Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a Reminder of What Madmen Can Do

Submitted by Charles Knighton

hiroshima_nagasakiHe also said there was no Japanese effort to seek a US apology, ‘nor is there any interest in reopening the question of blame for the sequence of events that culminated in the use of the atomic bomb.” Unnamed senior US official, “Kerry plans no apology for wartime atomic bomb”April 11 Advocate

It’s quite possible that I owe my existence to the A-bomb. 71 years ago this August, my father was on a troop ship off the coast of the Philippines, awaiting the order to invade Japan. He’d seen heavy combat in Europe, with the 86th Infantry Division, and was among the first US troops to cross the Rhine into Germany.

But every available American soldier—more than 750,000—had been summoned for the final battle of the war. In the first wave of the invasion, 14 combat divisions were to land on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s main islands. Another 22 divisions, including my father’s, would land three months later on Honshu, and fight their way through Japan’s formidable defenses to Tokyo. My father, then 20, did not have high expectations of returning home.

Then the US unveiled its doomsday weapon. Historians are still debating the morality—and necessity—of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But according to my father, among the soldiers who were to be part of the invasion force, there was only gratitude. I will never forget his words: “We cried with relief and joy. We were going to live. We were going to grow up into adulthood after all.”

Their lives, and mine, were purchased at a price: To shock the enemy into submission, the US deliberately targeted civilians, incinerating more than 200,000 men, women and children. And from that day forward, we’ve had to live with the knowledge that a single madman, with a single bomb, could turn entire cities to ash. At least nine nations now possess nuclear weapons, with more surely to come; we can only wonder if the world has seen its last mushroom cloud.

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13 Comments on “Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a Reminder of What Madmen Can Do”

  1. Well Well & Consequences April 16, 2016 at 7:04 PM #

    That same island in the ring of fire is now being jolted. The Japanes were effectively neutralized, still cannot recover since the A-Bomb and have real social issues yet to overcome.


  2. Georgie Porgie April 16, 2016 at 8:44 PM #

    just think
    if there was no HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, we might not have to read the bovine excrement effluxed on BU by Charles Knighton
    sad sad sad


  3. Green Monkey April 16, 2016 at 11:46 PM #

    Some senior US military personnel at the time (including General Dwight Eisenhower and General Douglas MacArthur) believed Japan was ready to surrender on much the same terms later granted to them without the US needing to drop the atom bomb on them (twice). The main concern of the Japanese at the time was that if they did surrender they would be allowed to keep their emperor. This condition was met at the actual surrender after the dropping of the atom bomb.

    Was Hiroshima Needed to End the War?
    New evidence suggests that the bombing, rather than saving `500,000′ US lives, was a warning to Moscow

    IT is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were almost defeated and ready to surrender…. [I]n being the first to use it, we … adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

    Are these the words of a “rank revisionist,” as George Bush recently complained about those who wanted an American apology for Hiroshima, where nearly 100,000 Japanese were killed 47 years ago this month? On the contrary, they are the publicly stated judgment of the eminent conservative admiral who chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II, William D. Leahy.

    The public has forgotten, but such military figures as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Fleet Adm. William Halsey, and Gen. Curtis LeMay also felt, as Ike put it, that it wasn’t necessary “to hit them with that awful thing.”

    The fate of Hiroshima remains a powerful – and contentious – symbol of the dawning of the American century. And yet probably on no other issue are the views of most experts who study this question in depth further afield from the public’s perception of what happened.


    Another previously top secret War Department intelligence study – written in 1946 but withheld from the public for roughly four decades – flatly concludes that the Japanese were in such dire straits in the summer of 1945 that even a preliminary November landing on Kyushu island was only a “remote” possibility and that a full assault on the Japanese main home islands in the spring of 1946 “would not have been necessary.” This report echoes the official 1946 US Strategic Bombing Survey, which concluded Japan would likely have surrendered “even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped….”



  4. islandgal April 17, 2016 at 1:59 AM #

    GP you are a PERFECT example of BOVINE excrement on BU !


  5. lawson April 17, 2016 at 6:47 AM #

    payback for pearl harbour , that was when America ruled, lets just say japan got trumped


  6. de pedantic Dribbler April 17, 2016 at 7:23 AM #

    Lawson have you ever considered the alias Punster, Punson, Lord Pun or similar?

    Or is Lawson already a pun, being a son of lawyer or bastardization of Lawless.

    You clearly adore being Master Pun BU!


  7. MoneyBrain April 17, 2016 at 9:28 AM #

    When are wunna going wake UP!
    The Japs had a crazyass Emperor owned by the Military. The Japs themselves are good people normally fairly docile. However, they have been dominated by the Samurai,( a member of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, especially a member of the class of military retainers of the daimyos.)

    The philosophy is very simple, once they decide to fight it is to the last PERSON (not just man). When the Allies lost a battle and surrendered, the Japs lost total respect! Seppuku or harakiri (腹切り, “cutting the belly”) is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. It was originally reserved for samurai. This is exactly what the Japs believed the Americans should do!

    When the Americans reached the Japanese outer islands, the people jumped off cliffs, to their deaths, rather than surrender! Many males killed their mothers and sisters rather than leave them alive and to the enemy. Are U starting to comprehend that the Japs were different and can NOT be judged by Bajan or Western standards of 70yrs ago far less today? PLEEEZ!

    Adm Yamamoto, ( April 4, 1884 – April 18, 1943) was a Japanese Marshal Admiral and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II until his death.) He went to Harvard U, and therefore was experienced with Americans and the West. He made it very lucid to the Emperor et al that attacking the USA was like “kicking a sleeping giant.” The Americans were not fighting in Europe yet.

    The Japs were warned that the “Bomb” had been developed and did not surrender! Hiroshima was hit and they still did not! The leaders knew what had happened and refused to surrender, so Nagasaki was destroyed! It would have cost MILLIONS of lives on both sides had the Americans been so stupid as to fight on land. All arguments to the contrary are utter nonsense designed to prevent further usage of Nukes, which is a worthy cause BUT—-


  8. Green Monkey April 17, 2016 at 12:08 PM #

    General MacArthur who spent WWII fighting the Japanese in the Pacific and finally accepted their August 1945 surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay is on the record as stating that if he had been asked for his advice beforehand he would not have supported dropping the atom bomb as if the US had negotiated in good faith with the Japanese already attempting to negotiate a surrender he believed the war could have ended “weeks earlier.”

    Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, “MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed.” He continues, “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

    Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

    The Bomb Was Not Necessary

    by John J. McLaughlin

    Walter Trohan, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune with impeccable credentials for integrity and accuracy, reported that two days before President Roosevelt left for the Yalta conference with Churchill and Stalin in early February 1945, he was shown a forty-page memorandum drafted by General MacArthur outlining a Japanese offer for surrender almost identical with the terms subsequently concluded by his successor, President Truman. The single difference was the Japanese insistence on retention of the emperor, which was not acceptable to the American strategists at the time, though it was ultimately allowed in the final peace terms. Trohan relates that he was given a copy of this communication by Admiral Leahy who swore him to secrecy with the pledge not to release the story until the war was over. Trohan honored his pledge and reported his story in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald on August 19, 1945. According to historian Anthony Kubek, Roosevelt, in the presence of witnesses, read the memorandum and dismissed it with a curt “MacArthur is our greatest general and our poorest politician.” [1]


    Other than retention of the emperor these terms were identical to the final surrender terms. Harry Elmer Barnes, in his essay “Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe,” published in the May 10, 1958 issue of the National Review, tells the same story. Barnes said that the Trohan article was never challenged by the White House or the State Department, and says that after MacArthur returned from Korea in 1951, his neighbor in the Waldorf Towers, former President Hoover, took the Trohan article to General MacArthur and the latter confirmed its accuracy in every detail. The Trohan story was ignored by other news media and almost immediately dropped off the public radar.

    Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias of the Office of Naval Intelligence, in his book, Secret Missions, tells how Naval Intelligence learned of the desperate condition of the Japanese and their real desire to conclude a peace. There were other “leaks” some coming through the Russians and the Chinese. But all this information made no impression on Roosevelt or Truman, and they gave it no more importance than the MacArthur memorandum. They continued to prepare for a land assault on the home islands that was obviated only by the dropping of the bomb and the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945. No historian disputes the desperate condition of Japan in the spring of 1945 or that numerous “peace feelers” were being sent out. The traditional interpretation has been that these “peace feelers” were either unauthorized or not bona fide. Would it not have been possible to at least respond to them in some formal manner acknowledging their existence and then demand a clear cut response to a definite counteroffer, instead of ignoring them completely? Any such counteroffer should have allowed for the retention of the emperor but insisted on compliance with all the other terms announced at the Potsdam conference.

    The real significance of this tragic error of judgment of Roosevelt and Truman is that, in addition to the needless loss of life of innocent civilians on the Japanese homeland, two of the most vicious and costly battles of the Pacific, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, could have been avoided. In addition, the bribing of the Soviet Union to enter the war allowed them to enter Manchuria, strip that area of close to a billion dollars of industrial equipment, and capture enough Japanese arms and ammunition to supply ten divisions, equipment which they then turned over to Mao, thus contributing substantially to the defeat of the Kuomintang. The loss of China had other tragic consequences, namely the Korean and Vietnam Wars.



  9. Crusoe April 17, 2016 at 12:58 PM #

    Why would the Americans have to apologise for the bombing of Hiro and Nagasaki?

    Even if the Japanese apologized for the atrocities they committed in Asia during the war?

    As usual, the playground bully got punched and shut up.

    I do not see an issue with that.

    Should be glad they did not hit Tokyo. But Nagasaki was where weapons were being built, so that was a military target, no?

    And, are you sure that the bombs did not hit vital military research facilities? It was not ‘just’ civilians hit.


  10. MoneyBrain April 17, 2016 at 1:29 PM #

    Greenie M

    The Japs were pretending to “surrender” in order to buy time, who can prove otherwise since they did NOT surrender even after Hiroshima? MacArthur wanted to soften his image since he intended to run for the Presidency.

    Ask the Chinese how sweeett and loving the Japs were in Nanking, tearing Babies from their mothers arms, tossing them in the air and bayoneting the babies on the way down!

    The Chinese were definitely over run and beaten already, for what reason was this terrible action justified?

    The Japs had to be taught a very dramatic lesson and were, no regrets from the prisoners of war who were tortured by all means especially on long forced marches. Ask the Phillipinos about the Bataan Death March in 1942 where upto 10,000 Phillipinos died and approx 650 + Americans?

    Many love to hate the USA but how destroyed is Japan or Germany today or in 1970?

    Note that the Phillipinos are now scared of the Chinese actions and who did they call—not Ghostbusters but the USA, who have been invited to share facilities in that country even though not too many years ago they had asked the Americans to leave.


  11. lawson April 17, 2016 at 3:33 PM #

    the crocodiles at ramree didn’t mind that the Japanese would not give up


  12. Crusoe April 18, 2016 at 6:21 PM #

    @ lawson ‘krokodil’ did you say.

    You are all worried about Nukes, how about this, these drugs that are destroying many of certain segments of communities worldwide…in your OWN communities, not a potential war, everyday!


    And you think population control (in more ways than one) is not active?


  13. lawson April 19, 2016 at 7:12 AM #

    afraid of nukes hardly as long as I am the one using them, you are right drugs are claiming our smartest and brightest……no they are not…. they are in most cases our weakest and stupidest and they are being preyed on my criminals for cash idolized by the young for their gold chains, sic women ,gangster lifestyle, harleys etc etc If people have nothing, no reason for living, no sense of accomplishment they can certainly fall into the drug spiral . rich and poor both have the same problem no self worth one from having nothing and the other from no need to do anything Get people working


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