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View Poll Results: Should the Atomic bombs have been bropped on Japan in 1945?
Yes 27 79.41%
No 2 5.88%
Undecided at this time 5 14.71%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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VJ Day
Old 08-12-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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VJ Day

I was but an infant on VJ day in 1945 and don't recall anything about it first hand. I have always been student of history, however and always take a minute or two to remember what happened. Not clear when VJ day was Aug 14, Aug 15 or Sep 2. No matter, the war was over and all could celebrate it.

Thanks to all of the greatest generation for your service.


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Since then, both August 14 and August 15 have been known as “Victoryover Japan Day,” or simply “V-J Day.” The term has also been used for September 2, 1945, when Japan's formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
V-J Day - World War II - HISTORY.com

Question of the day:

Do you think that President Truman made the right decision in August 1945 to drop those two atomic bombs on Japan?
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #2
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My father and uncle were in the Pacific campaign in WW2. They both were on Okinawa for that invasion. My uncle was in the marines, and he had it relatively easy, but my father was in the army (first class pvt otherwise known as cannon fodder). He lost his health due to the injuries he sustained (shattered knee, but the physical and mental pain led to further problems as he aged). The few times he talked about the war (usually in the course of a debate about Vietnam ), it was clear that his experience with the Japanese soldiers was that it was going to be a fight for every inch of ground as the war progresses to the main islands. Iwo Jima was the example both my father and uncle used when talking about the final invasion. In much of the discussions on the news, the number of American lives to be lost was the validation for the Bomb, but think about the Japanese lives that would have been lost in both the bombing campaign and the inevitable ground invasion. Long story short, it saved lives, and showed the world what it had to look forward to in future wars.


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Old 08-12-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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That was five years before I was born but from the history I've read had they not been used the slaughter during an invasion would have dwarfed the loss of life from the two bombs. The Japanese even had women practicing with bamboo sticks to defend the homeland.

Lessee... bamboo sticks against machine guns, tanks, fighter planes, bombers, rifles... how do you think that would have turned out? Japan had virtually no aircraft left, no ships of any significance, few troops and what was left had little experience, dedicated though they may have been. Had they tried to defend against an invasion I don't think "slaughter" is too strong a word to describe what would would have happened. Still, it wouldn't have been easy for U.S. troops given the Japanese culture of no surrender and fighting until they no longer could so U.S. losses would have been high also.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:47 PM   #4
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Theories about whether Japan would've surrender given XYZ aside, I don't believe Truman felt he could tell the soldiers in the European theater, and their families, that they were now to be shipped to the Pacific.

Heck, there is one "theory" stating that the decision to drop the a-bombs wasn't even made by Truman...

But it's worth noting that in March of 1945, over 100,000 Japanese were killed in the firebombing of Tokyo.

War is hell...
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:57 PM   #5
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Won't voice my opinion, but do wanted to share I liked this series about the A-bomb by Oliver Stone:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver..._United_States

Gave me a new perspective on Stalin, Truman and possible reasons to go ahead.
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:

Heck, there is one "theory" stating that the decision to drop the a-bombs
wasn't even made by Truman...
I seem to recall reading that the final call was that of COL Tibbits who commanded Enola Gay.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:36 PM   #7
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We will almost certainly never know the whole story. I've recently read a lot of very well documented articles that came to completely different conclusions, just like any other historical event.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:47 AM   #8
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A recent program from PBS...

The Bomb | PBS Programs | PBS
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
A recent program from PBS...

The Bomb | PBS Programs | PBS
It was a well-done program that was based on a book that I recently read by the same name.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:59 PM   #10
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During war, attention begins to focus when people behind the lines are killed.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:56 PM   #11
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I probably would not be here today had they not dropped the bomb. I would never have been born. My father was in the 1st Marine division, and participated in landings from Guadalcanal on. When the bomb was dropped he told me he was in the Philippines training for the invasion of Japan. I found out much later that the invasion plans had his division written off after the first few days, not planned for any further action, since they anticipated close to 100% casualties. Much has been written about the need to end the war quickly to save lives, both American and Japanese. Besides myself and other Americans alive today because of the bomb, there are undoubtedly many many more Japanese alive today because of it than if it had not been used.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:01 PM   #12
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Given the time, place and circumstances the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was a no brainer. The timing and necessity of the bomb on Nagasaki is debatable but in view of the bigger picture was probably justified.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
A recent program from PBS...

The Bomb | PBS Programs | PBS
I thought it was good. Three interesting things I learned:
1) The scientists didn't know in advance that plutonium couldn't be used with a simple gun-type device (uranium works in this configuration, and that's how the Hiroshima bomb was built, but uranium fuel suitable for use in a bomb was a LOT harder to make than plutonium). I thought they knew that going in, based on their calculations/theories. The fact that Pu was discovered to be too reactive for a simple gun-type device was a significant setback and meant a much more complicated implosion type device would be needed, and that design was a tall order.
2) The infrastructure of the Manhattan Project would have been able to complete one new (plutonium) bomb every ten days, and the military was preparing to deliver them at that rate to Japan for as long as it took for them to surrender. Truman put himself in the decision process, said he would need to approve each one.
3) Japan's initial communique of surrender after the Nagasaki bombing was not unconditional, they wanted to keep the emperor. Truman announced it as an unconditional surrender (which is what the US demanded, and what they signed), but we allowed the emperor to remain (which actually made MacArthur's post-war job in Japan much easier).
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:10 AM   #14
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In regard to when is VJ day, my USO calendar shows 2 Sept.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:51 PM   #15
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For the 5 folks that voted undecided, how much more time do you think you need in order to make a decision?
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
For the 5 folks that voted undecided, how much more time do you think you need in order to make a decision?

I would be more interested in the couple of people who voted no reason....

Might be some kind of moral reason.... but I think that it saved many millions of lives...
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:31 PM   #17
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I lurk at several financial forums. I found the following at one of them.

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Here is a copy of a Letter to the Editor of the Montreal Gazette published on the 6th of August. Admittedly they abbreviated it a bit, but the gist was there. I also sent it to various CBC Radio shows who only dedicated themselves to the bombs.

"Well it is once again time to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These were terrible losses of life. The entire world remembers these bombings. However, I was 10 years old in 1945. Unlike many 10 year olds, I was in a Japanese Prisoner of war camp in China. If it had not been for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I may well have died in that camp. No one talks about the Japanese atrocities in China, the massacres in Nanjing. No one talks about the Japanese Korean and Dutch Comfort women. No one talks about the slave labour in Indonesia and Malaysia and Hong Kong. No one talks about the killings in the Philippines. What is even more amazing is that no one talks about the help the USA gave Japan to rebuild its economy after the war, thereby enabling it to leap ahead of the “victors”! Every one talks about the horrors of the A bomb. Well world, listen up. If it had not been for Pearl harbour, the A bomb may never have been used.

Frankly, as I near my 80th birthday, I am fed up listening to the twaddle about the A bomb. I am grateful that the USA dropped the bomb. I am grateful for our liberation by the USA on August 17th, 1945. I am grateful to the Chinese city of Weifang, which will have celebrated our liberation twice. Once in 2005 and again this year on August 17th.

I have seen the Imperial Shinto Priests go to Tojo’s tomb in the Yakusuni Shrine in 1975, years after this war criminal had been executed.

Let me be clear. Japanese people are people like any others. However, the Japanese Government has never, ever admitted its culpability in any war atrocities any time any where during the Sino Japanese war, and World War two.

Their Supreme Court said as much when they denied the claim for compensation launched by surviving prisoners of war.

So forgive me if I am a little bitter. Isn’t it time to show the other side of the page?"

So yes, thank god for the a-bombs, both of them. The people they killed in a flash did not outnumber the Japanese slaughter of the people in all Asia.
Edit to add: Found the letter published here: Letter: Japan has never admitted atrocities | Montreal Gazette
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:47 PM   #18
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There's no doubt, dropping the atomic bomb shortened the Pacific war and saved countless American lives. Even being of Japanese descent, I can completely agree with that.

As an aside, I was a American tourist in Japan 5 years ago when an American loudly asked the Japanese tour guide on a tour bus whether she thought the US was justified dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. The rest of the 25 international passengers sat silently (some gasped at the rudeness of the question), and wondered how can she answer such a question. She paused and slowly answered, "That is a very complicated question, and I must give it more thought." And she never returned to the question.

I thought that response was perfect. And very Japanese.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:38 PM   #19
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I was listening to NPR earlier this week and a correspondent in Japan stated there was a significant portion of the Japanese population that acknowledged that the use of nuclear weapons was justified in order to end the war.

A terrible decision to have to make but considering the Japanese history of fighting until the last man, kamikaze, code of honour and the overwhelming desire to protect the homeland and the emperor who was basically considered to be a deity I think there was no other choice.
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