Thread: Hiroshima
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:40 PM   #17
Dr. Evil
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Default Re: Hiroshima

Originally Posted by hippie_hunter View Post
Actually the Japanese government knew that the war was lost. The did not have an advantage of a ground campaign and knew that the homeland would fall after the Battle of Okinawa. They had every intention of surrendering if the Allies presented acceptable terms. The Japanese government was no longer fighting to win or even protect most of the homeland, they were fighting to preserve the monarchy in some form.

You also have to keep in mind that the Allies worded the Potsdam Declaration very poorly. They did not state what the terms of "unconditional surrender" were and gave them a statement that they knew full well the Japanese government would reject. And the Allies worded it very poorly for various reasons. The Soviets wanted to get in the Pacific War so they could capture Japanese territory in Sakahlin Island, the Kuril Islands, Hokkaido, and take over Japanese spheres of influence such as Manchuria and Korea. Prolonging the war benefitted the Soviets. And the Americans had every intention of nuking Japan to demonstrate the power of their new weapon. Truman and Churchill did not trust Stalin one bit and wanted to use the atomic bomb to scare them along with hoping that the Japanese would surrender before the Soviets started their participation in the Pacific (which they didn't). Prolonging the war to that end was in the viewpoint of the Americans and British beneficial to them.

If the Potsdam Declaration was clearer on what unconditional surrender was and allowed the preservation of the Japanese monarchy, Japan would have most likely accepted the terms of surrender.

The problem is that the atomic bomb had nothing to do with Japan's surrender. Behind the scenes the Japanese thought that the Americans had more bombs and we're still willing to continue fighting. The reason why the Japanese surrendered was because the Soviets betrayed them and entered the Pacific War. They knew that with the Soviets now involved they had no choice but to surrender right away to the Americans because any deal the Americans would offer would be better than any deal with the Soviets involved.

So when that is taken into account, it really demonstrates that the atomic bombings were completely pointless and really aren't justified.
I'm curious to see if many high ranking Japanese officials had a plan to escape into exile. My guess is that Japan didn't have the connections that the Germans did that caused hundreds of Germans and other European Nazis to flee to South America. On the other hand, the lack of an escape plan caused many of them to be tried for War Crimes. All of them were dead or imprisoned within five years after the war, unlike a lot of their European counterparts. Think about it, by 1950 all of the members of Tojo's Wartime cabinet, including Tojo himself were dead or imprisoned for life while many Nazis were living comfortably in South America.

In terms of justice for the crimes committed in World War II, The Japanese were easier to try because of the lack of an escape plan. Look at how long it took for many former Nazis who went on the run to be tried. It took 15 years before Adolf Eichmann was captured. Josef Mengele was never captured and died in Brazil 30 years after he escaped. Erich Priebke managed to escape capture for 50 years. Hell, a few Nazis escaped to America.

Last edited by Dr. Evil; 06-02-2016 at 10:46 PM.
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