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Thursday, 18 August 2011

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"the ghastly cost in American lives had they been forced to invade Japan": sod American lives. My father was to have been sent from Germany to take part. He was accordingly delighted by the Japanese surrender.

Of course, the Left will argue that if the A-bombs didn't prompt the surrender, then that makes having dropped them an even greater crime. Betcha!

I've now looked at the Globe article. It ends with some strange mutterings, generalising about nuclear weapons. I'd say that the journalist hasn't the faintest idea about the difference between the dropping of only two bombs, each with power in the kilotons range, and many bombs each in the megatons range.

Actually and frankly, why anyone would need to spend months writing a book patiently explaining, "T'were them damn Russians not the bombs that done it! seems a person with too much time on his hands.

Of course it was the Russian declaration. To that point the Japanese faced (for the greater part) a single foe. A foe the Japanese government recognized had no historical animus for it. Not so the Russkies! There had been that little 1904-05 kerfluffle (hope I'm using that word c'rectly David). I'd add, events in the Chinese politicaldom area, would've seemed to make a Russkie-Chinese alliance almost inevitable. True an actual "modern" Chinese army probably seemed somewhat unlikely - but in combination with the Russians?

And Russia's behavior approaching Berlin wasn't likely missed by Japanese diplomats.

Now as to the bombs? It's actually mirrored in today's world - if an inordinate amount of time and effort is put into a technology - the only means of justification for the expenditure a government has, is to use the technology.

JK: May I humbly suggest that Australia also had quite a stake in the outcome of the Pacific war.
Although I was born just after the war ended, I was very much aware of the losses Australia suffered and I personally knew many men who survived the horrors of Changi and the Burma railway campaign.
I had many relatives who fought in the Pacific campaign and I know many uncles and cousins didn't come back.
I lived in New Guinea in the early 60's and have travelled to many parts of the South Pacific and I have seen the remnants of war everywhere.
Australia lost the cream of our men in WWI and again in WWII.
Our men were in Egypt, Europe, bloody well everywhere and please don't forget us.
We are only now receiving official knowledge of the places Japan bombed in Australia, which was all a secret until recently. There were Japanese submarines in Sydney harbour and I think other places too.
The Japanese bombed Mossman to smithereens and this is an hour's drive north of where I live.
They bombed Darwin, they bombed the Western Australia coast.
I don't think we know just how close the Japanese were to taking Australia and, don't forget, we were a very small population and all our best men were overseas fighting and dying and being tortured for England.
Some of us know this.

Yes, sorry. Forgot New Zealand.
The same goes for New Zealand.

Andra,

Don't think for a moment I'm unaware of the sacrifices made by those of who you speak - very early on we Americans made access to the fuels needed for further Japanese fleet movements very decidedly difficult. That in turn (for the Japanese) made it necessary to turn toward Malaysia. Also in turn, a movement toward Malaysia (in both a strategic as well as a tactical sense - the Japanese movements and consolidation of territory being almost totally dependent on it's Naval forces - were left with one option.

A turn to the south.

Yet at that point there'd been no Pearl Harbor. And as you rightly point out, there was only one force capable of fending them off. The Royal Navy - which would necessarily mean Britain, Australia and to a lesser degree, New Zealand.

I know of Burma. Too, I know of Bataan, "unfortunate" but so is the way of war. Land occupying forces without reliably consistent Naval support made what followed, regrettable as it was, a foregone conclusion. Until Pearl, Sir Winston was left with no choice but to defend what could adequately be defended. The Royal Navy was needed elsewhere.

I will not be drawn to arguing whether Moresby or Nanking deserves the higher mark for suffered consequence in those early stages - David's post concerns the end.

In that, I concur with David.

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