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What if we hadn't developed "the bomb"...

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  • What if we hadn't developed "the bomb"...

    .. and had to go through with Operation Downfall (Olympic & Coronet)?

    I'm going to assume the Allies prevail - but at what cost?

  • #2
    The "bomb" was indeed devestating, but, it's not well known, or rather it's easy to downplay because "the bomb" was more "spectacular", but the firebombing actually killed more Japanese.

    The Japanese were largely finished when they got nuked.
    Sure, just like the Germans, they are said to "have things nearly completed" in a variety of interesting areas.

    But I think over all, a few more very aggressively pursued firebombings of yet a few more cities might have been convincing. Most of their main cities were already almost not worth hitting again.

    But I wonder, if they had utterly lost a few pointlessly small seemingly worthless cities, ones where they had gone to hide from the bombings of the main cities, and had then been told, "we will bomb you until you cease to exist as a nation" would they have finally quit?

    Could they have held out, in the face of the truth, that even small meaningless cities were being obliterated?
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    • #3
      I think the "speactacular " effect of the atom bomb was what ended it though. The fire bombings had pretty much destroyed every major japanese city anyway. The Boshido mentality of the officer corps I suspect would not have stopped under more fire bombing. Without the atom bomb the Americans most likely would've pursued operation downfall resulting in the conquest of Japan no doubt but at the cost of the most horrendous casualties for both sides. Then there is the Soviet question. The soviets declared war anyway on Japan in the real history scenario anyway. Without the bomb they could have got really involved with a soviet invasion and a cold war prescence in Asia (how far I cannot say). Thats my view anyway.

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      • #4
        Japan could have still been able to fight even after the U.S. launched both A bombs!!!

        Jusr read the article in the July/August 2006 issue of World War II magazine titled: Surviving ARMAGEDDON!! By Robin Pekelney Shwetzer
        DUN DUN DUN!!!!!

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        • #5
          yes they were able to and some wanted to carry on but the spectacular "shock and awe " effect of the A bomb made the Japanese decide it really was hopeless and give it up. Without the bombs i think they would have fought on.

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          • #6
            Personally,i think dropping the bombs was more about showing the world what we could do.We had battled the Japenese back to their home,and pretty much trashed that too.The bombs had to be used in a wartime situation to...well...get the point across.I think this holds true because of the amount of shock,and disbelief that occured when Russia tested its own bomb.
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            • #7
              Whilst the American nuclear terror attacks on largely undefended cities must have helped to end the war it was difficult for the Japanese Government to comprehend what had happened and to understand what they meant as threats. The Soviet declaration of war and August Storm however was easy to understand. The rapid crushing advance of the Red Army in to Manchuria cutting Japan off from her last majpr source of supply was what finally broke the ruling elites will to fight on.

              August Storm would still have happened in a world without the bomb. In a world without the bomb the USA would have had greater resources in the Pacific and have been pushing harder. Thus we can conclude that there would have been no need for opposed landings by the Western allies in the Southern islands of Japan. By the time they were viable, the Japanese would have surrendered. There might possibly have been an opposed landing in Hokkaido by the Soviets if they continued to act quickly. At the end of the war the Soviets would occupy Hokkaido and the Ryukyus, maybe norther Honshu with joint Soviet-American occupation of the other home islands.

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              • #8
                Soviet/US occupation of Japan...

                OK - lets take it from there.

                What would the impact of a military occupation of Japan have been on the Post-war world?

                --Would there have been 'real' war-crimes trials as there were with the Germans?

                --Would the Japanese have grown into the economic power they were in the 70's & 80's had the Soviets stepped in?

                --Would Japan have developed into another place where the US and USSR got to stare across the line at each other (a la Berlin) ?

                --Would a Soviet presence in Japan have prevented the Vietnam War?

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                • #9
                  the book "6 days in august" gives a good account of the A-bomb development and use.

                  I think too that it was just a show and the clear willingness to show the destructive terror power (instead of, say detonating it in Tokyo bay - with no casualties). japan was to surrender anyways. it was done with Stalin in mind... all the stuff about saving jap lives or US soldiers is a made up myth.

                  to the original question.

                  what if the bomb was not developed?`

                  - well that's different from "not used".

                  as for Japan - it still surrenders, perhaps 2-3 days later. it's very clear the Emperor was to surrender anyways and the hardliners had lost by then.

                  as for the cold war... had the US not developed project Manhattan, then Russia would not get the plans later as well. .. but it would be a race to develop it later, in the 50's. and that's all very open.

                  a more fun what if is what if nuclear reaction is a physical impossibility? no nukes ever. no MAD in the Cold war....??? would we all speak russian by now?
                  "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                  • #10
                    If nuclear reactions were a physical impossibility, then life wouldn't exist as we know it.

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                    • #11
                      Indeed. If there were no nuclear weapons,what would that mean for the cold war? Well you could argue that without nuclear weapons there is no mutually assured destruction policy as you say so the sword of damocles wasnt haning over us for all those years. It is possible then that the cold war had more of a chance of turning hot!! Nuclear weapons prevented world war 3. Theres irony for you. Just a thought.

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                      • #12
                        Some say that the Japanese would have surrendered within a few days anyway even if the atomic bombs were not dropped, IIRC the third bomb was cancelled even before the first one was dropped. One theory is that the Manhatten project was so expensive the the costs had to be justified. Another theory is that the bombs were dropped to scare the Soviets.

                        If the Americans had not developed the bomb, they would have done so anyway after the war when the Allies carted off all the German technologies. It would have been a race between the Americans and Soviets, just like the rocket, space, and submarine programs. The Cold War would have still gone on, just minus the American nuclear advantage for a few years.
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                        • #13
                          I thought we only had three bombs..... the test bomb (held together with duct tape ) and the two used.

                          Anyway I think we still would have taken the Island. If it came to an assault the Marines would have taken the beaches and the infantry would push in to link with the airborne. I think At first that it would be heavy fighting with very heavy casualties. THe beaches would probably be as bad as Tarawa and Omaha. Once the Japs realized the dilemma they were in it would probably become just like the final advances into Berlin though the men holding out would fight even harder than the ss and hitler youth.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AIrchallenged View Post
                            I thought we only had three bombs..... the test bomb (held together with duct tape ) and the two used.

                            Anyway I think we still would have taken the Island. If it came to an assault the Marines would have taken the beaches and the infantry would push in to link with the airborne. I think At first that it would be heavy fighting with very heavy casualties. THe beaches would probably be as bad as Tarawa and Omaha. Once the Japs realized the dilemma they were in it would probably become just like the final advances into Berlin though the men holding out would fight even harder than the ss and hitler youth.
                            There was enough materials left for a third bomb for Japan, but the assembly of it was cancelled. IIRC, it would have been available by August 26, 1945.
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                            Prayers.

                            BoRG

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                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                              If nuclear reactions were a physical impossibility, then life wouldn't exist as we know it.
                              I know. the sun would not be able to burn...

                              I meant of course if the science of humans decided it was impossible to do...
                              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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