Should America Have Dropped the Atomic Bombs?
Debate Rounds (3)
I believe we should have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. This is mainly because the war against Japan was turning extremely bloody, especially with frequent Kamikaze attacks and very stiff resistance. Many Americans noticed that Japanese resistance grew and grew and became more brutal and fanatical as the Americans and British got closer and closer to the Japanese mainland. Eventually, the Allies got to Okinawa. There, they found resistance forces that no one could have imagined. Franklin Roosevelt would pass away putting the presidency into the hands of Harriet S. Truman. Truman was given a big decision to make. Should he drop the atomic bomb or not? My first reason for the bombs needing to be dropped was to save millions of American lives. Second of all, Truman wanted to wear down the Japanese psychologically. The American fire bombing raids were already extremely effective but what about destroying a entire city with one bomb? If one bomb can do that much damage then surely the enemy is stronger then you are.
The amount of destruction and plain chaos in Japan, as well as the almost gone military, make atomic bombs unnecessary to the war. There was no way Japan could retaliate, as they had nothing to retaliate with. This leads right into my second point.
Point 2: The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary because Japan was already trying to negotiate peace with the allies, using Russia as the medium. By early July 1945 the US had intercepted messages from Togo to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sato, showing that the Emperor himself was taking a personal hand in the peace effort, and had directed that the Soviet Union be asked to help end the war. It is widely documented that this is the case. The State Department in 1945 even reported it, as I will let the historian Gar Alperovitz (who is arguably an expert on the use of the atomic bomb) describe:
"In mid-April  the [US] Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Japanese leaders were looking for a way to modify the surrender terms to end the war. The State Department was convinced the Emperor was actively seeking a way to stop the fighting."
And the US certainly knew how to get the information on Japan's negotiation attempts. The Army broke the Japanese code long before the atomic bombs. In fact, it was broken before Pearl Harbor. There was no doubt that Japan was defeated, and was trying to surrender. Even before surrender attempts with Russia, they had tried with Sweden and Portugal and Switzerland (neutral countries). Sweden actually sent the message to the US, but the Secretary of State Edward Stettinius said to "show no interest or take any initiative in pursuit of the matter."
So which officials believed the bombs weren't necessary? Among the voices of dissent were: General Eisenhower, Admiral William Leahy, General Douglas MacArthur, the Assistant Secretary of War, General Curtis LeMay, Brigadier General Bonnie Fellers, and dozens of other influential officials. Even the Japanese said that it was not the atomic bombs that made them surrender, but the bombing from B-29's.
Point 3: The USSR was going to invade Japan. Just one day after we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, The USSR was set to declare war on Japan. Even before the second bomb was dropped, the USSR started to invade Manchuria with thousands of troops. This was likely a major cause for the Japanese surrender, according to historians. As Germany had been subdued earlier that year, Japan understood that the Allies were about to concentrate the full power of their military unto Japan. Waiting just a couple more days would have brought around an unconditional surrender, without the loss of 225,000 civilian lives. This is backed up by dozens of historians.
Thank you for giving me the chance to debate this. I hope this will be challenging and fun to debate!
Yes. You are quite right about the Soviet invasion on Manchuria. However, this is another reason why we dropped the bombs. During the early and middle periods of World War Two anti-communism was beginning to fade in America. However, when Roosevelt passed away and Truman became president anti-communism came back. Truman dropped the atomic bombs partly because Stalin had invaded both Manchuria and Mongolia. This was because Stalin wanted to spread his communist influence all around the world. Truman new this and figured that he needed to beat Stalin to the punch and bombed Japan. In this way he turned Stalin back because now America had fully controlled the Pacific.
America did not even want to kill civilians either. Before each bombing warnings would be sent to the Japanese government and leaflets would be dropped on the target cities telling the civilians to leave. Japan refused of course. Also, when we targeted Nagasaki we did it to further destroy Japanese military power. The bomber accidently dropped the bomb way off target instead of dropping it in the large port that was actually targeted.
On to your points!
My understanding of your first argument is that we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to stop the USSR from invading Japan. However, this argument completely ignores the fact that Japan was trying to surrender. Not only were they trying, but they sent a list of surrender terms to the US for them to agree on. In the next round, if you wish, I can post the terms which Japan wanted.
These terms were virtually identical to the ones accepted at the formal surrender after Nagasaki. So the US, in order to make Japan surrender and in the process, stop Stalin from spreading influence, could have simply accepted Japans surrender a full five months before the bombs. This would have had the exact same effect on a the USSR's influence as making them surrender after the bombs did. In summary, your point does nothing to show why the bombs were necessary, only why a surrender was necessary. And since I have proven that Japan was trying to surrender before the bombs, the communist influence argument has no, well, influence.
Your second point is kind of the same. It doesn't show why the atomic bombs were necessary, only that the people were given fair warning and didn't move out. Furthermore, the leaflets didn't specifically mention anything like the terror of the atomic bomb.
If America didn't want to kill civilians, they would have simply accepted Japan's surrender and saved over 200,000 men, women, and children. What I personally believe is that it was revenge for Pearl Harbor. Which is the least reasonable reason for dropping two atomic bombs and killing 100 times the people, instantly. But that is opinion, and should not be taken as an argument by you or voters.
Thank you, and the best of luck with the rest of the debate!
Tyler1 forfeited this round.
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