The Oppenheimer movie has brought up the question of whether two fission bombs were needed to end the war with Japan.
This question requires understanding the situation in 1945. Germany did not surrender until after Berlin was taken. Germany was pushed back to near its own borders by Dec, 1944. Germany was mainly defending within the borders of their country in 1945. Germany lost over 700,000 soldiers and civilians in defense of their country. They were hit by the Soviets at the
225,000 soldiers and civilians were killed in the Battle of Berlin. The Western Allies had the Battle of Bulge with about 60k to 80k killed on both sides.
The most commonly cited estimate of Japanese casualties from the actual US air raids in 1945 was 333,000 killed and 473,000 wounded. Other estimates of total fatalities range from 241,000 to 900,000. This means far more Japanese were killed in conventional air bombing than from the two nuclear bombs. The US hit over
The strategy for Japan final WW2 defense was a plan called Ketsu-Go. It was outlined in an 8 April 1945 Army Directive. It stated that the Imperial Army would endeavor to crush the Americans while the invasion force was still at sea. They planned to deliver a decisive blow against the American naval force by initially destroying as many carriers as possible, utilizing the special attack forces of the Air Force and Navy. When the amphibious force approached within range of the homeland airbases, the entire air combat strength would be employed in continual night and day assaults against these ships. In conducting the air operations, the emphasis would be on the disruption of the American landing plans. The principal targets were to be the troop and equipment transports. Those American forces which succeeded in landing would be swiftly attacked by the Imperial Army in order to seek the decisive victory. The principal objective of the land operation was the destruction of the American landing force on the beach. Ketsu-Go operation was designed as an all-out joint defense effort to be conducted by the entire strengths of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Continued Deaths in China, Philippines and Asia
The war between China and Japan had 19 million Chinese deaths. Famines and the occupation of China was still resulting in military and civilian deaths.
The Nationalists fought in 22 major engagements, most of which involved more than 100,000 troops on both sides, 1,171 minor engagements most of which involved more than 50,000 troops on both sides, and 38,931 skirmishes. The Chinese communists fought a guerilla war behind the lines against Japan. Japan used chemical and biological weapons against China because China did not have chemical weapons.
In January, 1945, over 100,000 civilians were slaughtered by the Japanese Navy in the Battle of Manila.
The Soviets attacked Japan in Machuria in August, 1945. In less than two weeks the Kwantung Army, which was the primary Japanese fighting force, consisting of over a million men but lacking in adequate armor, artillery, or air support, had been destroyed by the Soviets.
Each month of world war 2 in 1945 was causing the death of 200,000 to over 1 million people.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.