Who defeated Japan in the 2nd World War?

pikeshot1600

Ad Honorem
Jul 2009
9,958
It probably saved more allied lives from a Japanese invasion. The Japanese Empire was also evil and wouldn't have hesitated to
nuke numerous allied cities. There's a good case for MAD being a great excuse for peace keeping,
In the second half of the 20th century, MAD was the greatest peacekeeper in the bloodiest century in history. Unfortunately in the 21st, we seem to have forgotten much of that.
 
Oct 2015
231
Singapore
It probably saved more allied lives from a Japanese invasion. The Japanese Empire was also evil and wouldn't have hesitated to
nuke numerous allied cities. There's a good case for MAD being a great excuse for peace keeping, primarily because you'd have to be mad to use nukes. Unfortunately our modern enemies want to die.
And Japanese and asian lives too.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
In the second half of the 20th century, MAD was the greatest peacekeeper in the bloodiest century in history. Unfortunately in the 21st, we seem to have forgotten much of that.
For MAD to work, one cannot strive to abandon/limit nukes. You need more of them, more accurate, more powerful. The more suicidal the war looks, the more those likely to be involved won't start it.

The problem is they're going to be used eventually. Someone will go nuts, act irrationally, start the show. And when that starts, and when Pandora's Box is opened its going to be damn costly before it's closed again.

I think 10-15 years, tops.
 
Dec 2014
441
Wales
For MAD to work, one cannot strive to abandon/limit nukes. You need more of them, more accurate, more powerful. The more suicidal the war looks, the more those likely to be involved won't start it.

The problem is they're going to be used eventually. Someone will go nuts, act irrationally, start the show. And when that starts, and when Pandora's Box is opened its going to be damn costly before it's closed again.

I think 10-15 years, tops.
I disagree with the accurate bit. Aside from the idea of anything designed to take out a city being 'accurate', as soon as someone tries to develop an accurate bomb some idiot will start to talk about 'precision nuclear strikes' or 'limited area strikes'. There are already too many idiots who seem to think nukes can be used in a limited scenario (this is what MacArthur suggested in Korea), an idea which defeats MAD just by existing.

For MAD to work both sides must truly believe launching a nuke will result in their total destruction. As soon that idea goes, because for one instant one side thinks their bombs are accurate enough to knock out most of the enemy bombs in a single strike, we are all in big trouble. MAD isn't about destroying a silo or a city, it's about destroying everything, and you don't need accuracy for that.

As for needing more - this is an interesting post I found:

Each MIRV on a Trident submarine has a warhead of some 400 kt. To put that in perspective, 'Little Boy', the bomb that was dropped on - and quite effectively destroyed - Hiroshima was between 12 and 18 kt, so this is in the region of 25 times more powerful. A single MIRV hitting Moscow would kill pretty much its entire population.

One MIRV, on one missile, on one submarine. America has 18 such submarines, Britain another 4.

Each Trident missile can carry 8 Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRV’s) armed with a nuclear warhead. So 12 missiles gives us 96 warheads (although British subs only carry 48). The Trident missile rises into space above missile defence systems and releases the MIRV’s. The MIRV’s are small, present a radar profile equivalent to a goose and are moving very fast. Hard to take out. A 10% kill rate for a missile defence system is probably a generous estimate. So we still have 86 warheads reaching their target. This means one Trident sub can theoretically take out every Russian city with a population of over 250,000 people, killing in minutes more Russians than the entirety of WW2.

That is what MAD is about.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,738
USA
I disagree with the accurate bit. Aside from the idea of anything designed to take out a city being 'accurate', as soon as someone tries to develop an accurate bomb some idiot will start to talk about 'precision nuclear strikes' or 'limited area strikes'. There are already too many idiots who seem to think nukes can be used in a limited scenario (this is what MacArthur suggested in Korea), an idea which defeats MAD just by existing.

For MAD to work both sides must truly believe launching a nuke will result in their total destruction. As soon that idea goes, because for one instant one side thinks their bombs are accurate enough to knock out most of the enemy bombs in a single strike, we are all in big trouble. MAD isn't about destroying a silo or a city, it's about destroying everything, and you don't need accuracy for that.

As for needing more - this is an interesting post I found:

Each MIRV on a Trident submarine has a warhead of some 400 kt. To put that in perspective, 'Little Boy', the bomb that was dropped on - and quite effectively destroyed - Hiroshima was between 12 and 18 kt, so this is in the region of 25 times more powerful. A single MIRV hitting Moscow would kill pretty much its entire population.

One MIRV, on one missile, on one submarine. America has 18 such submarines, Britain another 4.

Each Trident missile can carry 8 Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRV’s) armed with a nuclear warhead. So 12 missiles gives us 96 warheads (although British subs only carry 48). The Trident missile rises into space above missile defence systems and releases the MIRV’s. The MIRV’s are small, present a radar profile equivalent to a goose and are moving very fast. Hard to take out. A 10% kill rate for a missile defence system is probably a generous estimate. So we still have 86 warheads reaching their target. This means one Trident sub can theoretically take out every Russian city with a population of over 250,000 people, killing in minutes more Russians than the entirety of WW2.

That is what MAD is about.
There was no MAD in Nov-Dec 1950. USSR had only detonated its first atomic bomb the previous year and did not have a sizeable arsenal, nor an adequate number of aircraft capable of carrying/dropping them. First thermonuclear bomb wasn't even first detonated until 1952. At the time, Mac was correct in that the US would suffer little damage if the Soviets jumped in to back the Chinese. But Truman did not want a war even with China, he wanted limited war for limited means, and there was not a sizeable and powerful enough faction in the US at the time to start a war with the Soviet Union.

But even later in the 1980s, the most dangerous time of the Cold War, most number and increasingly accurate, and an ongoing barely cold conflict between US and USSR, even at the most terrifying times there were still many who believed it wouldn't be that bad, that losses would be sustainable, and that since it was bound to happen, best just start it and be the first ones shooting. Which isn't an unreasonable train of thought, especially for someone on the ruthless side. After all, one of the ways to survive a Mexican standoff is to be one the one who doesn't just shoot first, but hits first.

As for accuracy, it makes them scarier. Limiting the numbers means more accurate are needed just to deal with strategic targets, which is the current struggle with countries like US and Russian Federation. They are limited in how many, so they need to guarantee the ones they do have are accurate enough to do the job.

But with no limits one can still do counter force and counter value, military and civilian targets, with equally accurate and destructive nukes.

On top of lowering the number of them as a major danger to MAD and increase risk of war, so is missile defense, fielding of fast and surprising first strike weapons, and "clean" nukes with less fallout, all of which increase the likelihood of using them, or starting a major conflict that could escalate out of control.
 
Dec 2014
441
Wales
Don’t tell anyone but we only ever have one on patrol at one time.
True - normally. However it is always anticipated that any scenario that leads to nuclear war will present enough of a warning, possibly even starting with a conventional war, for at least one more to put to sea, if not more. It should also be remembered that that one submarine could theoretically kill more people in a few minutes than Germany did in 6 years of warfare.
 
Mar 2019
1,804
Kansas
True - normally. However it is always anticipated that any scenario that leads to nuclear war will present enough of a warning, possibly even starting with a conventional war, for at least one more to put to sea, if not more. It should also be remembered that that one submarine could theoretically kill more people in a few minutes than Germany did in 6 years of warfare.
During the Cuban missile crisis, Vulcan bomber crews slept and lived in campers next to their aircraft in case the worse was to happen.