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Some people here (and especially on the "no" side) are outrageously stupid and full of anti-American bias and needs to seriously brush up some real history and not some PC-crap they learned in public schools.
A lot of people forget that WWII isn't some Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s where it's just soldiers meet each other in the battlefield to settle the issue. With the introduction of an airplane thanks to the Wright Brothers in 1903, it took warfare to the whole new level.
In WWII, civilians in the cities were part of the war effort since all sides mobilized it's resources to defeat the enemy. Every bomb dropped, every bullet fired, every warships carry soldiers in the sea, every warplanes fly over other countries to strike targets, every tanks used to withstand bullets/shells, every uniform clothing made for soldiers, every artillery used to pound enemy troops, all were made by civilians. Obviously it's where the army used to get these things from and kill enemy soldiers overseas. Therefore, they were a fair game.
Bombing the cities full of military importance(also housed by civilians) would deny the enemy military the resources they needed to wage war against us. And as bad as it goes, it practically worked and Japan didn't have resources left by 1945 to wage war. This term is called "Total Warfare".
To give an analogy: If a person makes a bazooka gun, then gives it to a friend, knowing full well it was going to be used for a crime, then that person is so guilty. The civilians worked in the factories and small-time industrial workshops KNOW the weapons they were making was going to be used for war, therefore represents a fair game. It was either their life or ours. Every country values their life over the others so it's obvious both sides don't give a shit but only their own.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki were military targets. The HQ of the 2nd General Army under General Shunruku Hata was in Hiroshima which commanded the defense of all southern Japan and they were 40,000 soldiers stationed in the city. In Nagasaki, it also had thousands of industries supporting the war effort especially the Mitsubishi factories making "Zero" planes used to ran the U.S. naval fleet off the Pacific Coast. The idea was to cripple their war effort, not to kill as many Japanese, as historically illiterates used to say.
And the U.S. dropped leaflets on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities on August 1st, 1945. Search "LeMay bombing Leaflet". It warned Japanese civilians that in a few days, the cities they lived in will be targeted for bombing and were advised to leave right away to save themselves from destruction. One of the leaflet statements also said, "bombs have no eyes", meaning they can't control where the bombs fell. Be it nuclear bombs, firebombs, high-conventional bombs, etc, it doesn't matter because what the warnings said on August 1st 1945 was serious.
Since most people in Hiroshima & Nagasaki did not leave, the deaths were their responsibility.
I don't see Japan doing that at Pearl Harbor nor American soldiers asked to be bombed that day. I also don't see the Japanese military doing that after conducting military operations in Asia that kill 20 million non-Japanese people as well.
And the Japanese didn't bother to surrender AFTER THE FIRST BOMBINGS. Many fanatic Japanese officers were convinced that the Americans only had ONE BOMB even they know it was. So they decided to go on with the war. However, the 2nd bomb was dropped on on Nagasaki and many Japanese officers still resisted to surrender. However, Hirohito feared that if they go on with the invasion, then the entire nation would be exterminated because the U.S. may have more A-bombs in the assembly lines. So they did,
And in response to the posting Anonymous that the invasion would only cost 100,000. Wow, you're a moron. The invasion of Japan would not just costs the U.S. 100,000 lives it also costs millions of Japanese lives too. There are rock solid basis for those estimates: Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan. Those were outlaying islands of Japan. JAPANESE CIVILIANS committed suicide rather than surrender. In Okinawa alone, civilians including woman and kids were mobilized by the Japanese Army to fight the Americans and as a result, 100,000 civilians died. Do you really think it would have been easier on the mainland? No it was not. To say otherwise is really ridiculous.
The A-bombs saved more lives than it took. If the A-bombs was't used, then the U.S. would had go back to firebomb every major Japanese cities which would have caused the same amount of deaths ad destruction. Tokyo was ripped by firebomb and more than 100,000 civilians died in a single night which was worser than the A-bombs combined. Yes the radiation was a different story but in terms of deaths and destruction, i don't see the A-bombs different from the firebombings that was practiced by all nations during WWII.
Honestly, people needs to brush up their history like the "no" side is supposed to doing.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that Olympic alone would cost 456,000 men, including 109,000 killed. Including Coronet, it was estimated that America would experience 1.2 million casualties, with 267,000 deaths.
Staff working for Chester Nimitz, calculated that the first 30 days of Olympic alone would cost 49,000 men. MacArthur’s staff concluded that America would suffer 125,000 casualties after 120 days, a figure that was later reduced to 105,000 casualties after his staff subtracted the men who when wounded could return to battle.
General Marshall, in conference with President Truman, estimated 31,000 in 30 days after landing in Kyushu. Admiral Leahy estimated that the invasion would cost 268,000 casualties. Personnel at the Navy Department estimated that the total losses to America would be between 1.7 and 4 million with 400,000 to 800,000 deaths. The same department estimated that there would be up to 10 million Japanese casualties. The ‘Los Angeles Times’ estimated that America would suffer up to 1 million casualties.
Regardless of which figures were used, it was an accepted fact that America would lose a very large number of men. This was one of the reasons why President Truman authorised the use of the atomic bomb in an effort to get Japan to surrender. On August 6th, ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima and on August 9th, ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. On September 2nd, Japan surrendered and America and her allies were spared the task of invading Japan with the projected massive casualties this would entail."
As proof that the Japenese were more likely than not resistant to surrender, read this: http://en.wikipediawiki/Operation_Downfall
"While the geography of Japan was known, the US military planners had to estimate the defending forces that they would face. Based on intelligence available early in 1945, their assumptions included the following:
"That operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population."
"That approximately three (3) hostile divisions will be disposed in Southern KYUSHU and an additional three (3) in Northern KYUSHU at initiation of the OLYMPIC operation."
"That total hostile forces committed against KYUSHU operations will not exceed eight (8) to ten (10) divisions and that this level will be speedily attained."
"That approximately twenty-one (21) hostile divisions, including depot divisions, will be on HONSHU at initiation of [Coronet] and that fourteen (14) of these divisions may be employed in the KANTO PLAIN area."
"That the enemy may withdraw his land-based air forces to the Asiatic Mainland for protection from our neutralizing attacks. That under such circumstances he can possibly amass from 2,000 to 2,500 planes in that area by exercise of rigid economy, and that this force can operate against KYUSHU landings by staging through homeland fields.""
I do not think any logical argument can be made against the atom bomb at this point.
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.
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.
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.
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.