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Pilot who dropped bomb on Hiroshima died.

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Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,756
11
81
Originally posted by: K1052
Originally posted by: Mursilis
Originally posted by: Skoorb
enthralled with the revisionist view
I like how it's being coined the revisionist view that is the one that paints a darker picture of it as opposed to the "It was the right thing to do" picture. If anything, that sounds revisionist.

I haven't studied this issue much. The vast majority of people in this thread haven't, but I feel fairly safe deferring on matters of strategy to Eisenhower. His credentials are without equal, so if nothing else I'm just dropping a bone of consideration, that maybe people would question a bit more about it instead of rehashing what they were told in grade nine.
Probably one of the best books on the subject is "Downfall" by Rich Frank. Amazon has it. Great study of the final days of Imperial Japan. Read it, and you'll understand why the so-called "revisionist" view is indeed revisionist.
Frank makes a compelling argument, backed up by facts, that the Japanese food situation was quite dire in 1945. The atomic bombings probably saved vast numbers of Japanese citizens from starvation by forcing a conclusion to the war. One of the first things MacArthur did was import massive amounts of foodstufs to Japan to avert the disaster.
And in Frank's book, he quotes from a speech MacArthur made to a Congress reluctant to spend large sums of money shipping food to a nation that mere months ago was The Enemy. MacArthur pointed out that as occupiers the Japanese people were the responsibility of the US, and it would be hypocritical for the US to refuse to feed these people while at the same time conducting war crimes trials of Japanese military leaders for abuses committed while THEY were occupiers. Of course Congress voted to send food after that. A great moment for the country.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
2,822
0
0
Originally posted by: biggestmuff
The pilot flies the aircraft. The bombardier on the Enola Gay, Thomas Ferebee, dropped the bomb.
The driver drives the car, the shooter shoots. Both form an integral part of a drive by shooting.

Your point?
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
106,161
21,156
136
Originally posted by: Rogodin2
Either that or Operation Olympic, losses on both sides would have been even more catastrophic. It was going to be a 1,000,000 man invasion.
That is a load of historical bullshit.

We had been firebombing the shit out of Japan prior to dropping the nuclear bombs. Japanese diplomats were throwing out peace treaties.

Rogo
it doesn't matter what the diplomats or even the Emperor wanted. By then, the Warlords had taken control of the military and vowed never to surrender. In a situation where the Emperor has no control over his military, you're looking at some rather catastrophic consequences.
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
2,325
126
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,521
9,497
126
He flew the plane. That's it. He was a soldier under orders during a time of war. He did his job, no more, no less. To act like Tibbets was responsible for the bomb (whether for or against) is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
Exactly. Oh, but politicians are the representative of the people, and what does that mean?... Oh, sh!t, let's just blame the soldier instead... :roll:
 

amdforever2

Golden Member
Sep 19, 2002
1,879
0
0
skoorb if japan was so ready to surrender before atomic bomb number one, then why did it take two?




Sorry that Truman didn't want lives to continue to be lost so Japan could figure out how it was going to "save face".
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,941
1
0
Originally posted by: Mursilis
Originally posted by: BlinderBomber
That isn't true. What you're doing is confusing what happened with what you think would have happened. Reasonable? You seem to view history as a having on two tracks: the path that was followed and the alternate. The fact is, there were many, many options available to the United States besides bombing the Japanese and invading the home islands. Like I said before, a demonstration of the weapon would have at least given the Japanese an idea of what the US meant by complete destruction.
What other options? And your idea for a 'demonstration' convincing the Japanese is mere speculation, and not very good speculation at that - when the bombs were dropped on actual people, there were still very senior military commanders who did not wish to end the war. It's likely a demonstration would not have convinced them.

Besides, a demonstration was considered at the time. The U.S. only had two bombs initially (which they weren't totally sure would work anyway) and were nearly a year away from making more. They wanted to create the impression that they had more of this weapon, and could drop them at will on Japan, so they really couldn't waste one (which might have been a dude) dropping it in a demonstration. What if the U.S. had scheduled a demonstration for the Japanese, and the bomb was a dud? It would've only emboldened them, prolonging the war.

The reality is we do not know what would have happened had the US invaded or had anothe course of action been followed.
Well, that's just obvious. But we can make educated guesses. Looking at the death tolls resulting from such invasions as Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the total casualties of an invasion of Japan could easily be predicted to exceed 1M+. And we already knew from the Philipphines that the Japanese had no qualms about killing prisoners, rather than returning them to the Allied forces.

Hypothetically, we saved lives. I guess I'm hypothetically satisfied with that. In reality, however, I am not satisfied with the course of action followed by the United States. While the bombings may have saved lives, they also killed a hell of a lot of real people. Let's not take this whole issue so lightly.
No one's taking it lightly. Death is never a good thing, but less deaths are better than more, and having read up on the issue, I have no real reservations about the dropping of the bombs.
Regardless of how likely or unlikely a demonstration would have been, the United States certainly would have retained a lot more moral creditability if it had conducted one. I'm not saying it would have worked, I'm not even saying there was a good chance it would have. I still think it was the morally responsible thing to do.

What I was driving at before is that we can make educated guesses about what would have happened, but counting hypothetical dead versus actual dead in an attempt to exonerate a decision isn't exactly what I'd call good analysis. What bothers me as well is that the decision-making process to drop the bomb was tainted by the racism and dehumanization of the Japanese by the US. The decision to drop wasn't made based on saving Japanese lives - those were completely expendable and relatively worthless - it was made on the basis of saving American lives.

Perhaps, politically, no other decision could have been made. Given the circumstances, it certainly wasn't the 'worst' choice the US could have made; it may have even been the best. But best does not mean it was right and that's where I have issue.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
2,822
0
0
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
If you were in a combat zone and your commander office orders you to shoot innocent civilians on sight would you do it and follow orders or would you refuse and rebel?

If I were him, I would refuse and they could do whatever they want to, at least I would know that I would die at least with a clear conscious. But I am assuming he died guilt free anyway I don't see how the "following orders" argument would have worked for him.

You know who else was following orders? The corrupt officers at Abu-Ghraeib. Would you have done it too?
 

Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,756
11
81
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
The "just following orders" excuse doesn't wash if in fact the order is morally wrong. A soldier can defy orders. He/she shouldn't do it lightly and without significant thought on the matter, but a person does a certain moral responsibility for thier own actions, ordered or not. Even the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows for the disobedience of an unlawful order without penalty. Take a look at the My Lai Massacre for an interesting case study.
 

randay

Lifer
May 30, 2006
11,019
216
106
Originally posted by: Mursilis
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
The "just following orders" excuse doesn't wash if in fact the order is morally wrong. A soldier can defy orders. He/she shouldn't do it lightly and without significant thought on the matter, but a person does a certain moral responsibility for thier own actions, ordered or not. Even the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows for the disobedience of an unlawful order without penalty. Take a look at the My Lai Massacre for an interesting case study.
they dont get trained on how to disobey orders.
 

Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,756
11
81
Originally posted by: randay
Originally posted by: Mursilis
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
The "just following orders" excuse doesn't wash if in fact the order is morally wrong. A soldier can defy orders. He/she shouldn't do it lightly and without significant thought on the matter, but a person does a certain moral responsibility for thier own actions, ordered or not. Even the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows for the disobedience of an unlawful order without penalty. Take a look at the My Lai Massacre for an interesting case study.
they dont get trained on how to disobey orders.
Regardless, they better figure it out. Military personnel of many nations (including the US) have stood trial and been convicted for war crimes as a result of "just following orders". It's not an absolute legal, or moral, defense.
 

Googer

Lifer
Nov 11, 2004
12,555
3
81
Originally posted by: Spartan Niner
Let me put it this way: It's morally wrong to do something like an atomic bomb

BUT

War is hell. War is immoral. Policymakers are immoral. In this case, vulgar utilitarianism wins every time.
But WWII for America was defensive war. So yes it was justified.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,388
75
91
Originally posted by: BlinderBomber
Originally posted by: Linflas
Do some of you really live in such a fantasy world that you believe that the home islands of Japan could have been invaded without repeating on a massive scale the losses experienced on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa? Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied commander in the European theater and did not experience first hand the horrors of the Pacific war including the massive Kamikaze attacks against naval vessels. If you don't understand that those experiences greatly influenced the decision to use the bomb then you are either enthralled with the revisionist view or willfully blind to the realities of the Pacific war. I suspect after seeing first hand the depredations of the Nazi death factories if Eisenhower had been given the atomic option to force the surrender of Germany a year sooner he would have used it without hesitation.
Your argument essentially boils down to "well, they were doing horrible things too." This isn't a justification, particularly during a war that Americans love to claim moral superiority. You cannot justify killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens (including the firebombing campaigns) by saying "well, the Japanese were doing it to other people." However you slice it, the United States was responsible for the murder of innocent civilians. Hate to break it to you, but that's the truth. I don't like it either.

Justifying the use of the weapons is a tough task. I'm not even saying it wasn't the "best" answer, I'm just trying to say we cannot just gloss over history by applying our "moral superiority" to the war itself. The atomic bomb is a horrible weapon, it does horrible things to people, and has caused countless long, painful deaths in the decades following the 1940s.
I did not justify anything by saying they were doing horrible things so we could too, the decision came down to what would most likely bring an end to the war with the minimum number of deaths on both sides. Maybe you should read up on what Japanese civilians were being told by their government and what American troops witnessed them doing on islands like Saipan at the end. They jumped off of cliffs on that island with their children rather than live with the American occupation despite being begged by translators not to do so and that they would be treated fairly. The continued fire bombings of Japanese cities and the inevitable invasion of the home islands would have likely resulted in many more deaths than the dropping of the bombs caused.

Skoorb - I was born 10 years after the war ended to parents of the WWII generation, one of which served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters so I did not get my first exposure to WWII through a 9th grade history class. The adults around me when I was a child had lived through and experienced that war first hand and until it was overshadowed by Vietnam in the late 1960's was one of the defining events of the history of the 20th Century.
 

Pabster

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
16,987
1
0
Tibbets is an American Hero. It's disgusting that he's asked to be buried without a headstone, in an unmarked grave, because he doesn't want the protesters making a scene of it.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
44,468
4,308
136
Originally posted by: Mursilis


And the U.S. saved many more innocent Japanese civilian lives by dropping the bombs, thus removing the need to conduct a mainland invasion. Furthermore, Japan was facing a famine beginning in mid-to-late 1945 because of a poor rice crop and the Allied naval blockade, and had the U.S. not occupied Japan and shipped emergency food supplies, many Japanese would have starved to death. Any reasonable review of the historical record will confirm that the dropping of the bombs saved many, many more than were killed.
This is the view I have finally come to, after literally decades (off and on) of reading everything major published on the subject. :thumbsup:

Of course, I have always had an intense personal interest in the debate. My father, Lt. Cmdr. George Henry Perkins, saw his sister ship, a fleet oiler, blown to smithereens by a kamikazee attack. My Dad set foot on Japanese soil even before the armistice was signed, taking the still functioning light rail from Yokohama naval base up into Tokyo. I have photos he took, tiny little prints whose size was mandated by war induced shortages of the materials needed. One is of a shipyard full of half-completed midget subs, which probably would have been deployed in a kamikazee role. The two last infrastructure facts speak to the incomplete military efficacy of high level bombing campaigns in WWII. Another photo shows his group of tall young American naval officers and their escort, an almost comical cliche of a short, ill-dressed Jap in some sort of cobbled together remnants of a military uniform.

It is my belief, finally, that without both bombs, the Emperor would not have been swayed to use his moral/religious authority/influence, never before tested in this way and uncertain at best, to counter the driven, hard-line military cabal that then held control of Japan's war-time government, and that given the bushido tradition, our invasion and Japan's suicidal resistance would have acquired it's own brutal and nearly unstoppable momentum, and that the casualties on all sides would have been monumentaly grotesque.

Of course, none of us will ever know for sure. But the collective weight of all the (sometimes conflicting) evidence is there for all who truly care to sift through.

Edit: And, btw, my heart goes out to Paul Tibbets. He says he never lost a night's sleep to the bombing. I don't believe him.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Perknose

Edit: And, btw, my heart goes out to Paul Tibbets. He says he never lost a night's sleep to the bombing. I don't believe him.
Indeed, I'd bet that hardly a day went by that it didn't cross his mind. May he rest in peace.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
The Japanese were ruthless murderers who starved women and children in death camps. Hard to feel sorry when they attacked us simply because they wanted to take our land, murder us, and steal all our recources. They did the same thing in Korea where they fed Opium to the children, and starved the farmers to death, stole all the trees, and killed people indiscriminantly. They were murderers who stole local women and used them for pleasure slaves. They also did the same kinds of things in China.

Never forget the Japanese were the agressors. War is hell and then you die. Let it be a lesson about being too eager to embrace war. Yes we slaughtered the Japanese, but they could have surrendered earlier, or stopped attacking us. They were murdering theives who deserved to die. After the brutality of the Pacific Theater and the men dying by the thousands for each Island we took back from the Japanese, it is a wonder we did not kill every Person left in Japan. They deserved far worse than what they got. I suggest you study history.
 

jandrews

Golden Member
Aug 3, 2007
1,313
0
0
this is common choice in any position of power, you have two bad choices but you have to pick one.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
18
81
Originally posted by: DarkThinker
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the decision to use the "bomb", this guy was just doing his job. It wasn't his job to decide the target or the munitions, it was his job to follow orders. They where sent on a damn near suicide mission and he got the job done and got his men home. For that, I consider this man a hero, may he rest in peace.

Blame the politicians if you disagree with the tactics.
If you were in a combat zone and your commander office orders you to shoot innocent civilians on sight would you do it and follow orders or would you refuse and rebel?

If I were him, I would refuse and they could do whatever they want to, at least I would know that I would die at least with a clear conscious. But I am assuming he died guilt free anyway I don't see how the "following orders" argument would have worked for him.

You know who else was following orders? The corrupt officers at Abu-Ghraeib. Would you have done it too?
You're right, he should have refused orders, not dropped the bomb. And if no one dropped the bomb, a land invasion would have been next, in which tens of thousands of soldiers, Japanese and American, and the usual thousands of civilians, would have all died anyway.

Don't want to get nuked, don't team up with nazis and launch surprise attacks on sleeping superpowers.
 

OutHouse

Lifer
Jun 5, 2000
36,413
616
126
my dad was a Navy Sea-Bee in 1945 and trained off the coast of Maryland for the invasion of Japan. Millions of lives were saved by those two bombs, they are horrible weapons to deploy but they did end the war.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
I find it utterly amazing people still refuse to accept that ending the war through total force saved lives in the long run. Sure we could have spent the next 12-18 months fighting tooth and nail through the island of Japan. In the process losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers, killing hundreds of thousands of japanese soliders and untold hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilisns. Or we could have tried to give them a showing that would make them finally realize the futility of their resistence. Remember these are the same people who drove dive bombers into the side of ships. You had to show them an insane amount of power to grab their attention.

And quite frankly I dont have a whole hell of a lot of sympathy for the Japanese. They enabled a culture of sadistic death at the hands of their govt. They raped, pillaged, and killed untold millions in China, Korea, IndoChina, and the South Pacific. Their military unit I believe was 389? that conducted experiments on live human subjects alone warrants a nuke in the back yard.

The Germans IMO were lucky Hitler bungled the war the way he did. If they were fighting in August of 45 I can gurantee Berlin would have been the first target of a nuke and rightfully so.

 

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
Unfortunately the US was in the position of getting it through to Japan that they were beaten. The Japanese leaders were trying to stay in power and were willing to sacrifice a nation to achieve this end. Basically the Japanese leaders thinking was if they caused enough US casualties the US would accept a surrender with the current Japanese government left in power and war crime trials would be conducted by the Japanese for any war crimes they conducted. For the Japanese surrender was unthinkable and even after 2 atomic bombs there was serious debate if they should surrender. The emperor had to cast the deciding vote for surrender. Even after all of this the military tried to seize recording of the Japanese emperor ordering the surrender. The Atomic bombs gave the Japanese leadership the "out" that was needed. They could still claim that they were not defeated in battle and that the US had to resort to futuristic weapons like a A-bomb to force a surrender because for the Japanese honor was everything. Also operation Olympic that was set to go off in November of 1945 would have become a bloodbath. The Japanese had figured out were the US was going to land and had well fortified the beaches. Operation Olympic was only the first part of the invasion. There would also be a follow up invasion in 1946 for the Japanese main island which would have resulted in even more casualties. The US manufactured so many purple hearts 500,000 for this operation that they are still using these purple hearts today 60-years later and still have 120,000 in stock. If you think about how fanatical the Japanese were about not surrendering it wasn't until 1949 when the last Japanese soldier surrendered on Iwo Jima.
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
3,851
0
0
Originally posted by: Brovane
Unfortunately the US was in the position of getting it through to Japan that they were beaten. The Japanese leaders were trying to stay in power and were willing to sacrifice a nation to achieve this end. Basically the Japanese leaders thinking was if they caused enough US casualties the US would accept a surrender with the current Japanese government left in power and war crime trials would be conducted by the Japanese for any war crimes they conducted. For the Japanese surrender was unthinkable and even after 2 atomic bombs there was serious debate if they should surrender. The emperor had to cast the deciding vote for surrender. Even after all of this the military tried to seize recording of the Japanese emperor ordering the surrender. The Atomic bombs gave the Japanese leadership the "out" that was needed. They could still claim that they were not defeated in battle and that the US had to resort to futuristic weapons like a A-bomb to force a surrender because for the Japanese honor was everything. Also operation Olympic that was set to go off in November of 1945 would have become a bloodbath. The Japanese had figured out were the US was going to land and had well fortified the beaches. Operation Olympic was only the first part of the invasion. There would also be a follow up invasion in 1946 for the Japanese main island which would have resulted in even more casualties. The US manufactured so many purple hearts 500,000 for this operation that they are still using these purple hearts today 60-years later and still have 120,000 in stock. If you think about how fanatical the Japanese were about not surrendering it wasn't until 1949 when the last Japanese soldier surrendered on Iwo Jima.
A well spent post
:thumbsup:;)
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,009
272
126
Originally posted by: Pabster
Tibbets is an American Hero. It's disgusting that he's asked to be buried without a headstone, in an unmarked grave, because he doesn't want the protesters making a scene of it.
I'm inspired that even in the face of death he wanted what he thought was best for his family and country.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Citrix
my dad was a Navy Sea-Bee in 1945 and trained off the coast of Maryland for the invasion of Japan. Millions of lives were saved by those two bombs, they are horrible weapons to deploy but they did end the war.
I'd be willing to bet you'd have to look loing and hard to find aWW2 vet who was training for the invasion of Japan that didn't support Truman's decision 110%. It would have been my Dad's 3rd tour of duty oin the pacific theater and when the war was over it was the happiest day of his life.

We can all remember were we were when we first heard of the JFK assasination or Walter Cronkite and Neil Armstrong voices when they landed on the moon for the first time or when we first heard/saw the Twin Trade towers fall, but those memories would all pale in comparison to the memory of finding out you didn't have to invade the Janpanese homeland.
 

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