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Chevan
02-18-2007, 08:35 AM
What about firebombing of N.Korean cities?
The intensivity of bombing in Korea was much more then the Germany. That's i found about.
http://mondediplo.com/2004/12/08korea


..........
Napalm was invented at the end of the second world war. It became a major issue during the Vietnam war, brought to prominence by horrific photos of injured civilians. Yet far more napalm was dropped on Korea and with much more devastating effect, since the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had many more populous cities and urban industrial installations than North Vietnam. In 2003 I participated in a conference with US veterans of the Korean war. During a discussion about napalm, a survivor who lost an eye in the Changjin (in Japanese, Chosin) Reservoir battle said it was indeed a nasty weapon - but “it fell on the right people”. (Ah yes, the “right people” - a friendly-fire drop on a dozen US soldiers.) He continued: “Men all around me were burned. They lay rolling in the snow. Men I knew, marched and fought with begged me to shoot them . . . It was terrible. Where the napalm had burned the skin to a crisp, it would be peeled back from the face, arms, legs . . . like fried potato chips” (2).

Soon after that incident, George Barrett of the New York Times had found “a macabre tribute to the totality of modern war” in a village near Anyang, in South Korea: “The inhabitants throughout the village and in the fields were caught and killed and kept the exact postures they held when the napalm struck - a man about to get on his bicycle, 50 boys and girls playing in an orphanage, a housewife strangely unmarked, holding in her hand a page torn from a Sears-Roebuck catalogue crayoned at Mail Order No 3,811,294 for a $2.98 ‘bewitching bed jacket - coral’.” US Secretary of State Dean Acheson wanted censorship authorities notified about this kind of “sensationalised reporting”, so it could be stopped (3).

One of the first orders to burn towns and villages that I found in the archives was in the far southeast of Korea, during heavy fighting along the Pusan Perimeter in August 1950, when US soldiers were bedevilled by thousands of guerrillas in rear areas. On 6 August a US officer requested “to have the following towns obliterated” by the air force: Chongsong, Chinbo and Kusu-dong. B-29 strategic bombers were also called in for tactical bombing. On 16 August five groups of B-29s hit a rectangular area near the front, with many towns and villages, creating an ocean of fire with hundreds of tons of napalm. Another call went out on the 20 August. On 26 August I found in this same source the single entry: “fired 11 villages” (4). Pilots were told to bomb targets that they could see to avoid hitting civilians, but they frequently bombed major population centres by radar, or dumped huge amounts of napalm on secondary targets when the primary one was unavailable.

In a major strike on the industrial city of Hungnam on 31 July 1950, 500 tons of ordnance was delivered through clouds by radar; the flames rose 200-300 feet into the air. The air force dropped 625 tons of bombs over North Korea on 12 August, a tonnage that would have required a fleet of 250 B-17s in the second world war. By late August B-29 formations were dropping 800 tons a day on the North (5). Much of it was pure napalm. From June to late October 1950, B-29s unloaded 866,914 gallons of napalm.

Air force sources delighted in this relatively new weapon, joking about communist protests and misleading the press about their “precision bombing”. They also liked to point out that civilians were warned of the approaching bombers by leaflet, although all pilots knew that these were ineffective (6). This was a mere prelude to the obliteration of most North Korean towns and cities after China entered the war.

China joins the war

The Chinese entry caused an immediate escalation of the air campaign. From November 1950, General Douglas MacArthur ordered that a wasteland be created between the fighting front and the Chinese border, destroying from the air every “installation, factory, city, and village” over thousands of square miles of North Korean territory. As a well-informed British attaché to MacArthur’s headquarters observed, except for Najin near the Soviet border and the Yalu dams (both spared so as not to provoke Moscow or Beijing), MacArthur’s orders were “to destroy every means of communication and every installation, and factories and cities and villages. This destruction is to start at the Manchurian border and to progress south.” On 8 November 1950, 79 B-29s dropped 550 tons of incendiaries on Sinuiju, “removing [it] from off the map”. A week later Hoeryong was napalmed “to burn out the place”. By 25 November “a large part of [the] North West area between Yalu River and south to enemy lines is more or less burning”; soon the area would be a “wilderness of scorched earth” (7).

This happened before the major Sino-Korean offensive that cleared northern Korea of United Nations forces. When that began, the US air force hit Pyongyang with 700 500-pound bombs on 14-15 December; napalm dropped from Mustang fighters, with 175 tons of delayed-fuse demolition bombs, which landed with a thud and then blew up when people were trying to retrieve the dead from the napalm fires.



I think "burning out the place" sound like the nazy "policy of burning land" during retreat in from the Easter territories in 1943-44 - total duistraction and burning all the villiges and cities.
Certainly the mass violence had come from the N/Korea also but considering the cruelty of destruction of whole cities with its population by the USAAF i have to say this way of barbaric war has a much common with genocide.

Cheers.

pdf27
02-18-2007, 11:50 AM
I think "burning out the place" sound like the nazy "policy of burning land" during retreat in from the Easter territories in 1943-44 - total duistraction and burning all the villiges and cities.
Certainly the mass violence had come from the N/Korea also but considering the cruelty of destruction of whole cities with its population by the USAAF i have to say this way of barbaric war has a much common with genocide.
You've got to remember that Korea was much more of a throwback to WW2 than a part of the modern warfare that we take as our moral frame of reference. In WW2 it was generally accepted that just about anything behind the enemy's lines was a legitimate target and could be destroyed. Thankfully we no longer think that, but at the time it was a commonly held view.

The burning the place down and use of napalm is simply another holdover from WW2. That war demonstrated that the most efficient and effective way to destroy a town or city was to burn it down, and the best way of starting big enough fires was to use Napalm. Hence, the UN side in Korea simply used existing doctrine and applied it on the large scale that the improved weapons at their disposal allowed.

Egorka
02-18-2007, 01:10 PM
to pdf27:


You've got to remember that Korea was much more of a throwback to WW2 than a part of the modern warfare that we take as our moral frame of reference. In WW2 it was generally accepted that just about anything behind the enemy's lines was a legitimate target and could be destroyed. Thankfully we no longer think that, but at the time it was a commonly held view.

I agree in general. The view on the warfare has changed in the world regarding targeting objects behind the enemy line. At least I want to beleive it has changed. At least the countries try to find exuces and officially do not target civilians.

But! 20 years later in Vietnam we see napalm again. Maybe used in a bit differently but used largly nontheless.

Secondly, I am personaly sure that if, God forbid, another world war should happened with similar intencity as WW2, the chances are very high that simmilar or even worse things could happen.

pdf27
02-18-2007, 03:31 PM
But! 20 years later in Vietnam we see napalm again. Maybe used in a bit differently but used largly nontheless.
Very differently - at least in theory. It was theoretically used on tactical targets only, i.e. identified enemy military targets. In practice of course you ended up with the situation where "everyone who runs is a VC, everyone who stands still is a well trained VC" to quote the film Full Metal Jacket. Napalm wasn't however used explicitly for the purpose of burning down cities, so there had been at least some improvements.

Chevan
02-18-2007, 03:59 PM
The burning the place down and use of napalm is simply another holdover from WW2. That war demonstrated that the most efficient and effective way to destroy a town or city was to burn it down, and the best way of starting big enough fires was to use Napalm.
Well pdf as we already had discussed it early. This is not only moral question by what means to lead the war , but also and political.
As you know we hunged the nazy for its "total war without rules" and mass victims of civilians which it inevitable lead. So we won the Evil side right? We much better, we are good guys. ;)
But when i hear simular logic " the best way of starting big enough fires was to use Napalm (or A-bomb)" agains cities i bagan to understand haw much i was mistaken.
Sory you know i have nothing personal at you, but you merciless point is bother me.

Cheers.

Gen. Sandworm
02-19-2007, 04:56 AM
Napalm has been used very differently since ww2. Now Korea and ww2 differ only slightly. The effectiveness napalm had in ww2 was not the same an Korea. High altitude napalm bombing missions met with little success. There for the start of its use as a close combat role was much more effective. By the Vietnam war this was its main purpose. That and clearing out sections of Jungle. Easier to fight when you can actually see the enemy. Napalm is still widely used around the world today in many conflicts. Although recently it has started to be phased out. "Navy budget program decreases for FY2002 included $11.1 million related to termination of the NAPALM disposal program."

On a personal note it is a very awful weapon. However war is altogether. This modern type of fight war nicely is kinda skewed. Think General past 1960 would be utterly confused by the approach. Maybe we can just get high tech computer and fight all our wars online someday.

And BTW and A-bomb isnt was I would call a good fire starter. The heat is so intense that it just reduces everything to ashes in seconds. Ashes dont burn. Napalm is meant to stick and burn for awhile. I think I would rather get hit by an A-bomb than napalm.

Chevan
02-19-2007, 07:00 AM
Napalm has been used very differently since ww2. Now Korea and ww2 differ only slightly. The effectiveness napalm had in ww2 was not the same an Korea. High altitude napalm bombing missions met with little success. There for the start of its use as a close combat role was much more effective. By the Vietnam war this was its main purpose. That and clearing out sections of Jungle. Easier to fight when you can actually see the enemy. Napalm is still widely used around the world today in many conflicts. Although recently it has started to be phased out. "Navy budget program decreases for FY2002 included $11.1 million related to termination of the NAPALM disposal program."

Is Napalm not actual already?
Oh it seems they found the new kind of "rough" wearpon , may be the phosphorous bombs ;)
Or the newest compact nuclear charge 1-2 kilotonns ;)


On a personal note it is a very awful weapon. However war is altogether. This modern type of fight war nicely is kinda skewed. Think General past 1960 would be utterly confused by the approach. Maybe we can just get high tech computer and fight all our wars online someday.

:)


... I think I would rather get hit by an A-bomb than napalm.
Personaly you mate could choose any way of suicide ;) , but I don't think millions of womens whith its children would feel a great diffence between NApalm firebombing and Nuclear fungus.
Don't forget Gen the main the mortal factor of Nuclear wearpon is not the expose but rather the radiation. In Hiroshima only 10-15 000 peoples dead from the explosion and rest 190 000 from the radiation consequences i.e. 95%
So do you prefer the cruel death from ray-illness during the 1-2 weeks , am i understand you right?

Gen. Sandworm
02-19-2007, 07:27 AM
Personaly you mate could choose any way of suicide ;) , but I don't think millions of womens whith its children would feel a great diffence between NApalm firebombing and Nuclear fungus.
Don't forget Gen the main the mortal factor of Nuclear wearpon is not the expose but rather the radiation. In Hiroshima only 10-15 000 peoples dead from the explosion and rest 190 000 from the radiation consequences i.e. 95%
So do you prefer the cruel death from ray-illness during the 1-2 weeks , am i understand you right?

If I were going to be in the area of one of those bombs. Pretty much the choice of hanging out in the Christian view of hell vs running around the Chernobyl power plant for a couple of days (right after the meltdown). Neither are one's im dying to do.

And your right radiation is the bitch of a nuclear weapon. The Chernobyl disaster effected far more ppl than Hiroshima. Just didnt get a great big explosion with it. Interesting to note: There have been a total of 2044 nuclear explosions since Aug 6, 1945.

pdf27
02-19-2007, 12:38 PM
But when i hear simular logic " the best way of starting big enough fires was to use Napalm (or A-bomb)" agains cities i bagan to understand haw much i was mistaken.
Sory you know i have nothing personal at you, but you merciless point is bother me.
There is probably something of a cultural and language disconnect here. In talking about the "best" way of doing something, I am referring to the most economical or effective way of doing something in practice, in a deliberately - and conciously - amoral way. Only when the options are fully understood in all their effects is it possible to make a moral judgement as to which are the least bad. In doing this, I am also trying to shed light on a pretty murky period of human history (WW2) when morality came second to winning - and therefore people were thinking in exactly the same amoral way.

I do have personal beliefs as to the morality or otherwise of aerial bombardment, but I am conciously suppressing them for the purposes of debate here. Throwing them in would generate a lot of heat and very little light, as well as I suspect upsetting quite a number of people.

AlbertSpeer
04-14-2007, 09:32 PM
War is war and must be fought to win, not to appear as the nice guy. Using napalm and incendiary devices is a great tactic. Firebombing is a good strategic move, and terror bombing works well to shatter civilian morale, in the way the Legion Kondor did at Guernica.

2nd of foot
04-17-2007, 05:34 AM
War is war and must be fought to win, not to appear as the nice guy. Using napalm and incendiary devices is a great tactic. Firebombing is a good strategic move, and terror bombing works well to shatter civilian morale, in the way the Legion Kondor did at Guernica.

I think this notion of terror bombing as being a successful tactic has been proven to be ill founded. It did not work in Britain, Japan or Germany. It only worked when used on a small scale. Once the initial shock had worn off it only served to bolster the home front.

Rising Sun*
04-17-2007, 06:39 AM
War is war and must be fought to win, not to appear as the nice guy. Using napalm and incendiary devices is a great tactic. Firebombing is a good strategic move, and terror bombing works well to shatter civilian morale, in the way the Legion Kondor did at Guernica.

Like 2nd of foot said, bombing rarely did much more than harden resistance in its powerless victims, at least once it became accepted as part of war.

Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, and others are synonomous with the horror of aerial bombing. Compared with what happened later in WWII when the Allies got their act together and bombed Germany seriously, they weren't major events in terms of casualties but only because of their shock value as early examples of previously unexperienced large scale casualties and large scale modern attacks on civilians.

Bombing at Guernica did a lot of damage to buildings but the deaths were less than 2,000 and perhaps as low as a few hundred. Nobody knows. Its significance is that it was the first modern and well publicised example of aerial bombing against European targets, ably aided by Picasso and sundry other well-connected literary and arty types appalled by the event, and generally opposed to Franco.

Rising Sun*
04-17-2007, 06:40 AM
I think this notion of terror bombing as being a successful tactic has been proven to be ill founded. It did not work in Britain, Japan or Germany.

Or Hanoi.

AlbertSpeer
04-18-2007, 05:32 PM
Hanoi was never terror bombed.

Rising Sun*
04-18-2007, 08:43 PM
Hanoi was never terror bombed.

You might take a different view if you were under a B-52, which carried a conventional bomb tonnage about four times that of a Lancaster used against Germany, with improved ordance in Vietnam.

Over 11 days in December 1972 729 B-52's bombed Hanoi and Haiphong. The smallest bomber group was 30 B-52's, the largest 129. The purpose was entirely political, related to peace talks, and had nothing to do with the military prosecution of the war. The targets were nominally military but inevitably involved surrounding civilian areas, given the length of run of B-52 bombs. Another 5,000 tons of ordnance were dropped by fighter-bombers.

AlbertSpeer
04-18-2007, 10:01 PM
Yes, I don't need a history of the war. It wasn't a terror bombing and the Vietnamese commies deserved it. You have no clue about how to fight a war against an enemy like North Vietnam, who was actively equipping the Vietcong guerrillas at the time.

Rising Sun*
04-19-2007, 08:51 AM
Yes, I don't need a history of the war.

I'm not too sure about that.


It wasn't a terror bombing and the Vietnamese commies deserved it.

Just like the Germans did in WWII.


You have no clue about how to fight a war against an enemy like North Vietnam, who was actively equipping the Vietcong guerrillas at the time.

Actually, I have a few clues, none of which were tried by the combatants on the SVN side.

How about starting a thread in the Vietnam war area and telling us just how you would have won the war against the Vietnamese commies who deserved to be bombed because they wouldn't kow-tow to America after America had withdrawn from SVN and left it to sink or swim after America sucked in ever larger NVN forces to fight it in its proxy war against communism in a country conveniently far from America?

Walther
04-19-2007, 10:39 AM
Yes, I don't need a history of the war. It wasn't a terror bombing and the Vietnamese commies deserved it. You have no clue about how to fight a war against an enemy like North Vietnam, who was actively equipping the Vietcong guerrillas at the time.

[sarcasm on]
Of course it wasn't terror bombing. It was aimed at the gooks. The British and the American 8th Air Force on the other hand committed war crimes when they bombed Germany, because this was against the pure Aryan people and their glorious Führer!
[sarcasm off]

Jan

AlbertSpeer
04-19-2007, 11:24 AM
Just like the Germans did in WWII.

If you cannot tell the difference between the Vietnamese commies, their murderous swamp-soldiers, and their twisted ideology - and the German people, then you appear to be very twisted.


Actually, I have a few clues, none of which were tried by the combatants on the SVN side.

How about starting a thread in the Vietnam war area and telling us just how you would have won the war against the Vietnamese commies who deserved to be bombed because they wouldn't kow-tow to America after America had withdrawn from SVN and left it to sink or swim after America sucked in ever larger NVN forces to fight it in its proxy war against communism in a country conveniently far from America?

Actually, the war was lost for a few reasons:

1. Lack of offensive strategy against North Vietnam

2. Flawed counter-insurgency strategy that ignored the reality of outside interference from Cambodia and Laos(and when the Nixon administration eventually did change course on this, it was too little, too late).

3. Official U.S. military policy wasn't brutal enough at the time, particularly in the area of failing to target South Vietnamese villages that were hosting the Vietcong

Actually, I do know a good deal about the war, smartaleck, and if you think about it for even a second, you might figure out why. You sound like a typical armchair warrior.

Rising Sun*
04-19-2007, 07:16 PM
If you cannot tell the difference between the Vietnamese commies, their murderous swamp-soldiers, and their twisted ideology - and the German people, then you appear to be very twisted.

That's just so rich! You really crack me up!

ROFLMAO!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Actually, I do know a good deal about the war, smartaleck, and if you think about it for even a second, you might figure out why.

Serving during or in a war doesn't automatically qualify anyone as an expert on it, or on how to win that or any other war. Your idols Hitler and Goering both served in WWI, but they never got past the sort of distorted understanding you have of that event. They also managed to lose the war they started to show how Germany was robbed of victory the first time around.


You sound like a typical armchair warrior.

It's a bloody sight better than sounding like an arch-Nazi with his head permanently stuck so far up his own arse that he sees the whole world through dense Nazi shit.

You're a skilled troll and it's been fun jousting with you, but if you're going to keep it up you'll have to find another playmate because you're becoming predictably and tediously offensive with your increasingly naked Nazi views.

AlbertSpeer
04-19-2007, 08:59 PM
Serving during or in a war doesn't automatically qualify anyone as an expert on it, or on how to win that or any other war. Your idols Hitler and Goering both served in WWI, but they never got past the sort of distorted understanding you have of that event. They also managed to lose the war they started to show how Germany was robbed of victory the first time around.

No, but I find it quite despicable that the young are arrogant enough to believe they know everything about the past. Did you serve in Nam? I assume not.


It's a bloody sight better than sounding like an arch-Nazi with his head permanently stuck so far up his own arse that he sees the whole world through dense Nazi shit.

You're a skilled troll and it's been fun jousting with you, but if you're going to keep it up you'll have to find another playmate because you're becoming predictably and tediously offensive with your increasingly naked Nazi views

I must say, I do love how you label me a Nazi and then try to label me a troll for promoting Nazism. You are the one who is using the label. Never did I say I was a fascist or a Nazi.

Chevan
04-20-2007, 02:21 AM
Yes, I don't need a history of the war. It wasn't a terror bombing and the Vietnamese commies deserved it. You have no clue about how to fight a war against an enemy like North Vietnam, who was actively equipping the Vietcong guerrillas at the time.
Oh who do i hear?
"they deserved it" and " proxy war against communism ".
The war without rules again.
Do we have the own Nazy in the forum guys?

Chevan
04-20-2007, 02:47 AM
Over 11 days in December 1972 729 B-52's bombed Hanoi and Haiphong. The smallest bomber group was 30 B-52's, the largest 129. The purpose was entirely political, related to peace talks, and had nothing to do with the military prosecution of the war. The targets were nominally military but inevitably involved surrounding civilian areas, given the length of run of B-52 bombs. Another 5,000 tons of ordnance were dropped by fighter-bombers.


I readed the article about this bombong raids in 1972. The victims were mostly civilians 1318 in Hanoi and 306 in Haiphong. Not too much ;) Compare it with a bombing of Japane or Germany.
USAAF lost 15 B-52 mostly from the AAA rocet CA-75 which were not effective coz the radio interference apperature was widely applied.

Rising Sun*
04-20-2007, 05:21 AM
I readed the article about this bombong raids in 1972. The victims were mostly civilians 1318 in Hanoi and 306 in Haiphong. Not too much ;) Compare it with a bombing of Japane or Germany.

Or compare it with Coventry and Rotterdam. Often people roll Coventry, Rotterdam, Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo etc into one as examples of the devastation of large scale bombing and impact on civilians. They’re not. The major Coventry raid on 14 November 1940 killed about 570 people. Upwards of about 600 died in Rotterdam on 14 May 1940. They’re minor compared with, say, Dresden and Tokyo.

If we wanted to compare the Hanoi casualty figures we could say that they were more than twice as bad as Coventry and Rotterdam.

I think that Hanoi had reasonably well developed air raid shelters, which minimised casualties.

Of course, Hanoi still doesn't count as terror raids on any scale, because that term was invented by the Germans when the Allies started bombing their cities and applies only to raids on German cities. So we got the terms "Terrorangriff" for "terror raid" and "terror flieger" for terror flier. Apparently there was no need for these terms when Germany was bombing England and the Netherlands. ;)


USAAF lost 15 B-52 mostly from the AAA rocet CA-75 which were not effective coz the radio interference apperature was widely applied.

I can’t find it, but I recall reading on some site that the initial losses occurred because the bombers turned after unloading in accordance with the standard practice for such raids. This caused them to alter their angle and upset or rendered useless their ?SAM detection systems? which were designed to work while the aircraft was flying straight and level, which made them more vulnerable. They altered the practice for later raids and losses dropped.

Rising Sun*
04-20-2007, 05:35 AM
Do we have the own Nazy in the forum guys?

Some of us have that impression. But so far only members from Australia, Britain and Germany, so we could be wrong ;) as we're basing our opinion mostly on his views starting here http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4257&page=9

We must be wrong, because as he says at post #21 here


Never did I say I was a fascist or a Nazi.

His ideas about reclaiming Poland and restoring the glories of the Reich and so forth are just the expression of his independent views which, by pure chance, happen to coincide with Nazi ideas. ;)

AlbertSpeer
04-20-2007, 10:29 PM
Oh who do i hear?
"they deserved it" and " proxy war against communism ".
The war without rules again.
Do we have the own Nazy in the forum guys?

There are no rules in war. There are superficial legal obligations put in place, but subsequently violated by both sides. The notion of the "laws of war" is a facade which we use to hide what we see as our inner barbarities. We try to make our wars "humane", but that is an oxymoron. If negotiations and diplomatic agreements were ever still an option, the parties involved wouldn't be fighting a war.

Digger
04-21-2007, 12:17 AM
AlbertSpeer, while I have called for your head in other areas of this forum, I must agree with your last posting. This is especially true if any nation has adopted a Total War doctrine, but in reality wars fought over resources or regime change could be classified as infinitely worse.

Having said this, I still don't agree with your broader ideology.

Regards digger.

Rising Sun*
04-21-2007, 05:56 AM
There are no rules in war.

There are. I think you are confusing the fact that they are often broken, without consequences for offenders, with there being no rules. It's like saying that there is no law against burglary because there is a lot of burglaries and the vast bulk of them don't result in prosecutions.


There are superficial legal obligations put in place, but subsequently violated by both sides.

The obligations are not superficial, as Lt Calley found out.

I don’t think that your statement can be applied as a general proposition that all sides violate all rules equally in all wars. Everything depends on the circumstances.

Several factors seem to determine the extent of observance of the rules.

The enemy's conduct can influence how the same nation or even the same troops respond. American and Australian troops routinely shot Japanese wounded in WWII because of the Japanese habit of playing dead and then detonating a grenade or shooting or stabbing Allied soldiers when they came within range. The same practice was not used by American or Australian soldiers fighting the Germans or Italians. Unlike the Americans whose troops generally fought in either Europe / North Africa or the Pacific rather than in both theatres, the Australian 6th and 7th Divisions fought in North Africa / Middle East and the Pacific. These troops did not shoot German, Italian or Vichy French wounded but provided them with whatever assistance they could manage. The same troops routinely shot Japanese wounded when fighting in the Pacific. The same troops who routinely accepted the surrender of German, Italian and Vichy French prisoners at times shot Japanese troops attempting to surrender because they couldn’t, or didn’t want to, handle prisoners. (Accepting the surrender of Italians in North Africa mightn’t prove much. The Australians wouldn’t have had enough ammunition to shoot them all. :D )

The ethnic or cultural similarity of the opponents also seems to dictate the extent of observance of the rules. It’s harder to mistreat people like us. Common German behaviour in the East was entirely different to common German behaviour in the West. In part, this probably reflects the similarity German troops felt they shared with their opponents in the West, while they tended to regard Slavs as ethnically or culturally inferior. American and Australian behaviour against the Japanese reflected a contempt for what they saw as a barbaric race, based on experience during the war and other factors such as Japanese pre-war behaviour in China. Japanese behaviour against the Allies reflected a contempt for what they saw as an inferior race.

The political or other doctrines governing a nation in war also seem to dictate the extent of observance of the rules. Japanese behaviour in WWII was entirely different to behaviour in the war against Russia only a generation before. The difference was the existence of the new militarism underpinning the militarists running Japan in WWII. Similarly, extreme German behaviour in WWII was entirely different to German behaviour in WWI, barely a generation before. The difference was the existence of Nazi ideology which in many respects parallelled Japanese militarist and racial supremacy notions.


The notion of the "laws of war" is a facade which we use to hide what we see as our inner barbarities.

That’s a fair but bleak view. The laws of war are an attempt to minimise the harm war does, and to try to contain barbarity. It’s no different to other laws in having good intentions but being unable to stop the behaviour it proscribes. Murder has been against every code of law everywhere forever, but nobody has managed to stop it yet. That’s not a reason for regarding it as a useless law, or a façade used to hide behind the individual barbarity that murders represent.

Current military training in all developed nations is very strong in law of war instruction. Whether it works in the heat of certain battles is a different issue.

I think it rarely breaks down in general unless one side is disposed to observe the rules and the other isn’t. The obvious example is Japan (which actually announced that it would observe the Geneva conventions at the start of the war) which resorted to practices wholly foreign to the Allies. An earlier example is the Boers in the Boer War, where the Boers did the same thing to the British, and produced the first example of concentration camps, run by the British in response to guerrilla tactics they couldn‘t meet effectively. This introduces the special problems for conventional forces facing guerrillas or irregulars. A current example is Iraq which, like Vietnam, has the problem that conventional military forces are subject to random attacks by guerrillas and irregulars against whom they usually cannot respond effectively, or often at all. When the enemy doesn’t play by the rules it induces an attitude that as the other side has thrown away the rule book, then so can we. Being the target of attacks without an identifiable enemy who uses hit and run tactics or tactics such as road bombings in Iraq, inevitably produces pent-up hostility towards those forces which can be expected to result in extreme responses on some occasions when the conventional forces are acting against what they regard as the enemy or its supporters. All this begs the question of whether there should in law be any rules applying to combatants who don’t observe the rules of conventional warfare but who expect to be, or at least who are, protected by laws of war. But that’s a wider topic.



We try to make our wars "humane", but that is an oxymoron.

I couldn’t agree more.

It’s also absurd in the extreme.

Does it make any difference whether you get nuked, napalmed, phosphorous burned, or blast burned; or hit by a dum-dum or an M-16 round that is inherently unstable in flight and will tear a much bigger hole in you than a dum-dum under certain conditions?

But these quaint distinctions are no different than other paradoxical attempts to regulate violence and its consequences, e.g. rules in boxing. When Mike Tyson bit Evander Hollyfield’s ear off everyone was appalled. But if he’d stuck to belting him senseless over the next hour, and maybe rendering him a vegetable or even killing him in the process, it would have been alright and everyone would have thought it was a fine entertainment. Or amateur boxers wearing head protection but professionals not (possibly on the grounds that professionals have less brain to damage anyway :D )


If negotiations and diplomatic agreements were ever still an option, the parties involved wouldn't be fighting a war.

True, but there’s the old line that war is the continuation of politics by other means.

It’s not unusual for modern wars, and warlike conflicts, to be resolved, or at least for the parties to try to resolve them, by diplomatic contacts during the conflict rather than on the battlefield. Even Japan was trying to end it’s war in WWII by diplomatic approaches to the Allies in 1945, albeit mostly and rather foolishly through Russia which had no interest in aiding that process. Of course, they are impelled to resort to diplomatic efforts only when the war isn’t going their way.

It’s hardly an original suggestion, but if the politicians and others who start wars and other international conflicts had to fight them themselves, and better still fight them out to the death between the politicians on each side before the real war could start, they’d be a lot less keen and we‘d all be better off.

Chevan
04-22-2007, 06:19 AM
There are no rules in war. There are superficial legal obligations put in place, but subsequently violated by both sides. The notion of the "laws of war" is a facade which we use to hide what we see as our inner barbarities. We try to make our wars "humane", but that is an oxymoron. If negotiations and diplomatic agreements were ever still an option, the parties involved wouldn't be fighting a war.

Well although it sound cynically but i have to agree with you particulary.
I read the article where one of american high commander expressed this point as " During the war the humanism is a waekness". I don't remember who it was exactly.
But i good read a interesting article of Joseph Kay ( american left-view journalist)

There was an interesting exchange, during a discussion between President Harry Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson on June 6, 1945 that gives a sense of the manner in which the American government considered the question of the mass annihilation of Japanese civilians.

Stimson records in a memorandum that he raised certain pragmatic concerns with the area bombing of Japanese cities being carried out by the US Air Force: "I told [Truman] I was anxious about this feature of the war for two reasons: first, because I did not want to have the United States get the reputation of outdoing Hitler in atrocities; and second, I was a little fearful that before we could get ready the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon [the atom bomb] would not have a fair background to show its strength. He laughed and said he understood" . Stimson was concerned that the wanton destruction of Japanese cities would disrupt plans for the use of the atom bomb because there would be no "fair background," that is, a suitably populated and intact urban center. The conversation also demonstrates that at this point the United States completely dominated Japan militarily, able to destroy its cities virtually at will.
Stimson, Henry. Henry Stimson Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University. Available at the National Security


So with laugh the mst. Truman decided to burn the 100 000 of peoples on political purposes. I think he was like Hitler or Stalin at this moment.
The cynism of so called democratic leaders sometimes could behave themself even worst then the dictators.( Dictators at least has a principles of ideology);)
But i still don't understand your point.
May be you think if the "rules of war" is not existed then the every means are good?;)
If the Nazy could "explaine" the mass murdering the "lower races peoples" simply coz they had not enought food for them, does it mean the war crime is admitted by you as inevitable thing during the war?
Does it mean Nurenberg tribunal was not legitime to convict the Nazy leader for the war crime?

Rising Sun*
04-22-2007, 07:44 AM
Well although it sound cynically but i have to agree with you particulary.
I read the article where one of american high commander expressed this point as " During the war the humanism is a waekness". I don't remember who it was exactly.
But i good read a interesting article of Joseph Kay ( american left-view journalist)


Stimson records in a memorandum that he raised certain pragmatic concerns with the area bombing of Japanese cities being carried out by the US Air Force: "I told [Truman] I was anxious about this feature of the war for two reasons: first, because I did not want to have the United States get the reputation of outdoing Hitler in atrocities; and second, I was a little fearful that before we could get ready the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon [the atom bomb] would not have a fair background to show its strength. He laughed and said he understood" . Stimson was concerned that the wanton destruction of Japanese cities would disrupt plans for the use of the atom bomb because there would be no "fair background," that is, a suitably populated and intact urban center. The conversation also demonstrates that at this point the United States completely dominated Japan militarily, able to destroy its cities virtually at will.

I don't recall there being such a clear and simple difference in reasons for the use of the atom bobm, but it might have happened. My recollection is that there was some anguished debate in America leadership circles about whether to use the atom bombs.

My recollection also is that the main factor that encouraged their use was not a demonstration of power but the fact that the Americans, and to a lesser extent the other Western Allies, were preparing for the invasions of the Japanese home islands with expectations of at least a million Allied casualties, mainly American, and undoubtedly several times that number of Japanese casualties.

The atom bombs were seen as the lesser of two evils, for both sides.

As indeed it turned out.

Chevan
04-22-2007, 10:24 AM
I don't recall there being such a clear and simple difference in reasons for the use of the atom bobm, but it might have happened. My recollection is that there was some anguished debate in America leadership circles about whether to use the atom bombs.

My recollection also is that the main factor that encouraged their use was not a demonstration of power but the fact that the Americans, and to a lesser extent the other Western Allies, were preparing for the invasions of the Japanese home islands with expectations of at least a million Allied casualties, mainly American, and undoubtedly several times that number of Japanese casualties.

The atom bombs were seen as the lesser of two evils, for both sides.

As indeed it turned out.

Just read this thread from the beginning.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4209&highlight=Invasion+japane+home+islands

AlbertSpeer
04-23-2007, 02:24 PM
Rising Sun:

I agree that there are "rules" if you want to get technical, but the burglary comparison isn't a good one. In that example, there are actually societal standards that most of us respect and adhere to. In war, the rules only serve as obstacles to all sides involved(unless we are talking about sides that just don't care, like the Japanese of WWII), and instead of respecting them from a legal or moral standpoint, we simply work aggressively to find the most convenient way to circumvent them, or disobey them undetected.

And I completely agree with the point that those who regularly break the Geneva Conventions shouldn't be entitled to the same treatment. First of all, it's inane that we give the insurgents in Iraq today legal standing. And once the North Vietnamese broke the Tet cease-fire, all gloves should have been off.

32Bravo
04-23-2007, 03:26 PM
There is breaking rules and there is breaking rules. We Brits generally take the view that there is only one rule - don't get caught.

Then, again, we also have a sense of fair play and, therefore, have a reluctance to going about killing indiscriminately.

For example. During the Borneo Confrontation, the RAF requested that they carpet-bomb an area of jungle. As mentioned elsewhere, bombing areas of jungle can be largely ineffective. Denis Healey, the, then, Minister of Defence refused permission on the grounds that A. it could cause the deaths of the native tribespeople which resided in the jungle, and B. it could have escalated the situation by not only generating stronger support for Sukarno at home and thus enabling him to commit greater numbers of forces to the conflict, but also generate sympathy and support from Sukarno's neighbours with the possiblity of drawing them into the conflict also.

Britain did break the rules, particularly by the use of 'Claret' patrols, but by using a more stealthy approach and by considering and recruiting the local tribes to the cause they succeeded in defeating the Indonesia both militarily and poltically.

Claret Patrols: http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Borneo/Claret.htm

http://sas.narfed.com/Borneo.htm



"His greatest weaknesses were his passion for numbers and his belief that wars could be won by bombing alone. We used to have breakfast together in Brussels before every meeting of NATO defence ministers. I once asked him how things were going in Vietnam. "Just fine," he replied. "Next month we'll be dropping twice the tonnage of bombs we are dropping this month."

In fact, the excessive use of bombers in Vietnam turned the whole of the local population against the west. At exactly the same period, when Britain was engaged in the "war of confrontation" against Indonesia, I refused to let the RAF drop a single bomb from an aircraft, relying wholly on fighting in the Borneo jungles with Gurkhas and our Special Forces - the SAS and SBS.

As a result, whereas millions of civilians were killed in Vietnam, and America lost the war there, in Borneo Britain won the war with fewer casualties than on the roads over a Bank Holiday weekend - probably the reason why in Britain nobody now remembers the war of confrontation, while Americans will never forget Vietnam.

As he later admitted, McNamara had too little understanding of politics. Although in Europe his advisors could make up for this, in Vietnam he had no advisors with a relevant understanding of the area. Moreover, his actions, too, often cast doubt on the views he expressed to his allies."

"http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1177732,00.html

Rising Sun*
04-23-2007, 08:01 PM
And I completely agree with the point that those who regularly break the Geneva Conventions shouldn't be entitled to the same treatment. First of all, it's inane that we give the insurgents in Iraq today legal standing.

The insurgents’ legal standing in Iraq is generally limited to being a defendant in a trial for waging unprivileged war and / or for war crimes http://www.crimesofwar.org/special/Iraq/news-iraq4.html. Trials are appropriate for people not clearly involved as a combatant in an action as their guilt has to be established. If Coalition troops are adequately trained in marksmanship, there should not be a need for trials for insurgents clearly involved as combatants in an action. ;)

One view on Al Qaeda (and Taliban) legal status under the conventions. http://chinesejil.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/3/1/135.pdf

One problem in Iraq is that most of the violence now is not directed against Coalition forces but is between various Iraqi authorities and groups and various external groups fighting in Iraq. None of this is governed by the laws of war.

Egorka
04-24-2007, 02:44 AM
Rising Sun:

I agree that there are "rules" if you want to get technical, but the burglary comparison isn't a good one. In that example, there are actually societal standards that most of us respect and adhere to. In war, the rules only serve as obstacles to all sides involved(unless we are talking about sides that just don't care, like the Japanese of WWII), and instead of respecting them from a legal or moral standpoint, we simply work aggressively to find the most convenient way to circumvent them, or disobey them undetected.

And I completely agree with the point that those who regularly break the Geneva Conventions shouldn't be entitled to the same treatment. First of all, it's inane that we give the insurgents in Iraq today legal standing. And once the North Vietnamese broke the Tet cease-fire, all gloves should have been off.

I have to disappoint you. A country that signed Geneva convention obliges to apply it to any enemy even those ones that didn't sign it.

That was the case with Germany in WW2. They signed convention but did not follow it on the East. USSR did not sign the convention, but followed it's own rules that were very close to Geneva convention appart from few points.

The result on the POW death rate is well known!

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 02:55 AM
I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with various points of view on this thread. In most of the situations discussed, I would suppose it would depend on what one is trying to achieve. Personally, I do not go with the obita dictum of the end justifying the means - where does it end?
Revenge is no justification. If, for example, the U.S, had 'removed glove', what would it have achieved, how would it have changed things?

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 03:38 AM
If, for example, the U.S, had 'removed glove', what would it have achieved, how would it have changed things?

The glove was off, anyway. Phoenix was, among other things, an assassination program that aimed to, and to a reasonable extent did, disrupt and damage the VC and its ability to operate in SVN. It was also counterproductive in a number of respects which, depending upon the analysis one wants to make, outweighed any of its benefits.

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 04:49 AM
The glove was off, anyway. Phoenix was, among other things, an assassination program that aimed to, and to a reasonable extent did, disrupt and damage the VC and its ability to operate in SVN. It was also counterproductive in a number of respects which, depending upon the analysis one wants to make, outweighed any of its benefits.

Gloves-off methods usually are counter productive.

The israelis opted for the 'Iron Fist' approach and they've been fghting for fifty yeas. The US have followed their example in Iraq to no avail.

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 05:30 AM
Gloves-off methods usually are counter productive.

The israelis opted for the 'Iron Fist' approach and they've been fghting for fifty yeas. The US have followed their example in Iraq to no avail.

There is also the issue of maintaining one's own standards, dignity and humanity.

This assumes, of course, that one had them to begin with.

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 06:07 AM
There is also the issue of maintaining one's own standards, dignity and humanity.

This assumes, of course, that one had them to begin with.

'I never cheated. I never appealed for a decision unless I thought a batsman was out, I never argued with the umpire... From the eight years of school life this code became the moral framework of my existence. It never left me.' CLR James.

After telling a press conference that he’s a cricket person, George Bush will get the chance to prove what he knows about the game when he is taken to a match as part of his visit to Pakistan, The Daily Telegraph reports. :)

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 06:19 AM
'I never cheated. I never appealed for a decision unless I thought a batsman was out, I never argued with the umpire... From the eight years of school life this code became the moral framework of my existence. It never left me.' CLR James.

Once (within our lifetimes) it was the mark of a man to walk when he knew he was out, without waiting to be given out.

Now it's the mark of a fool deserving of condemnation from his teammates and the public at large.

Winning is all.

Honour is nothing.

Character is less.

The world has lost sight of virtue.

All the more reason for rules in war, where winning is all that matters. Without regard to the virtue of the cause. Or the means of fighting it.

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 06:34 AM
Once (within our lifetimes) it was the mark of a man to walk when he knew he was out, without waiting to be given out.

Now it's the mark of a fool deserving of condemnation from his teammates and the public at large.

Winning is all.

Honour is nothing.

Character is less.

The world has lost sight of virtue.

All the more reason for rules in war, where winning is all that matters. Without regard to the virtue of the cause. Or the means of fighting it.

Yes, one can, maybe, get away with referring to the under-dog as Loser in some sports, but in small wars and counter insurgency, it usually becomes self defeating.

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 06:36 AM
Yes, one can, maybe, get away with referring to the under-dog as Loser in some sports, but in counter insurgency it usually becomes self defeating.

Especially when the under-dog has its teeth firmly and deeply fastened into your arse, and you can't make it let go.

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 07:45 AM
Especially when the under-dog has its teeth firmly and deeply fastened into your arse, and you can't make it let go.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.


...Know thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat everytime.

...Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

http://knowprose.com/node/13288

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 08:13 AM
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.


Once more it has been forgotten, in spite of verbal acquiescence, that guerrilla warfare is essentially political, and that for this reason the political cannot be counterposed to the military.
Regis Debray, Revolution in the Revolution

There is the problem in applying military force, no matter how great, to an essentially political problem.

It becomes impossible when trying to apply national miliary force to a shifting and stateless chimera like Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda, applying the revolutionary techniques of the dedicated minority to convert the uninterested majority which Debray set out in his book, executed the classic act of outrage on 9/11 which provoked the reaction of crushing but ill-directed military force by the target, which in turn outraged the people of the targets of reaction and brought both groups into direct conflict, whereupon the revolutionary leadership could mould and direct the conflict and benefit from every reaction of the target.

Blind Freddie could see the strategy, and the tactics. Bush, Blair and Howard didn't. And they still don't.

32Bravo
04-24-2007, 09:00 AM
Regis Debray, Revolution in the Revolution

There is the problem in applying military force, no matter how great, to an essentially political problem.

It becomes impossible when trying to apply national miliary force to a shifting and stateless chimera like Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda, applying the revolutionary techniques of the dedicated minority to convert the uninterested majority which Debray set out in his book, executed the classic act of outrage on 9/11 which provoked the reaction of crushing but ill-directed military force by the target, which in turn outraged the people of the targets of reaction and brought both groups into direct conflict, whereupon the revolutionary leadership could mould and direct the conflict and benefit from every reaction of the target.

Blind Freddie could see the strategy, and the tactics. Bush, Blair and Howard didn't. And they still don't.

Which highlights an impoverished mission without clearly defined objectives which are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound …’War on Terror!’

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 09:10 AM
Which highlights an impoverished mission without clearly defined objectives which are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound …’War on Terror!’

Oh, yes!

Or, perhaps more aptly: Oh, no!

AlbertSpeer
04-24-2007, 06:14 PM
The War on Terror is a neccessary war against Islamic militants who want to destroy Western civilization.

Rising Sun*
04-24-2007, 09:49 PM
The War on Terror is a neccessary war against Islamic militants who want to destroy Western civilization.

I agree that action is neccessary against Islamic fanatics (I'm using fanatic to mean someone a lot worse and more dangerous than a militant) who want to destroy Western civilization. They also want to destroy all other forms of Islam and everything else they don't agree with.

It's not the same as a war on terror.

Catchy but vague terms such as 'a war on terror' fail to define who it is that we are fighting and what it is that we are trying to achieve. A lack of clarity in the aim invariably results in a failure to concentrate resources and forces to achieve the aim, because nobody knows what it is.

This leads currently to things that have nothing to do with protecting ourselves (i.e. primarily the West but also secular Islamic nations such as Egypt and even sectarian Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia) against Islamic fanatics being lumped into the same 'war on terror' conflict, such as religious and ethnic conflicts in Iraq which are confined within its borders and always will be, because they're only fighting for control of Iraq. The same in Afghanistan. To the extent that those places become sites for exporting violent Islamic fanaticism targeting us, as Afghanistan did, then they're part of our conflict with Islamic fanatacism and become legitimate targets for appropriate action, whether diplomatic, economic, or military.

The vagueness of 'war on terror' also brings into the Islamic fanaticism conflict other campaigns that are limited territorially to one or two nations and which don't pose a general threat to the West or large groups of nations, such as the Basques in Spain and, not so long ago, the IRA in Ireland. These campaigns are essentially a national rather than an international problem, except to the limited extent that various groups of that sort exchange skills, intelligence, and weapons.

The scope of the ill-defined term 'terror' is so broad that it encompasses every violent act, and certainly every one that has multiple casualties. Since the Virginia Tech murders I've seen a few commentators arguing that this a new form of terror to be combated in the war against terror. That strikes me as ridiculous. It's a mental health issue more than anything, not that I'm saying that Islamic fanatics don't have a problem upstairs.

32Bravo
04-25-2007, 03:07 AM
The War on Terror is a neccessary war against Islamic militants who want to destroy Western civilization.


I don't advocate not fighting those that would use terror tactics as a means to an end.

Rising Sun*
04-25-2007, 04:56 AM
This thread needs to be split, as we've drifted quite a way from Chevan's topic about firebombing in Korea. He might be justified in firebombing us for hijacking his thread. :D

Anyway, how do we fight the Islamic fanatics?

What we've (i.e the West) been doing so far has been successful in one sense, such as seemingly rooting out the viper's nest in Afghanistan, but counterproductive in other ways.

We didn't really root out the viper's nest in Afghanistan. We certainly disrupted its breeding program, but in the end we just forced it to go somewhere else.

In so doing and in failing to capture bin Laden, we created an Islamic hero, a giant Robin Hood, for exactly the people who need to be dissuaded from following his ideology.

In invading Iraq we provided a focus for the Islamic jihadists as a simple conflict between Islam and the West, rather like Spain was for the socialists and fascists in the 1930's.

The catalogue of ill-considered and counter-productive actions is lengthy.

The question is: what can be done that is more productive to eliminate this threat to the West while allowing Islamic countries to live their lives without believing that we are out to get them, in the same way that many of us think they are out to get us? It's only by coming to some common understanding that all of us are likely to resolve a conflict that can't conclusively be resolved militarily, in a regular or irregular sense, by either side.

It seems to me that a good starting point would be to stop using the words "they" and "them" to lump all Muslims in with bin Laden and Co. Backing people into a corner invariably results in them baring their teeth at best,and biting back at worst.

Rising Sun*
04-27-2007, 06:08 AM
Just read this thread from the beginning.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4209&highlight=Invasion+japane+home+islands

I've scanned that thread.

It doesn't alter my previously expressed opinion.

I gather from your early posts in that thread that you think there was no intention by the Americans to invade Japan. If so, that is contrary to all the evidence.

The best sources for historical evaluation are primary sources, such as these http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/index.php
There, and in other primary sources rather than secondary sources, you will find that the overwhelming concern in America was to bring Japan to unconditional surrender. This was the dominant opinion of both Congress and the American people it represented, and the Truman Administration which was elected to give effect to those aims. The desire was to do it with the fewest American casualties, and with the fewest Japanese casualties. It was hoped that the atom bombs would achieve both aims. They did.

Impressing the USSR was not a major concern, except for these two points. One, the US and UK were concerned by the USSR’s communist expansion into the nations it had occupied in Europe and the denial of their political liberty by the occupying Soviets. Two, the US and UK were concerned that the withdrawal of American troops from Europe to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan left the UK unable to resist a USSR attack if the USSR pressed westwards. It has to be remembered that the avowed purpose of the Soviets was to expand communism around the globe.

At the Potsdam Conference, Truman received news of the successful test of the atom bomb. He viewed this as strengthening his hand against the USSR, not because of any intention or ambition to use nuclear weapons against the USSR but because it allowed the US to complete the defeat of Japan without relying on Soviet help in a land invasion. It relieved him of the problem of dealing with and relying upon Stalin, who had been a consistently difficult ally.

Egorka
04-27-2007, 06:41 AM
At the Potsdam Conference, Truman received news of the successful test of the atom bomb. He viewed this as strengthening his hand against the USSR, not because of any intention or ambition to use nuclear weapons against the USSR but because it allowed the US to complete the defeat of Japan without relying on Soviet help in a land invasion. It relieved him of the problem of dealing with and relying upon Stalin, who had been a consistently difficult ally.

Nix, Mr. Rising Fun! (that is not a typo)

Appart from getting the news from Stimson ("Baby is born") about the A-bomb test success. Truman also got cofirmed by Stalin that USSR will be true to the promise to enter the war.

He is what Mr.Truman wrote in a letter 17-July-1945 (the very first day of Potsdam conference):



"I got without any problems what I came here for - Stalin will join the war ... now we can say that we will end the war a year earlier and I think of our boys saved lifes."

Rising Sun*
04-27-2007, 07:50 AM
Appart from getting the news from Stimson ("Baby is born") about the A-bomb test success.

Are you sure?

I thought that General Groves' message to Stimson was transmitted to Truman: "Diagnosis not yet complete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations.". Followed a couple of days later by a more definite message in similar vein confirming that the bomb worked.


Truman also got cofirmed by Stalin that USSR will be true to the promise to enter the war.

He is what Mr.Truman wrote in a letter 17-July-1945 (the very first day of Potsdam conference):



"I got without any problems what I came here for - Stalin will join the war ... now we can say that we will end the war a year earlier and I think of our boys saved lifes."

That doesn't alter Truman's position later in the conference that, as Churchill noted, he was much more bossy with Stalin once he had news of the atom bomb's successful detonation and America's ability to finish the war by itself.

The USSR's attack on Japan can reasonably be seen as the action of a nation desperate to grab what it could before the war was ended by the US on US terms, leaving the USSR and matters such as the Kurile Islands to be determined by the US. After all, the USSR had already penetrated the Manhattan Project and taken sufficient information to commence its own nuclear program. It knew it was running out of time to be a party to Japan's surrender.

Egorka
04-27-2007, 08:12 AM
Are you sure?

I thought that General Groves' message to Stimson was transmitted to Truman: "Diagnosis not yet complete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations.". Followed a couple of days later by a more definite message in similar vein confirming that the bomb worked.

This is just one of the texts avaialble on the net. I just have read it today: http://trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/nixon5.htm
From "Oral History Interview with Robert G. Nixon", October 21, 1970. By Jerry N. Hess.




Stimson, who was Secretary of War, came over. It was while he was there that he received a message from Washington, which said: "Baby is born."

Stimson then went to Truman and said, "Mr. President, we have exploded an atomic bomb successfully at Alamogordo in the New Mexico desert."

This was the realization of the long, more than two billion dollar search, to bring this incredible explosive into being. After Roosevelt's death Truman was sworn in, in the Cabinet Room at 7:09 p.m. by the Chief Justice. Stimson, later in the evening, had come to Truman and related, very briefly, the facts about the search to bring this atomic bomb into being.

and




HBSS: Did he imply or state that there had been any serious discussion not to drop the bomb?

NIXON: No.

Truman said he was given this advice in order to end the war. As he said, "To save the lives of a million American boys" who would be lost if they had to invade the Island of Honshu. This was to compel the Japanese surrender before there was an invasion, which, incidentally, had already been wrapped up. I forget at the moment the date. But we had set the date for the invasion. I think it was around October 15.

HESS: The name of that proposed invasion was the Olympic Coronet.

NIXON: I never knew the code name.

Truman said the same thing for the reasons that the Russians were brought into the war against Japan. Afterwards there was a great deal of criticism. Many people said it wasn't necessary at all. Well, George Marshall thought it was necessary. Chester Nimitz thought it was necessary. The military mind, of course, doesn't take anything for granted. Until the foe surrenders, if they are still fighting with all of their power, you don't have any guarantee of victory on your part. They may smash you. So, Truman told me that Marshall and others had said, "Yes, get the Russians into the war."

This couldn't be done until after the German surrender. The reason was very simple--military logistics. The Russian army was fighting in Western Europe. The Japanese Islands are half way around the world, thousand upon thousands of miles away. There was a one-track railroad running from Moscow to Vladivostok.

I never thought the Russians were needed. This gave Russia the right to increase their possessions in the Pacific area. But, why not? I felt we wouldn't have to ask the Russians to join us. When things were cleaned up with Germany, if it was to their national advantage to join us in a war against Japan, they would. They didn't have to be asked. If they didn't, they wouldn't. So, there you are.

Anyway, this particularly came true after the atomic bomb was dropped. But who knew that that would happen? I understood, initially, that the agreement was made at Yalta that the Russians would come into the war against Japan three months after the surrender of Germany.

Well, coming home on the Augusta, Truman told me this same thing: Stalin had agreed that Russia would come into the war against Japan approximately three months after the German surrender and this would be August 8. And the Russians did enter the war.

HESS: Exactly three months after V-E Day.

NIXON: Yes. That's right, May 8th to August 8th. So, they did carry out one of their agreements.

HESS: When it was to their benefit.

NIXON: That's the way a nation has to work. Self interest is a powerful thing.

But Truman said, "Bob you can't use it. When we get home, you mustn't write this until I give the official word on it." So, here I was, nursing a story in my bosom of tremendous magnitude. Because Russia coming into the war against Japan was important, but I kept the faith.

On the same day Stimson told Truman about the successful explosion, Truman, Stalin, and Churchill met around the conference table. (Truman told me this on the way home on the Augusta.) When the meeting broke up at the end of the day, Truman said, "I walked over to Stalin and said to him, 'Generalissimo, we have a new weapon. A very powerful weapon."'

Stalin didn't seem to be surprised at all. As we learned afterwards, the Russians knew what we were after, and everything about it, down to the complete blueprints.

Anyway, Truman said, "Stalin didn't seem surprised at all. He just asked, 'What are you going to do with it."'

Truman said, "I said, 'I'm going to win the war with it."' And that was it.

I have read other accounts that differ in some degree, but this is what Truman told me in his own words coming back aboard the Augusta.

I more or less agree with the points made in this interview.



That doesn't alter Truman's position later in the conference that, as Churchill noted, he was much more bossy with Stalin once he had news of the atom bomb's successful detonation and America's ability to finish the war by itself.

Of course he got bossy. Who would not? Maybe Stalin? Or Churchill?


The USSR's attack on Japan can reasonably be seen as the action of a nation desperate to grab what it could before the war was ended by the US on US terms,
Yes, of course.

leaving the USSR and matters such as the Kurile Islands to be determined by the US.
Descision on Kuril islands being turned to USSR was part of the Yalta agrements which all 3 allies signed, including USA.

After all, the USSR had already penetrated the Manhattan Project and taken sufficient information to commence its own nuclear program. It knew it was running out of time to be a party to Japan's surrender.
Penetrated partly. They did not know all of it from the USA. Plus the lab with similar research was orginised in 1941. It is mentione in our forum by Chevan and me somewhere, just need to look.

Rising Sun*
04-27-2007, 08:30 AM
This is just one of the texts avaialble on the net. I just have read it today: http://trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/nixon5.htm
From "Oral History Interview with Robert G. Nixon", October 21, 1970. By Jerry N. Hess.

Unfortunately Nixon was a journalist.

The last thing I would ever expect of that crew is accuracy, let alone in instances when they could come up with a pithy statement instead of accurately reporting the facts, which could lack a bit of punch.

Rising Sun*
04-27-2007, 08:40 AM
When the meeting broke up at the end of the day, Truman said, "I walked over to Stalin and said to him, 'Generalissimo, we have a new weapon. A very powerful weapon."'

Stalin didn't seem to be surprised at all. As we learned afterwards, the Russians knew what we were after, and everything about it, down to the complete blueprints.

Anyway, Truman said, "Stalin didn't seem surprised at all. He just asked, 'What are you going to do with it."'

Truman said, "I said, 'I'm going to win the war with it."' And that was it.

I have read other accounts that differ in some degree, but this is what Truman told me in his own words coming back aboard the Augusta. I more or less agree with the points made in this interview.

That is one recollection.

The one I've seen more often is that after Truman told Stalin at Potsdam about the atom bomb, although not in as many words, that Stalin appeared unimpressed beyond replying that he hoped the US "would make good use of it against Japan".

Egorka
04-27-2007, 03:21 PM
Unfortunately Nixon was a journalist.

The last thing I would ever expect of that crew is accuracy, let alone in instances when they could come up with a pithy statement instead of accurately reporting the facts, which could lack a bit of punch.

I do not cite Nixon because his particulary accurate. Simply because I agree with most (not all) of his points.

By the way this message from Nixon is true:



So, Truman told me that Marshall and others had said, "Yes, get the Russians into the war."

To my knowledge Truman was the one who wanted to break the Yalta deal and stop being nice with USSR. This is because he thought USA did not need USSR anymore in may 1945. But his generals were the ones who stoped him and worned that USA would still benefit in the Pacific theater if USSR joins the war.

Nickdfresh
04-28-2007, 11:09 PM
I think this notion of terror bombing as being a successful tactic has been proven to be ill founded. It did not work in Britain, Japan or Germany. It only worked when used on a small scale. Once the initial shock had worn off it only served to bolster the home front.


Agreed.

Nickdfresh
04-28-2007, 11:14 PM
[sarcasm on]
Of course it wasn't terror bombing. It was aimed at the gooks.

Actually, the American terror bombing of Vietnam paled in comparison to that of Germany in WWII. Far fewer were killed, as the statistics in this thread, by critics of such, bare out...


The British and the American 8th Air Force on the other hand committed war crimes when they bombed Germany, because this was against the pure Aryan people and their glorious Führer!
[sarcasm off]

Jan

Well, to be fair, the Fuhrer bombed civilian targets, as policy and on a large scale, first.

Nickdfresh
04-28-2007, 11:18 PM
No, but I find it quite despicable that the young are arrogant enough to believe they know everything about the past. Did you serve in Nam? I assume not.



I must say, I do love how you label me a Nazi and then try to label me a troll for promoting Nazism. You are the one who is using the label. Never did I say I was a fascist or a Nazi.

But you are named "Albert Speer?"

Egorka
04-29-2007, 03:03 PM
Well, to be fair, the Fuhrer bombed civilian targets, as policy and on a large scale, first.

Yes, Hitler did it first. And he would probably continued to do it if he could. But we know now that his bombings were miniscular in comparisson to the Allied ones. And Allies even braged about it.
We can defend it in many ways, but we have to admit that Allies (mainly UK) targeted civilian population in Germany.

Nickdfresh
05-03-2007, 08:01 PM
BTW, how many North Koreans were killed in this horrible bombing?:)

I noticed that there seems to be no actual figures in the thread topic article, just a a lot of insinuations and assumptions by a hack, pseudo-historian writing in an extremist right wing, some say fascist, French newspaper...

I skimmed the article just now, and notice that his central point, that the US air campaign was "extremely effective" is fundamentally flawed, since the US air campaign was itself fundamentally flawed, and generally focused on tactical air support for UN forces, which varied widely in effectiveness. And also the interdiction of Chinese logistical basis in a more or less vain effort to cut off the Peoples Liberation Army "volunteers." Though there indeed was some "strategic bombing," it was no where near the level of WWII, since it's sort of idiotic to use strategic bombing against an agrarian nation that effectively possessed no industry. And as for the whole "terror bombing" method, I think this too is wildly exaggerated, since I think there were few illusions that terrorizing North Koreans was likely to change their gov't's policies...

And perhaps both Chevan and Egorka can explain the fundamental moral differences between using napalm and thermite bombs, a weapon their own air force continues to use...

Nickdfresh
05-03-2007, 08:14 PM
Yes, Hitler did it first. And he would probably continued to do it if he could. But we know now that his bombings were miniscular in comparisson to the Allied ones. And Allies even braged about it.
We can defend it in many ways, but we have to admit that Allies (mainly UK) targeted civilian population in Germany.


Yes, and the USSR would also have prosecuted strategic bombing had they had the means, and more than under 100 Pe-8 bombers and their priorities hadn't been elsewhere...

So, just lacking the means does not make ones intent any less brutal, and indeed his was far more so...

But nevertheless, once the genie is out of the bottle, well, "they that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind."

Egorka
06-06-2007, 04:06 PM
That is one recollection.

The one I've seen more often is that after Truman told Stalin at Potsdam about the atom bomb, although not in as many words, that Stalin appeared unimpressed beyond replying that he hoped the US "would make good use of it against Japan".

Rising Sun, here is a blessing from the skies: http://www.dannen.com/decision/potsdam.html

Specially for you! You are my friend!

Rising Sun*
06-06-2007, 07:14 PM
Rising Sun, here is a blessing from the skies: http://www.dannen.com/decision/potsdam.html

Specially for you! You are my friend!

Thanks for that. It confirms the same versions I've seen.

In the last quote in your link, I think Marshal Zhukov got a bit carried away with 1960's (his memoirs publication date of 1971 is the English translation of the 1969 Russian original) Soviet anti-American rhetoric with his statement that:


Without any military need whatsoever, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on the peaceful and densely-populated Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about as peaceful as Berlin, which Zhukov pulverised.


Gradually military facilities increased and Hiroshima became known for its dual role-center of education and military base.

In the 1920's heavy industries began developing in Hiroshima, and by the end of the 1930's, these were also being transformed into factories for military production.

By the time of the A-bombing, the Hiroshima Bay area, combined with the naval facilities in Kure, had taken on a strong military character.
http://www.hiroshima-spirit.jp/en/museum/morgue_e11.html


[Nagasaki] depended heavily on the Mitsubishi Corporation, which operated shipyards, electrical equipment works, steel mills and an arms plant that together employed 90 per cent of Nagasaki's workforce.
J. Samuel Walker, Prompt & Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan, University of North Carolina Press, 1997,p.80

The latter quote has just raised a question which I'll put in the 'Should the A bomb have been dropped?' thread

You are my friend, too. :D

Cheers

RS

Chevan
06-06-2007, 11:42 PM
Oh you are nice friends guys;)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about as peaceful as Berlin, which Zhukov pulverised.

I/m strongly doubt that the average japane civil cities ( mostly industrial) were equal for the castle Berlin where fought about 1 million of emeny soldiers.
The Berlin was a last bastion of Nazy, centre of Germany and the place of fiercing battle for every house.
So indeed the Zhukov was particulary right . Certainly it were not a piacefull cities but the in those cities WERE NOT A ESSENTIAL TROOPS and the majority of victims were civilians.


Gradually military facilities increased and Hiroshima became known for its dual role-center of education and military base.

In the 1920's heavy industries began developing in Hiroshima, and by the end of the 1930's, these were also being transformed into factories for military production.

By the time of the A-bombing, the Hiroshima Bay area, combined with the naval facilities in Kure, had taken on a strong military character.
True, this was a center of "education" and near Hirosima really was a naval base - but that a pity - this base was out of bombing radius.The main target was the centre of city - not naval base of barracks in outskirts.

[Nagasaki] depended heavily on the Mitsubishi Corporation, which operated shipyards, electrical equipment works, steel mills and an arms plant that together employed 90 per cent of Nagasaki's workforce.
Sorry mate but fromthis point yoou could justify whatever - mass bombing the peasants coz they produse the food for the japane solders and even the medic personal who treats the japane soldiers.
From this point my friens we could justify the NAzy mass crimes agains civils population of occuped territories - the brutal killing of peasants who feed the partisants.
I personaly i do not think the japanes who were burned in the Hirosima must be sentenced for death ONLY becouse they work in a plants of Mitsubishi Corporation.

Egorka
06-07-2007, 04:43 AM
By the way, do you know that Nagasaki was not the primary target for the bombing on that day? Kokura was the primary one.

Rising Sun*
06-07-2007, 05:53 AM
By the way, do you know that Nagasaki was not the primary target for the bombing on that day? Kokura was the primary one.

Mate, we need to keep this Japan atom bomb stuff in the other thread.

I've been over in that thread for ages, slaving over a red hot keyboard dropping my pearls of wisdom of which the most recent was a comment about Kokura being the primary target and then, my brow dripping with sweat from my exertions, I check to see what's happening in other topics and you're doing this. :D

Yes, I know Kokura was the primary target.

Do you know why it was lucky even to be reached by the bomber?

Egorka
06-07-2007, 07:11 AM
Do you know why it was lucky even to be reached by the bomber?

I am not sure what you ask about.

Rising Sun*
06-07-2007, 07:56 AM
I am not sure what you ask about.

I was being mysterious.

But as we are friends I won't play games with you. :D

Shortly before take off, the Kokura / Nagasaki plane (Bockscar) had a fuel pump fail on the reserve tank of 600 gallons of fuel, which were thought necessary to get it home. They took off anyway, because the timing of their raid was critical in the A bomb program.

During the flight a red warning light came on, indicating a malfunction which, on some reports, included the bomb being prematurely armed.

Rising Sun*
06-07-2007, 09:32 AM
Oh you are nice friends guys;)

You could be our friend, too.

But you have to be nice. :D