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Thread: Was Japan ever a real threat to the USA in WW2?

  1. Top | #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    No one disputes the consequences of nuclear weapons. The question at the time was the consequences of not using them.

    Stalin was waiting to the last minute to see how the war with Japan went before declaring war on Japan.

    There was a communist faction in Japan. Truman needed to end the war quickly to prevent Russia from being part of a negation and a partition like Europe and Germany.

    Truman out maneuvered Stalin who thought Truman was a country bumpkin.

    The two bombs were a bluff to the Japanese,. We had no stockpile. Through the inside spy Klaus Fuchs Stalin knew all the details of the American program and the manufacturing limitations.

    A bluff. There is something very sick and twisted about anyone who would even consider nuclear arms.

  2. Top | #72
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fentoine Lum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fentoine Lum View Post

    Sure, endless war is the broader picture and america is traveling down the path of empires in decline. Let's avoid that shall we?

    But another example:

    Nixon and the Cambodian Genocide
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/04/k...united-states/

    Oh, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how our 2009 coup in Honduras has fueled this migration out of Honduras. It's all quite perplexing.
    Dude, you are continuing with your derail.

    If you want to start a thread "The evils of the capitalistic U.S." then start one. Derailing a thread to push one's obsessive passion is frowned on.

    This thread is about Japan and WWII.
    Everything is connected my friend, authoritarian power structures always attempt to bury that concept.
    Ah. So you're saying that an examination of how the Belgians make cheese and pickle sandwiches is relevant to this thread.

    I am nor sure I accept that claim; But it certainly gets you off the hook for derailing any thread you like with any change of topic you like.

    Everything is connected. So it's all about those wiley Belgians and their deli counter skills, at least as much as it's about anything else.

  3. Top | #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fentoine Lum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    No one disputes the consequences of nuclear weapons. The question at the time was the consequences of not using them.

    Stalin was waiting to the last minute to see how the war with Japan went before declaring war on Japan.

    There was a communist faction in Japan. Truman needed to end the war quickly to prevent Russia from being part of a negation and a partition like Europe and Germany.

    Truman out maneuvered Stalin who thought Truman was a country bumpkin.

    The two bombs were a bluff to the Japanese,. We had no stockpile. Through the inside spy Klaus Fuchs Stalin knew all the details of the American program and the manufacturing limitations.

    A bluff. There is something very sick and twisted about anyone who would even consider nuclear arms.
    Back in the early 70s I considered pacifism. I concluded it was fine as a moral statement, but being a pacifist meant relying on others to protect you. My paper in an ethics class was on pacifism.

    Part of it for me was starting out in rough neighborhoods. Drugs, hookers, crime. Not dealing with reality as it was would mean abuse.

    Maybe you do not grasp the reality of WWII and what was at stake. I am not normally a prolific flag waver, but you and I are speaking freely courtesy of the outcome of WWII.

    In your mind what is the basis of the western t freedoms we take for granted today? Freedoms that are far from global today. Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, African states.

    What creates and maintains our freedoms?

    It is really a simple question with a simple answer. Our ability and willingness to fight.


    If you are alone and corned on dark street by assailants do you meekly accept death or do you kick, bite, scratch, gouuge eyes, and use any available weapon to you?

    Of all things I had a pacifist professor for ethics. He and his family came home to find robbers walking out the front door with stuff. He stood by and let them pass, probably the right thing to do. But what if they grabbed one of his kids to a car, would he fight?

    WWII was a high for the future. Liberal democracy of fascism and Nazism. Would you have enlisted in WWII. My father was in the Pacific, an uncle in Germany, another uncle crewed on a B17. In your opinion were they stupid and foolish?

  4. Top | #74
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Of all things I had a pacifist professor for ethics. He and his family came home to find robbers walking out the front door with stuff. He stood by and let them pass, probably the right thing to do. But what if they grabbed one of his kids to a car, would he fight?
    Which kid?

  5. Top | #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    is well known history that post WWI the American people were isolationist with no interest in getting drawn into European affairs. Joe Kennedy Sr as ambassador to England thought we should let them fight it out and then deal with whoever won out.

    FDR knew what was coming and within constraints was able to start things in motion. The B17 and B29 I believe were both on the drawing board before Pearl Harbor as were new Naval fighters.

    Carrier development was in full swing.

    Churchill's speeches in the USA are credited with changing political views. He played up his American wife and our common cultural roots. They should be online.
    As an aside, the B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber was developed by the US Army Air Force in the mid Thirties and was our standard operational heavy bomber at the start of WWII. The name, Flying Fortress, referred not to its defensive armament, as is often thought and reported. Actually the initial models had relatively light defensive armament. Rather, the name came from the fact that the plane was developed to protect our shores from foreign navies. It was thought of as a coastal fortress that could fly. In the early years of its deployment there was much ballyhoo over its ability to intercept ships far out at sea. So actually it was designed to bolster America’s isolationist tendencies.

    The specs for the B-29 “Super Fortress” were released for bidding in December 1939. Whether that was in reaction to the start of WWII, three of four months earlier, I can’t say.
    Always interested in new perspectives. Interesting point on isolationism.

    There was serious prewar interservice rivalry as to who would protect the shores, Army or Navy. Naval aviation could have been curtailed. Doolittle famously demonstrated bombers could be effective against battleships. A hot topic of the day.

    There was a lot of American military politics and infighting, sometimes destructive. One time MacArthur withheld bomber support for a naval operation.
    A little-discussed fact. Doolittle's bombers took the better part of a day with multiple sorties to sink an obsolete World War I battleship that was stationary in the water. To the Army Air Force, it was the proof of the concept that high altitude, level, precision bombing could be used against capital ships. To the Navy, it was a wake-up call that they should perfect dive-bombing or they would never be able to sink moving capital ships that had the temerity to try to shoot down the aircraft.

  6. Top | #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    The U.S. took so long to become involved because the people of the U.S. were overwhelmingly pacifists.
    The US at the time were certainly not as bad as the Nazis or Japanese Imperialists, but pacifists? Bullshit. The US has never been pacifist. It is the ONLY nation in the history of the world to have used an atomic bomb on a civilian population.

    The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (demonstrating to the Japanese the power of a new weapon)
    Didn't have to be done twice and didn't have to be one on a large civilian populated area. If they wanted to show what they could do, they could have simply done the same to a remote military base.

    And again, the US was not at risk from Japan and would never have been involved whatsoever if the US didn't interfere in Asia. It wasn't about the US defending itself. It was about the US pushing its global influence.
    We could discuss around and around about your belief that the Japanese interference in Asia was far superior to the US's interference in Asia but having spent a considerable amount of time in Nanjing, China I pretty sure whose interference they would prefer if they were forced to choose.

    In fact, I spent a large part of my working life in the former Asian co-prosperity sphere of Japanese interference in Asia and found relatively little love and fond memories for the Japanese brand of interference in Asia. Especially in the Philippines who suffered considerably from the US Marines in the early part of the 20th century, they seemed to be quite happy that the US kicked out the Japanese in 1945 and gave them their independence a year later.

    This above is very glib and heavy-handed, of course. But these are valid points considering your equally glib argument that the US fought the Japanese in order to expand our influence in Asia. The US considered an attack on Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, etc. to be the same as an attack on the US mainland.

    Yes, we probably didn't have to drop the second bomb on the Japanese. It is even possible that we didn't have to bomb the Japanese at all. The Soviets had just invaded and routed the million man Japanese army in Manchuria inflicting more casualties on the Japanese than they suffered in the entire Pacific war against the US.

    But this is all hindsight. The US had just invaded Okinawa, the first of the Japanese home islands to be invaded, and had seen how fanatical not only the Japanese army and navy had fought but the US saw the civilians join in the fight some times literally with pitchforks. Translating this experience to a full invasion of the rest of the home islands would not only result in more casualties than the US had already suffered in the Pacific war to that point but would also result in more Japanese civilian deaths than had occurred to that point in the war.

    Of the nearly 200,000 men of the army, navy, and marines who invaded the island 25% were casualties with 12,500 deaths. Of the 130,000 Japanese army and marines defending the island, a horrific 110,000 were killed. The estimates of civilians killed ranged from 40,000 to 150,000 of the 450,000 pre-invasion population, largely made up of women, children, and men too old to be in the military. 21 of the more than 1300 ships in the invasion naval forces were sunk and an additional 66 damaged by the nearly 200 kamikazes Japan put up. The navy lost 5,000 killed, of the total 12,500 quoted above, and an additional 4,600 wounded. Numbers from the first google search that came up, the history learning site, my google has a bias for the UK because I am currently on a VPN projecting me into the UK.

    So it is not only possible but probable that dropping the atomic bombs on Japan saved civilian lives as well as American lives. I admit that I am a little biased on this point, my father and two uncles were training to be in the invasion of the Japanese home islands.

  7. Top | #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    No one disputes the consequences of nuclear weapons. The question at the time was the consequences of not using them.

    Stalin was waiting to the last minute to see how the war with Japan went before declaring war on Japan.

    There was a communist faction in Japan. Truman needed to end the war quickly to prevent Russia from being part of a negation and a partition like Europe and Germany.

    Truman out maneuvered Stalin who thought Truman was a country bumpkin.

    The two bombs were a bluff to the Japanese,. We had no stockpile. Through the inside spy Klaus Fuchs Stalin knew all the details of the American program and the manufacturing limitations.
    Stalin jumped into the far-eastern war with 90 divisions invading Manchuria on 9 August 1945, the exact day that he had promised. The invision used materials that the Soviets had been stockpiling on the border with Manchuria since 1943. There is no reason to believe that the Soviets entered the war against the Japanese half-heartedly or that they intentionally delayed their entry to see how it was going. Their first priority was to defeat Germany. But they promised to enter the war against the Japanese three months after the surrender of Germany which they did. I have no love for Stalin or the Soviet Union, but you have to give them their due when they earn it.

  8. Top | #78
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    Did anyone in this thread mention the "Supernova in the East" episodes of the Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast ?
    They deserve a listen for this discussion's context - especially the first episodes that deal with the rise of a colonialist Japan.
    (They're quite recent - by Hardcore History posting rate - so they might even still be in the free section)

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