Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Show 42 - (BLITZ) Logical Insanity
January 5, 2015 6:30 PM - Subscribe

After many listener requests, Dan examines the issue of the morality of dropping the Atomic Bombs in the Second World War. As usual, he does so in his own unique, unexpected way.
posted by the man of twists and turns (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is the first episode I listened to, some months ago, and one that has stuck with me.

The planned Operation Downfall would have had enormous number of casualties, on both sides, and the rationale of 'ending the war sooner' is often used to justify the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Alternately, the entry of the USSR into the war against Japan, and specifically the invasion of Manchuria, was what drove the surrender.

Me, well, like the adorable little girl says, por que no los dos?

But Carlin here touches on something a little deeper: that the wholesale destruction of cities has become routine at this point in the war. That the only thing atomics introduced was you only needed one plane and one bomb, and not a fleet. They otherwise treated it like a bomb - a very big bomb. And Carlin brings up another point, that airpower, being relatively new, didn't have thousands of years of codified tradition of use, like armies and navies do.

Carlin also talks about 'bomber' Harris and Douhet, and not just LeMay and Mitchell, which is nice.

Some years ago I read a book by Gert Ledig, Vergeltung, or in English, Payback. It details the horrors and resignation, the grim determination of civilians living in and through bomber attack. I really recommend it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:11 PM on January 13, 2015

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