Why didn't the USA use atomic bomb like indimidation on USSR after ww2?

Jan 2019
38
USA
No, it doesn't take next level confidence. The US had already created the systems to mass produce nukes. We would have either 2-3, or it might have been 3-4 bombs/devices/physics package/cores per month by late '45, which would have gone up some more after that. Of course, that was based on the US still maintaining a wartime economy and dumping a ton of money into defense. As soon as WW2 ended, mass production slowed to a crawl. But they'd still have had enough to hit major strategic targets in the USSR. And could (and did) ramp up production again later on.

Whether Stalin (or his successor had he died) would have capitulated is another matter.
It would 100% take an enormous level of confidence. If it was so simple, we would have done it. We knew before the end of WW2 that tensions were rising with the Soviet Union. Just because you can destroy a country doesn't mean it's the best thing for self preservation.

Call me selfish, but I'd much rather see the United States endure than another country. How can you wage war and disregard the politics?
 
Jul 2016
7,730
USA
How many nukes can US produce and deliver for this nuclear genocide? The Red Army would not surrender just after a couple of nukes are dropped, especially those early ones that were not even that powerful.
I would also assume a lot of people in Europe would immediately turn against US soldiers stationed there. The Red Army's strategy would be to station themselves in occupied cities, so their force concentrations would not be nuked.
The US had two and were capable of making one per month for a few months before ramping up to up to 3 a month by end of '45.

We saw what happened with the Japanese when two were dropped on them. The Japanese people didn't matter in that decision, nor the Japanese Army. Only the Big Six and the Emperor, those were the ONLY individual's whose opinions mattered when it came to ending the war.

As far as dropping on the USSR, the Red Army doesn't matter, the Red Army follows Stalin. The Soviet people don't matter, the Soviet people follow Stalin. The NKVD doesn't matter, the NKVD follows Stalin. The Politburo doesn't matter, the Politburo follows Stalin. The only individual that mattered was Stalin. Would numerous atomic bombs, a minimum of two but more likely more, being used to target major cities, oil towns, etc, be enough for Stalin to surrender? Especially when he had no true way, until 1949, to counter?
 
Aug 2014
135
New York, USA
No, it doesn't take next level confidence. The US had already created the systems to mass produce nukes. We would have either 2-3, or it might have been 3-4 bombs/devices/physics package/cores per month by late '45, which would have gone up some more after that. Of course, that was based on the US still maintaining a wartime economy and dumping a ton of money into defense. As soon as WW2 ended, mass production slowed to a crawl. But they'd still have had enough to hit major strategic targets in the USSR. And could (and did) ramp up production again later on.

Whether Stalin (or his successor had he died) would have capitulated is another matter.
In this scenario, do Germans, Italians, and French turn against the US, or would they be cheering on as the Red Army counter attacks into West Germany and France claiming moral high ground? I think at the time, French view of the Soviets was very favorable. Does Truman get assassinated? Do any other US allies support them in this genocide?
As far as dropping on the USSR, the Red Army doesn't matter, the Red Army follows Stalin. The Soviet people don't matter, the Soviet people follow Stalin. The NKVD doesn't matter, the NKVD follows Stalin. The Politburo doesn't matter, the Politburo follows Stalin. The only individual that mattered was Stalin. Would numerous atomic bombs, a minimum of two but more likely more, being used to target major cities, oil towns, etc, be enough for Stalin to surrender? Especially when he had no true way, until 1949, to counter?
I honestly don't think so. The Soviets were eating much bigger casualties during German offensives. 20 million civs dead is no joke. I am also assuming nuking Red Armies deep on European soil is not an option here. Plus there was no fear of radiation at the time and the effects of nukes were poorly understood.
 
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Jul 2016
7,730
USA
It would 100% take an enormous level of confidence. If it was so simple, we would have done it. We knew before the end of WW2 that tensions were rising with the Soviet Union. Just because you can destroy a country doesn't mean it's the best thing for self preservation.

Call me selfish, but I'd much rather see the United States endure than another country. How can you wage war and disregard the politics?
I really don't know what you're arguing. The US had the means in 1945 to destroy the Soviet Union without atomic retaliation. I'm not arguing the politics of it, just the military reality.

You're saying to look out for the US, but that it would have been wrong. That's a political call. I don't care about the politics, because that's purely opinion and nothing more. The US wasn't going to nuke the Soviet Union without MASSIVE provocation, which never existing, which is why we never nuked them. But had we, had Truman just said "screw it" and gave the order, then the US would have been able to nuke multiple strategically important Soviet cities and there is nothing they could have really done to stop it.
 
Jul 2016
7,730
USA
In this scenario, do Germans, Italians, and French turn against the US, or would they be cheering on as the Red Army counter attacks into West Germany and France claiming moral high ground? I think at the time, French view of the Soviets was very favorable.
The Italians and Germans were in absolutely no condition to turn on anyone. The French either, their country had been essentially destroyed in the war and they were more interested in rebuilding than anything else. There was no true West Germany until they had an independent and sovereign govt, and that didn't happen until the early 50s. In 1945-49, they were an occupied area. They were still considered enemy.

I honestly, don't think so. The Soviets were eating much bigger casualties during German offensives. 20 million civs dead is no joke.
20 million isn't a joke. The real number is likely far higher. And that number stopped counting in 1945, so it doesn't reset if WW3 starts in 1945 or shortly after. That means on top of those 20 million, the Soviet Union loses more. It means no Lend Lease, while saying goodbye to their oil fields in the Caucuses and Romania, because they're all getting nuked. It means saying goodbye to Moscow, Leningrad, and other cities, because they're gone too. It means industrial cities in the Urals that are absolutely essential for war production, they are gone too.

With no ability to respond besides ground attack into western Europe (which would not be a picnic, but tactical nukes would have a pretty great effect in those campaigns too).
 
Jan 2019
38
USA
I really don't know what you're arguing. The US had the means in 1945 to destroy the Soviet Union without atomic retaliation. I'm not arguing the politics of it, just the military reality.

You're saying to look out for the US, but that it would have been wrong. That's a political call. I don't care about the politics, because that's purely opinion and nothing more. The US wasn't going to nuke the Soviet Union without MASSIVE provocation, which never existing, which is why we never nuked them. But had we, had Truman just said "screw it" and gave the order, then the US would have been able to nuke multiple strategically important Soviet cities and there is nothing they could have really done to stop it.
The argument is simple. Dropping nuclear bombs on Russia MAY have forced the Soviet Union into surrender, but at the expense of US foreign affairs. It would have been suicide. The world would look completely different for us.
 
Aug 2014
135
New York, USA
The Italians and Germans were in absolutely no condition to turn on anyone. The French either, their country had been essentially destroyed in the war and they were more interested in rebuilding than anything else. There was no true West Germany until they had an independent and sovereign govt, and that didn't happen until the early 50s. In 1945-49, they were an occupied area. They were still considered enemy.



20 million isn't a joke. The real number is likely far higher. And that number stopped counting in 1945, so it doesn't reset if WW3 starts in 1945 or shortly after. That means on top of those 20 million, the Soviet Union loses more. It means no Lend Lease, while saying goodbye to their oil fields in the Caucuses and Romania, because they're all getting nuked. It means saying goodbye to Moscow, Leningrad, and other cities, because they're gone too. It means industrial cities in the Urals that are absolutely essential for war production, they are gone too.

With no ability to respond besides ground attack into western Europe (which would not be a picnic, but tactical nukes would have a pretty great effect in those campaigns too).
Right, so in this scenario, the US is fighting on enemy territory. I am assuming the Europeans would try to sabotage US logistics whenever possible and alert Soviets of any US movements. Also, I am assuming British would at least declare neutrality and refuse to supply US army in Europe. I am also assuming the British, Canadians, Australians, and the rest would pull out. I am also assuming some US generals (especially Air Force) would start getting assassinated by either partisans or American sympathizers. US would have to either seize Britain (not likely) or ship supplies directly to French ports. If Soviets do not capitulate, but manage to kick the US out of Eurasia with European help, I'd guess the whole world will place the US under embargo until US leadership is brought to trial and executed in what will be known as the "Washington trials".
US leadership will have to suspend elections because they pretty much signed their own death warrant and can't afford a regime change. They will be fully committed and too far gone just like the Nazis.
 
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Jan 2019
38
USA
Another thing I'm curious about. Let's assume your estimates regarding our nuclear capacity are 100% on. If the Soviet Union didn't surrender, they aren't going to just sit around and wait to be nuked by the United States again. We can target some key areas with the first wave of bombs. That's why I said, the only positive outcome is the unconditional surrender after those first bombs were dropped. It doesn't seem likely.

The United States eventually wins, but again, at what cost? Politics in this sense are a matter of cause and effect.
 
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Jul 2016
7,730
USA
Just to add to this thread, for perpetuity, this is an excerpt from a letter from Leslie Groves (commander of the Manhattan Project) to the "Chief of Staff" regarding atomic bomb production capabilities for late war (post July '45):

"The final components of the first gun type bomb have arrived at Tinian [referring to Hiroshima bomb], those of the first implosion type should leave San Francisco by airplane early on 30 July [referring to Nagasaki bomb]. I see no reason to change our previous readiness predictions on the first three bombs. In September, we should have three or four bombs. One of these will be made from 235 material and will have a smaller effectiveness, about two-thirds that of the test type, but by November, we should be able to bring this up to full power. There should be either four or three bombs in October, one of the lesser size. In November, there should be at least five bombs and the rate will rise to seven in December and increase decidedly in early 1946. By some time in November, we should have the effectiveness of the 235 implosion type bomb equal to that of the tested plutonium implosion type."

Bomb Production Schedule, July 30, 1945
 

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