Thoughts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

So the argument goes on. Was the Hiroshima Bomb Necessary? The better question might be, was it effective?

Many educated Americans and British say there is was some hidden agenda in the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Permit us to present an alternate opinion and suggest another view.

Now there are those who say, including former Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith that the atom bombs were not necessary because the war was ending anyway. The A-bombs made he said, and I quote, “made a difference at most, of two or three weeks.” But at that time, with no surrender on the horizon, the kamikazes continued to strike, sinking American vessels – the Indianapolis was sunk taking the lives of 880 young Americans, and Allied casualties were running 7000 a week. Two more weeks meant 14,000 dead and wounded, and three more weeks meant 21,000 more young British, Australian, and American sons maimed or lost. 

In answer to his posit, he might listen to President Truman explain it in his own words. “Having found the bomb,” Truman said, ”we have used it…we have used it to shorten the agony of young Americans.”

During the intervening period between the Nagasaki bomb and the final surrender on August the 15th, the war went on as usual. On August the 12th eight American fliers were executed (beheaded). The USS Bonefish went down with all of its crew. The destroyer Callaghan went down, and the destroyer Escort Underhill was lost. That’s just six days of allied agony that we are asked to disregard, if we accept the waiting period proposed by the bomb apologists and their fellow travelers.

It is also a forgotten reality today is that in 1945 the entire Japanese populace was held in the thrall of an immense military machine. The Japanese had a pre-invasion patriotic song, “One Hundred Million Souls for the Emperor,” and it meant just that. A Universal and National Kamikaze was a direct threat an explicit intent national sentiment.

Further to this debate, the Japanese government announced in 1945 that all Japanese women from the ages of seventeen to forty were to be called up to repel the Allied invasion. Additionally, Japanese prison-camp commanders received a significant order in 1945 from Japanese Field Marshal Terauchi that unequivocally stated that the moment the Allies invaded the main Japanese islands; all prisoners were to be killed. This field command is also a matter of record. I submit the bombs saved not only the prisoners lives but also the lives of millions of truly innocent Japanese civilians who would have certainly perished in this failed attempt at empire – a lost cause.

Finally, the bomb was not dropped without warning. Fully two days before the bombings, over 700,000 leaflets were dropped over Japan warning the people to give it up (as was promised in Potsdam) or be utterly destroyed and obliterated. They failed to heed the warning.

No, we suggest that bomb apologists reconsider their take on history. If we are to follow their line of reasoning, then we have to accept the preposterous assumption that it would have been better for America and its allies to suffer thousands of additional casualties, in order to save enemy lives. 

Some wars are better lost than won. World War II is a classic example.


About Gringo Bush Pilot

Retired process and systems manager; itinerant aviation devotee; and real estate investment loan officer. In short, an American economic refugee, retired in Asia.
This entry was posted in History, Uncategorized, War / Conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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