Could the bombing of Hiroshima be considered a war crime?

Jul 2012
2,862
Dhaka
Strange that it was "rendered useless" yet the Japanese accepted it.
Besides, you keep leaving a word out..."best chance to make them surrender quickly". You also seem to forget that the Gang of Six were split on accepting Potsdam. You wish to stroke the pride of the very men who started the war and kept it going past the point of rationality. You also wish to feed their delusions about Japan's prospects. General Anami argued strenuously after Hiroshima that the Americans must have had only one bomb, or they would have dropped more sooner. Therefore the war isn't lost, and Japan should fight one more battle to bloody the Americans. It may very well be that moderating the terms would have been perceived as weakness, and strengthened the war faction.
I explained why a surrender with a guarantee for the emperor or (even the institution in general) was not seen as necessarily the best result by everyone, and even many of those who wanted to keep the emperor were not thinking of a quick surrender or Japanese lives.
What if it turns out the emperor is far more culpable in war crimes than thought? What if the emperor is used as a symbol of resistance to the occupiers?


Congratulations on moving past the "Stimson's explicit guarantee" stuff. So here it is:
A choice between "may include a constitutional monarchy if [certain conditions are met]" or "a peaceful government chosen by the people".
Maybe it's time for you to show that the first formulation would have been acceptable to Anami and the other hard-liners. Do you really think that "constitutional monarchy" fit in with their view of the kokutai?
Even after it was decided to accept Potsdam, the Japanese wanted to ask if any orders from the Supreme Commander would go from him, to the Diet, to the emperor, and then to the people, in order to preserve the "living god" stuff. You see, God can't be seen to take orders from a mere mortal. But they decided there wasn't time, and scrapped the idea. The Americans forced Hirohito to read a "non-divinity" proclamation, yet treated him with respect, so it worked out.
Except that unlike Germany, Japan was never forced to face what they inflicted on their neighbors, because of the generous terms. Thus the comfort women, victims of Nanking etc waited decades for a small amount of satisfaction.
You don't get it, do you? How the big six reacted to Potsdam declaration is entirely irrelevant.

WHY did TRUMAN leave out the term of continuing the imperial institution from Potsdam declaration?

Let me help you think: Truman left out the term BEFORE Potsdam declaration happened, and the big six reacted AFTER it.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,454
Amelia, Virginia, USA
You don't get it, do you? How the big six reacted to Potsdam declaration is entirely irrelevant.

WHY did TRUMAN leave out the term of continuing the imperial institution from Potsdam declaration?

Let me help you think: Truman left out the term BEFORE Potsdam declaration happened, and the big six reacted AFTER it.
Having already answered “why” twice now, I certainly won’t bother again. Clearly your mind is utterly closed and you have no wish to learn history, you merely seek disjointed facts to use as cement to bind your opinions together.

What the Japanese thought of Potsdam is not only relevant, it’s the entire point.
Let me help you think. Can you think of any reason other than cruelty why the Americans would phrase the clause the way they did? (Hint: I’ve already listed several)
Reminder: They accepted Potsdam without an offer of a possible constitutional monarchy.
Reminder: Half of them were for accepteing it as written.

Now it’s time for you to do some explaining. Why do you want to appease the militarists and moneyed elites who used the system to oppress their people and wage aggressive, racial war?
Why do you think the hardliners would have accepted a possible constitutional monarchy any sooner?
Would you have offered terms to the Nazis and save hundreds of thousands of civilians?
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,840
San Antonio, Tx
The United States had defeated Japan before nuking 2 cities - unrestricted sub warfare, mining all the Japanese harbors via B-29s and the firebombing campaign had ended Japan's ability to fight. However - Japan would not accept the terms of surrender. Unfortunately - the timing allowed the USSR to get a hand into Japan controlled areas in Asia. The US invading Japan would have allowed the USSR to grab too much land - that is why the US wanted the war ended ASAP.

The United States made the decision to nuke Japan in the hope it would get Japan to surrender on our terms AND to send the Soviets a message - we have the bomb. The sticking point was removing the Emperor.....guess what - we changed the terms to allow the appointed governor of Japan to decide the emperor's fate. And Japan felt McArther would allow Hirohito to remain Emperor. Both sides blinked - more because of Mother Russia than 2 nukes.
Unfortunately, as far as I can determine, there is zero evidence to back up your claim concerning the Soviet Union. Can you cite some contemporaneous documentation that supports your position?
 
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Sep 2012
743
Las Cruces, NM
Imperor Hirohito deserved to be punished. Was he? No. The Americans protected the main villain and let him live to the old age. Can you explain why? Would the Americans let Hitler live in peace if they happen to get him?
If I'd been in charge I'd have hanged the entire lot of Japanese leaders/generals. Every damn one of them. But I wasn't even a zygote yet, not being born until 1965.

Regarding Hirohito I think the USA figured Hirohito was just a figurehead anyway, and if it would smooth the process of US occupation of Japan it was a small price to pay in letting Hirohito keep his useless throne.
 
Likes: andyferdinard

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,840
San Antonio, Tx
I believe with a great deal of certainty that whoever got the bomb first was going to use it on someone with immediacy, so if Japan it would of been the US or China that got blasted, Germany then Russia etc.

So.. while it is a weapon of deadly destructive power, and it's use likely precluded other resolutions and/or could of avoided issues in the short term... it's use was probably necessary by at least one party to communicate the necessity of resolving conflicts. That is to say, it was inevitable, it was just a matter who was doing it to whom... the why... well... the why is a bit sacrificed in that situation.
Please don’t write ...”could of...” when what you really want to write is “could have...”. “Of” is a preposition; “have” is a verb. You are not alone is repeating this error. I mean no disrespect by pointing it out.
 
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Sep 2016
29
France
While I don't consider the bombing to be a war crime, it's very obvious there is a form of double standard from american posters. After all, Pearl Harbor was classified as a crime against peace, hard to see how that was not a victors justice.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,761
At present SD, USA
While I don't consider the bombing to be a war crime, it's very obvious there is a form of double standard from american posters. After all, Pearl Harbor was classified as a crime against peace, hard to see how that was not a victors justice.
The difference between Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima is that the raid on Pearl Harbor was an attack without warning whereas Japan knew from the Potsdam Declaration that the US had a weapon great power and was threatening to use it...

Technically, Japan did send a warning... in accordance with their own codes of "honor," but the warning was coded, so by the time the message was decoded, the attack was an hour old, and thus did nothing. The Potsdam Declaration was sent in plain language and the raid on Hiroshima occurred well after the Potsdam Declaration had been issued.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,562
Stockport Cheshire UK
While I don't consider the bombing to be a war crime, it's very obvious there is a form of double standard from american posters. After all, Pearl Harbor was classified as a crime against peace, hard to see how that was not a victors justice.
Actually do any of the American posters here actually view Pearl Harbor as a serious war crime ?
 
Sep 2016
29
France
Redcoat : you're right. I'm being presumptuous. Still, regardless of what we can think here, Pearl Harbor was classified as a war against peace during the Tokyo trials

Sam-nary : of course, the Japanese did a very bad move by attacking without declaring war. Still, it always seemed very odd to me that Pearl Harbor was classified as a crime when the attack targeted the american navy and not mere civilians.
 

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