Enola Gay, heroism or insanity?




 
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April 25th, 2015  
pampa14
 

Topic: Enola Gay, heroism or insanity?


Enola Gay, undoubtedly the most famous B-29 bomber ever built. The big question, his fame comes from an act of heroism or insanity? Click on the link below, answer this poll and leave your opinion. The link also contains a full report and photos about this important chapter of WW2. Be sure to visit and participate.




http://aviacaoemfloripa.blogspot.com...enola-gay.html






Cheers.
April 25th, 2015  
tetvet
 
Don't understand the language its written in but I do know that Paul Tibbett's said he never lost a nights sleep over it . The part that amazes me is that the Japanese military wanted to fight on , now that's insanity .
April 25th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I am sure we have had this conversation before it is written in Portuguese and assuming you use Firefox browser all you have to do is turn on your translator or right click on the text and select "Translate this page with Google translator" and you will get it in English or even American if you cant understand English.

The dropping of the Atomic bombs wasn't heroic in my opinion and it may have rated as insanity but it may have been a necessity to bring the war to an end.

- It was no more heroic than any other military action.
- Given that Japan was making peace overtures and on the verge of surrender anyway the dropping may have been insane especially since Japan pretty much got most of what it had asked for anyway (the retention of the Emperor).
- But from a military stand point I can understand why they dropped it, as a kid I once told my father that it was an unnecessary action and he chewed me out over it saying that as someone that was heading to join the invasion from the European theatre he is damn happy they did drop it.
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April 25th, 2015  
tetvet
 
I was not interested enough in the verbiage to get it translated , my comment more or less covered Tibbett's attitude he was a Real American icon .
April 26th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetvet
my comment more or less covered Tibbett's attitude he was a Real American icon .
So are hypertension and bankruptcy it doesn't make them good,what is your point?
May 24th, 2015  
BazBear
 
 
The Japanese were making half ***** peace overtures, sure. Their conditions were no occupation, the Emperor gets to stay in charge, and they would get to put their own war criminals on trial. That wasn't going to fly. Heck, it took two nukes and the Soviets declaring war before the Emperor came to his senses, put his foot down, and ordered his military to stand down. And even then there was was unsuccesful attempt by some IJA officers to kidnap the Emperor and find the surrender recording he had made. The Emperor is lucky we needed him as a figurehead, or he'd have hung with Tojo and the rest of the class A war criminals.

But back to the OP. The Enola Gay's mission was no more... or less... heroic than any other long range bombing mission. But it was, IMO, and unfortunately, necessary. Had an invasion become necessary, the death toll on both sides would have dwarfed the death toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention LeMay would have continued to try to firebomb them back to the stone age.
May 25th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BazBear
The Japanese were making half ***** peace overtures, sure. Their conditions were no occupation, the Emperor gets to stay in charge, and they would get to put their own war criminals on trial. That wasn't going to fly. Heck, it took two nukes and the Soviets declaring war before the Emperor came to his senses, put his foot down, and ordered his military to stand down. And even then there was was unsuccesful attempt by some IJA officers to kidnap the Emperor and find the surrender recording he had made. The Emperor is lucky we needed him as a figurehead, or he'd have hung with Tojo and the rest of the class A war criminals.

But back to the OP. The Enola Gay's mission was no more... or less... heroic than any other long range bombing mission. But it was, IMO, and unfortunately, necessary. Had an invasion become necessary, the death toll on both sides would have dwarfed the death toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention LeMay would have continued to try to firebomb them back to the stone age.
I am not sure I agree with your first statement, the Japanese were making serious peace overtures to the Russians as they believed them to be neutral they could not be expected to know the Russians were not as neutral as they had hoped.
May 27th, 2015  
BazBear
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am not sure I agree with your first statement, the Japanese were making serious peace overtures to the Russians as they believed them to be neutral they could not be expected to know the Russians were not as neutral as they had hoped.
I guess it all depends on how we define serious peace overtures. From everything I've read, the Japanese were not willing to back down on any of the conditions I noted in my previous post. The allies were not going to accept anything short of unconditional surrender (other than the pragmatic act of keeping the Emperor as a figurehead). Until the allies recieved that surrender, they were going to continue hitting the Japanese with everything thing they had in their arsenal.
May 28th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
All very true but then if you adopt that line it would also be fair to say that the Allies were not prepared to back down on "Unconditional surrender" yet they did by allowing the Emperor to stay in power.

I can see how the use of the atomic bomb was considered controversial as it was even a hard sell amongst allied Generals and politicians, for example

Quote:
Ralph Bard Undersecretary of the Navy wrote:

Bard also asserted, "I think that the Japanese were ready for peace, and they already had approached the Russians and, I think, the Swiss. And that suggestion of [giving] a warning [of the atomic bomb] was a face-saving proposition for them, and one that they could have readily accepted." He continued, "In my opinion, the Japanese war was really won before we ever used the atom bomb. Thus, it wouldn't have been necessary for us to disclose our nuclear position and stimulate the Russians to develop the same thing much more rapidly than they would have if we had not dropped the bomb."
War Was Really Won Before We Used A-Bomb, U.S. News and World Report, 8/15/60, pg. 73-75.



Quote:
BRIGADIER GENERAL CARTER CLARKE
Quote:
The military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables - the MAGIC summaries - for President Truman and his advisors
"...when we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."
Quoted in Gar Alperovitz, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 359.


Quote:
DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER
Quote:
"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.
"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."
- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380
In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:
"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
- Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63
Quote:
ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY
Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
"The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."
- William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.
Quote:

GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR
MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."
William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.
Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."
Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.
Quote:

GENERAL CARL "TOOEY" SPAATZ
In charge of Air Force operations in the Pacific
General Spaatz was the person who received the order for the Air Force to "deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945..."(Leslie Groves, Now It Can Be Told, pg. 308). In a 1964 interview, Spaatz explained:
"The dropping of the atomic bomb was done by a military man under military orders. We're supposed to carry out orders and not question them."
In the same interview, Spaatz referred to the Japanese military's plan to get better peace terms, and he gave an alternative to the atomic bombings:
"If we were to go ahead with the plans for a conventional invasion with ground and naval forces, I believe the Japanese thought that they could inflict very heavy casualties on us and possibly as a result get better surrender terms. On the other hand if they knew or were told that no invasion would take place [and] that bombing would continue until the surrender, why I think the surrender would have taken place just about the same time." (Herbert Feis Papers, Box 103, N.B.C. Interviews, Carl Spaatz interview by Len Giovannitti, Library of Congress).
Quote:


ELLIS ZACHARIAS
Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence
Based on a series of intelligence reports received in late 1944, Zacharias, long a student of Japan's people and culture, believed the Japan would soon be ripe for surrender if the proper approach were taken. For him, that approach was not as simple as bludgeoning Japanese cities:
"...while Allied leaders were immediately inclined to support all innovations however bold and novel in the strictly military sphere, they frowned upon similar innovations in the sphere of diplomatic and psychological warfare."
Ellis Zacharias, The A-Bomb Was Not Needed, United Nations World, Aug. 1949, pg. 29.
Zacharias saw that there were diplomatic and religious (the status of the Emperor) elements that blocked the doves in Japan's government from making their move:
"What prevented them from suing for peace or from bringing their plot into the open was their uncertainty on two scores. First, they wanted to know the meaning of unconditional surrender and the fate we planned for Japan after defeat. Second, they tried to obtain from us assurances that the Emperor could remain on the throne after surrender."
Ellis Zacharias, Eighteen Words That Bagged Japan, Saturday Evening Post, 11/17/45, pg. 17.
And of course there are more.
But the fact that these high ranking individuals who were there at the time knew that surrender was imminent and felt that the atomic bombs were unnecessary says a lot I think.
May 28th, 2015  
lljadw
 
It says that there were wrong : the war was going on,thus everything that would shorten the war was justified .

Why was Ike waiting to 1963 to say what he thought in 1945?

Leahy ? He was deadly wrong : the bomb was not a barbarous weapon .

Bard said : I think : that's not an argument

Mac Arthur : we don't know what was his opinion, only what Manchester claimed what the opinion was of Mac Arthur .

Zacharias : he also is wrong : the point is NOT that Japan was willing to surrender on an uncertain day,the point is that the war was going on and that every day American and Allied soldiers were killed .If the Bomb saved the live on only one US/Allied soldier,its use was legitimate .

May I remind some people that even after the use of the bomb,the Japanese still were murdering US/Allied POWs?

If the bomb was not used and Japan capitulated one day later than it did in the OTL,a lot of American/Allied soldiers /POWs would have been killed/murdered .

It was the duty of Truman as commander-in-chief to save as most as possible the lives of his soldiers .

It was the duty of Truman to use the bomb .
 


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