From: Chehalis, WA
ORIGINAL: Joe D.
Amen to that; some of us might not be posting here as our fathers were slated to invade Japan after defeating Germany.
I don't think the a-bomb shortned the war by more than a day or two. There never would have been an invasion of Japan. The event that made Japan surrender was the Soviet declaration of war. The Japanese were not afraid of death by atomic bombing. These were the same people that threw themselves and their infant children over cliffs rather than be captured by American forces. They willfully flew aircraft into ships. The only fate they were afraid of was defeat by the Soviets. Historical documents from Japan show that the decision to surrender was based totally on the Soviet war declaration. The atomic bombings were hardly even mentioned in the discussions.
That being said, the United States certainly didn't know any of this at the time. The atomic bombings were no more morally wrong than the fire bombing of Japan's paper cities, the fire-storms over Germany, the indiscriminate bombing and rocket attacks on London, the maltreatment of POWs, the rape of Nanking, and so on... Gen. Tibbets has every reason to be proud of his service. He performed his duties honorably and deserves the respect reserved for all veterans of that war. I'm quite happy that he was able to live the rest of his life with a clear concience.
One can debate the morality of using atomic bombs and their effect of ending the war quicker all day long and still not settle a thing. People have their opinions and you/I/we/they are unlikely to change them.
There is no morality in war. Morality is a luxury that only a people living in peace can enjoy. Some countries try to maintain a semblance of morality during war, others could care less.
IMO, had the bombs not been dropped, Japan may have to chosen to continue resistance until invaded and conquered. Its very unlikely that a simple declaration of war by Russian would have prompted their surrender. Without the bombs, Japan would need to be invaded.
The question is would have been the Russians or the US to first invade? Its highly likely that without the bombings to prompt the surrender, Russia would have invaded northern Japan and conquered or controlled a large portion of the home islands before the US was able to land. Had that happened we would have had a situation similar to that in Europe after the war. But instead of an "Iron Curtain" we would be calling it a "Rice" or "Bamboo" curtain.
Today's moralists are the same ones that wanted immediate action following 9/11 and are now crying loud and long about how immoral it is that they got what they asked for.
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98