understand that it is the vanquished that decide that the battle or war is over, not the victor.

    You haven't Won until the enemy has accepted that they have lost (Either that, or the enemy has been utterly annihilated, which IS how battles were frequently fought in the classical era)
  11. Freddie1980


    Joined: Sep 25, 2009

    Posts: 6,942

    Location: Billericay, UK

    Where the fire bombings of Toyko in March justified?
  12. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 5, 2003

    Posts: 16,594

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    But words aren't the worst thing in the world. Nor is "nuclear bomb" the worst words in the dictionary. Off the top of my head, words like "genocide", "biological weapons", "holocaust" and suchlike come to mind. Maybe "unit 731", considering the context. They killed far more people than the nuclear bombs did and in far more sadistic ways.

    Also, why is killing people with a nuclear bomb so much worse than killing a comparable number of people with chemical bombs? The biggest death toll from a single bombing run was in Tokyo, not Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
  13. JonnyT

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,095

    Location: Cambridge

    A compelling argument used by various historians (e.g. Richard Overy, Robin Neillands) is that WW2 was a Total War; nothing was really held back on either side. The Japanese certainly didn't hold back from Kamikaze attacks. Surely the best thing was to get the whole damn thing over with as swiftly as possible, with the minimum of total casualties, especially to 'your' side?
  14. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 65,194

    As much as I hate the excuse of "it was a different era" the last bit I think a lot of people are going to struggle with in this thread - even at a science or military level there wasn't a consciousness of nuclear bombs like there is today. Also something that concerns me with regard to North Korea as generally they have been so isolated their mentality, even much of the leadership, towards it is much more pre-1940 than contemporary with the rest of the world - whereas even in places like Iran there is much more consciousness of the consequences and bigger picture.

    There is an awful amount of revisioning of events by those with an anti-nuclear agenda - while the war might have been approaching its end some of the costliest battles were still relatively recent to the first nuclear bomb being used with more such battles to come - the Japanese backbone might have been breaking but no one really knew what the weeks and months ahead would bring - they might not have been capable of a come back of their own to threaten the US but they were far from a spent force (see for instance the use of Japanese troops in the Vietnam war) and could have been an effective resource for the likes of Russia if Russia had other ideas about how WW2 would end :s
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  15. Schlong&Stable


    Joined: Apr 27, 2013

    Posts: 4,064

    A far more interesting thread would surely be: Were the world trade centre bombings justified, was the UNABOMBER onto something, did Al Qaeda have the moral right to smash planes into WTC?
  16. englishpremier


    Joined: Feb 15, 2003

    Posts: 6,922

    Location: Europe

    I wonder if the Allies could have approached it differently. And and said to the Japanese that 'they recognise that they are a formidable opponent, and wish to negotiate terms to end the war.' That way it wouldn't have been a Japanese surrender, and the powers that be in Japan could put an end to the war without losing face.
  17. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,107

    Yeah, say to them,

    'Dear Japan

    We're really sorry for invading your country and killing millions of your people even though you did start it! :). We have a big bomb btw, but we won't use it if you surrender. We await your reply. God speed!

    PS: It's a really big bomb ;)'

    --Just realised I'm sounding like Trump.
  18. wazza300


    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,018

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    The brutal truth is,is that it worked

    They surrendered and no other nuclear bomb has been used in a war since,cold war era followed and nuclear bombs are now only in place as a deterrent


    Usa...look were gonna drop this bomb on you if you don't surrender


    Usa....look were gonna drop this bomb on you if you don't surrender and we mean it!!...


    Usa....drops bomb,then another

    Japan....ok we surrender:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  19. diamount


    Joined: Sep 3, 2008

    Posts: 2,693

    Even then there were some in the leadership seeking to overthrow the Emperor to continue fighting.
  20. Panos


    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 11,917

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    On "Were the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings justified" the answer is NO.

    Japan had already lost, they had no fleet, no airforce and what ever infantry left was still in China. Fuel was hard to come by also.
    Using nukes to kill civilian population equals to the most heinous war crime similar to the gas chambers of Nazi Germany and the British bombing of Dresden.
    None was justified and were acts of pure evil no different than a genocide.

    Similarly to the idea of mutual destruction ideology that lead to amassing nukes in numbers enough to destroy the whole planet several times over.
    There is no justification and there will ever be on the usage of nuclear weapons. Anyone says otherwise is a deluded moron that needs to be locked in a psychiatric clinic, including politicians and everyone else.

    History of mankind is about war. And as civilization we have been to war with each other constantly since the the dawn of time. Wars won and lost. Civilization and humanity moved on for both winners and losers. Countries and ethnicities disappeared and new created of the mixture between different nationals. "English nationality", is an amalgamation of indigenous Celts, conquered by Romans for 400 years, then Germans Anglo-Saxons who invaded the island, few Norse & Danes at the north (Vikings) and French speaking Normans (with roots to Scandinavia) added in the mix after 1066.

    But at no point in history, morons were so determined that from losing a war, is better everyone should die including it's own population. Not even the hardcore Nazis had this thought in their heads.