The Two Sides of The Bomb(s) August 08 2015
This week marked the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As always, every time I watch the memorials and think about the events, I am moved deeply as I imagine all the civilians that suffered through the ordeal. Not just the actual bombing, but the suffering that extended after the bombing.
Through my readings of the subject people have pointed out that having a “demo” for the Japanese was considered as an alternative (to dropping the bomb on a city), the idea of dropping the bomb in a remote island was discussed yet it was decided that the Americans simply did not have enough bombs to be doing “show and tell” and that the bombs were not a sure thing. The demos, and the actual bombing itself, could have been a dud (not worked) and that would have worsen any American position to demand the unconditional surrender it demanded from Japan.
Were the bombs warranted?
The fighting in the Pacific Islands had proven to the Americans that Japanese soldiers would fight to the last man. If the Japanese soldier was willing to fight like that defending islands, who much more resolute would they be when defending the homeland and the land that held their homes and families?
In Japan, civilians which included women and old men were being trained to repel the American landings, not with guns or artillery but with sticks and spears.
After the defeat of Germany, American forces started to concentrate on Japan and planning for a year long campaign on the Japanese mainland. American casualties were expected to be heavy, but more so were Japanese casualties, many of them civilians (although in combat).
We can not forget that the bombs were a blessing for many. For all the men (and their families) getting ready to board the landing crafts and the airplanes; hearing about a huge bomb that ended the war came as indeed a blessing.