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Was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified?

  • Definately justified

    The estimated loss of American soldiers, if we were to invade Japan's mainland without the use of nuclear bombs, was over a million. Japan was also estimated to lose more than the amount lost due to the bombs. The bombs killed a little over 300 thousand, but the estimated amount of lives lost is over 2 million. For this reason the bombing was justified.

  • Less people died then if America invaded Japan on land by assault

    The war in the pacific had been raging for almost four years. The two battles immediately preceding the bomb decision were iwo jima and okinawa, two battles where the Japanese fought to the death and the cost in American casualties was horrific. It was predicted that the invasion of the Japanese mainland at the island of kyushu -- scheduled for November of 1945 -- would be even worse. The entire Japanese military and civilian population would fight to the death. American casualties -- just for that initial invasion to get a foothold on the island of Japan would have taken up to an estimated two months and would have resulted in up to 75,000 to 100,000 casualties -- up to 20,000 dead! And that was just the beginning. Once the island of kyushu was captured by U.S. Troops, the remainder of Japan would follow. You can just imagine the cost in injuries and lives this would take. estimated us casualties for operation Olympic and coronet were 250,000 along with 1,000,000 Japanese civilian casualties. In the parlance of the young, "this is a no-brainer." it is not beyond the possibility that a million or more Americans could have been killed had we landed. The Japanese had correctly guessed where we intended to land, and were ready and waiting for us. The casualties would have been high. One American tanker walked around the area he was to have assaulted had we landed. According to him most of the "road?" Marked on his map were not roads, but simply foot paths. He felt that tanks would have played a very small part in the fighting. It would have been more fighting against caves, and suicide attacks. the bomb was dropped with a desire to save lives. It is a matter of math. How many Americans lost their lives fighting how many Japanese at tarawa, iwo jima, okinawa. The mathematical formula showed the closer we got to Japan the more we lost. Next, one must calculate how many Japanese military people were still in Japan. Add to that figure the fact that women were being trained to fight. Before you say the women would not fight please remember that many women on okinawa committed suicide fearing all the stories they were told about what the Americans would do to them if they surrendered. perhaps your grandfathers were among the 18-26 year old American gi's who had managed to survive the war in Europe. If so, on august 6, 1945, they were with approximately a million other boys on the way to the pacific. At least 50-80% of them were expected to die in the invasion of the Japanese home islands. Since most of these young men were not yet married, your grandfathers had not yet married your grandmothers, so if they did not come back, then your parents would never be born and therefore you would not be here to second-guess historical decisions. people can argue all they want about what the true U.S. Government estimates of U.S. Casualties in an invasion of Japan were. Doesn't matter. I can guarantee you that 99.9% of the soldiers, sailors and airmen involved in the actual combat, or training for the upcoming invasion were convinced that the invasion of Japan would be a bloodbath. I have never heard or read of any American military person who was involved in the late stages of fighting in the war with Japan who was not glad that the atomic bombs were dropped to end the war. yes, war is war, and death in war is redundant, you must realize, that death in war is only legal if it is military death and not civilian death, unless the civilians pick up arms and fight back (then in that case they would be considered combatants). to say that the U.S. Was justified in dropping the bombs, one would have to believe the maxim "the end justifies the means." bombs in general should seldom be used especially those of this magnitude. the largest number of people killed in a single b-29 raid was not at Hiroshima, but at Tokyo, with conventional firebombs. Some 80,000-100,00 people killed. The problem was that even with the savage firebombing, the pathetic idiot military elite that was in charge of Japan didn't care! They didn't care how much suffering their people had to endure. Surrender was not going to happen! Real men, real samurai never surrender! The voices of reason calling for surrender, for beginning negotiations with America were shouted down. Thus, more than anything else, the atomic bomb gave emperor Hirohito the "face-savin?" Boost that he needed to tell these idiots that the time had come for Japan to surrender. It was one thing to surrender in the face of battle against an enemy with conventional bombs and weapons. It was another thing to face the seemingly supernatural force of atomic weapons. No matter that the atomic bombs actually killed fewer Japanese per city and were thus less effective than conventional firebombs. No, atomic weapons were a supernatural force that the Americans now controlled and so this was a good reason to stop fighting finally. when you compare with simple math, the dropping of the bombs took less lives than if we had tried to invade Japan. That's true for Japanese lives as well as American lives. Japanese lives were saved as a direct result of those bombs. the Japanese casualties (not including suicides as seen on okinawa) were expected to be 5 to 10 times that of the allies in an invasion. As many as 20 million Japanese men, women and children might have died in a bloody invasion. Saving lives in a worthy goal. Sadly some had to die that others might live. while the atomic bombs, just as any bombs, were an unpleasant way to die, in the long run it saved lives and brought ww 2 to an end. Six long and costly years of world-wide death and destruction came to an end, thanks to the courageous decision made by president truman. how many Japanese would have died as we invaded the islands of Japan? Every city could have been leveled, every rice paddy, all utilities, sewers, etc. What bullets and bombs didn't kill the diseases that followed would finish. Certainly that figure would have exceeded those that died by far all those that died from the two bombs dropped. after having fought through iwo jima, saipan, Guam, and okinawa, there was no doubt that the Japanese people and their leaders would fight until the last man, woman, and child. If the emperor had not instructed his subjects to stop fighting after Nagasaki they were prepared to resist tanks and artillery with sticks and stones until the last man, woman, and child perished. an invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been a blood-bath for both sides. One could ask if cutting off the arm of a man is just. If that arm has gangrene and will kill the man slowly if not amputated, then it is indeed just. It does not matter that the arm is "innocent."

  • Was only justified at the time, nowadays this would be wrong

    Yes, many people were killed during the explosions and shock waves, but at the time with the information America had, it seemed the best decision. The us believes that Japan was never going to surrender and drastic action was needed to end the war on Japan. Also, they needed to prevent the loss of more American soldiers, but I'm not saying that the loss of Japanese civilians wasn't as bad. The effects of the Japanese people were devastating.at the time, America was the only country to have nuclear weapons, if anything like this happened today, there would be a nuclear war. So I do think that the bombing was a terrible thing and maybe not the right choice, but we can't blame America, at the time it probably seemed like the best choice America had, especially with the information they had.

  • The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified based on the information present at the time.

    The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a reasonable response to what was happening at the time. It is not fair to judge this action using hindsight. At the time, the dropping of the atomic bombs was a justified action based on the comparative loss of American soldiers, the immediate ending of hostilities, and the show of force to deter new or continued threats.

    Posted by: 5h4n3Got
  • The bombing was a way to end the suffering and hardship that had been brought to the world during World War II.

    As tragic as the loss of life was in Japan, I believe the use of the bomb was justified. There is no way to know how much longer this terrible war would have lasted if someone had not taken the action to bring it to an end. So many lives had been lost and there had been so much destruction to so many countries, that ending the war was necessary so that the world could heal and get on with life.

    Posted by: R0d0Ferdy
  • It was justified by the number of American lives that were saved.

    The number of American soldiers who would have died during an invasion of the island of Japan made these bombings justifiable. It was both a great day and a sad day in World history. I think that it was also justifiable in the fact that it showed the World the horrors of the nuclear age, and is a large reason why these weapons have not been used again in conflict.

    Posted by: 5h035Bow
  • In a time of war, anything can be used to win.

    To start off world war II we were bombed at Pearl Harbor. This was an out of the blue, uncalled for attack. Many Americans were killed. To end world war II the United States of America decided to bomb Japan. We gave them many warnings. After the first bombing we gave them a second warning. They could have submitted at any time. Because of this it was justified.

    Posted by: C0rn4Gamer
  • The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified to save American soldiers from the invasion of Japan.

    Even though the cost was terrible, the atomic bombs used against both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified. The U.S. Army was preparing to invade the mainland of Japan, and this would have certainly created a situation with far more casualties than the use of the nuclear weapons. Consider also that the Soviet Union had just launched a massive attack against Japan at roughly the same time as the use of the atomic weapons. The Soviet Union could have taken Japan, which would have been extraordinarily bloody.

    Posted by: ChotAnguris
  • Yes, because at the time, the Japanese needed to be taught a lesson

    I think America needs to review its history from time to time. The bombings were justified, especially after we took the hit at Pearl Harbor. America today has become soft, and sometimes we need to take dramatic action, like we did at Hiroshima, to show the world that we are not going to tolerate actions against us.

    Posted by: l0nerkatz999
  • Most historians acknowledge that Japan would have extended the war indefinitely without such a drastic show of force.

    Granted, the atomic bomb caused a huge loss of civilian lives and horrible devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As terrible as it was, it caused Japan to realize that they had no chance of winning and faced more devastating losses if they continued. It served the purpose of bringing about an immediate end to the war.

    Posted by: NettN355
  • Innocent lives were lost.

    OK, so I don't know much about the subject, but I think Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and killed thousands of soldiers, while the U.S Atomic bombs killed MILLIONS of innocent civilians who had not done anything wrong. These were children and normal people who had jobs. I think the US was not justified enough to take action.

  • They could have dropped the bomb in a less populated area to warn the Japanese what the Americans were capable of.

    Why not drop a bomb in a jungle or somewhere and show the Japanese how much damage one single atomic bomb can do, and maybe another to show that they have more than one? Then maybe the Japanese might have surrendered, without tens of thousands of civilians having their flesh scorched off.

  • No, it was not justified.

    First of all, they were on the losing side anyways, they would have surrendered before it. Second, we didn't have to drop it on Japan itself, we could've dropped it near the harbor and scared them into surrendering once they saw the true power of the bomb. Third, if we had just modified the Potsdam Proclamation(A proclamation that demanded that the Japanese surrendered unconditionally without any say) so that they could've agreed to something. Fourth, many Japanese were killed, yes, if we hadn't dropped it than both sides would have had casualties, but the area they bombed had six civilians for every soldier. More civilians were killed than soldiers in both of those bombings. Fifth, people around the area today still have radiation poisoning and cancer and many other illnesses because of the bomb. I really don't see why we had to drop it there if anywhere. The bomb should not have been dropped.

  • We responded unnecessarily, brutally, and harshly.

    During WWII, President Truman had enlisted the help of the Soviets. However after doing this it is said that he regretted the decision as it would give the not completely trusted Soviets the opportunity to move further east. Because of this Truman needed a way to end the war quickly, and the US had already been testing atomic bombs, the timing could not have been more perfect. Soon after the testing had finished in New Mexico, President Truman was informed that the US had atomic bombing capabilities, the perfect solution to his problems. The US would be able to end the war quickly, and show the Soviets the potential of destructive force and power the US had. Soon the first bomb was dropped, but Japan did not surrender as they did not wish to fall to the terms of unconditional surrender. Under these terms their emperor system would be removed, and they could not stand for this. Therefore surrender was heavily debated on, eventually they decided to ask the Soviets for help, but it was too late for them, as the Soviets had been near the border of Japanese territory, and closing quickly upon the inland of Japan. It was now when Joseph Stalin declared war upon the Japanese. Eventually the US had another bomb to drop. They arrived to Japan within 5 hours, and the alarm had been set off in Nagasaki. But it turns out that the first plane sent was merely a weather recording plane, and the alarm was lifted. Soon after more planes came, this time carrying the bomb. They could not however drop the bomb without the third plane which had not yet arrived. Eventually they decided that they had wasted enough fuel, and decided to drop the bomb upon Nagasaki in order to make it back to the US safely because it would be the only way, they had to drop the excess cargo, the atomic bomb Fat Man. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Children killed, children who survived found themselves without parents or family. Thousands died later due to radiation. The US had responded rashly and without thought only trying to show the world that we still held power. And it was never recorded once that Truman or his officials ever questioned the use of the bomb either. It was decided without any further thought or questioning. And when the Japanese did surrender, the US cheered, but did we actually know what had happened? Children touching the bodies of their parents only to see the bodies poof into a cloud of ashes and particles only to be swept away. People everywhere died from radiation. We responded to the attacks not once but twice, causing the Japanese to decide to use kamikaze pilots. We had made them desperate with the second bombing. Many lives could have been saved if we had stopped after the first atomic bomb, Little Boy, which wasn't justified either. We could have negotiated instead...

  • The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not justified.

    Definitely not justifiable because many lives were lost and many, to this day, are affected by the radiation from back then. Because the United States wanted a "quick end" to the war does not mean that they can go and bomb highly populated cities to "prove their strength." There are many other ways to do that.

  • Japan was about to surrender

    Japan was about to surrender, see here http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html as a matter of fact they had just recently installed a new government and the main election bid was to end the war with the allies. Japan wasn't full of mindless soldier - folk as the media has stereotyped it to have been - on the contrary, there were peace activists and it should be noted

    |that on January 20, 1945, two days prior to his departure for the Yalta meeting with Stalin and Churchill, President Roosevelt received a 40-page memorandum from General Douglas MacArthur outlining five separate surrender overtures from high-level Japanese officials."

    There is a real reason that the US dropped the atomic bomb - to prove to the Soviets that they had it and were willing to use it. And it work - a week after the bombs were dropped the Soviets declared war on Japan and showed solidarity with the allies.

  • H*LL No, not Nagasaki!!!

    You know what, personally I see no problem with dropping atomic bombs on a target that was military in nature, but to drop them on civilians is just barbaric and low. It constitutes terrorism and violates the Hague Convention (regarding the rules of war) that the U.S. had signed. In this sense, the U.S. were no different to Nazi Germany and Japan when it came to war crimes on enemy civilians. At least with conventional bombing, bombers aim for specific military-related targets (like a barracks, munitions factory, depot etc), but the atomic bomb destroys everything even those not related to the war effort (think about hospitals, universities, high schools, primary schools, kindergardens, religious buildings, cultural landmarks, residential suburbs etc). Going behind enemy lines to bomb their civilians is low when there was a high concentration of Japanese military in Kyushu because they were anticipating a U.S. invasion.

    The point is, are dropping atomic bombs on civilian cities ever justified for whatever political goal? Shouldn't the bombs have been dropped on a predominantly military target (like on the frontline)?

    If a Nazi had dropped an atomic bomb on New York City, and he pleaded that he was merely trying to "end the war and save lives", would YOU still agree to him being hanged? If so, shouldn't Truman thus be hanged for using atomic bombs on civilian cities?

    With no navy, no air force, their armies losing in China, their people at home starving to death, American bombers ruling their skies, an effective American sea blockade in place, Russia having just declared war on them, and with martial law imposed, Japan was essentially defeated by August 1945. America had 100% air superiority over Japanese skies and 100% sea superiority in Japanese waters. Japan didn't even have the ability to shoot down the lone bomber that carried the atomic bomb. No atomic bombs or a costly U.S. invasion was militarily necessary to end WWII.

    If I was the U.S. President I would've waited until Russia declared war on Japan on August 9, 1945 (as part of the promise they made to America). I would've waited to see if Japan would surrender in the wake of this Russian intervention (Note: this is actually what happened, Russia's entry into the Pacific War was what forced Japan to surrender). I would've waited until Japan believed all hope in China was lost (which was inevitable with the Chinese winning the war and Russia's eventual invasion of Manchuria). I would've waited until the sea blockade forced the majority of the starving Japanese people and the nervous Japanese cabinet to end the war (this is what Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz suggested to Truman, since he knew that with martial law imposed Japan was on the verge of rebellion). I would've given a public message to Japan saying that Emperor Hirohito would not be tried as a war criminal and the imperial family would be saved (this is what Gen. Douglas MacArthur wanted Truman to do, since he believed Japan only fought on to save the imperial family from post war prosecution).

    These alternatives were there for Truman to use. It wouldn't of hurt to have tried them, but Truman did not use any of them. All these possibilities would've saved American lives, saved Japanese lives, given America a good image, and more importantly, ended World War II in a civilized manner. If Truman was serious about saving lives he would've tried those alternatives before resorting to the atomic bomb. It's funny how the atomic bombs were dropped on August 6 and August 9 when Truman knew that Russia would declare war on Japan on August 9. In an interview to "The New York Times" in 1946, Albert Einstein believed that Truman deliberately used atomic bombs to try and end WWII before Russia could get involved. And indeed, by looking at those dates the only logical explanation for Truman to drop the atomic bombs on civilian cities so close to Russia's intervention was to intimidate Russia.

  • No one has the right to play god ...

    The Japanese military might was crumbling fast. Finances were all but gone. They were already ready to surrender ... and it was only a matter of days, if not hours before it became official. So, it merely seems that America just wanted to flex their muscle and show the world what they're made of ... scare tactics for all to quiver at. Just wanting to test their weapons of mass destruction ... does not justify killing 100's of 1,000's of innocent people - women and children!! And not just once ... but, TWiCE!! Obviously they don't know when enough is enough ...

  • No, it wasn't justified

    Around 2,400 American Naval personnel were killed in Pearl Harbor, and around 1,200 were injured. How is it justified, the bombing and killing of over 300,000 people, mainly CIVILIANS, due to petty revenge. Big deal, they killed 2,000 odd people; those people were military personnel. The people the Americans killed were mainly innocent civilians. Worse than the Nazis, at least they targeted potentially threatening points.

    It's not a case of "Anti-American bias" it's the simple fact that Americans can't take it when others prove to them that America is not invulnerable, that they can be attacked; and then they get in a strop and kill millions of people.
    The Americans are practically at fault for the Al-Qaeda as they supplied them with the weapons the Al-Qaeda are using against them.

  • An act of war is between soldiers only

    The act of war is between soldiers. Any country or nation that takes the stance of killing civilians is cowardly because it faces defeat and desperation in the battle between soldiers. For us to debate on this topic of dropping a bomb that kills almost 200k people mostly civilians, it is ludicrous to do so. There should be no debate on this, and especially the topic of what could be done. Don't assume anyone can predict the future. By that logic, why don't we kill the millions of people in Africa dying of malnutrition by bombing them out of existence? It may alleviate their suffering, and there will be more food for all of us, but the thought of anyone debating on the subject of the Hiroshima bombing abhors me. The bombing was an act of desperation and cowardice on part by Trueman and his government. As such, it should be remembered this way.


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