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Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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America was justified in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,528 times Debate No: 38448
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (1)




For this debate I will be arguing that the USA was justified in bombing Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki). First round is for acceptance.

I do not hope to offend any people as I argue Pro on this debate, and to prevent any accusations of me being racist, I will just say this: I am not a racist, I never have been, and I never will be. Everyone is created equal.


I accept your challenge and look forward to the coming arguments! Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


I. For the sake of ending a deadly war.
Let's first examine the military deaths in WW2. These combined trump the total of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. WW2 was obviously a war that needed to be ended as quickly as possible. And, by the time America bombed Japan, the two other main powers had been eliminated. Hitler had committed suicide, and Mussolini had been murdered, so the only remaining main axis power was Japan. Since we had to get Japan out of the picture in order to maintain a stronger peace and to finally end the war, we had to make them forfeit the war somehow. The only real logical way was to attack, so we did. Other reasons under this topic will follow this paragraph.
My second reason under the above "I" topic is that if we hadn't have attacked Japan, further war would ensue and more lives would be lost. Like I explained above, the main real logical way to end the war was to attack. If we hadn't have attacked, Japan would still continue their efforts in the war. You see, many allied powers were still in power when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. So if we hadn't have attacked, it would basically be Japan vs. The rest of the world. This would obviously cause way more Japanese deaths than the bombings.

II. Truman was not the only one who decided to drop the bomb.
Everyone blames poor Harry and criticizes him for dropping the bomb. This claim isn't even true. This was a very hard subject to concern and decide, and Truman had help in deciding from the UK's Winston Churchill and China's Chiang Kai-Shek. Truman even had physical help in the bombing by the UK.
So to conclude this argument, the risks of dropping the bomb were highly considered and planned, and the leaders of the allies (except for Stalin, and Roosevelt because he was dead at the time) agreed on one point that "This ultimatum stated if Japan did not surrender, she would face "prompt and utter destruction." This statement is a fair choice because of all the conquering, pointless invasions Japan was doing before and during the war. Japan had done many unneccessary things such as bombing Pearl Harbor, and invading many, many other countries.

There will be more next round. In the next round, I will take Con's arguments and counter them if I can, and then I shall make further arguments of my own.

And Con says that he won't forfeit, so I am excited about this debate.


A great start to a promising debate, Pro! I will start by stating my argument once more.

Argument: I believe that the U.S. was not justified in using the Atomic Bombs to end the war in the Pacific Theater.

Next I will Begin my review of your arguments.

1) I agree with the face that the was terrible. The deaths of World War 2 were staggering and were arguably the highest amounts in any war humanity has ever known. However, in the case of the Japanese Islands, I do not believe that attack was the only way to win the war. Not only was Japan without a navy, but they were without a sufficient air force, they had few resources, and because of this, the Japanese were going to lose the war no matter what. I do agree with the fact that the war needed to end sooner rather than later, but disagree with the methods used, as I will explain later.

2) I completely understand that Truman was not the only one to support dropping the bombs on Japan. At the Yalta conference, the Big Three allies sat together and discussed the Atomic bomb. Before then, it was a fierce debate among the President's advisers. I disagree with the wording and method of the ultimatum and actually with the whole idea of an ultimatum. I will get to that in my own arguments below.

My Arguments:

Japan was cut off, alone, and virtually defenseless besides its considerable ground forces trapped by the threat of the Russian invasion in Manchuria and cut off on the main islands of Japan. Besides a few obstacles of the ineffective Kamikaze pilots, we ruled Air and Sea. So, we could have used any means to end the war in the Pacific. I say that the way we did it was completely and utterly wrong for the following reasons.

A) To begin, we approached our goal very very wrong. We sought the unconditional surrender of a prideful, arrogant, and very misled population. We did not even entertain the idea of a conditional surrender or negotiations that would have put a stop to fighting for even a short while. As the Pro said, we were all about attack. Even in war, we should always attempt to pursue diplomacy to avoid the deaths of more innocent men, women, and children. But instead of at least trying for a diplomatic resolution, we sent out an Ultimatum that promised complete and utter destruction, even though they had seen the worst of us already and not surrendered. Before this Ultimatum, we had never shown that we had any sort of great weapon. We actually kept this a secret from our closest ally, Great Britain, until the Yalta conference (where the revelation of such a weapon was no surprise to Stalin.) Why should they have taken this threat seriously? Why should they surrender because the enemy promised to kill them? In any sense, it promised more fighting rather than less and seemed to encourage the continued fighting rather than discourage it. It was much like when Austria-Hungary produced its impossible ultimatum to Serbia at the start of World War 1. Impossible demands followed by Overwhelming force.

B) Once the Ultimatum was delivered, should we not have first shown them the effects of our new bomb by dropping it off the coast of Japan within plain site of a populated area and then deliver a second warning? The reason I say this is because, just like in my first point, they had no reason to think we could bring them complete and udder destruction through anything more than the firebombings that already plagued Japan? It would have been more reasonable to demonstrate our power to the Japanese before we actually used this on them.

C) If we had decided to keep the bomb a secret for a while longer and instead of continuing the fighting, had asked japan for a truce and offered the idea of negotiations, then there would be a possibility to end the war by diplomacy rather than the bombs. It may have appeared unlikely to be accepted, but I think the Japanese would have at least taken the idea seriously. By August of 1945, the Japanese emperor was looking for a way to save face with his most indoctrinated people and make peace with the United States and her Allies. The only problem was the Military was not under control of the civilian government, a flaw that actually started the war between China and Japan in the early 1930's in a fraudulent attack set up by the Japanese military to give reason to invade Manchuria. If the emperor was at least given a chance to accept such a truce, it might have been possible to end the war diplomatically rather than forcefully. However, the allies were against giving them this chance.

D) Finally, I believe that other more sinister factors were present in the decision to show that we had such a weapon. The Soviet Union had for a while then known about the Manhattan Project and showed no surprise at the Yalta conference. I believe the dropping of the atom bombs and the absolute use of force was not as much a want to end the war quickly and that the bombs were the only choice, but to show the Soviet union that one, America would stop at nothing to win and two, to show that we had something no one else had and to fear us. In the end, it was more of a political statement to the rest of the world than a wish to end the war as quickly as possible.

I will not forfeit and this is definitely going to be an excellent debate!
Debate Round No. 2


"However, in case of the Japanese islands, I do not believe that attack was the only way to end the war."
I never said it was. I said that was the only real logical way to do so. Plus, if we were just like, "Japan, please stop, bros." They would say no.

"Not only was Japan without a navy,"
False. Japan had a navy, even one of the strongest ( )

"without a sufficient air force".
Also not true. (;) According to this source, the Japanese had the following strengths in their air force:
-33,000 personnel
-Over 1,600 aircraft (including 1,375 first line combat aircraft).
-The aircraft were organized into 85 squadrons;
-36 fighter
-28 light bomber
-22 medium bomber
-Total military in 1945 was 6,095,000 including 676,863 Army Air Service

Seems pretty sufficient to me.

"They had few resources,"
Well, that may be true, but they borrowed and used resources from Germany and Italy.

"Before then, it was a fierce debate among the President's advisers."
That's the point. It took some SERIOUS consideration.

"Russian invasion in Manchuria".
Might I add that Japan invaded Manchuria back in 1931?

"We sought the unconditional surrender."
Not really. Like I quoted before, our plan was to try and get Japan to surrender, then use force if needed.

"As the Pro said, we were all about attack."
I never said that. What I said was that our only logical option was to attack. We were not "all about attack", what Truman, Churchill, and Kai-Shek wanted was for Japan to surrender on peaceful grounds. If that was not available, we would go to Plan B, which was to attack.

"avoid the deaths of more innocent men, women, and children."
You do realize that Japan killed those same innocent people in Pearl Harbor and all the other pointless invasions.

"promised complete and utter destruction."
Facepalm. Did you even read the quote? The quote clearly says, "This ultimatum stated if Japan did not surrender, she would face "prompt and utter destruction." This clearly brings negotiations of surrender as the Plan A, and attacking being the Plan B.

"Why should they surrender because the enemy promised to kill them?"
Double Facepalm.

"It would have been more reasonable to demonstrate our power to the Japanese before we actually used this on them."
We did. There was this whole big thing called, "World War II". And since you say before we actually used this on them, does that mean you believe that it would be okay if we attacked them at a later time? If so, the kind of goes against your case.

"had asked Japan for a truce and offered the idea of negotiations."
We. Did. I'm getting kinda tired of saying that.

And about all this secret bomb stuff, please provide a source to prove that case.



1) By August of 1945, Japan had lost its naval power in the tide turning battle of Midway. Its air force was also all but destroyed as proven in the battle of Iwo Jima, where they offered no air-to-air defense. What little they did have, they sent back to the homeland to protect it and they were consequently destroyed in the ensuing battles.

2) My point about the resources was that in August of 1945, they had no outside access to resources, which their island desperately needed.

3) Yes, I understand the point about the serious discussion. It was also a serious discussion between Hitler and his advisers about the Final Solution. Just because it was discussed does not mean i have to agree with the outcome.

4) We did seek unconditional surrender. From the shores of Normandy to the War in the Pacific, we delivered condemning ultimatums that destroyed any idea of peace.

5) The only logical option in this situation was not to attack but to seek peace or demonstrate what we could do with as few deaths as possible by hitting a underpopulated area along with a second warning.

6) Just because innocent people died early and throughout the war does not mean that we should kill more just because they did die. In other words, we should not kill because they killed.

7) Yes, I read the quote. In other words, it states that if you do not surrender unconditionally, then you will face prompt and utter destruction. This ultimatum was once again wrong. The population of Japan was very indoctrinated along with many political problems with just giving up like that. The Japanese culture was once all about respect and honor. This led to the ideas of Never Surrender. If we ever wanted peace without further killing, we should have said conditional surrender open to negotiations and not "Surrender or die".

8) If I got a threat in the mail that said "Give up your house, your car, your wife, and your children or you will face Prompt and utter destruction" what do you think I am going to do? Give up the fight and everything I hold dear while looking weak to my family and friends and society? No! I am going to resist! Even if I am at a clear disadvantage! However, he and I had been fighting for a long time before then and he said that, while I was at a clear disadvantage, he would accept the conditional surrender so that we could end the fighting, then I would consider it. The Japanese were a headstrong, ancient minded people that would need convincing to surrender. This is proved by the face that it took 2 Atomic bombs to destroy the morale of the Japanese. It would have taken a lot to try and end it diplomatically, but we could have tried!

9) The idea that we should have demonstrated the power of the nuclear weapon on an underpopulated area (like the ocean) followed by a second ultimatum, they might have surrendered without us actually having to use the bomb to destroy a city, then another. This piece was with the understanding that since the first ultimatum was sent, then the warning bomb and second ultimatum should have followed. A "Shot across the bow," Per say.

10) If you would provide a source where we called for an end to the fighting to negotiate a conditional surrender, I would believe then that would be great.

11) Here is one of many sources about Stalin's knowledge of the bomb.

I see that I must not have spoken clearly, as you did not seem to understand many of my points. I apologize of this is the case. I look forward to our further arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


"By August of 1945, Japan had lost it's naval power."
Yes, they did lose their naval power, but they did after the war. From ( ), "The Imperial Japanese Navy of World War II was the second most powerful navy in the Pacific War in World War II. It was the third largest navy in the world. During the first years of the war the Imperial Japanese Navy dominated the Western Pacific. However, after a series of defeats it lost control of the Western Pacific and collapsed by the end of the war.

"Second most powerful navy in the Pacific War in World War II" Second in the world? That's pretty powerful.
"Third largest navy in the world" The THIRD. When you look at how many countries there are in the world, that's pretty freakin' strong.
"After a series of defeats it lost control of the Western Pacific" Yes, they lost control of part of the Pacific, but that was only ONE part of an entire huge ocean. They still had major control of the Northern, Eastern, and Southern parts.
"end of the war" Exactly. The end of the war. That means that their navy was great until we bombed them.


"They had no outside access to resources, which their island desperately needed
Yes, no outside resources. But they had inside ones, if you will. They had their own resources (Japan did and still does have an expert military). Plus all the other resources they could acheive from Hitler's Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Fascist Italy, before they were defeated.

"Just because it was discussed does not mean i have to agree with the outcome."
I'm not saying you have to. This is a debate (It's your first one, I know), and in debates, you are supposed to convince the voters to vote for you. That's all I'm doing, bringing up a point to help my cause.

"condemning ultimatums that destroyed any idea of peace
Ultimatums do not destroy any idea of peace. This is the definition of "ultimatum":
"a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in a retaliation or a breakdown in relations". (;)

Thus, ultimatums do provide peace. And if peace is not accepted, then consequences will occur. Some of the greatest revolutions are started by ultimatums. And we offered peace. I'll give you the quote again:

"This ultimatum stated if Japan did not surrender, she would face "prompt and utter destruction."

"This led to the ideas of Never Surrender."
If they had such strict policies against surrendering, why did they?

"If I got a threat in the mail that said "Give up your house, your car, your wife, and your children or you will face Prompt and utter destruction." are the problems with this statement:
1. I'm sure the Post Office wouldn't even allow that kind of mail.
2. The ultimatum was not even NEARLY that strict. We offered peace, bro.

"The idea that we should have demonstrated the power of the nuclear weapon"
We did. Looky here:

Graph of nuclear testing

Sorry if you can't see the picture, 'cause it's a graph of nuclear tests by countries over time. America's amount is still small in the 1945 spot, but they still tested nuclear weapons. Which goes against your quoted statement above.

"On an underpopulated area"
Oh, so we should've just bombed a random city for no reason just for the heck of it? That seems like what you are saying.

"followed by a second ultimatum"
There are no second ultimatums. And according to you, ultimatums are, "condemning and destroying any idea of peace", so, in your beliefs (if you delivered them correctly), why would we offer a second one?

"If you would provide a source where we called for an end to the fighting to negotiate a conditional surrender, I would believe then that would be great."
I did. The quote I keep mentioning over and over and over.

"Here is one of many sources about Stalin's knowledge of the bomb"
What does that have to do with anything? Stalin was an ally, you know.

"as you did not seem to understand many of my points."
Oh yes I did.

And as I have used Wikipedia as a source many times, I will explain why it actually is reliable so people don't attack me on that for sources. Wikipedia is just as correctable as it is incorrectable, and there are thousands of monitors that go through about every page every day checking for false edits. Plus, anyone who is immature enough to edit a Wikipedia page would probably edit a page like "pizza'. The people immature enough to do so would not even take their time to even look at a page for WWII.

And as this is the final round of this debate, I have two words.




Once again, my opponent did not understand my points. Before August of 1945, Japan did not know of our nuclear weapons. Its navy was destroyed in battle, as was it's air force. He clearly does not understand the idea that just because you had a large army at the beginning of the war does not mean that you have a large army at the end of it. Yes, in the treaties after the war, they lost any capabilities to attack another country as part of their UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER

Yes, we offered the Japanese the option of UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. This is the type of surrender NO HONORABLE JAPANESE EMPEROR COULD EVER TAKE.

They never controlled the entire Pacific. If they had controlled the Eastern Pacific, they would have invaded California, Hawaii would have been under their control, as would Australia and many other places. This was simply not the case.

I am not even going to comment on his graph. That graph is from 1945-2013. Seriously? In the 2 nuclear tests we did in 1945, they were kept as part of the TOP SECRET MANHATTAN PROJECT. THE JAPANESE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THESE PROGRAMS! So how had we ever demonstrated our power to them? World War II? They put up one hell of a fight and took many of our islands including Guam, The Philippines and even an invasion in Alaska! I do not understand how our progress in World War II was any indication that we could wipe them off the map.

Ugh... I won't go on in these rebuttals.

My opponent clearly had no knowledge about World War 2 in this debate. He does not understand the problems with morality in war nor does he understand that unconditional surrender is humiliation. Maybe I should have said something about that. I believe my arguments were very straight forward and offered some very valid questions. Furthermore, he does not understand the Japanese culture at the time and why it took so much for them to surrender. If the voters have any knowledge about World War Two, they could never vote, and I will explain why.

Richard Dawkins once listened to a woman Fervently defend creationism with excellent scientific points. He approached her after her lecture and, according to "The Blind Watchmaker", questioned why she had argued for Creationism when he knew for a fact that she was not a creationist. She responded that she had wanted to prove that she could argue for both Evolution and Creationism. Why do I bring this up? It is because I have done much the same here.

I do not believe that the US or any other country under any circumstances could ever morally justify the use of such a weapon on any enemy. However, World War Two was fought with the ideology of Total War. This means that the only morality left in war was "The ends justifies the means".

When the war in the Pacific was drawing to a close in the summer of 1945, the Allies were beginning to doubt that Russia should ever have been an ally. They saw the establishment of 'satellite nations' in Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union as a clear precedent of what was to become of Asia if the Russians completed their invasion of Manchuria, which was invaded under false pretenses by the Japanese Military against the will of the Civilian Emperor. They feared that Russia was going to set up more satellite countries and that Communism would make great gains if the war did not end immediately. Churchill and Truman discussed this at length with each other. They decided that the only way to end the war quickly enough to stop the Russians from spreading Communism any further was to use the Atomic bombs to force Japan's hand into an unconditional surrender that would make it give up all of its most precious things and come under occupation of the allies just as Germany had been.

Another argument against my own was comparing the costs of an invasion, the next most plausible plan of action, to the use of Atomic bombs. The invasion of Okinawa and Iwo Jima proved to be a good example of what fighting on the Japanese homeland or attempting to secure after a conditional surrender would be like. Every step taken towards Japan cost more and more lives, paving our path in the blood of our soldiers. The estimated casualties of war in Japan were simply to great to be a good decision. Every man, woman, and child were going to be a combatant. Their zeal and patriotism were to be unending and a great problem for any occupation or invasion. We had to break their will to win the war.

In order to do this, we had create fear in the hearts of even the most experienced Japanese general. Conventional war and even close to genocide of the Japanese people was not doing the trick. The fire bombing of Tokyo killed more people in one night than both of the Atomic Bombs combined. Why then, did Japan surrender after the bombs rather than the firebombings of Tokyo? The answer is one of fear and ideology. Throughout history, Japan had always been a nation to never surrender. It preferred suicidal banzai charges and Kamikaze attacks to surrender. Death was a better more honorable thing to embrace for sake of the honor of your family at home. When the first bomb dropped, it was pure determination that kept the Japanese people from surrenedering. When the second bomb dropped, it was clear that America had the power to wipe Japan off the face of the Earth. In a grand stroke of defeat, the Japanese government surrendered unconditionally. This was a momentous moment for the United States. Not only had the worlds worst war ended, not only had America come out as a superpower where we had once been in depression and isolation, we came out as the ONLY superpower. We also prevented the spread of Communism. These are many many points that my Opponent failed to utilize in his ignorance of world war two.

I still stand by my belief that the use of any such weapon is morally unjustifiable. However, The first casualty of war is innocence. Morality does not have a place in Total War. In a nation as nationalist as Japan, every citizen should have been considered a combatant and any means necessary should have been used to end the war.

It is also arguable that the demonstrative power of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevented and shall continue to prevent World War 3. This is because the nature of war has changed and any nation that wishes the end of another nation has to consider the unified force of the world is watching and that if any nuclear powered nation uses its weapons, then they will be destroyed. This idea of Mutually Assured Destruction was only possible because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The good political benefits outweighed the atrocity of the moral crime committed. In effect, Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Globalization possible. We realized that we had to be more responsible and more unified if we were to survive as a species. Thus, the creation of the UN. While ineffective today, it will someday be the symbol of peace and world unification.

However, I do believe I should be voted in this debate for the following reasons.

I was more civil than my adversary and he was quite hostile, especially towards the end.

I knew what I was talking about and didn't need Wikipedia to give me some numbers that by August of 1945 were just plain inaccurate. I knew the maps of world war two, what was under Japanese control and what was not. I was working off the assumption that he had prior knowledge, but I was apparently wrong. He has worse than a High school level of understanding in the Pacific theater of World War 2. He truthfully does not know much about world war two. If he had, my arguments of morality in war would have been destroyed. He would have known to think as if we were in August of 1945 and not October of 2013.

I knew there were other options that could have stopped the fighting in other ways that allowed for Japan to save face to its people. He clearly thinks that Unconditional surrender leads to peace. This is dis-proven by Germany's reaction to its punishment in the Unconditional surrender it gave at the end of World War 1, which was the ultimate cause of World War 2 along with Hitler's rise to power.

I also had the best structured arguments and very points and analogies to back them up. What my opponent attempted to use against me was wording. This is a terrible way to debate. You should use facts, or, in this case, hypotheticals of what could have been done differently. Moreover, Pro claimed he would have more arguments for his case. He never presented these, but only attacked my wording with a small understanding of what time frame we were in. He did not understand the fact that Japan had essentially been defeated. They had no ability what so ever to produce a successful counter attack. It was only a matter of time that defined the decision of dropping the Atomic bomb.

I am running out of space to finish and there are many points I would like to note, but I am down to 100 characters.

I hope that your read the argument and vote well.

Have a good day, Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
Posted by PatriotPerson 4 years ago
We both said some things we probably shouldn't have. Agree?
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
I won't bring in the points from the debate in fear of starting another mini debate, the facepalm was a little demeaning. But it wasn't near as demeaning as my constantly calling you ignorant.
Posted by PatriotPerson 4 years ago
I only said facepalm twice, and how is it bad to have some humor?
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
While that is a better reason to vote for me, I only used one source, where as Pro used a few. I actually came out in support of Pro at the end and though we still disagree on some points, I would say Pro and I's conduct was the same. I do agree about the facepalm crap... that was annoying.
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
Posted by PatriotPerson 4 years ago
Ah thanks bro. It's shared. *Brofist*
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
Pro, I want to tell you that despite our harsh words, you have my utmost respect.
Posted by PatriotPerson 4 years ago
I agree with Con, because if one loses a debate it is good to know they actually put up a chance.
Posted by Jakeross6 4 years ago
Really Adam, are you kidding me? You didn't even vote correctly! The guy that voted before you was an excellent analysis of the debate! You intended to give me all those points (Which I appreciate) but for the wrong reasons. But instead of giving me those votes, you will leave this debate as a loss and I do not appreciate that.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by danielawesome12 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources- same Conduct- same Spelling- same For the argument itself I had an automatic bias towards pro, because I believe that America handled Japan's insane military regime correctly, the only way to win the war was to threaten japan with complete annihilation. Despite completely defeating their Air Force and their navy they refused to surrender. And they would hold their own civilians hostage then send them to the American troops with duct tape on the mouth. However, little did our troops know they also attached bombs to their civilians. Which they detonated when we tried to save them, however con put up a valiant fight to try and back a purely ignorant regime, so I'll give him some props and say TIE!