Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on Racing the Enemy  CSPAN  August 8, 2015 4:00pm-5:23pm EDT

4:00 pm
every weekend at this time. this month marks the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii in the pacific. next, author tsuyoshi hasegawa discusses the pacific war, which influenced truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on japan. he reflects on the book. the woodrow wilson international center for scholars hosted the event in 2006. it is a little under 90 minutes. with that, let me introduce our distinguished , ander, tsuyoshi hasegawa
4:01 pm
authority, really, on the cold war. he needs no introduction, so let me keep it brief. he is a professor of modern russian history as well as the codirector of the center for cold war studies at the university of california, santa barbara. from the his phd , and hety of washington has a distinguished, long a publication list that precedes his new book, "racing the enemy ." let me just mention a couple of the major publications, he has on russianion relations, he has the "the february revolution in russia,"
4:02 pm
and "russia and japan: an unresolved dilemma between distant neighbors," and of course, has published numerous articles in journals in the field. his new book, "racing the enemy ," is a reassessment of the pacific war, particularly in light of russian and other evidence previously not taken into consideration. one that will -- one could probably say would be the end of the war and i look forward to his remarks. now professor tsuyoshi hasegawa has the floor. tsuyoshi: thank you, christian, thank you, hope. it is my pleasure to have the
4:03 pm
opportunity to discuss my book, "racing the enemy." and --my book, "racing the enemy: stalin, truman, and the surrender of japan." since its publication in may, morebook has provoked interest than expected. siteu know the internet devoted to diplomatic history, they have recently, they have organized around the discussion , and mobilizing the world-renowned specialist on the bernstein, the
4:04 pm
head honcho of this subject. holloway and [indiscernible] interested, you can log on and look at the site. it is quite extensive. richard frank's comments on my pages, singlespaced, in a comment. [laughter] his comments are not as along as i claim, it is only 20 pages, singlespaced, but my consisting of only about 18 pages singlespaced type. [laughter] tsuyoshi: so it is really nice to know that my book, in less
4:05 pm
than one year after the publication, is being discussed in such detail. what i would like to do today is , i would like to tell you why i published this book, and secondly, very, very briefly, tell you what it is about, and then i am going to take one example from the book to look at the issue of this in the international context, which is important when taking a look at this in international context. timeat is the bulk of my devoted to this subject. but first of all, why did i write to this? why did i write about the end of
4:06 pm
the pacific war? many books have been written about this for many reasons, and why should i add another book to the topic? the literature on the end of the war is compromised. there are three distinct literatures. on themostly american concentration of the dropping of the atomic bomb. the japanese literature is mostly focused on the political acceptance ofan's the surrender, particularly the emperor's role. and the least developed inerature is the soviet role the end of the pacific war.
4:07 pm
on anotherwriting book, one chapter was a devoted to world war ii. i realized how little was done on the soviet role, so i decided i would write the book and ring of the soviet role to the center stage. that in writing international history and incorporating all three aspects into one book. convinced that you really cannot understand the aspects of american use of the processomb or japan's of the acceptance of surrender without really understanding the other, so that is why i decided to write this book. going tolly, i am not go into the details of my argument. basically, i make three
4:08 pm
arguments. there is an intense conflict, and intense struggle between truman and stalin, between the soviet union and the , as to how to force japan to surrender. this is the struggle between truman and stalin. this is a competition between stalin and truman. many people would say that leads to the atomic bomb. iis is the first topic that -- the first argument that i the, and then i challenge commonly-held view that it is the atomic bomb that provided in most decisive factor leading to japan's surrender. argument. the first
4:09 pm
secondly, i examine very closely russo-japanese relations. the i focus how important soviets became in the surrender, that is, the soviet union had a primary role in japanese foreign-policy. and the other side of the story is how stalin exploited that situation to prepare for the war . as japan, this is the second argument and topic i pursue. and thirdly, the japanese domestic situation. conflict, the party as well asted war,
4:10 pm
the party that advocated peace, how they, particularly, how the peace party managed to maneuver the japanese process into accepting japanese surrender. that is the third topic that i pursue. i am not going to go into detail. i am sure we can discuss the subject if you are interested. ask about thatn aspect, but what i would like to focus on one very important topic, and that is the issue of the potsdam proclamation, which plays a very and iant role in my book, argue in order to understand this issue, you have to put
4:11 pm
everything into the international context, and this is one example. -- i haveted ,istributed a one-page document thethe first point is simple draft proposal for the potsdam proclamation. thepotsdam proclamation is proposal from the allies to japan. the first document is the draft that stimson gave to president truman before president truman left washington for potsdam. itself, theroposal draft proposal was actually written by the main agent that
4:12 pm
produced that document is the organization called opd, the operational division of the army. and then i give you the second secondt, that is the form of the potsdam proclamation. i was going to give you a quiz, and you would have to compare the two. you notice immediately the two major differences. one, in the stimson proclamation, of course, the soviet union was expected to participate in the proclamation. sign thes supposed to formamation and the final was that the soviet union would
4:13 pm
have stalin not abandon his signature. but the soviet union was excluded from the potsdam proclamation. the question is, of course, why? the second point is very thertant, paragraph 12 of theson draft, that is a passageaft contains that allows the possibility of japan maintaining a constitutional monarchy. in fact, as far as stimson and that iswas concerned, the linchpin of the entire proclamation draft, because the opd said it was very important
4:14 pm
that this preparation begin to japan so it could terminate the finalfore we launched the invasion. the potsdamis that would modify the surrender so that the japanese could maintain their own election system. form, look at the final the question of course is why? understand that we have to go back a little bit to understand the background.
4:15 pm
when truman came to power in april, 1945, he basically faced dilemmas.s -- two previous to his assumption of power, of course, in 1945, the united states under fdr with stalin concluded the so-called yalta agreement -- agreement, which pledged and and of the war against the pan -- against japan after the surrender of germany in return for all kinds of promises, , supplies, course
4:16 pm
and of course, some territory. ,ust remember that in return you know that for stalin to gain these war trophies, the soviet union had to enter the war. at this time, of course, the united states needed the soviets that this wasught a precondition for invasion of japan because it was necessary the japanese army and the mentoring army in korea. army -- mandarin army in korea. now there was conflict between the united states and the
4:17 pm
western allies and the soviet union over poland, eastern europe, and so truman and american politicians began to worry about the consequences of soviet expansion into asia. so some policy makers, including truman, thought that if they could avoid it, they wished that they could avoid getting the soviet union involved in the war. time, many were urging that the soviet entry would hasten the end of the war, and so therefore that would mean the sacrifice of american life. and so here is the dilemma. this is the first dilemma. the second dilemma is precisely unconditional surrender.
4:18 pm
truman was committed to the insistence of unconditional surrender, not merely because it was fdr's legacy, and not merely because it is the american public opinion that demanded it, american public opinion was against japan. if you took a gallup poll, the majority of american opinion would be in favor of hanging hirohito -- hanging and putting him into exile and so on, so the american public opinion was decidedly against japan. he -- that isse his gut reaction. to bring japant to its knees unconditionally, i
4:19 pm
think it is a just retribution of humiliation, and it is the humiliation that united states wants them to suffer. they think of all the atrocities the japanese have committed, and so they wanted to impose unconditional surrender on japan. , his advisers,nd particularly after april, began to put pressure on truman. if you insist on unconditional surrender, the japanese will fight to the bitter end. really, theaunch, invasion. that will just make open olla -- play.a look like child's
4:20 pm
ensuring thisy of was to promise japan and give them a assurance that they hope they will maintain an electoral system. that will encourage the moderate element in japan to seek more earnestly for the termination of war. this is the idea. two conflicting dilemmas that he could not resolve. going to shift the gear is to the soviet union. stalin concluded in the all-time agreement -- in the he had toement that enter the war, right? he had to enter the war.
4:21 pm
that japan might surrender before the soviets were ready to enter. ok? 1945, the soviet union led the japanese government know that the soviet union and japan had a new trilogy -- neutrality pact. the soviet union was the only country that maintained so inlity, but anyway, april of 1945, the soviet union notified the japanese government that they had no intentions to when the neutrality pact it inspired, because as a provision of the neutrality pact, you would have to notify them one year before and then it would be renewed for five years,
4:22 pm
so the soviet government notified the japanese government that they had no intention to renew the neutrality pact. let the japanese government know nonetheless that the neutrality pact was still in its term was up, that is, in april of 1946, fully that they are going to wage war against japan. so under the cloak of neutrality, stalin began to reinforce the forces in the far east, he began sending more troops, and put weapons to the far east, secretly preparing for war against japan. the question is then, how would he justify the violation of the
4:23 pm
did notty pact, and he want to be compared with hitler 's attack on the soviet union, hitler of course of the soviet neutrality pact, right? war against we wage japan by violating the neutrality pact? well, he wanted the united invade.o the diplomat from the united states went to moscow in they [indiscernible] at the upcoming potsdam conference. so if stalin was expected to be
4:24 pm
, thenvative on the issue he probably hoped that an ultimatum would be viewed as a declaration of war. so that is the game plan. well, i am going to shift the year again. how about japan? april, it was very clear that japan was not going to win the war or succeed. they accepted defeat. but defeat is different from surrender. they discussed, the policymakers discussed, surrender terms. -- theuld not decide on japanese peacemakers, the japanese policymakers, they were they wereand hopelessly divided on the issue. but one thing they could agree bothat is that they were
4:25 pm
decisively against unconditional surrender. because unconditional surrender, they interpreted it as the disruption of the emperors system -- emperor system. if they insist on unconditional surrender, they are going to fight until the bitter end. both of the war party and the peace party were in agreement. after of course the , the emperornawa himself came around to accept that it was time to terminate 12 the, and on july ambassador sent a very important message -- the foreign minister, togoorry, foreign minister
4:26 pm
,ent a very important message and in that telegram, he said that the emperor now wishes to convey his desire to terminate the war, and therefore, the japanese government would request the soviet government's mediation to terminate the war. this was the first sign for japanese willingness to terminate the war through mediation. but, he added, that if the on unconditional surrender, then japan would have no choice but to fight the war to the bitter end. ok? the japanese dilemma. and so those are the situations before the potsdam conference.
4:27 pm
and so the potsdam conference was open and it was held from 10, i meanil august august 2. 16th -- you know, by the way, i must mention that dispatched that telegram, of course, the united states intercepted the diplomatic dispatches. -- it was decoded and distributed to the highest states of the united government, so truman knew and stimson knew, and japan was very , so theysurrender thought, if we demand unconditional surrender, then
4:28 pm
japan would fight it. dispatch of japanese request for mediation was toloited totally by stalin prolong the war. the government said, well, gee, we need more clarification. stimson,he 16th, encouraged by togo's dispatch, went to truman did he said, mr. president, this is the first very important sign, and i urge you to adopt more than ever this paragraph 12, this three,utional monarch
4:29 pm
that -- constitutional monarchy, and we have a very good chance with japan. -- did notsaid respond, he said, go see burns. went to go see burns, the secretary of state burns, and burns rejected it, he rejected that request. the president and i have worked out the timetable. timetable, in my opinion, is a very, very important one. what timetable? a timetable for what? i think this is really key to understand the importance of the -- the meaning of the potsdam proclamation. on july 17, truman and stalin met for the first time. thee, stalin revealed
4:30 pm
soviet intention to enter the war around august 15. when stalin knew was going to enter the war. all right? but in order to understand this timetable, and this is another very important event that had to be taken into consideration, on july the 16th, the first atomic in new mexico. washingtonnveyed to and these reports reached truman on july 27. therefore, the and soviet entry into the war and the issuing of
4:31 pm
and thedam proclamation purpose of the proclamation is the meaning of timetable. truman no longer needed soviet entry into the war. the atomic bomb desert -- resolved the first dilemma. we had a possibility to terminate the war by dropping before the japan soviets entered the war. secondly, also it resolved the second dilemma, we can impose unconditional surrender on japan and still japan would surrender immediately or shortly after the dropping of the bomb. , it fundamentally changed the nature of the ultimatum.
4:32 pm
the ultimatum was issued not for the purpose of using japan to but,t earlier surrender, and this is the most radical interpretation i have found, and this is very controversial, but theer it was issued for purpose of being rejected by the japanese, because they knew that , the americansnd would demand unconditional surrender and the japanese would accept -- would reject it. why would they include that demand that japan's surrender unconditionally? , forin my interpretation the purpose of justifying the use of the atomic bomb. ok.
4:33 pm
, also, you have to remember the actual order to use the theic bomb was given by general's assistant chief of offf, this is the commander army strategic command, on july 25. and the potsdam proclamation was issued one day after july 25. ok, i think christian is getting finish the i will talk very soon so i will talk very quick. i am going to talk about the japanese reaction. thisapanese, they received potsdam proclamation.
4:34 pm
they noticed two things. stalin didn't sign it. second, there is no mention of the reinstatement of the emperor, and therefore, the japanese government decided to continue the previous policies, that they seek mediation so that they can terminate the war through moscow's mediations. offerid not reject the right away, right? they suspended their judgment. but what was stalin's reaction? stalin immediately realized that he was outwitted by truman. have theted to truman japanese immediately joined the truman proclamation and refused. at one point, stalin realize that truman was determined to force japan to surrender without the soviet participation, even
4:35 pm
before the soviets joined of the war, and eventually, when he tried to move the date of the in august, the united states dropped the first atomic bomb on hiroshima. onlin came back from moscow august 5. he resumed the frantic activities to always they prepare for war against japan, and i got a hold of stalin's appointment notebook. appointments up until august 5, but it is blank on august 6. it does not show anybody. what does that mean? i interpret that to be that stalin thought the game is over.
4:36 pm
the following day, on august 7, the japanese ambassador approached the soviet said, please, make an appointment so that we would know, let them know your response to our pending request for mediation. this is actually the first gesture that the japanese government showed to the reaction of hiroshima. stalin perked up. the game is not over yet. he immediately ordered a meeting so that he could have a declaration of war and he his military to move up the date of attack by two days and then on august 8, they were expecting an answer for the on 5:00 onquest, and
4:37 pm
zerot 8, it was on the hour of august 9, the soviet union put itself in a state of war against japan. the zero hour, right? this is of august 9, in the far ok, at moscow time, so in one hour, the soviet tanks crossed the manchurian border. the soviets joined the war in the nick of time. and what was truman's reaction? truman hastily convened a press gentlemen,and said, i have news to tell you. the soviet union announced that they joined the war. that is all i have to say. and then secretary burns issued
4:38 pm
an announcement, the soviet union has a legitimate right to enter the war, and that he mentioned the moscow declaration and did not say anything about the potsdamoining declaration. , in my book,e that that it is not really the atomic rather, the soviets entering the war. , of was more decisive course, the atomic bomb had huge it was alsoi think decided by the soviet entry of the war. thank you. [applause] -- christian: thank
4:39 pm
suyoshi, for an amazing speech. i think you can tell that he is not only a terrific scholar but also an amazing teacher and we appreciate his talk. our next speaker is one of the ,rand names in american history one that i've known since , butge and read his book must say never met until today. it gives me great pleasure to welcome to the wilson center robert beisner, a native of and of hastings college and the university of chicago. he went straight for the masters and phd, bypassing the bachelor's degree, and taught at
4:40 pm
the university of chicago and colgate university before going to american university in washington where he was on the history faculty of 90 to the five-1998 -- faculty of 1965-1998, when he retired to spend more time on scholarship. his numerous publications and projects to his credit, let me just mention that theas the or is the head of schaeffer bibliographer go -- schaeffer bibliographical project and his first book, "twelve against empire: the anti-imperialists,"
4:41 pm
received the prize from american historians and the john dunning prize from the american .istorical association he is the author of several other books, including "from the new," andacy to the his recent articles include "history and henry kissinger," and he is currently working on a new biography of dean absence and an american foreign-policy chinson andsen -- at an american foreign-policy. after his discussion, we will go straight to the floor and have an open discussion which my colleague will moderate.
4:42 pm
bob? thank you, christian, for that very generous introduction. i will correct it in only one sense, the atchinson book is done but not out. i want to thank you and hope and gawa and these wilson center in connection with and they havebook been enormously helpful. professor hasegawa's book is extraordinary in ways that it is as he said, the first look at international history at the end of the pacific war. there is nothing else like it. the remarkable strength is
4:43 pm
stunning. what he has managed to do by working easily, apparently, in three languages reminds me of the impact of a book published 30 some years ago by michael hunt called "frontier defense," that totally re-shifted the story of the united states, china, and manchuria a century morend made it far complex, suggesting that the tools of that historians have available to them, the more complex their arguments. i was struck by the fascinating accounts that goes within the debates of all three countries as to what to do, although the soviet version i found a little hard to accept, considering the relationship he between let's say stalin and molotov.
4:44 pm
to the subordinate cast of characters in all three countries, particularly in the united states and japan, is welcomed, and particularly, the analysis between the war and the peace parties in japan. finally, in this introductory section of praise, i want particularly to praise the conclusion, which he has not specifically mentioned. for those of you already familiar with the book, you know that the conclusion of the model in what strikes me as a courageous posing of serious counterfactual questions of trying to answer what the results would have been if this or that nation or this or that leader acted differently at this or that time.
4:45 pm
that is very difficult to do. of the mindsbacks of many scholars and writers as they work, but they rarely, almost never, spell it out in a way that he does. and even when i disagree with some of the answers that he gives, i admire the form tremendously. here --n invited me well, i can't say why, but certainly not because i am a specialist on the subject -- so my comments will be those of a generalist. particular, ton make three types of observations. first, just for a lack of better term, i will just call a observations, and then to story observations, and then i will try to do it in very good order, some moral observations. of professoreader awa's book will know that
4:46 pm
not through any strenuous record tout by the speculate on what someone believed someone thought about a particular issue at a particular time. thesisamount of the through the book is carried through, i would argue, such speculation. speculation is reasonable, plausible, but not conclusive in many cases. americans, he writes, the japanese he writes about, i am not particularly familiar with. the americans, the american cast of characters, our old friends, professork that his, familiarityreater
4:47 pm
of the japanese leadership compared to the american leadership may cause a few errors, although it is that many major ones. think there was a bit of confusion in the american leadership in 1945, especially in the state department. paid nos traveling and attention to anyone in the state department except for a small group around him. this was, the state department's influence, by fdr's design, was at the lowest ebb. askedld war ii, somebody roosevelt in a press conference about the state department declaration of neutrality in the war.
4:48 pm
yes, the quipped that state department is neutral in the war and i hope they will stay that way. [laughter] was -- burnsrns was, at this point, i would say, simply moving around the world and not really representing the state department. a way at the time said this was a period in which washington .iddles while burns roams [laughter] robert: let me make a brief remark about atchinson and his good friends here. chinson is not a major player here and the professor treats them as a fairly important player. vigorously dissented
4:49 pm
of the any softening terms of japanese surrender. this was the view that actions chinson later recanted. where it wassition an accommodating piece, but it was the right one. awa said rightly that this would have an impact on truman. truman was fearful politically in bending, but atchinson july of 1945 was the assistant secretary of state for congressional relations on his way out of government. he only becomes under secretary of state the day japan his time ofand
4:50 pm
great influence as an undersecretary, probably the most powerful number two man in the department ever, was yet to come. that would come under martial. -- marshall. but he was simply not a player in 1945. as a matter of fact, when it burns succeeded the position of secretary of state, atchinson turned in his resignation, truman accepted it, and atchinson headed to upstate new york for a vacation. washington, truman and burns figured out, oh, we don't have a secretary of -- we don't have an undersecretary of state, they didn't really mean 's accept atchinson resignation, so he came back. truman didn't even know him. please, this was a
4:51 pm
fine friend, but as a burnstary said that when was named secretary of state, he was surrounded by a bevy of poets. importantly, i have reservations, although they are not fundamental, about professor awa's views of truman. book, although emotional, passionate, especially in his feelings of wanting revenge against the i seese, rings true, but in the book a cunning truman that at least in 1945 was not there. with truman daily in
4:52 pm
studying atchinson, of course at it was thisiod, but truman at 1940 five is not the one that i know from my own research. -- at 1945 is not the one that i know from my own research. truman was confused and was trying to be both fdr and not fdr, he was blustering and vacillating and there is evidence for all of this in h asegawa's book. he was also not at this time in --5 determined at lee edly anti-soviet. sense tohis, i see no change my story of truman and the atomic tom.
4:53 pm
he wanted to end the war as soon as possible, period. reason, he was determined to maintain u.s. control of the occupation of if possible, to prevent further soviet expansion. one further biographical is towards, and that stalin. i can't prove this, but i am not can that professor hasewaga prove this either, but i am startled by his picture that stalin wanted to approve righteous in the last few months of war in ending this neutrality with japan and timing his actions against asia and so forth. i was reminded again of his fundamental character during a recent vacation when i dispersed with mainly protective -- mainly
4:54 pm
detective procedurals. one that is aend nice downer of a book for people to read. torigraphical observations of the book. how would i have changed what i did on teaching courses of american history? i knew i would have to change it a lot, but how much is the question. the old debate in the united is mainly, as he said, about truman'use of atomic bombs of their -- truman's use onmic bombs and their impact 40 years plus. it has been the same debate over and over. littlebeen a debate a bit like, does the unicorn's feetet, is it two
4:55 pm
long or three feet long? the question is has hasewaga ended the debate or has he simply added to it, is it too and a half feet long or has it shifted entirely? it is not a unicorn at all but it is a griffin. i would say without arguing all of the details that perhaps he has fashioned a griffin on the role of the soviet union, which is really new to the sto riography, not utterly new. the reason for japan's surrender , and i don't find this inconclusive, but he is still leaving us arguing about the length of horns on the story of truman and the united states and the atomic bomb.
4:56 pm
i don't think that debate will stop. an greatest interest of american in this book is about hiroshima and not a sake -- and nagasaki. 's argument against believing that the atomic bomb produced at the surrender of japan is an equally strong argument against the view that the bomb was used at a time when it was obvious that japan was about to surrender. it wasn't about to surrender. in fact, japan's strategy was horrendousflicting injury on americans or the prospect of horrendous injury to americans in a battle on the mainland of japan in order to get better terms. argues, itr hasewaga
4:57 pm
was the soviet attack that fundamentally killed that strategy, but that was a live possibility until the very end. japan was not about to give up. indicates, asce part of his strongest arguments at the time of her road shall and nagasaki, the fight to the and nagaskaki,ma the fight to the end would cause major u.s. casualties, if that fight ever occurred. thatrocess in the weeks were going by, as i understand it, was that the offensive might look to american military planners as japan was sending more and more troops from korea into japan, so at one time u.s. planners with think about
4:58 pm
sending an overwhelming amount of troops. and as it happened, when the japanese government did surrender, it had a hard time sometimes getting the army to act accordingly. one other point about casualties, this casualty suffered by the soviet armies in the few days that there were fighting -- that they were fighting was extensive, and it further prove the u.s.'s concerns that casualties were justified. surrender,tion of what most strikes me is that surrender was not a possibility ,- let me go back a moment speaking now again as a non-specialist. what most strikes me about
4:59 pm
andessor hasewaga's book the many pages of the diplo for a moment i got back from vacation is that surrender was not a possibility, japanese surrender, and tell -- until hirohito fully engaged himself, and he did that because of the shock of hiroshima. fear of domestic upheaval accelerated his movement towards there is no doubt that he preferred surrendering to americans of than it to the russians. were of the russians stimulated, of course, by the soviet attack. it is hard for me to avoid the conclusion that the combination, which is a very safe conclusion, not nearly as radical as 's, that ahasewaga combination of atomic bombs and the soviet attack produced the japanese surrender.
5:00 pm
i want to sit down now so we can have q&a, and at that point, if anybody is interested in posing some of the moral issues, i will be happy to join that. thank you. [applause] much for au very fascinating lecture by professor wa and a very interesting, provocative response by professor beisner. i would like to take some questions. >> two brief questions. did it hurt the american sides to what i call split the difference.
5:01 pm
that is the maintenance of the imperial system combined with the deposition, and did it occur to know when in the american government of having an unbroken zone of american occupation from theawa all the way to center, to do whatever was necessary to prevent soviet involvement in the war? harrison: thank you. next question in the back. >> has anyone tried to psychoanalyze the state of mind ? the emperor what did he believe about his own divinity? harrison: thank you. here comes the microphone, sir.
5:02 pm
>> i'm a retired foreign service officer with the state department. it's my understanding that the deputy secretary of general , one of the leaders of the faction within the american government, pushing for the notntion of the emperor only as a way to hasten the end onlye war but also as the hope we had to provide legitimacy to our government japan? he occupation of secondly, did the united states government and form the soviet union of its stance before we dropped the atomic bombs on japan? prof. harrison: i want to encourage all the students in the audience to be thinking of questions for the next round. from hasegawa: i'll start the last question. there was no communication. americans did not inform, of and the dropping of the
5:03 pm
bomb was a great shock. although stalin knew that it was the americans. during the postwar conference, truman approached stalin during said, "we have succeeded in developing a weapon of enormous destructiveness." bomb, but say atomic stalin immediately knew he was talking about the atomic tom because he had spies already. but if he thought the americans would use the atomic tom so quickly, i think that is an open question. he probably did not expect americans to use it so quickly. when it was dropped in hiroshima, it was a great , and the organization
5:04 pm
did not report dropping the bomb until days later. about thes volumes soviet shock. about the emperor's position, i think this is true. particularly, it was the military who insisted on the position of the emperor because onlymperor was the authority who could really order the sudden death of the japanese troops. as far as the ambassador was concerned, his position is very interesting. he was in the beginning very -- in favoraber of
5:05 pm
of revising unconditional surrender, but perhaps because he was under tremendous attack .rom the state department i will disagree with you that i do not think truman was influenced by those. butn't think i said that they didn't have an impact on the state department. he was under attack. i mean, they composed collective
5:06 pm
letter and sent it to burns. i don't think it was an burns may and i think be exploited their opinion to his advantage. to that extent, i think they had some impact on the process. you see -- what else? -- let's see, what else? you asked about occupation. the army discussed about occupation. they even entertained the andibility of occupation, , they were quite
5:07 pm
prepared to give to the soviet union, probably to reduce the cost of occupation. to that extent, the army in japan -- of course, stinson was really opposed to that. about the psychology of the i was surprised by the comments that my book is not conclusive. of course, i do not pretend to have brought you the definitive book. is definitive. it's always a work in progress. i am quite prepared to revise my views in view of new evidence, whereularly in the area
5:08 pm
you are dealing with in conclusiveness. you have to engage in speculation. you have to engage in speculation, and i think speculation is a very legitimate area of the historical profession. a series of conversations between the emperor and his most important advisor. are notnversations recorded, and who played the most important role in this whole thing on the american side? that's burns, and burns and truman had many numerous conversations. burns was the most important person on the uss augusta on the .ay from the united states
5:09 pm
those conversations are not recorded. right? so we have to of course speculate. you can accuse me of the speculations being not plausible, but you cannot really tell me or tell anybody to produce the evidence, the smoking gun, because there is no such thing. .t's very unlikely so therefore, i agree with you. the debate will continue. i did not intend my book to be the last word on that. i went out on a ledge to speculate so that i could provoke some debate, right?
5:10 pm
the base of soviet attack is the face of speculation, or example, the emperor's decision to accept surrender. that is speculation because there's no record. ." conjecture by process of elimination. i'm just hoping that this kind of conjecture and speculation will open up a debate and search themore evidence, and if evidence contradicts my speculation, fine. i accept. prof. harrison: do we have time ? r one more questions ok, one more set. any students around who want to ask questions? anybody with the guts back to their? no? ok.
5:11 pm
>> i'm from george c marshall high school. this bevy of young people here goes something to me. we discussed in our class the secret agreement, and i think they are all thinking along the same lines that i am. there's some indication that the soviets were seeking a quick conclusion to the negotiations with shang kai-shek and the with thoseernment provisions in the secret agreement at yell to. was there any indication in the papers you found in the soviet union that the russians were less treated with the pace of the negotiations with the chinese? ok, let me take two more questions and we will end with that, yes. >> my name is philip kaplan. there has been some historical
5:12 pm
writing to the effect that one of the things that led truman to -- the bomb, not the exclusive thing, but in combination with some of the other analysis you have it possession, might be to make clear to the soviet union who would be in charge. i would be interested if you could comment on that. prof. harrison: i'm interested in that, too. great. last question here. >> i'm at catholic university. following on on that, it sounded closely adhere fairly to the thesis in atomic .iplomacy the first half of my question is -- do you have any disagreements with that thesis? second, i did not hear any
5:13 pm
the japanese peace posing conditions other than maintaining the emperor -- i mean, there was a provision that basically, the japanese forces would disarm themselves. trials.ld run their own do you go into this? ok, thank you: very much. please go ahead. that hasegawa: i am glad you asked the important point of sit -- of soviet negotiations. in my opinion, the yell to agreement was a complete
5:14 pm
violation of cell china's sovereignty. agreement. to they discussed those agreements without any consultation to china. it's one thing to violate japanese sovereignty, but it's another to violate the sovereignty of allied nations. in china was not informed until much later. do you know why fdr and stalin did not reveal the outcome of yalta? because the chinese could not be trusted. revealed thewe consultation to the chinese, they would turn on us.
5:15 pm
stalin had to get an agreement with the chinese government, and that negotiation went on. stalin thought it was a good idea to have chinese agreement. sort of convinced of the opinion said that he could buttress his argument. justified going to war against japan. thatave to understand stalin -- i mean, the soviet union -- i tend to disagree with your characterization of stalin. stalin could do anything. stalin said ok, we can violate any laws whatever it is convenient. that is totally opposite to the behavior of the soviet union. the soviet union really adhered to the treaty.
5:16 pm
they were very, very serious about treaty obligations. stalin it prolonged -- wanted to come to the conference with that signed agreement. .e could not achieve that the final soviet negotiation continued. finally, finally, stalin just went ahead to enter the war without an agreement, which is a
5:17 pm
violation of the yalta agreement, but he gambled that once you enter the war, neither the united states nor china would raise the question. thelly, they concluded final soviet friendship and agreement. on the day, shortly after japan accepted. i disagree with him on a number of occasions. if you read my book carefully, for instance, i do not argue that the atomic bomb was used as a cold war weapon. i did not argue that japan was therefore, the atomic bomb was totally unnecessary. i did not argue that the united changed the conditions,
5:18 pm
and the japanese would unconditionally surrender right away. all those things i disagree. on the i agree, but not in the way he argues. arguing that the use of atomic arms was primarily against the soviet union so that the united states could expect the soviets to behave in eastern europe. that's not my argument. i think the argument is crucial because truman was interested in terminating the war before the soviets entered the war. i did not quite understand mr. .aplan's question
5:19 pm
i'm sorry, my mind was wandering around when you ask the question. you may have already answered it, professor. what i was really asking was it, as truman calculated the various equities he had to grapple with at the end of the war, if he included that using the bomb addition to its instrumental , might to end the war also make the point to the soviet union that we were the dominant power and that they would have to conduct themselves in a more district -- more constructive fashion. as to post go so far a question in terms of eastern europe because it seems to me that's quite a stretch, but in a more general way, he could see the soviet union was going to be one of the great powers in the aftermath of world war ii that we would have to grapple with. there was already evidence that the relationship was becoming more tense even before roosevelt died. the issue was if he would have
5:20 pm
put a priority on using the bomb in addition to all the other factors to make this point as well. prof. beisner: i think, unfortunately, i have to bring the discussion to an end. i don't think it is a bad thing to it and with a question. i very much appreciate professor professor and beisner's talks. inspiring, controversial, stimulating. i would like to thank my harrison, fore cochairing this meeting. i'd like to thank you for coming here on this late friday afternoon and sharing the discussion with us. hope to see you again sometime here at the wilkins center. thank you for coming. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
5:21 pm
history bookshelf, here from the country's best-known american history writers from the past decade every saturday at 4:00 p.m. eastern, and to watch these programs any time, visit our website, you are watching american
5:22 pm
history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. sunday night, former emergency manager of detroit talks about detroit's financial issues and his job overseeing the largest municipal bankruptcy in u.s. history. than detroit had taken $1.5 billion it borrowed in 2005 and 2006 when the stock market went down to 6700, and if it had just invested it in the index fund, whatever, stock market is now trading at 18,000, almost three times what it was. they not only would have tripled their money, they could have paid the pensions in full and got back to business of declaring what was called a 13th check, used to be a practice of having pensioners a 13th check at the end of the year in addition to the 12 they are due. it could have fixed itself if there had been some sort of sober management going forward, just like any organization -- the united states, as well. if


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on