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Response to Bucky (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:32 AM

17. Nice contradiction. What gives?

It {the atomic bombings} was obviously a message to the Soviets

A common revisionist critique that is, unfortunately, not backed up by facts.

The US was in the midst of a war with a determined enemy. Efforts by peace factions within Japan were blocked and frustrated by the dominant (and murder prone) war party. The bombing was clearly and frequently cited by internal councils in the US government as a means to either (1) force Japan to surrender or (2) wipe out concentrations of Japanese military & industrial power to quicken the end of the war. While there is no doubt that Truman and Byrnes were aware of the impression Hiroshima would give to the Soviets, there is exactly one quote from Byrnes about what it would make the Soviets think and literally hundreds of in-context quotes about what the bombs were supposed to drive Japan to do.


{Truman} had an easy and obvious alternative to hold off on the bombing for a few weeks and wait to see what effect the Russian attack would have.


Holding off the bombing was not an easy alternative. If you read Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's Racing the Enemy, you'll see the very point of rushing the bombs into deployment was to prevent the Soviets from taking part in the surrender of Japan.




So it wasn't about sending a message to the Soviets but it was about keeping the Soviets from from taking part in the surrender of Japan. Sounds like the message was received loud and clear.

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LineLineReply Nice contradiction. What gives?
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