Pilot Who Dropped the A-Bomb Didn’t Know Japan Wanted To Surrender

November 4, 2007

ARTICLE SYNOPSIS:

Paul Tibbets piloted the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Unbeknownst to him and the American people at the time was the fact that the Japanese had already tried to surrender.

 

Follow this link to the original source:Paul Tibbets, pilot who bombed Hiroshima, dies at 92

COMMENTARY:

The Chicago Tribune’s Walter Trohan was arguably America’s most respected journalist sixty years ago. In a front-page article published by his newspaper on August 19, 1945, Trohan told of having access to a January 1945 peace offering from Japan. He explained that he and his newspaper could not publish what they knew at the time because they were cooperating with a censorship code requiring silence about military matters during wartime.

Once the war finally ended on August 15, 1945, Trohan related that, in January, President Roosevelt “received a Japanese offer identical with the terms subsequently concluded by his successor, President Truman.” But FDR, who passed away in mid-April, did nothing and a few days later went to Yalta to meet with Churchill and Stalin.

Had the Japanese offer been accepted when presented in January, there would have been no enormously costly battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, no firebombing of Japanese cities by our air force, and no dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war would have ended in the Pacific before all of those events took place, and its end would likely have speeded Germany’s surrender that didn’t come until several months later.

Colonel Paul Tibbets and his crew couldn’t have known about Japan’s January offer when they unleashed the horrible weapon on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Nor could Major Charles Sweeney and his B-29 crew have known about it when they dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki a few days later. The twin attacks cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. The attitude held by most at the time insisted that the attacks were necessary to avoid the need for an invasion of mainland Japan and the loss of perhaps millions more. But that attitude was incorrect, though very few at the time knew that it was.

In her 1956 book The Enemy at His Back, journalist Elizabeth Churchill Brown supplied convincing commentary about the close of the war. One of many whose research confirmed the revelation supplied by Walter Trohan about the early Japanese desire to surrender, she wrote: “I quickly began to see why the war with Japan was unprecedented in all history. Here was an enemy who had been trying to surrender for almost a year before the conflict ended.”

Why Japan’s offer was not accepted can only be a matter for speculation. But, in an article written by this author and published in The New American magazine in August 1995 (the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan), I suggested that the threat of nuclear terror made obvious by the bombings “has been used effectively to propel mankind – especially the United States – to the brink of world government.”

The real winners of the war were the enemies of national sovereignty who were also promoters of the United Nations. Once the bombs were dropped, it became fashionable for internationalists everywhere to claim that nations can no longer be truly independent and peoples can no longer expect to exercise God-given freedoms. In his 1967 book Utopia: The Perennial Heresy, Professor Thomas Molnar agreed with our assessment when he wrote: “Political leaders, fearful of the final cataclysm of nuclear annihilation, say that men must huddle together under a world government….” This argument can still be heard today.

The combination of assuring that the bloody war in the Pacific would continue for seven more months, and the decision, made at the top levels of our government, to use frightfully horrific nuclear weapons on non-combatant Japanese, has to be considered one of the most horrible crimes in all history.

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