The Bomb didn't beat Japan... Stalin did

mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,082
Santiago de Chile
A poll in 1944, you mean right at the time of Saipan, the Marianas Turkey shoot, and the invasion of the Philippines, were we found the (few) starved survivors of the Bataan Death March? You mean 3 years into a major war brought on completely by Japan?

This is the problem with revisionism. It takes no account for conditions at the time.

I'm pretty sure my Dad would have had no problem with it in 1944, after he lost his dad at Tarawa. After, different story.
Firstly, sorry to hear that about your grandfather. I want to be clear when I say I understand and don't condemn those feelings, especially from people who actually lived through these years in any capacity.
 

Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
5,048
Oh, after the surrender. BTW, British, Australian, New Zealander, South African, Chinese, etc., were there at the surrender. It wasn't an "Americans only" surrender.
You are right. In the same cable even Russians were mentioned among occupational forces but with a simbolic status. I am not sure about the others, the same?
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
You are right. In the same cable even Russians were mentioned among occupational forces but with a simbolic status. I am not sure about the others, the same?
Don't remember off hand, but I imagine after a token presence most non-US people would have been happy to go home and leave the Nippon Headache to the Americans.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,406
Albuquerque, NM
If the Soviet Union had been cooperative in the fight against Japan, they might have done it with little/no cost to themselves. The US repeatedly tried to get Stalin and his minions to permit US forces to operate from bases in Siberia and along the north Pacific coast. Actually, the Soviets would have benefited by shortening the supply lines from American factories to its forces fighting on its Western front. Early U.S. planning wanted to open the sea lanes across the north Pacific where supplies could be sent safely westward on the Tran-Siberian Railway, The U.S. urged that the railway was vital and exposed to any Japanese offensive, but Stalin's position was that he wasn't at war with Japan.

Here's a bit of speculation for you. In 1942-43, the US establishes air bases in Siberia from which bombing missions could be carried out against Japan. The USN's primary efforts was to clear the sea lanes so that convoys of merchant ships could move supplies from Seattle and Tacoma to Port Arthur. The battle for the north Pacific would have been similar to the Battle of the Atlantic. Instead of the major naval engagements in the far western Pacific, they would have occurred north of Japan. The cost and effectiveness of fighting the Japanese at sea would have probably been less. The terrible losses taken in island hopping to get to within effective striking distances of Japan would never have been needed. Think of how useful those troops would have been in Europe and north Africa. This scenario would have forced Japan to fight on two widely separated fronts, and reduced its defenses accordingly.

All this and more, if only ..... Stalin didn't think everyone was as duplicitous, vicious and brutal as he was himself. The best luck the Soviets got during the war was Hitler's attack on Russia. It took one of history's worst tyrants and made Uncle Joe temporarily "acceptable" as an ally. The Allies made great sacrifices to keep Russia in the war as an effective second front. Stalin was always complaining that the Brits and Americans should do more, should open a second front. Those weren't Soviet merchantmen who perished in great numbers transporting vital supplies through a long dangerous passage through the North and Arctic Seas to feed, cloth, and supply Soviet mass attacks.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,406
Albuquerque, NM
So far as I know, the Soviet Union had no occupation forces within the home islands of Japan. They had diplomatic representatives who generally made a nuisance of themselves. On the Kiril's they occupied "in force" and were as ruthless as they had been in treating those little States "liberated" from Germany.
 
Sep 2014
1,211
Queens, NYC
Having read the article in the OP, I find this whole hypothesis unfounded.

There is no quotation from a contemporary record of the Japanese to the effect that the invasion of Manchuria led to the surrender.

There is no near contemporary quotation to that effect from the Japanese.

There is no quotation from any of the Japanese participants, or anyone close to them, to that effect.

The article is speculative.

The Japanese had been defeated well before August, 1945. But it is quite clear that those who ruled would not accept that fact. Note that the OP's article clearly sets forth a serious intent to hold on to many of the gains Japan had made in the war.

For all the conjecture that the Japanese would have surrendered by November 1, 1945, there was no evidence in any of the intercepts the Allies had that this would be so.

The question facing the Truman administrtion in the summer of 1945 was: give up unconditional surrender, or invade in the face of what seemed very determined resistance?

If the answer was: Unconditional Surrender-then breaking the Japanese will, before the invasion, was a priority.

To go contrary to apparent evidence, and be shown right, makes a genius.

To go contrary to apparent evidence, and be shown wrong, makes a fool.

Truman, Stimson, Marshall, King-men well willing to take responsibility for lost American lives, when it was called for.

They were not going to send Americans to die if it was not necessary.

They bombed. Japan surrendered. Japan's Emperor, who brought about the surrender, mentioned the Bomb. He did not mention Russia. Not even to his military. They apparently did not mention Russia.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,851
At present SD, USA
"The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan." - Nimitz.
Nimitz is right here, that from a purely military standpoint, the bomb in and of itself didn't defeat Japan. By August 1945, Japan had been beaten by the US Navy and Marine Corps in the Central Pacific and by the US and Australian armies in New Guinea...

On many levels one could argue that Japan never had a snowball's chance in hell of winning from the very beginning... but by 1945, they had been militarily crushed and that surrender was inevitable and that doesn't involve the bomb.

However, the issue of the bomb has more to do with when Japan surrendered. Without the atomic bomb, you have the potential that the war drags on longer and claims even more lives before the militarists are convinced to surrender. And in looking at American casualties at Okinawa, the policy makers feared that American losses in invading the home islands would be higher due to the larger population and the perceived fanaticism of the Japanese people...

So, yes, the atomic bomb didn't beat Japan. That had already been done, but it did finally convince them to accept that they had lost and lost completely.
 

pablo668

Ad Honorem
Apr 2010
2,201
Perth, Western Australia. or....hickville.
Don't remember off hand, but I imagine after a token presence most non-US people would have been happy to go home and leave the Nippon Headache to the Americans.
Actually there was an Australian presence in Japan after the war as an occupying force. Mostly in the West of Japan that I know of.

There were Australians in Hiroshima and a squadron of fighters in an airfield at a town called Hofu.....where coincidently I lived for a year and a half.

Minor presence compared to the US forces but there it is.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
Nimitz is right here, that from a purely military standpoint, the bomb in and of itself didn't defeat Japan. By August 1945, Japan had been beaten by the US Navy and Marine Corps in the Central Pacific and by the US and Australian armies in New Guinea...

On many levels one could argue that Japan never had a snowball's chance in hell of winning from the very beginning... but by 1945, they had been militarily crushed and that surrender was inevitable and that doesn't involve the bomb.

However, the issue of the bomb has more to do with when Japan surrendered. Without the atomic bomb, you have the potential that the war drags on longer and claims even more lives before the militarists are convinced to surrender. And in looking at American casualties at Okinawa, the policy makers feared that American losses in invading the home islands would be higher due to the larger population and the perceived fanaticism of the Japanese people...

So, yes, the atomic bomb didn't beat Japan. That had already been done, but it did finally convince them to accept that they had lost and lost completely.

Excellent summary.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
Actually there was an Australian presence in Japan after the war as an occupying force. Mostly in the West of Japan that I know of.

There were Australians in Hiroshima and a squadron of fighters in an airfield at a town called Hofu.....where coincidently I lived for a year and a half.

Minor presence compared to the US forces but there it is.
Thanks! "The only new is the history you don't know yet." :)