Hiroshima

3
1753

Today marks 75 years since the United States dropped the first of two Atomic Bombs on the Empire of Japan.

It was well understood at the time that the bombings were necessary to end the war without the tremendous number of casualties on both sides that a land invasion of the home islands would have entailed.

The war would have dragged on well into 1946 before enough Japanese were killed to make further killing a moot point.

Japan had never been invaded by an outside power in it’s history. The Japanese, military and civilian, were prepared to fight until the last Japanese was dead. They still believed that they could defeat the United States and British Commonwealth forces on land.

Once President Truman was informed of the Manhattan Project and the successful Trinity test in New Mexico, he was presented with two choices.

He could continue preparations for an invasion of Japan or he could order the first Atomic Bomb to be dropped on Japan. Based on the horrendous losses at Iwo Jima and Okinowa, he chose the latter.

Keep in mind that the fire bombings by the United States Army Air Force had already killed over 100,000 people and injured another million. The USAAF flew over Japan with impunity bombing and strafing at will. The Japanese had dispersed production of military items into individual homes turning most of them into military targets under the rules of warfare.

So, the bomb was dropped, followed by another on August 9. The second one convinced the Emperor that continuing the war was futile. It was a close thing as there were still those in the Japanese military and government who wanted to continue fighting.

All of which was well understood until sometime in the early 1990s. At which point some elements in the US decided that the bombing was unnecessary and based on “racism.”

They forgot, or maybe never knew, that the original goal of the Manhattan Project was to develop a bomb that could be dropped on Berlin to end the war in Europe. The Russians advanced more quickly than expected and Germany capitulated before the Atomic Bomb was ready.

Speaking of racism, people should look at the behavior of the Japanese against not only American, Commonwealth, and European civilians and military, but against the other Asians in countries Japan conquered.

Research the way the Japanese treated the Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos, while occupying those nations. Not to mention the Pacific Islanders who lived on captured islands.

The Japanese waged war with a viciousness rivaled only by that between the Germans and Russians.

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives on both sides.

America and Americans need make no apologies for using a new weapon to end a war that Japan had started.

Previous articleJuly 4, 1776
Next articleIn EMS, Some Things Never Change
After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

3 COMMENTS

  1. My Dad was a B-29 flight instructor stationed in Texas in 1945. All of the people he trained went to the Pacific theater. The high altitude bombing done by B-29’s over Japan was being accomplished at a very heavy price. Over 2,600 Airmen were killed with another 400 wounded. Attrition was so high, that even the flight instructors were issued their orders to report to the Pacific theater. My Dad had his orders to go when much to everyone’s surprise one B-29 dropped one bomb on August 6. Then another a few days later. I’ve always wondered if I would be here now if we hadn’t dropped that bomb.

    • A lot of us wonder about that. After being stationed in Greenland earlier in the war, my father won an all expenses paid train trip and Pacific cruise. He fought at the battle of Luzon and was waiting for the invasion when the war ended.

  2. You are correct, sir! We were taught, way back when, that the bomb, however horrific, saved lives on both sides.
    We were raised by people who had experienced WWII; anything that would end that war was a good thing- Dad a Navy vet, & Mom lost a few high school friends.
    Try explaining that simple rationale to our ‘enlightened’ citizens…

    Ps- hope all is well down your way!

Comments are closed.