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Did The Anglo-British Bomb Japan To Stop Bose?

It was more than seven decades ago that the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Japan, obliterating the city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people and ushering in a new era of nuclear conflict.

 Today President Barack Obama has become the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. Obama made it clear in his interview with Japan’s public broadcaster NHK that he would not offer an apology and Japan also said it would not seek one.

The majority of Americans have long viewed the two atomic bombings as necessary in bringing the war to an end and therefore saving even more lives, although this argument has been widely queried by historians.

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of US Army forces in the Pacific, stated on numerous occasions before his death that the atomic bomb was completely unnecessary from a military point of view: “My staff was unanimous in believing that Japan was on the point of collapse and surrender.”

General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war.”

Was Hiroshima Necessary? Why the Atomic Bombings Could Have Been Avoided By Mark Weber from The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 3), pages 4-11.

So why were the bombs dropped on Japan?

To this day no one apart from the GreatGameIndia team have brought to light the connection between the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Subhas Chandra Bose’s plot the bring down the British Empire.

GreatGameIndia-Magazine-Subhas-Chandra-Bose-British-Lion-Japanese-Tanks-World-War-II-Dead-Indian-Bones

World War II illustration created by the Japanese. Subhas Chandra Bose backed up by Japenese tanks is shown beheading the British Lion feasting on bones of dead Indians.

Although many in India, scholars besides, know about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, we shall include a couple of paragraphs below to put the matter in the context of international geopolitics. In World War II, the case for dropping two bombs on Japan was not an impeccable one, and many reasons are likely to be hidden from the public eye.

Could the equations of the Anglo-British involving a possible defeat in the Indian theater by a Bose-Japan combine have been a part of the decision process?

Bose was able to flee house arrest in Calcutta and go to Germany. Studying the German viewpoint of the international politics gave him an understanding that Gandhi and Nehru may not have had. In a very daring trip he would go further on to Japan, spend a few years there and have an audience with the Premier. He would subsequently land in Burma and take control of the Burmese Indian National Army. Upon learning that Bose had come to Burma and was raising an army, the Indian soldiers of the British army switched sides in favor of their countryman. Bose was thus able to raise an army of about 40,000 strong, equipped with arms from Japan. In addition, the Emperor of Japan committed about 100,000 Japanese troops and some air squadrons for his assistance. With this formidable combine, he stood a good chance of marching on to Delhi. The 100,000 Japanese troops would eventually back down, but Bose resolved to continue the fight. He occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and was about to enter Bengal. From the vantage of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Indian National Army had effectively tied up Mountbatten in Ceylon, and he was unable to move.

Bose had a brilliant strategy. A main force was to march on to Delhi. This would however be aided by three other forces, each of which would have first performed the task of destroying the British hold over three major ports – Calcutta, Vishakapatnam and Chennai as well as the Dutch control of ports at Machilipatnam and Yanam. The unit landing in Calcutta would join the units from Nagaland and Assam towards Delhi, while the units from Vishakapatnam and Chennai would march towards Bombay.

The conquest of these five cities, to be completed in two weeks, would have effectively ended British rule in India, cutting it off from the sea. But Bose would follow the same moral principle that Napoleon had: “Never my sword against my own people”. Around the end of July 1945 he dropped leaflets over the cities of Madras, Vishakapatnam and Calcutta, requesting citizens to leave so that the INA could bomb these coastal towns prior to landing. He set a two week deadline, after which he would start the attack.

Subhash planned to strike against the British and it is very likely that they would have been unable to face an attack by the INA. On 6 August 1945, before the deadline set by Bose was to expire, Hiroshima would be bombed, and then on 9 August, the second bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki. After the Japanese surrender, Subhash evacuated the Andaman on 15 August 1945, in a plane with Japanese markings. This plane was shot down by American gunners over Manila, en-route to Tokyo. Three POWs were taken in this crash. In accord with the Geneva convention, they stated their rank, name and age. The American captors did not realize who their prisoners were. So they telegraphed the information to the British, who responded “Discard the Baggage”. The Americans GIs refused to obey this instruction. The British advised them to hand over the three prisoners to Stalin’s red army.

Excerpt from the article Bose’s Plot To Bring Down The British Empire.

What follows after Bose’s plane was shot down is explained in detail in our article titled The Heroic Saga: The Escape, Exile & Death Of Bose.

The impact Bose and the INA had on the events in British India has since been downplayed by all the power groups that have controlled India, and not much is taught in modern history about the role played by this very great man.

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  • asit guin

    Declassification of all Netaji files may prove that JAP AND
    BRIT JOINTLY PLAYED A FOUL GAME WITH NETAJI; In WW-I, Japan was a British ally…
    Before WW-II, Jap-US trade war and political war started; this led to actual US-JAP
    war. So British became an enemy to Japan by diplomatic manipulation as US-British
    alliance was there. After WW-II, Japan revived their old link with British. Jap
    and Brit spies were well linked before WW-II. JAP SPIES AGREED TO ELIMINATE
    NETAJI. Motive was to appease Brit and purchase security for Jap royal family. So,
    JAPAN HANDED OVER NETAJI TO BRITISH AND BRITISH EXECUTED HIM IN SECRETE. False
    news of air crash was Jap fabrication. In any controversial case, liar is to be
    suspected. Netaji plan to start second
    independence war with USSR help was known to Japan. So, Brit and Jap spies
    developed a common minimum program against pro-communist agenda of Netaji. Why
    should Jap imperialism agree to patronize emergence of independent India as a
    permanent communist ally? Is it not more logical to fulfill British condition
    and purchase favor? Why Jap royal family was not tried as a war criminal? What
    is the mystery behind this favor?

    There is another point about gumnami baba. Who was he? He
    was a dummy created as a part of common minimum program of Jap and Brit imperialism.
    In axis camp, creation of dummy by plastic surgery was a common practice.
    Hitler and Mussolini were having number of dummies. Japan sold Netaji-dummy to
    British. British deputed this dummy at faizabad of UP, with a purpose to create
    confusion regarding Netaji. This confusion prevented nation to be doubtful
    about role of Jap or Brit. So gumnami baba of faizabad is a common creation of
    Jap and Brit spies. Never had he told truth. If he had told anything, that must
    be lie. In a controversial case, liar is to be suspected. So, JAPAN SOLD NETAJI
    TO BRITISH AND BRITISH EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. Japan sold Netaji-dummy to
    British and British deputed him at faizabad of UP. JAPAN SURRENDERED TO US-UK
    SIDE ON 15-AUG-1945. Netaji’s last flight was on 18-aug-1945. A SURRENDERED
    JAPAN WAS NO LONGER AN ALLY OF AZAD HIND. They worked as per their new mentors,
    the British.

  • Anirudh Vikram

    I am sure you’ll agree with me that the employment of the nuclear option is of the last resort and implies that the target is of utmost urgency.

    Now assuming what you are saying is true, that the Brits dropped the A-bomb on Japan to stop Bose and in the same article you are stating that once Bose was actually physically in the Yank’s hands, they(Brits) casually asked them(Yanks) to bump him off. And in their event of refusal to do so, Brits asked Yanks to hand him over to Russia.

    Now just come to think of it: their’s is such a high-value target that the Brits go to the extent of coercing the Yanks (the owners of the Bomb) to annihilate 2 Jap cities resulting in millions of lives being vaporized AND then not make an effort to actually get him in their custody once Bose was in the Yank’s hands.

    Now how plausible does this scenario look? We must steer clear of such armchair theorizing and look at the facts on the ground only to form a somewhat realistic picture.

    I find the below poster “asit gun’s” viewpoint more believable.

    • asit guin

      British documents show that during last days of WW II, Viceroy Wavell did not want Netaji brought to India as a prisoner. British preferred for dealing with him ‘on the spot’. Bose was stimulating a post-war upsurge against British. He thought that India’s partition was inevitable if British were allowed to “transfer power”. Bose’s aim in 1945 was not just to escape the British pursuit. He had foreknowledge of Japan’s decision to surrender. In the spring of 1945, he wanted to lead a challenge against the forces of Allies. He wanted to court death in battle. He thought that, after Aung San of Burma switched over to British side at the last moment, the INA needed to set an example of patriotic bravery. He was dissuaded from this course because two divisions of the INA were still intact and he thought of a new role for this patriotic force in the postwar situation. Unlike other leaders of the Japan-occupied Southeast Asian countries, he, at one stage, thought of staying with INA troops in Singapore to await the arrival of the Mountbatten-led British Indian occupation force. This course was abandoned on August 14, 1945, on the advice of members of AH govt. On Aug 14, 1945, some information was brought to him from Thailand. This information led him to abandon the plan that INA should await the capture of Singapore by the British. There is no record of the information that caused the AH govt to ask Netaji to fly to Tokyo for final consultations with Jap govt. Netaji had been forewarned of British preference for dealing with him “on the spot”? Did he fear that he would not be taken to India as a prisoner? He knew of the existence of the Allies’ spies in INA and behind the Japanese lines. As the war drew to a close, important people changed sides. They acted on the Allies’ directives. Even in Japan there were people who wanted to please the victors. They were ready to pay price new masters demanded. The British Foreign Office had ordered the assassination of Netaji in 1941, just after he made his “grand escape”. But his decision to change route and reach Germany via Russia had scuttled their plan. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College, Dublin, made this claim at Netaji Research Bureau. O’Halpin said the British Special Operation Executive (SOE) (formed in 1940 to carry out sabotage activities) informed its representatives in Istanbul and Cairo that Bose was thought to be travelling from Afghanistan to Germany via Iran, Iraq and Turkey. They were asked to arrange his assassination. O’Halpin handed over relevant documents to Krishna Bose. On June 13, 1941, the British SOE confirmed to Istanbul that the assassination order still stood. After Japan surrendered, again scope came for British to utilize Japan against Netaji. So, British must have utilized this new opportunity and assassinated him in secret.