August 17, 2011

Atomic bombs may not have been as awesome as originally reported

When subjected to atomic bombings, Imperial Japan surrendered. Now, that narrative is under new scrutiny.

7 Comments:

Blogger The Other Front said...

"Better to surrender to Washington than to Moscow."

A lot of Germans were thinking the same way.

August 17, 2011 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

#2 son asks: "what if when we fight no one dies. Except the two leaders."

August 17, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

Back in the build up to the Iraq War, I suggested George and Saddam mano a mano: grenades at 10 paces.

August 17, 2011 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger MonkeySum said...

Win / Win!

August 18, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger MonkeySum said...

Win/Win!

August 18, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You know that umbrella you've been carrying around for fifty years? It doesn't actually keep meteors away."

August 19, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The conventional view has been that Russia declared war to kick Japan while it was down, "in the last week of the war" is the way it's usually described. Russia had been moving troops east at least since May. They grabbed a large piece of China in August of 1945, chasing out the unsupplied Japanese before regrettably meeting the Red Army. Strangely enough, one of the Japanese colonists who had to evacuate from 'Manchuria' was Shunryu Suzuki, the San Francisco Buddhist priest.

There is no one viewpoint among Japanese on the bombings, naturally. A common view is that the nation was held captive by its leaders, who were prepared to heap its population on the pyre of national honor, down to the last stick-wielding child. I've had more than one discussion with younger Japanese, about the cruelty of dropping the bombs, get interrupted by an older Japanese saying that if not for sacks of powdered milk the Americans brought in immediately after the surrender, most of the country would have starved.

The ones busy starving in the countryside were the ones who escaped the firebombing of Japan's cities, directed by Gen. Curtis LeMay, later George Wallace's running mate.

Another common point of view is that Russia's entry into the war was the end of Japan's hopes for a negotiated peace treaty, rather than unconditional surrender. Japan's leaders had been hoping Russia would play an intermediary role in a settlement. The emperor's brief speech to the populace talked about the bombs and said nothing about Russia.

Supposedly Hideki Tojo remarked privately that if not for Stalin's declaration Japan would not have surrendered. On the other hand, Tojo said a lot of things. To quote a popular writer, the devil is a liar.

August 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

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