The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 384 times Debate No: 89967
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
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As con, I will be arguing that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary.

Necessary: "required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential."

Pro will post first arguments during round 1, directly after accepting.


If your objective is to defeat the Japanese with minimal loss of American lives, it was very necessary.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, Pro, for accepting this debate. I hope that it will be a fun one.

Point 1: The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary because Japan was already on the brink of collapse. It is well documented that Japan was extremely damaged by the war already. American air raids ravaged what remained of the Japanese Empire. Massive air raids were conducted by the American Air Force. One of these, on May 23 1945, consisted of 520 B-29 "Superfortresses" dropping 4,500 TONS of incendiary bombs upon the capital city of Tokyo. After a second strike with 502 B-29's two days later, they collectively obliterated 56 SQUARE MILES of Japan's capital. The American Air Force General Curtis LeMay even boasted that we were "driving them [Japanese] back to the stone age."
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 [1945] 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."

In fact, in a cable intercepted on July 12, 1945, Hirohito revealed that he was ready to end the war on the condition that the monarchy be granted immunity from war crimes -- conditions which the U.S. only accepted after dropping two atomic bombs on the country.

Point 3: Dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unnecessary because Japan was in such a state of defeat and destruction that a simple show of this new weapon would have been enough. As my last two points have shown, Japan was completely defeated and trying to surrender. President Truman justified the mass killings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as ending the war more quickly and saving lives, but the reality is the war was about to end. If he had wanted to end the war even more quickly, a weapons test on an isolated military base would be all it would take. That would still kill Japanese, but no civilians. And certainly not over 150,000 of them. It is blatantly obvious that the Japanese were terrified by this new weapon, and a test on an isolated base would have worked just as well, and possibly better because Japan wouldn't be filled with so much hatred from the deaths of so many. In bombing these two population centers, he snuffed out over 150,000 lives, including American POWs. This is why the bombs were unnecessary, and horrific to boot.



As to point 1, as the invasions of the islands occupied by Japan showed, being "extremely damaged" did nothing to dampen the will of the Japanese to fight to the man to death. It would have taken an invasion of the island at a cost of millions of lives to defeat this enemy.

As to point 2, they wanted a conditional surrender. We wanted an unconditional surrender. When the enemy refuses to lay down their arms unconditionally, you keep fighting. See point 1.

As to point 3, you offer no proof, but merely a simple claim. I tret it as such.

Again, we saved both American and Japanese livees by the millions dropping those bombs. It was necessary.
Debate Round No. 2


As for my opponents point 1: The systematic destruction of Japan by America obviously did dampen the will of Japan, as they tried multiple times to surrender. It would not have taken an invasion to defeat the Japanese because they were trying. To. Surrender.

My opponents point 2: He says they wanted a conditional surrender. The condition was that Emperor Hirohito would be allowed to stay in power, which he did even after the unconditional surrender that occurred. My opponents point about a conditional surrender is moot, because the one condition detailed in Japan's earlier surrender pleas was one that happened anyway.

"We saved millions of lives by dropping those bombs. It was necessary."
We did not save millions of lives. Millions of lives would never have been lost if we hadn't dropped the bomb. We ignored surrender pleas from Japan, and went ahead to bomb them, only after which they accepted the surrender terms. There was nothing to gain from dropping the bombs, as even the US Strategic Bombing Survey (which was commissioned in order to review bombing effects of WW2) stated in a review of the atomic bomb's use. They stated:

"The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the Lord Privy Seal, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Navy Minister had decided as early as May of 1945 that the war should be ended even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms ..."

Now, let me go back to the definition of "Necessary". It means "required to be achieved, essential."
Now, we're the bombs essential to ending the war? Obviously not. Further more, were they essential to make Japan agree to the US's terms. No. Since it was not necessary, essential, or required to end the war, Pro has failed in their argument.

The voters should choose Con because the BoP is upon Pro to prove that the atomic bombs were necessary. As I have refuted Pro's points that tried to prove it was necessary, there is no reason to vote Pro, and all reason to vote Con.


They did not offer to surrender unconditionally, but conditionally. Not good enough. This left invasion as the only alternative to the bombs. That would have cost millions of lives. The bombs saved those lives. It was absolutely necessary.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Hanate333 6 months ago
What is your sources for a Japanese biological attack? And by the way, the Japanese prime minister as well as US generals and the US Strategic Bombing Survey all said that the atomic bombs didn't change the outcome, instead it was bombings by B-29's that did it. So even if they were planning a biological attack, atomic bombs didn't change the outcome.
Posted by zookdook1 6 months ago
The Japanese were planning a biological attack that would have wiped out most of the East Coast of America, so I think the nukes were necessary.
Posted by Heirio 6 months ago
Neither is your computer.
Posted by vi_spex 6 months ago
nuclear bombs are not natural
Posted by Hanate333 6 months ago
Yep, you can post first.
Posted by Trollord 6 months ago
I can post an argument right?

I technically have BOP.
Posted by Hanate333 6 months ago
Trollord: Changed to 72 hours.
Ragnar: I wasn't sure if I should or not, but here is the definition: "required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential."
Posted by Ragnar 6 months ago
Please define necessary
Posted by Trollord 6 months ago
Make the time to post an argument 72 hours and i am in.
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