In Truman's Place, What Would You Have Done?

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by ghvalj, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. ghvalj

    ghvalj Junior Member

    Let's say you are an adviser to Truman, and he was asking you whether the US should bomb Japan, what would you tell him and why?

    -Thanks
     
  2. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Bomb the swine as soon as possible. They started the war. Their rape, torture and murder of millions has caused unbearable suffering. Allied troops have been fighting for 7 years, the casualties in the millions and the military and civilian personel are sick of the fighting..
    The Nips have sworn to defend their Islands by what ever means, ( the Japs were developing atomic weapons, had used biological and chemical and would do so again.)
    Allied casualties are estimated at 1 to 3 million in a prolonged campaign so nukeing a couple of hundred thousand is well worth while.
    Save Allied lives, not warmongering Japs.
     
  3. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Forget what has already happened. Estimates show that US and allied forces could have 1,000,000 casulaties in an invasion of Japan, so use the new weapon as it may mean no need to invade.

    Bottom line; drop the big one!
     
  4. nolanbuc

    nolanbuc Senior Member

    Originally posted by angie999@Mar 29 2005, 04:37 AM
    Forget what has already happened. Estimates show that US and allied forces could have 1,000,000 casulaties in an invasion of Japan, so use the new weapon as it may mean no need to invade.

    Bottom line; drop the big one!
    [post=32667]Quoted post[/post]

    I second that! Well said!
     
  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    As President and Commander-in-Chief, my Constitutional repsonsibility is to win the war swiftly and save American lives. General Marshall tells me the casualty bill for "Olympic" and "Coronet" will be 1 million American dead and even more Japanese dead, with the campaign lasting for at least another year and possibly a year after that. Secretary Stimson tells me the bomb may kill about 50,000 people and end the war in weeks. Secretary Byrnes tells me the Japanese have reacted to our latest peace offer with "Mokusatsu," which means, "Kill it with silence," and that the Japanese militarists intend to fight to the last little boy. I drop the bomb.
     
  6. BuffaloChuck

    BuffaloChuck Junior Member

    Aug 8th, 1945.

    Dear Harry - you need to plant that second A-Bomb (tomorrow's mission) within a mile or so of the Imperial Army HQ, so they can't deny its existence or power. That area just to the west of there is already burned-out but at least the Army HQ personnel can't claim it never happened.

    Because they've just spent these last two and a half days denying the Hiroshima event, or its impact or importance simply because it's so far from them. These people have dug themselves into the standard tyrant's trench and, Harry, you and your advisors can't believe they're that dumb. But they are. They're chanting they'll kill every Japanese citizen just so they can stay in power one more moment.

    You need to drop this right between their eyes.

    If, in fact, you can wipe out the Army HQ building, fine. Hirohita can then bear the unbearable on Aug 10th instead of the 15th.

    Harry, if FDR and you had paid more attention to the last Japanese Ambassador (Joseph Grew), he offered better insight and choices. I don't know what you two had against him, but obviously both of you listened to Beltway insiders more than the experts on the ground. That's a shame.

    And by the way, Harry, your attempts at gaining Stalin's trust are worthless. He's been slaughtering more Soviets than the Germans ever thought about - he's not going to give you green-stamps for slipping him under-the-table info. He knows all of those secrets anyway. Save your breath.
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    I agree with posts 2 - 5 and would only add the the bombs also saved many POWS from starvation or execution.
     
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Oh dear, wrong decision... The US could have walzted through Japan - casualties negligible after the initial landings. Still the first and only nation to use the atom bomb in anger - and will probably be the next one to do so.

    The free peoples of this earth, including us Brits, have benefited from and still benefit from, and are grateful for US power. That said, I have lived in 'fear' (probably not the right word) of what the US may do to this earth all my life... Are they actually in control? I have never got that assurance from anything I have seen or heard - its always panic in America!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  9. sherlock

    sherlock Member

    If Truman had decided not to use the bomb and the invasion had proceeded as planned, he would have been a dead man walking. If the casualties suffered during the invasion had been anywhere near the estimates, there is no telling what fate may have befallen him.
    If the country found that it had suffered a million killed and maimed and that its President had a weapon on hand that could have ended the war prior to those losses, and that he had failed to use it, impeachment would have been the least of his worries.
     
    canuck likes this.
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    If Truman had decided not to use the bomb and the invasion had proceeded as planned, he would have been a dead man walking. If the casualties suffered during the invasion had been anywhere near the estimates, there is no telling what fate may have befallen him.
    If the country found that it had suffered a million killed and maimed and that its President had a weapon on hand that could have ended the war prior to those losses, and that he had failed to use it, impeachment would have been the least of his worries.

    Plus when his term expired in 1948, the US would still be mired in a vicious guerrilla war.

    Dave
     
  11. BuffaloChuck

    BuffaloChuck Junior Member

    In Col Yahara's THE BATTLE FOR OKINAWA (he was Ops Staff on that island), he talks about soldiers killing civilians in caves, or forcing them at gunpoint to charge in front of those with arms. Any belief that the Imperial Army had regard for their civilians has been discounted in every history I've read. The leaders were happy to have their civilians trained to charge beachheads with wooden sticks. The invading forces might have killed 100,000 civilians in the first days of any beach head (first on Kyushu, then Honshu).
     
    Dave55 likes this.
  12. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    In Truman's Place, What Would You Have Done?


    Probably had far fewer fundamentalist Christian qualms about dropping the Bomb....
     
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Oh dear, wrong decision... The US could have walzted through Japan - casualties negligible after the initial landings. Still the first and only nation to use the atom bomb in anger - and will probably be the next one to do so.

    The free peoples of this earth, including us Brits, have benefited from and still benefit from, and are grateful for US power. That said, I have lived in 'fear' (probably not the right word) of what the US may do to this earth all my life... Are they actually in control? I have never got that assurance from anything I have seen or heard - its always panic in America!

    Best,

    Steve.

    Steve,

    There were over 240,000 military and civilian casualties on Okinawa alone from April to June 1945. I'm struggling to understand the "waltzed through Japan" logic. My understanding is that U.S. strategists, after both Iwo Jima and Okinawa, were not confident of a quick campaign in mainland Japan.
    What do you base that assertion on?
     
  14. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Oh dear, wrong decision... The US could have walzted through Japan - casualties negligible after the initial landings. Still the first and only nation to use the atom bomb in anger - and will probably be the next one to do so.

    The free peoples of this earth, including us Brits, have benefited from and still benefit from, and are grateful for US power. That said, I have lived in 'fear' (probably not the right word) of what the US may do to this earth all my life... Are they actually in control? I have never got that assurance from anything I have seen or heard - its always panic in America!

    Best,

    Steve.

    Steve,

    You are most certainly entitled to your opinion and you are not alone however you must not be aware of what the Japanese had left to defend Japan and how they would use not only their Armed Forces but also every civilian with no exceptions to gender or age (maybe nobody under 10)!!

    I posted this a while ago and will place it here as my opinion has not altered.

    My answer to this question has been yes since my first post in this thread in 2005 and it certainly has not changed.

    There were many high ranking American Air Force, Army, Navy and advisers to Truman who did not want the new weapon used. They wanted to continue with "Conventional Warfare" ie Firebombing of all Japanese cities.

    We have heard that 100,000 POW's were to be executed on 21st September and another 100,000 civilian prisoners would have died of starvation or worse if the Allied forces had attacked the mainland.

    The Japanese had 2 million troops and all the population (Men, Women and children (Over the age of 11 or 12) had been ordered to the defence of Nippon. We know about the fanatical fighting of their military, but just imagine Allied soldiers having to mow down women and children attacking them with porcelain knives and sharpened bamboo spears etc.

    Yes it would have been horrible, but it never came to that. The US military hierarchy wanted to continue their Conventional Warfare (firebombing) and destroy another couple of hundred cities and towns like they had already done.

    The three day bombing of Tokyo killed many more civilians than either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The casualty figures for the firebombing on Tokyo and another 60 cities from incendiaries was about 800,000.

    Consider also that the battle for the small island of Iwo Jima in February 1945 cost the lives of 6,800 and injured over 28,000 Americans. The death toll for Japan was worse. Over 21,000 Japanese troops were killed. Another one of Japan's small, but strongly defended islands was Okinawa, an island more than 400 miles from mainland Japan. During the Okinawa campaign, code-name Operation Iceberg, 12,000 Americans were killed and 36,000 wounded. Japanese losses were greater - at least 100,000 dead.

    Macarthur, Hap Arnold and Bill Halsey, to name but a few who did not want the bomb to be used, were prepared to invade Japan if it came to that and forfeit the lives of who knows how many allied soldiers, sailors and airmen.

    They said Japan was only two weeks away from surrendering yet after Hiroshima this was still not forthcoming.

    The dropping of the bombs saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Allied and Japanese lives and brought about the end of the war and saved Japanese cites and towns (yes saved) from total destruction, starvation of their population and an ever increasing loss of life.

    Yes they deserved it and as history shows, came out of the war better than most other countries. They received assistance in rebuilding Japan and were exporting motor vehicles as early as 1949 and went on to become one of the world's largest economies post war.

    As far as I am concerned they came out of it rather well for the type of barbarism they unleashed on unarmed civilians and POW's for which in general they have still not shown any true feelings of remorse.
     
  15. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    We've been here before and my answer remains the same.
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-against-japan/6220-did-japanese-deserve-atomic-bomb-67.html
    May I pose a hypothetical question ?

    Imagine you are living in wartime Europe either as a serviceman or woman or as a civilian and you have just received a governmental message through the post.

    It tells you that the war in Europe is going well and with a bit of luck it will be all over by May.

    It goes on to say that the next objective for the Allies must be Japan but that everyone should be aware that it is unlikely that there will be any form of surrender because of the Japanese creed that considers such an act as abhorrent.

    It goes on to say that there is an alternative to frontal assault, namely a new bomb that is so powerful that it will cause horrendous casualties to all who live anywhere near the bombing area.

    You are then asked to tick boxes in the enclosed form.

    What percentage of the population do you consider would tick the box that said "Go ahead and drop the bomb" ?

    I would venture that 99.9 % would say YES.

    This is how we saw it in 1945 and I have never considered that my answer would have been anything other than YES.

    Ron

    ps

    and by the way.......hindsight had not yet been invented at the time.
    __________________
    Ron
     
  16. ethan

    ethan Member

    Yup. Even after two bombs and the Russian attack it was still hard work for the element of Japan's leadership who wanted to end the war. A coup by hardliners at the palace came close to succeeding, and several commanders in the field wanted to keep fighting but were ordered to stand down by the emperor himself.

    The fact is that the bombs saved lives, above all the lives of Japanese civilians who would have died in the fighting a la Okinawa or Saipan, or starved under the highly effective blockade.

    Not to mention that- as with Germany- each day that the war continued meant another day of suffering for those under Axis control.

    All that said, visit Hiroshima if you get the chance.
     
  17. BuffaloChuck

    BuffaloChuck Junior Member

    I've read that gassings of concentration camp victims was preferred because the infantry soldiers balked at going back on Day 2 of these murders. Here, in the heyday of German military glory, their most successful soldiers were sickened by murders. So, the Nazi leadership explored 'alternatives' to hundreds of riflemen and machine-gunners blasting away.

    This is what the Americans would have faced in Japan. And there were very few fanaticized gung-ho types among the American landing forces by that time.

    Asking an infantry force to slaughter civilians? Japanese leaders were certainly counting on THIS being their true defense against the invasion. "Maybe they'll have morals - WE don't, but maybe THEY will." This was their mentality. The Americans had done everything they could to present options, and the Japanese leadership never read the Americans correctly. Not once during all those years. They were so good at Signals Intelligence, but so idiotic in Human Smarts.
     
  18. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    Bomb early, bomb often.





    Number 3 couple miles away from army HQ, number 4 on the palace.


    Remove the 'we need the Emperor ' nonsense, he would have become a real deity. :)
     
  19. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    My father was in a beach clearance unit that was allocated to the first wave of Operation Zipper, an assault landing in Malaya intended to be the first stage in the recapture of Singapore.

    After the Japanese surrendered the unit was told by their Colonel that the War Office estimated that their casualty rate would have been 90% had the Bomb not been dropped and the operation gone ahead.
     
  20. Jack Torrance

    Jack Torrance Junior Member

    If Truman had decided not to use the bomb and the invasion had proceeded as planned, he would have been a dead man walking. If the casualties suffered during the invasion had been anywhere near the estimates, there is no telling what fate may have befallen him.
    If the country found that it had suffered a million killed and maimed and that its President had a weapon on hand that could have ended the war prior to those losses, and that he had failed to use it, impeachment would have been the least of his worries.

    Exactly right.
     

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