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OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:36:14 AM   
rustysi


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Was the end of the war brought about solely by the dropping of the atomic bombs or did the DoW by the Soviet Union have anything to do with it?

Discuss...

And play nice.


_____________________________

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In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb
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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:45:10 AM   
geofflambert


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I've heard it both ways. In both cases there was said to be a lot of disorganization involved and decision making was slow. The question revolves around whether or not and how forcefully the Emperor intervened. The story I heard the longest time ago was that the decision was pretty much made before the first bomb fell, due to what the firebombing raids had already done, but it took a while to implement and make contact with the Allies. More recently what I've heard leans more to Nagasaki having scotched the decision. The biggest problem is getting into the Emperor's mind and that's nearly impossible and there's little solid evidence. But the feeling I've been getting more recently is that it's thought the Emperor was more complicit with Tojo and not really drug into anything kicking and screaming or in a docile manner.

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 9/4/2020 1:50:02 AM >


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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:49:53 AM   
rustysi


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Yeah, I've been hearing that the Soviet DoW was actually the 'straw that broke the camels back'. Don't know. Any books around pointing to this?

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:54:48 AM   
mrchuck


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Opinions vary significantly on this. I think I will cop out by arguing that it was both :-)

Coming in rapid succession, the staggeringly successful Soviet offensive and the bombs demonstrated to the Japanese leadership beyond any shadow of a doubt, that continued resistance was futile. I believe contemporary Japanese documents show they found both about as appalling as each other. The Kwantung Army might as well have not been there. The Soviet operation remains as one of the most successful blitzkriegs ever.

I will go a little further into the realm of controversy perhaps, and suggest that the bombs were intended as much as a demonstration to the Soviets, as to the Japanese. But that's another story, and may have been no more than a desirable side effect anyway.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:54:48 AM   
jdsrae


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The sum of many factors, not one single factor.
All of that pressure from all fronts added up to reduce the internal political power of the hardliners who were resisting the idea of surrender.
Take any one factor away and the war would have most likely continued for longer, by taking longer to wear down the will of the power brokers to continue the fight.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 2:01:41 AM   
Platoonist


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The war is over but the war of words over this will never end.

As we well know, historians have forever debated the importance of these two events in forcing the surrender, with those philosophically opposed to the nuclear bombings tending to discount their importance relative to the Soviet declaration of war. However, I think it's safe to say that the nuclear attacks made a profound impression on the Emperor, who broke precedent by acting to resolve the deadlock in the Japanese Cabinet in favor of accepting the Allied surrender terms.

Of course by this point in the war Hirohito had probably lost faith with the military and their whole concept of Ketsu-Go. But I think he had a deeper fear that Japan's tight civil order was slowly starting to crack under the strain of bombardment, blockade and the growing threat of famine. He may have been thinking of the Kaiser in 1918 at that point, because when the civil order collapses there goes the Imperial institution. So, yeah, the A-bomb may have been the proverbial straw that broke the Cabinet impasse.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 2:51:39 AM   
Ian R

 

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Check out Gerhard Weinberger's "world at arms", and Overy's "how the allies won'.

From reading those and various other authors such as Costello, Spectre, & Keegan... it seems to me it was a confluence, or accumulation, of factors, namely -

1) although the Pacific bases had been lost, the IJE still retained a (sort of self supporting) million plus plus man army in China, Indochina, the NEI and Manchuria, and although its shipping capacity had been gutted, there were still resources available if they could get them through the blockade - so the first factor is the USN submarine, and later air campaigns to blockade Japan, to the point where it was hard for them even to ship stuff a short distance from Korea. An important part of this is the aerial mining that sunk a lot of Japanese shipping. So Japan is unable to feed its civilians, let alone train its aircrews and maintain a high rate of aircraft production. What aircraft they do have perform below par because low octane fuel. Shipbuilding has been virtually halted. They don't have the metals to build many tanks.

2) The USAAF has, to borrow Overy's phrases, turned Japan's cities into "open crematoria". Apart from destroying housing and dispersed cottage industry and further suppressing economic activity, the point to be made is that they were doing this with massed fire bombing raids, and while the two bombs must have had a shock effect, the destruction of significant portions of an entire city with a tragically massive death toll was not a novel experience and was being achieved with more conventional weapons.

3. When the Red Army waltzed through Manchuria into Korea - and met up with its PLA allies down near Beijing, and could fairly obviously keep going as far as railway supply lines could provide for it, the IJ Army referred to above is taken out of the picture, and the resources on the Asian mainland are lost. So in that sense, it was the end of what hope was left for holding out.

4. I have seen it asserted that the IJ were happier to surrender to the US and keep the emperor, than have the Red Army setting up "North Japan" as a socialist state on Hokkaido post war... not sure about that, it smacks of cold war rhetoric and hindsight.



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Ian R

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 4:33:54 AM   
geofflambert


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I don't think the Soviets could've pulled off an invasion of Hokkaido without US assistance, which they wouldn't be receiving in any case.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 5:04:30 AM   
durnedwolf


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I wonder if Japan ever tried to reach out to Russia to explore surrender terms?

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 5:08:02 AM   
durnedwolf


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Here's an interesting article I drudged up: https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/education/008/expertclips/010#:~:text=Japan%20surrendered%20because%20the%20Soviet,Look%20at%20the%20facts.

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I try to live by two words - tenacity and gratitude. Tenacity gets me where I want to go and gratitude ensures I'm not angry along the way. - Henry Winkler.

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. - Herbert Spencer

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 6:31:07 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi



Was the end of the war brought about solely by the dropping of the atomic bombs or did the DoW by the Soviet Union have anything to do with it?

Discuss...

And play nice.

warspite1

Who knows, and let’s be honest, what does it matter? But my thoughts echo some of those previously mentioned.

At the end of the day we know the Japanese surrendered after two bombs were dropped and the Red Army had swamped Manchuria.

Many Americans like to believe it was all down to the bombs because it means they won the war. Well newsflash: The US did win the Pacific War, regardless of what happened in August 1945.

Anti-Americans like to use the Soviet invasion as the deciding factor and that is largely so they can accuse the US – the big bad Satan - of needlessly dropping the bombs.

It’s nice for some people to have things neatly wrapped up in little boxes but life is more…. complicated.

I think it’s ludicrous to think that the Japanese would have ignored the bombs and continued the war, and it was only the USSR attacking that meant the war was over. So at the very least, the bombs played a role. Maybe the USSR attacking was the straw that broke the camels back, but that does not mean the straws previously laid on its back were unimportant – because as said, those straws had already left the camel mortally wounded.

Whatever it was, let’s just be thankful it did come to an end – for all those involved.



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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 7:24:52 AM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Whatever it was, let’s just be thankful it did come to an end – for all those involved.


Indeed, the world may have been lucky as events did turn out. If the rather pathetic palace coup known as the “Kyujo Incident” that was attempted just prior to the surrender had garnered more support, its unlikely the emperor would have ever been able to intervene to provide that essential first step in the process of an organized capitulation of Japan's government and armed forces. Without an organized capitulation, it's not clear if the end of the war comes in months or years.


< Message edited by Platoonist -- 9/4/2020 7:33:36 AM >


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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 11:55:36 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I don't think the Soviets could've pulled off an invasion of Hokkaido without US assistance, which they wouldn't be receiving in any case.



Apart from handing over enough amphibious assault shipping, at Cold Bay earlier in 1945, and sending an air combat TF (CVEs) up there to provide air support to the Soviets (both of which the USN did), what support do you say they needed?

The Soviets had a fair bit of shipping of their own as well. Including re-flagged liberty ships that had previously carried lend lease supplies from Portland and Seattle to Vladivostok.

Are you awrae that Stavka/Far East TVD had the whole thing planned, and the shipping and troops moving into place, and were waiting for a "go" order from the boss when the war stopped?

There are a number of translated Soviet documents available here: https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/search-results/1/%7b%22subject%22:%223395%22%7d

There were very few Japanese troops on Hokkaido, they were not deployed to defend a Soviet assault, and the Soviets didn't give a stuff about casualties. Vasilevsky was requesting Stalin to authorise the landing on 22 August.

< Message edited by Ian R -- 9/5/2020 5:50:30 PM >


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Ian R

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 12:11:17 PM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Whatever it was, let’s just be thankful it did come to an end – for all those involved.


Indeed, the world may have been lucky as events did turn out. If the rather pathetic palace coup known as the “Kyujo Incident” that was attempted just prior to the surrender had garnered more support, its unlikely the emperor would have ever been able to intervene to provide that essential first step in the process of an organized capitulation of Japan's government and armed forces. Without an organized capitulation, it's not clear if the end of the war comes in months or years.



Probably months - Japan had imposed civilian food rationing in 1940. Millions would have died from malnutrition in the winter of 45/6.


_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
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Ian R

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 1:36:08 PM   
RangerJoe


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The Japanese were trying to go through the Soviets (among others) to see about a surrender with conditions - they wanted to keep the emperor. The Soviets were stalling. When the Soviets entered the war, then the Japanese for some strange reason realized that the Soviets would not help them negotiate a surrender. I wonder why not? Just think if the US would have said to Japan, "If you surrender, you can keep your Emperor." Would that have ended the war sooner? Quite possibly so.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 5:37:42 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

The Japanese were trying to go through the Soviets (among others) to see about a surrender with conditions - they wanted to keep the emperor. The Soviets were stalling. When the Soviets entered the war, then the Japanese for some strange reason realized that the Soviets would not help them negotiate a surrender. I wonder why not? Just think if the US would have said to Japan, "If you surrender, you can keep your Emperor." Would that have ended the war sooner? Quite possibly so.

Agree with this.

Japan had been an isolated country for centuries, with no knowledge of other countries for diplomatic purposes other than their resources and military potential - i.e. they didn't understand their culture and philosophy. So while they saw an opportunity to tap into anti-imperial sentiments against the western powers, they could not see that their own conduct created the same kinds of opposition to their own Emperor. Further, they did not understand that the Russian Socialist government had an agenda of spreading socialism around the world - including Japan. Their hopes to get the Russians to persuade Britain and the US to offer terms was laughable - they would be the last country to let Japan off the hook.

The Allies also had the problem that they had publicly announced a policy of Unconditional Surrender after one of the Big Three conferences. That meant no back channel deals could be accepted without that policy being changed, which would be a win for Japan. Because of the way the war with Japan had started and the way the Allied POWs had been treated, the Western Allies were clear about punishing Japan and not allowing any quarter. To crush Nazidom, the Allies had to smash their way right to its core. To crush Imperial Japan, they were ready to fight their way to the Imperial Palace. The Japanese did not understand this resolve until the bombs dropped and the Russians showed their hand.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/4/2020 6:22:31 PM   
RangerJoe


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I think that the Japanese did understand the dangers of Communism/Socialism and actually wanted to work with Chiang to get rid of Mao and his group.

But this is an interesting thing to read, I knew anout the Swiss and the Swedes but I did not know about the Holy See being involved:

Memoranda for the President: Japanese Feelers

APPROVED FOR RELEASE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
22 SEPT 93

quote:

The last two volumes of the OSS Reports to the White House preserved among General Donovan's papers1 include records of several different Japanese approaches in 1945 to the Vatican and to OSS Lisbon, Bern, and Wiesbaden seeking a way to end the war. These peace feelers were generally the product of local initiative and had at most only a tacit approval from official Tokyo, where government quarreling over the question of capitulation was growing more and more desperate as the year advanced. They did not lead in any way to the eventual Japanese notes sent through standard diplomatic channels on 10 and 14 August, but they may have helped define for both sides the conditions therein drawn which made "unconditional" surrender a practical possibility.

The intelligence reports provide interesting and sometimes puzzling footnotes for Robert J. C. Butow's fastidious -- and fascinating -- reconstruction of the intricate political maneuverings that ended in Japan's Decision to Surrender.2 The documents are reproduced below.

Through the Vatican

17 January 1945

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

On 10 January the Japanese Emperor attended a secret council meeting during which someone dared to speak about peace feelers.3

The Emperor was informed that certain Japanese individuals have been attempting to interest the highest authority at source4 in mediating the Pacific War. The Emperor did not express any disapproval of these efforts.

Someone at the meeting declared that such activities might be a useful preparation for a time more opportune than the present. The Council was skeptical of mediation possibilities, evidently believing that only force of arms would settle the conflict.

24 January 1945
.
.
.


https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol9no3/html/v09i3a06p_0001.htm

I suggest reading all of the link, it is interesting how close the Japanese were to surrendering under essentially the conditions that ended up occurring. Think of how many lives could have been saved directly plus no KOREAN WAR and possibly no COMMUNIST CHINA since the Chinese Communists were given most if not all of the Japanese equipment and ammo that the Soviets captured, that could have gone to the Nationalists.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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Post #: 17
RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 2:27:50 AM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: durnedwolf

I wonder if Japan ever tried to reach out to Russia to explore surrender terms?


As alluded to above, they did. The Soviets, fully aware of their impending 'land grab', ignored them.


_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to durnedwolf)
Post #: 18
RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 2:30:01 AM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi



Was the end of the war brought about solely by the dropping of the atomic bombs or did the DoW by the Soviet Union have anything to do with it?

Discuss...

And play nice.

warspite1

Who knows, and let’s be honest, what does it matter? But my thoughts echo some of those previously mentioned.

At the end of the day we know the Japanese surrendered after two bombs were dropped and the Red Army had swamped Manchuria.

Many Americans like to believe it was all down to the bombs because it means they won the war. Well newsflash: The US did win the Pacific War, regardless of what happened in August 1945.

Anti-Americans like to use the Soviet invasion as the deciding factor and that is largely so they can accuse the US – the big bad Satan - of needlessly dropping the bombs.

It’s nice for some people to have things neatly wrapped up in little boxes but life is more…. complicated.

I think it’s ludicrous to think that the Japanese would have ignored the bombs and continued the war, and it was only the USSR attacking that meant the war was over. So at the very least, the bombs played a role. Maybe the USSR attacking was the straw that broke the camels back, but that does not mean the straws previously laid on its back were unimportant – because as said, those straws had already left the camel mortally wounded.

Whatever it was, let’s just be thankful it did come to an end – for all those involved.


Nice response. I would have expected nothing less.


_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to warspite1)
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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 12:49:56 PM   
Shilka

 

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I think the fundamental question whether it was the Bomb(s) or Soviets need to be expanded further.

How long until the food starts running out in phase of complete blockade?
The divergence between Japanese hard liner military command and the civilian administration including the Emperor, whether it was acceptable to use the large militia reserves of the population against a potential landings on Honshu to create heavier losses as revenge for USA - on which the former probably was ready to sacrifice a lot of civilians in guerrilla warfare against US landings on Honshu while the latter was not so much.
How close were potential uprisings for ending the war against the high command and civilians?
The morale of the homeland militia and army?
Even if the situation was regarded as futile in the face of attacks on industrial centers from the south, would it be enough to produce the willingness for "unconditional surrender"?

We will never know for sure but I would think there would just be more and more atomic bombs dropped on cities and nothing else would happen. How long could that go on? Would USA be forced to implement real landings on an unprecedented scale to achieve its goals? Would the resulting stalemate be ultimately solved by extreme starvation or full extermination of the Japanese people, fulfilling the "prediction" by admiral Halsey before the war?

Regarding the Soviet invasion, what is for sure is that it did add an additional axis of attack, which in a matter of weeks and months at most would reverse most and probably all the gains Japan had made during the whole 20th century in Korea, Manchukuo and China. Kwantung army was crushed and blitzed through material and tactical superiority, also compromising the whole war effort in China. If it didn't happen the war in China could've potentially continued with a slow grind and the US would most likely lack ground forces and/or the will to intervene, or open another front by itself. So potentially, without a Soviet invasion we would most likely have a "Bomb" after the other dropped and the cities continue to be destructed through fire bombed. But the goal of unconditional surrender was most likely barricaded beyond a ground invasion, or total starvation.

Regarding the atomic bomb, considering that USA and UK were fundamentally hostile to the Soviets since their intervention in the Russian civil war on the side of the whites since 1918, it is (dubbing the favorite phrase of the intelligence community) "highly likely" that the atomic bomb was as much, if not even more, a statement for the Soviets as for the Japanese. There were actual plans to invade Soviet held Europe very nearly after the war in Europe ended, and consequently to use the atomic bombs against the Soviets as well. The doctrine for this new weapon from the start was a very offensive one, morphing only into a doctrine of "deterrence" after it became clear that due to several different technical reasons it would be not possible to use atomic bombs in the planned magnitude against the Soviet Union before, and certainly not after the revelation of the first Soviet bomb in 1949. But that's another matter.

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/from-1945-49-the-us-and-uk-planned-to-bomb-russia-into-the-stone-age

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Post #: 20
RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 1:56:17 PM   
BBfanboy


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From what I have read, the US only had enough material for one more A-bomb and it would take a year or so to produce enough for more.

Japan was already in a state of near starvation - malnutrition was already an issue. They had been surviving on food brought in by their enormous fishing fleet, but US subs had started routinely sinking those with gunfire or setting them afire. Even the Sea of Japan was no longer safe as the US subs had a new sonar that allowed them to navigate through minefields. This was a shock to the Japanese who counted on this safe area for bringing in resources and food from Korea and the sea. Then the entry of the Russians into the war meant there was an air threat to the Sea of Japan as well.

The civilian population, including women and children, had been training to attack with sharpened bamboo sticks and the like in the guerilla warfare that you mentioned. I don't know how devoted the Japanese were to their Emperor to sacrifice themselves and their children in this way, but other wars have shown us that when women and children start attacking soldiers, the soldiers simply kill all of them on sight rather than treating them as non-combatants initially. It would have been ugly, and psychologically very hard for the Allied soldiers. PTSD is very much involved when everything you believed was good (like mercy for non-combatants) is swept away by war conditions.

And then there is the financial cost of the war - Americans were running out of men and money to keep the war effort going. They had subsidized all the other Allies and had yet to receive repayment of lend-lease loans. Britain was broke, Russia was devastated but building up its industrial capacity to oppose the Western Allies in a post-war world. It is questionable that the Allies could grind away for another year.

So it appears there are factors that could have driven the history of the war in many directions. As Warspite 1 posted, who knows what could have happened? The will of leaders and followers would play a part in whatever was going to happen and it appears the Emperor's will was shaken enough to call it off. I suspect some OSS contact may have verbally signaled that the US might allow the Emperor to avoid war crimes charges to help him make up his mind. MacArthur certainly knew that it was an important concession to prevent resistance during occupation of Japan.

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Post #: 21
RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 2:40:51 PM   
Platoonist


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


The civilian population, including women and children, had been training to attack with sharpened bamboo sticks and the like in the guerilla warfare that you mentioned. I don't know how devoted the Japanese were to their Emperor to sacrifice themselves and their children in this way, but other wars have shown us that when women and children start attacking soldiers, the soldiers simply kill all of them on sight rather than treating them as non-combatants initially. It would have been ugly, and psychologically very hard for the Allied soldiers. PTSD is very much involved when everything you believed was good (like mercy for non-combatants) is swept away by war conditions.


Yeah, there definitely would have been some nightmarish PTSD scenario material.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Platoonist -- 9/5/2020 2:51:56 PM >


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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 2:47:13 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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what most people don't understand is that the decision to accept the terms of the Potsdam declaration was a very close call

there was an attempted coup, the Kyūjō incident, before the surrender and a second one, the Matsue incident, afterwards... it was a 50-50 chance, and it was only because the senior IJA officers decided against it that there was a surrender

good movies on this topic:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor_in_August
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_(film)










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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 4:34:08 PM   
Lokasenna


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Japan wanted a surrender with conditions that would allow them to retain some of their empire - a negotiated peace. That was always what they wanted, from day 1: a negotiated peace.

Once the Soviets rolled over the border it became obvious that that was not going to be possible.

Also, communism was antithetical to Japan's system of government. Surrendering to the Americans without conditions suddenly became palatable when the alternatives included surrendering to the Soviet Union.

Dan Carlin covered this pretty nicely in one of the two most recent episodes of his Supernova in the East series. The bomb thing is kind of a myth, IMO - Japan's cities (and Dresden, etc.) were already being firebombed and destroyed, it just took more than a single bomb to do it. But the end result was basically similar.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 5:46:45 PM   
Bo Rearguard


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna
The bomb thing is kind of a myth, IMO - Japan's cities (and Dresden, etc.) were already being firebombed and destroyed, it just took more than a single bomb to do it. But the end result was basically similar.


American general Curtis LeMay regarded the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks as nothing more than an addition (and in his opinion a redundant and unwelcome addition) to a campaign his B-29s had already won. LeMay didn't have the slightest moral qualms abut the atomic attacks, but was quite annoyed that they diminished the credit given to his conventional bombers in flattening Japan. I'm sure in his rather strong and blunt opinion neither the atomic bombs or the Soviet invasion of Manchuria would have gotten any acclaim.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 5:56:57 PM   
Alamander

 

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I am not an expert in this aspect (or any really) of military history, but my understanding is that there are simply not many primary sources available to say with certainty what transpired in the senior levels of the Japanese government in the final months of the war. A colleague of mine some years ago was writing his dissertation on the post-war Japanese economic recovery. He was fluent in Japanese, had married a Japanese woman, and spent significant time doing archival research in Japan. He lamented numerous times that the archives for anything pre-1946 were close to non-existent, especially everything that would have been housed in Tokyo.

We do know for certain that Tojo and many of the most militant factions of the army administration had long ago begun to fall out of favor with both the emperor and the population and that a significant portion of the senior staff officers were in favor of surrender long before the bombs fell. Senior staff were discussing surrender after the Marianas. No one could agree, however, on what terms they wanted and as they debated among themselves, the war dragged on to its conclusion at Nagasaki and Hiroshima without a formal surrender offer emerging prior.

< Message edited by Alamander -- 9/5/2020 6:01:01 PM >

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 6:06:52 PM   
fcooke

 

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IMO Potsdam declarations were not helpful to ending the war. When negotiating it is generally not a good idea to back your counter party into a corner. Keep your options open. And any student of Japan would realize that keeping Hirohito around was a pretty big deal. But yes, A-bomb vs firebombing, same results. Though the 'how did just one bomber do that' had to have a fairly dramatic impact.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 6:17:50 PM   
fcooke

 

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I believe the next a-bomb would have been available in three months....but that would signal to Japan that the thing were not exactly running off the assembly line. After that I am sure production would pick up, but by then the invasion of Japan would have happened and all the outcomes of that. The decision to use the two available in quick order IMO was a good strategic decision. More fire bombing in the interim might have killed more people (though LeMay was running out of targets). And as someone mentioned earlier, Allied soldiers bumping into civilians armed with spears would have been ugly.

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 6:18:20 PM   
Alamander

 

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So far as I know (which again is not much and I have not read much of the literature on this subject) the best account of senior Japanese government and military discussions late-war is contained in Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. It is very well researched book, though I suspect the author, like so many modern historians, has an argumentative "revisionist" bent in which he is determined to create a narrative that never really existed (that Hirohito was a pacifist railroaded into war by militant extremists) and then destroy it by presenting new evidence. Whatever the case, it is a good read (when not being needlessly argumentative) and is based on all (so far as I know) of the extant archival sources for late-war Japan. https://www.amazon.com/Hirohito-Making-Modern-Japan-Herbert/dp/0060931302

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RE: OT: Something I've been meaning to bring up. - 9/5/2020 6:18:34 PM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

From what I have read, the US only had enough material for one more A-bomb and it would take a year or so to produce enough for more.



I have seen reference to 6-8 bombs available by the time of Olympic (may nave been through to Coronet, so about one per month). Possibly in Polmar & Allen's "downfall". There was some discussion about dropping them on the invasion beaches and then landing the troops 2 hours later. The radiation effects were not well understood.

Edit - it was expected to be a lot more than one per month -

quote:

The production rate of 3 bombs per month in August was expected to rise to 5 bombs per month in November, and 7 bombs per month in December.


National Security Archive link

< Message edited by Ian R -- 9/5/2020 7:01:13 PM >


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