D-Day or H-Bomb?

Eh, Japan at least had a coherent strategy for continuing the war when it was clear that they were on the losing side - they wanted to make the prospect of invading the Home Islands so dreadful and so bloody that the US would accept a peace proposal more favourable to Japan than unconditional surrender.

Hitler meanwhile felt that the German people had simply failed him and wanted to go down in flames without any thought for strategic considerations. Consider his reply to Speer about his ‘Nero Decree’;
“There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people will need to continue even a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it will be better to destroy these things ourselves, because this nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future will belong solely to the stronger eastern nation. Besides, those who will remain after the battle are only the inferior ones, for the good ones have all been killed.”

I doubt therefore that even A-bombs on their own would convince Hitler to surrender.

That’s the important bit. The allies already knew that they had won - What we were all fighting for then was to stop the Soviets from doing what Hitler and the Nazis had failed to do. There was also the worry that Hitler might develop his own bomb and he had the missiles to launch it.

I’m sure it just slipped your mind, but the body in question was the Supreme War Council, which outranked the cabinet in real power. The members included the Big Six:

Prime Minister: Admiral Kantarō Suzuki
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Shigenori Tōgō
Minister of the Army: General Korechika Anami
Minister of the Navy: Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai
Chief of the Army General Staff: General Yoshijirō Umezu
Chief of the Navy General Staff: Admiral Soemu Toyoda

Note that only the Minister of Foreign Affairs was a civilian. He was joined by the PM and Admiral in supporting the surrender.

Also note that the most powerful person in the room would be Gen. Anami rather than the PM.

As the Meiji constitution had the Ministers of the Army and Navy directly report to the emperor (although in reality, they exercised a great deal of autonomy) and as an added bonus, if either of them resigned, that would bring down the government. The military branches could refuse to allow any of their members to be appointed as replacements, which would prevent another government from being formed.

I’ve posted this before, but one of the most interesting aspect of the final internal negotiations was why Gen. Anami didn’t get up to take a piss and just walk out of the bunker underneath the Imperial Palace. The government would fall and he would automatically become the ruler of Japan. Hirohito would be taken to the special underground bunker “palace” in Nagano and ignored.

In addition, the chiefs of staff of the two branches also nominally reported to the emperor as well, and were outside of the control of the cabinet.

Hirohito’s decision to intervene was technically unconstitutional. His role was to “accept” the advice of the leaders and not to impose his will. This could be one reason for him not moving earlier. The other reason was the real fear of a coup.

Minister Anami, of course, and he killed himself before the coup failed. As I said above, he could have carried out a bloodless coup himself, had he been so inclined. Although we don’t have as much information about his thoughts, every indication was that he was torn between loyalties to the emperor, his view of the nation, the army and his fellow officers.

It was actually the military fanatics who were assassinating anyone who opposed them prior to the beginning of the war. Even Admiral Yamamoto was a target of the crazies at one stage.

Not to mention that Germany had a bomb program also, and would be much better able to assess the number of bombs we could manufacture. Plus, if they held out, the fact that we had a bomb would offer clues about how they could make one.

Maybe I don’t understand this sentence, but you are aware that in 1944 the Germans had taken over Europe with a few exceptions I hope. The Russians were advancing in the East and we were moving up Italy, but most of the continent (except for Great Britain) was in German hands.

:smack: Yes. Brain fart.

Hirohito could have gotten around this (in theory, at least) since the requirement that the army and navy minister’s positions could only be filled by active duty officers was put in place via an imperial command following the 2/26 Incident in 1936; it’s not in the Meiji Constitution. So Hirohito could have theoretically prevented the government from falling by issuing a new command lifting that requirement.

While suicide’s suggestion has many other problems, I don’t believe this was one of them. By mid-1944, the Allies had air superiority over Europe and were conducting regular daylight bombing raids into the heart of Germany with ever decreasing losses. Fast forward a year and we’d have had near total air supremacy.

“[T]he war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage”. Adding to the vagueness of the language was that it was the first time the Emperor was directly addressing his subjects and was spoken in formal, classical Japanese. Gyokuon-hōsō:

didn’t the usa test dozens of a- and h- bombs in the nevada desert? they could’ve done a few less test and saved some for germany

The first test was in New Mexico, 16 July, 1945. Germany surrendered on 7 May 1945. So they’d need to time travel in order to drop A-bombs on Germany during the war, an ability they lacked.

The US tested one bomb in New Mexico before using them on Japan. The nuclear tests in Nevada were after the war.

Yesssss. The U.S. did test hundreds of a-h bombs. But when they were thinking of dropping one on Nazi Germany, the U.S. didn’t have any working models. When the U.S. did have a working model, Nazi Germany had already surrendered.

VE DAY - May 8, 1945
Trinity test - July 16, 1945

We wait until we have ICBMs and then we nuke Berlin from Kansas. :rolleyes:

As in the other thread (Canadian participation on D-Day), you should probably read a decent book on WWII. You make a number of factual errors that could be addressed by a simple reading of history.

To clarify the thread a bit, here’s a timeline:

D-Day: June 1944
Battle of the Bulge: Dec 1944 - Jan 1945
VE Day: May 1945
Trinity Test (first use of atomic weapon): July 1945
Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 1945
Bikini Atoll A-Bomb tests: July 1946

1st USSR atomic bomb test: 1949
Korean War: 1950 - 1953
1st US H-bomb test: July 1952

This is a key factor. If we had decided to postpone our invasion and wait until we had an atom bomb ready, we would have ended up neither invading or dropping an atom bomb against Germany. The Soviets would have kept fighting with or without us and they would have defeated the Germans before we had a bomb ready.

i know there are thousands out there, but can you recommend ONE good book about ww2 to get started on? like a ‘ww2 for dummies’ or some such? you know, to answer such basic questions as what side was uruguay on in ww2? does anyone know?

Also consider the damage simply waiting around would do to the war effort. We now know the Soviets seriously considered peace offers in 1942 and 1943. Even if the US had told Stalin about the A-bomb program, why do you think he would continue to fight an incredibly bloody campaign while the western Allies just sat around waiting for their miracle weapon? Plus how could the British and American publics sustained such a massive war effort while their troops just sat around and did nothing? And another factor is that attacking Germany with an A-bomb equipped aircraft was far riskier than doing so to Japan. By 1945, the Japanese had no effective air or naval forces. In contrast, any attack on Germany from British territory would have to manuever large stretches of territory occupied by well trained German soldiers. There’s a good shot Fat Boy and Little Man would have never even gotten to German airspace.

Or Fat Man and Little Boy, even.