WWII, Pearl Harbor and the bomb?

bruchibruchi Senior MemberPosts: 2,582 Senior Member
This is not an "anti-American" post, just as always, do the math...at the end, we won and surely there is more to it as it is will everything.

I am not a historian or anything remotely close to it but I do recall that every time, Hiroshima and Nagasaki come into conversation "Americans" will claim that the reason for dropping the bombs goes from "payback" for Pearl Harbor to the US having their back against the wall as they lost all their naval capabilities due to that attack and the bombs where the only way they could retaliate.

Been watching Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the United States" on cable and as he CLEARLY is a man with an AGENDA I did some fact checking FROM SOURCES NOT RELATED TO MR. STONE.

In December 7 1941 the US naval Forces had 790 ships in operation, in December 31, 1942 the US had 1782 ships in operation and on December 31, 1944 it had 6,084 ships in operation.

Pearl Harbor attack, December 1941, 2,403 US casualties, 68 of which where civilians, the "Battle of Midway" took place 6 months latter, in that battle the US destroyed the Japanese naval forces in what has been called the greatest naval defeat in the history of the world with around 3000 Japanese soldiers dead and around 300 US. casualties.

D-Day, 1944 was the definitive start of the end for the Germans who surrender in 1945, soon after that the US with a fleet almost 10 times larger than 4 years prior when the Pearl Harbor attack took place the US demands that Japan surrenders or very decisive action would come their way, they don't surrender and the bombs are dropped killing over 200,000 Japanese most of them civilians.

Seems if the above is correct dropping the bombs was not about Pearl Harbor but more about ending the war in the speediest manner using the latest technology and saving the lives of a lot of US soldiers?

Another thing I found while searching this is that in WWI 95% of the casualties where soldiers and 5% civilians and in WWII casualties of civilians where over 60% and the balance of casualties where soldiers, talk about taking the gloves off!

Russia and China carried the bulk, over 40 million dead, Germans and Japanese over 10 million.

Other bit of numbers I found was that from the +70 million casualties of WWII less than half a million where Americans, same amount for the British.
If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
«1

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    An interesting bit of trivia is the fact that every puprle heart medal given since 1945 is from a production run commissioned prior to the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. The projected allied casualties were estimated to be over 2 million had it been necessary to invade. That does not count the anticipated Japanese losses, which were projected to be far more. The nuclear attack was horrific, certainly, but a conventional invasion would have probably resulted in much greater losses for both sides. I'm pretty sure that possibility weighed heavily in Truman's decision to authorize the bombings. The firebombing raids of Tokyo by the B-29's actually resulted in more Japanese casualties than the two nuclear attacks combined.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • LerchessLerchess Senior Member Posts: 550 Senior Member
    I would agree the objective was to end the war faster rather than payback for Pearl Harbor. They were at a point where resistance was getting absurd in the islands and all the smart people were crunching numbers. If we launched a land invasion on Japan, the casualties on both sides would have been extremely high.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    An interesting bit of trivia is the fact that every puprle heart medal given since 1945 is from a production run commissioned prior to the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. The projected allied casualties were estimated to be over 2 million had it been necessary to invade. That does not count the anticipated Japanese losses, which were projected to be far more. The nuclear attack was horrific, certainly, but a conventional invasion would have probably resulted in much greater losses for both sides. I'm pretty sure that possibility weighed heavily in Truman's decision to authorize the bombings. The firebombing raids of Tokyo by the B-29's actually resulted in more Japanese casualties than the two nuclear attacks combined.
    Jerry

    That is my reasoning as well, the bulk of the losses in Europe on a war that was over did not affect the US as much as a continuation of the war with Japan would had created not only for the US but for Japan as well and something that Mr. Stone opted to ignore.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    Stone appears to be firmly in the camp of the liberals who desperately want to rewrite history from the perspective that the USA is an imperialistic bully and is to blame for all the bad things that happen in the world. When a lie is loudly proclaimed to be the truth to several generations, pretty soon nobody is alive to contest the falsehoods.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,978 Senior Member
    Sneaky Japs got what they deserved! No apology from me.

    If you think about it, the use of Atomic bombs probably saved **** lives in the long run too.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,326 Senior Member
    For me the dropping of the A-bombs had 2 causes: The horrendous casualties a beachhead in mainland Japan would have cost (By then no more useless Banzai charges against US firepower; read Okinawa or Iwo Jima campaign testimonials and you'll see that Japs would rather wait entrenched 'till point blank range and then make the enemy pay dearly for each inch of land) and the need to show all the other combatants (Mainly the Russians) who had the single biggest & meanest destructive capability. Too bad that the dummy in that wreck had to be the Japs, but if you don't want to get nuked (Listen Iran), don't do stupid things!

    By the way, the bombs were spectacular, but as Teach said, more people died (And more property was destroyed) in the nocturnal fire-bombings with B-29s of the main Japanese cities.

    The ones who "took the gloves off" first regarding civilians were the Germans and Japs; Russians didn't behave either.

    Germany's "beginning of the end" really was an accumulation of (Fortunately) terrible decisions. Biggest 2 must have been opening a 2nd. front with the Ruskies (They should have been the primary and sole target, specially considering the huge natural resources they had and that maybe the west would have "looked in another direction") and letting the US with its huge industrial power get directly involved in the conflict (Isolationist movement was big 'till 12/7/1941).
    To give you an idea, I read somewhere that 1 in 10 German soldiers have ever even drove a car, while at least half of GIs have either drove any motorized vehicle, or knew how to take apart and repair one. That in the context of a mechanized war had made the difference in many aspects.

    The US IS an imperialist bully...so what? Someone has to be, and better be the place where a citizen can walk into a gun store and buy a piece of freedom that someone else like China, Russia or Germany (To speak about the realistic candidates....can you picture Iran, Mexico, North Korea, Egypt, France or even us as the bully? no thanks!).
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,451 Senior Member
    Ask the Jews and Chinese how the Germans and Japanese treated non-combatants/ civilians....
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil- - - - -'cause I'm the evilest mofo in the valley!" There's no point in being the meanest, baddest dog in the neighborhood unless you get to bite somebody occasionally! The apologists can go pound sand!
    :devil::devil::devil:
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,939 Senior Member
    Ahhh. . .good old revisionist history - the rehashings of those who were not there, viewed through the lens of 20/20 hindsight, with the application of morals and sensibilities of a different time.:bang:

    A number of things come immediately to mind here:

    1. In 1945, there was no stigma against using an atomic bomb because it had never been done. Much like poison gas in 1915 - reflection comes after the fact.

    2. By 1945, you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone on earth who had not lost a friend or loved one to the war. You'd also be hard pressed to find someone that was not in some way involved with the war. Any kid much under the age of 8 or 9 probably couldn't remember when there WASN'T a war. EVERYBODY was tired of it at that point and wanted it to end, and nobody but the big strategic thinkers really cared much how that happened.

    3. The Pacific war might as well have been between two alien species. In Europe, there was at least some commonality of race, culture, religion, and occasionally language between combatants. There was no such common ground in the Far East, and as such, it was largely a conflict of no quarter. No way to sugar-coat it - both sides had a pretty heavy taste for genocide

    4. A beach needs to have certain elements to be suitable for an amphibious landing. As an island nation, the Japanese knew these elements as well as anyone, and had every inch of those beaches bore-sighted. Unlike the Germans, who had the luxury of abandoning the beach-head across occupied France, for the Japanese (who had already proven themselves fanatical defenders of occupied territory), home soil started at the water's edge.

    5. Americans were seeing more coverage of this war than any previous, and the human cost of it was getting hard to tolerate. The American people might well have settled for something less than unconditional surrender had things gone on much longer.

    So, to place yourself in the shoes of Harry S. Truman - you've already lost half a million troops in the last four years of a war that has taxed your nation in every way imaginable, and your generals are now telling you to expect the loss of between TWO AND FOUR TIMES THAT in the next SINGLE YEAR, and your R&D folks are telling you they have a way to bring it to a close without loading troops into a single Higgins boat. Under those circumstances, how on Earth could you NOT deploy nukes???
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,624 Senior Member
    Hirohito, Hitler and Mussolini made the same mistake Louis XIV, Napoleon, the Khalifa, Ceteswayo, the Kaiser, and a thousand others have made throughout history - ignoring the undeniable, incontestable, incontrovertible, and absolute fact of life and nature, that God is an Englishman, and He holds a special Providence for drunks, fools, and the United states of America. May God Save Her Majesty, and May God Bless the USA! And may all future enemies of Anglo-Saxon Christian civilization beware...

    How's that for jumping the shark!
  • ThatMattGuyThatMattGuy Senior Member Posts: 666 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    Russia and China carried the bulk, over 40 million dead, Germans and Japanese over 10 million.

    Other bit of numbers I found was that from the +70 million casualties of WWII less than half a million where Americans, same amount for the British.

    I read a lot of books on WWII history. The Japanese had started their military advances early. They were attacking the Chinese by 1931.
    The poster formerly known as '69MercCougar
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,825 Senior Member
    Good post Bigslug... It's also worth remembering that in Japan at that time, in anticipation of the inevitable invasion, common people, including elementary school children were being indoctrinated and trained to fight with simple weapons. I can imagine the effect on a GI being charged by a bunch of 5th graders with spears....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    All I have to add to what's been said is that we should have dropped the bombs sooner and saved even more American lives.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    My grandfather's younger brother died on the beach at Okinawa during the invasion, and I arrived there for a 3-year tour with the Air Force 25 years later. It was not uncommon for farmers to dig up still-viable ammunition and grenades, etc. while tilling their fields. Sport divers were always bringing up relics from the battle, including an aircraft engine cylinder assembly I saw at the base machine shop- - - -encrusted with all sorts of marine growth. Okinawa was the last land mass we invaded before it would have been necessary to take on the mainland (only 70 miles north) and the defense was fanatical. "Suicide Cliff" was a landmark where a group of young nursing students jumped to their deaths rather than be captured by the allied troops, and the caves in the northern part of the islands were defended to the last man. I'm sure there were untold thousands of GI's who were glad they wouldn't have to participate in the same sort of battle for the home islands. The postwar occupation was no picnic, but at least the ground didn't have to be won a few feet at a time!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,353 Senior Member
    We killed as many people firebombing Dresden as we did at Hiroshima. So it was one bomb. Who cares. It was just statistics. Revisionists are liberals and we already know what liberals are.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,939 Senior Member
    All I have to add to what's been said is that we should have dropped the bombs sooner and saved even more American lives.

    The Trinity test was on July 16, and Hiroshima got hammered on August 6 - how much sooner would you have preferred? That event should be in the running for the fastest that government has moved - ever.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    We also used up every bomb we had- - - -all both of 'em!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Lonewolf-PeruLonewolf-Peru Member Posts: 349 Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    ...
    If you think about it, the use of Atomic bombs probably saved **** lives in the long run too.

    Not only **** lives. The Russians had their own bombs quite soon after the end of WW2. I believe that without 2 good demonstrations of what Atomic weapons can do, and the proof beyond doubt that the USA had the WILL to use them if neccesary, WW3 would have been fought with nukes about 50 years ago.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    We got frighteningly close to that scenario over Cuba in the early 1960's. The memory of the results of the bombing of Japan probably convinced cooler heads on both sides of the confrontation to back down. Unfortunately, if the whack jobs in Korea or Iran ever get the capability to build a reliable bomb and deliver it, nothing is likely to deter them from pulling the trigger.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Lonewolf-PeruLonewolf-Peru Member Posts: 349 Member
    I'm afraid that part of the world no longer believes the USA had the WILL to use its power....maybe a couple of new demonstrations are needed... (Pyongyang and Teheran comes to mind for that purpose)
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    Unfortunately, with a communist/muslim in the white house, they're probably right!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,939 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »

    2. By 1945, you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone on earth who had not lost a friend or loved one to the war. You'd also be hard pressed to find someone that was not in some way involved with the war. Any kid much under the age of 8 or 9 probably couldn't remember when there WASN'T a war. EVERYBODY was tired of it at that point and wanted it to end, and nobody but the big strategic thinkers really cared much how that happened.

    I did a little more thinking on this from another angle - imagine being in your last couple years of high school in 1945. The war in Asia has been going on since '37 - basically HALF OF YOUR LIFE. You probably went through a period of thinking your older brothers and their pals would handle it. Now, after years of seeing them come back in pieces (if at all), you're wondering if you get to play college freshman or cannon fodder.

    I would posit that anyone seeking an apology for the bomb has never thought the matter through in the terms above and in my first post. I would also posit that they've probably never been in so much as a fist fight, let alone an armed conflict.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    Antonio wrote: »
    The ones who "took the gloves off" first regarding civilians were the Germans and Japs; Russians didn't behave either.

    That's what I meant by that, for starters about 6 million Jews where murdered just for being so!
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Think about your research about the civilian casualties in WWII.....American's firebombing cities in Germany...Why? It wasn't genocide....it was because Wehrmact manufacturing had to go underground in every mom-pop machine shop available cause we had destroyed the main plants. This is also why German engineering is revered around the world...making parts to uniform tolerances for assembly somewhere else.

    Now flip the coin......Germany had a "burn the earth" policy and WAS practicing genocide....not just the Jews, but every slavic country from Prussia on east....Slavs were considered "not human"....The Russian's weren't any better with their retaliation, killing and raping every German they came across.....by hand, not by bombing cities. Germany also fire-bombed Britain as a demoralizing effect.....and taking the fight to the enemy's home.

    America's fire-bombing of Japan was much in the same way, but was logistically risky.....we needed a new Hammer of Thor, but knew Germany was working along the same lines......it was the beginning of the nuclear arms race.

    It was a race to come up with the biggest fist to smack-down with and a little retaliatory to boot.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,540 Senior Member
    The data you present is kinda skewed in that the ships damaged at Pearl Harbor were armed military vessels and the huge increase of vessels in service after Pearl Harbor consisted primarily of civilian vessels pressed into service to ferry troops and supplies and a huge fleet of disposable "liberty ships" that were hastily built and unarmed and also used to ferry troops and supplies.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Quoted from Teach's post: " The firebombing raids of Tokyo by the B-29's actually resulted in more Japanese casualties than the two nuclear attacks combined."

    And this was occuring almost nightly. The total, had the war continued, not even considering the massive projections of casualties on both sides that would have occurred in an invasion, would have totalled Many many times more than both bombs did. Had the war continued uninterupted another two months, it would have made those two A Bombs look like one stick of dynamite.

    Having said that, I think the reasoning is multifaceted. True, at the time racial prejudice in America and the World was much more prevelent than today and it is my opinion that this played into it somewhat. However, Even considering that fact, I don't think that if Japan would have been a more hospitatible enemy, that the American people would have let the bombs go without as much criticism. I don't think Truman would have lived it down near as easily had not the Japanese treated our guys so badly. Remember Bataan and the initial Japanese Philippine campaign. Once the facts of the cruelty of the Japanese to its captives (Not only American but Filipino, British, Dutch, Aussies and NZlanders to name a few, the masses of people grew to hate the Japanese. This added to the fuel already thrown on the fire from Pearl Harbor. All that coupled with the numbers of casualties predicted in an invasion, made the bomb question a no brainer. It was going to happen.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,549 Senior Member
    Some good posts above. I agree with a lot of that, but the bottom line is this, in my opinion:

    A majority of the American people hated the Japanese and the Germans, while we were at war with them. Mainly, because they believed that they hated us first, but all the propaganda supported the idea that our enemies were inhuman, especially the Japanese, because they were a different race and culture that mostly rural America knew nothing about and was already suspicious of.

    So, when presented with the bomb, which Truman knew nothing about before FDR's death, he seized the opportunity. The public was getting extrememly war-weary and would not be outraged by another quarter million dead Japanese. A couple hundred thousand American casualties would be averted, and every soldier and Marine (past and present) and his entire family would love him for it. He did it because it would work, and because he knew the people would approve of it.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,540 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Some good posts above. I agree with a lot of that, but the bottom line is this, in my opinion:

    A majority of the American people hated the Japanese and the Germans, while we were at war with them. Mainly, because they believed that they hated us first, but all the propaganda supported the idea that our enemies were inhuman, especially the Japanese, because they were a different race and culture that mostly rural America knew nothing about and was already suspicious of.


    Actually it was their actions that made the American people hate them. A freindly, peaceful, fun loving people don't poison and incinerate 6 million people. The atrocities of the Japanese are too numerous for me to list.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,549 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Actually it was their actions that made the American people hate them. A freindly, peaceful, fun loving people don't poison and incinerate 6 million people. The atrocities of the Japanese are too numerous for me to list.

    I know all of that - I was just trying to get to the point.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I know all of that - I was just trying to get to the point.

    And you did very well. And Fisheadgib, good points too. I think we're all on the same page, but there's just so much that can be said about all this it's almost an infinite subject.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.