Could the bombing of Hiroshima be considered a war crime?

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,489
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Oh, i did not know they invaded Japan, I thought they invaded Mancuria.
Yes, they landed troops on the Kuril Islands, which were at that time owned by Japan and wghich remain under Russian control today.
 
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Jan 2019
11
Dublin, Ohio
I think it's awfully hard to judge the morals/ethics/laws of a prior era through the lens of today.
At the time, we were simply doing whatever it took to end the war as quickly as possible, with the minimal amount of American casualties.

Da Bomb was designed to save AMERICAN lives -- not the lives of the enemy.

Uh...that's why it's called war.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,900
Stockport Cheshire UK
55 pages and it could be answered with one word. No.
A war crime is an act which breaks the existing rules of war, the bombings didn't, there is no should, could have, ought too about it
 
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At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,057
Bulgaria
Zhukov in his 'The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov' written during the peak of the cold war mentioned the bombing/s of Hiroshima ( and Nagasaki): '...it was clear already then that the US Government intended to use the atomic weapon for the purpose of achieving its Imperialist goals from a position of strength in “the cold war.” This was amply corroborated on 6 and 8 august. Without any military need whatsoever, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on the peaceful and densely-populated Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki'

On the other hand Stalin revealed his thoughts about the bombing of Hiroshima during a meeting with the US ambassador William Harriman on 8 august 1945. When Harriman asked what he thought of the effects of the news of the atomic bomb would have on the Japanese Stalin answered that the Japanese were at present looking for a pretext to replace the present government with one which would be qualified to undertake a surrender and the atomic bomb might give them this pretext.

Bashing the cold war adversary vs pragmatism of the WWII last days.

EDIT: The bombs saved thousands and thousands of American lives, most probably millions of Japanese lives also.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,919
EDIT: The bombs saved thousands and thousands of American lives, most probably millions of Japanese lives also.
That still inherently unknowable – since it is after all something that didn't happen.

Much investment has been made in a a kind of deterministic argument about this however. Most of all POST-war. And the tally of hypothetical lives saved has also increased the further the actual events of 1945 have receded in time.

And regardless, it would not have spared more lives than a negotiated Japanese surrender on terms – which we know was what the Japanese were looking for – if that (saving lives) was the only objective. Not least since that would have removed the rationales presented for using the nukes.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,223
Lisbon, Portugal
That still inherently unknowable – since it is after all something that didn't happen.

Much investment has been made in a a kind of deterministic argument about this however. Most of all POST-war. And the tally of hypothetical lives saved has also increased the further the actual events of 1945 have receded in time.

And regardless, it would not have spared more lives than a negotiated Japanese surrender on terms – which we know was what the Japanese were looking for – if that (saving lives) was the only objective. Not least since that would have removed the rationales presented for using the nukes.
Good points, but a negotiated peace was completely out of the option for the Allied powers. The only way to end the war was Japan to accept unconditional surrender, they refused to, therefore the US dropped the atomic bombs to force those conditions and it ultimately was a successful decision.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,671
Europix
As hideous as it was in it's consequences, nomatter how we feel about it, the atomic bombing discussion should start and end with the Japanese leadership in place.

It was a total war for 6 years already, the price payed by civil population was known (Poland, URSS, China, Germany, aso). It's impossible to assume Japanese leadership wasn't aware of the consequences on its own population.

However we put it, it remains Japanese leadership's decision. Guilt, that is.