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Atomic Bombs Saved Lives
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Posted 11/4/09 , edited 11/4/09
In March of 1945 America managed to capture the tiny Japanese island of Iwo Jima at the cost of 4,000 American lives. The Japanese defenders were vastly outnumbered and outclassed but fought with a suicidal determination that shocked the Americans. This stubborn resistance in the face of death again resurfaced in the battle for Okinawa when the sky was filled with thousands of kamikaze plains. The battle waged from April to June before the Japanese sold it for 50,000 American lives.

Iwo Jima provided a crucial haven for damaged bombers returning from Japan to be repaired and returned to service. Okinawa put us within range of the Japanese mainland and allowed us to shell their industry and attack their economy. Elsewhere forces from the United States, New Zealand, and Australia had already demolished the Japanese advance in the Pacific with pivotal victories like the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea. Japan was clearly defeated, and yet refused to admit the war was over.

In late 1945 President Truman met with Stalin and British leaders at Berlin to provide Japan with an ultimatum. They would either surrender or be destroyed. Japan was defiant.

On August 6th the Manhattan Project reached its culmination. The Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Tens of thousands were killed instantly. Others would live on only to later perish from injuries and radiation poisoning. All told, 180,000 were killed, wounded or missing. The ultimatum was again released and Japan remained defiant. On August 9th 80,000 more were condemned to death when we dropped our second and last atomic bomb on Nagasaki. On August 10th, Japan surrendered.

America has been largely criticized for this decision, but considering Japan’s mentality up until the bombings I wonder if perhaps the death tolls would’ve been significantly higher had we taken to a land invasion?

Consider that the fire-bombing of Tokyo actually resulted in more immediate deaths than the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Tokyo Fire Department reported that in one raid 97,000 were killed and an additional 125,000 wounded. Over 50% of Tokyo was destroyed in WWII. Also consider that Hitler’s siege of Stalingrad resulted in a total casualty count 1,530,000.

Now, considering the situation I think America had only a few other options. They could have dragged the war on and turn it into a battle of attrition, but this would’ve turned Japan into a virtual concentration camp and kept the war going for at least several more years. On the other hand the Japanese soldiers were known to fight to the death, sooner making suicidal charges than surrendering. We wouldn’t have been able to defeat them through muscle power without sacrificing the larger half of our entire army. That means that we would’ve had to engage in a blitzkrieg like tactic of heavy bombing followed by fragmenting rushes of troops to capture and destroy key points in the enemy forces. But again, the bombings necessary to achieve this kind of success actually resulted in more deaths than the third option: use the a-bombs.

So, pragmatically speaking the sue of the a-bombs actually reduced casualties on both sides. It should also be noted that Canada and the United Kingdom also contributed to the Manhattan Project and thus the United States is not singularly responsible for the move that brought us VJ Day.


The employment of nuclear weaponry is rightly illegal and taboo, but often times people make the mistake of considering the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be comparable to more modern nuclear weaponry which can be from tens and even hundreds of times more potent. The fact is that there’re actually still buildings and there were many survivors within the cities. In fact, one building was actually engulfed in the fireball of ground zero and is now a national monument in Japan. Rigged to withstand earthquakes it also survived the blast. One man, who was either cursed or incredible lucky, was actually in Hiroshima on a business trip when we bombed it. He survived and returned home to Nagasaki. The next day we bombed Nagasaki. This man is alive today.

This is not to downplay the damage and loss inflicted on Japan in both attacks, but had we used the H-Bombs (which weren’t developed until after WWII during the arms race with Russia,) this would not have been possible.

So, keep in mind that these weapons weren’t the same thing as modern nuclear bombs when I ask you: do you think it was the right decision? Did it serve the greater good? Is it fair to criticize America for this decision, and should Truman feel guilt for having ordered the attacks?

Posted 11/4/09
The fact that suicidal tactic is not a rational decision for a soldier who's expecting to stay alive. This is exactly the extreme and desperate reaction coming from an elitism mentality, under the influence of collectivist culture. But the question is, just what ultimately drove them even beyond that extreme, that the Japanese elitists finally accepted the unconditional surrender on 14 Aug 1945? I would say not the two atomic bombs but rather, the Operation August Storm. Which truly ended the 1941 Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact created by the Japanese elitists, when the Soviet invaded the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo on 8 Aug 1945.

The importance of such action basically spelled doom for the Japanese elitists, by them completely antagonized themselves with the rest of the world. In the end, it was the Japanese elitists' complete antagonistic situation that made them surrendered. I would even argue that if it wasn't for the fact that the Soviet wanted Manchukuo for themselves, they could have been the only neutral Allies party that the Japanese elitists can negotiate a term of conditional surrender with. However the Soviet waited for the last moment to play their hands, which was exactly 3 months after V.E. Day. The last date that they promised to enter the Pacific War according to their agreement on the Yalta Conference.

Therefore I would have to say that the order of the atomic bomb drop was a good decision, however poorly executed and strategically ineffective. When the Japanese elitists didn't care about their people, because their social statuses was rightfully bestowed upon them, not earned. They never represented their Japanese people, when all they cared about were themselves, as they ordered their soldiers and people to fight to the death for their emperor. Kinda like what's happening in today's Japan, only now the war is an economic one.
Posted 11/4/09
Well this is a little on topic i would recommend seeing The great anime movie Grave of Fire Flies. It was really sad even made me cry ;_;
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Posted 11/4/09 , edited 11/4/09
I agree. I think continued bombing of major cities as well as landing our forces on Japan would've cost way more lives than were lost for both sides of the conflict. The decision to use such a weapon I'd imagine was a difficult one, but I think it was a sound one. Of course maybe it's easy for me to say that because it wasn't my country that it was dropped on......
Posted 11/4/09

impala1 wrote:
I agree. I think continued bombing of major cities as well as landing our forces on Japan would've cost way more lives than were lost for both sides of the conflict. The decision to use such a weapon I'd imagine was a difficult one, but I think it was a sound one. Of course maybe it's easy for me to say that because it wasn't my country that it was dropped on......

I think that the fact that the atom bomb was a far more strategically efficient weapon than the fire bomb might had contributed to that decision making process. When just one atom bomb run by a single B-29 Superfortress can produce a death toll of 129,558, as opposed to the Tokyo firebombing with 334 B-29s that produced a death toll between 80,000 and 200,000.
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Posted 11/5/09
True. It really did saved lives. Horrible thing was not destruction and death (which was normal during WWII bombings overall), but victims that survived and suffered radiation poisoning. So yes, I agree with Dom, it was strategically efficient, and had large impact on moral. And I also think that any side in WWII would use the bomb if it had one without even thinking, Japan included. US was just the first to develop it.
Posted 11/5/09
What about the after effects of the radiations? Yeah, feels nice to see people being born as cripples because of something that happened 50 years ago.
Posted 11/5/09

blancer wrote:

True. It really did saved lives. Horrible thing was not destruction and death (which was normal during WWII bombings overall), but victims that survived and suffered radiation poisoning. So yes, I agree with Dom, it was strategically efficient, and had large impact on moral. And I also think that any side in WWII would use the bomb if it had one without even thinking, Japan included. US was just the first to develop it.


ShroomInferno wrote:

What about the after effects of the radiations? Yeah, feels nice to see people being born as cripples because of something that happened 50 years ago.

I agree that the two atomic bomb drops had monumental impact over the Japanese people's morals, and undoubtedly there were many Japanese people's lives suffered from such act. However let's not forget that the Japanese elitists and not the people, had a chance to end this war and prevented any further suffering. When the Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of Japan on July 26, 1945.

However, the Japanese elitists treated the term for their surrender "with something approaching contempt. The prime minister chose to ignore it, employing the ambiguous word mokusatsu, which means literally "to kill with silence," although it carries a nuance of uncertainty" (citation).
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Posted 11/5/09
If that is the case we should have been using them every-time we have been in war.. would have saved us trillions of dollars, and American lives. But no we have alternative motives to the latest wars. (so bombing them and having them surrender would not work.
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Posted 11/5/09

SeraphAlford wrote:

In March of 1945 America managed to capture the tiny Japanese island of Iwo Jima at the cost of 4,000 American lives. The Japanese defenders were vastly outnumbered and outclassed but fought with a suicidal determination that shocked the Americans. This stubborn resistance in the face of death again resurfaced in the battle for Okinawa when the sky was filled with thousands of kamikaze plains. The battle waged from April to June before the Japanese sold it for 50,000 American lives.

Iwo Jima provided a crucial haven for damaged bombers returning from Japan to be repaired and returned to service. Okinawa put us within range of the Japanese mainland and allowed us to shell their industry and attack their economy. Elsewhere forces from the United States, New Zealand, and Australia had already demolished the Japanese advance in the Pacific with pivotal victories like the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea. Japan was clearly defeated, and yet refused to admit the war was over.

In late 1945 President Truman met with Stalin and British leaders at Berlin to provide Japan with an ultimatum. They would either surrender or be destroyed. Japan was defiant.

On August 6th the Manhattan Project reached its culmination. The Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Tens of thousands were killed instantly. Others would live on only to later perish from injuries and radiation poisoning. All told, 180,000 were killed, wounded or missing. The ultimatum was again released and Japan remained defiant. On August 9th 80,000 more were condemned to death when we dropped our second and last atomic bomb on Nagasaki. On August 10th, Japan surrendered.

America has been largely criticized for this decision, but considering Japan’s mentality up until the bombings I wonder if perhaps the death tolls would’ve been significantly higher had we taken to a land invasion?

Consider that the fire-bombing of Tokyo actually resulted in more immediate deaths than the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Tokyo Fire Department reported that in one raid 97,000 were killed and an additional 125,000 wounded. Over 50% of Tokyo was destroyed in WWII. Also consider that Hitler’s siege of Stalingrad resulted in a total casualty count 1,530,000.

Now, considering the situation I think America had only a few other options. They could have dragged the war on and turn it into a battle of attrition, but this would’ve turned Japan into a virtual concentration camp and kept the war going for at least several more years. On the other hand the Japanese soldiers were known to fight to the death, sooner making suicidal charges than surrendering. We wouldn’t have been able to defeat them through muscle power without sacrificing the larger half of our entire army. That means that we would’ve had to engage in a blitzkrieg like tactic of heavy bombing followed by fragmenting rushes of troops to capture and destroy key points in the enemy forces. But again, the bombings necessary to achieve this kind of success actually resulted in more deaths than the third option: use the a-bombs.

So, pragmatically speaking the sue of the a-bombs actually reduced casualties on both sides. It should also be noted that Canada and the United Kingdom also contributed to the Manhattan Project and thus the United States is not singularly responsible for the move that brought us VJ Day.


The employment of nuclear weaponry is rightly illegal and taboo, but often times people make the mistake of considering the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be comparable to more modern nuclear weaponry which can be from tens and even hundreds of times more potent. The fact is that there’re actually still buildings and there were many survivors within the cities. In fact, one building was actually engulfed in the fireball of ground zero and is now a national monument in Japan. Rigged to withstand earthquakes it also survived the blast. One man, who was either cursed or incredible lucky, was actually in Hiroshima on a business trip when we bombed it. He survived and returned home to Nagasaki. The next day we bombed Nagasaki. This man is alive today.

This is not to downplay the damage and loss inflicted on Japan in both attacks, but had we used the H-Bombs (which weren’t developed until after WWII during the arms race with Russia,) this would not have been possible.

So, keep in mind that these weapons weren’t the same thing as modern nuclear bombs when I ask you: do you think it was the right decision? Did it serve the greater good? Is it fair to criticize America for this decision, and should Truman feel guilt for having ordered the attacks?



the only "good" that came out of these bombs was the fact that we learned to never use them again. The destruction they caused is nothing compared to our modern ones. And if 12 bombs are used, our atmosphere gets torn apart, so in reality no one will be safe, and thats betting on unconditional surrenders from ALL countries after one nuke. but in reality, you nuke one country today, they will nuke back, and no lives are saved...They did a movie about this to in the 80s. there r no winners in a nuclear war...and it only takes one to screw up the world both naturally, morally, and economicly. peace over war
Posted 11/5/09

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:

If that is the case we should have been using them every-time we have been in war.. would have saved us trillions of dollars, and American lives. But no we have alternative motives to the latest wars. (so bombing them and having them surrender would not work.

As in humanitarian motives? When now the US isn't at war with any nation but rather, terrorist groups.
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Posted 11/5/09

DomFortress wrote:


Darkphoenix3450 wrote:

If that is the case we should have been using them every-time we have been in war.. would have saved us trillions of dollars, and American lives. But no we have alternative motives to the latest wars. (so bombing them and having them surrender would not work.

As in humanitarian motives? When now the US isn't at war with any nation but rather, terrorist groups.


If that was the case we are in a losing war. because Terrorist do not come from any place. There all over, America two have a army of terrorist living in are own nation. how are we fighting them? Its not like all terrorist have a beard and where sun glasses. some terrorist are white others are black. some are females and others are Christians.

How are we fighting them all.
Posted 11/5/09

Darkphoenix3450 wrote:


DomFortress wrote:


Darkphoenix3450 wrote:

If that is the case we should have been using them every-time we have been in war.. would have saved us trillions of dollars, and American lives. But no we have alternative motives to the latest wars. (so bombing them and having them surrender would not work.

As in humanitarian motives? When now the US isn't at war with any nation but rather, terrorist groups.


If that was the case we are in a losing war. because Terrorist do not come from any place. There all over, America two have a army of terrorist living in are own nation. how are we fighting them? Its not like all terrorist have a beard and where sun glasses. some terrorist are white others are black. some are females and others are Christians.

How are we fighting them all.

We'll just focus on the ones with guns and bombs that can kill, by eliminating and alienating their funding and reputation. The raging mobs who're full of hatred can be dealt with hate crime.

The stupid idiots with their ignorance however, that's a different story.
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Posted 1/12/10
The use of nuclear weaponry is never justifiable especially on a heavily weakened Japan. Truman had a hard on for the new technology that he had just developed and at the time NO ONE understood nuclear physics fully and even in America we were poisoning ourselves with frivolous nuclear technology like "x-ray shoe sizers" . Truman is a war criminal and it was among one of the american presidencies most irresponsible decisions
Posted 1/12/10

VIDEOTAPE wrote:

The use of nuclear weaponry is never justifiable especially on a heavily weakened Japan. Truman had a hard on for the new technology that he had just developed and at the time NO ONE understood nuclear physics fully and even in America we were poisoning ourselves with frivolous nuclear technology like "x-ray shoe sizers" . Truman is a war criminal and it was among one of the american presidencies most irresponsible decisions

"Weaken" as they were, the Japanese elitists were forcing their own citizens to fight to the death. All in the name for their "glorious" emperor and not for themselves.

The Manhattan Project started way before Truman had to take over as a substitute of Roosevelt for obvious reason. And the fact that they made two working atomic bombs based on two different mechanisms, suggests that at least somebodies knew for sure how atomic physics work. And don't get radiation therapy mixed up with nuclear physics, it's very irrational.

And finally, your bias opinions about national politics has no place in history or science. Especially when they're unjustified.
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