WWII, Pearl Harbor and the bomb?

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  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    500,000 Purple Hearts were produced in prep for the invasion of Japan. Like Teach said, they're STILL issuing those same medals.

    I was reading about this stuff last night coincidentally, and some of the other parts of the story leading up to the dropping of the bomb. Another part that has been speculated and makes sense, is the flexing of muscles to the Russians and the atomic bombs being the real first shot across the bow of the Cold War. Stalin was already moving into Manchuria, and declared war on Japan I think 3 days before the bomb was dropped.

    Apparently Los Alamo was already in the process of producing MORE bombs when the first 2 were being delivered. They figured on being able to produce 1-2 per month. Again, since it was the first time it had ever been used, they had no idea if Japan would give up the ghost so quickly. Knowing how the Japanese were preparing for the invasion and had a country wide "til the last man" mentality, this war could have drug out likely until mid 1946. Many experts looking back figure the final end of the war in the Pacific Theater would have been between May-July.

    Another thing that was in the works, in lieu of the a-bomb was massive chemical bombing. US factories (I think the big one was in New Jersey) was producing an extremely large amount of chemical weapons in 1944-1945, mustard gas, another gas...something -gene, cyanogen and cyanide. Some released wires in the 90's showed the head of the Chem Warfare program figured Japan's cities would be almost perfect for effective and massive chemical attacks, with its tight population density, and narrow buildings. Plus the prevalent use of wood for the structures there, mustard gas soaks into wood and would be very difficult to decontaminate for the Japanese. Without the a-bombs being used, we likely would have seen around a month to two months of heavy fire bombing as well as a combo of chemical bombs. Air attacks at first, then howitzer launched after we had landed.

    One thing to ponder that I read last night was, would we have had a better "world" after the war had we gone with invasion? Stalin would have almost for certain wiped out all the Japanese forces in China and Asia in general and would have take control of all those lands as post war spoils. Most of that area went communist anyways, BUT, it would have most likely prevented the rise of Mao who Stalin despised. We all know what eventually happened to the USSR and its brand of communism, but the Asian's are still holding pretty strong. This may or may not have prevented Vietnam from ever happening, and N. Korea and China would have likely fell from communism with the Berlin Wall and COULD have been massively expanding economies under a free capitalist market. But pondering, is just that.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    another gas...something -gene,

    That would be Phosgene
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    In response to MHS - While chemical weapons were certainly something that could have been used, and may have even been a talking point, I have to wonder if Truman would have actually given the nod to that one. Even HITLER had enough bad memories of chemical weapons to not deploy them on the battlefield. WWI was only a quarter century in the past, and there were still plenty of folks living with the physical scars of chemical warfare. I'm pretty sure using them - even on the Japanese as they were perceived at that time - would not have been the best PR move. As I said earlier, there was no stigma against nukes at that point.

    The non-nuclear solution is one of those very interesting "what ifs" of WWII. As with Europe, air power would have been the major tool. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese had NOTHING in quantity OR quality that could compete with Mustangs, Hellcats, and certainly not the Bearcats that were about to come online. Like Germany, the strategy would have been to kill all the Japanese fighter production and fighter pilots. Once done, the bombers would have a clear path to strategically carpet bomb, and the fighters would be free to strafe tactical targets of opportunity.

    That being the general process, the real question would become "When do we put troops on the ground?" As I recall, the invasion of the Home Islands was slated for November '45. Without the nukes, this would have given 2-3 additional months of aerial pounding, and the timetable for an actual landing could have been moved up or set back based on results. Added to this general tactic would have been blockade to keep out food and fuel, and destruction of farmland and fishing fleets to reduce food supply.

    How well would all that work to obtain a surrender without a landing? Good question. Iwo Jima was strictly a military installation with a garrison that fully understood they were on a suicide mission. Okinawa was probably not quite last-gasp enough. I tend to think that seeing the women and children starved and fragged by B-29's they had no ability to touch would eventually de-fuse anyone with notions of dying gloriously in close combat. The point the nukes hammered home was that the Japanese were faced with an enemy they could no longer fight. Curtis LeMay's carpet bombings may not have been as spectacular, but were ultimately just as obviously irresistible.

    If the landings DID take place after such a softening up, one thing that was pioneered in Europe during the Normandy landings and developed to a fine art was the concept of tactical air support. This would have played a major part in the Allied invasion strategy.

    In the end. . .If played smart, I think the Allied casualties from a non-nuclear invasion of the Home Islands may not have been as severe as predicted (though still very bad), but the Japanese casualties from months more air attack and famine would have been near-Apocalyptic. The Japanese probably have as much right to be thankful for the A-bombs as anyone who was in the USMC at the time.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,327 Senior Member
    From a series of books I've read, apparently making the bomb wasn't the hard part, but making the plane that could successfully carry it was (Although it wasn't the original plan since they were designed & built as conventional bombers). Seems like the B-29 project took a lot more money, time and scientific developments that the bomb itself......go figure!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,263 Senior Member
    The B-29's were rushed into production with underpowered engines. Even conventional bombing missions to Japan took a tremendous toll on them, with one or more engine failures every mission pretty much the norm. When Dad was stationed at Tampa Florida in the latter stages of the war, flying B-17's, a lot of their time was spent searching for downed trainer B-29's over the Gulf Of Mexico. Once the decision not to use B-17's in the Pacific theater was made, he spent the remainder of the war on coast patrol and search missions. There was a saying about the B-29's from the training facility across the bay from McDill- - - - -"One a day in Tampa bay!" The bomb bays on the two planes used in the nuke deliveries were modified to accomodate the bombs, which were too big to fit otherwise.
    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
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    The B-29's were rushed into production with underpowered engines. Even conventional bombing missions to Japan took a tremendous toll on them, with one or more engine failures every mission pretty much the norm. When Dad was stationed at Tampa Florida in the latter stages of the war, flying B-17's, a lot of their time was spent searching for downed trainer B-29's over the Gulf Of Mexico. Once the decision not to use B-17's in the Pacific theater was made, he spent the remainder of the war on coast patrol and search missions. There was a saying about the B-29's from the training facility across the bay from McDill- - - - -"One a day in Tampa bay!" The bomb bays on the two planes used in the nuke deliveries were modified to accomodate the bombs, which were too big to fit otherwise.
    Jerry

    I read that the 29s were prone to crackup on take off so they trained one of the crew members, or maybe it was someone else, anyway he was trained to assemble some final components of the bomb after take off.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    The B-29's were rushed into production with underpowered engines. Even conventional bombing missions to Japan took a tremendous toll on them, with one or more engine failures every mission pretty much the norm.

    My dad was a crew chief on C-109 tankers that flew gasoline over the Hump to them, when they were bombing out of northern China. He said in the several months he was seeing them, he never saw one with all four engines running.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,327 Senior Member
    Wasn't the "jet stream" fast air current flowing at the original operational altitude of the B-29s also complicating the intended bombing efforts, thus taking a toll on control surfaces, structure, engines, fuel consumption, accuracy, etc. of the planes?

    Too bad salt water corrosion makes the recovery of some of those submerged airframes you mention (Or at least parts) a futile exercise; would love to see more of them in the air!
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    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.

    The info I found did not specify that part, thanks for clearing that up.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    Great to learn that the members of this forum are better informed than most of the general public, we'll at least those that I have met that make without one though the Pearl Harbor-Hiroshima connection.
    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
    Let's not forget....."Day that will live in Infamy" is Friday of next week. :usa:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    @Bigslug

    The continued starvation plan was already set up. Stalin was to invade Haikkido (sp?) which was one of the main source areas for food for Japan. I can't remember the name of the other prominent food producing region but the US already had that one cued up for extreme bombing.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
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