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  • 54

Last Surviving Crew Member Has 'No Regrets' About Bombing Hiroshima

送信時刻:
 
On this day in 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare. It flew three strike planes over Hiroshima, Japan. The Enola Gay carried the bomb. Two other planes, the Great Artiste and the Necessary Evil, escorted it. Most of the 34 crew members didn't know they were carrying what was then the most powerful weapon in the world. I recommend that you listen to his story, rather than read it. (www.npr.org) さらに...

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dow18
alvin yudow 22
i am a combat vet ww2 i am 93 iws 18 yrs old in the the invasion of layte,after securing the island i was moved to a embarcation,point unbeknown to me i was being prepared to invade japan whfn i heard the bomb was dropped. lucky me and 1,000.000 more who were estimated to die thank al do
pilot62
Scott Campbell 7
Thanks for serving sir !!
vulcancruiser
Larry Loffelmacher 6
The true heroes....we owe you a huge debt, you preserved a great nation....thank you is not enough
bbabis
Bill Babis 5
Thank you sir! You knew the expectation and was still willing to go. The nation owes it's gratitude to you.
cfbobdl2
BDL Line TAC Air 4
Thank you for your service Sir!! I salute you!
PegLegJim
Jim Welch 3
Mr. Yodow,
My old man was at Mormandy, as well as all my uncles.
They felt the exact same way as yourself.
While no man wishes the kind of loss of life that was the result of the bombs, like you, they were all preparing for the invasion of Japan as well.
They estimated it actually saved MILLIONS of lives.
To quote my old man, “ANYONE who doubts whether or not this was the only way to end the war without significant Allied loss of life, wasn’t alive at the time, and they sure as hell weren’t one of the Soldiers preparing for the invasion.”
We’re forever in debt to every man and woman who stood with our Allies.
Thank you for your part!
rartac
Robert Artac 3
Salute to you sir.
indy2001
indy2001 29
Not only were a lot of American lives saved, but many Japanese as well. While the consensus is that the US military would have suffered up to 1 million casualties, it is estimated that Japanese losses, both military and civilian, would have easily tripled that number. On Okinawa alone, over 100,000 Japanese military and at least 30,000 native Okinawans were killed. It is sad that so many lives were lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the alternative would have been much, much worse.
dow18
alvin yudow 1
thank you forthe history
herdy34
Jon Herd -1
And the second bomb?
666adt
Andrew Turnbull 11
The question answers itself. To wit: Why was a second bomb dropped? Because Japan didn't surrender after the first one.
bbabis
Bill Babis 14
We told them another city would be destroyed if they did not surrender and they didn’t. We kept our word. Imagine that. It still works today.
MAGB
Marco Antonio Granados 6
That was a poker play by Truman. If Japan doesn't surrender, they didn't have another bomb to throw. It worked.
bbabis
Bill Babis 2
Not for awhile anyway, but bluffing still works also.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
According to this, that 'awhile' would have been August 19, 1945 and Edo, er Tokyo
https://airminded.org/2009/08/19/the-third-atomic-bomb-tokyo-19-august-1945/comment-page-1/
(I did not verify the article sources)
imorenas
imorenas -7
Hogwash about the estimated lives saved to rationalize the killing of civilians.
PegLegJim
Jim Welch 2
imorenas;

With all due respect...
You are obviously very young. You understand NOTHING of war, and are obviously NOT a student of history. Especially the history of WWII.
The ENTIRE WORLD WAS IN A STATE OF WAR, and if it were not for the decision to do this, the chances of your relatives surviving, and in turn yourself being born, may never have happened.
If you’ve never been under fire on a battlefield, please keep remarks like that to yourself.
imorenas
imorenas -2
Thanks for the respect Jim. It's a free forum so I'm entitled to my opinion. Ageism aside, I've formed this opinion from a neutral starting point. Killing civilians should be regrettable even as collateral.
devsfan
ken young 1
Uhh,,,,What would YOU have done. Sacrificed over one million soldiers, had many more cities in Japan destroyed? Risked an invasion of the United States Mainland?
No one asked you for your political viewpoint
flyerh
flyerh 0
Were you alive then? If not, be quiet!
30west
30west 30
"After 73 years, I do not regret what we did that day. All war's hell."

From a combat vet's point of view, I agree with his reflection upon his participation in that mission. War is hell, as Russel Gackenback states. Regret usually is tied to a wrong comitted that causes one to fell remorse. A righteous act no matter how difficult should not cause regret and I believe he is correct not feeling regret. That mission was conducted in a just war and within the international Law of War.
jbsimms
James Simms 13
My late Father served w/ the Sino American Cooperative Organization (SACO) behind Japanese lines on mainland China. He worked w/ the Chinese Communists, Nationalists, & the OSS plus radioing weather reports out to the Blue Water Navy. He often said he would have been involved somehow in the invasion of Japan had the bombs not been dropped. Mom was a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Needless to say, I have no issues w/the dropping of the A-bombs.
sparkie624
sparkie624 9
Thank you for your service Sir.
30west
30west 10
Thanks Sparkle. Plt Ldr in RVN 1971, 20 years on active duty (70-90), then off to the airlines for a second career (90-05), wrapping up in charter and corporate jets(2005-2010). No complaints.
bbabis
Bill Babis 8
One Doolittle raider left from the first mission and one nuclear raider from the end and all in between, we salute you.
paulfharris
Paul F Harris 5
Respect & Thank U Sir 4 our Freedom
sparkie624
sparkie624 12
There should not be any regrets... A lot of American Lives Saved.. What Japan did was wrong and they were trying to take over our country... We did what we had to do as a nation. My Hat's off and Salute all who Served and are Serving.
A6SEA
Bill Butler 4
My father, too, was enroute from the Philippines to Tokyo as part of that landing force. I certainly don't have any negative feelings about those bombs being dropped. In my years in the Navy, I moved a lot of weapons that were greatly more sophisticated (and deadly) than Little Boy and Fat Man. Now, I'm very glad we never had to use them.
tonylamdin
Anthony Lamdin 7
Moral of the story - don't start wars !!
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 6
People made the decision they felt was best at the time for both sides to stop the war, water over the dam, the real challenge to mankind is to try to settle differences without killing each other, maybe wishful thinking on my part but God never intended us to kill each other even though he gave us the ability to learn terrible ways to do just that. Live and let live and forgive us of our sins.
rartac
Robert Artac 4
A little time in the Bible shows that God repeatedly stood behind those on the "right side" of battle, as told by those telling the story anyway. If God didn't indeed intend us to kill, and by that I mean give us the capacity to kill, there wouldn't be a need for the 10 commandments. Also, the instruction is "thou shall not murder", not "kill". One is an action the other is a legal definition.

As to the other issue, as long as at least one side of the equation wants to kill you, solving conflict without killing is not am option.
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 1
Thanks, but you missed my point " settle differences without killing each other " and no I will never believe God intended us to kill, sometimes we have no choice but HE gave us the highest level of intelligence on the planet for a reason, to work things out, its up to us.
bbabis
Bill Babis 6
In war, the regrets of the victor should always be much less than those of the vanquished. If The Nazis, Japanese, or even the Russians had had the bomb first, the world would be a very different place and still no or little regret by who used it.
imorenas
imorenas -6
So in essence you're fine with the US having the same morals as an imaginary Nazi victor? I feel there should be regret when civilians who didn't have a part in war are killed. It's the more moral thing to do!
PegLegJim
Jim Welch 3
imorenas;
Again!,
I can only guess how wonderful it must be to stumble through life in a fantasy world like the one you live in.
Tomorrow, my family will lay to rest my good friend Don.
He was one of the last surviving Okinawa Vets.
I wish like hell you had the chance to sit down with him, or ANY of the Soldiers that fought in the war.
Your uninformed, naive viewpoint just might get a jarring dose of “the real world”.
Please do us. & yourself a favor.
Skip over to your local VA & volunteer your time.
It will be the most valuable thing you can do, short of actually enlisting.
You just might learn a thing or two in the process.
Have a Great Day.....
flyerh
flyerh 2
I wonder how old you are and what is your ethnicity? This would give me an insight into your feelings toward what happened to end WW II. I have lived in Singapore, and if you could speak to some older Chinese who lived under the Japanese occupation, as I have, you might understand better why so many were happy that the war ended much earlier than it would have without "the bomb".
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 0
what does ethnicity have to do with anything at all?
flyerh
flyerh 1
Sometimes you can postulate a persons reasoning by knowing their ethnicity.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 1
incorrect. the gravitas that carries contributes to bias and racism. ethnicity does to equate to genetic disposition nor ethemology
flyerh
flyerh 1
Do you not have bias? I prefer blue to purple. That's bias. And I prefer not to associate with drunkards and womanizers. That's bias. I recall as a young boy my first friend was a black kid. As we sat together on some steps he wondered if our blood would be the same color. So, we picked off the scabs from our knees and we both bled red. Neither of us felt racist at all. But if you were Japanese then I could understand your feelings of resentment (however misguided) towards those who dropped the bomb. As to your final tho't. I have dwelt among the Kelabit tribe in the Bario Valley of N. Borneo. They are former cannibals. I never felt any concern about genetic disposition. (In response to my question one pinched my cheek and with a smile on his face said "this is the sweet part"). As far as etymology, I have contributed various words to their vocabulary for things they had no name for. I think my statement was more correct than your own. But have a great day, I do enjoy the discussion.
RECOR10
RECOR10 0
My grandfather fought in Europe and around Japan. He told me as a child that the Germans fought with honor. The "Japs", none at all. This could be read as many things. The fact that we as a society put a lot of focus on Concentration Camps (though we had our own with less fatal results), all while the Japanese were playing "experimental Doctor" on thousands....again, history is written by the victors.

My grandfather hated "Japs" till the day he died. Drove a German car (he would never ever drive a "god damn Jap car"...there is honor in that. He earned his feelings on battle fields.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 2
You should study up on the cities in question and the military headquarters in one as well as the military industry in both. Who do you think builds airplanes or ships? Who do you think was in those units in the other? Industry is a legitimate military target as well as the military themselves.
flyerh
flyerh 1
No argument from me.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 0
not necessarily
imorenas
imorenas -1
I'm studied up. By your rationale, if today the US attacked a Chinese or Russian military base conventionally via let's say air, and started conventional war then the Chinese and Russians are within their right to target General Atomics and wipe out the whole of San Diego.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 2
If that were the case, then you would know that the headquarters of the Second Army led by Field Marshal Shunroku Hata was there as well as the headquarters for the 59th Army and these divisions, the 5th and 224th, were in Hiroshima. These, coupled with it being a major supply and logistics hub due to the port facilities, makes the city a legitimate target,

Nagasaki was a major industrial area which included the Mitsubishi Shipyards, Electrical Shipyards, Arms Plant and Steel and Arms Works, all which built ships, planes and other war materiel. The majority of the city worked in such plants and those plants are legitimate military targets as well. That does not include the Japanese soldiers stationed in the city that were in charge of the slave labor from Korea or China.

This does not include all the small backyard workshops that produced arms, tank or aircraft parts.

Now if the US started a war with China as you suggest, then yes, our civilians are just as likely to die as theirs are. The difference between today and WWII is that the weapons were not as accurate on our side then as they are now. Do the Chinese have such? We don't know, but it is highly possible and use our own GPS constellation as well. Imagine that. Anyone who works at an arms plants is a target. I live just down the road from Lockheed Martin where the F-22 was built and the C-130 is still built, I am sure that bombs will fall on it should we be involved in another global shooting war, but then again, I have lived on or near major US air bases for my entire life and understand that civilians will die no matter what is done or how accurate weapons are, it is part of war and cannot be mitigated.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager -1
war is immoral their is no glory than the greater good of never having started one at all. dropping of atomic bombs on japan would not have been in my command packet if it was decision to make
flyerh
flyerh 0
I'm glad it wasn't! ...and by way, I';n led to believe by your sentence structure that you must be a younger person. Hopefully, you will grow up, gaining knowledge as you do.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 1
thank you for thinking of my age at 95 I endeavour to remain young in my reasoning. you being glad doesn't change the source of the argument or in this case, maximam cogitationem
flyerh
flyerh 1
Dear Mr. Yeager, I did cogitate as you suggested. If your birthday is on Feb. 13th then I laugh at my own ignorance. I hold you in esteem sir, honor and respect you. At 82 I'm no spring chicken either. Nevertheless, I concur with those who decided to drop the bomb. I don't know if you are a religious person. That personal choice is up to you. Personally, I have made my peace with God thru faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, death at the hands of another goes right back to the very beginnings of history and has continued unabated, only getting worse and worse. I, and others of my ilk are looking for the Prince of Peace (Christ) to return and impose His peace. Until then......
OccamsRazor
Ben Bosley 6
More civilian deaths occurred as a result of firebombing of Japanese cities (this includes any cancer/leukemia deaths years later you may want to attribute). The only difference between that and the atomic bomb was the psychological effect of what a single bomb was capable of.
MHarryE
Michael Enzmann 3
That doesn't get much, if any, coverage. I believe it was Martin Caidin's book "A Torch to the Enemy" that listed Japanese cities with the percentage of city destroyed. The fire bombing on march 9 - 10, 1945, caused the greatest loss of life in a bombing mission in human history.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 0
you are correct
Greg77FA
Greg77FA 2
A period when secrets meant the difference between survival or death. I really wonder if such a secrets could be maintained today given the 7x24 world we live in and the generational divide from the greatest generation till igen/millenials today.
BillStout
Bill Stout 2
There were only two bombs completed, however, there were more coming.
lwmorgan
Larry Morgan 3
I loved his reason for not regretting what they did, the Japanese started it, we finished it.
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 3
Although it's impossible to say, that the Truman administration was aware of it at the time, there definitely was good reason to use the bombs WHEN we did. Not the least of these was to convince the Emperor to stop the war.

Japan was already beaten by every rational measure, but the fanaticism of their armed forces wasn't rational. The Emperor and those members of his cabinet who saw what we had == that they couldn't counter did the trick. They quit.

FDR had invited the Soviet Union to join the war against Japan ,and Stalin had (gleefully) agreed to do so 90 days after the war in Europe was over. In probably the only time in memory that Stalin kept his word, the Soviets declared war on Japan on August 8th, 1945,

The Japanese cessation of hostilities meant that all the Soviet Union was able to do was to seize the southern half os Sakhalin and the Kuriles, b it had NO say in what happened on the Japanese home islands.

Had we not dropped the bombs, when we did, Japan's future would've almost certainly included a Soviet occupation of Hokkaido and northern Honshu.
2old2fly
louis simons 2
Stalin unfortunately also kept his word to Hitler when he too invaded Poland in 1939.
dodger4
dodger4 3
It is just as true today as it was on the 9th of August, 1945:

PEACE - through superior firepower.
suzyqf1
Susan Falcone 2
I own 3 gauges from the Enola Gay. She was left rotting in a boneyard in what is now O'Hare Airport back in 1952. My dad was in the Airforce and happened to be in Chicago. He was taken to the airfield by a couple friends and was able to get in her. She was almost stripped bare by then. So he took the gauges that were left. She is now fully restored and in the Smithsonian Air Force Museum in Washington DC. When my father passed in 2014, his wish was for me to return them to the Smithsonian. Can you believe they didn't want them! Incredible! That is why this country is what it is today. No sense of history.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Were the gauges serialized in a manner that they could be authenticated as coming from that particular aircraft?
lynx318
lynx318 1
Do they glow in the dark? I'd be careful with those.
DirkPlante
DirkPlante 1
Actually the Enola Gay sits in the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA near Dulles Airport. A sight to see too. To walk up and see her is just amazing. You can sense the history.
bbabis
Bill Babis 0
Sorry Susan, from your story, there is a good reason they didn't want them.
n9341c
n9341c 2
Why would he have regrets? You've got to be kidding me! If author Nellie Gilles actually asked the question "do you regret dropping the atomic bomb?" she should have been fired on the spot for journalistic incompetence. What a totally dumb, childish, and idiotic question. Oh wait, this was an NPR article.
hkunciatis
hkunciatis 2
Since the guilt of starting the Pacific War is all on Japan, the question of any regret regarding their destruction (including A-bomb) should be placed on their shoulders, and not on those of the U.S. airmen.

The decision to drop the bomb, and the execution in delivering it, was a righteous one — given the historical context during that hellish time.
imorenas
imorenas -4
Right, 68 civilians in Pearl Harbor is justification for killing 300000 in Japan. Hopefully, your opinion will die off with time when the human race gets wiser.
flyerh
flyerh 2
I am a Canadian. Have you heard of the 600 Canadian prisoners of war that the Japs marched down to the beach at Repulse Bay, Hong Kong? They were all fresh young troops just landed to help in the defense of H.K. when they were taken as prisoners. They were shot... murdered on that beach while vastly many more civilians were starved to death. Don't pontificate until you're a little older and hopefully wiser!
imorenas
imorenas 1
You missed the point.
flyerh
flyerh 1
I thought you facetiously said the 68 civilians justified the 300,000. This whole argument will just continue to go round and round as the human race unfortunately is not going to get any wiser than it is right now. As I said, unfortunately.
ervillong77
Ervil Long 2
Are you quare or just plain dumb? How would you have handled it? They had a major force in the beginning and had hopes of winning the entire Pacfic. Actually the Japanese occupied most of it. So tell us. Would you have given them a courteous warning? Come on big mouth.
imorenas
imorenas 0
My argument is solely against how the enormous loss of civilians is not regrettable when it is US backed, no questions asked.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Thank you for letting us know you have a point. And thank you for not posting before. You have been on FA for 3 years and this is the first squawk that to which you responded.

Let me see if I understand your point, is it that nobody regrets civilian casualties when the US is on that side? Or is it that the US forces are unconcerned with civilian casualties?

Do you refer to only those collateral civilian casualties which occurred when the US attacked military targets? What is your opinion about the casualties in the attacks on Coventry and Dresden?

If you believe US forces are unconcerned with civilian casualties, how do you explain the success their adversaries have had using 'human shields'?
imorenas
imorenas 1
Thanks for trying to understand my point! It's just a topic I thought had one-sided comments so decided to stir the pot.

It's because people like me question, Joel that the US forces are increasingly concerned about their collateral damage. Have a good day!
flyerh
flyerh 1
I'm not American.... I'm glad they dropped it!
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 0
we should have dropped you. your rhetoric is toxic
ervillong77
Ervil Long 0
You haven’ an argument. Have you the slightest idea of how many people the Japanese already killed in most every Island across the Pacific Ocean, like Guam, The Philippines, GuadCanal, Borneo and countries like Maylasia, China, Thailand, Korea, Manchuria, Indo-China and too many small islands to name. They were merciless. They took their belongings and worked them til death. We did them a favor by not killing all of them and Curt LeMay was we’ll underway in burning the Japanese Nation using B-29s dropping napalhm. I truly admire the loyalty of the Japanese people.
hkunciatis
hkunciatis 0
Questions WERE asked, at that time, and the answers included the decision to drop it, by men wiser than you.
imorenas
imorenas 1
You old men should go air out your underwear. Civilian death on every side SHOULD be regrettable and that's a wise thing to do and that's where I and many like me globally stand.
flyerh
flyerh 2
Civilian deaths on every side are regrettable. But anything done to stop the war was not regrettable. Older Chinese civilians who lived thru the occupation of Singapore have told me about Jap soldiers snatching babies from mother's arms, throwing them up into the air and bayoneting them as they came down. It was the Buddhist's at the actual bridge over the Kwai River in Thailand that told me how the Japs would smash into mush the fingers of those prisoners they caught trying to steal a crust of bread. Now tell me.... how many fingers or babies are you willing to sacrifice for your kind of morality?
imorenas
imorenas 1
Thanks for the civil response unlike some others on here. However, you don't teach the other side how to be better by being just like them.
flyerh
flyerh 1
You are correct re the other side. Nor are they taught by allowing them to have their way. That's the dilemma of those who wield the sword.
hkunciatis
hkunciatis -3
At first I thought ur ID stood for "I moron", but now it's become apparent ur just a snot-nosed kid, breast-fed on Xbox and associated mindless video games. Do your parents know you're posting on this website?
imorenas
imorenas 1
You sound immature. Do your parents know you are?
hkunciatis
hkunciatis 1
As long as ur throwing up numbers, kindly throw up the number of innocent civilian Chinese men, women and children Japan slaughtered during their murderous rampage in their invasion of China during the 1930’s. Is it a quarter million, half million? Does “Nanking” ring a bell in ur liberal head? Look it all up and educate ur American hating bleeding heart. Then maybe u’ll become wiser, but I doubt it.
ervillong77
Ervil Long 1
He is spewing at the mouth showing an aptitude of 0. Comparing only 68 civilians at Hawaii to the number of people slautere by the Japanese in the Islands, Korea, IndoChina, China, Thailand. They killed the people and occupied Most of the Pacific Islands, like Guam, The Philippines, Borneo, Kodiak Guadalcanal,
hkunciatis
hkunciatis 0
Yep, and the Bataan Death March, inhuman medical experiments on p.o.w.s., and systematic mass genocide all around.
It would be refreshing to see NPR go to Japan and pester their ex-military of any regrets, let alone guilt.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager -1
having fought for my country I am ashamed at what they did in japan. Einstein, oppenheimer are the true evil
nekota
nekota 0
I think the human race is killing itself with co2 in spite of all it's wisdom.
flyerh
flyerh 1
Check and see how much Co2 is released into the atmosphere from one major volcanic eruption. It is vastly more than that which all humanity has produced. ....in the words of one famous fellow, "much ado about nothing".
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Mother earth will survive. This little experiment with a featherless biped with an enlarged braincase may not. What's the problem?
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
I read WWII history only nowadays. That the bomb was dropped isn't a travesty and those who claimed to think it was not needed weren't in the Pacific (save for MacArthur and he sent a lot of kids to their deaths) never saw the scorch marks on the coral cliffs at the south end of Okinawa or the phalanges that were left in those caves at Suicide Cliffs (that were still there in the 80s). Having to face such fanaticism on the mainland was something that was dreaded.

None of the books I have read about the bombing has led me to believe that the fliers do not have any remorse for doing such.
stanlaurelhair
James Fawls 1
Saved my dad.
Chief409
Jeff Pelton 1
I agree. War is HELL.
bradajoe
Chuck Yeager 1
"WAR IS THE CONTINUATON OF POLITICS BY FORCEFUL MEANS" - as defined in U.S. War College text.
cjhayden1
CJ Hayden 1
With Malice Toward Some
58 BW 462 BG
eschroder5596
Eduardo Schroder 1
Gandhy.

Peace .
jcw1953
jcw1953 1
Remember all.... all knew on the three planes for each mission that there was a slight
possibility this was a one way ride....

bbabis
Bill Babis 1
I understand your intention JCW but every time a warplane leaves the ground or ship, even state side, there is a slight possibility of no return. These men had a job and thank God they did it.
jcw1953
jcw1953 1
My dad may have died if these A bombs did not work.. if an invasion of Japan was started on Nov 1945.. Operation Olympia.. it is good we blasted them into eternity..so millions on both sides may live
CHBHA
CB HARDY 1
An aerial view of Wendover(Google Earth)still shows markings on the ground that was a layout of Hiroshima used for bomber training.
stevenrudnick
Steven Rudnick -3
Nearly every historian points out that the bombing of Tokyo took more lives the week before than the a-bomb did. That said, Japan would have surrendered if the United States had not demanded the removal of the emperor. Japan could not have survived more conventional bombing and the blockade for more than a couple of months. The American lives lie is just that. We would not have needed to invade. Most historians also agree that the bomb was dropped to impress the Russians and that backfired entirely. The continued testing has cost almost as premature deaths as in Japan. Why do you think we are compensating the Downwinders. Lots of uninformed patriotism here.
2old2fly
louis simons 2
Yes, the military dictatorship would ultimately have surrendered if they were certain that the Emperor could remain. But when would that surrender have occurred? How many more cities would have been fire bombed. Would we have needed to land troops or send our battleships into Tokyo Bay before they would finally surrender. The "peace overtures" that were sent to Moscow came from civilians, not the generals.
flyerh
flyerh 1
Yup, and Monday morning quarterbacking!
ed7778
Dennis Stockton 1
Please articulate. The bombing of Tokyo the week before took more lives than the 80,000 killed immediately or plus the 80,000 who died later?
bbabis
Bill Babis 0
You seem to feel informed. How?
stevenrudnick
Steven Rudnick 3
WE just completed a two-day symposium on the Manhattan Project here in Santa Fe in conjunction with the presentation of Dr. Atomic at the Santa Fe Opera. I cannot recreate the twelve hours of lectures that were part of that. For starters, you can read Richard Rhodes " The Making of the Atomic Bomb", and "The Day the Sun Rose Twice" by Morton Szasz on which the opera was largely based and includes detailed misgiving by scientists working on the project, or movies by Peter Goin and Steven Okazaki. I make no claims to expertise so I will merely refer everybody to these documents by people who have done extensive research. This is all I will have to say on this.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

2old2fly
louis simons 1
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, their documents revealed that Stalin had planned to invade Western Europe if Truman had not sent troops into South Korea.
I agree that Vietnam was a war of unification that we should not have intervened in and, in fact, we violated the 1955 accord.
Desert Storm I was absolutely justified. More recently, we should have taken out Assad one way or another and have done the same to Hussein without blundering into an invasion.
Rclavia
Rclavia -1
Sadly to be expected from a country whose national anthem includes the words "bombs bursting in air" .
flyerh
flyerh 2
I like your national anthem. It tells a story. And those were British bombs because you invaded Canada but we fought back... and our Indians were better than your Indians, and we beat you. Yes, that's a war you didn't win. But, you won't read about it that way in your history books. I prefer the narration by Pierre Burton in 'Flames across the Border' and 'The war of 1812'. (I just wish we could have divided our continent vertically and not horizontally.... that way we would have had Florida, with no time limit upon our stay.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
A welcome bit of fresh air in the thread. Thanx
belzybob
belzybob -2
In spite of the political and other concerns at the time, one of the targets should have been Tokyo.
jbsimms
James Simms 10
By this time, Tokyo had been pretty much leveled by firebombing. There wasn’t much left to blow up & you can’t tell much on the effectiveness of the A Bomb by rearranging ashes. The intent of not bombing the list of cities was to give an indication of what amount of damage the bomb was capable of. Plus to ensure a peaceful Japan afterwards, we had to have the Emperor on hand to pacify the Japanese civilians.
744pnf
744pnf -2
I felt that sacred Mt Fuji should have been targeted. I don't know how much physical damage it would have caused but on a clear day millions of Japanese would have seen it
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 14
Scientist Arthur Compton explained why a "demonstration" detonation was considered, but not approved:
It was evident that everyone would suspect trickery. If a bomb were exploded in Japan with previous notice, the Japanese air power was still adequate to give serious interference. An atomic bomb was an intricate device, still in the developmental stage. Its operation would be far from routine. If during the final adjustments of the bomb the Japanese defenders should attack, a faulty move might easily result in some kind of failure. Such an end to an advertised demonstration of power would be much worse than if the attempt had not been made. It was now evident that when the time came for the bombs to be used we should have only one of them available, followed afterwards by others at all-too-long intervals. We could not afford the chance that one of them might be a dud. If the test were made on some neutral territory, it was hard to believe that Japan's determined and fanatical military men would be impressed. If such an open test were made first and failed to bring surrender, the chance would be gone to give the shock of surprise that proved so effective. On the contrary, it would make the Japanese ready to interfere with an atomic attack if they could. Though the possibility of a demonstration that would not destroy human lives was attractive, no one could suggest a way in which it could be made so convincing that it would be likely to stop the war. (Compton, Arthur (1956). Atomic Quest. New York: Oxford University Press).
cburgart
Calvin Burgart -3
I have read that when Eisenhower was informed of this possibility, he said it won't have to happen as they are ready to surrender. WE demanded UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. The emperor could have simply lost face and gone into seclusion. So many spins. If that is true WE committed the awful single terrorist reaction as a narcissist will do. Think TRUMP.
bbabis
Bill Babis 3
Always "IF" and unknown sources.
2old2fly
louis simons 3
Eisenhower never had to deal with the fanaticism/total dedication of the Japanese soldiers.
The Kamikaze attacks against our ships, the Bonzai suicide charges on a number of the islands, the suicides of women and children jumping off cliffs in Okinawa all give credence to the conclusion that an invasion of Japan would be very costly to both sides.
" The Emperor could simply have lost face..." Please!
BTW, it was FDR who demanded unconditional surrender. How would Truman look politically if he had retracted that demand. Stalin would have benifitted from that sign of weakness.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -2
Your right. Trump did make a mistake by not cutting off the UN 100% and not carpet bombing Iran.
jcw1953
jcw1953 -1
I used to deliver for a drug store in Passaic NJ.., to the tail gunner on the telemetry B29’s SSgt. Melvin Bierman for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions.
He just past aware about two years ago.
He was in Florida and was bought back to Clifton N J for burial.., remember the primary target for the 2nd mission was Kokura... heavy cloud cover diverted this b29 BoxsCar to Nagasaki... mission orders they had to visually bomb a target.
God Bless Mel and these crews, they saved many lives and evened up the score for Pearl Harbor.,,
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
And while at it, bless the 12 million others that served in uniform in WWII
flyerh
flyerh 1
Thank you Joel! Not for me (I was just a kid), but for all my many friends who were old enough to serve. My wife's grandfather blown apart by a bomb. However, it is sobering to have seen the graves of so many at Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and MacArthur's H.Q. near Sentani, Irian Jaya, Indonesia from which he sent waves of bombers over to get at the Japs hidden in a cave there on the island of Biak. Also, seeing the memorial of his landing at Leyte, Philippines, and to have walked the caves at Corregidor and to have stood peering at the water, contemplating the entombment of so many that went down with their ships in Hawaii. It's the service men and women who have made a world free of tyranny allowing me the privilege of travel. I honour them and respect those today who put on a uniform.

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