By "demonstration blast" I presume you're (inappropriately) referring to Hiroshima, which I would not classify as a "demonstration" as I do not feel that we intended to "demonstrat[e]" our military/technological might to the Japanese, rather, I believe that we were hoping to put an end to all of the bloodshed, human & financial sacrifice & waste, and acted out of desperation for an end to the rationally perceived madness of the Japanese.
On the other hand, if your intended meaning was a "demonstration" to the world of our military might by way of circumventing any other potential threat to the U.S. from other Japanese allied countries (e.g. Germany) then, yes, it was a good idea, but one at great expenditure, both financially and humanely. Let's review:
World War II’s basic statistics qualify it as by far the greatest war in history in terms of human and material resources expended. In all, 61 countries with 1.7 billion people, three-fourths of the world’s population, took part. A total of 110 million persons were mobilized for military service, more than half of those by three countries: the USSR (22–30 million), Germany (17 million), and the U.S. (16 million). For the major participants the largest numbers on duty at any one time were as follows: USSR (12,500,000); U.S. (12,245,000); Germany (10,938,000); British Empire and Commonwealth (8,720,000); Japan (7,193,000); and China (5,000,000).
Most statistics on the war are only estimates. The war’s vast and chaotic sweep made uniform record keeping impossible. Some governments lost control of the data, and some resorted to manipulating it for political reasons.
A rough consensus has been reached on the total cost of the war. In terms of money spent, it has been put at more than $1 trillion, which makes it more expensive than all other wars combined. The human cost, not including more than 5 million Jews killed in the Holocaust who were indirect victims of the war, is estimated to have been 55 million dead—25 million of those military and 30 million civilian.
The U.S. spent the most money on the war, an estimated $341 billion, including $50 billion for lend-lease supplies, of which $31 billion went to Britain, $11 billion to the Soviet Union, $5 billion to China, and $3 billion to 35 other countries. Germany was next, with $272 billion; followed by the Soviet Union, $192 billion; and then Britain, $120 billion; Italy, $94 billion; and Japan, $56 billion. Except for the U.S., however, and some of the less militarily active Allies, the money spent does not come close to reflecting the war’s true cost. The Soviet government has calculated that the USSR lost 30 percent of its national wealth, while Nazi exactions and looting were of incalculable amounts in the occupied countries. The full cost to Japan has been estimated at $562 billion. In Germany, bombing and shelling had produced 4 billion cu m (5 billion cu yd) of rubble.
The human cost of the war fell heaviest on the USSR, for which the official total, military and civilian, is given as more than 20 million killed. The Allied military and civilian losses were 44 million; those of the Axis, 11 million. The military deaths on both sides in Europe numbered 19 million and in the war against Japan, 6 million. The U.S., which had no significant civilian losses, sustained 292,131 battle deaths and 115,187 deaths from other causes. The highest numbers of deaths, military and civilian, were as follows: USSR more than 13,000,000 military and 7,000,000 civilian; China 3,500,000 and 10,000,000; Germany 3,500,000 and 3,800,000; Poland 120,000 and 5,300,000; Japan 1,700,000 and 380,000; Yugoslavia 300,000 and 1,300,000; Romania 200,000 and 465,000; France 250,000 and 360,000; British Empire and Commonwealth 452,000 and 60,000; Italy 330,000 and 80,000; Hungary 120,000 and 280,000; and Czechoslovakia 10,000 and 330,000.
The comments in my initial post in this thread which you might have misinterpreted, thereby prompting your authoring your post, were intended to express the sorrow, shame, embarrassment & disgust over the unavoidable fact that the supposedly intelligent races on this planet acted in such an unintelligent, brutish, Neanderthal fashion, trashing several thousands of years of evolution, intellectual, technological and moral, not to mention obliterating hundreds of years of architectural history, that codifies my perspective on both the Japanese and American actions in WWII, not to mention the rest of the world...war should never be a means to an end for intelligent, civilized people because we should never have to sacrifice our humanity for the sake of a concept, an ideology, as shallow as pride, or greed, or over a squabble over land use rights or passage.
Hmm, I beg to differ and offer a somewhat condensed review of the war and the Japanese interaction with American/other forces during WWII:
It began in 1939 as a European conflict between Germany and an Anglo-French coalition but eventually widened to include most of the nations of the world. It ended in 1945, leaving a new world order dominated by the United States and the USSR global military conflict that, in terms of lives lost and material destruction, was the most devastating war in human history. It began in 1939 as a European conflict between Germany and an Anglo-French coalition but eventually included most of the nations of the world. It ended in 1945, leaving a new world order dominated by the U.S. and the USSR.
More than any previous war, World War II involved the commitment of nations’ entire human and economic resources, the blurring of the distinction between combatant and noncombatant, and the expansion of the battlefield to include all of the enemy’s territory. The most important determinants of its outcome were industrial capacity and personnel. In the last stages of the war, two radically new weapons were introduced: the long-range rocket and the atomic bomb. In the main, however, the war was fought with the same or improved weapons of the types used in World War I. The greatest advances were in aircraft and tanks.
In the meantime, American relations with Japan continued to deteriorate. In September 1940 Japan coerced Vichy France into giving up northern Indochina. The U.S. retaliated by prohibiting the exportation of steel, scrap iron, and aviation gasoline to Japan. In April 1941, the Japanese signed a neutrality treaty with the USSR as insurance against an attack from that direction if they were to come into conflict with Britain or the U.S. while attempting to take a bigger bite out of Southeast Asia. When Germany invaded the USSR in June, Japanese leaders considered breaking the treaty and joining in from the east but, making one of the most fateful decisions of the war, they chose instead to intensify their push to the southeast. On July 23 Japan occupied southern Indochina. Two days later, the U.S., Britain, and the Netherlands froze Japanese assets. The effect of that move was to prevent the Japanese from purchasing oil, which would, in time, cripple its army and make its navy and air force completely useless.
Until December 1941 the Japanese leadership pursued two courses: They tried to get the oil embargo lifted on terms that would still let them take the territory they wanted, and they prepared for war. The U.S. demanded that Japan withdraw from China and Indochina, but would very likely have settled for a token withdrawal and a promise not to take more territory. After he became Japan’s premier in mid-October, Gen. Tojo Hideki set November 29 as the last day on which Japan would accept a settlement without war. Tojo’s deadline, which was kept secret, meant that war was practically certain.
The Japanese army and navy had, in fact, devised a war plan in which they had great confidence. They proposed to make fast sweeps into Burma, Malaya, the East Indies, and the Philippines and, at the same time, set up a defensive perimeter in the central and southwest Pacific. They expected the U.S. to declare war but not to be willing to fight long or hard enough to win. Their greatest concern was the U.S. Pacific Fleet, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. If it reacted quickly, it could scramble their very tight timetable. As insurance, the Japanese navy undertook to cripple the Pacific Fleet by a surprise air attack.
A few minutes before 8 am on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese carrier-based airplanes struck Pearl Harbor. In a raid lasting less than two hours, they sank four battleships and damaged four more. The U.S. authorities had broken the Japanese diplomatic code and knew an attack was imminent. A warning had been sent from Washington, but, owing to delays in transmission, it arrived after the raid had begun. In one stroke, the Japanese navy scored a brilliant success—and assured the Axis defeat in World War II. The Japanese attack brought the U.S. into the war on December 8—and brought it in determined to fight to the finish. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. on December 11.
In the vast area of land and ocean they had marked for conquest, the Japanese seemed to be everywhere at once. Before the end of December, they took British Hong Kong and the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) and Guam and Wake Island (U.S. possessions), and they had invaded British Burma, Malaya, Borneo, and the American-held Philippines. British Singapore, long regarded as one of the world’s strongest fortresses, fell to them in February 1942, and in March they occupied the Netherlands East Indies and landed on New Guinea. The American and Philippine forces surrendered at Bataan on April 9, and resistance in the Philippines ended with the surrender of Corregidor on May 6.
According to the Japanese plan, it would be time for them to take a defensive stance when they had captured northern New Guinea (an Australian possession), the Bismarck Archipelago, the Gilberts, and Wake Island, which they did by mid-March. But they had done so well that they decided to expand their defensive perimeter north into the Aleutian Islands, east to Midway Island, and south through the Solomon Islands and southern New Guinea. Their first move was by sea, to take Port Moresby on the southeastern tip of New Guinea. The Americans, using their ability to read the Japanese code, had a naval task force on the scene. In the ensuing Battle of the Coral Sea (May 7–8), fought entirely by aircraft carriers, the Japanese were forced to abandon their designs on Port Moresby.
A powerful Japanese force, nine battleships and four carriers under Adm. Yamamoto Isoroko, the commander in chief of the navy, steamed toward Midway in the first week of June. Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, who had taken command of the Pacific Fleet after Pearl Harbor, could only muster three carriers and seven heavy cruisers, but he was reading the Japanese radio messages. Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor raid, had planned another surprise. This time, however, it was he who was surprised. Off Midway, on the morning of June 4, U.S. dive-bombers destroyed three of the Japanese carriers in one 5-minute strike. The fourth went down later in the day, after its planes had battered the U.S. carrier Yorktown, which sank two days later.
Yamamoto ordered a general retreat on June 5. On June 6–7 a secondary Japanese force took Kiska and Attu in the Aleutians, but those were no recompense for the defeat at Midway, from which the Japanese navy would never recover. Their battleships were intact, but the Coral Sea and Midway had shown carriers to be the true capital ships of the war, and four of those were gone.
Meanwhile, despite the Germany-first strategy, the Americans were moving toward an active pursuit of the war against Japan. The U.S. Navy saw the Pacific as an arena in which it could perform more effectively than in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who had commanded in the Philippines and been evacuated to Australia by submarine before the surrender, was the country’s best-known military figure and as such too valuable to be left with an inconsequential mission. The Battle of Midway had stopped the Japanese in the central Pacific, but they continued to advance in the southwest Pacific along the Solomons chain and overland on New Guinea. On July 2, 1942, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed the naval and ground forces in the south and southwest Pacific to halt the Japanese, drive them out of the Solomons and northeastern New Guinea, and eliminate the great base the Japanese had established at Rabaul, on New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago (now in Papua New Guinea).
Operations against Japan in the Pacific picked up speed in 1944. In the spring, the JCS projected advances by MacArthur through northwestern New Guinea and into the Philippines and by Nimitz across the central Pacific to the Marianas and Caroline Islands. The Japanese, on their part, were getting ready for a decisive naval battle east of the Philippines.
After making leaps along the New Guinea coast to Aitape, Hollandia, and Wakde Island in April and May, MacArthur’s troops landed on Biak Island on May 27. Airfields on Biak would enable U.S. planes to harass the Japanese fleet in the Philippines. A striking force built around the world’s two largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi, was steaming toward Biak on June 13 when the U.S. Navy began bombing and shelling Saipan in the Marianas. The Japanese ships were then ordered to turn north and join the First Mobile Fleet of Adm. Ozawa Jisaburo, which was heading out of the Philippines toward the Marianas.
On June 19 and 20, Ozawa met U.S. Task Force 58, under Adm. Marc A. Mitscher, in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The outcome was decided in the air and under the sea. Ozawa had five heavy and four light carriers; Mitscher had nine heavy and six light carriers. On the first day, in what was called the Marianas Turkey Shoot, U.S. fighters downed 219 of 326 Japanese planes sent against them. While the air battle was going on, U.S. submarines sank Ozawa’s two largest carriers, one of them his flagship; and on the second day, dive-bombers sank a third big carrier. After that, Ozawa steered north toward Okinawa with just 35 planes left. It was the end for Japanese carrier aviation. Mitscher lost 26 planes, and 3 of his ships suffered minor damage.
U.S. forces landed on Saipan on June 15. The Americans had possession of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam by August 10, giving them the key to a strategy for ending the war. The islands could accommodate bases for the new American long-range bombers, the B-29 Superfortresses, which could reach Tokyo and the other main Japanese cities at least as well from the islands as they would have been able to from bases in China. Moreover, U.S. naval superiority in the Pacific was rapidly becoming sufficient to sustain an invasion of Japan itself across the open ocean. That invasion, however, would have to wait for the defeat of Germany and the subsequent release of ground troops from Europe for use in the Pacific. The regular bombing of Japan began in November 1944.
Although the shift in strategy raised some doubts about the need for the operations in the Carolines and Philippines, they went ahead as planned, with landings in the western Carolines at Peleliu (September 15), Ulithi (September 23), and Ngulu (October 16) and in the central Philippines on Leyte (October 20). The invasion of the Philippines brought the Japanese navy out in force for the last time in the war. In the 3-day Battle for Leyte Gulf (October 23–25), the outcome of which was at times more in doubt than the final result would seem to indicate, the Japanese lost 26 ships, including the giant battleship Musashi, and the Americans lost 7 ships.
Although Japan’s position was hopeless by early 1945, an early end to the war was not in sight. The Japanese navy would not be able to come out in force again, but the bulk of the army was intact and was deployed in the home islands and China. The Japanese gave a foretaste of what was yet in store by resorting to kamikaze (Jap., “divine wind”) attacks, or suicide air attacks, during the fighting for Luzon in the Philippines. On Jan. 4–13, 1945, quickly trained kamikaze pilots flying obsolete planes had sunk 17 U.S. ships and damaged 50.
While the final assault on Japan awaited reinforcements from Europe, the island-hopping approach march continued, first, with a landing on Iwo Jima on February 19. That small, barren island cost the lives of 6800 U.S. Marines before it was secured on March 16. Situated almost halfway between the Marianas and Tokyo, the island played an important part in the air war. Its two airfields provided landing sites for damaged B-29s and enabled fighters to give the bombers cover during their raids on Japanese cities.
On April 1 the U.S. Tenth Army, composed of four army and four marine divisions under Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Jr., landed on Okinawa, 500 km (310 mi) south of the southernmost Japanese island, Kyushu. The Japanese did not defend the beaches. They proposed to make their stand on the southern tip of the island, across which they had constructed three strong lines. The northern three-fifths of the island were secured in less than two weeks, the third line in the south could not be breached until June 14, and the fighting continued to June 21.
The next attack was scheduled for Kyushu in November 1945. An easy success seemed unlikely. The Japanese had fought practically to the last man on Iwo Jima, and hundreds of soldiers and civilians had jumped off cliffs at the southern end of Okinawa rather than surrender. Kamikaze planes had sunk 15 naval vessels and damaged 200 off Okinawa.
The Kyushu landing was never made. Throughout the war, the U.S. government and the British, believing Germany was doing the same, had maintained a massive scientific and industrial project to develop an atomic bomb. The chief ingredients, fissionable uranium and plutonium, had not been available in sufficient quantity before the war in Europe ended. The first bomb was exploded in a test at Alamogordo, N.Mex., on July 16, 1945.
Two more bombs had been built, and the possibility arose of using them to convince the Japanese to surrender. President Harry S. Truman decided to allow the bombs to be dropped because, he said, he believed they might save thousands of American lives. For maximum psychological impact, they were used in quick succession, one over Hiroshima on August 6, the other over Nagasaki on August 9. These cities had not previously been bombed, and thus the bombs’ damage could be accurately assessed. U.S. estimates put the number killed in Hiroshima at 66,000 to 78,000 and in Nagasaki at 39,000. Japanese estimates gave a combined total of 240,000. The USSR declared war on Japan on August 8 and invaded Manchuria the next day.
On August 14 Japan announced its surrender, which was not quite unconditional because the Allies had agreed to allow the country to keep its emperor. The formal signing took place on September 2 in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship Missouri. The Allied delegation was headed by Gen. MacArthur, who became the military governor of occupied Japan. It was at this signing that Emperor Hirohito explained his now famous reasoning for ending their war with America that I mentioned in my previous post which, as you can no doubt discern from it's tone, was definitely begrudgingly conceded, albeit with reservations.
In short, they were not going to stop and they were bent on domination of more than just the Asiatic territories.
Apologies for that, try these:
The Bushido Code defined - http://arvigarus.bravehost.com/bushido_002.htm
Some additional background that led to the codification of what came to be known as "The way of the Warrior" -