Atomic bombs

WarPlan Pacific is an operational level wargame which covers all the nations at war in the Pacific theatre from December 1941 to 1945 on a massive game scale.

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generalfdog
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Atomic bombs

Post by generalfdog »

What effect do the Hiroshima and Nagasaki events have? I mean they clearly destroy those two cities but the game ends the next turn so the production doesn't matter and if Japan has enough victory points they still win. seems a little bit of an odd structure it seems to me the event shouldn't happen if the allies don't have bombers in range but if it happens it should maybe force Japan to surrender or at least give the allies some quick victory points. thoughts?
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BJGeary
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by BJGeary »

Despite American government propaganda after the war, which continues even today, dropping the atomic bombs had no effect on Japanese willingness to surrender. What actually finally motivated Japan to consider surrender was the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan, coincidentally on the same day as the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Dropping the bombs in the game really should have zero effect on VP (beyond any that may be granted when normally destroying cities). Also, in the scale of this game the lone B29 squadron that handled US atomic weapons wouldn't even show as a unit, therefore abstracting it that the US player has the capability without requiring a map unit works. Though the game should require holding at least one airfield within strategic bombing range (based on whatever level of strategic the US player has achieved) of those cities.
Thorgrimm
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Thorgrimm »

BJGeary, that is also propaganda.

By the time of the bombing Japan was already looking for a way to surrender, but with one condition... The emperor was to remain as the head of state. It was not until the US assured the Japanese that the Emperor would remain as head of state that Hirohito intervened and made it known that he favored surrender, which convinced the ruling council to finally surrender.

However, I agree with you, the bombs were not needed to force the surrender. However, the Soviets joining the war as the reason for the surrender is also in error.

Cheers, Thor
Edorf
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Edorf »

ORIGINAL: Thorgrimm


However, the Soviets joining the war as the reason for the surrender is also in error.

How do you know that is a fact?
Thorgrimm
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Thorgrimm »

Acceptance of Japan's emperor was the main sticking point for Japan's War Council, the six-person decision-making body over which Emperor Hirohito nominally presided. The council members were cognizant of Japan's dire predicament, but not necessarily ready to surrender unconditionally. They were split, three to three, between hawkish members seeking to get the most out of a peace agreement, to the point of maintaining Japanese control over parts of China, and dovish members inclined to give way on every condition but one, the preservation of the emperor.

In point of fact, seven out of eight top US military commanders believed that it was unnecessary to use atomic bombs against Japan from a military-strategic vantage point, including Admirals Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, William Halsey, and William Leahy, and Generals Henry Arnold and Douglas MacArthur. Moreover, they believed that Japan would have surrendered as early as May 1945 if the US had not insisted upon "unconditional surrender."

As it was, the final Potsdam Declaration demanded that there "must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, and that a government must be established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people." Japan’s War Council saw no accommodating language in this declaration and thus rejected surrender.

Truman subsequently gave the go-ahead for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He then approved a second atomic bombing that obliterated Nagasaki on 9 August.

Japan’s War Council met on the evening of the 9th and agreed to surrender but with one condition: the emperor must be retained. Upon receiving Japan's response, Secretary of State Byrnes was instructed to modify the original language to accommodate the Japanese condition. The document thus read: "the authority of the Emperor ... shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers." The emperor, as such, would retain his symbolic authority under U.S. rule. This simple change made the proposal acceptable to both sides.

On 15 August, Emperor Hirohito gave his "endure the unendurable" radio address to the Japanese people announcing that Japan would "effect a settlement of the present situation," accepting defeat. Japan's surrender could likely have been achieved without the atomic bombings, given that the US allowed the emperor to remain in the end.

Cheers, Thorgrimm
Nikel
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Nikel »

PWOE related articles, with bibliography for those who want to know more.

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/N/u/Nuclear_Bombs.htm

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/S/u/Surrender.htm


And if you enjoy historical fiction, a pair of movies:


The Japanese The Emperor in August. 2015. With favourable portraits of Hirohito and General Anami.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor_in_August

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CJpo-LPlk


And the chronological continuation with the Americans already in Japan, Emperor. 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_(2012_film)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Is8hvLPHk







Edorf
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Edorf »

ORIGINAL: Thorgrimm

Acceptance of Japan's emperor was the main sticking point for Japan's War Council, the six-person decision-making body over which Emperor Hirohito nominally presided. The council members were cognizant of Japan's dire predicament, but not necessarily ready to surrender unconditionally. They were split, three to three, between hawkish members seeking to get the most out of a peace agreement, to the point of maintaining Japanese control over parts of China, and dovish members inclined to give way on every condition but one, the preservation of the emperor.

In point of fact, seven out of eight top US military commanders believed that it was unnecessary to use atomic bombs against Japan from a military-strategic vantage point, including Admirals Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, William Halsey, and William Leahy, and Generals Henry Arnold and Douglas MacArthur. Moreover, they believed that Japan would have surrendered as early as May 1945 if the US had not insisted upon "unconditional surrender."

As it was, the final Potsdam Declaration demanded that there "must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, and that a government must be established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people." Japan’s War Council saw no accommodating language in this declaration and thus rejected surrender.

Truman subsequently gave the go-ahead for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He then approved a second atomic bombing that obliterated Nagasaki on 9 August.

Japan’s War Council met on the evening of the 9th and agreed to surrender but with one condition: the emperor must be retained. Upon receiving Japan's response, Secretary of State Byrnes was instructed to modify the original language to accommodate the Japanese condition. The document thus read: "the authority of the Emperor ... shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers." The emperor, as such, would retain his symbolic authority under U.S. rule. This simple change made the proposal acceptable to both sides.

On 15 August, Emperor Hirohito gave his "endure the unendurable" radio address to the Japanese people announcing that Japan would "effect a settlement of the present situation," accepting defeat. Japan's surrender could likely have been achieved without the atomic bombings, given that the US allowed the emperor to remain in the end.

Cheers, Thorgrimm

This doesn’t rule out that it’s still debatable if the only reason the Japanese surrendered to the US was because they could retain their emperor. I’m sure they had some concerns surrendering to a communist state ruled by one of the most notorious dictators in history. Or shouldn’t they? As everyone knows Japan was very anti-communist, to say the least, and in my opinion it can be ruled out that they would surrender to the Soviets, their traditional long time enemy. Japan knew they had two options; either surrender to the US or total destruction.
Bronze
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by Bronze »

The emperor did reference the atomic bombs in his surrender speech...
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BJGeary
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by BJGeary »

I'm not allowed to post links yet, so try Googling the following:

"Debate over the Japanese Surrender" (atomicheritage dot org)

"Did Nuclear Weapons Cause Japan to Surrender?" (carnegiecouncil dot org)
generalfdog
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by generalfdog »

you can't tell me that realizing the enemy now had the ability to level a whole city with a single bomb and plane didn't have an effect on Japans willingness to surrender, yes there were other factors like the Russians taking Manchuria and I'm sure keeping the emperor was nice but I still say Atom bomb was number 1 reason for Japan surrender
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BJGeary
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by BJGeary »

Japanese cities had already been wiped off the map by conventional means (HE and napalm) for months. How the Americans did it really didn't matter. If losing cities (like Tokyo) over and over again didn't motivate an immediate surrender then losing one due to a new type of bomb wouldn't either. It wasn't about how the Japanese were losing cities. It never was. If it had been then Japan would have accepted peace after Tokyo was destroyed.

For the most part, the leadership of the Japanese Army were unwilling to surrender no matter what, including an invasion. It was Hirohito's inner circle of civilian advisors, plus a good chunk of the Navy brass, that was in favor, even before the entry of the Soviets. That late entry really lit a fire under them, but they used the atomic bombings as a way to save face rather than admit just how terrified they were of being conquered by the Russians. Even without the atomic bombings the Japanese would have surrendered to the U.S. once the Russians were involved. It was only a matter of time.

Also bear in mind that it was Stalin (at Potsdam) that insisted on unconditional surrender, knowing full well that he was intending to declare war on Japan and take large chunks of Japanese-held territory (after the Western Allies had done all of the hard work of bringing Japan to her knees). Land that the Russians still hold today, BTW, except for South Korea (which they tried to steal as well, 5 years later). But I digress. Had Churchill and Truman not placated Stalin and insisted on unconditional surrender the war might have been ended before either bomb was dropped.

And the dropping of those bombs was done for political reasons having nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with sending a loud message to Stalin that the U.S. had such a weapon (which he already knew courtesy of the vast Soviet spy network in the UK and USA). Asides from warning Stalin to not mess with the Allies in Europe, both bombs were dropped primarily as (horrible) scientific experiments on how effective such weapons would be when used against real targets. There wasn't a real military need to drop them, given that the USAAF had been doing just fine wiping out Japanese cities the old fashioned way with no effective resistance from the JAAF. In fact, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been deliberately spared from 'normal' bombing just so that they could be used as test targets for the atomic weapons. A strong argument can be made that the entire affair was a cold, calculated war crime given just how unnecessary it was and the planning and motivations used in those two attacks.
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*Lava*
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RE: Atomic bombs

Post by *Lava* »

This topic is straying into political territory.

[:-]
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