Was the Atomic Bombs Necessary to End the War?
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|Updated:||7 months ago||Status:||Debating Period|
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Debate Rounds (4)
Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary to end the war because America would have won even if they hadn't had been dropped.
The main reason for the atomic bomb was because Japan was an active participant in World War 2. Therefore, in order to end the war they immediately had to drop the bomb ESPECIALLY they had to do it immediately after Hitler's death which created a MAJOR impact and moreover, many countries stopped the war simply because America had set an example of how powerful they were and if anyone tried to continue the war, they would have bombed them too.
On August 9, 1945 the Soviet Union rushed into Manchuria overwhelming the Japanese forces. This didn't change anything about the outcome of the war since the day afterwards, Japan surrendered. Though Moscow benefitted largely from it.
On August 10, 1945 Japan surrendered to the United States.
Now the question is, were the atomic bombs necessary? By any rational reasoning they were not. Japan militarily was already defeated in the June of 1945. Almost nothing was left of the Imperial Navy and Japan's Air Force was all but destroyed. American war planes roamed pretty much freely over Japan without much opposition. Japanese factories struggled to produce any military products because of the lack of supplies. Oil had been cut since April. Food was so scarce most Japanese were starving.
On March 9-10, 1945 a wave of 300 American bombers hit Tokyo dropping 1700 tons of bombs killing 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
On May 23, the biggest airstrike of the Pacific War happened. 520 B-29's dropped 4500 tons of bombs on Tokyo. Two days later 502 B-29's came again and dropped 4000 tons of explosives. Together between the two raids, they destroyed 56 square miles of the Japanese Capitol. The bombing took 3 million homes and made 15 million people homeless. It killed about a million people.
Henry. H. Arnold stated in his memoirs that "It always appeared to us, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse." This was later on confirmed by the Japanese prime minister Fumimaro Konoye, who said: "Fundamentally, the thing that brought about the determination to make peace was the prolonged bombing by the B-29s."
Months before Nagasaki and Hiroshima happened, the Japanese leaders knew they were going to lose. Since Italy was done as well as Germany, they knew the British and American forces were going to focus on them. Americans had already broken Japanese codes so they knew that Japan was looking for a surrender. These details were known from decoding messages between the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and Japanese diplomats abroad.
Historian Gar Alperovitz notes in his book that Japanese peace feelers had already been sent out as early as 1944.
America only learned about Japanese efforts for peace after the war and even that was closely censored. Chicago Tribune reporter Walter Trohan was obliged to withhold this important story for seven months.
The article reveals that on January 20, 1945 President Roosevelt received a 40 page memorandum outlining 5 separate surrenders overtures from high level Japanese officials. The terms of surrender were practically identical to what the Americans signed in the formal surrender ceremony.
The amount of times Japan tried to set surrender terms is a lot. Three times through neutral Sweden and Portugal. All of those were dismissed by the United States. The emperor himself had taken matters personally into his own hands. The obstacle was "unconditional surrender". The Japanese feared that America would humiliate their emperor, the heir of a 2600 year old dynasty. To Japan he was practically a living God and the people of Japan had never heard his voice until the August 15 when he broadcasted surrender.
Again Japan sent surrender terms to Russia. These were of course intercepted by America and what they learned was practically the only condition that the Japanese preposed was to keep was their form of government. Practically what it was saying was that the Japanese only wanted to maintain the integrity of the Japanese royal family.
There is no doubt that Japan wanted to surrender. These acts were not only overt and explicit, but also official. Koichi Kido, Japan's Lord Privy Seal and a close advisor to the Emperor, later affirmed: "Our decision to seek a way out of this war, was made in early June before any atomic bomb had been dropped and Russia had not entered the war. It was already our decision."
Despite that, America and Britain answered that Japan would accept unconditional surrender of face total destruction. America knew Japan's only contrition was that the emperor and his family remain unmolested but they still insisted on unconditional surrender without even addressing Japan's condition. The irony of this is that, after Japan surrendered, America kept the emperor in his seat of power to aide with the occupation of Japan. If America had just addressed the issue of the royal family, thousands of lives would have been saved.
President Truman defended the use of the atomic bomb by saying "it saved millions." He even went so far as to say that they had dropped the first atomic bomb on a military base to avoid killing civilians. Considering that pretty much all the deaths were civilians. If America had wanted to show off their power, they could have dropped the bomb on an isolated military base. If there were any justifications for the first atomic bomb, there's none for the second. Yet Americans will happily accept the public excuse that dropping the bombs "saved millions"
Many people expressed their opinions against dropping the bomb. The Pope even expressed his opinion. American leaders who knew the facts were troubled by the orders to drop the bombs. General Dwight Eisenhower was deeply troubled and wrote about it in his memoirs. In his memoir he expresses that Japan was already defeated an dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. General Bonnie Fellers summed up that neither the bomb or Russia's invasion was necessary to win the war. Japan had already been defeated.
The US could have pulled out all its forces and starved the Japanese into submission. This was absolutely no need to drop the two atomic bombs.
In a 1960 magazine article, Szilard, who was instrumental in developing the atomic bomb wrote: "If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us, we would have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them."
United States Strategic Bombing Survey rejected the notion that Japan gave up because of the atomic bombings. Unconditional surrender was the only reason the war dragged on for so long. The Americans brandished it like a weapon they used for revenge. The two atomic bombs were unnecessary.
General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of US Army forces in the Pacific, stated on numerous occasions before his death that the atomic bomb was completely unnecessary from a military point of view
The atomic bombs were dropped on August 6th 1945 on Hiroshima and then on 8th August 1945 on Nagasaki. Later on, during the month of September Japan signed a peace treaty with the United States. This makes it very clear that due to the atomic bombings, it gave Japan no HOPE to retaliate and their only SAFE way to come out of this was to sign the peace treaty and hence ending WW2 right then and there.
My second point,
The USSR was ready to INVADE Japan and then steal them of their resources, make them slaves, and use them in an inappropriate manner. By dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they kept the USSR army at bay and saved them from being slaves to Russia.
My third point,
The Major reason why US bombed japan was because the Japanese killed the American Prisoners of War in Hiroshima. They were Brutally Massacred and humiliated in front of the crowd.
To be honest, it wasn't a really a decision at all. US had the most powerful bombs to end WW2 by saving as many soldiers of as they could. That means ending the war in the most cheapest way as possible.
My 5th point is that US gave 2 Warning Letters to Japan.
The 1st one stated that Japan must stop the production of military weapons, otherwise they will be forced to take severe actions against them.
The 2nd one stated that they will drop the atomic bombs and YOU MUST EVACUATE THE CITIES in order to save your lives. Japan did not take these warnings seriously and had to suffer the consequences.
The surrender terms on 20th January 1945 provided by the Japanese was NOT rejected by the US but in fact they changed the surrender terms of policy which Japan could not agree with and hence the surrender terms were not signed on 20th January 1945.
The bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was solely to end the WW2 and to save the Japanese from being invaded by USSR and hence making the possibility of making them slaves.
The two bombs main purpose was to maintain dominance in a post war world. They didn't stop the Cold War from happening. The bombs were a mere show of power and were not needed to end the war.
Then my opponent admits that the bombs main purposes weren't even for ending the war. Like I said before, the bombs were merely a spiteful act of hate upon the Japanese people. They were a show of power to the Russians. Many generations of Americans were taught that the Japanese were crazy bloodthirsty people that would defend their homeland with their lives. Japanese children were taught a very different way. They were taught that Japan had already been defeated and that the atomic bombs were just a show to show the Russians how powerful America was. 
If the Americans had lost the war, firebombing Tokyo and atomic bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been seen as war crimes. Japan did send out many treaties of surrender and America turned them all down. The only condition that Japan had asked for was if the royal Japanese family would not be harmed. America turned that down and insisted on unconditional surrender. It is clear that America did this out of spite. If America had actually cared about saving its own soldier, America would have ended the Pacific War in the January of 1945 when Japan tried to surrender then. This clearly proves that America did not care about how many soldiers it lost. The only reason America prolonged the war was to show off to the Russians how powerful they were. Japan was merely the stage.
Yes the warning to Japan were "prompt and utter destruction" if Japan didn't surrender. Do you even realize how much of a joke that sounds like? If Germany did that to Britain, would Britain have listened? No. Secondly I would like to point out how the American warned Japan. They dropped about more than a million leaflets over many different cities. It stated to get out of the city because Americans might bomb the city. That is not really a warning more so as a threat. That is practically a joke to laugh at the Japanese and say "I told you so". The Potsdam warning isn't really a warning because it was extremely vague. The leaflets are the main question. What it said on the leaflet made it look like America actually cared about the Japanese citizens. This is a complete falsehood considering that the whole point of bombing the cities was to wipe out whole civilian populated cities. The thing is, what if a terrorist warned an American city that it was about to nuke. Would the terrorist be let off the hook? Warning like that don't really do anything and that's really no justification. If I warned you before I hit you. Am I to be let of the hook for hurting you? Does that justify what I did? 
Again I will repeat that the only condition that Japan asked for was that the emperor be safe. How ridiculous was it to refuse a practically identical surrender treaty? This proves that America did not care for the amount of lives the Pacific War cost. America did not care for the amount of civilians it killed and nor did it care for the sons and daughters who were fighting in the war. All it cared about was showing off to the Russians how powerful they were. Even though it cost more than a million lives. If America had just stepped up and accepted the surrender treaty in the January of 1945, the two atomic bombs would have never happened, Russia would never have broken their peace treaty with Japan and invaded, the biggest airstrike in the Pacific War which cost more than a million civilian lives would never have happened and people would not be dying of radiation sickness 10 years after what had happened.
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