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If Truman had not dropped the A-bombs on Japan, than there would of been more lives lost in WWII.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2017 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 343 times Debate No: 99771
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Good luck in advance to whoever responds to this.

Let's consider the options President Truman had after the fall of Germany when it came to taking over Japan.

1. He could have a full scale invasion into Japan. As a results of this, thousands upon thousands of American troops would be killed. Not only that, but because of the determination of the Japanese people, soldiers wouldn't be the only people getting killed trying to attack American soldiers. It has been documented in several sources that there were military groups that consisted of young children who were trained to kill American soldiers with improvised bamboo weapons (like spears). What's worse is that the people in Japan had also believed that Americans were ruthless and that taking your own life was better than being captured, so there's more civilian casualties.

2. Truman could use a weapon that, while yes devastating, could scare the Japanese into surrendering. However, Truman didn't want to completely wipe out the entire nation, so instead of targeting Tokyo or any other densely populated city, he specifically targeted cities that would militaristicly be devastating. Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base while Nagasaki had one of the largest seaports in Southern Japan.

Were the atomic bombs one of the worst inventions made to be used in war, yes. Were the effects of the atomic bomb devastating, yes. Is the bomb, itself, immoral, yes. Was it a necessary sin to prevent more American and Japanese soldiers from dying, yes.


The destruction that the nuclear bombs weren't that much more destructive than traditional bombing raids with conventional bombs and firebombs. Compared to the other 68 bombing raids that the US carried out in the summer of 1945, Hiroshima ranked 2nd in terms of civilian casualties and 17th in the percentage of a city destroyed which puts the bomb in the same parameters as a conventional bombing raid. To Japanese government officials, the nukes were no different from normal bombing raids and considering how even with 68 massive bombing raids with comparable destruction to Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not convince them to surrender, it makes no sense why 2 more cities destroyed with a new weapon would be any different. This is exemplified when top Japanese government officials met on August 9th, 3 days after the bombing of Hiroshima, where the topic of the bombing raids in general was only brought up twice, once in passing and once in a wide reaching discussion. Instead their focus was on the Soviet Union

The real reason why Japan Surrender was because of Soviet involvement in the war against Japan. Before the Soviets got involved, it was hoped by Japanese officials could use Stalin as a mediator or that they could inflict so many causalities on the invading American troops that the Americans would offer better surrender terms. However, when the soviets invaded all those options disappeared. The majority of the Japanese army and their best men were on the south preparing for an invasion by the Americans so there was only a skeleton army defending the north of Japan where the Soviets were invading from. So with the knowledge that Japan had no hope for at very least a surrender with good terms, Japan surrendered unconditionally

In conclusion, Truman's decision to drop the A-bombs on Japan would have no saved any lives as it had no impact on Japan's decision to surrender unconditionally. In fact, the bombing would have killed more people as those deaths were unnecessary
Debate Round No. 1


If the Soviet Union had joined the war before America had dropped the bombs, Japan would not have surrendered.

1. Japan had already defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War
2. The Americans warned the Japanese that we had more atomic bombs for future attacks as well as the means to create more.
3. The atomic bomb would literally vaporize people alive and cause radiation poisoning, so it was nothing like the air raids before.
4. The emperor knew that his people would eventually turn on him if he didn't concede. The more his people died, the more likely they'd revolt on him. This same thing happened to Mussolini and his Blackshirts when he failed to repel the American troops from Sicily.
5. The Americans would NEVER allow the Soviet Union to fight in the Pacific. The thought of communism spreading made them fear too much. So even if the Soviet Union said they had declared war, the Americans wouldn't have allowed them.

Now with that being said, a full scale invasion, if that had ever happened, with American and the Soviet Union would absolutely decimate the Japanese people. Scientists Quincy Wright and William Shockley estimated that if the Allies had invaded Japan, they would suffer a whooping 1.7-4 million causalities, with Japan suffering 5 to 10 million.

Although there were many factors contributing to the surrender of Japan, the Soviet Union joining was not what had driven their war efforts over the edge. Emperor Hirohito realized how devastating the Americans were, so to prevent further deaths of his people as well as to try and maintain his power, he surrendered. This then makes the a-bombs a necessary sin that prevented further deaths on both sides of the war.


1. Japan defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese war but that was 40 years ago and the circumstances were a lot different. The Japanse military was a shell of its former self and the majority of its forces were on the southern part of Japan with only a skeleton force defending its northern Islands and Manchuria which was part of Japan. Considering the USSR was redirecting is forces which just defeated Nazi Germany and its invading 16th army only stopped advancing because it ran out of fuel, Japan had absolutely no chance in any defence against the Soviet Union.

2/3/4. As I have mentioned before, the Aug 9th meeting of high Japanese officials on the issue of surrender, their discussion barely mentioned the A-Bombs and was more focussed on the USSR. Even when Japanese government and military leaders talked about the bomb, they did not consider it exceptional. Gen. Anami on Aug. 13 remarked that the atomic bombings were no more menacing than the fire-bombing that Japan had endured for months. So the idea that the destructive power of an Atomic Bomb forced Japan to surrender is a false one. Simply put, Japanese leaders didn't care them at all and saw A-bombs as nothing more than another bombing raid.

Also, Radiation poisoning was unknown at the time so it couldn't have been a deciding factor.

5. You do realise that the Soviet Union did fight in the pacific and did declare war on Japan? The Soviet Union invaded Manchuria and the Sakhalin islands and conquered them. In fact, the fact that Korea is split up is the DIRECT RESULT OF THE SOVIET UNION DECLARING WAR ON JAPAN since Korea at the time was a Japanese Colony.

I will agree with you that an invasion of the Japanese homeland would have resulted in millions of deaths for both sides but the Atomic bombing did not make Japan surrender. Instead, it was the involvement of the Soviet Union in the war which would have happened with or without the dropping of the atomic bombs.
Debate Round No. 2
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