Thursday, August 25, 2005

Did Japan Sue for Peace Prior to Dropping Atom Bomb?

Some say that the atomic bombs should not have been dropped on Japan as "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender" and that "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace". However, just because one can quote a statement that does not make it so. It is specious to suggest the Japanese were ready to surrender. Even after the second atomic bomb, Nagasaki August 9, 1945, the Imperial Council voted against surrendering. It took up to another 1,000 B-29 conventional bombing raids for Japan to surrender on August 15th.

From my high school studies, I know that the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945 demanded that the Japanese surrender immediately or face "prompt and utter destruction." The Japanese government rejected this on July 28, Prime Minister Suzuki announced they would ignore ("mokatsu") the Declaration.

U.S intelligence knew about the internal struggle between the militarists, and those in the Japanese government wanting to seek a negotiated peace, but 1) the militarist always held the upper hand, and 2) Franklin Roosevelt’s policy was to demand an unconditional surrender.
The deciphering of messages between Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Moscow and gave the United States knowledge of the Japanese peace initiative in the spring of 1945 rejecting "unconditional surrender" and expecting significant concessions. Deciphering Japanese military communications revealed in the summer of 1945 that the Japanese had achieved an alarming buildup of forces preparing to fight to the bitter end.

Five days after Nagasaki the militarists still wanted to fight on, however, the Emperor Hiroito instructed his cabinet to accept the Allied terms immediately, explaining "I cannot endure the thought of letting my people suffer any longer"; if the war did not end "the whole nation would be reduced to ashes." The Minister of War, General Anami Korechika obeyed the Emperor and then committed seppuku on August 15, 1945, the day of Hiroito’s broadcast announcing Japan's surrender.

The Naval Blockade suggestion that it would have been preferable to starve the Japanese women and children until the militarists gave in is a real hoot.

For an opposing point of view see and The Dropping of the Atom Bombs Reply to Replies
See prior post U.S. Presidential Aspirants Should Answer if They Would Have Used Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki


Blogger T.C. Borelli said...

Gene, cut out the dishonest crap. My letter to the editor quoted all the senior military officers fighting the war. Virtually to a man, they all agreed the A-Bomb attack was unnecessary. But do you address the issue of what the military was saying. No! That's why your article is dishonest.

August 26, 2005  
Blogger brian sadler said...


Very good summary. I am also of the opinion that the Japanese had no intention of surrendering. There is every indication that if they were going to be destroyed they would take a lot of the enemy with them.
It's very hard for a country to surrender and admit it's failure. The pride and arrogance of the Japanese would not allow it.
Was the atom bomb really needed ? Perhaps not, since Curtis LeMay was doing a fairly good job of incinerating the Japanese cities. The US planners had to save a few cities from LeMay so they could demonstrate the atom bomb. But the atomic bomb was a clear demonstration of the power of the US and I beleive provided that last push to get them to see reason.
To those who detest atomic weapons re-writing history is just a detail in their quest for a better world.
I beleive it was good for everyone, including Japan, to end the war quickly and start the healing. And without a surrender, it's hard to change a culture.

May 19, 2015  

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