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Maurice O'BrienYou forgot to mention the German Zeppelin raids on London, 1916-17
LM SheaUnfortunately war is a bloody business. If your going to start one, you can't very well complain about getting stomped on. And if you are going to start one you'd best win it least those who you stomped on return the favor. Moral of the story? Peace is best.
Elizabeth van KampenMy Japanese friend Keiko told me about the cruel and scaring Great Tokyo Air Raid and the Bombing of Civilians in World War II. Those Japanese civilians were burnt alive! And although the Kempeitai killed my father and killed my uncle while we lived in the former Dutch East Indies occupied by Japan during World War Two, I still feel honestly sorry for all those Japanese people. It wasn't them who killed my father and uncle. It was the Japanse government and the Japanese army who refused to stop that war. And it is the Japanese government that still denies all their committed war crimes during WWII.
Nguyen van HuyIn 1945, before the World War ended, Japanese Army in Vietnam got hold all the harvested rice and let at least one million Vietnamese died of hunger. Thus this sole action killed more people than all the bombings in Japan, England and Chongqing put together. But perhaps most people have never heard about that event, because Vietnamese considered it was dark history and rarely mentioned. In this case we easily forgave and forgot, because Japanese had endured the worse end results than us: they had to beg their enemy to spare their life. Later we defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu and the colonial power must get out of Vietnam. Then we forgave and forgot the French. Has anyone heard about any lawsuits by Vietnamese against France or Japan on war crimes? In contrast Chinese are not so good, they are still keen to find some way to humiliate Japan in these days. In Vietnam war, though they lost 53 thousand soldiers, Americans spared bombing the dykes and populated areas in North Vietnam, and even let the bad guys win the war :(. I believe that the Law of Karma did exert its power and right judgment in the sparing of so many Northern Vietnamese lives: they were bad, but not so bad. But, wait, though the war was over but our internal conflict is not over yet. Until the Communists have met their fate, the freedom-minded Vietnamese will not rest.
Michael EverettEven with the defeat of Japanese forces on Okinawa, the defeat of it's Naval forces, the degrading of it's Air Force, and the choking off of its ports and supply lines for food and oil, and the intensive B-29 bombing campaign, it was more than clear to FDR and U.S. war planners, that Japan was preparing a fight to the death, and a high-casualty invasion would be required to destroy the military. A vast naval force would be required to move into range of Kamakazi attack to support the invasion while remaining Japanese aircraft were dispersed and hidden with enough fuel for a one-way Kamakize attack. Up to a million U.S. casualties were anticipated to force a surrender. The great worry of war planners was that Americans were war-weary after the surrender of Germany, and in the event the Japanese military rulers offered a peace plan in which they would offer to withdraw their military forces back to Japan, (therefore leaving their control of Japan intact) would create demand from the American people to accept their offer and save up to a million American lives. The two nuclear attacks almost instantly averted any possibility other than surrender, and no doubt saved the lives of an equally huge number of Japanese civilians who were preparing to resist invasion inch by bloody inch. The apocalyptic destruction of Japan's industrial cities never broke the resistance of a people following the orders of a god/king, but it did destroy the bulk of it's war industry. Japan refused to accept that enemy aircraft would ever be able to attack them, and never bothered to build shelters for their population. Their factories were surrounded by countless small sub-contractors, and their structures of wood and paper were never fireproofed, nor did they have a robust fire-fighting program. They started an Imperialist race-based war of conquest and rape, first against China and Korea then spreading across the Pacific and down to Southeast Asia. With Japan's plan for every man woman and child to fight to the death, what choice did the world have? And if there was a better option, what would it have been? PS: This is my view of history and not in any way a criticism of the Post-War accomplishments of Japan or the continuing contribution to our culture and economy of our Japanese-American community.
Eric ChanThe US fire bombed 67 cities and nuked 2. Tokyo at the time of the first raid had an estimated population of 3 million people. By McNamera's and LeMay's estimates 40% of Tokyo was utterly destroyed. The casualty figures for Dresdan, a much more built up city and much less densely populated city whose citizens were much better prepped for ariel bombardment suffered 40,0000 death. It is not even remotely reasonable to peg the death toll of the Tokyo raid at 100,000. The true casualty toll of US bombing of Japan is the biggest coverup of WWII history. Rather then the 300,000 as quoted above to 500,000 as highest figure I have seen, I think a truer conjecture can be had when you look at reported census data for Japan in Feb of 1944 - 78 million and census date in late 1945 - 72 million. That difference of 6 million give or take a few hundred thousand would seem to be a much more reasonable estimation of Japanese civilian casualties for 67 fire bomb attacks and 2 nuclear bombs. If you read LeMay's and McNamara and accounts of the devastation of napalm on wood housing in densely populated cities then this number does not seem so fantastic. It is obvious war time Japanese and post war Japanese govt had an adgenda to cover this up and even more evident why US govt wanted to suppress this info. They were the good guys after all right? Good guys don't practice genocide..only those nasty Nazi who killed how many Jews....6 million?
sid fujinariThe matter of the fire bombings of the urban targets in Japan, which was made basically of wood and paper in the densest populated areas of Japan was a military decision that was so "fabulously successful" according to the US Military command, it became the textbook attack near the end of the war. Mr. Eric Chan's case in point is very much on the mark. Major coverup of the figures of civilian deaths were made by both sides for reasons well known as on who grew up on US Military Bases From the fifties until the pull out of most US bases. There just could not possibly be a mere 100,000 civilians casualties. Even the first Japanese target of Okinawa, which was a territory and stepping stone to the main lands of the Japanese volcanic archipelago was considered one of the bloodiest in the war was totally lopsided in the loss of thousand US soldiers to 20 thousand Japanese soldiers and 100,000 Okinawan citizens which composed of half fully Japanese and all civilian. The population in Tokyo far out reaches the population of the island of Okinawa over 10 fold. So much coverup has happened, it's a cause to happen again. Wars cause massive deaths. Only truth will prevail or we are bound to the same mistakes.
Nicholas Louis BurtonFor my money, the whole "we had to nuke them or we'd have lost a lot more people" argument, as regurgitated by Mr. Everett, is a crock. The fire bombings had already proved effective. A siege would have worked rather quickly on a tiny war-depleted island nation. No, unbeknownst to most people, the cold war with the USSR had already begun by then and the Russians, who laughed at American claims of an atomic bomb, had to be shown who was boss. The vaporized citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were collateral damage in the first cold war public relations exercise.