Should the U.S. Have Dropped the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Should the U.S. Have Dropped the Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?On August 6, 1945, the U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and three days later ordered the same for Nagasaki, upon which Japan surrendered, ending World War II. Those very actions have been widely debated by many people since the order has been fulfilled. War is crazy, war is devastating, war is war and that which happens in war is always thought to be the best or right course to take by one leader or another, but the question people ask, from time to time, is: should the U.S. have dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The hardest part of debating this topic is looking at the whole of the matter impersonally. No one goes into a war asking just how many lives will be lost and still be acceptable, because the ultimate answer to that is none. However, that isn’t a realistic idea, so the only reasonable thing to do then is to find a way to minimize the death toll for one’s side. Dropping the bombs seemed like a viable option that was selected at that time because of a study done for the Secretary of War Henry Stimson's staff by William Shockley that estimated that conquering the main land of Japan would cost from 1.7 to 4 million American casualties, including 400,000 to 800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities, both civilian and military; the key - and correct - assumption was that Japanese civilians were prepared to fight to the death rather than let their country be taken by the US (Operation Downfall).
The only hope of ending the war quickly, and honorably, was to drop the bombs. The Japanese were refusing to give up and any call for surrender was ignored by the Japanese hierarchy. There is a reason these two cities were chosen, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were industrialized and military ports, thus making them the ideal target to cripple the Japanese while still protecting innocents. The United Stated had received no response for surrender after the first bomb, resulting...