Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Atomic Bombings of Japan Did NOT Save Millions of Lives...

Pure post-war propaganda.... As time goes by, the excuse for incinerating a 100,000 civilians (men, women and children) keeps getting exaggeratedFrom "Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb":

"....the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost." (See Barton J. Bernstein, "A Post-War Myth: 500,000 US Lives Saved," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 42, no. 6 (June/July 1986): pp. 38–40; and idem, "Wrong Numbers," The Independent Monthly (July 1995): pp. 41–44.) 


Anonymous said...

Oh was this was a big one I fell for.
Looking back on it, I'm so embarrassed I fell for that one.

Pre-Internet days were rough.
In some ways.

Maybe that's why I'm so repulsed by those around me today who say "we" (by that they mean, the unitedstate, as if they were a part of the decision making) should nuke countries in the MidEast, as if it were no big deal. They say it almost with glee, "Turn it all to glass" and Never think of the innocent people who would suffer or die, as if they were simply objects, like a child views his toys. ?

I've heard the same thing expressed by Empire-lovers with regards to those states within the unitedstate who wished to secede from the union.
Then those same people go on to talk about how they love the poor because they want to enforce a minimum wage while at the same time making the rich pay more than their "fair share".

Bonkers all around.
More and more everyday.

- IndividualAudienceMember

Mr. Nobody said...

Hello Mike!

It appears that the assertion that the atom bombs potentially saving millions of lives seems disingenuous to you. Doesn't the idea that invading the Japanese mainland would have only resulted in roughly 46,000 dead seem equally disingenuous? Didn't the battle of Okinawa alone, result in 200,000 causalities by itself? How would have invading the Japanese mainland been any better?

Wasn't the Japanese government willing to strap bombs and grenades to children, or have them fight with bamboo sticks, to attempt to kill US soldiers in Okinawa? What would have been the most likely results if the mainland were invaded?

Maybe millions of lives saved seems absurd, but it seems so does the number of 46,000.

Looking back in time, in comparison with those who lived then, with almost total omniscience, if you were the US president at the time, what would you have done?

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Nonsense! The Japanese were already trying to surrender. What would I have done if I were president? LISTEN to my generals: General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"In [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act… The Secretary, upon giving me the news of a successful bomb test in New Mexico, and the plan for using it, asked for my reaction expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought our country should avoid shocking world opinion by use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at the very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…"

Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, pg. 380

In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

"The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

Brigadier General Carter Clarke (The military officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables — MAGIC summaries — for Truman and his advisors):

"When we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."

~ Quoted in Gar Alperovitz, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 359.

Jimbo said...


Thanks for the link to yet another wonderfully informative article. Would you happen to know any good books that touch on this subject matter? I know I can just check Amazon or Google, but I want to know if you have any particular おすすめ.



mike in tokyo rogers said...

I'd recommend reading online articles by Ralph Raico (free!) There's tones of them at and

Mr. Nobody said...

Hello Mike,

You failed to answer the questions.

If you were the president at the time, with the information available, which much of it most likely not filtering to the executive branch, what would you have done?

What do you think the numbers would have been if the US invaded Kyushu?

Just because there wasn't unanimity in the government, doesn't mean that a large number of the administration believed that they would have to invade the Japanese mainland at a tremendous cost.

While else did the USG manufacture over 1 million purple heart medals for the potential invasion?


The decision to use the atomic bomb was taken by President Truman and myself at Potsdam, and we approved the military plans to unchain the dread, pent-up forces. . . There are voices which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas. Six years of total war have convinced most people that had the Germans or the Japanese discovered this new weapon, they would have used it upon us to our complete destruction with the utmost alacrity. I am surprised that very worthy people, but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves, should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American, and a quarter of a million British lives in the desperate battles and massacres of an invasion of Japan.

Was Churchill wrong? If so, how?

Finally, wasn't the Allied agreement at Potsdam the unconditional surrender of all Axis forces? Didn't the Japanese government know that? Why were/are the US government in the wrong for this? Weren't the atomic bombs just a continuation of previous bombings of Japanese cities? Why didn't the Japanese surrender earlier? How is it the fault of the US and US government that they didn't surrender earlier? Aren't the results of the Japanese government's actions the Japanese government's fault? Did the people of the US form the wartime onto the people of Japan?

Possibly of interest...
The fog of War - Lesson 5 HQ (日本語字幕)

All the best.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

I did answer your question. I said I would have asked my military leaders; of which NONE of them agreed to using the A bomb. Because the Japanese were already trying to surrender. That's a known fact.

Asking how many would die in an invasion of Kyushu is a silly question. It didn't happen...

Your understanding of this event is built solidly on years of propaganda. Here, once again, read the facts of what the military leaders believed. Their actual words at the time:

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