Radio

Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

It’s 70 years since the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet there has been no rush to commemorate this anniversary. It’s perhaps not surprising. Who would choose to recall the events of 6 August 1945 when the world first witnessed the effects of nuclear warfare? Yet the absence of date-setting, the annual forgetting, makes it appear that we’re much less keen to remember something that might make us feel uncomfortable or discredit us.

One exception was on Radio 4 on Monday morning, when, in Under the Mushroom Cloud, Shuntaro Hida, a 98-year-old survivor of Hiroshima, told us frankly and without sentiment his memories of that day in August 1945. The interview was short, lasting only 15 minutes, but was so shocking, so vivid, nothing more was needed to illustrate Hida’s message that ‘human beings cannot co-exist with nuclear power’.

He was in a village a few miles away treating a sick child when the bomb was dropped at 8.15 a.m. That saved his life. Otherwise he would have been at the epicentre of the explosion, working as a doctor at the hospital on the military base in Hiroshima, the bomb’s target. He had been up until after one in the morning drinking sake with some high-ranking military officials who were visiting from Manchuria. At 2 a.m. he was called out by the grandfather of the child and, still drunk, had to be strapped to his bicycle to make the journey. He had just finished treating his patient when the bomb fell out of the sky.


Even though some distance from the city, he was buried with the child under a heap of rubble as the house collapsed, but not for long. Hida decided to go back to the city to see what help he could give. ‘When I came maybe about halfway back, I saw something weird, something strange, something black approaching me. There was a head and a shoulder and legs, so I thought OK this is a human. But she was all black. She came in front of me and she fell down towards me and died.’

No pictures were needed. His voice, weak and gravelly with age, was enough to convey the horror, each detail still so real in his mind. Hida has devoted the rest of his life to treating A-bomb victims, and he was arrested many times for constantly talking about the prolonged (and continuing) after-effects of the radiation, something, he says, ‘the Americans didn’t want people to know’.

On Thursday itself, Radio 5 Live, a lone witness, broadcast a special programme ‘live’ from Hiroshima, presented by Peter Allen. Hiroshima 70 Years On included interviews with survivors and also memories of those Americans who had devised and dropped the bomb. Did it end the war? Was the price worth paying? A debate you might think we should conduct each year, if only because there is no simple answer to a question that affects each and every one of us.

Last week’s defence of Radio 3 in the Times from a bevy of British composers, including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music), was intriguing because they did not, as you might expect, praise the station for supporting their music and premièring their works but instead drew attention to the way Radio 3 has been crucial to their musical education. It was, they collectively agreed, ‘a …formative influence in our lives, growing up as we have done in a country where classical music — and particularly contemporary music from overseas — was not always readily accessible’. Expanding our minds through music is what it’s about. And this does not just apply to Radio 3.

Last week I tuned in to Jo Whiley’s night-time slot on Radio 2 while driving home after a long and tiring day. She was at Maida Vale with Mumford & Sons, hosting one of her regular live sessions at the revamped BBC studios in north-west London. Whiley’s warm voice and enthusiasm is infectious and the chat in-between, as she and the band talked about what it takes to be a musician, the touring life, and how their music happens, kept me listening.

Before the end of the show the band was asked to fulfil a test: to play live a cover version of an Eighties hit that they had never performed before. Nothing special, you might think, especially when their chosen song was the Eurythmics’s 1983 classic ‘Sweet Dreams’, whose basic melody is surprisingly bland. But something happened ‘on air’, as it does every so often when there’s a live music performance. An electrifying moment, when everything around you recedes and your focus is purely on the music, that voice, the edginess of performance. It kept me sitting in the car — one of those can’t-get-out-until-it-stops moments. At the same time the next day, it happened again, this time on Radio 3, with Alina Ibramigova playing Bach on solo violin. You can’t put a price on it.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • WFB56

    A truly childish piece, right from the comment, “makes it appear that we’re much less keen to remember something that might make us feel uncomfortable or discredit us.” We didn’t drop the bomb but even if we had, the rationale today remains as strong as it was the for Americans 70 years ago; there has been no new information in all those decades that repudiates the rationale.

    As for the comment “‘human beings cannot co-exist with nuclear power”, this is proof that wisdom does not automatically come with age or from experience, no matter how horrible. It is not possible to ‘un-invent’ nuclear bombs – not the same as nuclear power – and the world has, in fact lived with this for 70 years.

    A discussion on this for adults can be found at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/thank-god-for-the-atom-bomb-1438642925

    • Abie Vee

      And what was that rationale (as opposed to the spurious propaganda of the time)? Today the truth is out there, all in the public domain, free for anyone with the wit to look! Naturally it is less disturbing , and less effort, to cling to boyhood myths rather than confront the facts.

      Allow me to pop your bubblewarap, if only for a moment:
      *”Japan was already defeated… dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary ” Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Forces in Europe, later President of the USA.
      *”The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The Atomic bomb played no decisive part in their defeat.” Admiral Nimitz, Pacific Fleet Commander.
      *”The Japanese were ready to surrender… [the atomic attacks] were of no significant material assistance in our war against Japan.” Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff.

      So what was the reason? Two-fold; (1) At a basic level, simply to test out the effectiveness of their new weapons on people. A harsh fact but true. And the Japanese (being non-Europeans, and non-white) were the obvious target. (2) As a warning to the Soviets.

      In August 1945 the Soviets had destroyed Japan’s million-strong Kwantung Army in Manchuria in a little over three weeks, and seized Sakhalin and all the other Kuril islands. It was known at the time, that the Soviets battle-plans were also aimed at the island of Hokkaido. And it’s hard to see why they would have stopped there, with Honshu and the whole of Japan within easy reach.

      Thus the nuclear bombing was primarily a demonstration of America’s might as an overt warning to the Soviets to back-off… and not only in Japan, but in Western Europe too.

      Many contemporary American sources aver that had Roosevelt lived, this barbaric crime against humanity would never have happened.

      So, why don’t we celebrate it? Because, deep down, we hang our heads in shame.

      • SackTheJuggler

        Who’s this ‘we’, you and the turd in your pocket?

        • Abie Vee

          Those of us not entirely brutalised, depraved and de-humanised by the so-called “glory” of war. Those of us with a spark of humanity left.

          • BananaHammok9

            You mean Muslims? LOOL

      • mohdanga

        “Crime against humanity”. Yawn. I don’t hang my head in shame, nor does my father (a WWII vet involved in fighting in Germany, Belgium and Holland who would have been sent to the Far East had Japan not been defeated), nor did millions of other US and Allied soldiers, many of whom had seen the way Japan treated PoWs and civilians nor did Paul Tibbets who said he never lost a night’s sleep over doing his job.
        Military analysts estimated another 1 million US casualties, including about 300,000 dead, in an invasion of Japan. There were several million Japanese soldiers still in Japan and these along with a fanatical population being trained to defend their homeland would have meant millions of Japanese dead.
        The US population was tired of the war, shocked at the casualty rates coming in the Pacific and the US treasury was emptying.

        • Abie Vee

          Military analysts estimate all sorts of contingencies. That’s their job.

          That does not escape that Japan was defeated before those infernal weapons were tested out on the civilian population of Japan. A crime against humanity. Neither does it negate the fact that the Japanese were desperately trying to engage the Allies (essentially the USA) in peace negotiations. Nor does support the claim that (as japan was already militarily defeated, surrounded, isolated and cut off from all supplies) an invasion of the Japanese mainland was even necessary!

          Domestic public opinion was one thing, but partial and ill-informed: none of them were aware of the military/political/diplomatic alternatives… such things were hidden from public knowledge by Government censors.

          Just as today… like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed on a diet of bullshjt.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          You should, for your hate of your father. But hey, your arrant bigotry, as you reject everything he fought for…

          • mohdanga

            I hate my father. Hmmm, that’s a good one. And I’m bigoted because the West should not feel sorry for defeating a savage enemy. Oh, well, carry on at your diversity course.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            It’s always good to tell the truth. And then you try and smear the west with your bloodlust, when your preferred, savage, side was defeated. Right.

            How dare I be diverse – that is, Jewish. Right.

  • rtj1211

    We are silent because to question America’s murderous underbelly is not allowed…

    • flydlbee

      Tosh!

    • BananaHammok9

      I thought criticising Muslims was not allowed?
      Nobody beheads you when you criticise America, in fact it’s oh so fashionable. However, call Mohammed truthfully a pedophile warlord, and not only will you die, but hundreds of millions of savages will run amok across the globe, killing, looting, burning, and slaughtering, to prove, that Islam is not a religion of violence and death.

      • Abie Vee

        But the Americans have beaten them to it.

        • BananaHammok9

          Nobody kills more Muslims than other Muslims (which personally I think is awesome!).
          Since the 50’s, 11 Million Muslims have been slaughtered by other Muslims. Your people can not even live peacefully amongst their own, yet all you do is blame others.
          You are a Muslim, and therefor a liar.
          It says a lot about your psyche, that you insist coming onto a site, where everybody ridicules you, every single day.

    • Athelstane

      Well…a quick Google search today shows anything but silence. If it doesn’t get quite the high level of attention that Kate Chisholm would like, it’s because it’s ancient history to most newsrooms and readers now.

      At any rate…it’s not like there hasn’t been any serious debate of this question in recent decades. Entire forests have been hacked down discussing it.,

    • Jabez Foodbotham

      Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?
      Deafening ain’t it? Just like the silence over the Final Solution. You can hardly hear yourself think for it.

  • margot1

    Maybe because it was 70 years ago, half-of-a-world away and maybe we have slightly more pressing things to deal with now (rampant immigration and Muslims trying to destroy the UK from the inside) than dwelling on the past.

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      We have just commemorated the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, the centenary of Gallipoli and the 75th anniversaries of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. In October will be the 600th anniversary of Agincourt. I get it gets more coverage than Hiroshima.
      Mankind is terrified to confront the colossal inhumanity of atom bombs. America carries this shame. The only country to use nuclear weapons in anger, killing and wounding half a million people in an orgy of destruction.

      • John Carins

        The Japanese brought the “orgy of destruction” upon themselves. The destruction of their military fanaticism could only have been delivered by an overwhelming demonstration of superiority.

      • mohdanga

        No, lefty, liberal, America haters ‘carry this shame’. The Japanese killed millions in their rape and pillage tour through Asia.

      • margot1

        Yvonne with a long surname, all of these events happened in Europe and involved Brits.
        Hiroshima involved 2 loads of metal, and lots of Japanese people.
        Yes it was awful – but should we commemorate every single battle, skirmish, tragedy, hurricane and tsunami? We pick and choose – what is closer to us and what affects us takes the priority.

      • TomV

        “The only country to use nuclear weapons in anger, killing and wounding half a million people in an orgy of destruction.”

        Because the other countries didn’t have the bomb at that time !
        What do you think would have happened if the Japanese or Germans would have had the bomb ?

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          Oh, a what if? History is full of what is. What is important is what actually happened. I am recounting fact not seeking to excuse using speculation.
          Only America has fired a nuclear bomb in anger. It is their fault and nobody else’s. Only the Japanese have been the victim of this aggression and theybear the consequences, nobody else

          • TomV

            I don’t know if it is a “fact” that they did it out of anger.

            IMHO, ut makes sense they wanted to stop the war without more casualties, having lost already >400.000 people in WW2.

  • grimm

    I do not like the writer’s use of the concerned citizen’s “we” in this piece with its lazy unwillingness to point to who she thinks is actually keeping silent while simultaneously donning the mantle of “one who cares” in an uncaring world.

    In fact there have been a few documentaries on Hiroshima and articles on Hiroshima as there always around the anniversary. I don’t see some guilty silence shutting down discussion of this subject. It has been analysed from every angle for the last 70 years. The information is there for anyone interested enough to look. As for those people who just sit back and wait for the media to feed them knowledge and opinions (suggesting evasiveness/censorship if this is not forthcoming) their passivity may well be incurable.

  • 1__1_1

    Because Hiroshima was a better way to die than the fire storms of fire bombed Tokyo. Because after the Rape of Nanking and the tens of millions dead under Japanese occupation, the live vivisection of people, I have no sympathy left for the Japanese.

    Still, best not to take up the past.

    • Abie Vee

      Better? Better for who? Is there a “better way” for you and your children to be burnt to a cinder? And what about those who were condemned to die a slow lingering death over the following years? Was that “better” too?

      • 1__1_1

        I imagine being burnt alive in a crematorium would be better than living with you.

        • Abie Vee

          Nice little plastic flag you’ve got there George. Was it made in Japan?

          • BananaHammok9

            Where you made in Tower Hamlets?

      • BananaHammok9

        If there hadn’t been a Pearl Harbour, there most probably would have not been a Hiroshima.

        Crime & Punishment. Actions & Consequences.

        It’s a lesson Islam should have learnt by now, especially after the crusades.

        • Abie Vee

          “if” + “probably” = speculation.

          Can I play? “If” Roosevelt hadn’t died this “probably” wouldn’t have happened.

          Great game, great game; let’s have a look at the scoreboard….

          • BananaHammok9

            You are mentally retarded.

          • Abie Vee

            Really? I suppose I must be to reply to you.

          • BananaHammok9

            I assume it’s because your parents are closely related.

          • Abie Vee

            “Closely related”? Indeed they were. They were married

            Unlike yours I assume.

          • BananaHammok9

            Closer than that, the way you Muslims ‘relate’ to one another within your family.

          • Abie Vee

            A Jew writes to me of inbreeding! Can you believe it?

            Such an Olympian display of sheer CHUTZPAH leaves me stunned to silence.

          • BananaHammok9

            Well, according to scientific studies, Islam suffers the highest rates of inbreeding in the world, and the most violent genetic mutations.
            Since 1.5 Billion Muslims contribute pretty much nothing of any value to humanity (besides blowing themselves up inside mosques), yet 20 Million Jews are represented as high achievers in every field imaginable, I guess it’s a pretty accurate statement, to say that generally, Muslims are underachieving, illiterate inbreds.

            Or do you think educated people shoot Polio vaccinators and worship a pedophile?

          • Abie Vee

            You should research the medical evidence on Ashkenazis. There’s a great deal of it avaibale at the click of a mouse (that little thing in your hand… NO, not that little thing, the one in the other hand).That’ll swiftly disabuse your posturing. Pot kettle; kettle black.

            It’s at times like this when I remember my dear old friend Fred when he was confronted by the likes of you people: “Thank GOD I’m an Englishman!” he’d roar.

          • BananaHammok9

            No matter how inbred 10 Million Ashkenazis are, they still have had millions of more achievements, than 1.6 billion muslims.
            It tells you all about Muslims you need to know. LOL

          • Abie Vee

            Quoth the inbred shill.

          • BananaHammok9

            You just have to look at what 1 tiny Israel has achieved, compared to what 50+ Muslim countries look like, to get a sense of who is inbred or not. Jews protect Jews, while Muslims…LOL
            Please Ab(ie)dul, NEVER stop killing each other, it’s the only thing your people actually do to contribute to humanity.

          • mohdanga

            Yet Roosevelt authorized the Manhattan Project. Hmmm.

          • Abie Vee

            So what?

            Roosevelt also knew that by the time two bombs were operational the Japanese were frantically trying to sue for peace. He was not to know that would be the case when he launched the project several years earlier.

          • mohdanga

            What difference does that make given the power to the bomb? If it was so bad he wouldn’t have authorized its building in the first place!! And if they were trying to sue for peace why didn’t he accept their offer? You keep spouting off how every senior member of the War Cabinet said that Japan was finished yet we’re to assume that Roosevelt didn’t listen to these experts and allowed tens of thousands of American servicemen to be killed. Wake up.

          • Abie Vee

            Here we go again. IF! “If itw was so bad… ” and etc WTF did he think he was spending several years and millions of dollars on?

            “… he allowed thousands of American service men to be killed/ ? Well I’m not at all sure if “thousands” were killed in the eight months between 20/12/44 and the following August.

            However, if there were, then yup that’s exactly what Roosevelt and Hoover did.

          • mohdanga

            Who is Hoover?? If you are referring to J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, I’m not sure what role he had to play in WWII. But you’re the expert.

            You can’t even get your facts right. “Well I’m not at all sure if “thousands” were killed in the eight months between 20/12/44 and the following August.” Check out the American casualty statistics for late 1944 and 1945. Iwo Jima: 6,800 marines killed; Okinawa: 12,500 killed; Philippines: 14,000 killed; Battle of the Bulge: 20,000 killed. The march into Germany in March/April 1945 had some of the highest casualty rates in the war.

          • Abie Vee

            I said I’m not sure.

            You’re getting yourself confused. We are talking about Japan not Germany.

            The war against Japan could indeed have been ended long before the nuclear bombing of the Japanese mainland. Formal peace negotiations COULD have started as early as May 1945. Equally, it would have been easily possible to call an armistice before then.

            So yes you are right: the American’s refusal to talk even informally to the Japanese did condemn thousands of troops, on both sides, to their unnecessary deaths.

          • mohdanga

            I offer up American casualty rates in the Pacific, which you have no clue about, and I’m confused. Ok, then.
            But once again you blaming the US. Japan had plenty of opportunity to end it ie by surrendering. If, as you say, they were already defeated then they really didn’t have a strong bargaining position calling for an armistice, no? And the US was not interested in anything but unconditional surrender given the hell their troops had been through for three years. The Japs are the ones to blame for inflicting unnecessary casualties on both sides when, as you keep saying, they were beaten. But wait! The Japanese were training their civilians for an all out assault of invading Americans right up to the bombs being dropped. Sounds like an enemy interested in pursuing peace.

          • Abie Vee

            Plenty of opportunity? How’s that? The Americans refused to open a dialogue with them.

            You are dense: the Japanese had no opportunity for calling an armistice. That would take both parties would it not? And since the Americans refused to enter into dialogue with them… (beginning to get it yet?)

            “The Americans were not interested in anything but unconditional surrender” ? Then why did they agree to Japan’s condition that the Royal Family were left in place untouched. Thus the surrender was conditional.

            Training civilians for “an all out assault on the Americans?? hahahahahaha… what with, rice cakes?

            You’re a kin idiot.

          • mohdanga

            The Japanese could have simply gone through a neutral country to offer their surrender. They did not. It wasn’t up to the Americans to do this.

            You’re the idiot. All of the history books, documentaries, etc out there that refer to the Japanese military training civilians and preparing them for a last ditch defence are wrong, and you, the renowned war historian, are right? Keep up the good work, bozo.

            “Because Japanese geography did not provide many invasion beaches, the Japanese organized a strong defense, particularly at Kyushu. Over 10,000 aircraft of various types and sizes were prepared as kamikaze aircraft. Underground networks of bunkers and caves stored food, water, and thousands of tons of ammunition. 2,350,000 regular soldiers and 250,000 garrison troops were deployed, 900,000 of which were stationed in Kyushu by Aug 1945. 32,000,000 militia, in other words all males between the age of 15 and 60 and all females between 17 and 45, were given the task to supplement the regular military; their weapons include everything from antique bronze cannons to Arisaka rifles, from bamboo spears to Model 99 light machine guns.”

          • Abie Vee

            A neutral country? Now there’s a good idea: they went to Sweden, and Switzerland and China.

            Yes dear… we had a home guard too.

          • Angkor

            China was a neutral country in the war against Japan???
            What part of the history of World War 2 are you not prepared to rewrite?

          • Abie Vee

            Yes indeed. Like the Curate’s egg… in parts.

          • Abie Vee

            The Japanese attempted to initiate talks with the USA through many offices, one of which was that of Chiang Kai-shek.

            Make of that what you will. I’m sorry if it doesn’t appeal to your narrative, but it is, nevertheless, a fact.

          • Angkor

            The Japanese, or strictly speaking the “peace” faction of the War Cabinet, with the Emperor’s support, although you consider he played no role in this at all, tried to initiate talks with the Americans through intermediaries, that is true. However, on terms that were not acceptable, or ever likely to be acceptable to the Allied powers, such as retaining Japan’s control over Korea Taiwan and Manchuria, trying their own war criminals and maintaining the emperor system.
            None of this had the support of the war faction of cabinet, whose support was necessary to end the war up until 9 August when the Emperor, whom you consider to have played no role in the government of Japan, intervened to override them, which, according to you, he could not do.

            The Americans were aware of these approaches and what the Japanese were seeking as they were reading the Japanese diplomatic mail through their “Magic” intercepts.
            They were not good enough. The allied demands for what as required of Japan to end the war had been laid out at the Casablanca, Cairo, Tehran and Yalta Conferences, before being set out in the Potsdam Declaration.
            You really know nothing at all about this subject. Another fail grade for you, I am afraid.

          • Abie Vee

            Hirohito had no terms. He instructed his ministers to seek peace whatever the terms: unqualified and unconditional. General Douglas MacArthur sent a 40 page document to Roosevelt on the 20/12/44. It is on the net… look it up, and tell me the difference between that document and the terms that were agreed eight months later.

            You play with words. Hirohito did NOT rule Japan. Now that isn’t the same as saying “he had no role in government”. Those are your words, not mine. Would you care to tell me that the Windsors have no role? Perhaps you should see what King George V was up to?

            What you tip-toe around is this: “the Americans were aware”. INDEED. But they refused to talk until they had tried out their experimental atomic bombs [against the wishes of her most senior military commanders]!

            Which is exactly what I have been trying to tell you people this last week. That’s all.

            There was no military need for this terrible crime against humanity, but Roosevelt, first, and Truman later, felt they could do this because the Japanese were not white people.

          • Angkor

            Abie I feel sad when I read your comments. They are so eager, indeed desperate, to promote a fixation of yours that you make things up. The report you say MacArthur sent to Roosevelt in not on the internet and you have not read it. You have read about it, that is all, and its actual contents is just speculation by you.
            It gets the most minimal reference in books on the history of WW2 because no-one has read it as it is not available and MacArthur did not keep a copy of it himself, which you would have thought he would if it was that important.
            As best as can be worked out about it, it represents MacArthur’s opinion on how the war should be ended based on conversations he had, or said he had, with some Japanese and whatever it was it did not represent any offer of terms by the Japanese government or its emperor.

          • Angkor

            The Americans did not leave the Japanese royal family in place untouched. In their communication to the Americans accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration the Japanese did so on the understanding that in doing so that this did not affect the Emperor’s prerogatives as sovereign ruler of Japan. The Americans refused to accept this and told the Japanese that from the moment of surrender the Emperor and the Japanese government would be subject to the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander. Which is about as far from being the sovereign ruler of Japan as you could get, placing him at the same level as every other Japanese. It was on these terms the Japanese surrendered on 14 August 1945.
            The consequence of this was that the Emperor, at MacArthur’s insistence, renounced his divinity on 1 January 1946 and in the new Japanese constitution, adopted in May 1946, the Japanese emperor no longer had any rule in the government of Japan beyond the symbolic, being reduced to a symbol of the state, a far thing from being the sovereign ruler he was under the Meiji constitution of 1889.
            There seems to be not a single fact about the end of the Pacific War that you are capable of getting right.

          • Abie Vee

            So, er, they did and they didn’t? Yeah right.

            I’ll have you know that for 1000 years the Emperors had little or no say in the governance of Japan. They were way above such things. Nothing new there then.

          • Angkor

            Abie, everything you have posted demonstrates that you are clueless about the Japanese political order prior to its surrender. Under the Meiji constitution the emperor was the sovereign ruler of Japan, answerable to no one but his ancestors and the Sun Goddess. All power was exercised through him and democracy played no part in it. His appointed Ministers ruled on his authority, no one else’s.

            It was on this basis that the Japanese communicated their acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration with ‘the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler,’
            This meant that in accepting the Potsdam Declaration the Japanese signalled that there would be no change in that system.
            The Americans were having none of that and reduced the emperor to a symbol with no say in the governance of Japan

            Look up the word kokutai, and the discussions by the Japanese leadership about the meaning and application of that word to their system of governance prior to the surrender.

          • Abie Vee

            So you say. The Emperors have been figureheads for a thousand years, their role very largely ceremonial. As head of the Shinto religion the Emperors were accorded divine status by the population. And regardless of what the Americans may think they got in 1945, that still remains the opinion of many Japanese today.

            You are incorrect in thinking the Emperors ruled Japan after the ending of The Shogonate. They did not. The Emperor was and is a figurehead around which the nation crystalises , inspiring national identity , patriotism and devotion (rather like our own monarchy).

          • KingEric

            You lose every time!

          • Abie Vee

            How do you KNOW?

      • alleagra

        The alternative was an invasion of Japan, already planned for 1946. Casualty estimates for that were even more staggering than for the Normandy invasion. Horror versus horror indeed but a decision had to be made.

        • Abie Vee

          That is where you are wrong. There was no reason to invade mainland Japan; she was defeated, isolated and contained. And she knew it. She was desperately trying to sue for peace through intermediaries.

          • Observer1951

            Incorrect, even after the Hiroshima attack the Japaneese high command was still arguing for continuation of the war.

          • Abie Vee

            Some were. Some were not. There was no Imperial Navy and Airforce left to conduct a “continuation”! Japan was islolated, contained, and beginning to starve.

            Prime Minister Suzuki was put in place in April 1945 with the specific mission of ending the war. This he was trying to do behind the scenes through intermediaries (since the Americans refused to talk directly). Their surrender terms were known by Roosevelt by the end of 1944, and were the same terms America promptly accepted after they had tested their new weapons on population centres..

          • right1_left1

            re Japan sueing for peace as I understand it they had lots of conditions.Cant recall any as I write this
            except
            the one the US eventually conceded which was to keep Hirohito.

            note also that death by starvation is none too pleasant either.
            and that
            the US left Japan and did not keep it under poltical control.

            The weapon was tested in New Mexico.

            anti communist hysteria in the US was a problem and IMO was responsible for the cold War. which nuclear weapons undoubtedly stopped from becoming a bloodie hot war.

          • Abie Vee

            I point you in the direction of The Institute for Historical review: Hiroshima. Was it Necessary?

            On there you will find the Japanese peace terms as delivered by General Douglas MacArthur to President Roosevelt on 20/12/44. They are essentially the same terms as the Americans imposed upon Japan eight months later.

            The weapon was tested in the desert, not upon cities, not upon a massed population.

            I’d make the point (re: Cold War) that television has done as much to keep the peace in Europe as any number of bombs.

          • Athelstane

            The MAGIC documents have been public for two decades now, and they make clear, as Richard B. Frank has pointed out, that there was clear evidence from the intercepts that the Japanese Inner Cabinet was rejecting a “surrender but keep the emperor” deal.

            When Ambassador Sato wired back a cable that the editors of the “Magic” Diplomatic Summary made clear to American policymakers “advocate[s] unconditional surrender provided the Imperial House is preserved.” Togo’s reply, quoted in the “Magic” Diplomatic Summary of July 22, 1945, was adamant: American policymakers could read for themselves Togo’s rejection of Sato’s proposal–with not even a hint that a guarantee of the Imperial House would be a step in the right direction. See Frank’s summary of this which is online here.

          • right1_left1

            you seem to have a lot of facts at your fingertips
            Can you make this post a bit clearer. ?
            I at least cant quite follow it
            Its the 2nd para I find confusing.
            who said what in response to what ?
            Togo = Tojo ?

          • Athelstane

            You can read Richard B. Frank’s quick summary of the evidence here. Beyond that, you can read his book, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, especially chapters 14 and 15.

          • right1_left1

            The US setup all kinds of mock infrastructure to test what an atomic blast would do.
            The film of the results is regularly shown on the discovery channel.

            High enegy releasys in short periods of time shift lots of sand and obliterate lots of things.

            It was not CERTAIN that the bomb would work.

          • Carolus

            Nice reference to The Institute for Historical Review there, Abie. Any other Neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denying “Historical Institutes” you want to refer to while your on a roll?

            Talk about class act, I think you just took the prize.

          • Abie Vee

            Yes there are.

            You could research the United States Strategic Bombing Survey published in 1946, which concluded : The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war, did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Foreign Minister and the Navy Minister had decided as early as May 1945 that the war should be ended… even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms.”

            There, that’s the official neo-Nazi, Holocaust denying Americans opinion.

          • mohdanga

            Really? Japan in 1944 proposed unconditional surrender to the Allies? That’s a new one. Maybe someone forgot to tell the Japanese on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan, Phillipines, etc.

          • Abie Vee

            A “new one”? I dare say MUCH is new to you.

            There was a condition. It was the same condition the Americans conceded eight months later: the protection of the Japanese Royal Family.

            Roosevelt had the Japanese details in his hands by 20/12/44 (if not before, through intercepts).

          • Athelstane

            We could have starved them out; the mining campaign in the Inland Sea – “Operation Starvation,” appropriately named – was on track to do precisely that. But that would have resulted in arguably even more deaths than DOWNFALL would have.

            Until the point, Japan *was* trying to find a peace deal – on its terms. No occupation, retention of much of the Inner Empire. No Allied war crimes trials. No removal of the military from power. No one in East Asia had any interest in such a peace.

          • Abie Vee

            Give over will you. You’re spoiling my dinner. You wriggle and squirm to try and make the vaporisation of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians like an act of pious mercy!

            Pass the puke-bucket, I’m going to be sick!

          • BananaHammok9

            You’re one wriggling and squirming, while nobody here takes you seriously. ANd you do it everyday, you come back, to be insulted. You’re a sociopath. You remind me of Palestinians: they also always come back for more. Which is awesome.

  • Bonkim

    Judging events from the past by today’s standards is bonkers. Japan and Germany were existential threats – and all means available to eradicate the enemy were justified. Also you have to be ruthless against an enemy that was bent on destroying you – killing hundreds of thousands of Japs or Nazis came easy in that context. In the least it brought the Warlords of Tokyo to their senses.

  • DaveAtherton20

    American strategists under General MacArthur looking at the horrific casualties at Iwo Jima and Okinawa estimated the death toll from a mainland invasion of Japan. The approximate number of allied casualties was thought to be 1 million. Japan shorn of fuel, food imports and medicines would endure probably 10 million.

    On on the 26th July 1945 at the Potsdam Declaration, China, Britain and America called for the unconditional surrender of Japan or they would suffer “prompt and utter destruction.” The Japanese unequivocally refused.

    After the first bomb was dropped, the cabinet refused to sue for peace. Even after the second bomb on Nagasaki, there were hawks who insisted that the fight should go on, hence it was six days before Japan finally surrendered. It was only on the personal intervention of Emperor Hirohito that Japan succumbed, and even that was after a failed coup d’état. The military were happy to sacrifice the population, rather than face the shame of defeat.

    Basically the alternative to the atomic bombs was far worse.

    • Abie Vee

      Rubbish of the very highest order. Japan was already defeated. She was in the process of suing for peace.*

      The Americans had complete air-superiority over Japan. There was no pressing requirement for an invasion of mainland Japan at all. Japan was isolated and contained. The American Fleet could simply have sat off-shore, bombing Japanese cities at will until the Japanese unconditionally surrendered. In fact, their only condition by then was that the Emperor was spared. Hoover stalled on this until he had tested his other nuclear weapon and then promply agreed to it.

      This nonsense about saving a million American lives is utter bullshjt, a patina of cover for the Americans appalling crime against humanity… one for which they remain cursed to this day!

      * “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The Atomic bomb played no decisive part in their defeat.” Admiral Nimitz. Pacific Fleet Commander.

      • DaveAtherton20

        On the 8th August pilot Mark McDilda was shot down on over Japan and brutally interrogated. He claimed that America had a hundred atomic bombs and Tokyo was the next target. The information was immediately relayed to the Japanese cabinet. Surely looking at the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Japanese would have thought they were facing annihilation. Indeed when the cabinet met on 2.30 that very day The Army Minister Anami spoke in favour of unconditional surrender saying that, “the Americans appear to have one hundred of these atomic bombs..the next target might be Tokyo.

        https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=A4dxAg5eG04C&pg=PA233&dq=%22marcus+mcdilda%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BW4DU-TEO8WbygHPrIH4Dw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22marcus%20mcdilda%22&f=false

        • Abie Vee

          All of which supposes that the atomic bombs brought about the surrender. That is simply untrue.

          The Japanese had been trying to negotiate terms since the end of 44. It was the Americans who refused talks UNTIL they had tried out their new weapons. THEN they promptly agreed to accept Japan’s surrender on essentially identical terms to those contained in their offer General Douglas MacArthur had personally conveyed to Roosevelt in a 40-page memorandum, two days before he left Roosevelt left for Yalta in December the year before!

          • Athelstane

            The Japanese had been trying to negotiate terms since the end of 44. Sure – as a cessation of hostilities, with Japan left with its inner empire and government intact. No one through the high summer of 1945 was contemplated an Allied occupation, war crimes trials, and dismantling of the military.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s wrong. Simply wrong. Their surrender terms in their entirety, contained in a 40-page document delivered personally by General Douglas MacArthur to President Roosevelt on 20/12/1944, were essentially the same ones later imposed on the Japanese eight months later.

          • Athelstane

            No, they weren’t. MacArthur’s document had no basis whatsoever in reality, and the Japanese leaders he allegedly spoke to had no authority to make such an offer. The Japanese Cabinet had *zero* support at that time for a total-surrender-with retention only of the emperor option. They wanted an end to the war, sure – on *their* terms. And their terms were not surrender, but a cessation of hostilities.

            Ambassador Sato in Moscow actually proposed such terms in late July 15, 1945, in a cable to Togo. On July 17, Togo adamantly rejected it. And the Americans intercepted that cable. The July 22 Magic Diplomatic Summary given to Truman showed that Sato had advised just such a surrender proposal to Togo, and that these were the best Japan could possibly hope for. Togo’s response was rejection. And Truman could read it for himself, and he did.

          • Abie Vee

            Allow me : On June 21 1945 the Emperor summoned the Supreme War Council (the Prime Minister, the Lord Privy Seal, the Foreign Mister and leading military figures) and gave them this instruction: We have had enough of this determination to fight to the last soldiers. We wish that you, leader of Japan, will now strive to to study the means and ways and the means to conclude this war. In doing so, try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past.”

            On July 12th Hirohito summoned Ex-PM Prince Fumimaro Konoye into his presence and told him: Terminate this war without delay… “at any price, whatever the severity.”

            Pretty clear to me.

            As far as your speculative and uncorroborated assumption that the peace plan handed to Roosevelt in December 44 was “unauthorised” we will never know, will we? Roosevelt refused to take it up.

          • Angkor

            But Abie you have repeatedly told us that the Emperor played no role at all in the government of Japan. On that basis what was the Emperor doing issuing instructions to the Supreme War Council?
            You can’t have it both ways.

          • blandings

            “That’s wrong. Simply wrong.”
            It’s right. Simply right.
            Knee-jerk anti-americanism from the master of “copy and paste”

          • Angkor

            Abie Douglas MacArthur didn’t personally deliver any document to Franklin Roosevelt on 20 12.1944. He was in the Philippines. Roosevelt was in Washington. The closest that MacArthur got to Roosevelt in WW2 was a meeting in Hawaii but that was in July 1944.

          • Abie Vee

            Bill Leahy: I Was There. “[…] by the beginning of of September 1944 Japan was almost completely defeated through a practically complete sea and air blockade.”

          • Angkor

            What is the relevance of that to whether MacArthur personally delivered his report to Roosevelt, as you have claimed he did?
            Do try to stick on topic.

          • Abie Vee

            The relevance is that Japan was defeated BEFORE the atomic bombing of their civilian population began.

            MacArthur saw to it personally that the report in his possession was delivered to Roosevelt. I doubt that he popped a top-secret document in the post, or that he acted as postman; one would imagine that with the thousands of staff under his command he delegated the act to a trusted subordinate.

            However… this is all of apiece with your frantic escape plan is it not? My word, I’ve been here before with you people. It usually boils down to this: but what do you mean by “mean”?

            That’s all you have: semantic wriggling (and simple denial).

          • Abie Vee

            It’s “inner Empire”? Their sole condition was that their Royal Household was preserved.

          • Angkor

            And so, you are telling us, the Allied demand for surrender, set out in its Potsdam Declaration communicated to the Japanese on 26 July 1945 was promptly accepted by the Japanese in accordance with the Emperor’s wishes and this acceptance was communicated to the Allies before 6 August 1945.
            Strange that no-one else has noticed this before. Can you provide any documentation that supports this contention of yours. Up until now the historical record has been that the Japanese didn’t communicate their acceptance of the terms of the Declaration until 10 August 1945.

          • Abie Vee

            Yes. That is exactly what I am telling you. *I have posted the references on here. I have no intention of repeating myself.

      • DaveAtherton20

        This was the Japanese reaction on the 27th July to the Potsdam demand to surrender.

        Prime Minister Suzuki met with the press, and stated:

        “I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu). We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war”

        https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7WTCobnn79cC&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=Prime+Minister+Suzuki+met+with+the+press,+and+stated:+I+consider+the+Joint+Proclamation+a+rehash+of+the+Declaration+at+the+Cairo+Conference.+As+for+the+Government,+it+does+not+attach+any+important+value+to+it+at+all.+The+only+thing+to+do+is+just+kill+it+with+silence+(mokusatsu).+We+will+do+nothing+but+press+on+to+the+bitter+end+to+bring+about+a+successful+completion+of+the+war&source=bl&ots=euxGSjcpjK&sig=9rJmWy-cRirekY1u0MoLJu7ycyo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAGoVChMIyZHpvaKUxwIVCYssCh2b-Au7#v=onepage&q=Prime%20Minister%20Suzuki%20met%20with%20the%20press%2C%20and%20stated%3A%20I%20consider%20the%20Joint%20Proclamation%20a%20rehash%20of%20the%20Declaration%20at%20the%20Cairo%20Conference.%20As%20for%20the%20Government%2C%20it%20does%20not%20attach%20any%20important%20value%20to%20it%20at%20all.%20The%20only%20thing%20to%20do%20is%20just%20kill%20it%20with%20silence%20(mokusatsu).%20We%20will%20do%20nothing%20but%20press%20on%20to%20the%20bitter%20end%20to%20bring%20about%20a%20successful%20completion%20of%20the%20war&f=false

        • Abie Vee

          Bluster and bluff for the cameras. He was of course, simply talking out of his arz. I’ll tell you why: Japan was defeated by June 45. There was nothing left of the mighty Imperial Navy and Americans had complete air-superiority over Japan. By July B-52s had destroyed over 25% of Japanese homes, and the people were beginning to starve. Suzuki knew this. There was little left to bomb other than cities.

          Suzuki had been put in place with the specific mission of ending the war…. this he was frantically doing through channels behind the scenes, through the Russians at first, then through the Swedes, China’s Chaing Kai-shek, and other avenues. The Americans knew this. They had long-ago cracked Japanese diplomatic and military communications codes.

          On the 20 Jan 1945 President Roosevelt received a 40-page memorandum from General Douglas MacArthur detailing surrender overtures from Japan. The terms were significantly no different from those accepted by America in 45.

          • Athelstane

            Japan was defeated by July 1945 by any reasonable measure. But its leadership was still determined to fight on.

            Germany by any reasonable measure was defeated by late 1944. Yet its leadership was determined to fight until overrun, which is exactly what happened.

            The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan’s armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. That’s what Allied leaders had to work with: overwhelming evidence that Japan’s leadership was determined to fight to the last bamboo spear. Whatever MacArthur (still smarting over not getting to lead his invasion) or Eisenhower (who was out of the loop entirely) thought after the fact is neither here nor there. We have the declassified documents now and can read them for ourselves.

          • Abie Vee

            You give opinions, your personal opinions, without a scintilla of supportive evidence. What intercepts, exactly? Indeed what Navy? The Japanese Imperial Navy, as the Air Force, was no more!

            Oh, so you think Eisenhower, Leahy, Nimitz, MacArthur, were “out of the loop” too? WHAT Bill Leahy, THE CHIEF OF STAFF… the highest ranking member of the US military was out of the loop too? The de-facto Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was out of the loop? The man reporting only to the president himself was out of the loop!!!!! By god… you’re a class act you are.

            Admiral Leahy: “The Japanese were ready to surrender… [the atomic attacks] were of no significant material assistance in our war against Japan.”

            Take it from me.. that’s Gospel. You believe your propaganda if you wish.

          • Lawrence James.

            So in August 1945 the hundreds of thousands of Japanese servicemen scattered across what was left of their empire were ‘ no more’. Were they spectres? Many wanted to continue fighting and only laid down their arms when directly ordered to do so by Hirohito. Here as elsewhere, AV is selected in his use of historical evidence: he chooses only material which obliquely upholds his blatant prejudices.

          • Abie Vee

            Correct. They laid down their arms when ordered to do so by Hirohito. This order had been given on 12 July, from Emperor Hirohito to Prince Fumimaro Konoye “… terminate this war without delay [….] at any price, whatever the severity.”

            Hirohito had instructed the Supreme War Council to do the same on June 22. “We have heard enough of this determination to fight to thew last soldiers.” […] strive to study the ways and means to conclude the war. …

            The Japanese had been trying to conduct talks with the Americans since 1945. The Americans refused to engage. For that reason alone, Roosevelt and Truman were directly to blame for the hundreds of thousands of deaths, not least among their own people, which followed.

          • Angkor

            You are now telling us that the Japanese Army surrendered to the Allies on 12 July 1945, faithful to Hirohito’s order to Konoye of that date. This new information of yours will come as a surprise to every historian of the Pacific War who had been up until now labouring under the misapprehension that the Emperor did not issue that order until 14 August 1945.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The Japanese did not have a separate independent Air Force. They had two air forces which were integral corps within the Army and Navy respectively. Both had responsibility for joint air defence and neither was ‘no more’. American aircraft were being attacked and shot down over Japan by Japanese naval and army aircraft up to and after 8th August.

          • Abie Vee

            Of course, it ‘s easy to say lalala when you take things literally. I suppose I shall have to disabuse myself of the quaint notion that I’m always dealing with sensible people on here.

            When I say Japan had no Navy, I mean no Navy to speak of. The Imperial Navy was no more. There were one or two frigates and bibs and bobs holed up here and there among the many hundreds of islands around Japan… buy they were of little or no practical use.

            What aircraft were getting shot down, exactly? And how many? You see Col, two can play at that stupid game lalala!

            My point being that Japan had no offensive capability. As I said, surrounded, isolated, contained.

            Is that any clearer?

          • Colonel Mustard

            ‘No offensive capability’ and ‘no more’ are different things.

            Your bombast is not disguising your ignorance of the essentials of this subject. I suggest that you stick to politics.

            What aircraft were getting shot down? B-29s, F4Fs, F4Us, TBMs, P-51s, P-47s and Seafires were being shot down. For example on 14th August 2nd Lt. William L. McDaniel of the 465th Fighter Squadron, 507th Fighter Group was shot down in a P-47 by two Japanese fighters over the Seibu Army district on Kyushu. He bailed out, was captured and then beheaded at Aburayama the following day.

            The last shoot downs were over Tobu Army district on 15th August when 4 F4Fs, 2 TBMs, an F4U, a P-51 and a Seafire were shot down. Do you want to know their units, serial numbers and crew names too?

          • Abie Vee

            That’s um, nine. Yup nine. How many B-29s? You don’t say.

            It’s all quite beside the point i was making. That the USA did not have to drop the atomic bombs. All they had to do was talk. And this they refused to do, until they had tested their two new toys! The surrender terms the Americans finaly accepted were essentially no different to the ones given to Roosevelt on the 20/12/44 by MacArthur.

            Roosevelt and Truman bear the responsibility for all those unnecessary deaths which followed. (you can carry on listing them).

            My other point: Neither did they have to invade the mainland. They could have sat off-shore. Japan was isolated.

            I don’t really have to dig up Eisenhower, Bill Leahy, Admiral Nimitz and Douglas MacArthur and the US Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946 to support my claims yet AGAIN do I? Surely not.

          • blandings

            “Take it from me”
            Nope

          • Abie Vee

            In which case, you ignorant little Troll, educate yourself…. you’re in sore need of it.

          • blandings

            That’s a bit cheeky coming from someone who cannot tell the difference between knowledge and understand on the one hand and copy and paste on the other.
            I’m not a troll, but you are most definitely a charlatan.

          • Ambientereal

            Keep blaming the Americans, and soon you will have to solve the wars for yourself and send your own kids to the battlefront.

          • BananaHammok9

            Isn’t this the same person who does not understand why when Hamas fires rockets at Israel, they get bombs back?
            Press *ignore* button.

          • Abie Vee

            I’m the person who does understand that there will be no prospect of peace in the Middle East until Dayan’s “mad dogs” are brought to heel.

          • BananaHammok9

            LOL, I’d say ‘good luck with that’, because you stupid Arabs have been trying for nearly 7 decades, achieved nothing, other than destroy yourselves, but
            I do enjoy watching tiny Israel destroy you giants, over and over again, every single time.
            Remember how many wars Israel has lost, Muslim.
            And remember who won the last crusades.

          • Abie Vee

            “Give up”? Hmm… wait until ISIS comes a-knocking on your door. Be patient. Are you in such a hurry to die?

          • BananaHammok9

            ISIS should try, it will then be crushed between Israel and Egypt, with a little help from Jordan. Gaza will then be transformed into the newest Sinai beach resort.
            Oh but let’s wait a little bit, let ISIS kill a few more Islamic-state recognising Palestinians first. LOL

          • Abie Vee

            I agree… wait a bit. Your friends the Jordanians and the Egyptians? Ha! What do you know?

          • BananaHammok9

            Yes, your people have been saying ‘wait a bit’ for 68 years.
            We’re waiting, Israel is still here, waiting patiently, not going anywhere, what’s taking you so long?
            Oh I’m sorry, you’re busy throwing each other off rooftops and getting decapitated by your friends.
            Well, let us know when you’re ready for the next round, we’re always ready to put you back in your place.
            As are our friends Egypt and Jordan.

            Bye now Ab(ie)dul, that was fun. 😀

          • monsieur_charlie

            They won’t be very successful at that sort of thing if they continue wiping each other out at the current rate.

          • monsieur_charlie

            They seem to like killing other Arabs a lot more than they like killing Israelis. They will never reach their objective of world domination if they carry on like that.

          • BananaHammok9

            Let’s just enjoy their intra-warring, n’est pas?

          • anyfool

            The other Arabs are usually unarmed or prisoners, the Israelis fight back.

          • blandings

            “I’m the person who does understand that there will be no prospect of
            peace in the Middle East until Dayan’s “mad dogs” are brought to heel.”

            I think you mean until every Jew (and Christian) has been butchered.
            But even that won’t bring peace to the Middle East.

          • Abie Vee

            I would prefer to send the politicians to the battlefront.

          • Colonel Mustard

            There were no B-52s in WWII. The Americans were flying B-29s against Japan.

            And they did not have ‘complete’ air superiority. The Japanese were flying air defence sorties to the very last night of the war and beyond but on a diminished scale as a result of a deliberate order to preserve air assets for an expected invasion.

          • Angkor

            But you said above that MacArthur personally delivered this document to Roosevelt on 20.12.1944. Did he hand it to him twice?

      • right1_left1

        ‘Hoover stalled’
        you mean Trueman dont you ?
        a politician who on his way to power was about as corrupt as is possible to imagnie.(road contract dispensation I think)

        On the day in 1945 he took the right decison.
        IMO anyway !

        • Abie Vee

          Yes, I do mean Truman. But before him, Hoover stalled on peace talks too.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            Truman effectively “fired” the last shot in both World Wars. In WW1 he was a younf g artillery officer in a sector that had not heard the news of the 11 November armistice at 11am. He carried on shelling the Germans until 1.10 pm.

          • greencoat

            Shoulda carried on until 1939.

          • Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            What twenty to eight?

      • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

        Correct.

        • greencoat

          Meanwhile the allied POWs could go on dying in the camps.

          • Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            But of 140,000 prisoners of the Japanese only about 30,000 were kept in Japan itself. Roughly 30% died during the War. So you are talking about say 20,000 or so people. But nevertheless a good point.

          • Angkor

            Yvonne, why do you want to count only those allied prisoners of war held by the Japanese on their home islands and not the other hundred and ten thousand or so held in Japanese prison camps in South East Asia or the hundreds of thousands of Allied civilians, including women and children, held by the Japanese in internment in prison camps in conditions little better than the allied prisoners of war?
            They were every bit as much in peril as those held on the Japanese home islands. They were starving to death too.
            What sensible reason can you give for making a distinction between them?

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            The argument used by the US to trial atom bombs and scare the Russians was that invading Japan’s mainland would cost 1 million lives. You are correct to say all prisoners were in jeopardy, but we are discussing the Japanese mainland.

          • Angkor

            No we are not. We are discussing WW2 in the Pacific, which means ending Japanese aggression and oppression everywhere it was taking place. The Potsdam Declaration makes that perfectly clear. Only an idiot would say otherwise.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            So why did they not demonstrate the effectiveness of the bomb by targeting a small island occupied by the Japanese? Say one with 500 people on it.

          • Angkor

            Why do you ask me this question? Others in this discussion have already provided the answer, which you could have found out yourself by looking up the documents concerning the decision to drop the bombs (specifically the Technical Committee report, which considered the options in using the bombs) which are a matter of public record and available on the internet.
            What is the point of you making comments in a discussion when you are not prepared to inform yourself about the basic facts under discussion?

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            This is not a comment itvis a question. I was hoping someone like you was informed enough to answer it without obfuscating and suggesting I plough through screeds of technical reports.
            Why were the Americans so keen to wipeout large heavily populated areas without first demonstrating the power of their weapon, with a smaller human cost?

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            I asked a reasonable question which I hoped such well informed folk as you could answer. Instead you suggest I should trawl through endless technical reports and seek the answer.

      • John Carins

        The conventional bombing would have been as destructive as the A bombs. Massed bombing raids would have created the same effect as the flattening of Hamburg and Dresden. The Americans are to be commended for the use of the A bombs against a fanatical military regime. Get over it.

        • mohdanga

          Don’t confuse AV with facts, it upsets him.

        • Abie Vee

          I will not “get over it”. I’m a man, not a savage ; not a craven coward, a beast who gloats, drools and “commends” the killing of innocent old men, women and children.

          I still have my compassion, my humanity and my self-respect: where did you lose yours so carelessly along the way?

          • ilPugliese

            You don’t have to enjoy it. Just accept it as an inevitable. Undoubtedly some on our side will enjoy slaughter. We are just exploiting them.

        • Abie Vee

          The point if been making all day is that the Americans didn’t have to do either option. I wasn’t trying to suggest that one way of killing tens of thousands of innocent women and children is preferable to any other: they are all barbaric.

          • ilPugliese

            The Japanese Emperor/government started it. So it’s really like they killed off their own people. Our governments are duty-bound to defend us.

          • Abie Vee

            Do follow the thread. The Japanese most certainly did not “start it”. Roosevelt had been waging economic warfare against Japan for over a year Pearl Habor. He needed an excuse.

          • ilPugliese

            Japan was already butchering its way round the Far East you fantasist.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The conventional bombing was as destructive. Japan had already been enduring a conventional bombing campaign for almost a year.

        • omgamuslim

          Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet stated in a public address given at the Washington Monument on October 5, 1945:

          The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war. (See p. 329, Chapter 26) . . . [Nimitz also stated: “The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan. . . .”]

          American Military Leaders Urge President Truman
          not to Drop the Atomic Bomb:; http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

          • Angkor

            Ah. So the Japanese government had accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, presented to them on 26 July 1945, before 6 August 1945. This is new information. Can you provide a link to your source for this new information you have?

      • Colonel Mustard

        The Americans were bombing cities at will. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs have tended to over shadow the extent to which Japanese cities were already being fire bombed and burnt out. On the night of 1st August 1945 B-29s burned out an average of 78% of the built-up areas of four cities. Hundreds of thousands of civilians had already been killed in the fire bombing campaign. By the end of the war 30 Japanese cities had had more than 50% of their built-up areas burnt out and Toyama suffered 95.6% burnt out.

        Not ‘complete’ air superiority though. The B-29 force that raided Kobe in daylight on 5th June 1945 recorded 647 separate Japanese fighter attacks. Japanese air defence sorties diminished after that as a result of a deliberate change in strategy to preserve aircraft to be able to defend against an expected land invasion.

        • Abie Vee

          Para One. Absolutely. My point all along being that the Americans had no need to drop those atomic weapons. The other point being, they had no reason to make a land-invasion of the mainland. There were other options.

          Para Two: To preserve aircraft for a defensive role. They had no offence capacity. 649 attacks? Notorious inefficient way of counting attacks throughout the war in all theaters. Few of the statistics bore close analysis. Attackers and defenders tend to wildly overestimate their counts.

          One also wonders what fuel Japan had left .

          • Angkor

            So fire-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been OK with you? Different method same outcome as the firebombing of Tokyo on 9 March 1945 showed.
            What compassion, humanity or self-respect can you claim with that attitude?

          • Abie Vee

            DO follow the thread old chap.

          • Angkor

            I have been following the thread. Colonel Mustard says that the Americans had been bombing Japanese cities at will, implying they could have done just the same to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with destructive effects equal to the atom bombs, or even worse, citing the case of Toyama with 95.6% burnt out.

            You quote that passage of his with approval saying: “Absolutely. My point all along being that the Americans had no need to drop those atomic weapons.”

            So what you are saying is that it would have been OK to burn the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to death with napalm but not with atom bombs.
            I’m sure that the distinction would have been lost on the people of those two cities.

          • Abie Vee

            You keep saying you’ve followed the thread, but your every utterance contradicts you.

            Time and again I have said the Americans did not have to drop the atomic bomb. But don’t take my word for it, Eisenhower said so; Admiral Leahy said so; Douglas MacArthur said so; Admiral Nimitz said so, the US’s own Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946 said so, as did many other military leaders at the time.

            The US had other options, one of which (seems to have completely passed you by) included direct peace negotiations with Japan (which they refused to do until after their dreadful experiment).

            It isn’t a matter of which slaughter was more humane than the other. The war on the civilian population was a true crime against humanity.

          • Abie Vee

            HIROSHIMA: Was it Absolutely Necessary? By Doug Long (and links therefrom).

          • Angkor

            Another revisionist site. Do you ever read anyone but revisionists? It’s not healthy for you, you know.

          • Abie Vee

            All historical commentary is revisionist… a part of the normal process, is it not? The alternative is a simple parroting of populist narratives. History is initially written by the winners; the truth takes a lot longer to come out.

            The Soviet War Files were not released until Glasnost; the UK has its own 30-year, 50-year censorship rules (and longer, perhaps NEVER under The Official Secrets Act)); The Americans didn’t release a lot of their Ultra intercept secrets until 1995, and so it goes on, and much remains hidden.

            But you cower behind your pejorative use of the word to boost your case (whatever that may be). You’re only fooling yourself, “you know”.

      • TomV

        How many lives would it have cost for “bombing Japanese cities at will until the Japanese unconditionally surrendered” ?

      • ilPugliese

        So it’s OK to kill some civilians, but not a lot. Saving one life would have been enough for me. Googling your “quote” only returns this page.

      • Angkor

        Are you aware of the terms on which the Japanese were seeking that peace?
        I don’t think that it would have been reasonable to expect that the Allies (or the Koreans and Taiwanese especially) to have accepted those terms. Do you?

        • Abie Vee

          Nonsense. It was nothing to do with them.

          • Angkor

            Those Koreans and Taiwanese would disagree with you. The Japanese wanted to retain their inner empire, which included Korea and Taiwan, then Formosa, as a part of a negotiated settlement to end the war.

          • Abie Vee

            Rubbish.

            The 40-page document in Roosevelt’s possession by the end of 1944 contained the following specific Japanese pledges:
            * The complete surrender of all Japanese forces and arms, at home, on island possessions, and in occupied countries.

            * The occupation of Japan and its possessions by Allied forces under American direction.

            * Relinquishment of all territory seized during the war, including Manchuria, Korea and Formosa/Taiwan.

            * Regulation of Japanese industry to halt production of weapons and tools of war.

            * Release of all prisoners of war and internees.

            * Surrender of designated war criminals.

            You really are in complete ignorance of what was actually happening all throughout 1944 as the Japanese struggled in vain to open a dialogue with the Americans.

          • Angkor

            Abie, you have never seen the 40 page MacArthur document because it is not on the internet and never has been.
            All you have to go on about what was in it is an account, at third hand or worse, on a revisionist website about what was in it. Your entire world of fantasy is based upon what you have read on that revisionist site.
            William Leahy does not mention this fabled 40 page document in his book about WW2 “I Was There”. You would think that he would do so if it existed and he had read it, wouldn’t you? (Well, actually no, you wouldn’t, but any sensible person would.)
            Same for MacArthur, with his extensive Reports to the Army on WW2 in the Pacific. No mention of it there either. MacArthur had an extensive staff writing those reports for him while he was Supreme Commander in Japan and was was quite sympathetic to the Japanese and their emperor, as well as antagonistic to Roosevelt and Truman, so it’s hardly likely that he would have neglected this little gem of a report.
            Herbert Hoover, also dredged up on the revisionist site as confirming the existence and content of this report, doesn’t mention it is his book ” Freedom Betrayed “, dedicated to slagging off at Roosevelt and all of his works leading up to and during WW2.
            So sorry, its just you, the revisionist website and your shared fantasies. Not to be taken seriously, but worth a good laugh.

          • Abie Vee

            And you talk to me of revisionism? There isn’t a shred of doubt that MacArthur handed his memorandum to Roosevelt. For details read Hiroshima: Assault on a beaten foe. By Dr.Harry Barnes.

            You’ll find chapter and verse in there. If you want MORE, come back to me.

          • Angkor

            Another revisionist. You’ll have to broaden your reading.
            Barnes never saw what was in MacArthur’s report. For all he knew it was an inventory of MacArthur’s office furniture, down to the tea-spoons.
            Another fail by you I’m afraid.

          • Abie Vee

            So you say. For a man who “never saw it” he sure enough knew the fine details. Perhaps he made it up all, eh? Like you.

          • Angkor

            He would had to have made it up. Even your revisionist websites don’t claim that Troon, the source of this story, saw the report, only that Leahy told him about it, and Hoover says that when he asked MacArthur about it MacArthur told him he had not kept a copy of it but had sent it to the army for their records. The army’s archive has no record of it.
            Another revisionist fail by you.

          • Abie Vee

            Your sources (undisclosed). My sources, (disclosed) say otherwise.
            Hoover who? Try Truman.

            The Army has no record. Says who? And you think that Army records are all in the public domain do you? Hahaha… excuse me while I fall off my chair laughing.

          • Angkor

            You can’t even read your revisionist websites properly. How sad. The revisionists say that after the war Hoover, not Truman, asked MacArthur what had come of the fabled report.

          • Abie Vee

            Oh… so they are “revisionist” sites when I use them, and uncontestable evidence when you use them. I see.

          • Abie Vee

            “It is my opinion that the use of those barbarous weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. They were already defeated and ready to surrender […]” Leahy.

          • Angkor

            There is a difference between the opinions of military leaders on the necessity or otherwise to achieve a political objective, the surrender of Japan, on which they are entitled to their opinion, and fabrications as to the content of MacArthur’s report.

          • Abie Vee

            I take it you’re not trying to imply that Eisenhower, Nimitz, Leahy and MacArthur’s opinions were fabrications? In which case , why lump them into your turgid and desperate comment?

            Military leaders do not concern themselves over-much with “political objectives” as much as you pretend: in democracies, such cross-overs of responsibility are rarely tolerated. And the fact of the matter is, that the military objective (the defeat of Japan) did not require the dropping of the atomic bombs. My point.

            Wriggle wriggle as much as you like. Like all charlatans you are down to rock-bottom semantic posturing and sophistry. You have nothing else. See how you try to escape? I post comment after comment supporting my opinion that the atomic bombing was militarily unnecessary; and you smuggle in your Vicky Pollard defence: yeah but no but yeah but no… the military are “entitled to their opinion” (BIG of you) but the decision is political (and thus by implication, nothing to do with them). A clumsy diversion, and a tip-toe out of harm’s way.

          • Abie Vee

            Brig. General Carter Clarke, military intelligence: ” […] when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew we din’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment […] “

          • Abie Vee

            For all I know, you make it up as you go along.

            Consider this: if the knowledge had ever reached the American public (that Japanese intermediaries were trying to sue for peace one year BEFORE the dropping of nuclear weapons), and that both Roosevelt and Truman ignored the overtures , where would that have left their reputations, given the tens of thousands of deaths that ensued?

            And they can’t find the report? Yeah right.

          • Angkor

            Japan could have, if it wanted to, advertised to the world, if it wanted to, that it was suing for peace. It did not.
            Of course had it done so the question would have been asked- on what terms? Given the terms the Japanese were seeking, essentially that they not be accountable for starting the war against the United States by bombing Pearl Harbor the response of the American people is quite predictable: i.e. let’s keep bombing the crap out of them.
            Not my problem if your revisionist friends can’t find this fabled document that they say exists and keep quoting from but never produce. Perhaps they should ask their pin-up boy, David Irving, to write it for them, with a note attached from MacArthur on why he never mentioned it in his Reports to the Army .

          • Abie Vee

            If if if if. And you call me revisionist? Good grief.

            Japan could NOT have announced to the world. A fledgling democracy in a country used to a thousand years of military rule would have always had to consider the possibility of a coup by the army.

            How do you know what terms Japan was seeking? How do you know what their final terms would have been, had the Americans opened negotiations in 1944? You can’t know… all is just speculation, pure speculation!

            Answer my comments on censorship, official secrets acts, and state secrecy. Are you trying to make the point that because MacArthur’s document isn’t readily available in the public domain that it therefore never existed? Impossible to draw that conclusion.

            Are you trying to make the point that because this one document isn’t in the public domain that the Japanese were NOT trying to open direct peace-talks behind the scenes with the Americans?

            Are you trying to deny that the Americans simply refused to talk to Japan until after they had tested their new toys?

            Bullshjt.

          • Angkor

            Japan a fledgling democracy?
            Pure comedy gold and beyond parody.

            Re MacArthur’s document I remind you that you were the one who told me I could find it on the internet. So the onus is on you to produce it or explain its disappearance from it, not me.
            You’ll have seen elsewhere in this thread that I have said the Americans were quite aware that the Japanese (or the peace faction of the Cabinet, supported by the Emperor, who you say played no role in the government of Japan at all) were trying to open peace talks. They were reading the Japanese diplomatic cables after all, having broken their diplomatic codes.
            So they also were quite aware of what the Japanese peace faction (which is not the same as the Japanese government) were seeking from those talks. Which was nothing like what you say was in MacArthur’s fabled report. And nothing close to the terms the Allies required Japan to accept to end the war.
            The Americans were quite prepared to talk to the Japanese at any time to end the war, provided the Japanese were prepared to talk on the Allies’ terms. They made this very clear when they issued the Potsdam Declaration on 24 July 1945. It was the Japanese who refused to talk. They “mokusatsu”-ed that, as you well know. Then two and a half weeks later they changed their minds.
            The war turned out to be quite a bitch for the Japanese after their carriers got sunk at Midway, didn’t it?

          • Abie Vee

            Er, why wasn’t it “fledgling” . As far as I know, the Japanese never had universal suffrage until after WWII. No doubt you’ll enlighten me. Why comedy? Explain yourself.

            Oh yes, it is on the net in summary, and I have given you the links which you dismiss as “revisionist”. A childish sort of game.

            The Emperor indeed played no role in the government of Japan. Like our own monarchy he was above such things. Indeed it is said that his instruction to the “big six” was unprecedented.

            I’ll leave to prove me wrong.

            Your statement that “the Americans were quite prepared to talk to the Japanese at any time” absolutely beggars belief! That is on a par with Lord Haw-Haws utterances. If you are reduced in your desperation to such balderdash, I can go no further.

          • Angkor

            It’s not that it wasn’t fledgling. It wasn’t a democracy. Any more than North Korea, no doubt another country whose system of government and general policies meet your approval, which has just conducted national elections, is a democracy.

            You keep saying that the emperor played no part in the government of Japan but you keep pointing out instances where he did. You are one confused little puppy.

          • Abie Vee

            North Korea? Good grief. NURSE!

          • Angkor

            Just a further comment on your nutty post. The forty page report is not on the internet. Claims about its alleged content of a tinfoil hat website don’t cut it. Itf the tinfoil hatters had the report they would have published it in full, wouldn’t they? I’m afraid this is just another case of the tinfoil hatters making things up to suck in the simple-minded, of which you are one, I’m afraid.

          • Abie Vee

            So, er, when did Japan achieve universal suffrage? You wouldn’t call the partial enfranchisement of voters under the Meiji Restoration “fledgling” after a thousand years of military rule? Then what would you call it?

            Ps. I am not responsible for what the Americans do or do not put on the internet. Your assumption is that, because you can’t find this document, it doesn’t exist and moreover it never has. Good for you. I can’t argue with your conspiracy theorising. But neither does it deflect by even a millimeter my central proposition that Japan was ready and willing to surrender BEFORE the mass incineration of the civilians populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that the nuclear detonations were unnecessary.

            There are many other sources to support that claim, but there’s no point in my repeating them, they simply don’t fit with your narrative (whatever that actually is). But you could start by looking at the US Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946. Argue with that if you dare!

          • Angkor

            You obviously have never read the Meiji constitution. I don’t expect that even if you did you would understand it. But it makes clear that the government of Japan was solely accountable to the Emperor, and not to the Diet, which had no effective role in government.
            The onus is always on the person asserting the existence of something to produce it, or evidence of it and the onus is never on a person who questions or disputes its existence to either produce evidence that it exists or to go and look for it. Only conspiracy theorists, such as you, cannot grasp this simple principle of evidence which has been around for 700 years.
            You have had some week how to produce the fabled memorandum and have not done so, All you have is the account of one person who doesn’t even say that he saw the document, only at best, that he was told about it.
            You have failed to answer the central question of why, if Japan was ready to surrender before the atomic bombings, it refused to do so when it received the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July setting out the terms for its surrender, essentially those in the purported MacArthur memo, according to Trohan, which you say are the terms Japan was already prepared to surrender on, but that it accepted those terms on 10 August, after the bombings. Are you prepared to answer that question?,

          • Abie Vee

            Not true. It really is that simple.

          • Abie Vee

            It’s even simpler that that: the Japanese were concerned about the Emperor and the Royal Family.

            Around and around it circles we go… Potsdam offered no guarantees that the Emperor would not be hanged as a war criminal. In fact, as far as I know, the Emperor was not even mentioned! And THUS the japanese were unable to surrender.

            Now even you could see how this worked: throw in the only condition to which the japanese could not agree (the ONLY one) and then, once your obscene war crime experiment is out of the way, agree to to the surrender terms which you knew all along, from Ultra/Magic, they would accept.

            Now I know you’re some kinda sick fk , but even you could work that out… no? Perhaps not. Then maybe one day you’ll let us know what your real agenda is.

          • Angkor

            Why, if the Japanese could never, ever, ever, surrender unless they were given a guarantee that the Emperor would not be hanged as a war criminal which was not in the Potsdam Declaration, did they surrender on 14 August 1945 without that guarantee, having sought it (or something like it) on 10 August and having been refused it by the Americans on 11 August?

          • Abie Vee

            Hanged?? Was that EVER the American’s intention? What proof have you of that? I think not. And my proposition is, had they made it clear to the Japanese that Hirohito would not be charged with war crimes and that the Imperial dynasty would be allowed to continue, the war would (could) have ended by early 1945 at the latest.

            Yes, I did read the Potsdam Declaration many years ago, and as I wrote; “from memory…” I’ll make it clearer for you though, seeing as how deliriously attached you are to pedantry: The Emperor is not mentioned in the Potsdam Declaration.

          • Angkor

            You remain as confused a little puppy, though persistent, as ever. You can’t even remember what you wrote 16 hours ago: You raised the issue of the emperor possibly being hanged as the reason the Japanese could not surrender. Here is what you said:

            “Potsdam offered no guarantees that the Emperor would not be hanged as a war criminal. In fact, as far as I know, the Emperor was not even mentioned! And THUS the japanese were unable to surrender.”

            In fact there was a move in the United States Congress for Hirohito to be charged as a war criminal, as well as pressure from the other allies to do that, as could have been done under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration as accepted by the Japanese on 14 August, which gave no guarantee of the Emperor’s status or future.

            You can’t even remember that you didn’t write “from memory…” sixteen hours ago. You wrote “In fact as far as I know….” which has a very different meaning.

            No wonder that, as you are so confused about what you wrote only sixteen hours ago, you are totally confused about events that occurred seventy years ago. I am sure, though, that you live in a perpetual state of confusion as the normal state of your existence and that it is a constant cause of frustration to you to have to encounter others who are not confused like you.

          • Abie Vee

            Unlike you, I’m rather busy elsewhere. However, I’ll leave it you to tell the watching world just what is the difference between from memory, and as far as I know. I haven’t the slightest interesting in pedantry. Unlike you.

            However, tis you who flails around in desperation. The USA never said they would hang Hirohito: but they refused to say they wouldn’t. Now my little pendant… wriggle away on that hook.

            My point, again and again and again and again: if they had said they wouldn’t hang the Emperor (which they didn’t, at least not publicly) and if they said the Imperial dynasty would be allowed to continue (which they didn’t, at least not publicly) then the war could have ended far earlier than it did.

            Off you go now…

          • Angkor

            The Japanese never asked the Americans whether they would hang the emperor. If that was what was bothering them so much you’d think they’d ask, would you?
            “Hey Americans, if we surrender will you hang the emperor?” How hard is that as a question to ask?
            As it was the Japanese ended up surrendering without any guarantee that the Americans wouldn’t hang the emperor, so it can’t have been an issue that bothered them overly much.
            Now off you go for your occupational therapy class or whatever it is that has got you busy. Nurse will be waiting.

          • Abie Vee

            Gosh there’s a sweeping revisionist statement if ever I read one. They NEVER asked? Good grief. Too stupid for words.

            To use your playground analogy, It actually “bothered” everyone. Without the Emperor’s intervention the war would have continued to the last soldier. Hirohito himself knew that. The Japanese Army would have seen to it.

            You actually don’t know what guarantees the Japanese were or were not given. For some non-revisionist thoughts on the matter try Max Hasting’s: The Battle for Japan 1944 -1945.

          • Angkor

            You’ve escaped from your occupational therapy session to post this? Go back to it at once before Nurse notices. Otherwise she will be very angry with you and you know what that means.
            It’s no good telling her that you have been fighting the good fight on behalf of the Japanese emperor in 1945. She will just put that down to your delusional thinking, And she’d be right.

          • Abie Vee

            Herbert Hoover to President Truman. May 28 1945: “I am convinced that if you, as President, make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan – tell them they can have their Emperor, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists – you’ll get peace in Japan…” . Richard Norton Smith, “An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover.” pg. 347

            Or perhaps this? In early May 1946, Hoover met Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Hoover recorded in his diary, “I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman … MacArthur said that was correct, and that we would avoided all of the losses, the Atomic Bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria.” Gar Alperovitz: “The Decision to Drop The Atomic Bomb”. pgs. 305-351.

            Or this? Joe Grew. US Under-Secretary of State. “… in the light of available evidence myself and others felt that if such a categorical statement about the [retention of] the dynasty had been issued in May 1945, the surrender-minded elements in the Japanese Government might well have been afforded by such a statement a valid reason and the necessary strength to come to an early clear-cut decision.” Feb 12 1947, letter to Henry Stimpson, US Secretary of War during WWII.

            Want some more? Let me know… there’s loads more.

    • Athelstane

      Actually, MacArthur’s staff continually low-balled the Japanese troop levels on Kyushu, and therefore also the possible casualties – because, some suspected, he was very keen on leading the invasion as Supreme Allied Commander, and didn’t want OLYMPIC called off. Nimitz’s staff turned out to be much closer to the truth, which was that MacArthur’s invasion force might actually be outnumbered by the force structure present in Kyushu on X Day on November 1. A confrontation between Nimitz and MacArthur was looming over the entire question of OLYMPIC in August when the bombs fell, because of the casualties question.

      But the alternative to not invading without the bomb wasn’t immediate Japanese surrender, which the Inner Cabinet still refused to sanction. No, the alternative was bomb-and-starve until the regime was forced to its knees or overthrown sometime in 1946 – several million dead later.

      • Abie Vee

        The idea is false. Japan was isolated and contained. The Imperial Navy was no more, neither was the Japanese Air Force. The Allies were in complete control.

        The myth of an invasion saving millions of lives was convenient cover for the American’s crimes against humanity.Like, er.. we had no alternative, guys: trust us. It was bullshjt then, and it’s bullshjt today.

        You are in complete denial about the Japanese attempts to negotiate and end to the war. And that despite all the confirmatory evidence now in the public domain.

        I call that position fraudulent.

        • Ambientereal

          You are analyzing all that matter with the intention of blaming America for the bomb. Are you may be Japanese? because I know many old Japanese that believe America was right. We westerner are more critical with ourselves than the real war criminals. I don´t see anyone blaming the Japanese for the millions of casualties they produced.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            Well the result was a changed nation in Japan ,one of the richest , most advanced civilisations on our planet.

          • BananaHammok9

            It’s a Muslim.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s the childish “Please Miss, they started it” excuse. Your justification for the incineration of hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children.

            Good for you kid.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            America was responsible for the bomb.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          Hiroshima was Cold war politics under the cover of the last days of WW2.

        • Colonel Mustard

          See above. There was no ‘Japanese Air Force’. Air assets were organised integrally as corps within the Army and Navy respectively.

          Both were capable of flying air defence sorties up to and after 8th August 1945.

          • Abie Vee

            Just as there was no Luftwaffe, eh?

            Because an air force is ordered geographically, that’s to say, assigned to an Army Group, and subordinate to their command as in Germany and Russia and Japan and many other countries, instead of into function: bomber, fighter and etc under their own commanders, as within the UK, it quite preposterous to conclude that “There was no air force”.

            Poppycock. Indeed there was. They could always operate independently. The Luftwaffe operated independent of Army command over Britain in the Blitz.

          • Colonel Mustard

            You simply don’t understand and should try comprehending instead of jumping into argumentative mode. There was a Japanese Naval Air Force and a Japanese Army Air Force. They were completely subordinate to each service and quite separate entities.

          • Abie Vee

            I understand perfectly.

            As usual we are side-tracked into a bog of semantic wriggling, all of which is barely tangential to the point.

            I submit. Have it your way: though it had air force, Japan didn’t have AN air force.

            Yup that clears it up.

          • Abie Vee

            Um, I am trying desperately to stick to politics. Tis you who is reduced to ‘plane spotting.

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      Japan formally surrendered on 2 September. It only signalled an intention to surrender and ceased fire on 15 August.
      The one million casualties is oft quoted to justify using the bombs. A nonsense if course. The US just wanted to prove a point to Uncle Joe Stalin and Japan was the guinea pig.The US had only lost 130,000 men in 4 years of fighting across the Far East, why they would lose a million taking Tokyo from an exhausted enemy is debatable.

  • Abie Vee

    Why? GUILT. Guilt and shame. This wasn’t a simple war-crime: it was a crime against humanity.

    • Johnnydub

      No the rampant authoritarian socialism that you espouse is a crime against humanity.

      Whats the current death toll? 160 Million?

    • BananaHammok9

      Islam is a crime against humanity.

    • alleagra

      What a silly hand-me-down response. For instance, which of the numerous atrocities that occurred during WW2 qualify as a ‘crime against humanity’? Probably all do if you want to use that phrase but in that case the cliché does not illuminate the discussion.

      • Abie Vee

        Which? Well there’s the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities, and the B-52 firestorms of Tokyo; there’s Bomber Command and the USAAF campaign against the civilian population of Germany; and then there’s the Holocaust.

        The term “crime against humanity” is carelessly used in modern popular parlance to encompass any civilian casualties; this is incorrect. Collateral damage is not of itself a crime against humanity; to knowingly wage a war deliberately targeted against the civilian population is.

        I hope that clears it up for you.

        • starfish

          Much blood on both sides yet you only seem to be outraged on the use of the atomic bomb

          Is it because it happened so quickly and did not involve the death of an equivalent number over a long period?

          Is it because of the use of technology?

          Or is it moral relativism?

          • BananaHammok9

            It is moral relativism, and that is why it’s Islam’s destiny, to slaughter their own, until the end of time, like they have been doing, from day one.

          • Abie Vee

            I am outraged by the deliberate targeting of a civilian population. That is all. It is both a war crime and a crime against humanity.

            It really is that simple. There’s nothing relative about it.

        • mohdanga

          And yet you fail to mention the Luftwaffe bombing of Europe and Britain and the Japanese raping and killing rampage across Asia. Hmmm.

          • Abie Vee

            The strategic bombing of cities played no part of Blitzkrieg theory. So much so that the Germans never produced a single long-range heavy bomber. Indeed, they didn’t even have a Bomber Command!

            Unlike the RAF and the USAAF, the Luftwaffe was divided geographically; a complete air-arm of reconnaissance, fighters and fighter bomber aircraft being attached to an individual Army Group, and subordinate to that group. The purpose of the Luftwaffe was to support the armoured spearhead of attack on the front line, acting as air-borne artillery, and for the disruption of enemy troop activity and movement of supplies behind the front.

            The Blitz upon London was not the same as the area-bombing of British Bomber Command, which was indiscriminate. The Germans primarily attacked Britain’s docks and armament production facilities. Such civilian damage as ensued was collateral and largely due to the woeful inaccuracy of bomb-aiming equipment in the early years of the war.

            Stay on topic. [I’ll take one subject at a time if you don’t mind. I haven’t the patience for your rambling tangential diversions nor your childish “they started it miss” bleating].

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            This point is made at length in Irving’s “Hitler’s War”.

          • Abie Vee

            And more recently in Richard Overy’s informative new book The Bombing War, in which he concludes; “… the bombing offensives of WWII were all relative failures even on their own terms”.

            The same point was made in 1946 in the post-war US Strategic Bombing Survey: the economist J.K Galbraith explained how shocked he and his colleagues were to discover that the German economy had NOT suffered the damage the whole world had been led to believe. The economist was forced to conclude that strategic bombing had made little contribution to the war, writing:” We are beginning to see that we were encountering one of the greatest, perhaps THE greatest miscalculations of the war.”

            The US Strategic Bombing Survey also had this to say about Japan: “The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war, did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Navy Minister had all decided as early as May 1945 that the war should be ended… even if this meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms.”

            There you have it, straight from the Americans themselves! Ignore the shills on here… the truth is too hard for them to bear.

        • MickC

          What? The Yanks used B52s in the Second World War? I knew they were advanced but not that advanced! No wonder they won!

          Mind, the “island hopping” campaign must have just been done for fun….

  • DennisMcScumbag

    Maybe we should dedicate a section of the imperial war museum to it.

  • polistra24

    The premise of the title is wrong. We’re not silent about it. Ignorant idiots (including Antipope Francis) are constantly lecturing us about the need for total abject surrender to tyranny. We shouldn’t have fought the Krauts, we shouldn’t have fought the Japs. Weapons are immoral when used against tyrants. Only tyrants should have weapons.

  • Icebow

    Hypocentre, not epicentre.

  • For silence, ‘we’ seem to be making a heck of a racket, frankly, as the BBC alone seems to have packed out every possible broadcast and online with it, sending ‘senior’ gobs over there to emote, forget context and only interview those who support their narrow narrative.

    So the author appears to have listened within a very narrow bubble she and a few others belong to, and presumes to speak for many who perhaps are not of a like mind.

  • Simon Fay

    30-odd years ago nuclear war seemed more imminent (and thus its effects salient), and Japan was still a big noise in the Anglosphere. There’s rather less capital to be made from sucking up to the Japs now, I suspect.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Could mange without the racial slurs, Simon Fay.

  • right1_left1

    This article reeks of the sloppy sentimental touchy feely jelly welly attitudes that prevail today.

    The USA decided to unconditionally defeat Japan.
    They did what was necessary at the time to bring that about.

    Many thousands would have died on both sides had it been necessary to put troops on the Japnese mainland.
    Take a look at how the Japanese army responded as the Americans moved forward across the Pacific islands.

    Katie wotsyername, you should thank your lucky stars that the USA decided to devote so much effort and sacrifice to the European theatre of operations.
    In fact ioften wonder why they did.
    Ps i think i know but Ill keep it for myself for now !!
    I do have funny thoughts now and then.

    • sidor

      I agree. If they managed to make the bomb a bit faster and used it against Germany, say, in January 1945, hundreds of thousands lives could have been saved. And it would have definitely contribute to the post-war peace in Europe: Germany would have been as pacifistic now as Japan.

      • right1_left1

        Being brutally honest in a way that I dont like the correct time would have been pre Normandy invasion.

  • sidor

    Einstein justified his participation in creating the bomb by indicating that it was intended to be used against Germany, not Japan. That was indeed the original plan.

    “I didn’t write that I was an absolute pacifist but that I have always been a convinced pacifist. That means there are circumstances in which in my opinion it is necessary to use force,” he wrote.

    “Such a case would be when I face an opponent whose unconditional aim is to destroy me and my people.”

    That Germany avoided nuclear bombing was partly a sheer luck, and partly a result of the Red Army rapid winter advance in 1945. Just 3 months separate the fall of Berlin and Hiroshima.

  • MacGuffin

    I wonder how much effort is spent in Japan these days to remember the atrocities committed during the Rape of Nanking.

    • right1_left1

      Wasnt controversy in China caused VERY recently when the Japanes PM visited a shrine to honour those who attacked China.

      I have spent time in Japan and the contrast btween civilian behaviour now and military behavior in the 30’s-40’s is inexplicable to me.

  • boultonzz .

    erm does anyone’s article change half way through?

  • jim

    The second bomb was not needed but I don’t see why the Americans should apologise for Hiroshima. The Japanese were making Americans die for every square inch of strategically worthless islands.Pointless suicide attacks.Hiroshima made a point.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      No quite. It was the realisation that enemy could kill Japanese faster than they could be replaced.

  • sidor

    War is about killing people. The purpose of a war is to win with minimum possible losses of your own. Discussing its moral aspects is a disgusting hypocrisy.

    Japan started the war by its own initiative. It intentionally killed people who were of no threat. The population of Japan overwhelmingly agreed with that. They payed. A normal order of things.

    The same arguments are true about Germany. Those who drop tears about the bombing of the German cities are either idiots or victims of Goebbels propaganda. The Germans got what they deserved.

    • Abie Vee

      War is not about killing “people”. It is about killing soldiers. There’s the simple morality which you find so hypocritical.

      You can rightly say Japan “entered” the war by its own initiative. Who “started” the war is a moot point. The Americans had been steadily throwing down the gauntlet by pursuing economic and trade sanctions against Japan throughout 1939 and 1940. Their oil and steel embargo was the last straw for Japan.

      Japan is not a resource-rich country; her supplies of oil, coal, rubber, aluminium and etc must all be imported. By the time the attack upon America was conceived and put into action, the High Command estimated that the country had about one year’s supply of vital reserves left. After which, all military and civilian production would grind to a halt.

      Roosevelt desperately needed an excuse, a provocation for him to enter the war, which American public opinion was set against. He tried hard, and the Japanese eventually obliged him.

      And it is far from the order of things. I have met Japanese people today who are unaware of the extent of Japanese war-time atrocities. To assume that the civilian population of Japan in those days even knew of, let alone “overwhelmingly approved” of, those activities is fatuous nonsense… nothing more that idle supposition.

      To argue that another man is a depraved savage, is not an excuse for being one yourself. In such circumstances you are merely indicating that this behaviour is acceptable because we all do it. It isn’t, and we don’t.

      • Athelstane

        I have met Japanese people today who are unaware of the extent of Japanese war-time atrocities.

        And many Japanese educators and government officials work hard, apparently, to keep them ignorant of them.

        • Observer1951

          How many Japaneese know about the Rape of Nanking, it’s not in Japaneese history books

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You of course have read Japanese history books (including textbooks used in school) in Japanese? Otherwise, it’s just hearsay.

          • Observer1951

            Don’t be silly, there are plenty of reviews on line from scholars on the Japaneese schooling system it’s positives and negatives
            Sent from my iPad

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Japaneese”
            Once may be considered carelessness, after that it becomes word blindness. And I’m being charitable.

          • Observer1951

            Yes it’s word blindness I always spell Japanese as Japaneese. Strange that. Another word I also spell wrongly is tosser as in you pedantic tosser, strange that don’t you think?
            Sent from my iPad

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You try to help the less fortunate, but only invite insults and abuse from shallow ego ignoramuses, with an “I’m never wrong” complex.

          • Observer1951

            Jack you know what a ad hominem attack is you used it against me, now you play the moral superiority card. What a hypocrite you are. Be gone you shallow person. If you cannot take a response to your posts then don’t post you assume your view is the only correct one well it may surprise you but there are other view points.
            Sent from my iPad

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Your name seems familiar. Have I offended you before?
            Are you the one with spelling issues? Or that deranged clown that deliberately misspells as a form of showing off. Wouldn’t you feel more at home on the Daily Mail? I would suggest Guido, but his column seems a little too intellectual for you.

          • Observer1951

            Hi Jack, I read Guido every day best place to find about what’s really going on in politics. As for the Mail, yes I read the sports papers every day. My main reads are The Times where I particularly enjoy Opinion and the Editorial. I read the Guardian on line to enjoy the Guardianistas comments. My other main reading is the New Scientist and I have Astronomy Today delivered every month. What do you enjoy?
            Sent from my iPad

      • MickC

        And the sanctions were imposed on Japan because…..

  • greggf

    Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?

    We are not “so silent over Hiroshima”!
    And it was not only Americans who devised the bomb; it was a secret allied effort with British, French and other Europeans physicists and explosive experts who devised and built 3 A-Bombs, including the first weapon tested in a desert in New Mexico in July 1945.
    You should get out more Kate Chisholm, and expand your horizons ……

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Tell it like it is:
      The US wanted to test their atomic bombs (two types), and at the same time intimidate the Soviet Union.

  • Seumas McCoo

    Because of the ambiguity over the event. We remember what the Japanese did during the war. We remember that Japan was offering peace. We remember unconditional surrender. We are uncomfortable about it.

  • Gilbert White

    Must have been unerving for a young warrior gettting as far as spring of 1945 and wondering about the imminent Operation Zipper and the possible invasion of Japan. Hardly anybody today can imagine this? The laughable thing is photographs of someone who looks as if they have fallen asleep in front of a three bar fire and the label, we must not let this happen again!

    • Athelstane

      You’re describing my grandfather, actually, who was serving in Krueger’s 6th Army in the Philippines (6th Army was slated to be the primary invasion force for Olympic on November 1) – waiting to see if they had another invasion in store, and wondering if they would survive it. For him and his unit, there wasn’t any doubt that the Bomb had saved them from that. But I agree – it’s hard to imagine.

      • Gilbert White

        I know the mangrove area they were expected to wade through under fire, pure mud sucking swamp.

  • also, the USA rejected several surrenders from japan months before the bomb…even with the same terms as the ultimate surrender

  • Arthur Ascii

    It’s a common mistake to moralise about the events of WWII using what’s assumed to be the general consensus of today. Social media is full of people who spend hours online every day collecting half-truths, but rarely reading history books.

    Of course A bombs are horrible and the devastation is hard to imagine. Of course consequences are horrific, but then so was the Rape of Nanking, or the Burma railway, or the torture chambers, or the mindset of a military machine who saw honour in a fight to the death and regarded mercy as a weakness.

    Hard choices made by people who faceing impossible dilemmas. Who are we to judge?

  • Malcolm Stevas

    The usual collection of pacifists, guilt-trippers and deluded propagandists is duly following the writer here, whose tone is set by, “He was in a village a few miles away treating a sick child…” Japan was an expansionist power ruled by a savage militaristic regime, and the vile atrocities it committed on a huge scale are thoroughly documented. We should all feel grateful that those two nukes on Japan (neither of which caused as much immediate loss of life as the fire-bombing of Tokyo…) prompted unconditional surrender, and reflect that Japan brought this devastation on itself. I have read several accounts by military men expressing the surprise they felt at the time, that the war against Japan had ended so suddenly – and their elated relief that they would not have to risk their lives further against a universally detested foe. My own father was able to return from Burma earlier than he’d expected – alive, not in a box. Thousands of others failed to do so, having died in Changi Jail, or on the Burma Railway, or in slave-labour factories in Japan.
    The sort of people trotting out their cynical, mendacious re-writes of history here are the same kind who probably objected to the Bomber Command memorial, probably belong to CND, and wouldn’t know what patriotism was if it bit them on the arse. Contemptible.

    • starfish

      Unfortunately the price of democracy won by the people who endured WW2 is the routine rewriting of history in favour of the defeated

  • Ambientereal

    Dear Miss Chisholm, reading all the comments here I believe I got the answer to your question. It is better not to remember because there are so many “good” people that blame the ones that where right because they defeated those that where criminals. To combat the criminals we must use “powerful weapons”, even more powerful than the ones the criminals use. The phrase “whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” doesn´t work in war time, even less with the Japanese generals of that time. To blame the “good” for defeating the “bad” will give the later the opportunity to win and oppress the humankind. I personally thank America for the kind of world we have today and that they certainly constructed with millions of their children´s live. Thank you so much AMERICA!!

  • Eeyore

    “Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?”

    It isn’t anything unusual as due to the prevailing political and media consensus which presents the West as moral and good, Western crimes and atrocities past and present tend to be played down.

  • John P Hughes

    The dropping of the two bombs brought World War 2 to a sudden, complete end. To the people and the forces in the United States and Britain it was a deliverance – no more casualties, no more death, no reposting of troops and aircraft from Europe to the far east. This was the great dramatic effect of the Bomb.

  • Malcolm Knott

    Did it end the war? Yes. Within days.

    • Abie Vee

      No, the war was already over.

      • MickC

        Not according to the Japanese military, who had some say in the matter!

        • mohdanga

          Don’t present this guy with facts, he’s clueless.

      • Malcolm Knott

        Ah yes, I remember now. Japan surrendered before Hiroshima.

        • Abie Vee

          You can cut it how you like. These are the facts:

          “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace.” Admiral Nimitz, Pacific Fleet Commander.

          “Japan was already defeated… dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.” Eisenhower.

          “The Japanese were ready to surrender… the atomic bombs were of no significant material assistance in our war against Japan.” Admiral Leahy. Chief of Staff..

          There’s more if you want.

  • sidor

    Interestingly, we are also silent about the Manchurian Operation which started 9th of August whereby the Red Army, using thousands of tanks, within three weeks wiped out the Japanese Army of 1200 000 that was occupying the Northern China. This was the largest-scale operation of the WWII. There were 640 000 POW. What happened with the rest one can only guess: the Chinese hated them. The scale of that slaughter is by far bigger than Hiroshima.

    • 1__1_1

      It’s not so fashionable as a Nuclear bomb.

      • sidor

        That is true. Not the number of victims, but the manner of the killing. The bomb is more impressive than the traditional way. And the memory is longer.

  • freddiethegreat

    There are two sides to the story of course. Both are “right”. Perhaps the best middle way (in hindsight) would have been to use the bomb as a highly visible demonstration over a low-population area.
    BUT: Why is Japan so silent about the appalling inhuman practices of it’s troops – the slavery of South east asians, the Burma Railway, Nanking, Comfort women etc etc. Why no official apology? Japan needs two things: an honest historian and a generation that abandons Shinto.

    • Abie Vee

      WHY haven’t we apologised to the German people for Bomber Command’s war crimes against them?

      I think the one thing Japan doesn’t need is lecturing by a half-wit. They atoned for their crimes with their flesh and blood. We took it out on their children, wives and grandparents.

      • mohdanga

        Apologize to the Germans who tried to invade the UK? We’ll get right on that.

        • sidor

          And who invaded Russia and killed over 20 million of the Russian civilians?

      • sidor

        The German Airforce bombed Belgrade in 1999. Third time within one century, and again in an unprovoked aggression. Doesn’t look like they got the lesson. There is no point to apologise before they get it.

        • Abie Vee

          Good grief.

          The bombing of Yugoslavia was a NATO operation as I recall. Are you suggesting that Germany withdraws from NATO? Good for you… I’ll second that! And the UK too.

          Where’s that Jeremy Corbyn, I must remind him.

          • sidor

            Notice that you don’t deny the fact. Legally speaking, Germany, by participating in the bombing, broke: (a) the UN chart (b) the NATO chart and (c) its on constitution that forbids using German troops abroad. And this behaviour of Germany is in a sharp contrast with that of Japan. Which doesn’t have army. The reason for this drastic difference in behaviour is simple: Hiroshima. If it were Frankfurt, we would have now observed a quite different Germany.

          • Abie Vee

            Good grief. What “charts” exactly?

            If nuclear weapons are so good at keeping the peace, why don’t we all have one? No more wars.

          • sidor

            Charter, sorry.

            And it was quite good to keep peace. When Europe was divided and ruled by two (non-European) nuclear superpowers, it enjoyed an unprecedented 50-years period without wars. As soon as this control was lifted, they immediately organised a new war, what is funny – again in the same Balkans.

          • Abie Vee

            TV kept the peace.
            Er what “control” was lifted?
            And nobody understood the Balkans better than the Germans: Der ganze ich nicht die gesunden knochen eins einzigen Pommerschen Grenadier , wert.

  • Giuseppe Cappa

    Some comments here assume that it is fine to throw bombs, atomic or not, on innocent civilians (women and children included) of an enemy country, as a side effect of the victory of the Good against the Evil. Extermination of innocent people with the aim of common good is something that has been seen in a few authoritarian regimes (Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, for instance), as well as in some soi-disant democratic countries (eugenics programmes in the USA or Sweden, for example) — not to mention the current and widespread practice of abortion (forcible suppression of unborn human beings) in most countries nowadays.

    • sidor

      Let me ask you about Good and Evil, in the historic scale. Does it refer to the ends or to the means? Do we really care how many “innocent” people were killed by Alexander of Echnaton when enjoying their great achievements?

      • Giuseppe Cappa

        Good and Evil refer both to the ends and to the means. All governments who committed mass murder claimed they did it for the common good. Are you one of those in favour, like Darwin was, of exterminating the unfit so as to achieve a better society?

        • sidor

          Comparing an unfamiliar person with the famous idiot Darwin (you probably meant his co-idiot Spencer) is an undeserved insult.

          The problem is that you cannot get rid of wrong ideas without getting rid of their carriers. That is a sad fact of history. 1000 years of dark ages in Europe could only be interrupted by a huge wave of blood of the religious wars. Otherwise we would have still been communicating by writing letters being lighted by a candle.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            I meant Darwin actually, but I had no intent of insulting. Anyway, you seem to be deviating from the actual matter of my comment. Apart from the fact that what you call “dark ages” weren’t dark at all, I am not talking about wars. Killing unarmed civilians is not war. I argue that there no aim is no important enough to allow for the suppression of innocent human beings.

          • sidor

            I don’t think you understand what you are talking about concerning Darwin’s theory. I can explain you why it is idiotic if you know some physics. If you don’t, your moral arguments are meaningless since they lack any rational content.

            The question of Good and Evil can be formulated as follows: is the Universe in ergodic equilibrium? If it is not, there is a general vector of its development which makes it possible to define what is good.

            Evil then is simply absence of Good: those who don’t have a good (transcendental) goal are useless. Dust on the road.

            And your concept of war is funny. War is not cricket: there are no civilians in the war. Just enemies. Try to learn history.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            You are essentially calling me an ignorant in physics, history and philosophy only because you know some physics (which I don’t need you to explain to me, thank you). I don’t mind, though I dare suggest that you should learn to be less arrogant and less blind to any view that is not your narrow one. You also seem to imply that one cannot have rational moral arguments without using physics, which is clearly false. Then you provide a definition of good and evil in terms of ergodic equilibrium which is, to say the least, odd; why don’t you try to publish it on a philosophy (or maybe a physics) journal and see what you get in response? There are rational and reasonable world views that value human life; if you think human life can be easily sacrificed, I am sorry for you. This said, I end this discussion.

          • sidor

            You shouldn’t take a friendly advice concerning the gaps in your education as a personal offence if you goal is to improve your understanding. Concerning the history of wars, you should read read Sun Tse and Clausewitz. Discussing philosophy without elementary knowledge of physics is useless: you cannot discuss nature without using an adequate terminology.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            You probably mean Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz — yes I know those, thank you. Let me now give you some friendly advice: the fact that you have read some very basic literature on history and physics does not mean that you are the only one able to understand. You point at what you call “gaps in my education” of a person you don’t know only because his views differ from yours. I don’t want to give you my education and research background because this is not the point. For next times, try to bring some argument.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Sidor? He is a NSDAP apologist, and tried to conflate Darwinism and Social Darwinism to me.

          • sidor

            Who was that? Name the dog.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Charles Darwin was an idiot? Only to a Creationist. You do set the bar high.

          • sidor

            To be exact, we know little about his mental capacity because his obvious lack of education doesn’t allow us to judge it. In his amusing theory of “natural selection” he described, in a peculiar way, the design of Maxwell’s Demon which he has never heard of.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    It worked though. Middle East, we’re looking at you.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I wonder how many of you armchair pundits haves visited Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki.
    Well I have, both cities, several times.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • Labour Mole Catcher

      As a Japanese …

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The US had broken Japanese codes and knew the Pearl Harbor* attack was coming. But apart from moving their best capital ships out of harm’s way, let it happen.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Enola Gay”
    Quick, change to “Enola Homosexual” for the politically over-correct western democracies.

  • Kasperlos

    Warfare in its conduct is evolutionary, from fists to rocks to cudgels to spears to pistols to cannons to gatling guns to submarines to aeroplanes to atomic weapons . Countless people and events conspired and coincided, directly or indirectly, to reach the nuclear bomb. The decision to use it rested with but one person, President Truman. Equally, Japanese leaders were responsible for decisions, e.g. invasions of Singapore, Thailand, Malaya, Burma, Dutch East Indies, French Indochina, China, Korea and the United States territory (Aleutian Islands and Guam) and attacks on Australia. That said, it would be relevant to read not only about what took place at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but about the development of the atomic bomb itself. Then there is the most fascinating story of the superb members of the U.S. Army Air Corps’ 509th Composite Group and the skilful organization it took to effectively employ the device against the enemy of that time. The record is clear, viz. that the atomic bombing brought about the unconditional surrender by Japan as soon as it did.

  • Lorenzo

    “Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?”

    Otherwise somebody would bring up the firebombing of Tokyo, Dresden, Hamburg and Japanese atrocities like the rape of Nankin or the Bataan death march, not to forget the Katyn Forest massacre, the concentration camps, the Ukraine famine and let’s round it out with Mao’s Great Leap Forward and his Cultural Revolution.

    We could spend the entire year talking about things from the past that we can do nothing about and have been thoroughly hashed over already. So why not give it a rest?

  • JOhn Mackie

    To those who feel the need to repeat the dishonest historical US propaganda of the time – for the supposed “necessity” of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, here’s the best instant antidote.

    Go to Hiroshima.

    Go to the museum. Then stand at ground zero where 50,000 civilians, women and children were needlessly incinerated. Look up into the sky. Imagine YOUR wife and children had been there at that awful moment.

    Then STFU with your dated propaganda. For ever.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      I have.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • DaveAtherton20

      The Rape of Nanking.

      The Japanese troops committed some of the most barbarous atrocities. Probably 200,000 people were murdered, thousands of women raped. Unspeakable acts of the Imperial Japanese army included slitting open the stomachs of pregnant women, cutting the vaginas of underage girls so they could be penetrated. Japan to this day disputes the numbers of dead and precise nature of the acts.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rape-Of-Nanking-Iris-Chang/dp/0465068367

  • lucath

    Why are we so silent that cities from Plymouth to Hull were literally flattened??http://bombsight.org/#15/51.5050/-0.0900

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Keep in mind Churchill ordered the bombing of Berlin for six consecutive nights before Hitler retaliated and ordered the bombing of the East End. The plan was to present bombing of civilian areas of London to the Americans, thus to get them to join the party.
      “You are cordially invited to participate in WWII. R.S.V.P”
      In the event it took Pearl Harbor to get the US into the war. Better late than never.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • tolpuddle1

    In 1945, no Western person objected to the use of the A-Bombs; everyone was relieved that Japan had been defeated and the war had ended.

    Since that time, there has been a growing wailing noise from hypocrites deploring the use of the atom bombs.

    But this is armchair martyrdom, much akin to grief-tourism, and costing precisely nothing.

    The only point at issue is whether Japan would have surrendered if the atom bombs hadn’t been dropped.

    The answer is No
    – because Hirohito wouldn’t have spoken out for surrender; and
    – because any Japanese politician who tried to arrange a Japanese surrender (a mere peace deal wasn’t on the cards) would have been pushed aside or murdered by the Japanese military hawks.

  • charles kinbote

    judging from anecdotal evidence concerning the size of Oriental sexual organs…the rape of Nanking was probably a relatively painless affair

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      And they call me tasteless and gratuitously offensive.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Have you noticed the almost total lack of recommendations? You know anything about this, Mods?

  • mikewaller

    What really invalidates Abe Vee’s claims is the following extract from Hirohito’s surrender speech. Had the attack on Hiroshima just been yet another mass bombing using conventional weapons, he would not have been able to sweeten the bitterest of pills, by speaking of “a new and most cruel bomb”. Ergo, no atomic bomb and no immediate surrender and, almost certainly, there would have been a large scale invasion by the Soviet Union.

    “Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.”

  • Terry Field

    The title asks why we do not respond to this horror.
    How can we?
    We know that it was less violent than would have been the full invasion of the islands.
    We therefore watch grainy films of people with skin and flesh peeling from their bodies, and can offer only our personal sorrow.
    That sorrow is a private thing; not to be puffed in public.
    Mr Corbyn wishes unilateral disarmament; for the same reason, we do not consider that action to be rational.
    The world we have made is our own. We cannot apologise for it.
    Such hypocrisy would be the worst of taste; and the gentle and intelligent Japanese would see straight through it.

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