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An Atomic Anniversary in the City the Bomb Spared (citylab.com)
21 points by aaronbrethorst 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments





Kyoto was in fact the first target for the atomic bomb:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33755182

After holding a discussion with the President, Mr Stimson wrote in his diary on 24 July 1945 that "he was particularly emphatic in agreeing with my suggestion that if elimination was not done, the bitterness which would be caused by such a wanton act might make it impossible during the long post-war period to reconcile the Japanese to us in that area rather than to the Russians".


I often wonder how big a role the need to keep occupied Japan out of the hands of Russia had on the scheduling of the atomic bombings. Allowing an East Germany situation to befall Japan would've had dire consequences for the latter half of the 20th century, but it does beg the question of whether allowing more time for the first bombing to sink in could have prevented the need for a second. Given the staggering casualty levels the Japanese government at the time was preparing to take to defend the home islands, perhaps not, but one does wonder.

> Allowing an East Germany situation to befall Japan would've had dire consequences for the latter half of the 20th century

This is a comment that works in retrospect, but at the time the carving up of east europe to soviet and western forces, and the division of berlin was seen as the solution to de-nazifying germany and eastern europe, not something horrific. The horror of east germany was still years, a decade and more, from being learnt.

The US may have desired the lion's share of pacific territory under their control, but the cold war had not begun yet.




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