Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Were the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justified?

  • Yes, it was the most efficient method to bring Japan to to her knees.

    Votes: 92 58.6%
  • No, it was a brutal war crime that should be strongly condemned.

    Votes: 45 28.7%
  • It depends on the factors that could've been present at the time.

    Votes: 20 12.7%

  • Total voters
    157
Jan 2015
505
Large Fields
One of the most controversial military decision in history is the deployment of two atomic bombs known as "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some argue that it was a necessary decision to quickly end the Pacific War, while the others think it was one of the worst atrocities in the Second World War. I know there have been previously similar threads regarding this topic, but I want to have a fully drawn discussion/debate on this thread. So what are your opinions?
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
The atomic bombs were intended to help force Japan to surrender. The primary reason we still talk about them is the hindsight we developed during the M.A.D. era with regard to their dangers, hazards at best poorly understood.

Here's a picture of Robert Oppenheimer and Leslie Groves standing at ground zero of the first atomic explosion shortly after the test. Note the lack of even the most rudimentary safety equipment.

 

Gile na Gile

Ad Honorem
May 2008
4,466
Fireland
Feynman was never under any illusions as to the destructive capacity of 'the bomb' - it was self-consciously developed and dropped as a "game-changer"; the after-effects of radiation were a sting in the tail which only increased an already unheralded lethality. There was always the option was there not of exploding it in a sparsely populated area with suitable advanced warnings so an unequivocal message could be sent out that a "new weapon" had arrived; giving a two week moratorium or whatever for the Japanese to accept the bitter pill. Clearly, lives were saved by bringing the war to an abrupt end, but this may have been done anyway merely by demonstrating in a suitable arena (i.e. less costly in human terms) the new power which was now at America's disposal.


[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6no328q_VGQ[/ame]
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
Feynman was never under any illusions as to the destructive capacity of 'the bomb' - it was self-consciously developed and dropped as a "game-changer"; the after-effects of radiation were a sting in the tail which only increased an already unheralded lethality.
I have yet to find any documents from the time that considered the "fall-out" as a force multiplier. Blast and fire were the facets of the bomb that received attention.
There was always the option was there not of exploding it in a sparsely populated area with suitable advanced warnings so an unequivocal message could be sent out that a "new weapon" had arrived; giving a two week moratorium or whatever for the Japanese to accept the bitter pill. Clearly, lives were saved by bringing the war to an abrupt end, but this may have been done anyway merely by demonstrating in a suitable arena (i.e. less costly in human terms) the new power which was now at America's disposal.
Can you tell me how a demonstration would have swayed men who were spouting the slogan "One Hundred Million Dead for the Emperor"?
 

Mike McClure

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
6,229
Indiana
You have to think of this as two questions. Even if you can justify Hiroshima and I am not sure you can. Justifying Nagasaki a few days later, is much harder. The reaction for most people is we did it and now we have to rationalize it and not look at the possibility that it was unnecessary.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
You have to think of this as two questions. Even if you can justify Hiroshima and I am not sure you can. Justifying Nagasaki a few days later, is much harder. The reaction for most people is we did it and now we have to rationalize it and not look at the possibility that it was unnecessary.
Why would shortening the war be hard to justify?
 

Gile na Gile

Ad Honorem
May 2008
4,466
Fireland
Can you tell me how a demonstration would have swayed men who were spouting the slogan "One Hundred Million Dead for the Emperor"?
Well, a mere two demonstrations seemed to do the trick just fine.

Are you saying the Japanese were incapable of extrapolating from evidence of destruction wrought by a bomb drop in a less populated region what would happen if the same force were applied to a densely populated city?
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,178
Lisbon, Portugal
The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are only controversial now (since the 1960s), but they were not during the time the event took place. People have to understand the mindset that existed during that time, specially in the final years of the war, and understand the context in which the use of WMDs on civilian populations was considered a "normal" thing to do.

People also have to understand the perception that the American decision makers had of Japan at the time.

I think in a all, people still discuss the morality of the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Japan because it was the United States that did it. If it was another country doing it, we would condemned it with a blink of an eye.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
Well, a mere two demonstrations seemed to do the trick just fine.
Yep, both on the military headquarters of their prefects.
Are you saying the Japanese were incapable of extrapolating from evidence of destruction wrought by a bomb drop in a less populated region what would happen if the same force were applied to a densely populated city?
Gen. Anami didn't accept the devastation of Hirsohima until the same happened at Nagasaki. I'm not saying they were incapable, I'm saying they refused to accept that it mattered.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are only controversial now (since the 1960s), but they were not during the time the event took place. People have to understand the mindset that existed during that time, specially in the final years of the war, and understand the context in which the use of WMDs on civilian populations was considered a "normal" thing to do.
True, they were just "big bombs", and they killed few people than the fire bombing of Tokyo in March, 1945.
People also have to understand the perception that the American decision makers had of Japan at the time.

I think in a all, people still discuss the morality of the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Japan because it was the United States that did it. If it was another country doing it, we would condemned it with a blink of an eye.
That's more than a bit slanderous. You casually dismiss the people who have actual researched this matter so score political points.