Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hiroshima 3: A mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths—and that's not counting civilians

As Barack Obama heads to Hiroshima, here is another
from a compilation of Hiroshima writings:
In 1945, Paul Fussell, was a 21-year-old second lieutenant who'd spent much of the previous year fighting his way through Europe
writes the Wall Street Journal.
At the time of Hiroshima, he was scheduled to participate in the invasion of the Japanese mainland, for which the Truman Administration anticipated casualties of between 200,000 and one million Allied soldiers. No surprise, then, that when news of the bomb reached Lt. Fussell and his men, they had no misgivings about its use:

"We learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, and for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live."

Mr. Fussell was writing about American lives. What about Japanese lives? The Japanese army was expected to fight to the last man, as it had during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths--and that's not counting civilians. The March 1945 Tokyo fire raid killed about 100,000; such raids would have intensified had the war dragged on. The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000.

Nuclear weapons are often said to pose a unique threat to humanity, and in the wrong hands they do. But when President Truman gave the go-ahead to deploy Fat Man and Little Boy, what those big bombs chiefly represented was salvation: salvation for young Lt. Fussell and all the GIs; salvation for the tens of thousands of Allied POWs the Japanese intended to execute in the event of an invasion; salvation for the grotesquely used Korean "comfort women"; salvation for millions of Asians enslaved by the Japanese.

Not least, and despite the terrible irony, the bombings were salvation for Japan, since they prompted Emperor Hirohito to intervene with his bitterly divided government to end the war, thus laying the groundwork for America's beneficent occupation and the country's subsequent prosperity. To understand the roots of modern Japan's pacifist mentality, so at variance with its old warrior culture, one need only visit Hiroshima's peace park.
• Hiroshima 15: Examining the Issues Surrounding the Dropping of Atomic Bombs on Japan (Erik Svane)

• Hiroshima 14: "I regard Hiroshima revisionism as the greatest hoax in American history" (Robert Maddox)

• Hiroshima 13: Although It Is Not Said Openly, Hiroshima Also Played a Purifying Role, IE the Baptism of a New Japan, the Event that Put an End to 50 Years of Crimes (Le Monde)

• Hiroshima 12: Political Correctness in Japan: The comment "tramples on the feelings of victims", so… Shut the F**k Up and Lose Your Job! (re the forced resignation of Japan's defense (!) minister)

• Hiroshima 11: If Western elites cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all; most never learned the narrative of WW II, only what was wrong about it (Victor Davis Hanson)

• Hiroshima 10: If Not for the Atom Bombs, Japan, as we know it today, would not exist (S L Sanger, author of “Working on the Bomb”)

• Hiroshima 9: Over one million warning leaflets were dropped over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities 5 days before the Hiroshima bombing (Bill Whittle)

• Hiroshima 8: Was It Wrong to Use the Atom Bomb on Japan? (Father Wilson Miscamble)

• Hiroshima 7: Some Facts About Hiroshima and World War II That You Hear Neither From America's MSM, University Élites, and History Books, Nor From Japan's (New York Times)

• Hiroshima 6: "Lance or spear practice was a regular women's exercise to practice for the anticipated U.S. landing" (a Japanese American)

• Hiroshima 5: Japan's plans for defense involved mobilizing the civilian population, including women and children, for the customary suicidal battle tactics (Thomas Sowell)

• Hiroshima 4: "Les 300 000 morts d'Hiroshima ont épargné bien davantage de Japonais, qui auraient été écrasés sous des bombes ordinaires" (Charles de Gaulle)

• Hiroshima 3: A mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths—and that's not counting civilians (Wall Street Journal)

• Hiroshima 2: Hand-wringing over Hiroshima is just virtue-signaling by people who never said a bad word about Stalin or Mao’s mass murders (Glenn Reynolds)

• Hiroshima 1: Unlike the ends of the majority of conflicts, World War II in the Pacific grew increasingly bloody as U.S. forces approached the Japanese homeland (Erik Svane)