The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Atomic Bombings of Japan....67 years ago this week......

I will be writing about the Atomic bombings that happened on the 6th and the 9th of  August, 1945.  People have been debating the pro's and cons of the bombings for a generation or more.  There are people that said that we should not have dropped this weapon on the Japanese, well here are the facts.  The United States used those weapons to force the surrender of a foe that would not surrender.  After seeing the casualties from Iwo Jima and Okinawa, from the large casualties that the ground forces took and the Navy took from all the kamikazes diving into their ships, the casualties were horrific and the fight to the last mentality that the Imperial Japanese forces employed were also bloody.
      The war started on December 7 1941 in a place called Pearl Harbor, The surprise attack without a declaration of War galvanized and infuriated the Americans that the "damm Japs" could do such a thing.   The results was that the Japanese ran rampant across the pacific until they were stopped at The Battle of Midway.    After that the Americans utilized the "island hopping campaign" that basically would springboard or hop across certain islands to bring the war closer to Japan where we could start to bomb it.  The mariana islands were captured in 1944, they would bring the B-29's with in range of the Japanese Mainland.  The Americans had tried to fly B-29's from China but it was a logistic nightmare and the results shown were not worth the expenditures in lives and equipment.
     After the capture of Mariana islands, the B-29 started bombing Japan,They used the same techniques used by the U.S.A.A.F in Germany, high altitude precision bombing.   In Europe where things are more built up, the results were good, whereas in Japan, the Cottage industry still flourished, the precision high altitude attacks were not as effective.  After  General Curtis LeMay took over the bombing campaign, he used incendiary bombs since the Japanese still used a lot of wood and this technique was very effective.  They firebombed Tokyo and over 100,000 people were incinerated. The American high command then set their sights on the island of Iwo Jima as a half way point of the bomber forces, it would be a good place for the planes and crew to land especially if they are damaged.   The resulting casualties were a shock for the Americans, we lost about 6800  Marines and the Japanese force of 20,000 was complete exterminated.  The casualties from this and the battle of Okinawa which was planned as a staging area for Operation Downfall the invasion of Japan.
     The decision to bomb the Japanese with the Atomic bomb was to end the war quickly, the estimate was that the invasion of the Japanese home island would cost the Americans 1,000,000 casualties and we would have to exterminate the Japanese as a people.  I remember reading stories and seeing pics where Japanese civilians were organized into volunteer groups to fight the American invaders.
     The decision to drop the bomb agonized President Truman, but after seeing all the casualties, he ordered the deployment of the atomic bomb.  After the success of the Trinity Test, he authorized the use.
     The first one was the Enola Gay, this B29 dropped the first one on Hiroshima

These were taken at the Smithsonian Museum outside of Dulles.  If you have a chance to go, admission is free, and a shuttle from the airport will take you there .50 cents a person.
This is my son enjoying the Museum.  We went there last week. 

    The second one was Bockscar, she dropped the second one on Nagasaki.   this one is at the Air Force Museum up in Dayton Ohio.
     Some have said that we should have demonstrated it first to the Japanese before dropping it.  This argument flies in the face of logic.  the Imperial Japanese would have viewed this with suspicion and believed that this was a yankee trick.  This would also reinforce the Japanese stereotype that the United States was weak and not worthy of respect. "Why have such a weapon and not use it?" This would have made us look weak to our foes and strengthened their resolve.  We also dropped it to curb the Soviets ambitions in the East by a demonstration, thereby guaranteeing that the Pacific was a U.S. show. 


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