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23

This is a matter of very hot debate. It depends on what assumptions you make about what would have happened in the future. But there are two basic scenarios: The bombings saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 - 500 thousand US lives, and Japanese lives in the millions. The bombings saved US lives numbered only in the thousands, and actually cost the ...


22

Hiroshima, the first city, was "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing[sic] effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. ...


22

I seriously doubt it. Japan was a traditional monarchy, philosophically and ideologically far closer to China than Germany. Of course both were mortal enemies and had been for centuries. Far more likely they were drawn together simply by the fact that both were shut out from the "international community" and felt slighted by the UK and US (and in case of ...


20

The U.S. likely did not target Tokyo for the atomic bomb strikes as it was the seat of the Emperor and the location of much of the high ranking military officers. These are precisely the people you do not want to kill if you want to negotiate a surrender, as they are the people you would be negotiating with. The U.S. decided to drop the bombs onto military ...


16

The Japanese, Germans, and Italians primarily allied based on their late-bloomer status and desire for geopolitical revisionism. Whereas countries like England, France, Russia, and so forth had unified and developed empires in the centuries prior to industrialization, the Axis powers had not really unified and become politically and militarily centralized ...


14

Perhaps this is a generational thing? As a Gen-X'er, I grew up hearing about things like the Bataan Death March, The Rape of Nanking, and how in general the Japanese didn't feel like adhering to the Geneva Conventions, (as dramatized in Bridge over the River Kwai, among other movies and books). When I was a kid we also had lots more Pacific Theater veterans ...


8

No. For instance, you are wrong that Japan promoted racism on the official basis. In fact, throughout the war up to 1944 they conducted several international conferences against racism. This was very bold move given the position of Germany. Japan also was the government that proposed amendments to the League of Nations charter condemning racism (before the ...


7

Ray Monk in Inside the Center: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer tells the story thus: Truman returned to Washington from Potsdam on the evening of 7 August and was immediately caught up in a whirlwind of activity generated by Groves, who was determined to proceed as quickly as possible with a second bombing of Japan. He and Admiral William ...


7

Although the Japanese attack was unexpected in its timing, The US Navy was well aware: (a) that the Japanese were in the habit of attacking before a formal declaration of war; and (b) that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was both possible and likely to be devastating, having itself simulated such an attack several times over the past 15 years as outlined ...


7

I can think of a number of reasons, but they fall under two categories: 1) Logistics and 2) Morale Logistics. With the Japanese islands cut off from the outside world, the Japanese islands could not produce enough food to feed its population and the soldiers already on the islands. Pulling another 2-3 million troops from China would have only aggravated ...


6

How many troop transports did the Japanese retain at that point in time? What success would they have had by then in protecting such a cargo from US submarines, surface vessels and air craft while it shuttled across? The East China Sea is a far cry from the Straights of Dover after all, and that wasn't called The Miracle of Dunkirk for no reason. The North ...


6

The nature of Nazi and Japanese atrocities is quite different. The Japanese atrocities, when ordered from above, were "rational" in the sense that they were perpetrated to gain a certain tangible benefit for the war effort (please do not misconstrue my words to mean that I condone these actions! I do not!) The most appalling crimes, such as the rape of ...


6

From the notes of the first Target Committee meeting (spring 1945) Tokyo is a possibility but it is now practically all bombed and burned out and is practically rubble with only the palace grounds left standing. Consideration is only possible here. The same was true of most Japanese cities. From The making of the atomic bomb. The committee had ...


6

It is impossible to say how many lives were saved by the atomic bombing of Japan because no one knows when Japan would have surrendered if the bombs had not been dropped. However, it is likely that the war would have gone on for many months and culminated in the US invasion planned for November 1, 1946. In that case, many tens of thousands, if not hundreds ...


6

Because they used a wakizashi instead. The inferior quality of medieval and pre-medieval European metallurgy (compared to Japanese) may have been the cause of the real question: Why did Europeans continue to use a shield so late, instead of the more efficient use of a sword-catcher, second sword, or buckler? [edit] Or a second hand on the main sword ...


6

Wow, where to start. Basically, ignore anything in the previous answer regarding Europe and shields. As far European metallurgy goes, pattern welding was in use as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The technique continued to be used up until about the end of the viking era (mid 11th century) when quenching and tempering basically took over. As a ...


6

The Qing Dynasty had run out of steam by the 19th century. The government did try to modernise (the Self-Strengthening Movement) but the imperial government's authority was too weak and its civic infrastructure was too corrupt to embark on the systematic modernisation that Japan undertook in the Meiji era. The factions within the Qing imperial court and ...


6

The key to the successful modernization of Japan was the successful Meiji Restoration of 1868. This centralized the national power in the hands of the Emperor, taking it out of the hands of the warlords. (The last warlord was defeated in Hakodate, Sapporo, in 1869.) Once the centralization of power occurred, it was much easier to project Imperial power over ...


6

Of course! There are major differences between the ideology of Germany, Japan and Italy, but there is one major similarity: they disliked the communists. If the immediate threat from the left was less than in Italy and Germany, it nevertheless is apparent that the establishment was alarmed by it. After 1918, when spontaneous riots over the rocketing ...


6

Good question. I decided to look up the cities in an encyclopedia from the late 1920s to early 1930s. (You would buy the books, a total of 23, over a longer period of time, which is why the year differs between the different books.) The encyclopedia in question is a Swedish one, Nordisk Familjebok, Nordic Family Book. Here's a rouch translation of the ...


5

As always, the uniform would differ from one school to another school. But in the Showa period (1920s-1985) school uniforms is highly characterized by a strong influence from the military - especially the navy. Japan had been in rigorous military transformation since the start of Meiji period (1868), and it is reflected in the education system it produced - ...


5

The history of Western atrocities in China is often glossed over: this would not be possible without also glossing over Japanese atrocities in China. The Japanese atrocities of war in the Pacific are easy to forget because of Pearl Harbour, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bookends receive much more attention than the books. It is ironic considering more ...


5

Yes and no. Reasons for YES: Both were anti-communist and had geopolitical claims against the Soviet Union. Both were rebelling against the international order created by established powers as established in the settlement of World War I. Both were obsessed with economic autarky and wanted to build land empires to achieve it. Germany vis-a-vis "the ...


4

Of course, proof of absence is a very hard thing to achieve, but I'm going to argue that the US Army at least absolutely did not organize military brothels in Western Europe. My main source is What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France by Mary Louise Roberts. This book is somewhat unfavorably reviewed on Amazon by veterans who state ...


4

I think the biggest motivation for excluding women as successors is to limit the number of potential heirs and to concentrate power for the reigning sovereign. Furthermore the reasons against doing so are weak. Japanese Empresses First, a background of Japanese empresses. From Wikipedia: Empress Suiko (554–628), r. 593–628—first ruling empress Empress ...


4

The reason is an unresolved territorial dispute over four islets, annexed by the Red Army during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. In Russia the dispute is known as the Kuril Islands dispute, and in Japan as the Northern Territories dispute. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have recently restarted ...


4

I am fortunate in being 75 years of age. I travelled extensively during my 22 years in the British Royal Navy and have spoken over the years, to many people of various nationalities. One should remember that each country writes it's own history and therefore it is bound to suffer from at least some bias. The best education about the WW2 subjects mentioned ...


4

I'm not from the United States, but I'm from Australia, which is a fairly similar country. It's a former British colony that has a majority of people of European descent. The history classes I took (around 1990-1994) were pretty much exclusively about European history. We learnt about things like the Norman conquest, the French revolution, the ...


4

Indeed, Japanese diplomatic codes had been broken. But the message sent to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, intended to be delivered before the attack (but in fact delivered later) did not contain a formal declaration of war, so although Washington knew a few hours before the attack that diplomacy was coming to an end, and war was coming, they did not ...


4

The full quote is actually: "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, [Japan] would be like a boy of twelve as compared with [the Anglo-Saxon] development of 45 years,” In the 1800's and early 1900's, Japan placed great emphasis on Westernizing. They brought American and Western military leaders to Japan to modernize their army. In many respects, ...



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