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Dr Jekyll
6th Aug 2001, 15:40
I notice CND are 'commemorating' the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

How exactly is what happened to Hiroshima supposed to be an argument for unilateral disarmament? Can some of our resident soggy liberals explain?

I would have thought it a perfect example of how not having nukes leaves you vulnerable.

6th Aug 2001, 15:55
Agree - in this instance, the use of decisive and overwhelming force stopped a conflict that could have dragged on for ages with much more loss of life.

Some times the best way to stop a fight is with a single excessive, but decisive, blow.

Like turning up with machine guns at the Battle of Bannockburn. It'd all be over very quickly.

BUT remember - at that time there were only two VERY SMALL atom bombs in existence in the entire world.

Nasty but survivable.

Given the firepower now available, the overwhelming decisive blow would now be self-defeating. (i.e. no-one left behind to gloat)

Hence the present concern.

Kermit 180
6th Aug 2001, 16:01
Bad episode, could be worse if they ever decide to use them again. Face facts, nukes keep countries from having big wars with each other, because like Mr Grainger said, the victors will also be the defeated.

But compare this to carrying guns in the street. It doesnt stop people attacking each other does it? Get a country loopy enough to use em and were all gonna be seeing instant sunshine.

Kermie :(

6th Aug 2001, 16:50
DrJ, if you refrain from insulting people you may get more out of them. If you want to know, be polite and I'll tell you.

Grainger, that the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war in the Pacific is debatable. Prior to those attacks, the demands for Japanese surrender all included the demand that the Emperor renounce all claims to divinity, something the Japanese could not accept. Then Fat Boy and Slim Man, both of which did vast damage to civilian areas, but little to damage the infrastructure or the Japanese war effort which, by now, was still strung out across half the Pacific. However, the next surrender demand had omitted the "no divinity" clause - and Hirohito accepted.

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

Dr Jekyll
6th Aug 2001, 17:17
What effect the bombing had on the war is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the lack Japanese lack of nuclear weapons did not prevent nukes being used against them. Thereby disproving the CND view that unilaterally disarming makes you safer.

6th Aug 2001, 17:39
At the risk of being pedantic, the bombs were called Little Boy (Hiroshima) and Fat Man (Nagasaki).

6th Aug 2001, 18:43
One has to ask though if Japan had been armed also with nuclear bombs, would any of us be around to debate this. Would the US have refrained from a nuclear attack, or was the mindset of that time (on both sides) hellbent on winning at any cost. Possibly the US would still have taken the risk (as a first strike), it's an academic point now though, fortunately.

What is more relevant, therefore, is - did dropping the bombs on Japan make the world a safer place (difficult to judge).

Unilateral disarmament is not the correct term, however, as they didn't make a unilateral decision to either disarm or not to have nuclear weapons - I'm fairly sure if the Japanese had the capabilities to build them at that time, they would have. Would they then have used them against their enemies - I believe so. If they had used them first, do you honestly believe America would not have retaliated.

I think a more pertinent question would be to ask, what would happen if a country like Afghanistan gets hold of nuclear weapons! Let's not be naive enough to presume it could never happen. So should we allow them access to this technology and the parts and skills to build them, just because they are vulnerable?

Tartan Gannet
6th Aug 2001, 19:32
There were certain Old Labour ideas I NEVER bought into, one was Comprehensive Education, a tragic experiment in social engineering and a sacrifice to inverted snobbery. The other was Unilateral Disarmament. I always considered CND as a bunch of sad wan**rs and still do! Like it or not the balance of terror, M.A.D. did keep the peace for many years until the age of Glasnost.

I totally support Harry Trueman's use of the Atom Bombs against Japan and agree with many that this action, drastic as it was, saved many lives both Allied and Japanese in the long run. Indeed I can find far more justification for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki than bombing Dresden.

I do NOT subscribe to the retrospective "we're oh so sorry" attitudes that prevail in these PC days. Let us NOT forget who the aggressors were in World War Two and what they did to the populations of those countries they occupied.

tony draper
6th Aug 2001, 20:13
Amen to that Mr G,I suspect very few of my generation would be alive now had it not been for nukes.
We would have been the cannon fodder for the East West war that would undoubtedly have followed shortly after he end of the second world war.
We had two superpower blocks that loathed each other tooled up for conventional war like no others in history,such a war would have dragged on for decades.
Politicians and statesmen have always been ready to spend their citizens lives, the idea that it would be their necks and their families on the block also made them pause, and even though I despise all politicians, I cannot believe even they were willing to contemplate full scale thermo nuclear war.
Actualy a lot of people forget just how close we came, I was in the Carribean when the Cuba crisis started, boy, was that a terrifying time, thank god Kuschev blinked, but he did blink and it didn't happen.
One the whole I have to say nuclear weapons have been a force for good,and I also think as a nation we should hang on to ours and the means of delivering them, this world will become a much more dangerous place, and the idea that we can turn their country into a radioactive glass car park may give some of the loonies cause to think.

Remember Sunny Jim Callaghan didn't have to fight a war over the Falklands, he just let the Argentinians know that a couple of nukes had been dispached, and to get the hell out of dodge, when they started making invading the falklands noises back then.

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

Send Clowns
6th Aug 2001, 20:14
Had the Americans not dropped those two bombs, thus demonstrating graphically and horribly, would the world have been so safe in the 55 years since? Did these strikes prevent global thermonuclear war, thus saving the world from a rather bad experience?

I think this is likely, so I will celebrate this day, with a tear for the horror of those two defining moments.

Mac the Knife
6th Aug 2001, 23:10
Hug/DrJ - '..be polite and I'll tell you.'

Incorrectly as it happens.

The Trinity test was 'Gadget" (an implosion device)
Hiroshima was 'Little Boy' (a gun assembly)
Nagasaki was 'Fat Man' (another implosion device)

Your other comments are equally ill informed.

More politically correct namby-pamby revisionist rewriting of history in order to turn it all into nicey-picey simplistic anti-Western drooling.

Stick to parody.

Ex-CND (age 14) Mac

7th Aug 2001, 00:58
Interesting to debate the events of Aug 1945.

But isn't it all academic now?

Methinks it's more important to try to find work for all those impoverised former Russian Weapon scientists....

...before someone else does!!!! :eek:

"Major 3rd world power seeks people with experience in advanced techniques. Top rates paid! Interesting work! Come and soak up the sun!

Apply to Mr S Hussain, Presidential Palace, 33 Scud avenue, Baghdad, Peoples Republic of Iraq.

PS: Any waepons-grade Plutonium will also be gratefully recieved. Top rates paid - easy terms!"

7th Aug 2001, 04:16
Mac, I see you are another who is incapable of posting anything disagreeing with anyone without being disagreeable and insulting.

Sorry, yes, I admit - I got the names wrong. The term "gadget" (and "device") was used to cover up what was being developed at Los Alamos from 1942 onwards. Hence the term for the Trinity test, of an implosion device mounted on a tower rather than being airdropped.

The panic was that Germany was developing nuclear weapons. It was discovered during the drive through Europe in 1944/45 that they didn't have the technology. It was already known that Japan didn't, but the Pentagon wanted to test the weapons - both varieties. For this reason, the change in demands on the Japanese was kept a very closely guarded secret for many years, only becoming known about 20 years ago.

Apart from getting the names wrong, I'm not sure what I've done to deserve the terms "revisionist" and "namby pamby". If those are the opposite of being aggressive, reactionary, xenophobic, and war-mongering, though, then I'll accept them gladly.

A popular myth is that nuclear weapons have "kept the peace" since 1945. Ummmmm - think not. What peace? When?

As Velvet says, the problem is now what to do if somewhere like Afghanistan (or Serbia?) were to get nuclear weapons. We cannot uninvent the weapons. The technology is (by today's standards) very simple. Just as many people could produce an HE bomb just using normal household items, almost any third-year nuclear physics undergraduate could produce a crude but nastily effective nuclear device.

And the initial question was - why are CND "commemorating" the anniversary of Hiroshima? Because it was an oscenity that killed civilians out of all proportion to the aims of the war. It was an illegal act under all international law. The principle of a "just war" is that the ends have to justify the extent of the means. There is no nuclear weapon around now that has the minuscule yield of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki weapons. If anyone can attempt to justify the extend of killing, and suffering that would result from use of any modern nuclear weapon, then I'll show you a true sociopath.

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" (J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Baghavit Gita, on seeing what he had created)

7th Aug 2001, 09:18
The peace that was kept was the one that kept me and Draper alive. Without nuclear weapons and mutually assured destruction the US and USSR would have fought to the death in our backyard. Certainly the second half of the twentieth century has hardly been peaceful but its been a lot quieter than the first half.

As to why Truman used the nukes, National Geographic once did a special edition on the uses that had been made of their maps. They showed a picture of Japan that was on the wall of Truman's office. It was marked with the divisional dispositions of the American, Chinese and Russian armies, arrows defining the invasion routes of each army and calculations of how many ships, tanks, planes and men that would be involved in each location.

What was obvious from the picture is that Japan would have ended the war partitioned into Chinese, Russian and American sectors. (Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been in the Chinese/Korean sector - maybe they got off lightly?). Given the contemporary situation in Germany it is easy to see why Truman opted for a decisive strike. The casualties were confined to the enemy and Japan would fall to America alone. Although the majority of the casualties were civilians, by avoiding the invasion millions more civilian Japanese lives were saved as well as those of the soldiers of both sides who would otherwise have perished. Make no mistake, the conquest of Japan would have been one of the bloodiest battles ever fought. But surely the greatest message was intended for Stalin?

As for me, I celebrate every August the sixth with great joy, but after all it IS my birthday...

Through difficulties to the cinema

Arm out the window
7th Aug 2001, 09:23
Wasn't there only one bomb dropped on Japan, called 'Fat Boy Slim'?


(Caution: frivolous post in serious topic)

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: Arm out the window ]

Tartan Gannet
7th Aug 2001, 19:19
Well put Blacksheep, succinct and to the point. Now I suppose we are both to be regarded as sociopaths?

Mac the Knife, I wouldnt let Hug Monster's whingeing bother you over much. He is as good at dishing it out as any who post here, just look at the thread on the SAS in Ulster. Let someone be robust in their response to him and he bleats. Like a football fan he only sings when he's winning!

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: Tartan Gannet ]

Send Clowns
7th Aug 2001, 22:38
Huggy I think it is pretty well beyond doubt that the threat of MAD prevented world war in the latter half of the 20th century.

The Americans (with some justification) were completely paranoid about the threat to the rest of the world of Soviet expansionism. The Soviets were extremely concerned (with even more justification) about the threat of American aggression, in Eastern Europe and Asia. I think without credible nuclear deterent on both sides there would have been a scrap to make WWII seem like a petty squabble, but it is almost certain there would have been some sort of major conflict in Europe.