Skip to comments.Dropping Atomic Bombs on Japan Was Imperative
Posted on 08/10/2012 11:02:37 AM PDT by Retain Mike
We now mark the 67th anniversary of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end WW II. The generations which developed the information and made the decisions for World War II, including dropping the atomic bombs on Japan, have passed away. The generation which faced the tragic violence required for carrying out those decisions is rapidly leaving us. As this personal knowledge becomes ever rarer, we must listen increasingly to revisionist contra-factual analyses as they expound on what a needless, tragic and profoundly immoral decision the United States had made.
In support of dropping the atomic bombs historians often cite the inevitability of horrifying casualties, if troops had landed on the home islands. They extrapolate from 48,000 American and 230,000 Japanese losses on Okinawa to estimates of 500,000 American and millions of Japanese casualties for mainland invasions. However, even these optimistic figures arise from studies preceding the unfolding recognition of American experiences on Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Such estimates could have vastly understated casualties, because Japan at 374,000 mountainous square miles mathematically enables over 500 defensive redoubts; fortifications comparable to that General Ushijima constructed to inflict most losses At Okinawa. This rapid increase in killing efficiency extended to planned stubborn defenses of their major cities just as the Germans had maintained in Berlin. The American island hopping strategy had ended, because the Japanese had determined the few regions within their mountainous country that could accommodate the huge armies and air forces needed. Harry Truman contemplated increasingly dire estimates causing him to reflect on the possibility of an Okinawa from one end of Japan to the other.
The Japanese War Faction maintained the lavish standard of 20 million Japanese deaths for planning final mainland battles; battles intended to inflict millions of casualties, and to convince America to abandon the Potsdam Declaration. The Japanese had concealed vastly underestimated quantities of kamikazes and aviation fuel, redeployed veteran Kwantung divisions, mobilized home defense armies, and distributed suicide bombs and bamboo spears to civilians become soldiers.
Americans also faced biological warfare. Occupation searchers uncovered large stockpiles of viruses, spirochetes, and fungus spores throughout rural Japan. These biological pathogens had already been tested on Chinese civilians. For Japan one delivery system directed citizen soldiers to infect themselves and stay behind the advancing troops.
The Greatest Generation and their parents would have been enraged to discover a cabal had ignored the nuclear option for ending the war just to indulge some personal moral orthodoxy. If there was any alternative, Harry Truman, Henry Stimson, and George Marshall were not about to procure the deaths of countless Americans in protracted ground campaigns following amphibious assaults exceeding D-Day.
The Japanese Privy Council debated the Final Battles arguments into utter physical and mental exhaustion for eleven hours following the Nagasaki bomb on August 9. For the final meeting Hirohito reluctantly invited Barron Hiranuma, who had fiercely disapproved the war strategy. Hiranuma maintained the Emperors spiritual essence was independent of any imposed government. He reproved Foreign Minister Togo for never making concrete proposals to the Russians and Minister Anami for accepting limitless nuclear warfare deaths without any opportunity to retaliate. The ministers had no answer, but remained unyielding.
At impasse Hirohito, the god-king, spoke the Voice of the Crane in the 30 by 18 sweltering, underground bunker. He would bear the unbearable, conclude the war, and transform the nation. Only then did Japan contact Swiss and Swedish foreign offices to commence negotiations with allied belligerents.
Here was demonstrated the critical role Kokutai played in surrender. Any prominent Japanese lived within an intimate spiritual three dimensional fabric of Emperor, citizen, land, ancestral spirits, government, and Shinto religion. Emperor Hirohito foresaw the probability of defeat and had appointed a Peace Faction in January 1944. However, he and his advisors conducted political kabuki through twenty months of continuous defeats, fire bombings of over 60 cities, and 1.3 million additional Japanese deaths. The atomic bombs removed the Final Battles argument, allowing the War Faction to relent, Hirohito to assume his unprecedented roll, and no one to lose face. Their cabal remained within the fabric of Japanese from all eras who had sacrificed for Emperor and Empire.
Another point says the bombs accomplished little. Supposedly Roosevelts decree of unconditional surrender was compromised away by allowing Japan to keep their Emperor. However by accepting the Potsdam Declaration, Japan abandoned the militarism that had committed the country to Asian conquest. The Emperors and the governments authority became subject to the Supreme Allied Commander. Their authority was later subject to the Japanese peoples free expression for determining post war government that eradicated multi-millennial Imperial characteristics.
The moral failure to leave an Imperial Japan undefeated to prosecute a nuclear war generations hence was intolerable. The expectation of continuing 400,000 civilian and military deaths throughout Asia while diplomats dithered was intolerable. Allowing a blockade to operate interminably, while deferring to the War Faction any decision about whether Japanese and allied prisoner deaths met their 20 million standard was intolerable. Allowing the premeditated ignorance of revisionists center stage as the institutional knowledge of the Greatest Generation dies away is intolerable.
As a byproduct of studying WW II history in retirement, I annually rework the below narrative. Also below is a partial biography of the sources I used. The recently published book Hell to Pay by D. M. Giangreco is especially valuable. I was able to find confirmation of so many my other sources in his book. About 40% of the book is bibliography, appendices, and notes.
The sound bites that generate popular attention are baseless, and if you are interested there is much opportunity for refuting these comfortable fictions.
Hell to pay, D. M. Giangreco
The Atomic Bomb and the End of WW II, The National Security Archive
Japanese Biomedical Experimentation During the WW II Era, Sheldon H. Harris, PhD
Japans Imperial Conspiracy, David Bergamni
Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring, Gordon Prange
It’s scary to think that in a few generations when they teach history, the only things they’ll mention about WWII will be:
1. The Internment camps for Japanese American citizens
2. The firebombing of Dresden
3. The bombing on Hiroshima/Nagasaki
4. How the Soviet Union single-handedly won WWII
There was a planned invasion, Operation downfall, of Japan scheduled for Nov 1st 1945 would have cost around 1 million Japanese lives and about 350,000 US casualties.
And the Soviets were prepared to invade from the North, and take their share of Japan.
When I hear someone disagree with the atomic bombings of Japan - and the carpet bombing of German and Japanese cities - my brain says “idiot”, and I avoid them in the future.
Japan has an area of about 145,000 square miles
Dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was a very good idea.
Look how well behaved they are now.
They’re like, “civilized” now.
Here is an excerpt from an article Richard B. Frank wrote for the Weekly Standard. Well worth reading:
...right to the very end, the Japanese pursued twin goals: not only the preservation of the imperial system, but also preservation of the old order in Japan that had launched a war of aggression that killed 17 million.
This brings us to another aspect of history that now very belatedly has entered the controversy. Several American historians led by Robert Newman have insisted vigorously that any assessment of the end of the Pacific war must include the horrifying consequences of each continued day of the war for the Asian populations trapped within Japan's conquests. Newman calculates that between a quarter million and 400,000 Asians, overwhelmingly noncombatants, were dying each month the war continued. Newman et al. challenge whether an assessment of Truman's decision can highlight only the deaths of noncombatant civilians in the aggressor nation while ignoring much larger death tolls among noncombatant civilians in the victim nations.
There are a good many more points that now extend our understanding beyond the debates of 1995. But it is clear that all three of the critics' central premises are wrong. The Japanese did not see their situation as catastrophically hopeless. They were not seeking to surrender, but pursuing a negotiated end to the war that preserved the old order in Japan, not just a figurehead emperor. Finally, thanks to radio intelligence, American leaders, far from knowing that peace was at hand, understood--as one analytical piece in the "Magic" Far East Summary stated in July 1945, after a review of both the military and diplomatic intercepts--that "until the Japanese leaders realize that an invasion can not be repelled, there is little likelihood that they will accept any peace terms satisfactory to the Allies." This cannot be improved upon as a succinct and accurate summary of the military and diplomatic realities of the summer of 1945.
The displacement of the so-called traditionalist view within important segments of American opinion took several decades to accomplish. It will take a similar span of time to displace the critical orthodoxy that arose in the 1960s and prevailed roughly through the 1980s, and replace it with a richer appreciation for the realities of 1945. But the clock is ticking.
I once interviewed Gen Henry ‘Butch’ Muller who was one of
the chief planners of the Los Banos Raid as intel off. of the
11th AB in the Philippines. By the end of the War he was Asst
Intel Off for the whole 8th Army and his job was to analyse
casualty projections resulting from an invasion of Japan. I
asked what he had estimated for the 8th Army alone. Without
batting an eye he stated 90,000 casualties.
I was sitting with my Father and mentioned about this being the anniversary of the Nagasaki A-Bomb. He was a Captain in the 45th ID [ETO since Sicily Invasion with 4 Amphibious Landings] who had advanced warning for assignment to PTO for the Japanese Invasion. With his experience with amphibious landings, his feeling was that he would have been 1st or 2nd wave in the invasion. His opinion was and is that these A-Bombs saved his life and nothing said or written since has changed that viewpoint.
He spent 1941 thru 1944 in the Atlantic and went West for the invasion. He thought Truman was a great guy for dropping the bomb, but voted Republican hated the New Deal.
Great work - thank you for posting.
I’m (seriously) curious about something. I know hindsight is always 20-20, but there is a school of thought that says the US should have demonstrated the bomb first, perhaps to a group of Japanese observers at a desert somewhere.
I know what a US Marine would think about that, but what would an historian say? Your comments, Mike?
My parents and 2 brothers were in Japanese internment camps for several years along with thousands of other Europeans and only a few years ago they unearthed plans by the Japanese military to kill everyone in these camps. I am here thanks to the A-bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Thank you president Truman
My father was in the 6th Army and would have been in the first wave in Late 1945(Operation Olympic). He said that they would have NEVER made it even to the shore. I OWE President Truman and my father a debt that I will NEVER be able to re-pay!
In his book “Meeting at Potsdam”, author Charles L. Mee suggested that Truman agreed to dropping the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not just to prevent a huge death toll to both American invaders and Japanese civilians but, more importantly, so he wouldn’t have to share the spoils of Japan with Stalin.
According to Mee, at the Potsdam Conference following the end of the War in Europe, Truman was routinely frustrated by Stalin because he would suggest ways to divide Europe between the US and the USSR, only to have Stalin shoot it down. Unfortunately for Truman, during WWII, when Roosevelt met with Stalin and Churchill at the Yalta and Malta conferences, he not only never recorded any of the details of those conferences, he never informed Truman of their discussions. Thus, Truman went in blind.
So, after some very trying negotiations with Stalin over Europe, Truman didn’t want a repetition over Japan. As a result, while the Russians were still in the process of transporting troops and materiel from the Eastern front to the coast, Truman trumped him by dropping the bombs and forcing Japan to capitulate.
In the late 60s and early 70s, as a young sailor, I was stationed in Japan and visited both Hiroshima as well as Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. It is important for Americans to know that it wasn’t until the late 90s that Japan finally acknowledged their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Prior to that time, the Japanese people were never told by their government that Japan had attacked first. It wasn’t taught in their schools, it wasn’t in their libraries and it wasn’t in their archives. As young American servicemen, we found ourselves engaged in any number of disagreements with our Japanese hosts over Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the mid- to late 80s, a survey was done in Japan to see how contemporary Japanese felt about the dropping of the bombs, their surrender to America and life in Japan since the end of the war. Surprisingly, ~80% agreed that the way the war ended for them and the things that happened afterward were far better than if Japan had been able to continue either under their former feudal system or under the thumb of the Russians.
It was also in the late 80s or early 90s that the Japanese government admitted what it did to the Korean women that were captured when Japan invaded Korea. The women were taken hostage and brought to Japan where they were forced to become “comfort women” (sex slaves) for the Japanese soldiers.
It is likely that, as more time passes, Japan may, ultimately, develop an attitude about the war that many young Germans have developed about Hitler and the Nazis. In their revisionist world, Hitler and the Nazis never happended and were just an excuse manufactured by Americans to take over Germany as part of our “imperial” empire.
So, if we fail to teach all of these things not only to OUR children but to German and Japanese children (to name a few), the past will be prologue.
Showing it off for observers would have had no effect.
Anybody the Japanese government would have sent would have refused to report the truth, and would have felt safe in doing so because they would have the political connections required to stay out of potential blast zones.
The citizens of Japan needed to see it up close and personal in order to have the psychological impact required to shut the war machine down quickly enough to keep the Soviets out.
Odds are not only would we have had to fight in Japan to overthrow Tojo, we would also have wound up fighting in Japan afterwards to stop the Reds from taking the entire country.
Can you imagine that? "Evil, racists" people celebrating such a thing -- never mind that it ended years and years of a war of daily unspeakable acts in general and acts committed by the Imperial Japan military in particular.
How awful that we didn't let the daily horrors continue, I guess that was the better alternative some today are saying. They can kiss the asses of the Greatest Generation if they can leap that high.
Yes I know that some are saying that the Imperial Japan leaders just couldn't wait to welcome American and other troops to Japan; but we "racists" would have none of that -- besides we wanted to show Stalin a thing or two. Let 'em prove it beyond all doubt.
Japan was a suicidal culture. Fight to the death. Death with honor and all that.
So, we have to think; if America became suicidal in a similar way and our foe had a culture of freedom. Would they or should they shock us into submission?
I think yes.
Were the foe a culture of death and dominance? Maybe not, but perhaps. If we submit, we can fight another day.
We have to be thankful we’re facing these choices, or forcing our enemies to.
Great thread. I wonder if you’ve ever come across the Australian journalist Murray Sayle’s writings?
He claimed Japan surrendered because they were more afraid of Stalin than us, and therefore the atomic bombings were unnecessary atrocities.
My own reflexive view is, that since we demanded “unconditional surrender”, Imperial Japan had no guarantee that we would have spared them (and the Emperor) any more than the Soviets would have apared them in the event of surrender. The bombs were important precipitants for their decision.
Sayle lived in Japan for 30 years starting in 1972. He died in 2010.
His claims, according to New Yorker magazine:
“From Japan, Sayle contributed several long pieces to The New Yorker, including the Letter from Hiroshima Did the Bomb End the War?, from 1995, which questioned the military necessity of employing the atom bomb against the Japanese and argued that fear of a Soviet invasionand not the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasakiprompted Japans surrender”
From a 1995 article he wrote for New Yorker magazine:
“...the bombs promised only to kill more Japanese, whereas the Soviets, possibly allied with local Communists, threatened to destroy the monarchy, which almost all Japanese, and certainly those in the government, viewed as the soul of the nation. A surrender with some guarantee for the Emperor thus became the best of a gloomy range of options, and the quicker the better, because every day that passed meant more gains on the ground for the Soviets, and thus a likely bigger share of the inevitable occupation. Recognition that a surrender today will be more favorable than one tomorrow is the classic reason that wars end.”
September 23, 2010
Postscript: Murray Sayle
Posted by Jon Michaud
Letter from Hiroshima
DID THE BOMB END THE WAR?
by Murray Sayle
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets Jr., left, and his grandson, then-Capt. Paul Tibbets IV, pilot the last flyable B-29 Superfortress. General Tibbets was the pilot in command of the Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. Now a colonel, the younger Tibbets is the Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Courtesy photo
"Colonel Tibbets also shared something his grandfather told him about nuclear weapons: We hope we never have to use nuclear weapons in anger again, said the elder Tibbets.
But if you think about it, we use these weapons everyday as a credible deterrent," stated Colonel Tibbets. "We, as a nation, should never forget that."
I recall someone who was at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor (1990s) where they met a teenage American visitor who believed that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was in response to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
My Dad was a Lt, “90 day wonder”, on an APD in the Atlantic working up for the mainland invasion. He was in charge of the 4 LCVPs on that ship and they were told to expect 80% casualties.
-The bomb probably saved his life, and my existence.
Where would the Soviets have gotten the sealift capacity to move enough troops into Japan? We had Andrew Jackson Higgens and the Higgens’ boats (the US Army actually had a bigger fleet than the US Navy by the end of the war!). What did the Soviets have to move troops across open water and land them on a hostile shore?
Really, I’m curious.
What my dad said (after he saw where he was to land after the Japanese Surrender) was they(Janpan) had put BattleShip Guns up in the hills and they would have been able to pick off the Big Ship that that landing craft came out of.
I’ve remarked we didn’t “bomb them back to the stone age” but “bombed them into the 20th century”
Yes, the War Department figured everyone “hitting the beach” in Olympic would find up dead, injured, POW, or missing. However, the War Department thought they would be effective enough until that happened for the follow on in February to defeat the Japanese.
One thing to comsider when talking about Operation Downfall. The US Army after Okinawa and Iwo Jima put in an Order for Purple Heart Medals and we are STILL using up Purple Hearts from THAT order.
Right. Tell me again where the soviets would get the sealift capacity to invade Japan, land troops, and keep them supplied?
The thought at the time...as I recall from the book “Day One”, was that if we gave a demo the Japanese military would have likely thought it was a trick of some sort. And there was a risk the bomb wouldn’t go off which would have been counter productive.
Also, we couldn’t afford to give demos: we didn’t have enough material on hand to make more than 3 bombs: and we set all 3 off.
Actually, it may have been enough for 4, but the premise is the same...we couldn’t waste the material - remember, at the time no one was really positive what the Russians were going to do. There were people worried the Red Army wasn’t going to stop in Berlin and that we’d be having to use a nuke on them.
Had we invaded Japan, the fighting would, literally, have been house-to-house as predicted. The Japanese soldiers were smart, clever and willing to die for their emperor.
I don’t doubt that we might have ended up fighting Stalin for the parts of Japan that they might have ended up controlling. In Germany, that’s what the Berlin Airlift was about.
Things were delicate, to say the least, for many years after Japan’s surrender.
And, this is a surprise to whom?
Given the poor state of American education from the union propagandists these days, American kids know plenty about homosexuality, putting condoms on cucumbers and what a great leader zero is, but not much else.
The Japs would learn all they needed to know when we took out a city, and we wouldn’t waste an A-bomb (we only had three...).
This is IMO a very good piece Bill Whittle from PJTV did on Hiroshima anniv. 2009 which discusses the “demo” possibility.
You may have to sign up (free) or you may get a few views for free before you have to do so.
***4. How the Soviet Union single-handedly won WWII***
I’ve already heard that.
The US wasn’t needed at Normandy as the Russians, pushing from the East had the situation well in hand.
The bombs didn’t make the Japs surrender, it was the invasion by the Russians.
Next thing you know we will be just spectators in that war.
Good point. The book Hell to Pay discusses that. I was over 800 words and made some tradeoffs. In his book Giangreco covers analyses closer to August which make one conclude the order should have been about 1,000,000.
I know some people (particularly the Japanese who want to portray themselves as innocent victims) try to make that case, but in all the sources I have seen discussing the reasoning of the contemporary Japanese leadership that point is not mentioned. Beyond destroying the Kwantung in China there wasnt much the Russians could do. They had no amphibious navy and the Japanese knew that. The Japanese also knew the Soviet army in East Asia was at the far end of the longest logistic train in all history, and that the Americans had all they could do to supply their own forces. The final battles arguments in the sources I have seen mention inflicting losses on the Americans. They do not take into account the Soviets. Japanese preparations for invasion focus on what the Americans may do, not the Soviets. To me the maturing Japanese knowledge of us and this comprehensive silence provides a strong argument against that position.
I have always thought that it was a damn shame the we only had two atomic bombs to drop on Japan in 1945.
(A recent thread here on FR says otherwise, I have not yet found any other information to that effect.)
I also think we should never have blown up all those pretty little Pacific islands testing bombs. We should have just declared Japan as the Western Pacific Testing Range, and done it there.
My father was a Marine at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan, and was scheduled for the invasion of Japan. So add me to the list of those who might not even be here except for the atomic bombs.
There are several annoyances I have with the traditional narratives. Many seem to want to put the Atomic Bomb in Isolation, without the multiple reverses the Japanese had suffered in the summer before the Bomb, and the planning of the US invasion that they had intelligence of. The Fast carrier fleet was bombing targets up and down the east coast of Japan. The Soviets were crushing Japanese Army Units in Manchuria.
But I also think that it is just as well that we did not make good on Bull Halsey's boast that when this war is over Japanese would only be spoken in hell. I believe that dropping the Bomb had a part to play in that outcome.
An excellent debate point. That's what I'm looking for.
My first reaction is it wouldnt have worked, because it didnt, but I asked my son who dealt with this issue in a debate for his input also. Japan had already experienced two actual nuclear detonations and the War Faction remained intransigent. Remember they had already experienced firebombing of 60 cities. The first raid on Tokyo destroyed 20 square miles and killed more people than either bomb. From their behavior the Japanese leadership seemed comfortable with incomprehensible death figures.
After Hirohito recorded his broadcast to the Japanese people there was still an attempt to capture him and destroy the records that were to be used in the radio broadcast.
I think a demonstration would have been meaningful to Westerners but not the Japanese. Here is a letter to the editor I wrote that speaks to the issue,
Japans Intransigent Leaders Actuated the Atomic Bombs
Arriving at VJ day demonstrated the critical role Kokutai played in surrender. Any prominent Japanese lived within an intimate spiritual fabric of Emperor, citizen, land, ancestral spirits, government, and Shinto religion. Emperor Hirohito foreseeing the probability of defeat, appointed a Peace Faction in January 1944. However, he and his advisors conducted political kabuki through twenty months of continuous defeats, fire bombings of over 60 cities, and 1.3 million additional Japanese deaths.
The Japanese Privy Council debated the Final Battles arguments into physical and mental exhaustion for eleven hours following the Nagasaki bomb on August 9. For the final meeting Hirohito reluctantly invited Barron Hiranuma, who had fiercely disapproved the war strategy. Hiranuma maintained the Emperors spiritual essence was independent of any imposed government. He reproved Foreign Minister Togo for never making concrete proposals to the Russians, and Minister Anami for accepting limitless nuclear warfare deaths without any opportunity to retaliate. The ministers had no answer, but remained unyielding.
At impasse Hirohito, the god-king, spoke the Voice of the Crane in the sweltering, underground bunker. He would bear the unbearable, conclude the war, and transform the nation. Only then did Japan contact Swiss and Swedish foreign offices to commence negotiations with allied belligerents.
The atomic bombs removed the Final Battles argument, allowing the War Faction to relent, Hirohito to assume his unprecedented roll, and no one to lose face. Their cabal remained within the fabric of Japanese from all eras who had sacrificed for Emperor and Empire.
My response to the morons who bemoan us dropping the bomb is that it was worth it if it saved ONE American, and I KNOW non-hypothetically it saved at least one, him. This shot is of him and Grandmother at POW ball in 1947.
He was in captivity for 3.5 years (he ended up staying in the Navy for a total of about 32.5 years). Both passed away in 2006/2007 and are laid to rest in Arlington.
you are sooo right. The ratio is OK because both my maps are in kilometers, but I really messed up. Thank you.
Thanks for the reply. It makes sense that Sayle would have made that point then, since as you point out that was a mainstream Japanese view. As I said, Sayle lived in Japan for 30 years — up to 2002. I’m sure he sympathized with them, as most mainstream, popular journalists do with our enemies. Sayle also interviewed mass murderer Che Guevara at one point, and even Kim Philby, and though I haven’t read the interviews, I’ll bet they were sympathetic, especially with Che Guevara.
From my own experiences I agree the Japanese want to portray themselves as innocent victims, completely. I visited the Hiroshima Peace Park and I can tell you there isn’t the slightest reference to Japanese militarism or aggression. The bombings are portrayed as bolt-out-of-the-blue atrocities, on a par with the Holocaust.
I’ll have to read up more on the “final battles” debate and preparations by the Japanese. Your point that they didn’t prepare for a Soviet invasion is a strong argument against their mythical fear of the Soviets, among other points.
There was a book about the Japanese nascent nuclear bomb effort — can’t recall the title. I have it at home, but now I’m traveling. You may already know of it.
Did (does? -- if he's still alive) your father have enduring contempt for the Japanese, and what did he think of MacArthur?
Hey, no problem. That durned metric system will get you every time! I figured it was probably square kilometers. Good article, none the less. I’m a WWII buff, so I already knew the details, but still good for the uninformed.
My father was a Marine at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan, and was scheduled for the invasion of Japan. So add me to the list of those who might not even be here except for the atomic bombs.
Truman did exactly what he had to do...no more,and no less.For him to have inadequately dealt with the Japanese government and military,thus unnecessarily prolonging the war,it could have been said that he had the blood of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians on his hands.OTOH,taking your course...exacting vengeance upon the Japanese...would have been equally immoral.If not criminal.
Apparently the demonstration in Hiroshima wasn’t enough to end the war. Would a demonstration in an unpopulated location have done the trick?