Hiroshima At 58

58 years ago, American forces detonated the first atomic weapon used in combat. Sgt. Stryker take a detailed look at the history of the event and finds that the reasons for dropping the bomb was justified by the evidence.

Had we not acted, Operation Olympic (the invasion of Southern Japan) would have been the bloodiest military campaign in human history. It also would have meant that Stalin would likely have invaded Northern Japan and slaughtered hundreds of thousands.

An event like the bombing of Hiroshima is always a sobering event. The death toll was immense – but it also illuminates one of the most difficult, but most important dictums of warfare. Had Hiroshima and Nagasaki been averted, the price in human life could have been far greater than it was.

8 thoughts on “Hiroshima At 58

  1. Given that we knew full well Japan would have surrendered if given the preservation of thier emperor which we gave them anyway despite continuing the fight until an unconditional surrender I’ll have to disagree.

  2. Actually, that’s already been disproven. They were preparing to fight to the death, and the documentation historians have found in the Imperial Archive show just how strongly they would have fought.

  3. They had been attempting for some time to get the Russians to broker a peace deal with us. They, of course, wanted to expand thier power in Asia and ignored it. We knew all of this having decoded thier diplomatic transmissions. Of course, them wanting terms and going through the Russians meant we would completely ignore them. This was in the late spring and early summer.

    The decision to drop the bomb was more a show of power to the Soviet Union than anything else.

    Actually, that’s already been disproven.

    Well either that happened within the last month or the History Channel is full of shit. I would certainly hope they are not. 🙂

  4. One more thing.

    I’m not sure how such documentation as would be found in the Imperial Archives could be be used as even an approximation of how well a people would fight, let alone proof they would do so spectacularly. I’ll just assume I’m missing something.

  5. The documents found in the Archives showed that there was a massive campaign to resist the American invasion underway, including the use of massive kamikaze operations, guerilla warfare, and even using women armed with sharpened bamboo sticks to skewer American troops in their sleep.

    The Japanese would have fought to the bloody end, and had we not ended the war, we would have been involved in a bloody invasion of the Japanese home islands.

    Moreover, the Soviets were also thinking of invading Japan if they felt the American had sufficiently weakened them. Stalin would have murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in such a plan.

    It’s nearly impossible to think of an alternate ending for the war that wouldn’t involve casualties that could easily be in the millions. In many ways, the bombings were a mercy.

  6. and even using women armed with sharpened bamboo sticks

    You act like fighting women was an unusual thing in Japanese history. 🙂 The tradition of women warriors is very well-developed in Japan, and all women were expected to pick up naginata to defend their homes.

    But largely I think you’re right, Jay. And largely I think Japanese historians agree with you. The bombs ended the war by giving the Emporer leverage over hard-line military groups to force surrender.

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