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The Nuclear Weapon at 75

The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Old Aug 5th 2020, 11:32 am
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Default The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Interesting article on the thoughts at the time of the nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945, which turn 75 this week.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-japan-history

For my part, I am not really sure what to think. I guess as a person that was born long after this, it seems like a static thing that is fixed in history and doesn't really need to be litigated.

Was it needed? I don't know. I don't really think that it was even about Japan, it was about showing the Soviets that the US had the bomb and was prepared to use it. One thing is for certain, the world has never been the same since.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

If you want to look at potential consequences just look at Operation Olympic.

Personally I think the failure of negotiations through the contacts with the USSR was more the body blow, after all it was sometime before the Japanese realised what had actually happened and both bombs were relatively small beer compared to what had gone before.

The problems the Allies had as far as the air war at the time was they were running out of targets.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

I agree that the invasion of the home islands would have been costly in blood, but again that presupposes that the nuclear attacks actually hastened the Japanese surrender, the article appears to suggest that Soviet invasion of Manchuria was more important.

So it comes back to, if they didn't change anything, why do it? A blockade would seem to have possibly been more effective after neutralizing the IJN as a force.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
I agree that the invasion of the home islands would have been costly in blood, but again that presupposes that the nuclear attacks actually hastened the Japanese surrender, the article appears to suggest that Soviet invasion of Manchuria was more important.

So it comes back to, if they didn't change anything, why do it? A blockade would seem to have possibly been more effective after neutralizing the IJN as a force.
I will try and find some source material.

From what I have read and seen I think Manchuria was more significant.

But that is with the benefit of reviewing 75 years of historical research and it an opinion.

So why do it, more interestingly why not do it? You have to look at the information available then when reviewing such decisions.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

The nuclear weapon is the single greatest instrument of world peace as it maintains the balance of power does it not?. After all they are built with the hope they are never used. After all doesn't the line from Wargames with Matthew Broderick say it best. "The only way to win is not to play"
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

The nuclear weapon is the single greatest instrument of world peace as it maintains the balance of power does it not?
Yes, Until it doesn't. Conversely, nuclear proliferation is one of the greatest threats to world peace.

It's not the guy with 15,000 nukes that we have to be worried about, it's the guy with one, especially if he has a political goal in mind and doesn't care if he lives to see it.

Anyway - this is mostly about the initial use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagaski, unless you are implying that they had to be used to ensure that the world understood what a First Strike would look like?
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Andtyebell,
If you like the bomb so much take Trident from our territory at Faslane on The Clyde and keep it at Plymouth. Or on the Thames opposite Westminster.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Yes, Until it doesn't. Conversely, nuclear proliferation is one of the greatest threats to world peace.

It's not the guy with 15,000 nukes that we have to be worried about, it's the guy with one, especially if he has a political goal in mind and doesn't care if he lives to see it.

Anyway - this is mostly about the initial use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagaski, unless you are implying that they had to be used to ensure that the world understood what a First Strike would look like?
Yes that was one reason and also the purpose of the strike was force Japan to surrender in the face of firepower that they could not respond to or defend against with the implication being Tokyo might next if they refused. I wonder if Japan had also had the bomb whether Hiroshima bomb would have been dropped? And if it had would Japan have had the ability to respond against Hawaii or even Los Angeles or San Francisco? We will never know.

Last edited by andyrebell; Aug 5th 2020 at 3:50 pm.
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Old Aug 5th 2020, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Yes, Until it doesn't. Conversely, nuclear proliferation is one of the greatest threats to world peace.

It's not the guy with 15,000 nukes that we have to be worried about, it's the guy with one, especially if he has a political goal in mind and doesn't care if he lives to see it.

Anyway - this is mostly about the initial use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagaski, unless you are implying that they had to be used to ensure that the world understood what a First Strike would look like?
I think the existence of nuclear deterrent prevents the one guy in certain respects. For all the bluster North Korea would never strike America because they know they are signing their own death warrant in the same way I don't think Iran would ever strike Israel. And wasn't the thought for 9/11 to strike nuclear power plants with hijacked planes causing them to breach or meltdown aka chernobyl but ultimately Bin Laden was scared of America's response to that and changed his mind.
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Old Aug 6th 2020, 12:47 am
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Well worth a watch

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Old Aug 6th 2020, 8:32 am
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
Yes that was one reason and also the purpose of the strike was force Japan to surrender in the face of firepower that they could not respond to or defend against with the implication being Tokyo might next if they refused. I wonder if Japan had also had the bomb whether Hiroshima bomb would have been dropped? And if it had would Japan have had the ability to respond against Hawaii or even Los Angeles or San Francisco? We will never know.
Tokyo was deliberately not on the target list for the atomic bomb. It had already been destroyed by the March 10, 1945 firebombing. That bombing is the most devastating single raid.
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Old Aug 6th 2020, 11:23 am
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Tokyo was deliberately not on the target list for the atomic bomb.
Indeed, one of the several criteria for city/target selection was that it had not previously been bombed, and therefore the destruction could be attributed to nothing other than the nuclear detonation.
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Old Aug 6th 2020, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

If the bomb had been ready sooner Germany would have been the target.
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Old Aug 6th 2020, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Here in NC we have our own example.
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Old Aug 6th 2020, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: The Nuclear Weapon at 75

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
If the bomb had been ready sooner Germany would have been the target.
I doubt it. No doubt it was on the table as a possible option, but I’m pretty sure the allies would have got cold feet. After all, the Germans were like us. Millions of people in the US, UK and other allied countries had family in Germany.
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