am not certain where the curious support for the discredited revisionist theories is spawned.
already gave a nod to michael kort earlier, but...
"Revisionism’s heyday lasted through the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Then the historiographical ground began to shift. During the 1990s a new body of scholarly work emerged, often based on hitherto unavailable documents, that countered many of the revisionist arguments, among them the characterization of the atomic bomb as a diplomatic weapon in 1945, the claim that Japan would have surrendered before the planned U.S. invasion had the bomb not been used, and allegations that projected casualty figures for the expected invasion and ultimate defeat of Japan were lower than those cited by supporters of the decision to use the bomb. The historians who produced these new books and journal articles provided powerful validation for America’s use of atomic bombs against Japan. In the process, they destroyed the pillars that had supported the various versions of the revisionist case.
"The first of these works was MacArthur’s ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan, 1942-1945 (1992) by military historian Edward J. Drea, a scholar fluent in Japanese. Drea’s focus was not on the Hiroshima decision per se but on the U.S. Army’s codebreaking operation in the Pacific, called ULTRA, that beginning in 1944 provided General Douglas MacArthur invaluable information in his campaign against Japanese forces in the southwest Pacific theater. ULTRA reports––which were not declassified until the mid-1970s––were forwarded on a daily basis to top U.S. policy makers in Washington, including White House officials, along with diplomatic, or MAGIC, intercepts. What ULTRA showed during late June and throughout July was a massive Japanese buildup of unanticipated scale on the southernmost home island of Kyushu, precisely where the first stage of the two-stage invasion of Japan, called Olympic, was scheduled to take place on November 1. (The second stage, Coronet, was aimed at the Tokyo plain and scheduled for March 1946. The overall plan to invade Japan was designated Downfall.) Not only did the buildup testify to Japan’s determination to fight to the bitter end, but it invalidated any previous military estimates of the casualties such an invasion would cost. ULTRA showed that by early August the number of Japanese defenders on Kyushu was almost double what the U.S. had expected (ULTRA actually underestimated the number of Japanese troops by a third) and that Olympic would be “very costly indeed.” 11 Drea’s evidence thus undermined two key parts of the revisionist case: that Japan was seriously considering surrender in the summer of 1945 and that the lower casualty estimates cited by revisionists, all of which dated from before American military planners learned of the Japanese buildup on Kyushu, were the ones accepted by the top American decision makers in Washington.
(as can be seen from our specific Shockley quote, he were basing numbers on predictable projected resistance rather than some kinda belief in particular intransigence o' the Japanese people. the high casualty totals were most direct attributed to US learning o' how extensive were Japanese preparations for a US invasion. regardless, is largely irrelevant as the question is what Truman believed would be casualty totals. after-the-fact debate as to what would be more accurate projections does not change information available to the ultimate decision makers.
(a 1993 Smithsonian exhibit actual brief reinvigorated the revisionist debate, leading to revisionism's accepted demise by all save a few self-appointed pundits at the far corners o' the intra-web)
"Academic historians plunged into the fray on both sides. Revisionist scholars defending the exhibit insisted that the issue was scholarly research (their own) based on primary source documents versus the emotional reactions of their detractors, many of whom were elderly veterans. They complained that critics of NASM wanted to censor legitimate scholarship, a charge that ignored the existence of scholarship that contradicted what was in the NASM’s script. One academic who had served on NASM’s advisory group of scholars suggested the disagreement was between “memory and history,” the former flawed and faded as it emerged from the hearts and minds of aging, emotional veterans, and the latter reliable and reputable as it emerged from the research of unbiased, up-to-date scholars. Whatever its self-serving pretentiousness, the phrase caught on in revisionist circles. But the exhibit was mortally wounded. The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution critical of the exhibit and in January 1995 it was cancelled.12 Then, as if on cue, came a series of books and scholarly articles that demonstrated convincingly that those who had relied on “memory” during the NASM debate had not shown faulty recall after all.
"The books included biographies of Truman by two leading scholars in the field, Robert H. Ferrell, whose Harry S. Truman: A Life appeared in 1994, and Alonzo L. Hamby, whose Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman was published in 1995. Each included a detailed chapter on the Hiroshima decision that refuted the revisionist claims, from Japan’s presumed readiness to surrender prior to August 6 to Truman’s alleged use of the atomic bomb as a diplomatic weapon against the Soviet Union. Stanley Weintraub’s The Last Great Victory: The End of World War II, July/August 1945 (1995), a day-by-day chronicle of the last month of the Pacific War, provided the grim context that ultimately dictated the use of the bomb.13
"These wide-ranging works were accompanied by works that focused exclusively on the Hiroshima decision, or more narrowly on certain aspects of it, which collectively shattered the revisionist case. In Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Later (1995), Robert James Maddox convincingly dismantled the atomic diplomacy thesis, demonstrating how that thesis rested not on the documentary record but on unsupported allegations and distortions of the historical record. Maddox documented how Truman, far from using the atomic bomb as a diplomatic weapon against the Soviet Union, attempted to maintain good relations with the Soviet Union before and during the Potsdam Conference. Maddox further showed how MAGIC intercepts––in particular the cables between Japan’s foreign minister in Tokyo and its ambassador in Moscow––and the ULTRA intercepts made it clear to American leaders that Japan was unwilling to surrender on terms remotely consistent with minimum Allied war aims and was instead preparing vigorously for the expected American invasion. Maddox also cited solid documentary evidence that Truman and his advisors saw casualty estimates for the anticipated American invasion of Japan of 500,000 or more and that the president feared staggering losses should the invasion take place.
"Robert P. Newman’s Truman and the Hiroshima Cult approached the Hiroshima decision topic by topic, with individual chapters defending policies such as demanding unconditional surrender and not providing Japan with a demonstration of a nuclear explosion. Most devastating to the revisionist case was Newman’s demolition of the USSBS assertion that Japan would have surrendered “certainly prior to December 31, 1945, and in all probability prior to November 1, 1945” absent the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet entry into the war. By reviewing the testimony of the Japanese officials the USSBS had interrogated in 1945, he demonstrated that it is impossible to read that testimony objectively and not deduce that the USSBS reached its conclusion of a Japanese surrender during 1945 by ignoring its own evidence.14
"The claim that after the war Truman and some of his advisors exaggerated casualty projections of an invasion and final defeat of Japan––specifically that those projections reached 500,000 or more––for decades was one of the main pillars of the revisionist case.17 That pillar collapsed with the first thorough examination of the issue, “Casualty Projections for the U.S. Invasions of Japan, 1945-1946: Planning and Policy Implications” by military historian D. M. Giangreco. Writing in The Journal of Military History, Giangreco explained that in military hands these projections took three forms: medical estimates, manpower estimates, and strategic estimates. He then demonstrated that there was substantial documentation for high-end casualty projections–– which, to be sure, varied widely––from both military and civilian sources that reached upward of 500,000. Equally important, one estimate that reached Truman––from former president Herbert Hoover, who had high-level government contacts––led the president to convene an important meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and top civilian advisors on June 18, 1945, to discuss the projected invasion of Japan. In short, as Giangreco stressed in a later article in the Pacific Historical Review, Truman both saw and was concerned about high-end casualty estimates prior to the scheduled invasion. His claims to that effect were not postwar concoctions.
"Nor did the thesis that unconditional surrender was responsible for extending the war fare well in the light of new scholarship. In “Japan’s Delayed Surrender” (1995), Herbert Bix concluded that “it was not so much the Allied policy of unconditional surrender that prolonged the Pacific war, as it was the unrealistic and incompetent actions of Japan’s leaders.”19 The intransigence of Japan’s leaders prior to Hiroshima was further documented by Lawrence Freedman and Saki Dockrill in “Hiroshima: A Strategy of Shock” (1994) and, most thoroughly and convincingly, by Japanese historian Sadao Asada in “The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan’s Decision to Surrender––A Reconsideration” (1998). Asada’s extensive use of Japanese-language sources convinced him the United States did not miss an opportunity to end the war before Hiroshima when it refused to modify its demand for unconditional surrender. Rather, if “any opportunity were missed, it may have been Japan’s failure to accept the Potsdam Declaration on July 26.”20"
revisionism only survives 'cause a few folks refuse to let it die in spite o' mountains o' scholarly work discrediting its dogma.
HA! Good Fun!
Edited by Gromnir, 30 August 2018 - 03:21 PM.