Could the bombing of Hiroshima be considered a war crime?

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,048
I do not ascribe to the idea that the Atomic bomb did not save civilian lives or were unnecessary.



80% among Japanese soldiers, and I told you that hundreds of thousands of militias would join the fight, and I expect them to surrender by the tens of thousands when they faced combat with American forces.
A drop from.100 to even 80% really isn't that big in the scheme of things. We can expect similar levels.among the Japanese soldiers, plus we have all the more numerous civilians to deal with. Sure, maybe if you all the civilians, include little 6 years old (who could still walk and carry a grenade), the overall casualty rate would be low, but that is an invalid comparison. If you throw in all the militias and the civilians, the US forces would be heavily outnumbered. Even if they only fought as fractionally as hard, we are talking of very high casualties over all.

The main point, which all your.claims are a distraction,.from is that the US invasion would have resulted in enormous casualties on both sides. The Japanese would not have thrown in the towel nearly as easily as they did in Manchuria. Okinawa, which is part of Japan, and where the people.speak a Japanese family language, is a far, far more realistic guide of what to expect invading the home islands than Manchuria.


My comment #436
I was responding to you.
I did not see a question being asked of me. Your argument did not refute.mine,.as far as I see, and I am.not going to Wade through a solid page of text to dig out a question buried somewhere in your verbage. Repeating what was just previously said seems pointless.

The question is this:. Would an invasion of Japan.likely resulted in high casualties on both sides? If your answer is that we have no idea, that it is just a random flip.of a coin whether there would be high casualties , that is total nonsense. While we might not have 100% certainty, we still have a very good idea of what would be mostly likely to happen, and military planners don't have the luxury of only acting on 100% certainty.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,671
Lago Maggiore, Italy
At the end the right question is:

if Japan had the atom bomb ... would have the Emperor ordered to use it against the United States?

It was a war ...
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,870
Lisbon, Portugal
A drop from.100 to even 80% really isn't that big in the scheme of things. We can expect similar levels.among the Japanese soldiers, plus we have all the more numerous civilians to deal with. Sure, maybe if you all the civilians, include little 6 years old (who could still walk and carry a grenade), the overall casualty rate would be low, but that is an invalid comparison. If you throw in all the militias and the civilians, the US forces would be heavily outnumbered. Even if they only fought as fractionally as hard, we are talking of very high casualties over all.

The main point, which all your.claims are a distraction,.from is that the US invasion would have resulted in enormous casualties on both sides. The Japanese would not have thrown in the towel nearly as easily as they did in Manchuria. Okinawa, which is part of Japan, and where the people.speak a Japanese family language, is a far, far more realistic guide of what to expect invading the home islands than Manchuria.
I don't exactly dispute that, neither I was attempting to counter all your arguments, and I don't understand why are you taking in this way.
I just added a more nuanced response to your opinion.

I did not see a question being asked of me. Your argument did not refute.mine,.as far as I see, and I am.not going to Wade through a solid page of text to dig out a question buried somewhere in your verbage. Repeating what was just previously said seems pointless.

The question is this:. Would an invasion of Japan.likely resulted in high casualties on both sides? If your answer is that we have no idea, that it is just a random flip.of a coin whether there would be high casualties , that is total nonsense. While we might not have 100% certainty, we still have a very good idea of what would be mostly likely to happen, and military planners don't have the luxury of only acting on 100% certainty.
That was not your original question, neither I was discussing with you that point. Do you remember what we were discussing two or three days ago? You made a point that the surrender of Japan was solely because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and only because of the Emperor, and my other comment says that it was not quite like that.

Of course an invasion of the Japanese home islands would lead to a very high casualty rate, never said the contrary, but I also add that it would not be quite the scenario of Okinawa. But that's me speaking with insight, of course American decision makers at the time would expect the worst-case scenario and extremely high casualties.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,803
San Antonio, Tx
By the way, can you present me the sources that explain that the Kwantung army were composed of second-rate soldiers?
According to my readings on the subject some time ago, the Kwantung Army was a mere shadow of its former self. It had been stripped of its best soldiers and equipment to meet the Allied juggernaut in the Pacific. Japan had sown the wind and was reaping the whirlwind.
 
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royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,803
San Antonio, Tx
Hiroshima and Nagasaki=justifiable MILITARY targets.They was millitary presence in both of the towns.
And honestly nukeing(nuking?)was more efficent then invasion of the Japanese mainland.Becouse japanese never surendered they would charge with their bayonets completly outnumbered 10 to 1,and that didnt happen just once or twice during the war it happened allmost everytime they were losing.Those were called Banzai charges,most famous one was on island of Saipan.
I would recomd this video on this topic:
Sorry for my broken english,not native speaker :)
Your English is pretty good. I understood you clearly.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,803
San Antonio, Tx
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.
I’ve never heard of this before. Of course the Japanese attack was “a crime against peace” but I’m unaware that such a crime category even exists in any formal way. As for “victor’s justice”, please do try and get a grip on yourself.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,817
According to my readings on the subject some time ago, the Kwantung Army was a mere shadow of its former self. It had been stripped of its best soldiers and equipment to meet the Allied juggernaut in the Pacific. Japan had sown the wind and was reaping the whirlwind.
And pre-war the Kwantung army was the most ideologically radicalized part of the IJA.

So we have those troops doing die-rather-than-surrender on the islands of the pacific, but their replacements in Manchuria certainly not being up for anything like that. Which would seem to indicate that the Japanese supply of suicidally fanatic troops was after all not a given, but a limited supply, based on particular circumstances. Which might also have effects for assessments of how realistic the prospect of a suicidal defense of the home islands might be.

The fair point that US military planners would be remiss if not erring on the side of caution and at all times proceeding from worst-case-scenarios at the time of war still stands of course.

But the post-war rationalizing narratives, which over time gradually even augmented the hypothetical butcher's bill of an invasion in 1945, were something else.
 
Jun 2011
286
The Old Dominion
Hiroshima and Nagasaki targeting, listed in “Air Target Intelligence Japanese War – Target Analysis by Areas,” volumes 6 and 8 respectively, Joint Target Group, Washington, DC., 1945.

HIROSHIMA TARGETS:
Army Transport Base, north side of Ujina Harbor at southeast edge of Hiroshima 34⁰13’N 132⁰33’E
Army Ordnance Depot, southeast edge of Hiroshima 34⁰23’N 132⁰29’E
Army Food Depot, southeast of Hiroshima, just northwest of Army Transport Base 34⁰22’N 132⁰28’E
Army Clothing Depot, southwest edge of Hiroshima 34⁰22’N 132⁰29’E
East Hiroshima Railroad Station, north edge of Hiroshima, north of river Hiroshima 34⁰24’N 132⁰28’E
Mitsubishi Electric Manufacturing Co, about 3 miles north of castle and military zone in north center of Hiroshima 34⁰26’N 132⁰28’E
Ujina Shipbuilding Co, on east coast of Ujina Island 34⁰21’N 132⁰28’E
Tyo Industry, on east bank of east branch of Kyobashi River about 1½ miles above mouth near Hiroshima 34⁰22’N 132⁰31’E
Japan Steel Co Hiroshima Plant near Hiroshima about 1 mile east of mouth of east branch of Kyobashi River 34⁰22’N 132⁰31’E
Kanokawa Oil Storage, on west side of Kanokawa Bay in Nishi Nomi islands, about 12 miles south of Hiroshima 34⁰11’N 132⁰26’E
Otake Oil Refinery, on west side of Hiroshima Bay on bay shore at Otake 34⁰12’N 132⁰14’E
Ota-gawa Railroad Bridge, Hiroshima 34⁰24’N 132⁰28’E

NAGASAKI TARGETS:
Akunoura Engine Works, at Akunoura on west side of Nagasaki harbor 32⁰44’N 129⁰52’E
Mitsubishi Dockyard, on west side of Nagasaki harbor between Tategami and Akunoura 32⁰44’N 129⁰51’E
Tategami Shipyard, on west side of Nagasaki harbor at Tategami 32⁰44’N 129⁰51’E
Kozaki Point Oil Storage, at 6 points below Tategami, west Nagasaki harbor, on both sides of Kozaki point 32⁰43’N 129⁰51’E
Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, at Urakami, northwest Nagasaki on east bank of Urakami River 32⁰45’N 129⁰52’E
Hayashi Commercial Company Engine Works, northwest Nagasaki harbor across from Nagasaki and Dejima Wharves and railroad yards and ¼ mile east of Mitsubishi Electric Mfg Co Nagasaki plant 32⁰45’N 129⁰52’E
Mistubishi Electric Manufacturing Company Nagasaki Plant, northwest Nagasaki harbor across from city and adjoining Akunoura Engine Works to the southwest 32⁰43’N 129⁰51’E
Takashima Colliery, on Taka Shima about 8 miles south-southwest of Nagasaki 32⁰40’N 129⁰41’E
Ha Shima Colliery, on Ha Shima about 10 miles south-southwest of Nagasaki 32⁰37’N 129⁰45’E
Kawanami Industry Company Shipyard, northeast part of Keyagi island, Nagasaki harbor 32⁰42’N 129⁰49’E
Nagasaki and Dejima Wharves and Railroad Yards, in Nagasaki on east shore of inner harbor, around mouth of Nakashima River to about 1 mile southward 32⁰45’N 129⁰52’E


And regarding the, really not unexpected on the part of the Japanese, Soviet invasion of Manchuria, there is the curious case of the dog which, to this day, does not bark in the night for Western observers and commentators . . .
What about the approximately 180,000 plus Japanese civilians killed during the Soviet invasion, this number about 12% to 18% of the civilian Japanese population (depending on which total presented you might wish to accept, 1 million or 1.5 million) settled in Manchuria? [See: Yukiko Koshiro, “Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004), p. 436.] Why do those who bemoan the civilians killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki not mention these civilians as well? Does it make a difference if one is snuffed out in a flash of light as opposed to lying in the dirt trying to stuff your entrails back in after being bayonetted? Or dying in some labor camp after being carted off across the border. Dead is dead . . . why, then, no outcry over these civilian lives. Or is it, perhaps, the difference between who perpetrates what? Ah, I do love the faint whiff of hypocrisy on the internet.

Extracted from: Yukiko Koshiro, “Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004), p. 436:

By early August 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Kusachi Teigo, chief of the Kwantung Army Operations Plans Division, presented to the Imperial Headquarters a set of six strategic plans against anticipated Soviet assaults on Manchuria and beyond. None was very desirable. Plan 1 proposed a counteroffensive to push the Soviet army back over the Manchurian-Mongolian border toward Lake Baykal, a strategy based on the pre-Nomonhan concept of an aggressive war, and as such it was out of serious consideration. Plan 2 also suggested a westward offensive along the eastern and northern fronts, which was not considered very plausible, either. The remaining four plans all suggested passive defensive actions, although Plan 6 to defend the entire border of Manchuria against Soviet attack was rejected as impossible. Of Plans 3 and 4, both of which suggested withdrawal from the Manchurian plains, Plan 4 was specific about last-ditch resistance in only the Kwantung region and Korea. Plan 5 even suggested withdrawing completely from Manchuria and defending only the Korean-Manchurian-Soviet border. The plan to abandon all of Manchuria posed a serious danger to the million Japanese settlers residing in Manchukuo, not to mention abnegating the self-imposed responsibility for the defense of Manchukuo.63 But the possible defenders of Manchuria were thinning, and a successful defense became less likely as the elite division was transferred to fight in the Philippines, leaving a serious void behind.

“63 The critical issue to note is the government's sheer lack of attention to the defense of civilian settlers in Manchuria and Korea, a topic passionately debated in postwar Japan. The Imperial Headquarters War Operations Plans Division considered the early evacuation of Japanese civilian settlers inappropriate, as it would contradict Japan's basic policy of preserving the status quo with the Soviet Union and arouse people's suspicions of an impending crisis. As a result, of 1.5 million civilian settlers in Manchuria, some 180,700 died amid the chaos surrounding Japan's surrender. Kanto-Gun (2), 278-79, 339-40, 353-55.”

Oh, and "Kanto-Gun (2)" is Boei-cho Boei-Kenshii-jo Senshi-shitsu [Military History Department, the National Institute for Defense Studies], ed., Senshi sosho: Kanto-Gun (2) [War history series: The Kwantung Army (2)] (Tokyo, 1974))
 
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Likes: robto

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,870
Lisbon, Portugal
And regarding the, really not unexpected on the part of the Japanese, Soviet invasion of Manchuria, there is the curious case of the dog which, to this day, does not bark in the night for Western observers and commentators . . .
What about the approximately 180,000 plus Japanese civilians killed during the Soviet invasion, this number about 12% to 18% of the civilian Japanese population (depending on which total presented you might wish to accept, 1 million or 1.5 million) settled in Manchuria? [See: Yukiko Koshiro, “Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004), p. 436.] Why do those who bemoan the civilians killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki not mention these civilians as well? Does it make a difference if one is snuffed out in a flash of light as opposed to lying in the dirt trying to stuff your entrails back in after being bayonetted? Or dying in some labor camp after being carted off across the border. Dead is dead . . . why, then, no outcry over these civilian lives. Or is it, perhaps, the difference between who perpetrates what? Ah, I do love the faint whiff of hypocrisy on the internet.

Extracted from: Yukiko Koshiro, “Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004), p. 436:

By early August 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Kusachi Teigo, chief of the Kwantung Army Operations Plans Division, presented to the Imperial Headquarters a set of six strategic plans against anticipated Soviet assaults on Manchuria and beyond. None was very desirable. Plan 1 proposed a counteroffensive to push the Soviet army back over the Manchurian-Mongolian border toward Lake Baykal, a strategy based on the pre-Nomonhan concept of an aggressive war, and as such it was out of serious consideration. Plan 2 also suggested a westward offensive along the eastern and northern fronts, which was not considered very plausible, either. The remaining four plans all suggested passive defensive actions, although Plan 6 to defend the entire border of Manchuria against Soviet attack was rejected as impossible. Of Plans 3 and 4, both of which suggested withdrawal from the Manchurian plains, Plan 4 was specific about last-ditch resistance in only the Kwantung region and Korea. Plan 5 even suggested withdrawing completely from Manchuria and defending only the Korean-Manchurian-Soviet border. The plan to abandon all of Manchuria posed a serious danger to the million Japanese settlers residing in Manchukuo, not to mention abnegating the self-imposed responsibility for the defense of Manchukuo.63 But the possible defenders of Manchuria were thinning, and a successful defense became less likely as the elite division was transferred to fight in the Philippines, leaving a serious void behind.

“63 The critical issue to note is the government's sheer lack of attention to the defense of civilian settlers in Manchuria and Korea, a topic passionately debated in postwar Japan. The Imperial Headquarters War Operations Plans Division considered the early evacuation of Japanese civilian settlers inappropriate, as it would contradict Japan's basic policy of preserving the status quo with the Soviet Union and arouse people's suspicions of an impending crisis. As a result, of 1.5 million civilian settlers in Manchuria, some 180,700 died amid the chaos surrounding Japan's surrender. Kanto-Gun (2), 278-79, 339-40, 353-55.”

Oh, and "Kanto-Gun (2)" is Boei-cho Boei-Kenshii-jo Senshi-shitsu [Military History Department, the National Institute for Defense Studies], ed., Senshi sosho: Kanto-Gun (2) [War history series: The Kwantung Army (2)] (Tokyo, 1974))
Good point and good information you put in your post.

I would like to add that arguments against the use of the Atomic bomb also generally omit any consideration for the fact that the number of Asians dying each day under Japanese occupation totaled from over 3000 to perhaps 6000 or more in China alone. Total monthly deaths for those trapped under Japanese domination, overwhelmingly Asian non-combatants, certainly reached 100.000, and may have approached 200.000 (Frank 1999, Gruhl 2007).
Thus, speculations that the the war could have been ended without the atomic weapons in a period of weeks or months after August 1945 all involve ignoring the reality that this requires accepting larger numbers of deaths among actual noncombatants.
 
Jan 2019
1
Baltimore MD
Due to the fact that Japan was willing to fight to the last person and our casualties being so great the decision to bomb them the way that we did proved to be effective. It was not a War Crime.
 
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