Today is 68th anniversary of dropping of atom bomb. Was the second bomb justified?
Today 6 August 2013 is the 68th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. My question is : Was there a necessity to drop the second one on Nagasaki 3 days later?
Nobody will ever no for sure if the Japanese would have met the Allies terms had they not dropped it. But as controversial as the use of atomic weapons were, I fully support the decision from a historical perspective. My uncle, who was a Marine at the time was training off of the coast HW for 6 months for a Japanese invasion. The cost estimate was potentially 500k American lives. That was just not worth it in my view. Hopefully it's something that never has to happen again.
You forget that America entered on its free will. It wasn't its concern. In no way it is justifiable. You don't know your own history, why are you answering?
It's own free will...??? I assume you never heard of the attack on the the USS Panay or Pearl Harbor. My grandfathers brother died there, we imagined that I guess. I suggest you study some history. Or the USS Reuben, USS Kearney for that matter.
Landmarkwealth, it sounds to personal for you to see the greater good.
maxoxam41....... Have you ever heard of Pearl Harbor?? What an extremely idiotic statement you have made!! LOOK IT UP!! And dantex... Worry about your own Country and your new baby. Hogwash!!
It's should be personal for all Americans when their country is attacked repeatedly, not just Pearl Harbor and then condemned for retaliating. And it doesn't change the fact that invasion would have cost far more lives on both sides.
We initiated Pearl Harbor. You definitely will not teach me history. Pearl Harbor was the Sept 11 of the Second World war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor[nb 4] was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack led to the Us into WW II.
Dear lord you are lost...Pearl Harbor was only one of several unprovoked Japanese attacks against the US that started with the USS Panay which was on a rescue mission to evacuate diplomats while imperial Japan was destroying the people of Nanking.
Being the closest military base, being the oldest, which admiral will not think to defend it first?
maxoxam41 ......... Did you ever attend any history classes in your life? You are pulling stuff out of your (well you know)!!
What are you talking about ??? The Panay was not a base...it was a ship. And pearl harbor was a Naval port on sovereign US land. Perhaps next you'll tell us the US was at fault for not selling oil to an imperial nation that aligned with the Nazi's
You should teach that to Jeff. However for your knowledge since we "did not" collaborate with the enemy who did manufacture German if not GM? But as I referred to it subtly you need to read books for that!
maxoxam41, your replies are barely legible, so it's hard to reply when you are not asking an actual question. Please don't use convicted drug addicts like Oliver Stone as your source. I hold a masters in US history, please cite a credible source.
I asked you two questions, answer them! I don't judge a man for his marijuana consumption but for his ability to think! You just regurgitate what you learned from whoever.
I have yet to see a legible question to discern...perhaps you'd like to ask it in a coherent sentence.
And you want to give me lessons! QED (quod erat demonstrandum)!
You need them from someone. May as well be someone with a master's degree in history.
You'll have this privilege. I rationally select mine.
So shall I assume that means you do not have a direct question ??? Again I will ask you to cite a credible source as a military historian. Perhaps a pier reviewed paper on the topic.
You're wasting my time with your circumvolutions. Go and play with Jeff in the same playground and stop wasting my time and energy!
That was the type of reply I would have expected from someone who makes outlandish statements and no evidence to back it up, while citing only Oliver Stone as a credible source. Perhaps next you can tell us how wonderful Mao Tse-tung was.
That wouldn't surprise me in the least. Most people spewing this anti-American propaganda have an affinity for oppressive regimes.
Are you sure you studied history? You seem to forget that we supported him. If I referred to him is to entrap you and you fell straight.
Some entrapment...LOL. Any support was out of the lesser of evils. The same reason we aligned ourselves with Stalin during WW2. Not out of a love for Communist...but a necessary ally of the moment.
Therefore we are oppressors. You said it yourself talking about Chiang Kai-Shek. It does also show that our democracy has no ethic.
That hardly makes the US oppressors. We supported the Afghan Mujahideen against the soviets in the 70's and 80's because the USSR was the larger threat of the day. Sometimes there are no good choices, only less bad ones.
How can you say that? If you look at all our involvement none is justifiable. None was/is in the name of honorable values. We always responded to an economic or strategic urge.
Economic and strategic reasons are often aligned with honorable reasons, such as the Nazi's annihilating millions across Europe, or the Imperial Japanese aggression towards the Chinese and the US.
If I understood your reasoning we are the Nazis of 2013.
That's utter nonsense. The US is the only major world power in modern history to defeat foreign army on their land and return governance to the indigenous population. If we were Nazi's we would have annihilated the entire middle east long ago.
Return governance to the indigenous people or are we puppeteering? According to you the middle east is not annihilated. I am pretty sure that we killed more middle eastern than the Nazis killed jews.
Really, the US controls the elections in Japan and Germany. That's news to Abe and Merkel. Another outrageous and unverifiable claim. And the 6 million Jews just scratched the surface of Nazi atrocities. I've been to the middle east. Its still there
Everywhere you will find an American military base, you can count the country as our puppet. I've been to Israel and they are thriving, I've never felt any threat or fear.
Yeah, the US has such a great relationship with the Castro brothers in Cuba. Must be because we have a base in Guantanamo Bay. And why the Germans have been at odds with the US on monetary policy for years now....LOL...Some puppets.
I guess Cuba is as happy with the American presence on their soil as Argentina with the Falkland Islands. You have to acknowledge that when it comes to intervene with NATO, UN... Merkel is not that demanding, is she?
I don't care if they are happy, The US was there before the Castro regime. The point is the US presence doesn't imply cooperation and Gov't puppets. If that were true we'd get the Saudi Royals to crack down on islamic terrorist.
It is very common for people to make judgments on history but one thing remains - we weren't there. So I don't feel qualified to second guess the decision made at that time and in those circumstances.
Yes, you were there. Isn't America your country?
That was an idiotic response. Using that logic, Duffsmom was also their and helped craft the bill of rights. So let me then applaud you on the brilliance of developing our founding documents. I bet you didn't know how close you were to Ben Franklin
Yes, America is my country but that does not mean all of the idiotic things that have transpired in the past rest on my back. @LandmarkWealth-thank you.
What I meant is that as an American she's justifying the attack on Japanese soil by refusing/denying her ancestors' actions by removing herself from her history! I guess you were not smart enough to understand me landmarkwealth.
Your logic is so irrational. One's ancestors actions have nothing to do with an individual. And she was not denying anything. She was just not making judgments as you have about something you clearly know little about...young Chamberlain
So then by your logic, if I had an ancestor that was related to Lizzie Borden, then I am responsible for the hacking of her parents? Really this logic is flawed. I was not born during WW2 so my taking responsibility for it makes little sense.
Lizzy couldn't have done it without you...I bet you helped her sharpen the axe by manipulating the space time continuum. I hope they cut you in on the family money she was after. lol
Not even the first...
(I dont want or need to "make it longer")
Having spent a significant amount of time living in Japan, I would still say it was necessary. The Japanese were very stubborn.
I believe it wasn't even the atom bombs that convinced them to surrender anyway, it was the threat of a Russian invasion that they most feared, and resulted in their surrender.
Times were different then, but one thing was for sure, the war needed to end, and invading mainland Japan would have killed millions more.
Precisely...The Japanese used to throw themselves off of cliffs in places like Saipan rather than surrender. It was not in their vocabulary. They had no intention of surrender. Very different culture.
Indeed, it was a very sad situation, the Japanese government brainwashed its citizens and soldiers to think that if they surrendered to Americans they would be tortured and killed.
They used to tell them that in order to become a US Marine, you had to kill your parents. My uncle watched civilians jump off of cliffs with their infants rather than be captured even when no harm would have come to them.
I would like to apologize for one of the most shameful page of our history. There was no necessity to drop the atom bomb given that 1945 was the year when the second world war ended. In every European fronts the German invaders were pulverized. We dropped the bomb to test it and to give a lesson to the world. It is the only rational explanation.
Now we daresay that we are "afraid" of the Iranians, of the North Koreans forgetting that we are the ONLY ones who used it against people.
Recognizing that hindsight is 20/20, how should America have dealt with ending the war in Japan?
The dropping of the bombs saved thousands of our soldiers lives.
Like it did everywhere else, fighting the enemy or helping the armies already engaged in battles. Or diplomatically, given that all the Nazified or the Axis powers territories were taken one by one by the Allies!
Japan surrendering was impossible diplomatically. Attacking Japan would have been suicide for thousands of American soldiers. The bombs were necessary because of their stubbornness.
About 500k American lives was the best estimate at that time. One of my uncles trained for 6 months off of Hawaii for that invasion. Thank God they never sent them in.
maxoxam41 - what you are saying is naive and unrealistic. In the Battle of Okinawa, US lost 12,000 soldiers but Japan lost 100,000 solders and another 100,000 civilians. If the US had invaded Japan, Japanese loses would have been in the millions.
Perhaps maxoxam41 is a descendant of the Tokyo Rose broadcast team, and just carrying on the tradition.
I am British and i completely agree with Maxoxam41 at least someone here has sense.
Of course the Brit's weren't the ones who would have had to invade mainland Japan, so who cares about 500k marines. We'd all be speaking German and/or Japanese if we had the both of you heading the War Room back then.
The Japanese started the war with a cowardly act. The United States ended the war. Was it justified? I think it saved many, many American soldiers lives. Although it did take many Japanese lives, war is war.
I walked into my college world history class with your first line. My professor sneered and told me to research the subject. I did . He was the person who taught me to look further... you should too, Jeff. You may change your view.
Your professor should have researched the USS Panay. Pearl Harbor was just one of many aggressive acts by imperial Japan as they slaughtered Nanking and expanded their empire.
Did your professor claim that the Japanese were somehow justified in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor before they declared war?
The Japanese got what they asked for nothing more.
Those in high government office and or in military duty decided to test the effects of radiation on their own army troops on the American continent intentionally in order to see how it affects them.So,It's not surprising to me that it was used the first time much less the second.
Those who take oaths and are expected to be responsible to the people and ignore that responsibility should be taken to task for their actions.
There is more to the official government story than the average person is told by their own government.It's happened so many times in history that it's almost expected to be seen as the "Truth" when in fact it's "Bullshit".
There are very few if any Saints and more than enough sinners.
No, It wasn't. But then you can't blame America, it had to be done. I think Japanese government knew the consequences of their act. The War shouldn't have happened in the first place, It's a shame. But then I guess, everything happens for a reason. We all learned a lesson.
I agree with Island Bites! And I'm not some unpatriotic fool. My father served in the Army in World War II, my father-in-law landed on the beaches of Normandy, and my husband served in Vietnam. I'm so frustrated that the beat keeps going on and on. I thought after Vietnam, it would be better. I thought we'd be smart enough to preempt war or to be psychologically savvy enough to avoid war. I'm disgusted with war; to be quite honest, I'm a bit disgusted with men and their incessant need to blow things up. Even given my liberal bias and support for President Obama, the perceived need for drones, sickens me. In the future when we understand human behavior better - when we're understand the psychology of strategy better, when we understand causes for unrest better and are unselfish enough to address those needs, there will be fewer wars and human suffering. We were not made to continue in senseless paradigms that feed the glutinous mouth of the military industrial complex. As an American, I am responsible. As a person who can't make my voice loud enough to be heard, I am responsible. As someone who looks aside from the pain of war, I am responsible. And I'm sorry.
"Men and their incessant need to blow things up". That is a sexist and bigoted statement. If you come from a military family, you know that nobody hates war more than the men who blow things up. I have never met a man in uniform who enjoys war.
It's not sexist if the person saying it is a woman. I understand we as women have an equal opportunity to blow things up and the scientific knowledge to do that. And yes, those who wear a uniform hate war the most - and many become protesters of it
Sexism is not restricted to men being sexist towards women. It can be vice versa. And your comments implied men are war mongers as opposed to women who are not. There have been some pretty brutal female dictators throughout history.
ist's exist depending on who wields the power at the time - When 50% of the leaders of the world are women (or a percentage reflective of the population statistics at whatever time in history that may be), we can speak to this issue again.
Sexism by definition is discrimination based on gender. How many female world leaders can you name that haven't waged war. In many cases justified. But female leaders have been more aggressive throughout history.
L, you can't make a generalization based on those statistics. (Well, you can, but it doesn't hold water.) That segment of women who have had control, may or may not be representative of women leaders if there were a representative population.
And you can't generalize men as "having a need to blow things up" Since most Men have never served in combat or participated in war of any kind. But that didn't stop you from slandering an entire gender.
I calls 'em as I sees 'em n at this age, the more I sees 'em, the less I like 'em. Call it slander,call it racist,call it whatever u want. Men,on the whole, r destroying our planet. I love my husband dearly and the men in my life, but as a grp?
Which makes you a bigot. Men also invented I-pads and surgical techniques that save lives, along with countless other things that improve our lives. But I forgot that liberals are allowed to be prejudice & discriminate. Just not everyone else.
Thank God for all of the pathetic, ignorant, the one's for destroying the planet for your "FREEDOM." You are spitting on the graves of the brave men who have fought and died for our freedom.
Forget about the soldiers...She just hates men period. That's obvious from these warped comments. It's too bad she wasn't around to give Hirohito a good female talking to after Pearl Harbor. That would have been effective. LOL
So now boys, u can see how it is to be on the defensive. I'm taking my marbles n going home. Thanks for playing w/ me 2day. U probably each are stellar human beings, but today I'm super-saturated w/ the violence to children -to women-to other men.
When you get home...try not to be to hard on your husband and sons for their very existence. It may be a while before we can create the all female society.
Easily the most entertaining sub-thread I've seen to date.
I agree with you Billie. In this American, I feel proud to be American.
I am with you Billie. Well said! I am an Army brat, grand brat and was an Army wife... Enough is enough.
Its all about the money and the profiteers don't care who wins or loses or how many die.
It took the second bomb for Japan to surrender unconditionally. They didn't understand the first time. The Japanese would never have stopped fighting if the two bombs had not been dropped. So, I believe Truman made the correct decision.
Having made two bombs, some General in US army might have decided "Okay, let us not waste the second one. Haven't we built it at lots of cost? One day auditors might question and storing it would be risky. Let's use it, man!" That must have been the necessity! Who knows?
Knowing what the first bomb did to drop another was monstrous.
Oppenheimer said it all… “Despite the vision and the far-seeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists felt a peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons, as they were in fact used, dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose”.
J, exactly. ("Viewer discretion advised" for link) Oppenheimer in tears;Carl Sagan asking, "And who speaks for the human species...Who speaks for earth." http://drlorax.wordpress.com/2013/01/01 … -the-same/
I don't think the second bomb should have been dropped. Heck, I don't think the first bomb should have been dropped and certainly, not on a civilian population.
We deliberately targeted cities and civilians - not military installations. America wanted to set an example, and it did.
I don't know if Japan would have surrendered, if the second bomb had not been dropped. Or if the first bomb had gone off somewhere else.
However, I do recognized that an untold amount of American lives were saved, once the war with Japan ended. Maybe my Grandfather or yours was alive because we committed an atrocity.
I get angry that our government killed so many innocent people, to make a point to their government. But, I don't feel guilty about it. And I don't foresee WWIII breaking out any time soon.
When tension was existing between the US and USSR during the Bay of pigs event as for shall we use the atomic bomb against the enemy, Krushchev retracted. But we Americans, especially the military branch was ready to launch our bombs.
What ??? If the US was so excited to launch, they would have. No nukes were launched against the USSR for the same reason they didn't launch at us...The Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.
For who doesn't know their history and who doesn't like books I advise our controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone.
Yeah, that's a real reliable source to use. Stone is a real modern day Von Clausewitz...LOL.
War is HELL.
Time line for Japanese surrender for WWII.
The allies submitted a deadline for the Japanese surrender - 26 July 1945.
Japan ignored this and continued fighting.
The US dropped the first bomb on 6 August 1945.
The Japanese continued to fight and even expanded attacks on China and Midway.
The US dropped the second bomb on 9 August 1945.
The Japanese then surrendered on 15 August 1945.
With the Japanese surrender, a third bomb was not necessary.
War was stopped and lives were saved.
Therefore, I do believe that the second bombing was necessary.
I don't think the first one should've ever been used. So many Americans are hypocrites when it comes to war. Why was it ok for the US to kill thousands of innocent people (and they were innocent) in order to get revenge on the Japanese government and soldiers? All the people who think it was acceptable would be thinking completely the opposite if the Japanese would've been the ones to drop the bombs on US cities. And if it was ok for the US to do that back then and still have such weapons in our arsenals, why is it a different story when other countries want the same capability to defend themselves? Now that we have the capability it's something we have to live with. I just pray that cooler heads prevail and something like that NEVER happens again.
In all my travels worldwide, I've always found people to be friendly towards myself and love Americans. However, this question always comes up. Why does America think we are wisest and smartest of all when it comes to nuclear weapons?
Sheila, your comment has special impact considering your profile. (I looked it up because of your answer here.) Your experience as a Navy Hospital Corpsman has most likely given you an insight that others may not have. Loved your hub titles. Cheers
Dropping a bomb on civilians is never justified. It is a cruel and inexcusable act.
Neither bomb was necessary, it was just America's way of "showing off". I have always believed that bomb should have been dropped in Europe not in Japan. A lot of innocent people died on those days and I think it was an unbelievable act of terror on innocent people.
Absolutely; both were necessary.
read taburkett's answer about the timeline and the Japanese reaction to the first bomb.
Many people don't realize what a bloody task it would have been to invade and take the Japanese homeland. They knew what was coming and were far more prepared than historians give them credit for. The Kamikazes that hit US forces were a drop of water in an Olympic pool compared with what they had in store.
There is another thing that comes into play that I never hear mentioned.
As Commander in Chief of all US military the president had a moral obligation to his forces to hold their lives dearly. If the bombs saved a single allied soldier's or sailor's life he had a deeper moral obligation to use the bombs than to consider how many enemy lives would be lost, including civilians.
The reality is that dropping the bombs probably saved a million or more lives on both sides. There is little doubt that the Japanese would have fought to the last inch, if their behavior prior is any reflection, they would have fought to the last man, woman and child. People today just don't grasp what fanatics they were. Certainly they would have killed all of the civilians they possibly could in their last act. They believed that any Japanese citizen who did not give their life was a cowardly dog and a traitor unfit to live.
Few have ever studied what the Japanese did in comparison to the Germans and historians tend to say little about them, they were far worse and far more depraved. If anyone doubts what I'm saying I suggest that you educate yourself about what happened in China.
An Invasion of Japans mainland would have went something like Iraq or Vietnam on a much larger scale. It would have deteriorated to American occupation, and a slow bleed through a gorilla war for a generation. Objectors don't know their history
I am morally obliged to say no, but if I were in the shoes of President Harry Truman, I might be inclined to say yes.
Morally no, because lives of numerous innocents were involved. Innocent civilians who went about their lives as usual suddenly found their bodies burning and disappearing into thin air, along with everything around them. Imagine if an atomic bomb were to fall right above your house unexpectedly, and the next thing you know, you are no longer in this world, when you did nothing to deserve such a thing. Those at fault were not the civilians, but their emperor, government and military. To put it biblically, no father should be punished for the wrongdoings of his son, and vice versa; each is to bear his own sin.
Nonetheless, if I were to think about it from President Truman's perspective, I can argue my moral obligation in another sense. Which would have saved more lives: bombing two cities' worth of civilians to stop the war, or allowing the war to continue raging at the expense of more lives? I would have doubts whether bombing the two cities would really force the Japanese imperial government to stop their onslaughts. But I would also have doubts whether the war would end anytime soon without the bombings, especially since the Japanese government has shown such hardheadedness in accepting international negotiations for peace. I would have been inclined to take the risk by choosing the former i.e. bombing Hiroshima, and waiting to see if Japan responded to the Postdam Declaration. But because Japan refused, I would have considered bombing a second city, but I would have given at least a week for Japan to respond. My choice of the second city? Definitely not the modern and ancient capitals of Japan, Tokyo and Kyoto respectively.
Having said these, many of my Japanese friends actually view this black dot in their history with utter shame. They told me that their government back then had been too arrogant, and given the choice, they would not have wanted a war in the first place. Some were even very apologetic to me "on behalf of their nation" for what they have done to the world and, specifically, to my country, Malaysia (which was under Japanese occupation at that time as well).
There is no use crying over spilled milk anymore. Hence, I think the best way forward now is to take this as a lesson of how disastrous wars can be, and to work together in goodwill towards a better future for everyone.
I'll echo the answer of everyone that said the US shouldn't have dropped the first one to begin with. There's not a single reason I could think of that could justify the murdering of so many innocent civilians. Not even the speculation that an ongoing war would've resulted in more casualties.
It wasn't speculation. it was history. Japan was getting more aggressive and had no intent of surrendering. The only other alternative was an invasion of mainland Japan...unless you would have preferred the US to surrender.
It WAS speculation because the US was acting under the assumption of future events that were uncertain. Regardless of how well-thought or not it was, the US speculated what could happen and made a decision based on that.
It was NOT speculation, because it is a matter of historical record that Japan increased their attacks after the first bomb was dropped. And the military command objected to Hirohito surrendering even after the second bomb was dropped.
That doesn't make it any less speculative, but moreover, it doesn't make it any more justifiable to me. Like I said, there's not a single reason I could think to justify so many innocent lives lost. Lives of civilians, not soldiers.
Without Japanese surrender there was nothing left to do but invade mainland Japan. In the battle of Okinawa alone 225k Non-US soldiers died. (150k civilians) . That one single battle alone equaled the casualties of both bombs. You do the math.
The US was completely justified in using both bombs. Any bloodshed is on the head of the Japenese Emporer. He not only started the war by bombing Pearl Harbor, he was offered a chance to surrender before each bomb hit and he refused. It is easy to revise history and forget how brutal the Empire of Japan was. It is also easy to forget that the object of war is to win and to do so means killing people and breaking things. If the bombs were not dropped the allies would have been forced to invade and many of those killed by the bombs still may have been killed along with allied forces. The US had every right to protect its soldiers at the cost of Japan because Japan is the one that started the war.
They were not sure if they would work. They needed a place to test it. Both bombs were very different. So just because Fat Man worked does not mean that Little Boy would work. Those are the code names for the 2 bombs-- Fat Man and Little Boy.
Also if the history was right, then America was getting revenge for Japan attacking Peal Harbor. But why would Japan invite the U.S. into the war by attacking Pearl Harbor. They had a much better chance of winning without having to fight the richest country in the world.
Japan is an Asian nation so bomb had been dropped to test destruction strength instead European nation like Germany or Italy. They surrendered before japan but that is a ploy and American's pretense .
Japanese regime under general Tojo was cruel and massacred people in China and other parts of Asia.
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