prolog, on Feb 10 2005, 10:40 AM, said:
CJ, G: Historical speculation is, at its heart, speculation. While we can speculate about how things might have turned out had America not dropped the bombs, the truth is that we'll never know.
We can’t tell the exact numbers but we can draw a range that puts it well above what the Atomic Bombs caused. Actually all you need to do is start with Guadalcanal, go to Saipan, and then jump ahead to the bloodbaths of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In each battle the Japanese grew more and more desperate and used more radical tactics. Until it reached the point that at Iwo Jima we virtually had to wipe out an entire 27,000 man Japanese garrison when we only captured a little over a thousand. In return we lost around 7,000 KIAs and had a higher total causality count than the Japanese garrison we wiped out. Okinawa was far worse in several ways and set the stage for invading Japan. Meanwhile the Japanese government was planning human wave attacks and gathering far more troops than what took part in Iwo Jima and Okinawa to defend the home islands.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Lesser of Two Evils
The Japanese view of war was quite different from that of the American view: death in war was not something to be avoided, but to be sought. The Shinto cult, for example, which preached a radical concept of self-sacrifice, taught that suicide was glorious, while surrender was an unthinkable disgrace. It was at Saipan that even Japanese civilians committed suicide by jumping off the cliffs on the northern tip of the island rather than surrender. At the battle of , thousands of Japanese had drawn themselves up in a line and killed themselves by hand-grenades, rather than surrender.
This explains why at this very time the Japanese military was rapidly building up defense forces on the southern island of Kyushu, where by war's end there were 14 divisions and 735,000 troops ready to sacrifice themselves in battle.
He knew, as General Marshall's reports confirmed, that at least 500,000 Americans would be lost in an invasion of Japan. That was a conservative estimate, as the possibility existed that up to one million Allied casualties would be suffered. Meanwhile, it was estimated that potential Japanese casualties stood at five million.
Truman and his advisers were well aware that they had just suffered 75,000 American casualties in seizing Okinawa , just a small island.
Truman knew that if an American invasion was carried through, the 100,000 Allied prisoners of war would die. He was aware of Tokyo’s order that, at the moment that the Americans invaded Japan's home islands, the POW's were to be tortured, beheaded, and executed en mass
So there is the alternative.
Edited by CJ AEGIS, 10 February 2005 - 10:57 AM.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
-Fleet Admiral Nimitz
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