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Mountbatten's Advice

N.Z.PA.—Copyright.—Rec. noon. LONDON, August 9. "It would be the greatest folly to work on the assumption that the atomic bomb is going to stop the war. Theatre commanders must go on planning," declared Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten at a Press conference to-day. Referring to the moral right of the Allies to use the atomic bomb, he said it would save Allied casualties and therefore he was in favour of it. "I am responsible for killing as many-Japanese as I can with the minimum of loss to our side. This war is crazy. It is crazy that we are fighting at all, but it would be crazier still if we accepted more casualties on our side to save Japanese lives. In the Burma campaign we have killed, counted and buried 128,000 Japanese in battle and taken 3000 prisoners. Our killed and missing number 20,000."

Lord Mountbatten said it was a great joy to find the Allies really welcomed back to Burma. "The Burmese National Army, originally raised by the Japanese, disappointed their patrons. They have been fighting side by side with us since last March and have killed or captured 15,000 Japanese, including a divisional commander." He said the Burmese had decided to rise against the Japanese before the British victory in Burma was assured'.

Lord Mountbatten added that he had to face the problem of whether to allow them to join the forces. He could have said, "Stay with your Japanese masters," but he decided to deal with Burma in the same way as Britain dealt with South Africa. "As a result of that policy we had great men like Smuts, Botha and other generals on our side. We have taken over the Burma National Army. We have not been disappointed. Burma was at first apprehensive of our intentions, but

when it was clear to them, despite military administration, that there was going to be no harsh application of military law, no reprisals, and certainly no political persecution, they began to lose fears."

Lord Mountbatten said the Japanese had been on the defensive since last June, "and that is how we intend to keep them. No more incentive is needed than a knowledge of the tens of thousands of Allied prisoners in Japanese hands. The troops of Britain, Africa, India, China and America have, by sheer guts in the past year, exceeded in wildest expectations. "We have achieved the greatest epic campaign in air supply. When we decided to fight through the monsoon we gained a big advantage. I felt that whoever broke the rule to stop fighting during the monsoon would naturally get 'ahead. We took the risk and got really on top of the Japanese from that moment." Commenting on the Soviet declaration of war, Lord Mountbatten said the Russian Army would come to grips with the main Japanese Army in China which, as yet, was untouched, was well equipped and had very high morale.

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Bibliographic details

ATOMIC BOMB NOT SURE TO END WAR, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

Word Count

ATOMIC BOMB NOT SURE TO END WAR Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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