Could the bombing of Hiroshima be considered a war crime?

Oct 2016
54
Ashland
The reason those two cities got it was that most of the more tempting targets, such as Tokyo, had already been fire-bombed into ashes.
Perhaps Tojo and company should have thought twice before killing so many American sailors at Pearl Harbor in the first place. If the Japanese high command had wished to avoid all those horrible civilian casualties, they had only to admit defeat; however, like Hitler, they preferred to see their nation go down with themselves.
BTW, one is just as dead if beaned with a big rock as if one died in a nuclear attack.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
12,997
SoCal
While post-war the bombing of civilian targets has been made illegal, in WW2 it wasn't.
So while you may consider the use of nuclear weapons against these Japanese cities morally wrong, you cannot class them as war crimes
Out of curiosity--does this mean that the U.S. bombings in North Korea and North Vietnam were war crimes?
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,433
Stockport Cheshire UK
Out of curiosity--does this mean that the U.S. bombings in North Korea and North Vietnam were war crimes?
It depends on their intended targets, if they were bombing military related targets it's still allowed, but carpet or area bombing of residential areas would be war crimes
 
Likes: Futurist

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
As far as I know, a war crime is essentially any act during wars/military conflicts that opposes the law of war; which includes (but not limited to) destroying civilian property, intentional killing of civilians and strategic bombing.

Now the bombing of Hiroshima was essentially destroying civilian property; intentional killing of civilians and strategic bombing. And worse; a nuclear bombing.

So why isn't intentionally using nuclear bombs on a country (that has been discussing terms of peace and was willing to surrender) considered a war crime? Why is the killing of more than 200,000 and the intentional destruction of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki not considered a war crime?
Up until the time it was used, there were no generally-recognized rules about nuclear bombing. Nor, at the time they were dropped, was there much, if any, understanding about the after-effects of radioactivity on people. But what were the qualitative differences between dropping a single, powerful bomb on a city from one bomber and the dropping of incendiaries on a city such as Tokyo by hundreds (maybe more than a thousand) bombers? That one bomber over Nagasaki and Hiroshima was doing exactly the same thing as the hundreds of bombers used on other Japanese cities.

Today, of course, we know of the insidious effects of radioactivity. We recoil from using atomic bombs and none have been dropped in anger since those first two. The examples of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were enough to convince most countries that they should in fact never be used again. Still, there are plenty of countries in the world that are working to produce their own nuclear weapons - Korea and Iran come to mind, but of course, India and Pakistan (and probably Israel) are also on the list. The future looks a bit bleak here because it is likely that one day a country that is willing to accept dropping such a bomb may do so in the full knowledge of what dropping one will do.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
I don't know if it was yet considered legally as a war crimes at this moment, and redcoat has posted that it wasn't. But i know that for sure that the bombing of civilians population is, nowadays, considered as a war crime.
I don't think that we can argue something like," at this epoke the bombing of civilians populations wasn't consider as a crime then it wasn't a crime", because the morale values weren't very different of the actual ones and that are those morale values which led to the international laws which condemn those act of war.
The American government were perfectly aware of this aspect of the question of the Atomic bombing, they decided to drop the bomb knowingly.
I don’t know how “perfectly aware” the US government was about the aftereffects of radiation and I doubt you know if the US knew. What I do know is that US military commanders were extremely leery of invading Japan because of the mass slaughter of both the Japanese and US soldiers that would be involved. Faced with the potential horror of making opposed landings in Japan and the alternative of dropping 2 atomic weapons (that’s all we had at the time) on Japan to hopefully bring the war in th Pacific to a swift conclusion, frankly, it was a no-brainer to at least give that a try before actually making opposed landings. It worked and the rest is history.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
Yes they were "legitimate targets" and "strategic locations" but how does that exactly justify the use of a nuclear bomb? I don't think one has to use atomic bombs that resulted in the killing of quarter one million civilians of the city to bomb a strategic location.
It brought the Japanese empire to the peace table in double-quick-time, QED.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
This entire thread was asking if the bombing of Hiroshima could be considered a war crime or not, not a historical what-if, you know that right? You're saying that I would prefer to see Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire succeed just because I consider a nuclear bombing illegal and inhumane? I'm not pillorying allied victory; I'm pillorying the fact that the Hiroshima bombing was (and shockingly still is) considered the only way to end WW2. Say what you will about how "it saved American and Japanese lives from an invasion" but the only people that thought an invasion of Japan was necessary in any way were Americans themselves.

Japan was ready to discuss peace terms and further negotiations with Japan would have achieved better results than headlines like “Peace in the Pacific: Our Bomb Did It!” and stamps such as "Atoms for peace".

So how exactly was the US blameless?
This is revisionist blather using 20-20 hindsight. The Japanese, by the way, already knew what the “peace terms” were. Those were clear long before the bombs were dropped and yet the Japanese temporized hoping for some miracle that would save them from the humiliation of surrender. It was precisely that humiliation that was necessary to kick the militarists off the political high horse and once the Japanese to the peace table.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
So why are "the occupying forces of the Allies" still there? As they are in the Philippines and many other former Japanese strongholds in the Pacific. What we see now is the Japanese occupying forces are substituted by the US ones.
US troops are in Japan, but the US does not “run” Japan at all, just like our troops are n Grany but they also do not run the German government. And, if the Japanese and the Germans asked (or just told) the US to get out o Dodge, we would do so. We haven’t been in the Philippines in years.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
Here's a map of Japan and bases/facilities used by the US military.



I counted 200 items. Some peaceful presence you have there!
You’re missing the point and I’m wondering if this is deliberate. The US does not “govern” Japan; the Japanese govern Japan. The US has military bases in Japan which are there until the Japanese ask us to leave. Do you have a problem with this? If so, what is it, other than a sneering suggestion that maybe this presence is illegitimate? Do tell.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
Well, I guess military forces can't "take responsibility for the governance of territory" for they are military and not qualified to govern anyone or anything. But they can guarantee the government will lead a certain line of "governing" and not the other. A good example is the GDR or Czechoslovakia. The Soviet troops governed no one but they guaranteed the governing were to be a prosoviet one.
So you’re saying that the US troops in Japan and Germany and elsewhere is similar to the Red Army in Eastern Europe? Hm, kindly wake up.
 

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