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Why the US Dropped Atomic Bombs in 1945

Hospital Bob
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Markle wrote:It also put the rest of the world on notice of a game-changer in the world of war.

From your entire screed, you have written one sentence that is correct and relevant to the discussion.

Congratulations, you've bested your average.


The truth is that the burgeoning MIC had a technology it was eager to display as a measure of the U.S.'s military superiority, and Japanese civilians paid the price.

There is truth in the above statement. Certainly, the second bomb was going to be dropped because we had constructed two distinctly different approaches to the bomb, and in regard to the second bomb....this makes your statement certainly more true in regard to the second bomb, because anybody who was concerned about Japanese civilians as noted in Truman's diary, had time to stop the second bomb, or adjust the targeting. Nobody in the civilian Defense department or White House intervened after the knowledge of the horror of the first bomb dropped mostly on Civilians.

However, to suggest the first bomb was about displaying US military superiority, I simply disagree........they wanted to end the war and not have American kids dying in the invasion of Japan. I certainly agree with that statement in regard to the second bomb because of the differing technologies, and the need for our military to test both of them, but the first bomb was intended to shorten the war, and you have to go to the motivation of those working in New Mexico initially there was a legitimate fear that the Germans were on course to have a nuclear program......our scientist later realized in the rush to beat the Germans, we had let the genie out of the bottle and had regrets.......much of what fueled the 1970s revisiting this subject was the scientific community and their disdain as to what they created.



I can agree with that assertion. One of the most fascinating books I have ever read was Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

Rhodes, a historian, understood the science and explained the history of nuclear physics in layman's terms. It made me want to study nuclear physics.

The scientists who developed the Bomb were largely Jewish expats who had fled Europe because of their fear of Hitler. They approached FDR through his connections with Albert Einstein, and recommended that the U.S. start its nuclear program, because if we did not, the Germans might develop the Bomb first. The main motivator of these Jewish physicists was to get there before the Germans did. It turns out that Germany was only interested in the nuclear reactor (they called it the "nuclear burner") and never had a program to make a bomb. But, if Germany had not surrendered for an additional 4-5 months in 1945, Berlin would have been the Bomb's first target.

After the German surrender, the Jewish scientists suddenly turned pacifist, and did not recommend that the Bomb be used against Japan. They wanted it demonstrated to the Japanese in an unpopulated area to show Japan's leadership what was in store for them if they did not capitulate immediately.

But, the U.S. had made a major investment in this program, had just a few bombs to show for it, so they went for Hiroshima on the first-go instead.

My father was in Navy boot camp in San Diego when the bombs were dropped and when VJ-Day occurred a few weeks later. The bomb kept my father from seeing any combat in the war. I am sure several others in my generation had fathers who were also spared from participating in the war because of the atomic attacks as well.

Postscript: Had Hitler treated the Jews differently, the scientists who made the Bomb for us might have made it for him instead......



Historians always try to dig up new "facts" that changes or shades an issue to fit a desired framing. I'm a published historian. I know of what I speak.

The real facts about America's use of two Atomic bombs at the end of WWII, are as follows -- everything else is arguable bullshit:

Japan surrendered quickly after Nagasaki was vaporized.

The politics of our use of the two atomic bombs and all the theoretical assumptions are MINOR issues.

The main event was Japan surrendering.

It can be argued whether we were trying to warn Stalin, or simply testing the effectiveness of a new, terrifying weapon with which we could rule the world.  It can also be argued that less than half of the Japanese military leadership was willing to surrender, even after Nagasaki's demise.  In fact, I've encountered credible evidence the military leaders who were for surrender had to actually physically overthrow their opponents and at the point of a gun, force the head of a radio station to broadcast a secret pre-recording of the Emperor asking for surrender  to get the ball rolling.

There are tons of theories, some real, some fiction.  But, once again,
the main issue is concise and clear:  Japan surrendered after our second eradication of a Japanese city via an atomic explosion.  And that's what really and truly matters.




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