Would you use the Atomic Bomb in WWII

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Phillip, Jan 17, 2005.

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Would you use the Atomic Bomb in WWII

  1. I would you use the bomb just as used in WWII to end the war?

    88.5%
  2. I would demonstrate the bomb to the Japanese as discussed in WWII?

    11.5%
  3. I would you use the bomb in another way? Post how if you wish.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I would invade Japan -- no nukes.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    This poll is to determine if and how you would use the atomic bomb knowing what we know today if you were in power during the period of time in WWII.

    Remember that we had choices available. Those are in the poll.
     
  2. Phillip

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    Assume that you are the decision maker in World War II. Knowing history today, what would you do to end the war with the Japanese?

    If you would, I would appreciate posting your reasoning behind your decision. These reasons may be debated on this thread.

    Phillip
     
  3. av1611jim

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    Same bomb. Same way. Same reasons.
    The fact is your premise is flawed from the outset because the political climate of 60+ years ago is vastly different from today. Having the benefit of today's knowledge would not change the prevailing climate of that day, therefore, I would change nothing.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  4. blackbird

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    Phillip, I would change nothing! Its hard to look back at what was done---and say, "Well, it would have been better if we'd had demonstrated it first----blow up an island in the South Pacific and then tell the Japs---we'll do this to ya'll if ya'll don't do what we tell ya'll to do!"

    To invade??? Key question! A plan was underway for that---you can get maps over the 'net that will show the proposed invasion route---how many divisions were planned, who would lead each division---the expected dates of invasion---the expected date of final surrender---the proposed # of KIA/MIA/WIA of American troops and Marines---along with the # of proposed casaluties the Japs may expect---more mind bogglin' than the decision to fuel up and arm Enola Gay and drop Fat Boy!

    Invasion WAS in the question---everything factored in---a wartime gamble from the Brass and Truman that said---"If we drop Fat Boy---surely they will surrender!"

    A better decussion would be this---suppose that after dropping the two "Big Ones" on the Japs---suppose they would have "balked"---refused surrender?? What then??? Keep dropping "Big Ones" or invade with troops to the level that # would dwarf Normandy????

    I'm glad we don't have to answer the "What if's"
     
  5. Hardsheller

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    If the bomb had not been dropped on Japan and thus demonstrated what the A-Bomb could do to any country - some one else would have used one - probably the Soviet Union during the aftermath of WWII in Europe.
     
  6. blackbird

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    You're probably right, Hardsheller!!

    I read in one of Ambrose's books---a German prisoner was being interigated by an American

    The German replied

    "After this war is over---you will join us in fighting the REAL war against Russia!"
     
  7. DavidFWhite3

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    I think Truman had no choice. He not only needed to end the war as quickly as possible, he needed to let the Russians know that we had it and would use it. Demonstrations would not have worked. Remember, Hiroshima did not end the war. Nagasaki almost did not end the war. An A-Bomb mission targeting Tokyo was being actualised when the word finally got throught that the Emperor was determined to end the war. An invasion would have cost the US possibly 100,000 casulties and we might have had to kill 1,000,000 or more Japanese to end it. Knowing what we know now is not as important as what we knew then.
     
  8. Phillip

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    I agree. The actual idea that won the war was making the Japanese think that we could continue to drop a bomb on them each week until they gave up. It was partially bluff, based on real destruction.

    It is also said that in order to get civilians to turn against their government in a war you MUST take the war to the civilians. I know this goes against all of the grain of dropping precision weapons on military targets only; but that is the theory of historical wars. Take out civilians towns and the civilians start complaining to their government "What did you get us into?" (Essentially this only works for aggressor countries like Japan who started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor.)
     
  9. KenH

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    I would have dropped both bombs. I don't think a demonstration alone would have worked. I don't think the Japanese would have thought we would actually carry through. Plus world opinion might have caused us not to carry through.
     
  10. Phillip

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    KenH you are right. Plus, there was another slight problem that wasn't discussed much, but it was a REAL fear.

    We set off the first bomb in New Mexico and it worked fine. Since our fissionable material was limited, we did not have enough to test bombs dropped from airplanes. Nor, were we even sure that the second bomb would go off. Essentially, the Little Boy (Uranium bomb used on Hiroshima) had never even been tested at all.

    The scientists were concerned (as were the generals) that a demonstration that didn't work would do more damage and make the enemy laugh in our face.

    It was FAR easier to drop the weapon without telling anybody. If it didn't work, it would have been destroyed in both the fall and the internal high-explosives used to make the core critical. (or 'target' when referring to the Little boy)

    If it did work (which it did), then everything kept going as planned.

    I honestly think the demonstration was far too risky since too many things could go wrong with the crude hand-made original nukes. If just one wire didn't make contact in the Fat Man (Nagasaki bomb), the core would probably not reach criticality. Too many things could go wrong.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I would have dropped them just as they did. Compared to the invasion those bombs saved many thousands of American and Japanese lives.

    Am I mistaken or did we have a third bomb? I thought that the one in New Mexico and then the two we dropped were the entire inventory at the time. Of course now that we knew how we could make more, but it took months to make that much plutonium. If the Japanese had failed to surrender after the second bomb I believe the invasion would have taken place.
     
  12. Phillip

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    North Carolina Tentmaker, I believe you are right. I believe that we only had two in the arsenal and remember the Little Boy had only about a 50/50 chance of working anyway (according to engineers at the time). So, in their eyes, they only had one GOOD bomb. This is the reason they dropped it first and saved the tested on for last.

    I believe they were thirty to sixty days out from enough fissionable material for a third tactical bomb. It was even considered to use the ground test bomb as a tactical bomb, but the scientists won out and got a chance to test it and measure the damage. Remember, some didn't think it would work at all and some still thought it might burn up all of the earth's oxygen. It was a BIG unknown.

    It turns out the scientists were very close to their predictions of the destructive force, which was about 30% more than they expected.

    My numbers may be off some because I am quoting this from memory. I used to be fascinated with the A-bombs when I was in high-school and read everything there was about them, and back then, surprisingly there was a LOT of material that is no longer in the libraries today. The same thing with building rockets made of metal piping and other little things terrorists would just love to have today. Back then it was all info for hobbiests.

    I actually think the Japanese were told we would just keep dropping until they surrendered and two weapons made this bluff seem to work well. You are probably right, an invasion would have probably occurred anyway.

    My father was in the Phillipeans and He occupied Japan for a year at the end of the war. His story is interesting because when they hit the shores, they assumed they were going to have to fight, but all of the Japanese had left the sick and elderly in town and run for the hills.

    Funny how we always here about them taking care of their ancestors, but when they went into town, they would hear the elderly hollering from houses.

    So, they went from house to house gathering up the elderly and sick so they could feed them.
     
  13. Kayla

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    As a Missourian, I have visited the Truman Library in Independence(Truman's hometown) and there I read some writings from Bess Truman's Diary she wrote. In there reading I got the notion that this thing haunted him for the rest of his life. She said that he would check out books in the library and look at the picture of it exploding for long periods of time in deep thought with great sadness on his face. Even the man himself really had trouble deciding. By the Way if any of you ever get the Kansas City way Independence is a great town to visit. The library is awesome, but give yourself plenty of time, we were in there three hours and had not looked at it all.
     
  14. DavidsAngel

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    I live pretty close to Kayla (didn't know that till just now) but, I would have too.

    It made an impact and ended it. -shrugs-
     
  15. Phillip

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    Sure, Oppenheimer realized they opened a new can of worms with the development of nuclear explosive power.

    I'm certain others questioned it. It DID kill many people and maim many more for life. It is something that would make any decision maker cringe.

    But, the decision saved the lives of many Japanese and Americans. It was the lesser of two evils. We had NO CHOICE, but to end the war with Japan. They started it, we didn't.

    I also agree with if we had not used it, it would have been used by someone else in the future---possibly Russia or even Israel. This would have been a disaster.

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, we have to control it and prevent it from becoming a terrorist weapon. (I don't believe a terrorist can build one, but there certainly were a lot of tactical nukes the Russians had and they would sell anything for the right amount.)

    I believe the pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide us with a standard to go by: "This should never happen again."

    A policeman certainly does not want to draw his pistol--nothing good EVER comes from doing it. But, without the gun, the policeman is much more likely to be killed or injured. Just the fact that he/she has the weapon to use, stops a lot of action. The same with the bomb. If it had not been used at least once, then people would not understand its real potential for killing.
     
  16. Bro Tony

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    I would have used the atom bomb. It stopped the war and ultimately saved more lives.

    Bro Tony
     
  17. solja

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    No, might doesn't mean right !

    If you think it does, then visit Hiroshima and Peace Memorial Park, and then think again.
     
  18. KenH

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    You ought to visit the memorial at Pearl Harbor. If the Japanese had not attacked these United States, then we would not have dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The Japanese started the war with these United States and these United States finished it.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. solja

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    I have visited Pearl, several times over the years, however, one has nothing to do with the other.
    Might does not mean right.
    The use of atomoic bombs on Hiroshima was a crime against humanity, not combat.
     
  20. KenH

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    1) Huh? You think we would have bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki if Pearl Harbor had not been attacked?

    2) Are you willing to at least be consistent in your statements and say that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a crime against humanity?

    I hope you realize that if these United States and our allies had not defeated Japan that you would be speaking Japanese today and worshipping the Japanese emperor.
     

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