NUKE THE BASTARDS!
The decision to drop the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was perhaps the greatest American achievement since the defeat of the Native Americans and their containment in reservations. Not only did it swiftly end the war but it showed the Russians who held the upper hand. It also paved the way for the Cold War, which increased America’s war machine to the unparalleled level it’s at today, as well as numerous memorable events such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
There was simply no other way to win without dropping the bombs. It was evident at the time that the only way to end the war quickly, as well as establish an advantage over the Russians, was to eliminate only about 300,000 Japanese people in a spectacular demonstration of American military power. Demonstrating the nuclear weapon to the Japanese with a “surrender or this will happen to you” type of ultimatum would have done nothing but made the Japanese fight harder and longer, causing hundreds of thousands of American deaths. The American military forces were at the end of their tethers, so invasion would have been impossible without significant loss of life.
Through the years of island hopping and fighting the fortified Japanese forces, the Americans knew that the Japanese fought to the last man. In the months prior to the atomic bombings, Japanese civilians were being trained with basic weaponry and hustled into the military, ready to ward of invasion to protect their emperor. Without demonstrating with a firm hand what was demanded by “unconditional surrender,” the Japanese would never have given up. When faced with total destruction, they chose to lay down their arms and allowed a peaceful invasion to take place. Since then, Japan has grown as one of the leading technological countries in the world.
As for the civilians killed and the controversies that have gone on through the years as a result of their deaths, it was a demonstration. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the chosen targets mainly because of their military targets and for the geography. Scientists at the time did not know the full range of the atomic blast, and the tall mountains that mostly surrounded the two cities provided a way to contain the nuclear explosion. The number of civilians killed by the atomic blasts is greatly outnumbered by the total number of American and Japanese combined casualties that would have resulted from an American military invasion of Japan.
The Russians at the same time were experimenting with nuclear technology. They had not yet figured out how to make the atomic bombs. When they witnessed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they knew that America had won the atomic arms race. When President Truman learned that the atomic bomb had been successfully tested he dealt with the Russians firmly and aggressively during the negotiating between leaders of both countries. Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated, “He told the Russians just where they got off and generally bossed the whole meeting.” Essentially this sparked many significant cultural events, most notably the Cold War and the Korean War, in which the United States has come out victorious. One could say that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have sparked events that have led to America being the most powerful country in the world.
Without using nuclear weapons, America would not have made it out of World War II and come out on top. The Japanese were an enemy that would never cease fighting, and the Russians were a threat lingering in the background. It was a definite landmark in the history of the United States military as well as technological branches. In order to save millions of people from potentially years of fighting, the bombs were dropped and history ran its course.