In World War 2, was there a third option besides a land invasion vs atomic bomb with Japan?
I've heard many say that dropping the atomic bombs were justified or at least necessary, while others say it was an atrocity.
Opponents of this historical action often point out that the atomic bomb was going to kill huge numbers of civilians, including children, regardless of the intended target.
Proponents point out that a land invasion, however, would have resulted in tens of thousands of Americans dead.
Both are valid concerns, but was there a third option?
What if we did none of the above?
By the time the bombs were dropped, we had completed a massively successful island hopping campaign, pushing the Japanese back home to the point they couldn't mount any significant offensive outside their own country, and they were desperately short of fuel.
By late summer of 1945, why couldn't we have just declared "mission accomplished?"
- PrinceLv 61 month ago
It's all too easy to look at the war from the safe and leisurely point of view of later, but it's unrealistically detached. The United States had had real people dying for years, real people just as real as you. People who were people's children, husbands and fathers were really dead and more continued to be killed, so consider that too, when you consider a land invasion. And prisoners of war in Japan, despite sanitized movies starring a famous runner and so on, were actually places for torture like the Batahn Death March and Americans were beaten with chains in camps owned and operated by Mitsubishu and Kawasaki and being beheaded and mutilated and having gasoline poured on them and being set on fire and didn't have a lot of time to wait around for a roll of the dice like a land invasion. That brings me to the main point which is that victory wasn't guaranteed just because you today can look back at the victory that did happen, so you change the scenario to land invasion and you could change the outcome to our defeat. Defeat was possible on the killing ground of Japan itself. ALL their population fighting us on their home turf and no supply line problem, all speaking the same language, might have won. There go the rest of the POWs and our troops all slaughtered, the Japanese invasion of California, the Nazi resurgence after Germany's recent surrender and uboats that were sinking our ships off New York and North Carolina landing German troops, the Bund Groups rising up within the US to help the Nazis and the Silver Shirts in California (read Hitler in Los Angeles). The rest of the Jews murdered. Japan might have started using jets and have had The Bomb had we delayed. A different world. What we should have done is bombed the Emperour in Tokyo but people stupidly thought we needed him for a surrender; whereas, their losing the guy who started it and was guilty as hell would have been a great help in subduing Japan in a more just way. Rulers never bomb rulers but we should bomb Kim of North Korea today.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Of course there was. Adm. William Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief for F. Roosevelt & Truman proposed the best method: Simply maintain the naval blockade. By mid-'45, Japan had virtually no navy or air force left. The great bulk of its army was involved in China, almost out of supply & with no way to get back to the islands. Japan had very little food supply left. It would have all been over by 1 Jan. '46 as Japan confronted mass starvation.
Detractors of this suggestion snivel about Allied P.O.W.'s who may thereby have starved to death is Japan resisted. Yet they had no idea & no way of knowing if the Japanese hadn't already housed those P.O.W.'s in the centres of cities across the country to decrease the likelihood of more raids like the March '45 firebombing of Tokyo. What if the Allies KNEW that 1000's of P.O.W.'s were in Hiroshima & Nagasaki? Would they have still used the bombs? This would have avoided the environmental degradation caused by the use of atomic weapons. It could ave avoided the decades-long "Cold War" that soon followed between the U.S.S.R. & "The West." It would have limited, if not prevented nuclear proliferation. Conveniently ignored in all the "pro-bomb" blather is that Japan had been trying to surrender through the U.S.S.R. (with whom it was neutral until the U.S.S.R. declared on 9 Aug. '45) for about 6 weeks. It's messages weren't forwarded. Japan didn't know if the Allies were simply playing a game with them.
- FLv 61 month ago
The fact that they didn’t surrender after the first bomb, suggests otherwise.
- bluLv 71 month ago
Inaction was not an option. The noose was tightening, finish them off/end the war. Maybe Japan had a secret weapon (nukes?) about to be used and only needed a little more time. As it relates to "bomb or not", the bomb got the desired results so it's a success. Arguing against success is usually not advised. Citizens are always collateral damage in war. The US dropped pamphlets warning of impending doom calling for surrender. The citizens had a chance to flee f/ the city (no courtesy warning at Pearl). Fire bombing Tokyo killed more civilians ... why you questioning use of "the bomb"?
The bomb has a beautiful place in history. The world saw the damage it could do and the dynamics of war took a serious turn because mutual destruction including the environment (no winner) was now a reality. It hasn't been used since. The Japs weren't thinking mercy when they surprise attacked Pearl. You're daft if you think Japan wouldn't have nuked the US.
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- capitalgentlemanLv 71 month ago
Well, the Allies could have let Japan win I suppose, but, that would not be a serious option! Most credible military scholars feel the use of the atomic weapons, while horrific, was necessary.
- Anonymous1 month ago
other options were considered and the Japanise were give the chance to surender. But they turned it down. It was considered that by dropping the Atom Bomb( Not nuclear like some people say) that far more lives would be saved and the war would end sooner.
- geraldLv 71 month ago
The war in Europe was finished and the frigid oposition to Russia already clear and iron curtains being mentioned , Russia a well known adversary of Japan was preparing to invade from the North and the USA had a new weapon they wanted to frighten the Russians with , it was the final straw that broke the back of humanity , it terrified the Japanese Emperor it terrified Russia it terrified mankind and has ever since , no one can win and no one will it is destroying us
- Anonymous1 month ago
Of course there was a third option - Japan could have surrendered when it was given more than enough chances. Any delay was unacceptable. The nuclear option was intended to save the lives of allied civilians and military who were under Japanese control. The sooner they surrendered the more lives could be saved. In total war the object is to win - enemy losses are not a real consideration.
- SumDudeLv 71 month ago
We could have let Japan have Pearl Harbor (seriously)
- Anonymous1 month ago
There were infinite options.
But they were not taken.
btw "we" really?