At the end of the Second World War, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, causing countless lives to be ruined.
For a moment, there was a great uproar all over the world.
Some people can’t help asking: can the United States not drop atomic bombs? As early as 1944, sax, the chief scientific adviser to the president of the United States, firmly opposed the use of atomic bombs in war.
Although American Research on atomic bombs began under the recommendation of Sax, Sax opposed the use of atomic bombs in war.
At the same time, the famous scientist who once wrote to Roosevelt asking the United States to develop the atomic bomb and Oppenheimer, known as the “father of the atomic bomb” of the United States, also opposed the use of the atomic bomb in actual combat.
After the successful atomic bomb explosion, the debate between the party who advocated the use of atomic bomb and the other party who did not advocate the use of atomic bomb became more intense.
Marshall and Stimson firmly supported the use of atomic bombs rather than landing operations against Japan.
They believed that this could reduce the huge casualties of the U.S. military.
In addition to some scientists, the famous general of the US military does not support the use of atomic bombs.
He believes that Japan’s defeat is inevitable and the use of atomic bombs is unnecessary.
Others believe that the strategic bombing of Japan by the US military alone can destroy Japan’s war economic foundation.
However, the cruel reality has made US policymakers realize that if they want Japan to surrender or land on the Japanese mainland, it will cause great casualties to the US military.
If the atomic bomb is used to intimidate, it will have to bear the pressure of public opinion from all sides.
But war is war.
Besides, there are many differences between Japan and other nations.
The war on the European battlefield was extinguished on May 7, 1945, while the war against Japan on the Pacific battlefield continued and was extremely fierce.
According to the estimate of the US Joint Chiefs of staff at that time, it may take another 18 months.
To this end, President Truman worked out two amphibious attack action plans to attack Japan with senior officials at the White House.
The first is “Olympic Action”, which is tentatively scheduled to take effect on November 1, 1945.
11 divisions of the US Army and 3 divisions of the Marine Corps will be used to launch an attack on Kyushu Island, the southernmost tip of Japan.
The plan of the Joint Chiefs of staff requires the US military to occupy the southern half of Kyushu and establish a dense airport network to strengthen the aerial bombing of the northern part of Kyushu and Honshu, Japan’s main island.
If the continuous bombing from aircraft carriers and land airports still failed to make Japan surrender, 12 army divisions and 3 marine divisions will be mobilized to launch operation garland to attack Honshu on March 1, 1946.
In both plans, the primary question they consider is: how many more people will the US military lose in the attack? There is no doubt that these two landing operations and subsequent land battles will be the bloody battles suffered by the U.S. military in the whole Second World War.
No matter what kind of speculation, the final conclusion is that no one doubts that the Japanese army, including civilians, will fight to the death to defend their homeland.
Because what happened in the Pacific War has proved this.
They often see thousands of recalcitrant Japanese soldiers die of suicide and are unwilling to face surrender, because the bushido spirit alienated by militarism regards surrender as a disgrace to soldiers and their families.
In the “bloody battle of Tarawa”, 5000 Japanese defenders fought to death.
Finally, all but 17 wounded soldiers were captured.
In Saipan, more than 3000 Japanese troops trapped in the siege of the US 27th Infantry Division also launched a large-scale suicide attack.
Not only that, the Japanese army also indoctrinated the Japanese civilians in the garrison that the Allies were “barbarians” and forced them to commit suicide to resist the military occupation of the allies.
Some Japanese women and children who were unwilling to commit suicide were killed by the inhuman Japanese army.
In Okinawa, less than three divisions of the Japanese army, after being hit hard by us air and sea artillery, although there was no hope of victory or rescue, they still resisted for more than 100 days in the face of the US Army with absolute advantages in quantity and quality.
The islanders also fought tenaciously in various paramilitary forces or front-line combat forces.
In the battle of Okinawa, both sides suffered heavy casualties.
Nearly 200000 Japanese soldiers and civilians died.
Most of the survivors committed suicide.
Almost all the 8000 Japanese captured were wounded, and another 4000 hid in the mountains of the island in an attempt to fight guerrillas.
The US military also lost more than 70000 troops, of which about 12500 died.
There were 30000 bodies on both sides in the 5000 meter position alone.
From the beginning of March to the end of June 1946, more than 2000 Japanese planes carried out suicide attacks on American ships around Okinawa.
13 US destroyers were sunk and 37 were seriously injured.
The Allied commanders knew that in the face of the desperate resistance of the Japanese army, the Allies did not take much advantage of the “casualty ratio”.
Therefore, when the allies have basically won, how to minimize their own casualties in the subsequent combat operations against Japan has naturally become the first issue to be considered by the allies.
According to the estimation of the US Joint Chiefs of staff, the casualties of the US military in the amphibious attacks on Kyushu and Honshu and the subsequent land battles are as follows: in Kyushu, 21000 to 27500 people were killed and missing and 85000 to 105000 people were injured.
The attack on Honshu and the battle on the Tokyo plain are expected to kill 22500 people and injure 65000.
This is also close to our estimate.
Marshall predicted that at least 250000 U.S. troops would suffer casualties in the landing operation, and more than 1 million, and the number of casualties of the Japanese army was roughly the same.
Considering the threat of suicide planes, the US Navy is more inclined to pessimistic estimates.
Admiral Nimitz, commander of the Pacific theater, also believes that the example of attacking an island cut off by powerful sea and air forces cannot be used as a basis for estimating that the attack has sufficient support for Japan.
Okinawa is still 563 kilometers away from the suicide plane base in Japan, and Honshu is too close to Japan.
At that time, American warships will become targets.
And at that time, the number of Japanese suicide weapons will be thousands, which is impossible to prevent.
Among these suicide weapons, several koryud pocket submarines are frightening.
The 5-man submarine can travel underwater for 40 minutes at a speed of 16 knots and 50 hours at a speed of 2.
Generally, two torpedoes are loaded.
When the torpedoes are not enough, they are simply loaded with explosive bags.
Japan can produce 180 such submarines per month, and the Japanese Navy plans to have 540 in the autumn of 1945.
In addition, the Japanese army also plans to have 740 more advanced kairyu submarines by the scheduled date of U.S. attack.
This two person submarine also carries two torpedoes or explosive bags.
The Japanese Navy also trained “man mines”, that is, divers swam under the landing craft with explosive bags equipped with trigger fuses to blow them up.
At that time, the Japanese army had formed a “human mine” battalion of 650 people and planned to organize 4000 people before the Allied landing.
As for the shallow water mines along the coast, not to mention.
Allied troop carriers and amphibious ships will be the primary targets of suicide weapons, which will cause great casualties to the landing forces on board.
It is estimated that the casualties of the landing fleet will be 10 times higher than that of Okinawa.
At the same time, another factor that the Allied commanders have to consider is how the Japanese treat the Allied prisoners of war and the arrested allied civilians.
Many of the 100000 civilians killed in the Philippines died in the Japanese massacre before the U.S. liberation of Manila.
As for China and other places, the atrocities of the Japanese army have long been appalling.
Of course, what has left the deepest shadow in the hearts of the US military is the cruelty of the Japanese army to the prisoners of war who unfortunately fell into its hands.
From the “death march” of American and Philippine prisoners of war after the fall of Badan in April 1942 to the harsh reality that 270000 Asians and 61000 Allied prisoners of war died 87500 and 12500 respectively after the construction of the 265 kilometer Gui River railway.
Postwar statistics also proved this: 4% of the 235000 British and American prisoners of war captured by German and Italian troops died, while 27% of the 132000 American, Australian and British prisoners of war captured by Japanese died.
During the Okinawa campaign, the United States learned the important information that Japan was actively preparing for war at home by deciphering the Japanese code.
Intelligence shows that the Japanese military has asked diplomats stationed in neutral countries in Europe to understand the situation of Germany in the final defense stage of the European battlefield in order to learn a lesson.
Other evidence also shows that Japan is formulating a defense plan to fight to the last person.
The wishful thinking of the Japanese military is: if they can successfully make the Americans suffer unacceptable losses in the Kyushu war, make the American people believe that the large-scale landing on Japan will bring great sacrifices to the US military, and make the American people feel the decisive fighting spirit of the Japanese army and civilians, the US government will be under public pressure, Cancel or delay key battles in Tokyo.
In this way, they may win time to strive for favorable conditions for surrender or other forms of negotiation.
In the face of Japan, which has made up its mind to lose and is determined to put all its eggs in one basket for desperate resistance, it is natural for Truman to focus on reducing the casualties of the US military as much as possible in future operations.
President Truman is the supreme commander of the US armed forces.
At the same time, he is also a politician.
He has another consideration on whether to use the atomic bomb.
The United States spends a lot of money to study the atomic bomb.
If it is not applied in actual combat, it will not be able to explain it in front of Congress and the people.
People will doubt the significance and value of the atomic bomb.
Politically, although the United States and the Soviet Union were allies at that time, the two countries were fundamentally different in their own interests, especially in ideology, and the two countries were bound to become enemies.
Therefore, the United States will not and will not let the Soviet Union obtain great benefits at a small cost on the Pacific battlefield.
Truman must defeat Japan before the participation of the Soviet Union.
He wants to improve the status and role of the United States in defeating Japan.
From the analysis of the above problems, the most effective way to deal a heavy blow to the Japanese strategically and psychologically and promote Japan’s surrender as soon as possible is to use the “terrible new guy” – the atomic bomb, which is of great interest to Truman and the military.
Truman was even more impressed that showing the edge of this sharp sword in front of the world would lay a solid foundation for America’s post-war world status.
This will be a great temptation for any US president, and Truman can hardly refuse it.
However, President Truman is a politician after all.
On the issue of Japan’s surrender, the Allies gave Japan one last chance – in the Potsdam Proclamation, they once again urged Japan to surrender.
On July 28, 1945, in response to the Potsdam Proclamation urging Japan to surrender, Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki said: “the Japanese government.
Has no other way but to completely ignore it and resolutely carry on the war to a victorious end.
” Subsequently, general Anan, the Secretary of the army, shouted in “tell the soldiers of the whole army”: “now that the matter is over, what can I say.
only by resolutely defending China and carrying out the jihad to the end.
Even if you eat grass and mud and crawl in the mountains, as long as you fight resolutely, you believe that death has a way to live.
” Japan’s tough attitude prompted the Americans to strengthen their determination to use the atomic bomb.
On the issue of deciding to use atomic bombs to attack cities, the military agreed that although civilian areas should not be targeted, they should have an extremely profound psychological impact on as many civilians as possible and the highest decision-making authorities.
To this end, it is necessary to choose a big city with dual military and political values, and in order to prevent Japan from using Allied prisoners of war as a shield, there should be no prior warning.
Finally, the two atomic bombs fell on the Japanese.
The two atomic bombs killed 300000 people at that time, and finally made Emperor Hirohito open his mouth: now it is time to bear an unbearable outcome.
With the transmission of radio waves, the Japanese military flag flying in other countries fell to the ground.
Although Truman made a flick of his finger and said casually, “no, like this.
” However, it is certain that the killing effect of the atomic bomb is by no means insignificant in the mind of the US president, otherwise he would not compare this weapon with the huge landing plan and bombing plan.