49 Comments

  • And if we didn't use them, the cost of a ground invasion of mainland japan would be a 1000 times worse for both sides, the death toll would be hundreds of times greater than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, the war would drag on probably into the 50's. It had to end quickly, so dropping the bombs were a necessary lesser evil.

  • One night at the pub, some guy punches you. You may have provoked him, he might have been too stubborn to apologize. Who knows. Details are a bit hazy. So, the next day you track down where the guy lives. You go and burn down his house. Several members of his family die in the flames. But you feel better. Justice has been done.

    Years later, the people at the pub still debate whether, how or to what extend you had provoked the guy. And whether, when and how sincerely he wanted to apologize and maybe even buy you a beer. These are the pertinent points left to discuss, after all. Some say, your actions were against the pub rules. Others say, that – quite the opposite – the pub rules left you with no other cause of action. The pub rules are complicated.

    “Who knows what the guy would have done next if he hadn’t got his house burned down to send him a message!? Yes, it is of course regrettable that some of his family had to die. But the guy should have known what he got himself into! In the grand scheme of things, burning down his house surely helped to prevent more damage than it caused!”

    Most people outside the pub are somewhat indifferent in regards to what happened back then. “It was a pub fight, after all. And such things happen in pub fights. Who’s to say who really was in the right or in the wrong? Nothing to learn from.” – gerald menzel

  • USA invest time and money in the development of the bomb, and they want to test the results of their new toy. Japan was the perfect target at that moment. Bad luck for them but USA has to test it, if not there… in other country maybe…Germany?

  • ive noticed that stefan is a very sensitive person when it comes to human suffering. you can't tell when watching his harsh criticisms. it's so cute c:

  • What Hiroshima tells us, is that sometimes the extreme action has long lasting ….positive…. effects over minute pin prick attacks as in this case we went extreme, and effectively knocked the stupid and craziness out of a whole group of people long term….so much so…that they are now one of our allies.  we should learn from that.  WE WON the war against japan. yet think of all our recent military actions….the end result has pretty much been draws and obtuse.  sometimes we just have to use the hardest option we have. its possible…trhe only way to defeat Islamic terror long term is to do a reset like we did with Japan. you don't have to hit every Muslim country. you just hit the big one. the rest will get idea when they know you mean business.

  • I do not believe the history is as settled on Hiroshima as Stefan would like for it to be.

    I will address his discourse point by point:

    **7:36 – "I would like to see a source for that." Stefan doubts casualty study in invasion of Japan

    Stefan should familiarize himself with the proposed plan for the invasion of Japan called "Operation Downfall." Everyone, from Truman and MacArthur down to LeMay and Halsey. He the plan become reality, it would have been the largest amphibious assault in military history.

    As part of Operation Downfall, as one can imagine, there was a tremendous amount of preparation, including considering different models describing American casualties.

    General Lauris Norstad: estimated 500,000 American dead
    Admiral Nimitz: 49,000 dead in 1st 30 days (indicating a long fought campaign)
    General MacArthur: 105,000 American dead after 120 days
    Admiral Leahy: 268,000
    Chief Major General Willoughby: 450,000
    Secretary Stimson cited casualties between D-Day and V-E Day: 766,294 casualties
    William Shockley, who was instrumental in developing military radar, was asked to submit a report to the War Department: 1.7-4 million American casualties, 5-10 million Japanese casualties

    **8:30 – Stefan quoting Eisenhower that he (Eisenhower, that is) felt that Japan wanted to surrender

    A good quote by a powerful figure in the war. But not everyone was in agreement.

    "There are voices which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas. … I am surprised thawwwwwwwwwwwt very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives."

    ~ Winston Churchill

    **9:38 – Stef says, "The Japanese were willing to surrender, unconditionally, with one exception."

    In fact, there was no consensus in Japan to surrender.

    "The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion. American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender."

    ~ Historian Richard B. Frank

    "Another myth that has attained wide attention is that at least several of Truman's top military advisers later informed him that using atomic bombs against Japan would be militarily unnecessary or immoral, or both. There is no persuasive evidence that any of them did so. None of the Joint Chiefs ever made such a claim, although one inventive author has tried to make it appear that Leahy did by braiding together several unrelated passages from the admiral's memoirs. Actually, two days after Hiroshima, Truman told aides that Leahy had 'said up to the last that it wouldn't go off.'

    Neither MacArthur nor Nimitz ever communicated to Truman any change of mind about the need for invasion or expressed reservations about using the bombs. When first informed about their imminent use only days before Hiroshima, MacArthur responded with a lecture on the future of atomic warfare and even after Hiroshima strongly recommended that the invasion go forward. Nimitz, from whose jurisdiction the atomic strikes would be launched, was notified in early 1945. 'This sounds fine,' he told the courier, 'but this is only February. Can't we get one sooner?'

    The best that can be said about Eisenhower's memory is that it had become flawed by the passage of time."

    ~ History professor Robert James Maddox

    **9:58 – Stefan citing the Germans and the Versailles Treaty

    Stefan is very smart, but he has a nasty habit of being hypocritical as he is here. Stef thinks it is OK to refer to the German's when he feels like it, but scolds the caller and chops him off at the knees when referring the Weimar Republic in his remarks a few moments later (at 10:55).

    Stef eventually relents when the caller insists that it is relevant (11:01), but really, were the histrionics necessary?

    **11:45 – Stefan: "They had firebombed the shit out of Tokyo."

    Indeed, but apparently not sufficiently enough to warrant a surrender by Japan, so I fail to see the point here.

    **12:23 – Stefan: "They were allowed to keep their Emperor anyway."

    This was possible, of course, through the efforts of MacArthur who had a deep understanding of the Japanese people and their culture. He was the man, of course, who realized more than anyone (on the American side, at least) that if he were to oversee the reconstruction of Japan, his job would be much easier with an Emperor on the throne.

    Stefan keeps coming back to this point, for some reason, but fails to realize that the hang-up here is not with the Americans and the Emperor. The hangup was that Japan was NOT willing to surrender.

    **15:00 – Stefan invokes Iraq.

    Not much to say here except that invoking Iraq and what has transpired there is a non-sequitur. In a fair and just world, the caller should have chimed in here and said, "Wait a second, Stefan, you gave me a hard time when I made a comment about the Weimar Republic and now you are talking about Iraq (for some reason)?"

    Of course, at this point Stef probably would have hung-up on the caller because, well, he can. In the meantime, this is still just another fit of hypocrisy from Stefan here. Quite rich, I might say, for someone who rails against hypocrisy on an on-going basis.

    **15:57 – Stefan making the claim that it is hard for the average American to swallow that their country was in the wrong about the atomic bombings because of pride…blah blah.

    First of all – not an argument, but rather a baseless assumption.

    Second of all, many Americans do, in fact, see the atomic bombings as unjustified.

    Of course, pride has nothing to do with it. It came down to making the right decision under the circumstances, guided by the only important question in all of this: was it correct to take 100 lives to save 150 lives?

    Stefan would like to make you believe the history is settled. It is, factually, not settled as Japan never tendered a resignation until after the fact.

    Anything outside the facts is revisionism.

    **20:19 – Stefan: "It was a dictatorship."

    Actually, it is a monarchy. A monarchy, I might add, that has enjoyed rabid support from the citizenry over the course of many centuries

    I suggest Stefan look up the Japanese notion of "Total War". Many private citizens were intimately involved in the war effort in ways big and small.

    **27:16 – Stefan: "Bombings were only 3 days apart, so this was a totally new thing. No one knew what was happening."

    This, as a matter of recorded history, is only partly true.

    The Japanese did, in fact, receive warnings about 5 days before the bombings in the form of leaflets dropped from American aircraft. One such version of the leaflets contained the following (in Japanese of course):

    "Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or a friend. In the next few days, four or more of the cities named on the reverse side of this leaflet will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories, which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique that they are using to prolong this useless war. Unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s well-known humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.

    America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique, which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace, which America will bring, will free the people from the oppression of the Japanese military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan.

    You can restore peace by demanding new and better leaders who will end the War.

    We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked, but at least four will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately."

    The United States, in fact, dropped 63 millions leaflets across Japan in the months leading up the atomic bombings. Between the firebombing and the prospect of a new and even more devastating weapon waiting in the wings, Japan NEVER tendered a resignation.

    Truman said right after the bombing, "If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware."

    Upon hearing these words, the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Suzuki Kantaro, repeated the stated position that Japan will fight on. For their part, the governement of Japanse nor the Emperor issued a statement.

    So back to the bombing of Hiroshima. The atomic bomb dropped there in August 6. All communication with Hiroshima dropped. Fearing the worst, Tokyo sends a scientist who arrives there on the 7th. He immediately returns to Tokyo and confirms that the city has been leveled by an atomic bomb

    The rest of the video is just rehash, but needless to say, there is no consensus or agreement that Japan was going to surrender.

  • Stefan, it's your claim, so I challenge you to unequivocally PROVE the Japanese before/after surrender terms were the same. (Hint: it will require more than 10 minutes of googling and I don't expect you to be successful)

  • i am at 3:04
    and i am yelling at my screen.
    most americans are never taught WHy
    why did the us vaporise 2 cities?because OF U.S POLICIES against japan.
    the u.s squeezed japans resource base.

  • I guess the Japanese killed around 6 MILLION Chinese, Indonesians, Indochinese and Filipino soldiers. Stefan, you make it sound like NO civilians were killed by the Japanese. Oh but the "Japanese women and children", right? As a Filipino I say they got what they deserved.

  • YES MAN BUT WHY???

    He answered you straight away. Can't you fucking listen?

    I'm subscribed to you, Stefan, but you really don't help yourself.

    And your reasons for the attack on Pearl Harbour are so, SO weak. Be consistent. Evaluate your arguments.

  • Not just Chinese women they raped tons of Korean and Vietnamese women as well. And FDR loved Stalin cause he was half a communist.

  • It's easy for Stefan to say it wasn't justified. He wasn't a grunt who had seen his buddies on Iwo Jima or Okinawa killed by a Jap crawling out of a hole with grenades strapped to his body. He didn't see the enemy absorb a ten to one casualty rate, and still not surrender until they were wiped out virtually to the last man. He wasn't a 17 or 18 year old GI who was being moved to a forward area in the Pacific in anticipation of a land invasion.

  • I enjoy Stefan's videos but he is absolutely wrong about the dropping of the A-Bombs, the Pacific War and how it was concluded. The Japanese had lost the war 2 years before the A-Bombs were dropped. Many Japanese cites had been reduced to ashes by the Fire Bombing and yet they WOULD NOT surrender. They were given many chances and even after the first A-Bomb, they would not surrender. If you want to know the history of this in a documentary, watch "Victory in the Pacific",  a PBS documentary, part of the American Experience Series. They go through the details of the ending of the Pacific War in a way that I cannot do here. I think the Video is on You Tube. It tells a VERY different story from that Stefan lays out here. Yes, here's the excellent video:/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E96TUffbITo

  • I don't buy the argument that Pearl Harbor attack was a ploy by the Japanese to force America's hand into lifting the materials embargo. Had that been the case the attack would have taken place in isolation. But it did not. The Japanese invaded Malaya (as it was called then) on the 8th December actually before the PH attack. To me this clearly demonstrates their expansionist agenda (not that this required further demonstration after its invasion of Manchuria in 1931). General Yamashita had been in Hainan Island for some while preparing for the invasion also shows this to be a clear and intentional offensive. After bombing PH Japan would almost certainly have been denied access to South American rubber even if all out war between the 2 had not erupted, and the only other major global source was Malaya. Clear expansionist intention.

  • Those commenting on Stefan's attitude are just trying to ignore the facts Stefan is presenting and derail the conversation. The admission that the US government committed war crimes against Japan is too much for patriot morons to bear.

  • The call-in guy is a fraud, he knows nothing about Japan or the U.S. reasons for the dropping the A-Bomb.. He should hang-up before the world knows how phony he is…

  • the bombing of hiroshima was VERY justified
    you sir, don't know what you're talking about

    to tell the truth, japan got a very easy and cheap way out of the war, compared to Germany and to the atrocities that japan did.

    -A history bachelor.

  • I feel bad for this kid. He was asking a genuine question and was attentive and respectful throughout the video. I generally like Stefan's content but he was being extremely rude and condescending to the caller. He didn't agree with Stefan but that's why he wanted to TALK about it. Disappointing, Stefan. That dumb communist caller deserved to be thrown under the bus, but this kid didn't.

  • Japan had known they were losing the war since Guadalcanal, they lost all their navy at the marianas, Tokyo was bombed and burned to the ground.

    so if none of those would cause them to surrender, what, short of a drastic shock, makes you think they would have surrendered?

    even after the bomb the military still did not want to surrender but they were overruled.

  • If the Japanese were going to surrender in 2 weeks without the bomb, then why didn't they instantly surrender upon the dropping of the first nuke?

  • you are all mad because you hate the truth the caller was answering nothing was just dudging around ..
    you are all just mad because he think the bombing was wrong and it was what's wrong with us people.. And and before we see anything one of you is on another saying Jesus is king when He preached love … Let's not be of those to condemn the truth when we hear or see it …
    Stefan is a real guy on another level of sincerity

  • How would you explain not bombing to the 50 million South Koreans who would now be starving under the rule of Kim ill under the light of kerosene lamps, struggling to assemble Atomic Bombs during their 12 hour day jobs under the critical eyes of ubiquitous and sadistic police, after the Russians had conquered all of the Korean peninsula.

  • Would you agree to go back in time to help Truman write letters to the millions of next of kin of dead American servicemen if you are wrong? He cuold sure have used the help, if he had guessed wrong on your advice. How would he go about explaining to the widows and orphans and grieving parents that he had spent 2 billion dollars of their money on a weapon that he was too squeamish to use.

  • Stef, why don't we gamble; Truman does nothing on your say so, waits for Jap surrender: 1. Japs surrender. 2. Russia gets Korea, gives it to Kim ill, millions of dead Japanese, millions of American widows and orphans and grieving parents, 2 billion in American taxes spent for a war ending weapon that sits on the shelf. Let's flip the coin.

  • One thing to keep in mind here is that it is thanks to Hiroshima and Nagasaki that we know exactly what happens to a populated city when one of these bombs is dropped on it. Tests can give a measure of data regarding the power of these bombs, but it is something else to see one actually destroy a city.

    Ten years later, the U.S. and Russia would both have nukes and be in open conflict in Korea. If we did not have the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I believe we would not have appreciated the full realities of using one of these weapons, and so Korea would have turned into a nuclear conflict. Russians would have been nuking Americans, Americans would have been nuking Russians, and I don't think it is a stretch to say that would have made things much, much worse.

    You can argue the justification of dropping the bombs on Japan, and you'll get no argument from me. However, if there is a silver lining to those bombs, it is that that is the one and only time that there was a common enemy between Russia and America, and, thus, is the one time the use of a nuke in that conflict, displaying its full destructive power, would not have escalated a war between the two nuclear powers.

    So, I would argue that, as horrific as it was in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the half-million or so that died in those bombs saved that lives of countless millions in the following decades.

  • I love Stefan, but his unwarranted condescension and hypocritical "stay on topic" bullshit is weak as fuck. Pull up your socks Stefan, you are capable of much better work.

  • you ever read about Operation Downfall? Japanese would be an extinct race and hundreds of thousands of Americans dead, if it were not for the A Bombs.

  • fuck you steven… you don't want to "dwell" on the tens of millions of innocent people that Japan massacred..but you make a huge video on one hundred thousand japs that died

  • Bringing up Weimar in a conversation about WW2 – completely off topic

    Rambling about the invasion of Iraq in a conversation about WW2 – an important addition to the debate, got it. Stefan is needlessly rude in this video, considering the scope of this debate. With that said, if the kid wanted to come and debate, he really should have been better prepared and not aimlessly waffled so much in the intro. Molyneux's argument is solid enough in terms of finding enough evidence & quotes to back it up, and it seems he wins the kid over, but he behaves like a total prick and ignores the rather obvious fact that Japan had already been preparing for a ground war by arming civilians on the home front. Would an East Asian Stalingrad be any preferable to dropping the bomb? Maybe, maybe not – don't be so dismissive. Similarly, how is not wanting to provide fuel for the Rape of Nanking an act of war? With that said, there's more than enough evidence that FDR knew the harbour bombing was coming, and he literally did nothing to prepare so the US could enter the war as he promised Churchill.

  • dont pay attention to the "omg you hurt his feelings" bullshit. keep educating the best way you know how.

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