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Did the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevent WWIII?

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  • Did the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevent WWIII?

    It's the nature of the military of any country to want to use any weapon at its disposal to accomplish its mission. If the US hadn't dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, and shown the World how devastating a nuclear war could be, would someone have been more likely to use a similiar weapon at some later date?
    If the bomb had only been used in tests and demonstrations, wouldn't a country with nuclear capabilities, and which considered itself threatened with destruction, have used any weapon in its arsenal to survive?
    Without the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to learn from, would someone have been just abit less reluctant to pull the trigger when it came to accomplishing their goals?
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    IMPOSSIBLE to say, but not all learned that nukes could ruin your whole day. Curtis LeMay wanted to use nukes in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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    • #3
      I believe LeMay also backed a project to build an atomic-powered bomber when he was USAF Chief of Staff. Fortunately, in both cases, more stable individuals were in charge.
      If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

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      • #4
        If we hadn't used them in WWII I believe they might have been used in the Korean War.
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        • #5
          The OP has been my line of thought on this subject for some time now. Those two cities spared hundreds, considering there were a couple of times when the "count-down" came close during the Cold War.

          Not so sure that some rogue nations and NGOs existing today are going to be as sane or rational if the opportunity presents itself. There's some "loose canons" out there anxious for the Islamic 'Judgement Day' to arrive soon.
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
          “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
          Present Current Events are the Future's History

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sherlock View Post
            It's the nature of the military of any country to want to use any weapon at its disposal to accomplish its mission. If the US hadn't dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, and shown the World how devastating a nuclear war could be, would someone have been more likely to use a similiar weapon at some later date?
            If the bomb had only been used in tests and demonstrations, wouldn't a country with nuclear capabilities, and which considered itself threatened with destruction, have used any weapon in its arsenal to survive?
            Without the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to learn from, would someone have been just abit less reluctant to pull the trigger when it came to accomplishing their goals?
            Hi

            Both sides had large and more deadly stocks of chemical & biological warfare agents during WW2, but nobody used them. Even though at times their countries circumstances were dire!

            Regards
            "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

            "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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            • #7
              Prevent it, how?
              You mean by discouraging the Soviets?

              Maybe, if they went and had a look around.
              I give Dresden more credit in this regard. Red Air Force recon flights must have had a look at that city before the raid, and then saw what just 24 hours did when they occupied it.
              Yeah, if you have the power to do something, okay. But when you show in their face that you have the will to use it, that's for real and something to remember.

              IMHO, you have to have both.

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              • #8
                I'd say that more than anything it was the US not being a socialist state or dictatorship. Had it been one of those where the government had control of most of the economy and their thumb on the population there probably would have been one.

                Russia / the Soviet Union was too beaten up following WW 2 to want another go in the late 40's or 50's. Aside from that they lacked the means to power project beyond their borders except by land. That and the US -Western coallition with a nuclear superiority initially kept things "friendly" simply because the stakes were too high.
                With a US with a strong central government and large military things would have been far less stable.

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                • #9
                  By the time of the Japanese surrender, Truman already had two devastating nuclear strikes on his CV. Which may, or may not, have factored into his decision to refuse General MacArthur's request to use them on southern China during the Korean War.

                  From: http://b-29s-over-korea.com/Why-Trum...MacArthur.html

                  MacArthur requested that the Pentagon grant him a field commander's discretion to employ nuclear weapons as necessary. He wanted them stockpiled in Okinawa. He explained he would drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs - strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea-a belt of radioactive cobalt-for at least 60 years there would be no land invasion of Korea from the North. The Russians, he claimed, would be intimidated by this and do nothing. He continued to seek authority to deploy the bomb.
                  "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

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                  • #10
                    Dresden,Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sherlock View Post
                      It's the nature of the military of any country to want to use any weapon at its disposal to accomplish its mission. If the US hadn't dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, and shown the World how devastating a nuclear war could be, would someone have been more likely to use a similiar weapon at some later date?
                      If the bomb had only been used in tests and demonstrations, wouldn't a country with nuclear capabilities, and which considered itself threatened with destruction, have used any weapon in its arsenal to survive?
                      Without the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to learn from, would someone have been just abit less reluctant to pull the trigger when it came to accomplishing their goals?
                      MAD, largely prevented a WW III. Up to the point that the main post war adversaries had "The Bomb", some entertained the idea of using it again as a massive retalliation.
                      Later the idea of First strike survivability and second strike retalliation was entertained.
                      However let's assume that the balance of terror as pictured by MAD has still more weight. For now.

                      Ed.
                      Last edited by dutched; 25 Oct 12, 14:41.
                      The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                        IMPOSSIBLE to say, but not all learned that nukes could ruin your whole day. Curtis LeMay wanted to use nukes in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
                        LeMay understood something very fundamental about the nuclear deterrent - it doesn't work unless you demonstrate the will to use it.

                        All we have to do is look at history since the end of WWII to realize that America squandered the world's most powerful weapons system for nothing.

                        Today we are attacked and insulted constantly by two-bit nations who know that we will never use the one weapon that would end conflict instantly...and permanently.

                        We actually developed the only two forms of nuclear weapons that can be used in an actual war in this day and age, but we are afraid to employ them no matter what the provocation.
                        Last edited by Mountain Man; 01 Nov 12, 12:54.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          We actually developed the only two forms of nuclear weapons that can be used in an actual war in this day and age, but we are afraid to employ them no matter what the provocation.
                          Well, if they ever back us into a corner, then that will change.
                          Drastically.

                          I still expect Pakistan to be the next country to use a nuke. They are much closer to the edge and highly unstable.

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                          • #14
                            Hi MM

                            You wrote:-
                            Today we are attacked and insulted constantly by two-bit nations who know that we will never use the one weapon that would end conflict instantly...and permanently.
                            So if a nation insults you, you nuke them-really!
                            Also what nation attacked you? Several people of several nations have taken part in attacks on American citizens, inc British subjects. Should we now also be nuked? What happens if some extremists Chinese start undertaking terrorist outrages, are you advocating a Nuke exchange?

                            Regards
                            "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                            "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                              IMPOSSIBLE to say, but not all learned that nukes could ruin your whole day. Curtis LeMay wanted to use nukes in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
                              True. But I think Hiroshima did teach some who did pull back from the brink in that crisis. Eisenhower was president for 8 years and I believe was against the Hiroshima bombing. You're right, its impossible to say but I think Sherlocks premise is a very interesting one as the bombing showed what would in one locale happen worldwide if ww3 did start....

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