Epilogue 22 - The King of Jetstone's Diary

Epilogue 22 - The King of Jetstone's Diary

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There are two basic definitions of Unconditional surrender here:

Unconditional Surrender, (1). Surrender to a vastly superior enemy, without asking for or receiving any promises, and without retaining any ability to protect or defend yourself afterwards. Generals usually accept this offer when their only options are the deaths of every soldier under their command, or the faint hope that after they surrender, the enemy will allow some of the soldiers to live.

This type of surrender usually occurs on a specific battlefield, where the victor has the ability to quickly and efficiently do whatever he wants with the captured soldiers.

This type of surrender is basically what happened to the American army in the Philippines, when Japan invaded. The death marches and POW camps that came afterward sucked, but there was no question that the alternative really was having every american soldier shot.

Unconditional Surrender, (2). Same as Unconditional Surrender, (1), with one exception. The enemy is known to follow certain rules of war with regards to POW's, and there is either an implied or explicit promise that they will continue to follow those rules after you surrender. However, if they decide to break that promise, you'll have lost any power to resist them.


Then you have two basic types of conditional surrender:
Conditional surrender, (1). You agree to surrender certain key items, but most of your army will continue to exist as a fighting force. For example, you might agree to surrender a fortress and all heavy artillery to the enemy, on the CONDITION that your men are allowed to retain their personal weapons, and are allowed to march back to their home territory and rejoin the main component of their army.

This type of surrender only gives up certain specific items, and lets you retain enough violence on your side that you have a hope of successfully resisting if the enemy breaks their word.

Conditional surrender, (2). very similar to Unconditional surrender (2), but you also ask for a special, unusual favor to be granted. For example, requesting that you be allowed to send a courier back to your home government describing your failure, requesting that children in your fortress be shipped home via neutral territory, or requesting that your officers be allowed to retain swords and pistols when they go into POW camps, so that they can maintain discipline among the enlisted men.

You can sometimes negotiate the for the special favor to be granted BEFORE you formally surrender, but in general, Conditional surrender, (2) requires you to trust that the enemy will still honor it's terms after you surrender. You're going to lose almost all capacity to resist.

Depending on your point of view, the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII could be considered either Unconditional surrender, (2), or Conditional surrender, (2).

on the one hand, they retained their emperor, and he was never charged with war crimes.
On the other hand, they lost their entire military, they had American occupiers all over their country, and if the American's had changed their minds about the terms they felt like offering, there's not much the Japanese could have done about it.

I believe that even today, the official policy of Japan is that they were required to surrender their senior officers to American war crimes tribunal as a tragic part of an unconditional surrender, but that those officers were never charged or convicted under Japanese law, and at least some of them were probably innocent, so their descendants don't need to feel ashamed of their ancestors.
Tonot wrote:
NO they didn't need Japans opinion on it, they SPECIFICALLY coached their ultimatum in terms that precluded Japan thinking it was an option, their having an opinion, that is what makes it an ultimatum, EXACTLY THAT. The Allies in effect said "One of two things is now going to happen. Japan is going to surrender without trying to impose conditions, or we will wage a war of destruction on them that has never been seen before".
If that's what the Allies effectively said then they really were phrasing it as an option, with two possible courses of action for Japan: surrender and fight. Even if we imagine that the Allies deliberately chose not to mention the possibility of fighting, there would be no chance of Japan overlooking that option since they are already in the middle of a war. Surely Japan didn't consider war unthinkable, given the situation, so it was a real option.

Tonot wrote:
Japan had to surrender without asking for conditions, or be destroyed. They were offered an UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER ULTIMATUM.
Japan didn't need to ask for conditions because the Allies were giving Japan conditions for free, exactly the kind of conditions that Japan might ask for, like the continuation of Japan as a nation and a promise not to enslave the people. Japan didn't even have to ask for a promise to be allowed to continue industrial activities or that the occupying force would eventually be withdrawn; that was just given to them. Whether a surrender is conditional or unconditional has nothing to do with who is asking for conditions; it's about the content of the surrender agreement.

Tonot wrote:
If the USA didn't have nukes up its sleeve ( which of course is what Japan thought to be the case ), they would have had to continue to firebomb Japan, probably for years, or commit to an invasion that would have made D Day seem like a beach excursion.
So not only did Japan have real options to surrender or fight, the fighting option was an excellent option that Japan had every reason to believe would give them a better result. Just being an ultimatum doesn't remove the fighting option; in fact, ultimatums tend to spell out that fighting is an option.

Tonot wrote:
Instead, quite deliberately, the Allies simply gave an Unconditional Surrender Ultimatum, knowing the Japanese would play for time and hope to gain valuable conditions, and THEN by the rules of diplomacy, the Allies were "allowed" to go on and Nuke Japan.
Far from being unconditional surrender, the Potsdam Declaration offered quite a few reasonable terms. I agree that it could have been far more generous, but dropping atomic bombs doesn't change the content of the Potsdam Declaration.
Lilwik wrote:
Japan didn't need to ask for conditions because the Allies were giving Japan conditions for free, exactly the kind of conditions that Japan might ask for, like the continuation of Japan as a nation and a promise not to enslave the people.
You continue to show your ignorance on the subject. The Japanese were in fact desperately trying to get Russia to broker a peace treaty with the Allies just prior to the Declaration and the nuclear bombings. A peace treaty with conditions far and away better than what the Japanese were forced to accept in the end. The Russians, however, decided to honor their commitment to attack Japan, and did so on the mainland. This, and destruction of 2 cities in 3 days time, finally woke the Japanese up to the fact that they were well and truly screwed. (And there was STILL a coup attempt to try to prevent the surrender!) The Declaration didn't have "exactly the kind of conditions that Japan might ask for", it had the conditions that they were being told they would either accept or be destroyed.

Lilwik wrote:
So not only did Japan have real options to surrender or fight, the fighting option was an excellent option that Japan had every reason to believe would give them a better result. Just being an ultimatum doesn't remove the fighting option; in fact, ultimatums tend to spell out that fighting is an option.
No. Just....no. The Emperor realized that there was no longer an option to fight. Thus, the surrender. In his address to the Japanese people (which sparked the coup attempt) he spoke of terrible weapons (the nukes) and need to accept the inevitable. That's not a leader who is happy with the terms he has been offered. That's a leader who realizes that if he does not accept those terms, in their entirety, without comment or complaint, that his nation will be destroyed.
I'm so happy to watch this argument.
Chit Rule Railroad wrote:
The Declaration clearly is not evidence that an organization should expect to remain intact after an unconditional surrender, which I think is what the argument was originally about in the Erfworld context.


If that is what this discussion is all about, then that is correct. An unconditional surrender means no guarantees in terms of the surrendering nation remaining intact. Just look at Germany being partitioned after wwII. Heck, even an armistice without surrender (Austria and Germany in 1918) is no guarantee for the surrendering nation remaining intact.

In general, I think the term surrender has more been used for troops on a battlefield or fortification, and the conditions mostly been around the defeated being guaranteed some amount of freedom, property and life in return for abandoning their position. In some cases even being allowed to march of as an intact fighting force in exchange for abandoning a fortification.

So perhaps in return for skipping the semantics we could all march away from this hostile territory of the terminology of real world history and return to its applications (if any) on Erfworld.
Lipkin wrote:
I'm so happy to watch this argument.

It appears to have devolved into a definitional argument. Needless to say, I'm just gonna back away now.
Man, this thread got derailed in the dumbest way possible. It's like people trying to defend bad fan theories in the face of canon...except with history, which is so much worse. Hint-when an instrument of surrender uses the phrase "unconditional surrender", THE SURRENDER WAS UNCONDITIONAL.
You know, there is a slight temptation to troll this thread until the condition of the talk about unconditional surrender happens, as a form of unconditional surrender to fill the condition required for me to no longer troll.

But under any condition, that might be wrong ;)
Fcannon wrote:
Hint--when an instrument of surrender uses the phrase "unconditional surrender", THE SURRENDER WAS UNCONDITIONAL.
That makes sense, but it seems a bit odd. Why would Japan surrender unconditionally when they'd been offered a much better deal by the Potsdam Declaration? I think it must have been unstated but obvious to everyone that Japan expected the Allies to honor their promises in the Potsdam Declaration, even though Japan isn't actually asking for that in the surrender agreement. In that case using the words "unconditional surrender" was just a political move to satisfy the people in the Allied nations who wanted to see an unconditional surrender from Japan. If so, it wasn't a real unconditional surrender. It seems like it really left the door open for the Allies to ignore all their promises, but I guess Japan was desperate enough to let the Allies phrase the agreement however they liked and just hope that the Allies weren't going to take advantage of the wording.
Fcannon wrote:
Man, this thread got derailed in the dumbest way possible. It's like people trying to defend bad fan theories in the face of canon...except with history, which is so much worse. Hint-when an instrument of surrender uses the phrase "unconditional surrender", THE SURRENDER WAS UNCONDITIONAL.



ABSOLUTELY. And as a further hint, when the people making the ultimatum respond to recalcitrance with, not negotiations, but ATOMIC BOMBS ONE AFTER ANOTHER, then it is pretty obvious at least the one side was not offering or listening to conditions.

Here is an example.

I saw people continuing the argument in almost their cheerful defiance of reason, and I said to myself "I will try to make it clear to them again" and my BRAIN instantly and loudly answered,

"NO ! ! ! NO YOU WILL NOT ! ! ! Listen closely, because I am giving you a final ultimatum, and you are to accept it WITHOUT CONDITIONS !. If you talk to one of those people again about their mistaken ideas, I will, with righteous FURY and INDIGNATION at your killing my brain cells to no purpose, swell again and again until my distended matter explodes your skull. SURRENDER, OR DIE !. . . not one tiny if, but or maybe. If I hear a single condition proposed by you, it is tapioca-wall-coating-time, MY BLOODY OATH ON IT !".


:o:?:lol::lol::lol:

Gregoriownd wrote:
You know, there is a slight temptation to troll this thread until the condition of the talk about unconditional surrender happens, as a form of unconditional surrender to fill the condition required for me to no longer troll.

But under any condition, that might be wrong ;)



Not necessarily. If you can do it with wit and panache, and amuse us, why, Lay on McDuff, and damn'd be him who first cries, "Hold, enough".