The tragic and unnecessary evil of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

firestorm-hiroThe standard lie about the end of the second World War is that the use of atomic weapons was essential to force the Japanese to surrender and so save the lives of Allied troops. There is a lot of evidence to suggest this is not true, and that the real reason had more to do with impressing the Russians and justifying the immense cost of developing the bombs. (Justifying military expenditure appears to be a recurring cause of American wars.) It’s also pretty obvious that neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were targets of military importance.

Some key quotes

‘The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war.’ – Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, speech at the Washington Monument on 5 October 1945

‘The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment . . . It was a mistake to ever drop it.’ – Admiral William F. Halsey, commander of the US Third Fleet, speaking in September 1945.

‘It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing . . . to use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting [negotiations], was a double crime.’ – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allied commander-in-chief of European forces during WWII, and later president of the United States, quoted in Newsweek, 11/11/63.

Other sources

For more detail, see The Hiroshima Lie, by John V. Denson, and read Jim Craven’s account of why nuclear weapons were used against Japan.

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
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4 Responses to The tragic and unnecessary evil of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  1. chillbizzee says:

    “Dropping these bombs was the single most tragic, greatest good ever performed by mankind”
    If you want to both get attention and be accurate. I could say it was even possibly unnecessary because you can’t help but think the imperial army could see the light. Unfortunately history showed they could not. One often missed point is that we had already killed more people in a single bombing on Tokyo.

    As to the cost, that was simply if not grossly figured. Either the supporters of an evil empire (the Nazis get all the press but if you want to revise history look up the Japanese war record) would die or good Americans would.

    Unlike other victors the US preserved their monarchy and went right about putting the country back together. And look where they are now, presumably repentant working in western suits,playing golf and getting drunk.

    I applaud your attempts to understand what almost can not be understood, for I have done so as well since a child. While I do consider it one of the greatest ‘goods’ I accept that it is evil in a way. The fact that man would put man in such a position where they thought it was their only out is a new low. I think if you look at the warriors quotes above in context you will note the troubled hearts with which they participated in these tragedies, only proving they were good.

    • David says:

      You haven’t said where your quote comes from, Sean.

      You make some important points – yes, the Japanese were in many instances war criminals, the casualties in Tokyo, the benign role of GCHQ in Japan after the war – but as far as my central argument goes, you’ve only repeated the standard assumption: that the bombings were necessary. And I’m afraid talk of ‘good Americans’ v. evil Nazis and Japanese always seems overly simplistic to me. In the real world, the divide between good and evil is rarely black and white.

      Perhaps the post above needs to be read with this one:

  2. kanwilsal says:

    Hi David, I have a few anti war articles on my blog and have also done one on Hiroshima. So if you ever need refer someone to an Afrikaans resource:

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