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Remembering Hiroshima

Discussion in 'Personal' started by coffeekid, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    If you consider what was going on in terms of air attacks on Japan, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks were just part of the whole. Operation Meetinghouse (10th March 1945) which resulted in a Tokyo firestorm - just one raid by the USAAF - is estimated to have caused 100,000 deaths, 250,000 buildings destroyed and a million homeless. The distinction is not one of degree - it's one of method.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    A question for Red.

    If you commanded the Allies... And if the atomic bomb had become available to use in say April-May 1944... Would you have used it in Berlin?

  4. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Thanks Lanks!
    No I wouldn’t have sorry. I understand your logic and the tens of thousands of lives it would have saved on both sides. But I can’t bring myself to argue that the deliberate killing of civilian people is ever justified. Now of course the argument will go about conventional bombing. They too isn’t morally justified either... I mean targetting civilians. In fact many studies such as Rutgers Bregams most recent survey suggests it had no effect on morale and industrial production of either side. I am not a pacifist and both sides were using aircraft for this purpose. It was not right. It is not right. It’s highly counter productive. It’s certainly a debate and I’m not saying I’m right but my gut says no I would not have used the A bomb in those circumstances.
    Brunel likes this.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    But even if you know 400,000 Hungarian Jews will be transported between May and July 1944 to Auschwitz?

    I get the killing of civilians is horrific... I really do. But in a totalitarian regime like Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan those civilians are components of a war machine.

    If Japan had been able to carry on her war in China for another year (their army there was 1 million strong August 1945) then who knows how many more Nanjing's would have been inflicted. Japan only looked defeated from the Pacific side. Elsewhere her forces could still cause immense damage. The Battle of Manila (1945) saw 100,000-240,000 Filipino casualties.

    You're right in that it isn't "right"... War is a human failure and a crime. But ending a war as suddenly as the a-bomb managed is, in my view, a necessary evil for a greater good in those unique circumstances.
    Brunel, artboyusa and oldsomeman like this.
  6. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Try this one...did you ever hear of Ernst Udet? He was the second highest scoring German ace of WW1. 62 victories.

    One day, at the start of his flying career, he was jumped by Georges Guynemer, the top French ace. "The opponents tried every aerobatic trick they knew and Guynemer fired a burst through Udet's upper wing. Udet however maneuvered for advantage. Once Udet had Guynemer in his sights, his machine guns jammed and while pretending to dogfight he pounded on them with his fists, desperate to unjam them. Guynemer realized his predicament and instead of taking advantage of it, simply waved a farewell and flew away".

    A century later and people still talk about that fight as wonderful example of aerial chivalry. They paint pictures and make videos about it.
    But I say Guynemer deserved to be court-martialed. He was derelict in his duty. By not killing Udet when he had the chance Guynemer became responsible for every one of the Allied planes Udet would go on to shoot down and every one of the Allied airmen Udet would kill. By sparing one enemy, he passed a death sentence on dozens of his comrades.

    In the same way, the Luftwaffe pilots who fired at British pilots who had bailed out during the battle of Britain were absolutely right to do so. If they let the man in the parachute go he could be back in the sky within a few hours killing them and their friends. And for the same reason the British were right to shoot up German rescue planes that were picking up their downed pilots from the Channel.

    Some people want everything to be absolute, Yes or No, Right or Wrong. But in life, and especially in war, the choice isn't always between Right and Wrong, it's between Bad and Worse.
  7. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Senior commenter

    The choice isn't always between Right and Wrong, it's between Bad and Worse.

    That, ArtboyUSA, is the essence of war in a nutshell.
  8. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    In the larger, strategic sense, probably.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You would be responsible for many more dead then.

    How else would we have fought fascism, particularly before the land invasion?
    alex_teccy likes this.
  10. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    It’s hypothetical so im not responsible for anything
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    A pilot or aircrew parachuting to earth (often wounded) is not a combatant at that point in time. Machine gunning him was no better than machine gunning civilians on a street (some of them might have been combatants - even the children might grow up to serve one day) or bombing a Red Cross hospital ship. Yes these type of attacks happened, but they are little better than putting POWs up against a wall and shooting them (which also happened).

    I'm not surprised you think as you do.
  12. shakes1616

    shakes1616 Established commenter

    If you use the atom bomb to eradicate the actual evil people, then yes. Otherwise no. Why did they choose Hiroshima anyway?
  13. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    I'm not too surprised by you either.
    Wait - make that "never surprised".
    alex_teccy likes this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    That's why I said "would be".
  15. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Star commenter

    "Throughout the course of the Pacific war, no Japanese unit surrendered"

    Why a blockade was not an option, by the outstandingly excellent "military history visualized" channel
  16. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The surrender, whether due to continuing air attacks, atomic bombs, Russian declaration of war, blockade, or a combination, also saved the lives of all PoWs of the Japanese. Orders had been issued to execute them in the event of an invasion.
    alex_teccy likes this.
  17. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    That is true - and my uncle would have been one of the victims.
    I wrote about him on the VBJ Day thread.

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