On the morning of August 6, 1945, the United States dropped, on the city of Hiroshima, the first of the only two nuclear bombs ever employed against human population, killing more than 115.000 people - probably as many as 250.000 according to the highest estimates - and injuring at least another 100.000. Three days later, on the date the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, a second, bigger , atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, bringing the toll to 200.000 dead and 300.000 wounded. After the war, the bombings raised a series of ethical and historical questions about the causes, circumstances and motives that underlay Truman's far-reaching decision to implement them. The official explanation - provided by President H. Truman himself in his memoirs and strongly backed by the American public and many politicians in the wake of the war insisted that the only issue was that of obtaining unconditional Japanese surrender without further unnecessary loss of American lives. However, a different perspective based on more recently declassified documents was put forward by so-called revisionist historians. In their view, the use of the atomic bomb was not necessary as the Japanese leadership was already defeated and on the verge of surrendering.
[...] A possible reason for this double destruction was to ensure that both the uranium-based bomb, used on Hiroshima, and the plutonium-based one, used on Nagasaki, would function under combat conditions, and that the Soviets would fully grasp the scope of their efficiency and the will of the Americans to use them. The combined effects of a long-awaited Soviet attack and of an implacable sea-air blockade had deprived the American invasion alternative of its relevancy. But at that time the Soviet participation was no longer regarded as desirable by Truman. [...]
[...] Sadao Asada, Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration”, The Pacific Historical Review, vol no (November 1998): 477-512. Sadao Asada, Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration”. Ibid. Sadao Asada, Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration”. Toyoda Soemu, Saigono Teikoku Kaigun (Tokio, 1950). Gar Alperovitz, “Hiroshima: Historians Reassess”. Sadao Asada, Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration”. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: [...]
[...] there was no realistic alternative to end the war with a lesser cost. But “realistic” according to which standards? From whose point of view: the U.S.'s, the USSR's, Japan's (the Japanese population or its government)? And on which time-period? If such an alternative clearly existed, either in the intervention of USSR, in a mainland invasion or in a prolonged sea-air blockade, it would mean than thousands of civilians were sacrificed for non- military purposes: for purposes that were subject to diplomacy. [...]
[...] If some indication can now be given [ ] they will be afforded a method of saving face without which surrender will be highly unlikely [ He concluded: President said that [ ] his own thoughts had been following the same line.” The second option that seemed likely to end the war was the entry of the USSR. Before Potsdam, Truman had made it clear that everything needed to be done for the Soviet Union to declare war on Japan. [...]
[...] Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press Barton J. Bernstein, Atomic Bombing Reconsidered”, Foreign Affairs, vol No (January 1995). The device known as was plutonium-based and weighed nearly 4000kg. Truman, Harry S., Mr. Citizen. London: Hutchinson William D. Leahy, I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time (New York, 1950): 441. Robert P Newman, Truman and the Hiroshima Cult (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995). Ibid. Robert J. C. [...]
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