Japan did not surrender because of the atombombing but because of the Soviet Blitzkrieg on Mantsjukwo

It is almost common knowledge that the Japanese surrenderd after suffering two attacks with both a uranium and a plutonium atombomb, but I tend do disagree on that. Considering the loss of life and property during the massive bombing on Tokyo (causing even more casualties than both atombombattacks) and many other cities, it surely can be established that Japanese resolve to follow the bushido path to never surrender but to die via seppoekoe or banzai attacks is not going to be deterred by these two boms. However, when Soviet forces overwhelmed the Japanese Manchukwo Armyin, Japan realised that this was the ‘cout des grats’ for them. Loosing Sachalin, other islands and even potentially Korea to the Soviet influence sphere was an unbearable thought, so finally they concieted. Would you look into this theory please? I am a great fan so you can be assured I will be arround for that final episode !
Best regards,
Harry Janssens from the Netherlands

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I tend to see it as a combination of both. The desperation of the Japanese military must also be accounted for.

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Tnx for your response, I agree it is an acummulation of factors, my point is that most people tend to solely give credit to the usa and seem to forget the enormous sacrifices and contributions of the Soviets, although they were just as bad as the German Nazis. I would never hail any party or country in this horrendous war, so let’s not go there. I just want to unravel the myth around the atombomb ending the war as a sole reason .
Again tnx for replying

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I want to correct myself: where I said Koerillen I actually meant Sacharin, which was a big issue after the war
My appologies

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I would read the events of August 1945 differently. By 1945, the Japanese knew they had lost; the Navy was destroyed, merchant fleet sunk, they had limited defense of home airspace-BTW, all of this done by the Allies, less the USSR. How do we know they knew? Through broken codes and Stalin confirmed to Washington, Japan had been reaching out to the USSR in hopes they could help save Japan’s sovereignty through a negotiated settlement. Japanese diplomat’s were refused an audience.

By the second week of August 1945, the US had dropped 2 atomic bombs and the USSR declared war on Japan and attacked Japan as you described. Japan saw no recourse and surrendered unconditionally.

So to address your question directly, the USSR ended the last hope to ‘save’ the Emperor, but they did not defeat Japan.

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Thank you for your input sjwoz! I couldn’t agree with you more. Although my first statement is rather bold, I do seek, as well as I think Indy, Spartacus and the team do, the more balanced point of view. Again, my main aim on this topic is to get rid of the big story of the USA being the one and only big winner against Japan or Germany for that matter. As you correctly point out, the Soviets did little to help the western allies to defeat Japan but they did put in mighty muscle and many human losses against Nazi Germany. All things considered I agree with you and I hope more people open up their minds on topics like these. We could converse on the subject of the dubious role of all countries during both worldwars.
Again tnx for your knowledgable reply!

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You are more than welcome Harry. This forum is intended to be a friendly discussion amongst knowledgeable people on very nuanced subjects. Thank you for adding to the discussion with a very interesting topic and helpful perspectives.
Many thanks John

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I would like to share my view. I’m still a high school student so I haven’t been able to do a lot of my own research into this topic. With that said, from what I know the Japanese an had made Japan into a fortress to defend to the last man if need be. However they still had overseas possessions like in China and Korea. Either way, the US dropped the bombs on Japan, but as mentioned it didn’t do that much damage, or at least not the maximum damage it could do. Either way Japanese statesmen thought the US had an entire arsenal of atom bombs, which the US didn’t have. Still, if believed this makes it possible that Tokyo and Japanese industrial centers would be targeted. If that happened, how would Japan fight? Determination alone isn’t enough to win a war, how would they fight with no weapons and no ammunition? Plus, what’s to stop the US from completely destroying Japan? Some Japanese statesmen thought that Britain also had atom bombs, and possibly even the Soviet Union. However there were some who thought the US didn’t have any other bombs and they wanted to continue the fight. When the Soviet Union suddenly declared war and invaded overseas possessions, the Japanese were scared of communist influence inside Japan, and lost hope of insuring Japan’s survival through diplomacy. They wanted to fight on but they didn’t want to see Japan completely destroyed. I agree that the US wasn’t the only reason Japan or even Germany surrendered (with regards to Germany, that’s a subject for a different forum). Japan was willing to fight on, but even they knew you can’t fight the whole world.

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Thanks for your reaction Christaan. I guess we at least partially agree on the matter. Many people underestimate the impact the Soviet attack on Mantsjukwo had on Japanese moral and, in my humble opinion, overestimated the impact of the two atombombattacks.

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I would agree that the Soviets were the last straw for the Japanese surrender after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Thank you John, it is very comforting to meet people like you during these difficult times on such a nice forum as this! I just recently joined the Timeghost army but I was a fan from day 1, although my healthproblems kept me in hospital and rehab for half last year, I always watched the new episodes and that was always a positive buzz that kept me alive, quite literally. So I will also 'never forget ’

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Just like others mentioned i also think the blockade caused by allied submarines, naval mining efforts, as well as carrier raids contributed a lot to the issues Japan was facing. Also the effects the firebombing campaign the USAAF should not be ignored. They all contribute a lot just like the Soviet invasion as well as the atom bombs. I’m not quite sure if it matters which exactly was the final straw since the pile of straws is already getting rather tall. They should all be considered together.

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I agree with you that all aspects must be taken into consideration, my actual point is that emphasis is layed too heavily on the atombombattacks and that the invasion of Mantsjukwo (Machuria) is very much underestimated as being a (not necessarily the) final straw for the Japanese army. I hope, by the time ww2 in realtime is at that point, the team takes this topic into account, I have no doubt they will!

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True in general not so much people know that the USSR invaded Manchuria at the same day the Atom Bom was dropped on Nagasaki.
That was a bigger slap in the face of the Japanese Empire then 2 atomice bombs.
This was also one of the reasons Japan surrended their mainland to the USA instead to the USSR .
Because they faired a Soviet occupation like East Germany or North Korea.
I am also from The Netherlands :smiley:

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Thank you juan (bedankt Jan :wink:) We are not only in the same country but also in the same ballpark, my fellow dutchman!

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The Soviet Union was on the point of landing in Hokkaido when Japan surrendered. Japan’s strategy was to concentrate most forces around Tokio and on the southern island Kyushu and make the US pay such a heavy price for Kyushu that the USA would refrain from invading Honshu, the largest island of Japan, and make peace. The consequence of that strategy was that there were not enough forces on Hokkaido to eliminate Soviet forces that would land on Hokkaido and only a complete elimination of the invading force could prevent the loss of Hokkaido. Interesting books about this are ‘Racing the enemy’ by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and ‘Downfall’ by Richard B. Frank. I largely agree with the analysis that the Soviet invasion was decisive, but Japan was also on the brink of a famine in august 1945.

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Tnx, Henk, we clearly agree on the matter. The shock of the Soviets’ blitzattack made the Japanese armyleaders realize that a total defeat was immanent and they were much more inclined to surrender to the us forces and wanted to maintain their territory against all cost. I also agree that Japan was already starving but Japanese were much more resilient in holding out before even contemplating surrender because of their culture during this era (much is changed, fortunately).They rather died first before surrendering.

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@christiaanstrydomthe: Respectfully I would like to respond on you suggesting other nations would or could have nuclear capability: even nazi Germany was unable to retain enough resources to even make a nuclear firecracker, not in the least because of their loss of heavy water due to commandoraid, but even should they have the possibility to produce a bomb it wouldn’t stick. UK and USSR were hanging on their fingernails because of their war against Nazi Germany so…only the USA was capable of producing the atomic bombs but this is exactly why I started this topic: they also used it as a mighty means of propaganda to usher in the cold war, starting at the conference at Potsdam

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Henk, thanks for the reference materials, much appreciated.

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Yes I know that other counties didn’t have atom bombs, because as you said they lacked the resources. I was merely telling things from a possible Japanese perspective. They didn’t know who had and who didn’t have. I’m not saying other counties did have atomic bombs, I’m saying SOME Japanese statesmen thought other countries could have atomic bombs. Thank you for your reponse, and I’m just saying this in case I was misunderstood or something. But are you right about no other country having an atomic bomb.

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