Tag Archives: atomic bombings

In @ScoopNZ on Japan fighting on after Nagasaki

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The Power of Propaganda and the Japanese Empire

The quote of Schuler is an excellent summary of the difficulty of bringing a war to an end rather than give time to regroup and attack again.

Notes On Liberty

Economist Kurt Schuler has a fascinating post on the various currencies that were used in mainland East Asia during World War II over at the Free Banking group blog.

Unfortunately, there are three paragraphs in the post that attempt to take libertarians to task for daring to challenge both the narrative of the state and the narrative of the nation regarding that horrific reminder of humanity’s shortcomings. He is writing of the certainty of the US’s moral clarity when it came to fighting Japan (the post was published around Pearl Harbor remembrance day):

The 1940 U.S embargo of certain materials frequently used for military purposes was intended to pressure Japan to stop its campaign of invasion and murder in China. The embargo was a peaceful response to violent actions. Japan could have stopped; it would have been the libertarian thing to do. For libertarians to claim that the embargo was…

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Squeamishness kills alert: were the atomic bombings unnecessary? Would have Japan surrendered anyway?

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Utopia - you are standing in it!

Those that argue that Japan surrendered for reasons other than the atomic bomb put forward contradictory arguments.

The first is the Japan was already seeking terms for surrender. That is true, but among those terms was avoiding occupation.

The Japanese leadership had already interpreted the terms of the Potsdam declaration was a sign of weakness. They hoped that by making the invasion of Japan as bloody as possible, they could extract even better terms in light of this sign of weakness at Potsdam. Kyushu, the  obvious initial invasion site in southern Japan, was  being heavily reinforced  by the middle of 1945.

Japan no longer had a realistic prospect of winning the war by the end of 1994 and they knew it.

Japan’s leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the Allies to accept, leading to some sort of armistice rather than total defeat. The Japanese…

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How The Japan Times reported the atomic bombings

via How The Japan Times reported the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | The Japan Times.

Squeamishness kills alert: were the atomic bombings unnecessary? Would have Japan surrendered anyway?

Those that argue that Japan surrendered for reasons other than the atomic bomb put forward contradictory arguments.

The first is the Japan was already seeking terms for surrender. That is true, but among those terms was avoiding occupation.

The Japanese leadership had already interpreted the terms of the Potsdam declaration was a sign of weakness. They hoped that by making the invasion of Japan as bloody as possible, they could extract even better terms in light of this sign of weakness at Potsdam. Kyushu, the  obvious initial invasion site in southern Japan, was  being heavily reinforced  by the middle of 1945.

Japan no longer had a realistic prospect of winning the war by the end of 1944 and they knew it.

Japan’s leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the Allies to accept, leading to some sort of armistice rather than total defeat. The Japanese army fought to the death with 99% plus casualty rates as the Americans moved from island to island to show that any attempt to invade Japan would be too high a price to pay.

The second explanation as to why the atomic bombing was unnecessary contradicts the first. The second explanation is Japan surrendered because Russia into the war rather than because of the atomic bombings.

You can’t have it both ways Japan seeking terms before the bombing and Japan seeking terms after the bombing only because Russia into the war.

After the atomic bombing of the Japanese War Cabinet split 3:3 on seeking terms. A figurehead Emperor was then used to purportedly intervened so that no one lost face.

That Japanese government could of foul such as Tojo’s government did in 1944 simply by either the Army or the Navy ministers resigning.

The army and Navy ministers did not resign, but the generals in the Tokyo military district sat on the fence to see what happened at the attempted military coup by junior officers who were attempting to stop surrender.

The 12-15 August coup plotters failed to persuade the Eastern District Army and the high command of the Imperial Japanese Army to move against the surrender.

Importantly, the junior officers leading the coup felt secure enough to approach the Army minister and senior army officers as potential co-conspirators. The army leadership knew of the coup plans but neither joined the plotters nor arrested them.

Once again, the revisionist literature never addresses the possibility of orderly surrender Japanese forces overseas. If Japan just throwing the town before the bombings, they were more likely to go rogue.

Japanese politics of that time was extraordinarily violent with been assassinated was a real risk for every prime minister. The Emperor was also surrounded with plenty of bodyguards.

In Downfall:The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (1999), Richard Frank offered new research from previously unused and classified sources, along with closely detailed arguments, that Japan was nowhere near to surrendering in August of 1945:

It is fantasy, not history, to believe that the end of the war was at hand before the use of the atomic bomb.

How would you have brought the war with Japan to a conclusion? The willingness of the Japanese oligarchy to waste the blood of their own people and spill the blood of others without limit was central to their strategy of avoiding occupation and the dismantling of the old order.

Truman could have chosen to not use the 2 bombs at his disposal and let the fire bombings burn down most Japanese cities and towns from new air bases for B26s from Okinawa, let 100,000 Chinese be slaughtered on average every month at the hands of the occupying Japanese army, and invade in December and call forth a slaughter of a million or two more.

The bomb and only the bomb galvanised Japan’s peace party within the war cabinet to take actions necessary to terminate the Pacific War.

Would World War 2 have finished even one day earlier if the handwringers had their way on how wars should be fought by the good guys? Who would have won?