Ace of Spades HQ

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked 66 years ago. 30 years ago Paul Fussell wrote this important essay, ‘Thank God for the Atom Bomb’.

21 year old 2nd Lt. Fussell commanded infantry in WWII France. Later, he had to sit around waiting to invade Japan and die. That was the general expectation of the vets of the European theater – they didn’t think they’d survive Japan.

via Ace of Spades HQ.

A long, but most excellent post on the ethics of dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. Read the whole thing.

2 thoughts on “Ace of Spades HQ”

  1. well barring the a-bomb, there were basically 3 scenarios possible:
    1 – us invasion, million us personnel dead, millions upon millions japanese dead mainly civilians
    2 – us naval blockade, millions japanese dead by starvation, possible collapse of civilized society
    3 – soviet invasion, as scenario 1 but replace us casualties with soviet, and end result is japan as another north korea today

    what was important was the nukes gave emperor excuse to pursue surrender – he could ask military, “what can you do to prevent our nation from turning to ashes?” and they couldnt bluff their way out of this question anymore, whereas before they could maintain US would not have stomach for invasion (which could be true and lead to the alternatives 2 or 3)

  2. After the nukes, the only option was surrender. Before that, the military thought they might get some miracle to pull things out. The nukes put paid to that idea, and Hirohito was able to back the military into a corner, finally.

    Once the allies agreed to recognize the Emperor, it was over. If the allies had not so agreed, the war might have gone on longer. Making that exception to unconditional surrender was a wise move on the allies part.

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