QUOTE (Suijen @ Aug 9 2010, 07:33 AM)
I'd have to question the argument that more lives would have been saved if the US hadn't used its nuclear weapons. If it were for the shock and awe effect, you surely didn't need to drop it in two civilian cities. And the statement that the Japanese would have fought to the last woman and child seems pretty speculative, especially considering the state of the Imperial Japanese army at the time. The Nazis lost, the Japanese lost their foothold in China and the Philippines, their navy was sunk, and the Soviets were closing in. It does look convenient for the Americans, as reducing two nukes to rubble spared many American Marines from having to gun it with the Japanese.
But as a few posters mentioned earlier, Japan doesn't really have the right to play the victim card. Whether it's Korea, China, or the Philippines, the Japanese Imperial Army was unusually ruthless and brutal and really didn't seem to care too much about humanity. The death toll from Nanjing surpassed the death toll from both bombs.
You need to be consistent. You cannot claim that Japan would not have resisted to the last as 'speculative' then turn around and say that the US would have to 'gun it with the Japanese'. Which is it? Ketsu-go outlined that resistance.http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/arens/chap4.htm
The intent of Ketsu-Go was to inflict tremendous casualties on the American forces, thereby undermining the American people's will to continue the fight for Japan's unconditional surrender.
The Quantung Army, although defeated by the Russians on mainland China, would serve as a formidable guerrilla force during an overtly hostile occupation. That army was on the march home. As for the 'shock and awe' effect, even after both cities were destroyed and the Emperor was ready to order Japan to surrender, the military resisted...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan
After several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a failed coup d'état, Hirohito gave a recorded radio address to the nation on August 15.
Around 21:30 on August 14, Hatanaka's rebels set their plan into motion. The Second Regiment of the First Imperial Guards had entered the palace grounds, doubling the strength of the battalion already stationed there, presumably to provide extra protection against Hatanaka's rebellion. However, Hatanaka, along with Lt. Col. Jirō Shiizaki, convinced the commander of the 2nd Regiment of the First Imperial Guards, Colonel Haga Toyojirō, of their cause, by telling him (untruthfully) that the Anami, Umezu, and the commanders of the Eastern District Army and Imperial Guards Divisions were all in on the plan. Hatanaka also went to the office of Shizuichi Tanaka, commander of the Eastern region of the army, to try to persuade him to join the coup. Tanaka refused, and ordered Hatanaka to go home. Hatanaka ignored the order.
The demand was unconditional surrender, which was fully within war rights. The seemingly victorious side has the prerogative to demand any type of surrender or be like the past where the loser was effectively erased from existence. Even an unconditional surrender would offer the loser better odds of continuation as a society than in the case of Germany, where for decades after WW II, Germany did not exist, only the East and West political versions did.