Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

History Thread Zero


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1
Katphood

Katphood

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2341 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

https://en.wikipedia...e_using_a_sword

The Japs made the Nazis look like choir boys.

See, kids?! This is why the Japs got the nukes...well, that and the fact that the yanks were itching to drop a nuke somewhere.

I know this is mostly for a (currently non existing) history thread in way off topic, but there was a bit more to the story about nukes, japan and surrender than most westerners seems to think about normally. In august 1945 the Soviets invaded Manchuria with 1.5 millon troops and annihilated the Japanese army there (700k strong) in two weeks and were poised for invading Japan within a short time. Nobody in Washington fancied a million strong Soviet army taking over former Japanese territories (the latter being entirely my speculation)

So that was their way of warning the soviets?!

Ouch!

Edited by Katphood, 29 August 2018 - 09:10 PM.

  • Ridgemed, Brantot and BernardC like this

#2
Zoraptor

Zoraptor

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2511 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

The salient lesson was somewhat lessened in impact by the US nuclear program being riddled with spies so Stalin knew about the bomb well before most in the US government did.

 

Soviets weren't going to invade Japan anyway, as they had almost literally no navy in the east with which to do it. It was probably always their plan to hand Manchukuo over to Mao as well, since China going communist was a far bigger prize.



#3
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

actually

 

https://forums.obsid...tine/?p=1474304

 

https://foreignpolic...ation_hokkaido/

 

https://forums.obsid...tine/?p=1474576

 

highly recommend watching the prof hasegawa clip, but

 

 

criticism o' hasegawa typically appears thus:

 

"Hasegawa fails to sustain his main arguments with the necessary evidence. At best, he leaves the revisionist case as he found it, in ruins. Indeed, he makes the rubble bounce by convincingly demonstrating that the Soviet Union very much was racing to get into the Pacific War in order to facilitate its expansionist policies in the Far East. Those who seek the definitive analysis on the end of the Pacific War will have to look elsewhere. A good place to begin is Frank’s Downfall." --prof. michael kort

 

the soviets declarations and their intent to invade Hokkaido ahead of a planned US invasion o' the Japanese mainland is considered by modern historians to be as much a cause o' japan surrender as were the dropping o' the bombs.  as to whether or not bombs were meant as a threat to soviets fails to consider the possibility there could be more than one purpose.  the Truman-warning-stalin reasoning no doubt played a part, but dr. Shockley analysis as well as many other factors contributed to the ultimate decision to drop bombs.  regardless, one thing is certain: nobody wanted to surrender to the soviets. 

 

HA! Good Fun!



#4
Zoraptor

Zoraptor

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2511 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

the soviets declarations and their intent to invade Hokkaido ahead of a planned US invasion o' the Japanese mainland is considered by modern historians to be as much a cause o' japan surrender as were the dropping o' the bombs.

 

No it isn't. The collapse of the Manchukuo Army and that cutting off supply to the literally millions of men in China and SE Asia was about as persuasive as the nukes since it meant there was nothing left for Japan to negotiate with or hope for. Invasion of Hokkaido by the Soviets though- well, maybe in winter when they could drive there.

 

The plan to invade Hokkaido as cited in FP, if the Japanese even knew about it, was from 4 days after they'd already surrendered. Unsurprising as anything other than an unopposed naval landing would be extremely difficult for the soviets. Even an area as unimportant as the Kurils had 40k Japanese troops there, and the soviets weren't going to be sweeping through the steppe with IS3 and T34s like in Manchukuo. Indeed, when they did invade the Kurils after Japan's surrender and with most of the Japanese not fighting they still suffered 15% casualties (and about twice the absolute losses of the Japanese who had no navy or air support at all).



#5
injurai

injurai

    (12) Mage

  • Members
  • 1992 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Wasn't the US planning an invasion of Japan? I remember the bit about warding off the Soviets from invading Japan, but I also remember that that wasn't really in the cards. I thought the message was more about warning the Soviets in regards to making post-war land claims in Europe. While the use of the bombs on the eastern front was about avoiding the high costs and causalities of mounting another invasion. Nevermind great cost had already been sunk into the nuclear program. They had two or three more nukes lined up if I remember correctly in-case a surrender held off longer. The whole reason for nuking industrial cities was to cripple Japan's ability to hold out at all. The US wanted out of the war and realized that they needed to refocus in rebuilding western Europe. They US desperately needed to find a solution to heal Europe and ally them against what they saw as the mounting Soviet threat. A threat that at the time was looking to be less of a militaristic one, but an economic threat.



#6
Agiel

Agiel

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 670 posts
  • Location:...at 80,000 feet... and climbing

The nuclear weapons historian Alex Wellerstein notes that it's difficult to disentangle the events of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and precisely which played the biggest role in Japanese decision-making (worth pointing out that upon learning of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 7th Stalin ordered the the timetable of the Red Army's invasion moved up from the middle of August, so evidently he believed that further atomic bombings would bring about an end to hostilities before the Soviet Union could make its own land grab).

 

Also keep in mind that even after the Soviet invasion and the bombing of Nagasaki the Japanese would not announce their surrender August 15th, a full six days after the bombing of Nagasaki and the invasion of Manchuria, and even then it was only after a coup launched with the intention of preventing this had been quashed.

 


Edited by Agiel, 30 August 2018 - 06:26 AM.

  • Gromnir likes this

#7
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

 

 

the soviets declarations and their intent to invade Hokkaido ahead of a planned US invasion o' the Japanese mainland is considered by modern historians to be as much a cause o' japan surrender as were the dropping o' the bombs.

 

No it isn't. The collapse of the Manchukuo Army and that cutting off supply to the literally millions of men in China and SE Asia was about as persuasive as the nukes since it meant there was nothing left for Japan to negotiate with or hope for. Invasion of Hokkaido by the Soviets though- well, maybe in winter when they could drive there.

 

The plan to invade Hokkaido as cited in FP, if the Japanese even knew about it, was from 4 days after they'd already surrendered. Unsurprising as anything other than an unopposed naval landing would be extremely difficult for the soviets. Even an area as unimportant as the Kurils had 40k Japanese troops there, and the soviets weren't going to be sweeping through the steppe with IS3 and T34s like in Manchukuo. Indeed, when they did invade the Kurils after Japan's surrender and with most of the Japanese not fighting they still suffered 15% casualties (and about twice the absolute losses of the Japanese who had no navy or air support at all).

 

hasegawa and others disagree with you.

 

"no sooner had the marriage of convenience uniting right-wing Japan and the communist Soviet Union broken down than the Japanese ruling elite’s fear of communism sweeping away the emperor system was reawakened. to preserve the imperial house, it would be better to surrender before the USSR was able to dictate terms. on august 13, rejecting Anami’s request that the decision to accept U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes’s counteroffer (the “Byrnes note”), which rejected Japan’s conditional acceptance of the Potsdal terms, be postponed, Suzuki explained: “if we miss today, the Soviet Union would take not only Manchuria, Korea, [and] Karafuto [Sakhalin Island], but also Hokkaido. this would destroy the foundation of Japan. we must end the war when we can deal with the United States.”[68] furthermore, when Shigemitsu had a crucial meeting with Kido on the afternoon of August 9 at Prince Konoe’s request, which eventually led to Kido’s meeting with Hirohito that persuaded the emperor to accept the “sacred decision” scenario, Shigemitsu stressed the negative effect of further Soviet expansion on the fate of the imperial household.[69]"

 

soviet threat to hokkaido were considered a possibility for more than a year, and became increasing likely in 1945.

 

soviet declaration of war against japan  were august 8, before nagasaki and after hiroshima. sure, the attack on hokkaido were initial planned for late august, but assuming the japanese were complete ignorant of the soviet intent to invade seems a bit naive and flies in the face o' the weight o' modern scholarship.

 

another fp article. 

 

"Viewed from the Japanese perspective, the most important day in that second week of August wasn’t Aug. 6 but Aug. 9. That was the day that the Supreme Council met — for the first time in the war — to discuss unconditional surrender. The Supreme Council was a group of six top members of the government — a sort of inner cabinet — that effectively ruled Japan in 1945. Japan’s leaders had not seriously considered surrendering prior to that day. Unconditional surrender (what the Allies were demanding) was a bitter pill to swallow. The United States and Great Britain were already convening war crimes trials in Europe. What if they decided to put the emperor — who was believed to be divine — on trial? What if they got rid of the emperor and changed the form of government entirely? Even though the situation was bad in the summer of 1945, the leaders of Japan were not willing to consider giving up their traditions, their beliefs, or their way of life. Until Aug. 9. What could have happened that caused them to so suddenly and decisively change their minds? What made them sit down to seriously discuss surrender for the first time after 14 years of war?"

 

...

 

"If the Japanese were not concerned with city bombing in general or the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in particular, what were they concerned with? The answer is simple: the Soviet Union."
 
"The impact of the Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria and Sakhalin Island was quite different, however. Once the Soviet Union had declared war, Stalin could no longer act as a mediator — he was now a belligerent. So the diplomatic option was wiped out by the Soviet move. The effect on the military situation was equally dramatic. Most of Japan’s best troops had been shifted to the southern part of the home islands. Japan’s military had correctly guessed that the likely first target of an American invasion would be the southernmost island of Kyushu. The once proud Kwangtung army in Manchuria, for example, was a shell of its former self because its best units had been shifted away to defend Japan itself. When the Russians invaded Manchuria, they sliced through what had once been an elite army and many Russian units only stopped when they ran out of gas. The Soviet 16th Army — 100,000 strong — launched an invasion of the southern half of Sakhalin Island. Their orders were to mop up Japanese resistance there, and then — within 10 to 14 days — be prepared to invade Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s home islands. The Japanese force tasked with defending Hokkaido, the 5th Area Army, was under strength at two divisions and two brigades, and was in fortified positions on the east side of the island. The Soviet plan of attack called for an invasion of Hokkaido from the west.
 
"It didn’t take a military genius to see that, while it might be possible to fight a decisive battle against one great power invading from one direction, it would not be possible to fight off two great powers attacking from two different directions. The Soviet invasion invalidated the military’s decisive battle strategy, just as it invalidated the diplomatic strategy. At a single stroke, all of Japan’s options evaporated. The Soviet invasion was strategically decisive — it foreclosed both of Japan’s options — while the bombing of Hiroshima (which foreclosed neither) was not."
 
none o' this is at all controversial in this day and age.  a small number o' traditionalists hold to the notion the bombs were decisive punctuation marks ending the war with japan, but hasegawa, richard b. frank the fp articles and others sources too numerous to mention agree, the soviet threat were a substantial factor in japan's ultimate decision to surrender, and a few historians suggest the soviet threat were the vital reason.  the US were no less aware o' potential soviet threat.  
 
honest, is worth a view.
 
 
HA! Good Fun!

  • Agiel likes this

#8
HoonDing

HoonDing

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 9233 posts
  • Location:Absurdistan



#9
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

dr. shockley casualty estimates from june 1945

 

"If the study shows that the behavior of nations in all historical cases comparable
to Japan's has in fact been invariably consistent with the behavior of the troops in
battle, then it means that the Japanese dead and ineffectives at the time of the
defeat will exceed the corresponding number for the Germans. In other words,
we shall probably have to kill at least 5 to 10 million Japanese. This might cost us
between 1.7 and 4 million casualties including 400,000 and 800,000
killed.”
 
the proposition that a-bomb use were first and foremost a warning to the soviets becomes dubious when one considers how, as o' summer o' 1945, the projections for US and japanese casualties resulting from an invasion o' japan were, w/o any hint o' hyperbole, nightmarish.  as agiel linked clip notes, japan had no plans for "surrender" w/o an American invasion. at the time the bombs were dropped, the japanese were also killing approx 100,000 in mainland china every month.  the total body count attached to continuing war in the pacific woulda' been soul crushing to consider, which is no doubt what the japanese were counting on at the time.
 
am not certain what were truman's eventual calculus behind dropping the bombs, but am thinking there is a tendency to oversimplify motivations o' actors on both sides o' the pacific.  with that said, it is difficult for us to personal imagine truman not using atomic weapons if he believed the casualty estimates he were getting.  sure, soviet involvement may have been important to both US and japanese decision-making in august 1945, but faced with estimates o' japanese, chinese and american casualties, estimates crafted by guys such as shockley, it makes us wonder if truman coulda' decided on any other course o' action than use of atomic weapons.  with the benefit o' hindsight, truman's choice takes on a much different look.  am doubting truman and others could genuine recognize the magnitude o' their decision, regardless o' claims to the contrary.  even so, for truman and others, am guessing the world looked a bit different in the spring o' 1945 than it did in the autumn... but such reflections is only our personal impressions.  
 
HA! Good Fun!
 
 
 
 


#10
Agiel

Agiel

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 670 posts
  • Location:...at 80,000 feet... and climbing

Worth pointing out that while today we consider it a no-brainer that the ultimate authority to launch nuclear weapons, at what targets, and, relevant to the Nagasaki bombing, when belongs solely to the top level civilian leadership this was not so obvious to military and political leaders at the time. This meant that the bombs were to be dropped at Lemay's discretion as weapons became available to him, so his primary consideration on the timing was actually favourable weather conditions rather than geo-politics (Japan in late summer was known to have particularly temperamental weather, so it was either use it now, or potentially wait another few weeks before the weather permitted). In fact the delegation of weapons release went so far that the aircrews of Enola Gay and Bockscar were given alternate targets in the event that weather conditions were prohibitive (as happened to Bockscar, of which the primary target was Kokura). 


Edited by Agiel, 30 August 2018 - 02:04 PM.

  • Malcador likes this

#11
Zoraptor

Zoraptor

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2511 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

The Japanese force tasked with defending Hokkaido, the 5th Area Army, was under strength at two divisions and two brigades, and was in fortified positions on the east side of the island. The Soviet plan of attack called for an invasion of Hokkaido from the west.

 

Sigh.

 

The Kurils alone had 3 divisions of troops plus an independent regiment. That's why the soviet 'plan' called for an unopposed 'invasion' after Japan had already surrendered, not a combat assault similar to the US invasion plan. They'd have to bring in every single soldier and every bit of supply via boat, and they simply didn't have enough of them. Longer term, sure, but the proximal reasons were the atomic bombs and Manchurian invasion leaving the bulk of their army hopelessly exposed, not something that might eventually happen.

 

Japan’s leaders had not seriously considered surrendering prior to that day.

 

 

They definitely had. And since their diplomatic codes were broken everyone knew they were considering it. The only practical change was to unconditional surrender from sole conditional (preservation of the emperor) surrender.



#12
213374U

213374U

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 5220 posts
  • Location:PIGS
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

dr. shockley casualty estimates from june 1945

 
Those are casualty estimates taken from a mathematical model based on the premise that Japan wouldn't surrender no matter what. While the math is probably solid, the basic premise the model is based on needn't be.
 
On the other hand, top military officers seemed to share the opinion that using the bomb to precipitate surrender was unneeded. Nimitz, Halsey, Eisenhower and MacArthur's views seem to be in agreement on this. Even Curtis LeMay declared that Japan would have collapsed "in two weeks" nukes or no (he also believed that the Soviet attack didn't change the situation either).

Walter Brown wrote that Secretary Byrnes (to whom he was an assistant), Adm. Leahy and Truman all agreed that Japan was "looking for peace" as early as August 3.

It is also useful to remember that, while the destruction caused by the A-bombs was considerable, it was not anything the Japanese hadn't suffered before. For reference, in the night of March 9-10, 97,000 people were killed as per the Tokyo Fire Department in a single, massive raid.

 

And yeah, as Agiel noted, it wasn't Truman making that call, which is something else to consider. IIRC he was on a boat on his way back from Potsdam, where nukes weren't discussed, when he got word, and all he did was sign some previously drafted White House communique warning Japan that there was more where that came from if they kept it up.

 

The narrative that the bombs actually saved millions of lives that would otherwise have been lost in a protracted Iwo Jima-style battle seems to have been crafted post-hoc and doesn't have much supporting evidence.


Edited by 213374U, 30 August 2018 - 02:42 PM.


#13
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

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"

 

etc.

 

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.

  • Agiel likes this

#14
Agiel

Agiel

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 670 posts
  • Location:...at 80,000 feet... and climbing

 

 
On the other hand, top military officers seemed to share the opinion that using the bomb to precipitate surrender was unneeded. Nimitz, Halsey, Eisenhower and MacArthur's views seem to be in agreement on this. 

 

 

 

As an aside some of these claims should be taken with a grain of salt given the political ramifications of the atomic bomb. As the nascent US Air Force had a monopoly on the atomic bomb in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War there was an incentive by Navy brass to downplay the impact of the bombs as it could possible result in the Navy getting sidelined by the Air Force when it came to funding, and to a large extent this fear was well-founded, as it was under Eisenhower that US military underwent its largest downsizing in conventional forces, with funding diverted to the Air Force in service of the doctrine of "Massive Retaliation," in which the US would respond in a disproportionate fashion with nuclear weapons to any offensive action taken by the Warsaw pact. The US Navy even attempted to demonstrate that the effect of atomic weapons against naval vessels was negligible in Operation Crossroads, to somewhat limited success (while physical damage was indeed light, the sheer amount of radiation the ships absorbed made it wholly impossible for them to be operated by human crew without a substantial decontamination effort). Ironically the US Navy would go on to become the most important leg of the American triad as Polaris and the "41 for Freedom" ballistic missile submarines came online (later to be succeeded by Trident, which today constitutes fully half of the US arsenal).


Edited by Agiel, 30 August 2018 - 03:49 PM.


#15
Zoraptor

Zoraptor

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2511 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
[stuff]

 

The soviets simply lacked the capability to invade Hokkaido opposed, indeed if the US with their capabilities were worried about opposition it just strengthens the case for the soviets not being able to manage it any time soon. Your source has got Japanese troop numbers hideously wrong, which might be the root of their mistake. The Japanese were considering surrender prior to either the soviet invasion or the bombs, there's irrefutable primary sources for it that trump your secondary 'expert' analysis. The reason for their eventual surrender was a combination of many factors, proximal being the bombs and Manchurian invasion not some sub Hearts of Iron level fantasy of the soviets imminently invading Hokkaido by driving their tanks and swimming their troops across the Okhotsk Sea or something. Moving troops to Kyushu before the invasion/ bombs means nothing except at that time Japan were little p planning for the continuation of the war, which is as no kidding a situation as the US also little p planning for the continuation of the war and moving their troops around right up until the point of actual surrender.

 

While an eventual invasion of Hokkaido would have been a concern for the Japanese they were mostly worried about the inevitable and imminent collapse of the millions of men in China and SE Asia, nukes and the imminent and inevitable US invasion; none of which they could fight off. They were not overly concerned with a hypothetical event they had a decent chance of actually repelling if attempted in the near future.

 

Even the planned unopposed landing involved only a single division at a time- and not even that initially- as that was all the transport the soviets could scrape together and maintain logistically. While the Japanese air force was a shambles by 1945 a single fighter could have sunk most of the soviet 'armada' with its 20mm cannons if it were lucky, and without resorting to kamikaze. And that's not even considering all the nice soft tankers and freighters that would have to bring in supplies and reinforcements every day. The soviets suffered 15% casualties in the Kurils- 7x the rate of the Manchurian campaign- even after the vast majority of the Japanese forces there had outright surrendered.

 

revisionism only survives 'cause a few folks refuse to let it die in spite o' mountains o' scholarly work discrediting its dogma

 

 

Yes, yes, throw about 'revisionist' to try and discredit people then accuse them of being dogmatic. Classic Gromnir.



#16
213374U

213374U

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 5220 posts
  • Location:PIGS
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

 

revisionism only survives 'cause a few folks refuse to let it die in spite o' mountains o' scholarly work discrediting its dogma

 
Yes, yes, throw about 'revisionist' to try and discredit people then accuse them of being dogmatic. Classic Gromnir.

 

Literally four lines inserted in an obvious low-effort copy paste job. Classic indeed.

 

Now, Robert P. Newman's referenced work sounds interesting. I'd have to look it up, but the claim that the USSBS assessment was an utter and complete fabrication with regards to how soon the Japanese would surrender and wrong about the effect of conventional transportation network disruption combined with a naval blockade on resource-starved Japan's ability to maintain a war footing is... odd. Especially considering that the author pins this squarely on a desire to mislead and minimize the effect of the A-bomb by Paul Nitze.



#17
Malcador

Malcador

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7459 posts
  • Location:Someplace in Canada
  • Xbox Gamertag:Pft, consoles.
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Guess they got what was coming to them, then.

#18
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

stuff... w/o any support

 

revisionist ain't Gromnir's term.  look it up.  is not pejorative.  is simple the label for those who disagreed with orthodoxy which were popular up 'til 1970s.  regardless, is a largely abandoned theory which does not survive intact anywhere intact 'cept the interweb.

 

again: 
 
"Hasegawa fails to sustain his main arguments with the necessary evidence. At best, he leaves the revisionist case as he found it, in ruins. Indeed, he makes the rubble bounce by convincingly demonstrating that the Soviet Union very much was racing to get into the Pacific War in order to facilitate its expansionist policies in the Far East. Those who seek the definitive analysis on the end of the Pacific War will have to look elsewhere. A good place to begin is Frank’s Downfall." --prof. michael kort
 

is ok if zor wanna ignore experts.  can ignore quotes from japanese such as prime minister suzuki. can ignore and deflect.  won't change that soviet not only had a plan to attack hokkaido as outlined in the fp articles, but that the japanese were aware o' such plans and took such serious.

 

and to numbers, we put the darn thing in quotes and attributed to michael kort.  what more did you want? if the Quotation Marks didn't give away that we were quoting, then use of capitalization would... not to mention pronoun usage.

 

duh.

 

HA! Good Fun!


Edited by Gromnir, 30 August 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#19
213374U

213374U

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 5220 posts
  • Location:PIGS
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

and to numbers, we put the darn thing in quotes and attributed to michael kort.  what more did you want?


If your post must be 95% copy paste, at least have the courtesy to provide a link to the work you're citing. Yes, yes, I'm paranoid as all hell but when only selected quotes of a selected quotes compilation are posted I immediately think cherry-picking and contextomy.
 
Beyond that, this is a discussion thread. Providing references and linking expert opinion is cool, but I'd expect a bit more... discussion. Call me crazy.

Regardless, from what I've read (all secondary [edit: and tertiary] sources), the issue is complex, and the evidence is far from incontrovertible. So using words like "demolish" and "in ruins" to characterize what is currently an open topic strikes me as somewhat presumptuous. I know those aren't your words, but you quoted them nevertheless.

https://www.manhatta...lkers-interview


Edited by 213374U, 30 August 2018 - 06:21 PM.


#20
Gromnir

Gromnir

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 7594 posts
  • Location:Sleeping in my office.
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Call me crazy.

 

 

fine.  you are crazy.  and is 10 lines we added.  as we suspected, you didn't genuine bother to read even our reduction o' the article or you woulda' realized we added material-- a few more lines in the middle, eh?

 

aside: we just tested.  copied 1st sentence o' the QUOTED MATERIAL and added "Michael Kort" to a google search.  took less than ten seconds to retrieve the article by such method.

 

am betting maybe 1 person bothered to listen to our 1 hour hasegawa clip... clear not zor or #s.  so we once again quoted michel kort and used relevant portions from a 15 page article to illustrate how multiple current authorities view revisionism.  you are honest cheesed off 'cause we didn't link?  ok. did we misattribute?  did we alter the quoted material?  did we edit the quoted material to mislead? no?

 

that said, even hasegawa, who has been false described as a revisionist 'cause he appears to kinda blur lines by advocating Truman as pushing "atomic diplomacy," has done his part to beat the stuffing out o' the few lingering revisionist stragglers.  giangreco, maddox, and in particular, frank's downfall is worthy reads and make hasegawa seem like a revisionist apologist by comparison.  

 

but please, read the whole article rather than the pasted quotes... which you clear didn't actual read entire anyway.  in its entirety, michael kort's article does a much better job o' explaining why even the last vestiges o' revisionism has been... demolished.

 

HA! Good Fun!


Edited by Gromnir, 30 August 2018 - 07:07 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users