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View Full Version : Was Japan considering surrender to the Soviets?



garm1and
07-07-2014, 06:21 PM
I'm having a discussion with a co-worker. He says that Japan was preparing to surrender to the Russians at the time the a-bombs were dropped. The reason the U.S. decided to drop them was so that they could set the terms of the surrender. I've always believed that america was trying to avoid invading the Japanese mainland at all costs ( they remember the fanatical resistance at Saipan and Iwo Jima ). I know that Japan was taking into consideration the possible entry of the Russians into the conflict, but I disagree that the Japanese were preparing to surrender to them outright. Am I correct in my beliefs, or is my co-worker?

Nickdfresh
07-07-2014, 07:09 PM
Um, no. The Japanese were attempting to communicate with the Soviets in an effort to have them mediate a negotiated settlement between Japan and the Western Allies. The Soviets cut off contact and were soon invading Manchuria during August Storm, IIRC...

The inverse is true, one of the many speculations is that the Japanese surrendered to the Western Allies not because of the bombs but for fear of occupation by the Communist Soviets - whom would have deposed the Emperor immediately...

leccy
07-08-2014, 07:38 AM
Hard to surrender to the Soviets when the Japanese were not at war with them, they still had an almost tacit agreement of neutrality with each other, or at least limited minor actual confrontation since Kholin Ghol battles.

Rising Sun*
07-08-2014, 09:23 AM
I'm having a discussion with a co-worker. He says that Japan was preparing to surrender to the Russians at the time the a-bombs were dropped. The reason the U.S. decided to drop them was so that they could set the terms of the surrender. I've always believed that america was trying to avoid invading the Japanese mainland at all costs ( they remember the fanatical resistance at Saipan and Iwo Jima ). I know that Japan was taking into consideration the possible entry of the Russians into the conflict, but I disagree that the Japanese were preparing to surrender to them outright. Am I correct in my beliefs, or is my co-worker?

There are contested and well argued views by serious historians on the matters you and your co-worker are discussing except, as leccy points out, Japan couldn't surrender to the USSR when it wasn't at war with it (The USSR didn't declare http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/s4.asp war on or attack Japan until two days after the first atom bomb was dropped) and, as nick points out, Japan was putting out peace feelers to the Allies through Moscow but Moscow wasn't cooperating.

Whichever view one takes of the historians' debates, the facts are much more on your side than your co-worker's.

It was a complex situation which allows various interpretations, but this article by a Japanese / American academic covers the issues in arguing for the Soviet assault being more important than the atomic bombs in driving Japan to surrender. http://www.japanfocus.org/site/view/2501

For my part, I doubt that Japan would have surrendered when it did if confronted with only the Soviet attack or only the atom bombs. The two together brought Japan to surrender.

garm1and
07-08-2014, 12:32 PM
Thanks for your input everybody. :)

Kilroy
07-09-2014, 10:46 AM
I just don't see that happening knowing the way the Japanese lived during that time period

royal744
07-22-2014, 03:06 PM
Nah, no way. If Russia were the reason for Japan's surrender, Hirohito might have mentioned them; instead the only thing he did mention was his reference to a "most cruel weapon" in referring to the atomic bomb. The Japanese knew full well who they were surrendering to and why.