Could the bombing of Hiroshima be considered a war crime?

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
War crimes are not defined by morality or feelings. They are defined by crimes that occur in warfare. A crime is a violation of law. In the context of war, a law is defined either nationally (Articles of War, standing orders, etc), or internationally (Geneva Convention, Hague, etc).

What orders or laws were violated that made Hiroshima and Nagasaki war crimes?
Apparently, it’s the fact that it took one aircraft and not 200. Ridiculous!
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,514
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.
Not really the case...
 
Sep 2014
1,098
Queens, NYC
Radiation effects may not have been properly known. Remember that when U.S. troops entered Japan, they went to Hiroshima and Nagasaki without taking any precautions against radioactivity. In fact, up till roughly the mid 1950s American troops were put dangerously near the sites of atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb testing.
IIrc, I have read that the first tested bomb may have been remarkably clean of radiation, thus giving the relevant scientists and other authorities a mistaken impression of low-radiation emissions from bomb explosions.

Btw-I really hate to repeat myself, but there is simply no evidence whatever that impressing Russia was a factor in the decisions to use the bombs.
 
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?
Were the Japanese discussing Trms of Peace with the US? No. So who were they discussing the with and why would they think that talking about peace with anyone but the main combatants was anything more than either a ruse or a useless exercise? I am sick of this stupid revisionist history.
 
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
Hiroshima and Nagasaki held little strategic use; if they had then why hadn't they been bombed earlier. The utter destruction of the towns military and civilian populations was another message that the US meant business when it came to doing whatever it took to bring the war to a conclusion.

Otherwise surely they would have nuked some of the islands tjat marines had had to clear out.
No, that would have been impossible since there weren’t any operational nukes during the island battles.
 
Jul 2013
9,514
San Antonio, Tx
The thought that the entire purpose of the mass killing of quarter one million people was only so that the US can flex their muscles at a country that was discussing peace terms honestly sounds like a dark humor joke.

What's even worse is that less than a century later the US suddenly took the role of the humanist saint that overthrows war criminal regimes and brings peace to the world.
Perhaps you should take a “chill pill”. The Japanese were NOT discussing peace terms with ANY of the combatant counties , so what were they really doing?
 
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?
Who were the Japanese “discussing peace terms” with? Not the US, not Australia or New Zealand, or even Holland and France. If they weren’t talking with these actual combatant nations, they were not being serious and playing their usual coy games. The allied peace terms were clear and explicit and the Japanese knew exactly what they were. I can only conclude from this that the Japanese were desperately hoping for some miracle that was never going to happen.
 
Jun 2012
5,661
Texas
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.
We should note, we had plans to drop multiple bombs as part of the invasion. It was not an 'either or' situation.
 

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