60 years living with the bomb

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by johnmartin, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    With the 60th anniversary of the atomic bomb raids over Hiroshima and Nagasaki coming up soon I have a few questions to open up debate.

    1. Were the Americans right to use the atomic bombs

    2. Was the end of the war hastened by the use of the atomic bomb

    3. Are you still worried about the bomb

  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    1. Yes. Saved thousands of allied troops.
    2. Yes. Shortened the war by a 2 years or so.
    3. A bit. Concerned with some of the nations that are developing it. Korea, Iran etc.
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    1. Possibly, although a demonstration of its power could have had the same effect, and there was certainly no need for the Nagasaki attack to have taken place.

    2. Yes, the war would have gone on for much longer with the Japanese inflicting major casualties as they defended their homeland.

    3. My concern is over the risks of weapons getting into the hands of unstable regimes, particularly with the demise of the Soviet union, with some of the less stable states having had nuclear weapons deployed on their territory.
  4. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    1. Yes they were right. You have to remember that the Japanese warfare is and always has been based on the code of Japanese honour- Bushido, which preaches no surrender and a fight to the last man standing. Even when the Japanese did surrender the Imperial government were condemned by a lot of the population for stabbing the country in the back. The decision to use the atomic bomb was the right decision AT THE TIME. As historians you can't use hindsight. Ultimately it may well have saved more lives than were killed.

    2. We'll never know if it hastened the end of the war. But it certainly brought it to an immediate end which was the original goal.

    3. In the age of the H bomb, i believe the last 60 years have proved (especially the cold war) that nuclear bombs are good in that they act as a deterrent to all out nuclear warfare. If one bomb ever gets dropped again it would more than likely signal a war of epic proportions bringing with it a nuclear holocaust. Thus i'm not afraid of the bomb, its the people who have the bombs that are afraid of the ultimate devastation to our planet that would be caused should they use it.
    Of course we can all ask what so called 'unstable' regimes may do with it, however, developing a bomb and using it are completely different debates.
  5. ted

    ted Member

    1. First bomb had to be dropped, second bomb was an act of violence to demonstrate the USA's supremercy over the rest of the world (British Empire and USSR).

    2. Definitely

    3. Yes. The thought that my home city can be destroyed with the push of a button frightens me.

    I truly believe that the world would be a better place if nuclear bombs were never invented, because wars won't be able to wipe out the human race in days.

  6. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Personally I think the US was justified in dropping the Hiroshima bomb. The target was definetly military as Hiroshima was a major garrison town and also had many industrial plants geared to war production. The Nagasaki bomb is a little harder to justify. Several factors need to be considered.

    1) The USSR had just entered the war against Japan by invading Manchuria and threatening Japans northern island Hokkaido. The spectre of a communist occupation of Japan was not palatable to either Japan or the USA. There is a school of thought that the Nagasaki bomb was dropped to, as another poster put it, show supremacy over the USSR. A bit of a warning shot.

    2) The "Fat Man" was different to the "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima in that it was an implosion device with a plutonium core. This is a much more complex design than the simple uranium gun used previously. Although the Trinity test also used a plutonium device this sort of weapon had not been 'field tested'.

    3) Some historians argue that there was an element of revenge for the attack on Pearl Harbour at play in the decision making process.

    4) The Japanese military were determined to fight to the last man and would have defended the home islands resolutrly resulting in many deaths. The Nagasaki bomb gave the moderates in the government a way to surrender with honour in the face of massive destruction.

    5) Some argue that the US could simply have blockaded Japan into submission. They probably could as the Japanese navy and air force were essentially defeated however the Soviets would not have held back from expanding their empire and this probably forced the hand of the Americans. Also the resultant deaths among the Japanese population from such a blockade would probably have outnumbered those killed in the atomic bomb raids.
  7. HSB

    HSB Member

    Don't think you can say it was right to drop the A-bomb. Suppose what you have to think of is that it no doubt shortened (or indeed ended) the War. America were in the box seat for A-bomb development and I suppose it was inevitable for them to flex their muscles. If Fat Man and Little Boy hadn't been dropped we may have spent a long, long time (and many more lives) getting the Imperiliastic Japanese out of the War. I suppose they were two strategic targets, one against the Imperialistic war machine and one against the people who supported it (or at least stood by and watched it grow). The way to demoralise a nation?

    Yes, undoubtedly brought the War in the Far East to an early end, whether you like the means or not.

    Very much worried about the 'bomb'. We in the 'west' have used it and kept it as a defence against the Soviets, but who are we to police other countries or states that want to develop it themselves? Tough one to call. The Cold War never broke out because both sides had a nuclear deterrant. But when we say to a country or state 'Hang on, you're not developing the bomb' does that cover us with glory?

    It's a tragedy what the Nazis did, or the cruel way POW's were treated by the Japanese, but nuclear bombs remain the way the world will be shaped from now on (and oil, of course).

    Any Remembrance Day talk to the guys who lived through that evil, either Nazi or Japanese. They're the guys and gals that should be answering this question.
  8. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Ah like all historical debates the answer is yes AND no:

    1) Yes, in the sense that use of such a weapon showed Japan what would happen again and again and again if they didn't surrender but no in the moral response as the indiscriminate bombing of civilians should never be done on purpose, fair enough they went after a military target but they knew the fall out would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians.

    2) Yes - refer to part of the answer above, without America using this as a sign of strength a land invasion of Japan would have extended the war by another couple of years at least, plus the Japanese "fight to the death" mentality would have lead to probably the bloodiest campaign of the war.

    3) Not really as I personally think they will never be used, i think nuclear weapons are there as a detterant rather than an offensive weapon.
  9. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    Whoever believes that the bombs shouldn't have been dropped on Japan should read this http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/pow_camps_japan.htm ...I believe having a nuclear deterrent has kept a relative world peace for 60 years. The USA could have dropped nuclear bombs on North Korea in 1950 if they had wanted to but that war went on as "a conventional war " http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/coldwar/korea_hickey_01.shtml. I only wish that we had a physical deterrent in this country for murderers and rapists...particularly of old ladies and children...it might make people think twice before committing the offence.
  10. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Like the above post mentioned about Korea in the 1950s, there was serious consideration to use nuclear weapons in the French Indochinese War of 1946-1954. France wanted America to deploy them against Indochinese soldiers who were fighting the war against the colonial French.

    Very wisely the US didnt take any military action in this war, however, ultimately it led to the Second Indochinese war, or what everyone calls 'Vietnam'. I imagine US State papers would reveal there was consideration to use them there too. They are definately more of a deterrent than anything else, unfortunately we have 'conventional' weapons that are just as nasty in there own right such as cluster bombs, napalm etc
  11. flower girl

    flower girl Member

    i agree completely with every thing u've said ted!!!
  12. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    1. Yes

    2. Yes

    3. Whats the point, if it happens, we'll never know...
  13. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    That depends, you (and everyone and everything around you) could be slowly dying of radiation poisoning...

    Myself, i'm not so afraid of the nuclear bombs that are in the hands of the "recognised nuclear powers", because I think they are sensible enough not to use it (as the past 60 years have shown). I'm much more afraid of what will happen if ever one of these weapons falls into the hands of these crazy terrorists that claim to act in the name of Islam...
  14. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    I can't remember why I think this but I vaguely remember finding out that the american officials didn't believe the bombs were as powerful as they were until they were deployed? Can anyone confirm that or am I just making things up...
  15. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    The americans were well aware of the explosive power of the bomb what they were unsure of were the effects caused by radiation.
  16. jumperKing

    jumperKing Account Suspended

    Hi everyone,

    1. I think they were right to bomb, maybe if they had known about the radiation damage this would have called into their question judgement a bit. The Japanese Military were desperate to preserve their corrupted idea of bushido to the extent they they even tried a coup when the imperial government decided to surrender. It had to be made painfully clear that the destruction would continue until surrender. It still saved many hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides.

    2. It did shorten the war considerably.

    3. We should be more worried than ever. The former USSR is a goldmine for nuclear materials for whomever wants them. The destructive force of a current ICBM is thousands of times that of the little boy dropped on hiroshima. The destructive power of these modern nuclear weapons is unthinkable.
  17. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    I repeat, If Manchester was hit, id never know...
  18. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    :clap: Nice one Mr Sanders
  19. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    1. I think they were probably right to do it at the time, with the information they had at the time.

    2. Probably

    3. Yes. Anyone read When The Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs? A very powerful message in very simplistic terms. Frightened the crap out of me when I first read it at about 14. The thought of living in a post-holocaust world is a very scary one. I'd far rather be right underneath the bomb when it goes off.
    It's only a matter of time before some rogue state (USA, anyone?) irradiates something important.