We've all heard the standard excuse for why the US "had" to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II; it supposedly
saved hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of American lives that would have been lost during an invasion of the mainland because the Japanese were
ready to fight door to door with the entire civilian population ready to fight to the death against us.
That explanation is a load of bull. The fact is; the Japanese were ready to surrender long before the atomic bomb attacks and were just looking for a
way to save face in defeat. It was the US demands of "unconditional surrender" and that they depose their emperor that were the biggest sticking
In the end, even after the atomic bombs dropped, the Japanese were allowed to maintain the Emperor and surrendered on much the same terms they were
offering before the bombs dropped.
The best evidence that the use of nukes was unwarranted comes right from the mouths of our military commanders in the field at the time. Eisenhower,
and MacArthur, along with a host of other military leaders and even the assistant secretary of war protested against the use of the bomb at the time.
This quote from Admiral William Leahy – the highest ranking member of the U.S. military from 1942 until retiring in 1949, who was the first de facto
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and who was at the center of all major American military decisions in World War pretty well sums up the
leadership's assessment of the necessity of using the bomb on Japan to end the war.
It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The
Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional
The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had
adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by
destroying women and children.
That article contains quote after quote from high ranking military leaders of the time who all thought there was no justifiable reason to use the bomb
against Japan. They saw no tactical, political or any other advantage to its use and most saw it as the ultimate act of barbarism.
The real reason why the bomb was used may have been more political; to send a message to the Russians that we had the bomb and were ready to use it as
relations with the Soviets soured toward the end of the war.
In the years since the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a number of historians have suggested that the weapons had a two-pronged objective
…. It has been suggested that the second objective was to demonstrate the new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union. By August 1945,
relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had deteriorated badly. The Potsdam Conference between U.S. President Harry S. Truman,
Russian leader Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill (before being replaced by Clement Attlee) ended just four days before the bombing of Hiroshima.
The meeting was marked by recriminations and suspicion between the Americans and Soviets. Russian armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe. Truman
and many of his advisers hoped that the U.S. atomic monopoly might offer diplomatic leverage with the Soviets. In this fashion, the dropping of the
atomic bomb on Japan can be seen as the first shot of the Cold War.
Instead [of allowing other options to end the war, such as letting the Soviets attack Japan with ground forces], the United States rushed to use two
atomic bombs at almost exactly the time that an August 8 Soviet attack had originally been scheduled: Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9.
The timing itself has obviously raised questions among many historians. The available evidence, though not conclusive, strongly suggests that the
atomic bombs may well have been used in part because American leaders “preferred”—as Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Martin Sherwin has put
it—to end the war with the bombs rather than the Soviet attack. Impressing the Soviets during the early diplomatic sparring that ultimately became
the Cold War also appears likely to have been a significant factor.
The destruction of two Japanese cities at the end of World War II had nothing to do with enticing the Japanese to surrender; it was a show for the
Soviets and the first shot in the Cold War to warn them that we had the bomb and were unscrupulous enough to use it on innocent civilian
Millions of Japanese died needlessly to send a message to a nation that was still our ally at the time. The atomic bombing should be seen as one of
the greatest war crimes in the history of mankind.
edit on 10/17/12 by FortAnthem because:
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