DRM good or evil?
Posted Sep 24, 2006 13:35 UTC (Sun) by drag
In reply to: DRM good or evil?
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
There is a huge political benifit for some people to vilify the American's use of nuclear weapons at the end of WW2. So be sure to know were your getting your information before you jump to conlusions.
There are a few concrete things to keep in mind before making up your mind:
Based on historical evidance there is every sign that invading the Japanese homeland would of been horrific in terms of lives and damage to both sides of the war. The only time the U.S. engaged in a land conflict on traditionally Japanese territory (as per my understanding) was during the Battle of Okinawa.
Total casuality counts were 7,373 men killed and 32,056 wounded on the American side on land and another 5,000 killed and 4,600 wounded at sea.
(According to Wikipedia it's 12,500 dead and 32,000 wounded, total British and American )
On the Japanese side they had a estimated 130,000 troops stationed on the island. By the end of the battle they had 107,000 of them killed. With a possible another 20,000 killed, but completely incinerated and unaccounted for by the American's tatics of burning out the Japanese emplacements with flame throwers. (Wikipedia says it's 110,000 dead and 7,455 captured total). Typically soldiers would rush at Americans holding live grenades rather then surrendering.
Okinawa had a civilian population of about 450,000 people. Of that by the end of the battle (according to Wikipedia) they suffered at least 150,000 in terms of 'losses'. Much of it was from people simply killing themselves to avoid the 'American barbarians'.
In comparision with after effects and radiation poisoning taken into account there were about 213,000 people died as a direct result with both atomic bombings.
From Truman's perspective I think the question was much more simple:
Invade Japan and expect U.S. militiary casualties numbering easily over a hundred thousand even if it turned out to be a short land war. (and easily several times that if Japanese decided to drag it out)
Drop the bomb, end the war now, and loose nothing. No ships. No planes. No americans dead, wounded, or dying.
The correct course of action would of been pretty obvious during that time. I think that is the simpliest and most logical explaination as to realy why he dropped the bomb.. and most likely the correct one.
We were definately going to occupy Japan one way or another. There was no way the Americans were going to accept a conditional surrender. No way that they'd give Japan a chance to rebuild itself outside of their complete control. Just not going to happen anymore then they'd let Germany rebuild itself outside of their countrol.
The real delima historically, as I understand it, is Russia. The Russians would of been poised for invading Japan along with the U.S.. Weither or not Japanese would of allowed the Russian army to invade Japan before surrendering is the deciding factor on weither or not the Nuclear bombs were nessicary. There would of been a lot of rascism and ancestoral stuff going on between the Russians and Japanese. (meaning it would of sucked worse for the Japanese then it did for the Eastern European countries.) But to me this is only a question realy asked in hindsight as a historical debating point.
Would of Japan done a unconditional surrender to the Americans just based on the threat of having part of their country subject to Russian occuption? Maybe, I don't think the answer is very obvious (one way or another) and it was much less obvious in 1945. Germany didn't follow this path. The allies had to fight through the entire country until they destroyed the seat of government before the Germans surrendered. And even then after that there was resistance groups that fought against the occupation for years and years before they finally gave up.
As for scaring Russians with nuclear weapons.. a demostration on a small island would of been enough. I think that it's likely the display of weapons on the Japanese was hoped to leave a big impression the Russians, but that would of been a tertiary goal. Primary being to scare Japan to surrender, and secondary to reduce enemy resources if that didn't work.
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