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Thread: A World War II Thread

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A World War II Thread

    I don't think we have a thread about WWII. So here's a start.

    And, on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, here's some information we all should know about the Pointe du Hoc assault. We visited Pointe du Hoc 3 years ago and it was an unforgettable experience.

    D-DAY: Rangers Lead The Way To Pointe du Hoc

    In fact, I think any American who visits the Normandy D-Day sites comes away changed for the better.

    Last edited by LA Ute; 06-07-2017 at 11:39 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

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    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    I ran across this story recently.

    Bill Millin - the mad bagpiper of WWII

    Millin is best remembered for playing the pipes whilst under fire during the D-Day landing in Normandy. Pipers had traditionally been used in battle by Scottish and Irish soldiers. However, the use of bagpipes was restricted to rear areas by the time of the Second World War by the British Army. Lovat, nevertheless, ignored these orders and ordered Millin, then aged 21, to play. When Private Millin demurred, citing the regulations, he recalled later, Lord Lovat replied: "Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply." He played "Highland Laddie" and "The Road to the Isles" as his comrades fell around him on Sword Beach. Millin states that he later talked to captured German snipers who claimed they did not shoot at him because they thought he had gone mad.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Millin

  4. #4
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  5. #5
    Savo Island: The U.S. Navy's Greatest Defeat

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/flat...4&p=4019#p4019
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  6. #6
    This was tweeted out two days ago, on the Hiroshima anniversary.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/...an-stalin-did/

  7. #7
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    This was tweeted out two days ago, on the Hiroshima anniversary.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/...an-stalin-did/
    Very interesting. I think the piece is largely based on speculation, however.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    This was tweeted out two days ago, on the Hiroshima anniversary.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/...an-stalin-did/
    My first reaction on finding this article two years ago was that the author was crazy. But I skimmed through it, and he does have a few points regarding the strategic situation and the timing of the attacks on Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. However, he neglects one very important aspect of why Japan surrendered when it did: the role of the emperor.

    The simple fact is, neither the bomb nor the Soviets persuaded the leaders of the Japanese government to surrender. Even after all three events, the militarists were still determined to fight on, even to the destruction of Japan, rather than accept the shame of surrender. At this moment, Emperor Hirohito broke precedence and tradition by ruling instead of reigning and deciding in the name of protecting his subjects to surrender. And even in the face of this ruling by the supreme leader that was seen as a god by the Japanese people, a few hardliners launched a coup to prevent the surrender. Fortunately for Japan and for the allies, the coup failed and Japan surrendered.

    Another problem with the article are the use of words like "defeat", "beat" and "win". Even before the bombs were dropped -- and before the Soviet entry into the war -- Japan had been defeated. She had lost the majority of her conquests in the Pacific, and what remained were surrounded and left to rot. The home islands were cut off from what remained of the empire by naval blockade, principally submarines; and her merchant fleet had all but been destroyed. Her cities had been laid waste by firebombing B-29s. The people were homeless and starving. The defeat of Japan was complete, the only thing that remained was to persuade its leaders to surrender, or to wipe the nation from the face of the earth if they refused.

    This new appraisal of history began with Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is another article suggesting that it was the Soviet entry in the war rather than the atomic bombings that led Japan to surrender, this time from the Boston Globe in August 2011.

    http://archive.boston.com/bostonglob...pan_surrender/

    Hasegawa - who was born in Japan and has taught in the United States since 1990, and who reads English, Japanese, and Russian - rejects both the traditional and revisionist positions. According to his close examination of the evidence, Japan was not poised to surrender before Hiroshima, as the revisionists argued, nor was it ready to give in immediately after the atomic bomb, as traditionalists have always seen it. In the face of these two facts, which I entirely agree with, Hasagawa appears to leap onto the third significant event of that one week in August 1945, the Soviet entry into the war. The thinking appears to be, if Japan was not ready to surrender, and the bombs didn't change that, then it must have been the Soviet offensive in Manchuria.

    However, as I noted in response to the FP article above, the Soviet entry into the war also did not change the mind of the generals and militarist hardliners who remained determined to fight to the death, and to the utter destruction of Japan. The only person to change, in the face of all three events was the emperor, and how can we really say it was only one, the bombs, or the other, the Soviet offensive that persuaded him? I have been arguing for years, since at least 1995, that the bombs did not force Japan to surrender, nor was it the Soviet entry into the war. Rather, these events gave the emperor the moment to step forward and end the war, to rule instead of reign. By doing so he broke tradition, and the significant events, not just of August, but of 1944-45, made that possible.

    A faction within the Japanese government was trying to get the Soviets to mediate a peace deal, but they were doing this secretly because the majority of the government was opposed to any peace deal. Naturally, the entry of the Soviets in the war on August 8, removed even the slim hope of a peace mediated by them. What the Japanese did not know was that the Soviets had no intention of mediating between Japan and the allies, but was promising to enter the war against the Japanese. The bombings, as well as the Soviet offensive in Manchuria, certainly clinched it for the peace faction, but the rest of the government remained determined to fight on.

    During the early hours of August 10, only hours after the second bomb fell on Nagasaki, an Imperial Council was held because the prime minister and his cabinet were deadlocked and unable to reach a decision on whether to surrender or fight on. So this is after the bombings and after the Soviet entry into the war, and yet the cabinet remained deadlocked between the hardliners and the peace faction. Each of the six cabinet members in the imperial council made a statement to the emperor. General Anami, the War Minister, pleaded for a last decisive battle in the Homeland. "I am quite sure we could inflict great casualties on the enemy, and even if we fail in the attempt, our hundred million people are ready to die for honor, glorifying the deeds of the Japanese race in recorded history!"

    If it was truly the Soviet entry into the war, instead of the bombs, then what is the reason for this deadlock two days after the Soviet offensive in Manchuria began? By the way, early reports from Manchuria must have signaled that things were going very badly for the Kwantung Army, yet General Anami and others continued to argue for that last decisive battle. It was at this point that the emperor stepped forward into history.

    When the ministers were finished with their statements the Prime Minister then asked the Emperor to express his wishes. Audible gasps were heard in the room; the very question was unprecedented. The Emperor rose and began to speak, "I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war means destruction for the nation and a prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world. I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer. Ending the war is the only way to restore world peace and to relieve the nation from the terrible distress with which it is burdened." When he finished only the sobs of a few ministers could be heard.

    The cabinet was no longer deadlocked, the emperor had decided. But there were still hardliners in the army that continued to refuse to surrender, and some of them launched a coup. The word went out that the emperor was recording a message to be played on Japanese radio, and a handful of army officers broke into the imperial palace to try and find the recording, in order to prevent it from being broadcast to the people. The coup failed. Another group launched a second coup, attempting to capture the emperor, but it also failed. On August 14, the recording was broadcast, and Japan surrendered.

    "The Emperor alone did something he had been taught never to do," argues historian Edwin P. Hoyt. "For one moment in history he ruled rather than reigned. The result was the salvation of Japan."
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  9. #9
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    My first reaction on finding this article two years ago was that the author was crazy. But I skimmed through it, and he does have a few points regarding the strategic situation and the timing of the attacks on Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. However, he neglects one very important aspect of why Japan surrendered when it did: the role of the emperor.

    The simple fact is, neither the bomb nor the Soviets persuaded the leaders of the Japanese government to surrender. Even after all three events, the militarists were still determined to fight on, even to the destruction of Japan, rather than accept the shame of surrender. At this moment, Emperor Hirohito broke precedence and tradition by ruling instead of reigning and deciding in the name of protecting his subjects to surrender. And even in the face of this ruling by the supreme leader that was seen as a god by the Japanese people, a few hardliners launched a coup to prevent the surrender. Fortunately for Japan and for the allies, the coup failed and Japan surrendered.

    Another problem with the article are the use of words like "defeat", "beat" and "win". Even before the bombs were dropped -- and before the Soviet entry into the war -- Japan had been defeated. She had lost the majority of her conquests in the Pacific, and what remained were surrounded and left to rot. The home islands were cut off from what remained of the empire by naval blockade, principally submarines; and her merchant fleet had all but been destroyed. Her cities had been laid waste by firebombing B-29s. The people were homeless and starving. The defeat of Japan was complete, the only thing that remained was to persuade its leaders to surrender, or to wipe the nation from the face of the earth if they refused.

    This new appraisal of history began with Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is another article suggesting that it was the Soviet entry in the war rather than the atomic bombings that led Japan to surrender, this time from the Boston Globe in August 2011.

    http://archive.boston.com/bostonglob...pan_surrender/

    Hasegawa - who was born in Japan and has taught in the United States since 1990, and who reads English, Japanese, and Russian - rejects both the traditional and revisionist positions. According to his close examination of the evidence, Japan was not poised to surrender before Hiroshima, as the revisionists argued, nor was it ready to give in immediately after the atomic bomb, as traditionalists have always seen it. In the face of these two facts, which I entirely agree with, Hasagawa appears to leap onto the third significant event of that one week in August 1945, the Soviet entry into the war. The thinking appears to be, if Japan was not ready to surrender, and the bombs didn't change that, then it must have been the Soviet offensive in Manchuria.

    However, as I noted in response to the FP article above, the Soviet entry into the war also did not change the mind of the generals and militarist hardliners who remained determined to fight to the death, and to the utter destruction of Japan. The only person to change, in the face of all three events was the emperor, and how can we really say it was only one, the bombs, or the other, the Soviet offensive that persuaded him? I have been arguing for years, since at least 1995, that the bombs did not force Japan to surrender, nor was it the Soviet entry into the war. Rather, these events gave the emperor the moment to step forward and end the war, to rule instead of reign. By doing so he broke tradition, and the significant events, not just of August, but of 1944-45, made that possible.

    A faction within the Japanese government was trying to get the Soviets to mediate a peace deal, but they were doing this secretly because the majority of the government was opposed to any peace deal. Naturally, the entry of the Soviets in the war on August 8, removed even the slim hope of a peace mediated by them. What the Japanese did not know was that the Soviets had no intention of mediating between Japan and the allies, but was promising to enter the war against the Japanese. The bombings, as well as the Soviet offensive in Manchuria, certainly clinched it for the peace faction, but the rest of the government remained determined to fight on.

    During the early hours of August 10, only hours after the second bomb fell on Nagasaki, an Imperial Council was held because the prime minister and his cabinet were deadlocked and unable to reach a decision on whether to surrender or fight on. So this is after the bombings and after the Soviet entry into the war, and yet the cabinet remained deadlocked between the hardliners and the peace faction. Each of the six cabinet members in the imperial council made a statement to the emperor. General Anami, the War Minister, pleaded for a last decisive battle in the Homeland. "I am quite sure we could inflict great casualties on the enemy, and even if we fail in the attempt, our hundred million people are ready to die for honor, glorifying the deeds of the Japanese race in recorded history!"

    If it was truly the Soviet entry into the war, instead of the bombs, then what is the reason for this deadlock two days after the Soviet offensive in Manchuria began? By the way, early reports from Manchuria must have signaled that things were going very badly for the Kwantung Army, yet General Anami and others continued to argue for that last decisive battle. It was at this point that the emperor stepped forward into history.

    When the ministers were finished with their statements the Prime Minister then asked the Emperor to express his wishes. Audible gasps were heard in the room; the very question was unprecedented. The Emperor rose and began to speak, "I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war means destruction for the nation and a prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world. I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer. Ending the war is the only way to restore world peace and to relieve the nation from the terrible distress with which it is burdened." When he finished only the sobs of a few ministers could be heard.

    The cabinet was no longer deadlocked, the emperor had decided. But there were still hardliners in the army that continued to refuse to surrender, and some of them launched a coup. The word went out that the emperor was recording a message to be played on Japanese radio, and a handful of army officers broke into the imperial palace to try and find the recording, in order to prevent it from being broadcast to the people. The coup failed. Another group launched a second coup, attempting to capture the emperor, but it also failed. On August 14, the recording was broadcast, and Japan surrendered.

    "The Emperor alone did something he had been taught never to do," argues historian Edwin P. Hoyt. "For one moment in history he ruled rather than reigned. The result was the salvation of Japan."
    This is fascinating. Thanks for posting. The questions I have are these: Would the Emperor have come to his position without the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was he thinking about whether the USA had more such bombs? Did he realize, deep down, that Japan was truly one of the "bad guys" in the war, and may be facing terrible retribution if it continued to fight? Was he smart enough to see that surrendering to America would offer gentler post-war consequences than what Japan might end up with otherwise (e.g., Soviet occupation)? Apart from the Japanese decision, was Truman misinformed about the 1 million American lives that an invasion would cost?

    By now it should be clear that I don't have a lot of patience for revisionist attempts to prove that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mistakes and were unnecessary. They were probably the most tragic, horrible events of WWII* but I think the weight of the evidence strongly supports Truman's decision.

    _______________________

    *The Holocaust was not tragic. It was simply the greatest evil of the 20th century.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is fascinating. Thanks for posting. The questions I have are these: Would the Emperor have come to his position without the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was he thinking about whether the USA had more such bombs? Did he realize, deep down, that Japan was truly one of the "bad guys" in the war, and may be facing terrible retribution if it continued to fight? Was he smart enough to see that surrendering to America would offer gentler post-war consequences than what Japan might end up with otherwise (e.g., Soviet occupation)? Apart from the Japanese decision, was Truman misinformed about the 1 million American lives that an invasion would cost?

    By now it should be clear that I don't have a lot of patience for revisionist attempts to prove that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mistakes and were unnecessary. They were probably the most tragic, horrible events of WWII* but I think the weight of the evidence strongly supports Truman's decision.

    _______________________

    *The Holocaust was not tragic. It was simply the greatest evil of the 20th century.
    I dont know this history in any kind of detail; but i agree with you and USS Utah--it is very hard to second guess the decision, in part because we would have wreaked the same kind of damage (or much worse) through conventional bombing and warfare. USS Utah sure knows this stuff. What about the argument that Truman's real purpose (or secondary purpose) was to keep the Soviets out of the war against Japan and to deter them from moving westward in Europe?

  11. #11
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    I dont know this history in any kind of detail; but i agree with you and USS Utah--it is very hard to second guess the decision, in part because we would have wreaked the same kind of damage (or much worse) through conventional bombing and warfare. USS Utah sure knows this stuff. What about the argument that Truman's real purpose (or secondary purpose) was to keep the Soviets out of the war against Japan and to deter them from moving westward in Europe?
    I don't know but I think it's plausible. I think they knew what a monster Stalin was and what the Soviets were cabable of.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    By now it should be clear that I don't have a lot of patience for revisionist attempts to prove that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mistakes and were unnecessary. They were probably the most tragic, horrible events of WWII* but I think the weight of the evidence strongly supports Truman's decision.

    _______________________

    *The Holocaust was not tragic. It was simply the greatest evil of the 20th century.
    Tokyo was worse.

    A massive earthquake struck Tokyo, Japan, in 1923. The quake and the fires left a death toll of approximately 100,000 people. Additionally, 43,000 people were missing and 25,000 of these would eventually be added to the lists of the dead. Tens of thousands had been trapped under collapsed buildings. Fires spread slowly to destroy more buildings.

    During the early morning hours of March 10, 1945, B-29 bombers of the U.S. Twentieth Air Force, firebombed the Japanese capital city. Flying from air bases in the Mariana Islands, the Superfortresses were loaded with high explosive and incendiary bombs. In six hours nearly seventeen square miles of Tokyo were burned out, and more than 100,000 people were killed. To put this into perspective one of the most severe bombing attacks on a German city was against Hamburg. Operation Gomorrah took place in the summer of 1943 over a period of ten days and nights. After the bombing finally ended just 12 square miles had been burned out.

    "What the city of Hamburg suffered is unique unto itself," says historian Martin Caidin, who wrote books about both the Tokyo raid and Operation Gomorrah, "and it will never be known by any other people, no matter what their tribulations. Dresden lost many more people is a single night than died in Hamburg in ten flaming nights; yet survivors of Hamburg would gladly have chanced death in Dresden, if only to have been spared the continuing, unremitting savagery of Gomorrah.

    "And what of Berlin, where more than 25,000 people died in a single, daylight raid by 2,500 bombers of the Eighth Air Force? Or Toyama, which was 99 percent burned out in a single B-29 attack? Or Hiroshima or Nagasaki? By whatever name it is called, whatever city suffers, Hell is Hell."

    Hamburg and Dresden suffered firestorms, but Tokyo was worse, it suffered a "sweep conflagration." Firestorms are living things of flame. They create incredibly high winds and temperatures of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. They hurl fire miles into the sky. But firestorms are self-contained, burning in upon themselves. The winds rush toward a common center before shrieking skyward. This means that fire is spread only at the limited pace of the radiated heat.

    The sweep conflagration is an entirely different animal, it is not self-contained, running before the wind. "It is like a steamroller hundreds of feet high and miles wide, roaring and shrieking as it moves in a high-crested wave, bending over along the edges. Because it is so low to the ground in comparison to the firestorm, it feeds on richer oxygen along its blazing edges. It is hotter than a firestorm. In Tokyo the wall of flame . . . reached an unbelievable temperature of more than 1,800 degrees F.! It was so hot that heat - not fire - shot out for hundreds of feet and struck people down as though with a great invisible scythe. This was the Hell of Tokyo."

    The final death toll will never be fully known, it can only be estimated at a quarter of million human beings. The majority of the survivors left the city. It was a fortunate thing, for two months later the B-29s returned to burn out another nineteen square miles.

    "The people who survived the March 10th raid had a grim sadness about them. They were shocked into a world of retreat, drowning in a calamity too great for their senses to accept. Some sat on the ground; some stood unmoving, like statues. They stared at the terrible, monstrous flatness where their city had been. They were not angry, or bitter, or even filled with hate. They had no emotions left; they were numb, mute. They were just like the people who had miraculously survived Hamburg, or perhaps Berlin or Dresden. It might have been Nagoya, Osaka, or Kobe. Or perhaps Hiroshima, or Nagasaki.

    "It didn't matter, really. Horror is the same everywhere."


    Source: Martin Caidin, A Torch To The Enemy (Ballantine Books: New York, 1960) pgs 12-15
    Last edited by USS Utah; 08-09-2017 at 06:01 PM.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  13. #13
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    Tokyo was worse.

    A massive earthquake struck Tokyo, Japan, in 1923. The quake and the fires left a death toll of approximately 100,000 people. Additionally, 43,000 people were missing and 25,000 of these would eventually be added to the lists of the dead. Tens of thousands had been trapped under collapsed buildings. Fires spread slowly to destroy more buildings.

    During the early morning hours of March 10, 1945, B-29 bombers of the U.S. Twentieth Air Force, firebombed the Japanese capital city. Flying from air bases in the Mariana Islands, the Superfortresses were loaded with high explosive and incendiary bombs. In six hours nearly seventeen square miles of Tokyo were burned out, and more than 100,000 people were killed. To put this into perspective one of the most severe bombing attacks on a German city was against Hamburg. Operation Gomorrah took place in the summer of 1943 over a period of ten days and nights. After the bombing finally ended just 12 square miles had been burned out.

    "What the city of Hamburg suffered is unique unto itself," says historian Martin Caidin, who wrote books about both the Tokyo raid and Operation Gomorrah, "and it will never be known by any other people, no matter what their tribulations. Dresden lost many more people is a single night than died in Hamburg in ten flaming nights; yet survivors of Hamburg would gladly have chanced death in Dresden, if only to have been spared the continuing, unremitting savagery of Gomorrah.

    "And what of Berlin, where more than 25,000 people died in a single, daylight raid by 2,500 bombers of the Eighth Air Force? Or Toyama, which was 99 percent burned out in a single B-29 attack? Or Hiroshima or Nagasaki? By whatever name it is called, whatever city suffers, Hell is Hell."

    Hamburg and Dresden suffered firestorms, but Tokyo was worse, it suffered a "sweep conflagration." Firestorms are living things of flame. They create incredibly high winds and temperatures of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. They hurl fire miles into the sky. But firestorms are self-contained, burning in upon themselves. The winds rush toward a common center before shrieking skyward. This means that fire is spread only at the limited pace of the radiated heat.

    The sweep conflagration is an entirely different animal, it is not self-contained, running before the wind. "It is like a steamroller hundreds of feet high and miles wide, roaring and shrieking as it moves in a high-crested wave, bending over along the edges. Because it is so low to the ground in comparison to the firestorm, it feeds on richer oxygen along its blazing edges. It is hotter than a firestorm. In Tokyo the wall of flame . . . reached an unbelievable temperature of more than 1,800 degrees F.! It was so hot that heat - not fire - shot out for hundreds of feet and struck people down as though with a great invisible scythe. This was the Hell of Tokyo."

    The final death toll will never be fully known, it can only be estimated at a quarter of million human beings. The majority of the survivors left the city. It was a fortunate thing, for two months later the B-29s returned to burn out another nineteen square miles.

    "The people who survived the March 10th raid had a grim sadness about them. They were shocked into a world of retreat, drowning in a calamity too great for their senses to accept. Some sat on the ground; some stood unmoving, like statues. They stared at the terrible, monstrous flatness where their city had been. They were not angry, or bitter, or even filled with hate. They had no emotions left; they were numb, mute. They were just like the people who had miraculously survived Hamburg, or perhaps Berlin or Dresden. It might have been Nagoya, Osaka, or Kobe. Or perhaps Hiroshima, or Nagasaki.

    "It didn't matter, really. Horror is the same everywhere."


    Source: Martin Caidin, A Torch To The Enemy (Ballantine Books: New York, 1960) pgs 12-15
    I disagree. The atomic bomb was a terrifying super weapon in its time. The idea that a single bomb could destroy destroy an entire city, and inflict the horrific damage that the atomic bomb did, coupled with the fear that the United States may have many more such bombs, is much more compelling than the fear of sustained conventional bombing and the Allied land invasion that was coming. Japanese might about to fight to the death against invaders, but they could not defend against super weapons drop from the sky that would eventually destroy their entire country and render it uninhabitable because of the radiation. I understand that you are taking the position that the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not truly instrumental in compelling Japan's surrender. I simply disagree, and I think the weight of historian opinion is on my side. It takes more than one or two revisionist historians to overcome that consensus.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I understand that you are taking the position that the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not truly instrumental in compelling Japan's surrender. I simply disagree, and I think the weight of historian opinion is on my side. It takes more than one or two revisionist historians to overcome that consensus.
    No, that's not what I am saying.

    The atom bombs allowed the Emperor to break precedent and surrender. To the generals, the bombs were no more persuasive than the firebombings had been. The Japanese could not effectively defend their country from any attack mounted by the allies, and many of their cities had already been burned out by the firebombings, only the radiation and the one bomb factor were different.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  15. #15
    Round Three: The Eastern Solomons Carrier Fight

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/flat...php?f=71&t=170
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

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