Did the Japanese deserve the Atomic Bomb?

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by LostKingdom, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

  2. runner

    runner New Member

    How do we do it?
    Here we are discussing the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the deaths of 100 000 people. Of course it is right and proper to do so; who would argue with that?
    Now may I suggest we turn our attention to the deaths of the 100 000 asian people and allied prisoners of war of the Japanese whose deaths were caused by starvation, torture, overwork, beheading, murder and other sadistic cruelties in the slave labour camps along the Thai Burma railway, Java, Formosa, Saigon, Sumatra etc.
    The many many thousands that managed to hang onto life by a thread under these circumstances are still the forgotten ones and you may consider these survivors to be the 'lucky' ones. I really don't think you have considered the truth of the matter.
    All of these survivors were due to be executed by machine gun on the 18th August 1945 by Japanese Imperial order. Fortunately Liberation of these Death Camps started on the 15th August 1945 and those who were saved were ordered by the British Government not to talk of their suffering so that the families of the 100,00 men ( YES 100,000) Asian and Allied who suffered appallingly then died in the far east in Japanese hands would not be traumatised by the thoughts of how their loved ones had died. The consequence of this order was that YOU were never educated as to what happened to your fathers, uncles, grandfathers, neighbours and fellow countrymen.
    And what of those silent survivors? If you think the trauma of their horrific memories of those three and a half years in their Japanese Hell is any less than the survivors of Hiroshima please reconsider.
    Thankfully after many years of remaining silent those survivors that are left are telling their story, the records are now available to support their stories and it is about time.
    canuck likes this.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  4. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    Having bypassed this long section many times I have spent some time reading 23 pages worth today of varied comments. Going back to the original question "Did the Japanese deserve the Atomic bombs" They may not have deserved it but they certainly brought it on themselves. It was patently obvious by their actions they were going to defend Japan and its islands by any means possible to the last person. When that was the future scenario and seeing already how they behaved it was no wonder the Allies tried to wrap up the conflict as quickly as possible to save thousands of lives. There was no way the Japanes were going to win considering the resources about to be used against them. Despite the large number of civilians killed at Hiroshima there was also a large contingent of Japanese troops based there, several thousands in fact, who also disappeared in the flash.
    It is now well known they intended to murder all remaining POWs just as they had murdered hundreds already. Just as the civilians of the UK were classed as fair game by the Germans for bombing so too were the civilians who helped manufacture war weapons and supplies to keep the war going for Japan. I am of the opinion that they thoroughly deserved all they got. Having recently had a book published on 6th HAA Regiment and researched the terrible conditions they endured for three and a half years, anything that ended that treatment was going to be justified.
    At least the Allies could see the effects of the bombs which till then were only conjecture and I have no doubt it has kept nations so far from a repeat procedure. Bombs are now considerably more powerful so the damage and casualties would be greater pro rata. I have no doubt that the US also took great satisfaction from being able to avenge the smear of Pearl Harbor.
  5. ethan

    ethan Member

    I lived in Hiroshima for 2 years and went to the bomb dome and the museum many times. I visited Nagasaki. Having survived Chindit II my grandfather was training for parachute operations against the Japanese when he heard the bombs had ended the war. Walking round Hiroshima, I would often muse that if the war had continued, perhaps I wouldn't be around.

    Less selfishly, I believe it to be true that the bomb saved Japanese lives as well as Allied ones. A study of the battle of Okinawa shows you how civilians on the mainland would have fared. Given the context, I believe I would certainly have ordered the bomb dropped and I genuinely believe that it saved lives.
  6. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    Yeah..the Japanese deserved it.
    In every aspect of looking at it.

    The military high command and decision makers,The japanese emperor,

    the civilian japanese uncritical people at home territories back then,
    The enlisted butchers/soldiers in the occupied territories (both vis a vis the ousted colonials as the suppressed asians)

    The civilian japanese as of today who are still forcefully ignorant about their countrymen's atrocities in large numbers and done by many, many japanese (and japanese koreans) from low commanders to footsoldiers.

    All the japanese perpetrators who have escaped moral justice (thanks to MacArthur) unlike the Nurnberg trials

    Having read and learnt all there is about it (and so should you japanese poster) I can morally exclaim that it was a a proper thing and japan deserved it.

    and instead of you modern japanese wailing about how unjust and terrible the A bombs were (do the maths and count mortal casualties again starting from the Chinese invasions 1931.count with me, 1, 2, 3, ..), think of how EASY it would have been to have AVOIDED the droppings of the 2 bombs if only a select few were not so stubborn (including your own Emperor..despite the fixed untruths about his majesty's noble intentions) to deny unconditional surrender when military you had already lost the pacific war...
    Don t blame the US , blame your emperor and Tojo, and your own culture of everybody fighting to the last (you see, it does kill yourself).
    Owen likes this.
  7. missprim

    missprim New Member

    No-one deserved the bomb.No-one deserved to be a slave,living on a handful of rubbish a day,having all the cruelties we've all read about.My father was at Tanjong Priok,sailed on the Singapore Maru to Japan and at Fukuoka worked in the undersea coal mine and in the steelworks.Listening to the people he was with,they all believed that they were to be killed,possibly because they were taken to the beach to be formed up in squares with machine guns trained on them,as the Allies got nearer.I've always known about the bombs because he described how he came through Nagasaki in an open topped lorry when released.I wasn't brought up to despise the Japanese.He said they were just as cruel to their own people.It was a different culture.I do get angry,these days, when folk try to earn their brownie points by saying that I should not have been born.(of no importance in the grand scheme,I know). Have we humans got a fatal flaw?We are so clever,but we can't manage without fighting.
  8. natral

    natral powrespect

    This my second post; I must have strong feelings on the subject! My maternal grandfather raised me as an adopted son, for which I am extremely grateful. He was a lance corporal (bombardier) in the 88th Royal Artillery Regiment (352 battery) and fought in battles at; Ipoh, Gerun, Kuala Lumpur, Kampar (that was battle!), Gemas and Singapore itself (Quote from Wavell, "The glorious 88th would have made their last stand at the South Pole)... yes I am proud! Hope and chance got him through that and through 3 years on death-railway:-

    Hope: I once asked him what was the worst thing that had happened to him and he said a Japanese guard walked up to him on the railway one day and, speaking good, friendly English, showed some photos of his wife and children and my grandfather complimented him on his fine family. The guard asked if my grandfather had a family and on being told there was a wife and a son and daughter and being shown their photos, the guard said, "You'll never see them again" and walked off but will have heard the, "I will!" reply. Hope, will have helped him through the bouts of dysentery, two separate doses of malaria and the rigours of beriberi.

    Chance: In the fighting my grandfather had been the regular night-duty machine gunner but was relieved that duty for one night and his replacement was killed. In captivity, he was comforting a man dying of cholera by holding a cigarette to the man's lips and was, unthinkingly, in the act of bringing the cigarette to his own lips for a puff when a passing brigadier swiped his hand (and cigarette) away, calling him every kind of fool. A third chance event occurred when he was next in line to step onto the gangplank of one of the hellships when an allied air raid caused all further boarding to be halted and the ship sailed, only to be sunk by the allies. The fourth chance event was when he was in the jap's intended extermination camp at Nankon Pladuck (or similar name) when news of the atom bombs caused the jap surrender.

    I knew him as fair and generous person who had an abiding detestation for racism of any sort; and so was a little surprised and maybe felt a little disappointment too, to learn at his deathbed in 1986 that he held a bitter disrespect for the Japanese; especially as before he had only ever referred to their magnificent engineering skills and the like (emphasised the positive). The film 'To End all Wars' answered my abiding questions about that element of surprise of mine, because it showed the underlying nature of the culture-clash that barred any degree of possible understanding of events, then or now.

    There can be no doubt about it whatsoever, the Japanese forces and people would not have surrendered without either the bomb or the capture of their emperor. Chance had it that the US was first to be able to (and be utterly taunted to) use of the atom bomb. Somebody was always going to be first as it is inconceivable that it was not going to be used at some first occasion by somebody; for it to only then be able to assume its 'peacemaker' mutually assured destruction role. As I see it, the bomb was a fourth chance that my grandfather deserved (and others too). And...Better Enola Gay than Enola Gayski. I take my hat off to all the fighters from all the democracies who 'gave their today for our tomorrow'... and that 'our' surely includes the Japanese people of today. I understand that bushido was an imposed thing but such hellish atrocities took place then, that anything less than a despicable thing surely could not have carried them out. Although, its true that medieval brutality is still around in the world... Now there's a question.
    CL1, Heimbrent, Peccavi and 2 others like this.
  9. Puttenham

    Puttenham Well-Known Member

    I am now an old man and have learned that in life, It's not so much what we deserve, It's what we ask for.

    canuck likes this.
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I am throwing this analysis/question into the mix to hopefully open up the conversation. It is something about the use of the atom bomb that I have always wondered about...

    It has always been interesting to note peoples distaste of Japanese atrocities and how they 'deserved' the atom bombs.

    I agree that the atrocities were disgusting in every sense of the word, but from a dispassionate viewpoint their maltreatment of US and UK (and its Commonwealth) soldiers was not numerically significant compared to those atrocities committed against the Chinese population.

    Indeed, even the quantum of atrocities committed by the Japanese as a whole are not significant when compared to those committed by the Germans against the populations of Poland/USSR, Jews in general, etc.

    Yet I have never seen anyone say that the Germans deserved the atom bomb; always the Japanese.

    One of the reasons given to support the dropping of the two atom bombs was that it would save the lives of many Allied soldiers who would otherwise have died in the Pacific theatre and I agree. However, let's put the Pacific theatre in its rightful place... it was not the BIG show.

    US Army casualties in the European theatre were 586,628 with 135,576 deaths amongst battle casualties.
    US Army casualties in the Pacific theatre were 157,938 with 50,385 deaths amongst battle casualties (with 8,596 being non-battle casualties).
    US Army casualties in the Mediterranean theatre were 175,107 with 40,455 deaths amongst battle casualties.

    Source: http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p4013coll8/id/130

    Total US Marine caualties in the Pacific theatre were 23,160 killed or missing and 67,199 wounded.

    Source: http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/C/a/Casualties.htm

    The death toll on US service personnel (Army and Marine) was less than 50% of that of the European theatre and the overall casualty rate much less. Add the Mediterranean casualties to those of Europe (same foe - The Germans) the gulf in casualties is much, much greater at nearer 25% of that of the European (and the Med) theatre.

    Question: Given that Europe (and the Med) was the BIG show for the US, would the US have dropped an atomic bomb or two on Germany if it had them available before the Germans surrendered?
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I suspect that the answer to that is 'No' as they couldn't be sure that the Germans were not capable of retaliating in kind. Much as with poison gas, neither was prepared to employ first. By 1945, it was clear that the Japanese, even had they possessed the technology, were incapable of delivering it to the US or Western Europe.
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I don't know about that, Steve.
    I've read quite a bit of chatter over the years, mostly on Septic-based forums, of how the bomb might have been used against Germany. Much of it disregarding the timescale & technical difficulties, but chatter nonetheless.

    I always think 'they would have if they could have'. Or maybe 'had to' rather than 'could have', as if I recall the development & readiness issue never quite raised the question too seriously, but mixed in with that are the political difficulties of nuking a section of central Europe.
    Maybe a bit too close to home. Too many future borders to consider.
  13. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day gerard.08 june 2005.3:10m.#44 just reading this old thread re:did the japanese deserve the atomic bomb?of course they did.you cannot believe they would not have used it had they had it,they were a cruel bunch of bastards.and today they are eradicating there war crimes from there history.like it never happened,great post.thank you regards bernard85 :mad111:
    Holmes and canuck like this.
  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member


    If the Germans had been capable of retaliating in kind they would have got that retaliation in first and as soon as they had the capability, and it would have been directed towards the Russkies.

    I think I have strayed well into 'what if' territory, but as I say it has always been something I have wondered about. Having never been on the 'Septic-based forums' I've never seen the discussion(s) on this subject.

    I agree with what you say - when you say they would have if they 'had to'.

    Japan is not that far from the border of one of the Allies, China and that didn't stop the bomb being dropped on Japan. Not that far from parts of Russia and the USA for that matter. So, why not Germany?

    We will probably never know 'the' answer to this question, unless someone finds a historic US Government document discussing the issue.
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Hi Bernard, good morning to you sir! I never said that they didnt deserve it. My post said that dropping the bomb was justified!
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I still stick by my comments made a Long time ago.

    Given that the estimate of Allied lives lost to an Invasion was projected to be around 1,000,000 it is Little wonder that the decision was made.

    The Kamikazi tactics employed in the closing months of the war, with rocket powered piloted bombs, reinforced the thinking when losses became heavy.

  17. Uncle George

    Uncle George Active Member

    An anecdote from Ismay, from his 'Memoirs'. He is at the Potsdam Conference:

    "For some time past it had been firmly fixed in my mind that the Japanese were tottering, and I whispered to General Arnold that they would collapse long before this desperate and costly venture [the invasion of Japan] had to be undertaken. "I bet you two bucks they do not fold up this year," he said. "Taken," said I. In the event, the Japanese surrendered within a month of that conversation, and shortly afterwards I received a novel form of paper-weight - two silver dollars mounted in a block of polished walnut wood. It was inscribed: 'To Pug Ismay from Hap Arnold. Thank God I can pay this now.'

    He writes of the atom bomb: 'My first reaction was one of revulsion. I had always had a sneaking hope that the scientists would be unable to find a key to this particular chamber of horrors. But first thoughts were soon erased by a surge of thankfulness that the secret had eluded our enemies."
  18. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    If you haven't read David Bergamini's "Japan's Imperial Conspiracy" I recommend it. It is somewhat unique in that Bergamini was born in Japan, and knew the language, but was not an academic scholar of Japan. Those people of course almost all end up as "clients" of the country they study, since if their writings are not liked, they tend to be excluded from those international activities which are essential to such an academic's career.

    Bergamini was interned there for four years during the war though he makes almost no reference to that.

    My impression after reading the book several times was that he was given remarkable access and information by some people and groups in Japan who felt they were unfairly blamed for the war, and that the Emperor, the Imperial Family, and the leaders of the Zaibatsu were being "let off". Bergamini's assertion was that the Imperial Family were heavily and directly involved in the militarization of Japan, from the Meiji era forward, and that the Emperor Hirohito was an enthusiastic promotor of Japan's empire-building and the wars it involved. Furthermore, Bergamini asserts that the Emperor personally oversaw and was in direct command of the war effort and was kept fully informed by the military on a daily basis.

    Bergamini also goes into the whole background, racially, culturally, the whole climate of Japanese nationalism and identity, the claims to divine right to rule the world etc. etc. He also refers to the culture of "face" and "reality" (you know the words in Japanese!) and the ability to talk out of one side the mouth about "liberating Asia" from "white domination" while on the other side promogulating orders such as the infamous "burn all, kill all, steal all" order in China, the looting of precious metals, ("Yamashita's gold") currency, gems etc. from all the occupied countries.

    Of course once the war began to go "not necessarily to Japan's advantage" , a phoney peace faction was organized, which Bergamini details and the groundwork was laid for the eventual conclusion of the war. The problem confronting the ruling class, he says, was how to suddenly break it to the Japanese people that after years of sacrifice and supposed continual victory, they were actually losing. A fact that as you know was totally unprecedented in Japanese thinking, if not history. They greatly feared the anger of the people, who as you may know, were prone to oubursts of rage at times, for example after the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War when the peace terms were felt by the population not to be adequate to the losses incurred, or indeed after the Kanto earthquake in 1923.

    So, says Bergamini, they fiddled and dithered, hoping something would turn up to provide a way to end the war without losing their own face and economic and political power. Of course they also wanted to preserve the monarchy which was so central to their identity and power.

    This dithering continued says Bergamini right up to the atomic bombings; hence all the planning for "a hundred million bamboo spears" and similar stuff. The bombs when they came, were seen he says, as a gift from the gods that would allow the ruling class to excuse themselves for losing the war, while the people were distracted by the power of the weapon and the occupation. And so it turned out to be.

    So in fact, the people who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were sacrificed to save the face of the ruling class. The leadership could have sought terms at any time, or accepted the Potsdam Declaration immediately, but they feared the people and particularly the army, who had already demonstrated they they were willing to kill politicians they disagreed with.

    Sakai Saburo was quoted as saying after the war, "Two million died in the Emperor's name and then he tries to pretend he had nothing to do with it; what kind of man does that?" Only a war hero like him could have got away with such a statement.

    And as you know, Japan had her own nuclear program and would have had no hesitation in using an atomic bomb, or any other weapon that was available and could be effective. Ironic that uranium oxide being sent to Japan's nuclear facility at Hungnam was captured with the U-234 and utilized in the construction of the Little Boy bomb, IIRC. https://sites.google.com/site/naziabomb/home/japan-s-a-bomb-project

    Incidentally, does anyone know who the captured American airman was who was tied to a post on a bridge in Hiroshima with a sign next to him saying "Don't pass by without giving this.... a blow!" He was reportedly a particularly tall and handsome man, chosen for that reason no doubt, and was beaten to death in the end.
  19. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

  20. gawoops01

    gawoops01 New Member

    How dare the Japanese ask for an apology for the use of atomic bombs?

    There has been a lot of doubt cast upon the use of the atomic bombs, but believe me they were welcomed with great relief at the time.

    The total death toll by the two bombs has been estimated at about 200,000 within the first 4 months. During the relatively short period that American planes were within reach and able to attack the Japanese mainland, in the order of 250,000 had already died, largely by the effect of incendiary bombs on their fragile houses.

    Due to the mountainous terrain there were few towns in the narrow islands of Japan that could not be bombarded by the 16” guns of the allied battleships with their 22 mile range. During July 1945 they could approach the coasts with near impunity, once the mine sweepers had cleared the way. The rapid fire of these ships did not have the accuracy of the bombers, but so terrified the workers that they fled from their factories.

    It was estimated that it could cost a million allied lives to invade the enemy mainland, and with the Japanese preference to die rather than be captured, many millions of Japanese military and civilians would die before it was over.

    Compare the loss of human life caused by the two atomic bombs, and even those that would die of the after effects, with the Chinese civilians killed entirely by the Japanese army since they attacked Manchuria in 1931, which developed into total war with China in 1937. The estimates of Chinese civilians brutally killed vary between 8,000,000 and 18,000,000. They also killed or starved a further 4 million civilians in the Dutch East Indies.

    In 1937, the Rape of Nanking, the then capital of China, took place after the fall of the city. During the following six weeks over 200,000 Chinese civilians were purposely murdered by the Japanese army. For a description of this let me refer you to The History Place, where it will be noted that there were neutrals, American and English, many of whom were missionaries, who were doing all they could to stop the massacre. This totally destroys the present claim by some Japanese that the Rape of Nanking never happened. For an account of the Rape of Nanking, go to History Place:-
    Think also of the British prisoners of war captured by the Japs which totalled over 50,000, and of these over 12,000 died - nearly 7,000 on the Railway of Death alone. (See Bridge over the River Kwai). When I first started work, two of my friends in the service department had worked on the railway and came home looking like walking skeletons – even a few more months and they would have died.

    Think also of the British prisoners of war captured by the Japs which totalled over 50,000, and of these over 12,000 died - nearly 7,000 on the Railway of Death alone. (See Bridge over the River Kwai). When I first started work, two of my friends in the service department had worked on the railway and came home looking like walking skeletons – even a few more months and they would have died.

    So if you think we were wrong to stop the war in the way we did, think again.

    When I wrote this it was the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the two bombs and we have been asked to send high ranking people to Japan to make our apologies, and the Japanese are saying that this was a crime against humanity.
    “We citizens of Hiroshima sincerely hope you will come. We also urge you to acknowledge that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was a crime against humanity involving the indiscriminate mass killing of civilians. Accordingly, we urge you to offer an official apology to the victims of these war atrocities.”
    This disgusts me because, horrible as the deaths and injuries from the bombs were, and still are, how can they possibly be compared with the millions of civilians mentioned above?

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