Which was worse: Pearl Harbor (yes) or Hiroshima (no)?

Asked by: Uggubuggu
  • Pearl Harbor was worse.

    I know that in both bombings there were way too many innocent people that were killed. However, Pearl Harbor was bombed out of the blue for basically no reason. Hiroshima was bombed because we were bombed by them and it was something that would finally end a war that had been going on for amost 6 years. If we hadn't have done something to end the war, who knows what may have happened. Heck, the world may have ended.

  • Pearl Harbor was worse

    This is a difficult question to answer since the scope you need to look at in order to answer it is very large. If the question was which caused more damage and loss of life directly then of course it would be Hiroshima and Nagasaki (I never understand why people don't mention Nagasaki. Do they not know there were two bombs?) However cw1031 brings up an interesting point to look at. Which had a more lasting effect? Well the Hiroshima and Nagasaki (H&N) obviously caused a large amount of death and destruction and the resulting effects caused suffering and death for many years, however they did bring about the end of a war going on 5 years and they prevented the inevitable invasion of main land Japan and that invasion would have cost the lives of 10s of millions of allied and Japanese lives. Now the interesting thing about Pearl Harbor is that while it in no way came close to the death and destruction of H&N, it was however a complete sneak attack from out of nowhere from a nation that had not yet declared war on us. This however isn't my main point. My main point is that because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the Pacific War began. A war that lasted over 5 years and cost the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians alike and, ironically, lead to the bombing of H&N. So the attack on Pearl Harbor directly resulted in the 2 atomic bombings, a 5 year war that cost millions of lives and dollars, and lead to the collapse of Japan as a super power. You asked which one had a more lasting effect? Quite clearly Pearl Harbor and that is why Pearl Harbor was worse.

  • Pearl Harbor was a lot worse in terms of effects and causes from the attack.

    Neutral citizens, even if they are military personnel, are non-combatants because they are not set out to fight you, therefore they are provided with full protection under international law in the same way for civilians, medics, and POWs in wartime. In peacetime, we never expected war to happen to our backyard so even if the war with the Japanese might have been foreseen, even expected, at that point, it wasn't a reality. There was little reason to expect any attack to come, much less one on Pearl Harbor, or to believe that the planes seen coming toward you meant death. In war, while it is not acceptable to target non-combatants, they unfornately are expected to be hurt and/or die so the only way to save non-combatant casualties is to spare their lives as possible unless demanded by military necessity. We weren't at war with any nation when our base was attacked out of nowhere. The military personnel stationed at Pearl Harbor were innocent; they did not set out to kill the Japanese nor posed enough major threat to warrant the attack. The Japanese chose not to issue a proper declaration of war before the attack and because of that decision, it give us a perfect reason to see Pearl Harbor as a unprovoked sneak attack. In terms of damage and lives, Hiroshima was worse but in terms of effect and causes, Pearl Harbor because the attack indirectly led to the nukes being dropped on Japan. I find it ironic anti-Americans complain about the non-combatants killed in Hiroshima but had no problem with the bombing of Pearl Harbor which actually killed 2,403 innocent non-combatants who were not part of the fight. Japan not only started fight with the U.S. but the first nation in the Pacific War to deliberately target non-combatants.

    In war, Hiroshima, although regrettable that civilian lives were lost, was acceptable because there was a war going on and we recognized the fact it may be difficult to avoid civilian casualties as collateral damage in attacks on legitimate objectives. Unlike Pearl Harbor, we did not set out to attack non-combatants but against the enemy's ability to fight. Hiroshima was a major military city, it was the HQ of the 2nd General Army and 5th Division which commanded the defense of southern Japan, with 40,000 enemy military combatants stationed in the city as well as military supplies. If you eliminate Hiroshima, it would make our invasion of Japan much easier with no highly, intelligent generals commanding and coordinating intelligence how to inflict much damage to our troops. Furthermore, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped save the lives of Americans who were going to be part of the invasion of Japan. We saw what happened during the fighting in Iwo Jima and Okinawa and did not repeat the same bloodshed in the invasion of Japan. We dropped the atomic bombs to prevent that from happening and finally we obtained Japan's surrender to us thanks to the atomic bombs.

  • We were just fine until...

    Pearl Harbor was bombed and we got involved in WWII, if we didn't stop WWII we would still be engulfed in chaos of the World War, Hiroshima was bad but not as bad as Pearl Harbor because, we had a reason to bomb them because if we didn't we would still be in the World War, WHILE ON THE OTHER HAND THEY BOMBED US FOR NO REASON!!!! I say Pearl Harbor was worse than Hiroshima.

  • We were just fine until...

    Pearl Harbor was bombed and we got involved in WWII, if we didn't stop WWII we would still be engulfed in chaos of the World War, Hiroshima was bad but not as bad as Pearl Harbor because, we had a reason to bomb them because if we didn't we would still be in the World War, WHILE ON THE OTHER HAND THEY BOMBED US FOR NO REASON!!!! I say Pearl Harbor was worse than Hiroshima.

  • Revenge for America

    Japan bombed America for no reason, so that is killing innocent people, however Hiroshima was payback. Yes it involved killing innocent people but they had it coming because America had done nothing to deserve what happened at Pearl Harbour but Japan deserved to be punished and they can only blame their leader because of it.

  • Pearl Harbor was unprovoked

    Because of the large loss of life in Pearl Harbor and it was completely unprovoked, the Japanese deserved every thing they got in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Plus this event showed the rest of the world that using nukes was not the best idea. And it also stopped japan from ever attacking us again.

  • Yes and no.

    Both were terrible it would be hard to say that one was worse than the other because neither should have had happened in the first place. They both resulted in many loses that this world will always remember and should always respect. We need to look back and honor those people not figure out which one was worse.

  • Pearl was worse.

    You can compare Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima in terms of deaths and casualties alone and reach the conclusion that Hiroshima was worse. But in terms of the chain of events unleashed by each event Pearl was worse than Hiroshima. Pearl led to WW2 in the Pacific while Hiroshima was the beginning of the end of that war. Never forget that Japan had been waging war in that part of the world for years before they attacked Pearl Harbor. The evidence is clear that the Japanese Army was prepared to defend to the death the island of Japan with convention warfare. As odd as it may sound, thousands of American and Japanese lives were saved by the A-Bomb. Nevertheless, the Japanese people suffered horrifically from the US bombings of Japan and arguably that suffering may never have occurred had Pearl Harbor not been bombed.

  • You reap what you sow.

    The attack on Pearl Harbor was unprovoked and forced the United States into the war. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been an excessive response, but it was justice and a significant factor in ending the war. The blood of all who died to the atomic bombs is ultimately on the hands of the Japanese themselves.

    Posted by: Quan
  • I believe it had more of a lasting impact

    Hiroshima didn't just kill thousands of people, it destroyed towns and created chaos. People who lived and survived the atomic bomb were exposed to radiation and often developed cancer and had mutated children. No matter what another country does to another, I do not believe it is right to kill INNOCENT people.

  • Hiroshima of course

    To many deaths and had a long impact on it. Yes what happened to Pearl Harbor was tragic and a dark day for america. I live in hawaii and i still think that what happened to Hiroshima was terrible. We dropped a ATOM BOMB at innocent civilians. Destroyed the land and killed tongs of people. All is well now though. Alot of the japanese visit hawaii and war is over. So CHEERS!!:D

  • Pearl Harbor act of war, Hiroshima and Nagasaki act of murder!

    Hiroshima was the worse. America history has alot of garbage saying its saved million of lives by killing almost millions of innocent civilians. The Japanese Army maybe not innocent but do you have the right to take out on Japanese civilians and the Japanese army attack Pearl Harbor where the Navy troops died in battle which is different.

  • Hiroshima was worse

    Hiroshima was worse because we killed millions of people instead of thousands. And for those of you that say that Pearl harbor was unprovoked, than answer this. Why did we stop trading with them? Because they were attacking china. And the fact that Truman was thinking more of the Americans than a race that is equal to Americans is racist.

  • Hard to believe that

    Any moron could possibly think that Pearl Harbor was worse than Hiroshima. I can see how someone might think that because of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima happened....Well no. The Japanese did decide to strike at Pearl Harbor and initiate a war between Japan and the USA, but they did so because of multiple factors and their targets were specific (with some gray lines). To make this statement as a question would be equal to saying, if the Americans had not imposed so many limitations on trade from western countries with Japan, then Pearl Harbor would not have happened.

    Making a choice to attack another country and to stop that other country from reacting militarily is far different than blowing off the planet a whole city.

    Look at it this way. Would you be more forgiving of an individual who sucker punches another person to rob and steal from them or to knock them out of a possible fight? OR would you be more forgiving of the person being sucker punched when they have the instigator down on the floor, bleeding and beaten senseless and then coming along and blowing off a piece of their body.

    Americans can tell themselves time and time again that using the A-bomb on Japan saved lives, but in the end it really didn't. The Japanese were in the middle of surrender talks, they just were not moving as fast as the Americans liked. But the real damage done is that every Japanese...Forever...Will remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki....Everyone in the world knows, that it was America that used the bomb on people first and it is American youth and beyond that must remember what devastation their ancestors created and could have avoided.

    I am a huge history buff and at one time thought that the A-bomb was a necessary option, but as I learned more about history I came to realize how wrong I was in thinking it. A demonstration would have sufficed. They should have filmed the test explosion and sent a copy to Tokyo. They could have done anything else and the outcome would have been as fast and as less deadly.

    Japan for years have been paying tribute and sorrow to the victims of Nanjing for they know that owning up for their mistakes makes amends and peaceful beginnings . Two cultures can not have respect for each other if one does not recognize their wrong doings. The Americans should be doing the same as it is almost 70 years later. The Japanese have been saying sorry for Pearl Harbor for as long.

  • Hiroshaima was Worse

    First off, in both attacks, many innocents were killed, and this is a bad thing. However, the death toll at Pearl Harbor was about 3000, while over 140,000 were killed by the bombing of Hiroshima and the subsequent effects of the radiation. This does not even mention the effects suffered by later generations.

  • Killed innocent civilians

    The bombing of Hiroshima killed innocent lives who had nothing to do with the war. Although the bombing in Pearl Harbor also killed many innocent lives, those people were in the military who are ready to die for the country. That is why i think Hiroshima was worse than pearl harbor bombing.

  • This Isn't Even Close

    The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the deaths of 3,649 people, 2,402 of which were military personnel. The bombing of Hiroshima doesn't even have an official death toll because the attack was so brutal. The chaos and destruction it created shattered the country and wiped out an entire city. However, the estimations center around 100,000, shifting numbers to suit certain political gains (Japan argues it's more, The US government argues it's less, etc.). The only way the attack on Pearl Harbor could be seen as worse than the bombing of Hiroshima is either due to the actions preceding the attack or the justification after the attack.

    First of all, the attack on Pearl Harbor was in no way meant to be a surprise attack without declaration of war. Commander General Yamamoto fully intended to give forewarning to the US, but the timing was off so the attack preceded the declaration. Second, the US was not just sitting back and doing nothing. We had been funding the Allied Powers since 1940, essentially since Germany decided to invade Poland. Not only were we doing that, we were creeping up on Japan to keep an eye on them over the Pacific. We had bases on Palmyra, Wake, Midway, Hawaii, and its surrounding islands. Our encroachment along the Pacific was far from secretive. It became a standoff, neither the US nor Japan wanting to be the official "aggressor".

    So, now that I've covered what led up to Pearl Harbor, let's look at what led up to Hiroshima. The Japanese army wanted to negotiate, since they knew the war over the Pacific had been lost. However, they wanted conditional surrendering, not unconditional, and the US wouldn't have that. Japan wanted to keep their imperial system and return to pre-war conditions, the US said no. Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was meant to end everything, and I mean everything. There were huge ethical concerns the military was dealing with for the attack, but Truman gave the green light and moments later there were two fewer cities on the planet. This, of course, led to Japan unconditionally surrendering. Now, Japan is far from innocent, but to say they deserved to have an entire city wiped out when they wanted to negotiate is ludicrous.

    Now, let's look at the effects. The attack on Pearl Harbor, while not initiating war, officially recognized it. It was the first among many bloody battles throughout the Pacific Ocean theatre. To say the attack on Pearl Harbor caused the war, though, is going too far. This war was going to happen, it was just a question of who was going to throw the first punch. At the end of the war, negotiations were on the table and the Soviet Union was going to play the mediator. While not optimal for a political stance as a world power, it would have served better than devastating an entire city. Looking at all the costs for each attack, the bombing of Hiroshima is clearly worse.

  • Hiroshima was worse

    I believe that a country (namely the United States) cannot justify their attack on Hiroshima in any ethically reasonable viewpoint. In any case, I would consider America's offense to be much more detrimental because of the more impacting and longer-lasting negative consequences.

    As for the ethical reasons, I repeat, America had a very weak incentive to bomb Hiroshima.

  • Hiroshima was obviously worse

    Obviously Hiroshima was worse because we bombed 10s of thousands of CIVILIANS. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor they killed soldiers. And even though the Japanese killed many people, we killed many, again, CIVILIANS on a much larger scale. I don't see how anyone, no matter how obstinate could think that Pearl Harbor was worse.

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