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Saturday, May 28, 2016

WWII Japanese First Suicide Bombers; Atomic Bomb in Context

Yesterday, Friday, I had international television news on, and I kept getting very annoyed at how the newscaster, when reporting on United States President Barack Hussein Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima, were portraying Japan before the Americans dropped the atomic bomb there. We were given the impression that it was a nice quiet peaceful day when out of the clear blue, for no reason, The United States attacked that poor innocent city with the deadly bomb.

Considering that most people are not too historically knowledgeable, and no place in the reports was any serious or even minimal context given, it was clear that the point was to make the Japanese look like innocent victims and not immoral deadly enemies of the USA.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) hugs an atomic bomb survivor Shigeaki Mori as he visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan May 27, 2016.
U.S. President Barack Obama lays a wreath at a cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan May 27, 2016.
In 1945 there was a vicious war going on between Japan and the USA. Japanese believed their emperor to be a god and were willing to die for his victory against America. Those were the kamikaze pilots who willingly crashed their planes into American ships to destroy, sink and kill.
Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a "body attack" (体当たり; 体当り, taiatari) in planes laden with some combination of explosivesbombstorpedoes and full fuel tanks; accuracy was much better than a conventional attack, the payload and explosion larger. A kamikaze could sustain damage which would disable a conventional attacker and still achieve its objective. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft.
These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long since lost aerial dominance due to outdated aircraft and the loss of experienced pilots. On a macroeconomic scale, Japan suffered from a diminishing capacity for war, and a rapidly declining industrial capacity relative to the Allies. Despite these problems, the Japanese government expressed its reluctance to surrender. In combination, these factors led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands. (Wikipedia)
The American decision to use the atomic bomb wasn't easy, and the Japanese were a very difficult enemy, a different culture and mind-set. Over seventy years after the fact, nobody can say how much longer and how many more Americans would have had been killed by the Japanese if the USA hadn't dropped the bomb on Japan.

Not only is the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki kill, maim and destroy many lives and much property in Japan, but it broke the morale of the country, the public's faith in the emperor as god and made it possible for them to fully surrender.

GETTY PREPARED TO DIE: Pilots were honour bound to take part, attacking the likes of the HMS Formidable


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Ask the Chinese what they thought of the Jap's getting nuked. After the rape of Nanjing they were all for it.

Anonymous said...

History tells us that the Japanese acted so brutally against the Americans, Australians and New Zealanders when they were captured. Their brutality might be considered even worse, if not the same as the Nazis and today's ISIS.

Batya Medad said...

I agree with both of you. Obviously Obama learned a different history.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with your point of view, I must point out that the comparison between kamikaze and suicide bombers obscene. One can say the kamikaze had unorthodox war practices, but they were flying their planes into heavily armed ships that were shooting back at them with quite a lot of military hardware and might. A kamikaze would never lower themselves to the point of entering a restaurant and blow themselves up murdering innocent civilians, women, and children.

Batya Medad said...

Interesting point. My focus is on the willingness to die using oneself to deliver the weapon.

Maoz said...

I would recommend reading "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand to get an idea what Japan was like in WWII, before the US brought the war to an end with the Bomb.

Batya Medad said...

Yes. They weren't angels

Sammy Finkelman said...

Actually this should already be very well known to someone before reading "Unbroken."

The story of Louis Zamperini was told several times by the way - the first time in the 1950s. There are some differences in the details in the different versions. Sometimes maybe the later might be correct; sometimesmaybe the earlier.

You can also catch a taste of what Japan then was like in the science fiction movie "The Final Countdown" made in 1980 - just the fanaticism, which is correct.

Sammy Finkelman said...

By the way, I saww this in Arutz Se\heva News:

"Mohammed Sami Abed Al-Hamid, 28, a resident of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. He served time in an Israeli prison between 2004-2007 for involvement in Hamas terrorist attacks.

Under interrogation he revealed his role as the cell's bomb-maker, having learned how to manufacture explosives by watching instructional videos online. "

I don't believe this at all. He had tohave personal hands on instruction. How can they buy this?

Batya Medad said...

Yes. Obviiusly Obama hasn't a clue.