Thursday, August 9, 2012

and again

67 years ago, the US used its second offensively targeted atomic bomb to force the surrender of Japan.

"If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware"
Truman

And so it went. The second bomb was dropped, and the Japanese government had a choice.

While the deaths of all those Japanese citizens were tragic, they were no more tragic than the higher numbers that would have resulted from carpet bombings (already done) or an invasion.

And the effect was to save many lives...Japanese AND American.

War is ugly. No one really wins, some are just hurt less than others.

And so it was then.  As it is today.

But the attacks worked. Japan capitulated, and surrendered.

Who are we to judge the decisions made then, today?

3 comments:

Old NFO said...

Excellent point! Hindsight is ALWAYS 20-20; foresight, not so much!

Derfel Cadarn said...

Only problem is that if you study history the Japanese GovT. was seeking surrender terms at the time. Regardless of the state of war existing at the time these attacks were clearly directed at the general population,not military targets. That is what is called terrorism but because exceptional Americans carried it out everything is hunky dory.

Mr.B said...

SO were the firebombings earlier in the war. And they likely killed more than the 2 atom bombs combined.

Yet no one seems to talk about that fact.


Japan was suing for terms, but had not unconditionally surrendered. They wanted terms which could have allowed them to remain a power.

Again, you and I weren't there.