Was it right for the U.S to throw the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
was it right?
Side Score: 84
Side Score: 78
If we hadn't we would have had to invade Japan.
Civilian casualties would be in the possible millions and so would American soldier casualties.
In a study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April 1945, the figures of 7.45 casualties per 1,000 man-days and 1.78 fatalities per 1,000 man-days were developed. This implied that the two planned campaigns to conquer Japan would cost 1.6 million U.S. casualties, including 370,000 dead. In addition, millions of Japanese military and civilian casualties were expected.
a total of 150,000 (estimate) died from the bombing of BOTH Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The alternative would have been truly immoral.
I agree that the alternative to bombing Japan was unacceptable. However, I bring up a different point for consideration, one which suggests that nuking Japan directly influenced the decision-making polices of both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War and prevented the ultimate destruction of both countries, thereby saving the world from a costly lesson in playing with atomic matches.
By providing a small taste of nuclear warfare to both countries' leaders and citizens, the smoldering ruins in Japan left little to the imagination as to what would happen when two countries hurled hundreds of such weapons at each other. If the U.S. had not nuked Japan, I doubt either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. would truly appreciate the devastation caused by nuclear warfare (other than atomic testing). They might not have been as cautious in exercising nuclear restraint as history proved, and thereby could have ended the existence of both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in an incredible display of humanity's capacity for destruction.
Thus, by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. avoided unnecessary deaths and indirectly helped us all learn a lesson about the consequences of nuclear warfare before it was too late. I am extremely grateful that the history books do not write that the world finally decided nuclear bombs were a bad idea after the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. obliterated each other in the late 20th Century.
I welcome any counter-arguments and comments about grammar.
Side: Cold War
Well they may have thrown a pebble and we launched a boulder but it was perfectly sane and the correct thing to do. Since we ( the US ) were not going to stand around and do nothing we could have A,) invaded Japan and conquered Japan or B.) dropped nukes.
A.) Would have resulted in millions of casualties
B.) Resulted in less than 200 thousand casualties
Which sounds like the better idea?
Im sorry I think this is a rediculous debate. Most historians don't even debate the fact that if the bombs were not dropped there would have been much higher cassulties on both sides both soldiers and civilian casualties. Estimated to be in the millions. There are also many reports before the bombings and the emperors surrender that entire villages of women taking their children to cliffs throwing there children off the cliffs and then jumping off after them while soldiers begged and tried to stop them. That was the way of the kamakazi so I'm sorry but that was the least deadly of the two options.
Yes, it was the only way. One cannot fight a war where the enemy finds honor in dying. Kamikaze pilots do not surrender. We face this same problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy will never surrender. A holy war is what they think they are fighting and there is no logic in these enemies, only duty. A country of martyrs, not one can be left.
Well, technically the bombs were dropped not thrown. But anyway, the bombs did convince the Emperor of Japan to surrender. So the war was over quickly and decisively. Japan would have starved anyway, but than the possibility of facing invasion, would have been truly terrible. This way, getting it over quickly means less people probably died.
Remember though that the firebombing raids were far more destructive than the atom bombs were.
The dropping of the atomic bombs was the only reasonable answer to the war. We're lucky we got to Germany so quick, otherwise we would have dropped the bomb on them and then had to invade Japan. America was ready for the war to be over. An invasion would have extended the war 2 years and cost way more lives. At that time, Americans saw the atomic bomb as just another weapon in the US arsenal
Side: The Smart Move
The simple answer is...no. Look at Pyg's argument for the numbers and at the destruction of France and Germany as a consequence of the Allied invasion. Take account for the Japanese almost fanatical devotion to the war and it becomes abundantly clear that no conventional method would have been effective against the Japanese. Only a display of overwhelming force could force the Japanese to surrender. Hell it took two nuclear bombs before they were willing to concede defeat. The alternative would have been potentially years of conventional bombing and ground warfare resulting in millions of casualties and more collateral damage.
I've already made this point before, but they could have dropped them off of Tokyo Harbor as a display... Japan had already agreed to surrender until we came up with an outrageous treaty for them to sign, and we were slowly chocking them out, they had no choice but to surrender.
First, I'd like us to consider this: "Let me say only this much to the moral issue involved: Suppose Germany had developed two bombs before we had any bombs. And suppose Germany had dropped one bomb, say, on Rochester and the other on Buffalo, and then having run out of bombs she would have lost the war. Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?" ~Leo Szilard, one of the first researchers on the atomic bomb
Second, there's evidence that Japan would have surrendered before the end of 1945 without the bombings or an invasion. US Strategic Bombing Survey But really, this is inherently unknowable as it is not the way history played out.
At any rate, the question asks if it was right, not if it was necessary. Was it right? No certainly not. But is the bombing of civilians ever "right"? I say no, regardless of the bombs used. If you take the stance that the purposeful bombing of innocent people is wrong regardless of the end, then you must oppose all bombings, not just atomic ones.
I really don't know why the loss of civilian life is ever justifiable. And why it's necessary, even in an invasion. I miss the good old 'two armies meet in a field and battle it out' days.
But I mean, at least with a military invasion the civilians have a chance to flee or defend themselves. With power so absolute and so horribly destructive, nobody stands a chance.
Also, although a military invasion would expect loss of civilian life, ideally a military would try to minimize that. Which is impossible with an atomic bomb.
One thing you need to understand about the Japanese is that they were just as brainwashed as the Nazis. If we had invaded instead to try to avoid civilian casualties, eventually even the civilians would be drafted to fight. In their system, there were no civilians. they were brainwash victims.
I can understand the effect that bombing Japan had on the overall outcome of the war. However, I don't believe that bombing two areas was at all necessary.
There always have, and always will be wars and civilian casualties. But it is my opinion that such mass murder is unjustifiable.
Oh, boy, now this debate is something I could go on for ages about.
Yes, I understand the urgency that the government felt, and I don't really blame Truman for making that decision, although I do hate the statement he released after Hiroshima was bombed (see later). And yes, it was the lesser of two evils; I'm glad that we avoided having to kill a million people, and that we ended the war, but the act in and of itself was not morally okay.
Also, I do not believe that the Potsdam Declaration was an apt warning. All the Japanese knew was that they would face "prompt and utter destruction" if they did not surrender, but from my understanding, the US didn't even hint that they were going to use a new kind of weapon. The Japanese probably just expected more firebombing, which they didn't like, but they were used to it and didn't see it as much of a threat. Plus, I think the US was extremely impatient in waiting only three days before dropping the second bomb; that was't really fair, because the after-effects of nuclear bombs didn't even become apparent until a few months later.
Oh, and then there's Pearl Harbor, which does not justify anything! In terms of the chronology of World War II, it is a very relevant thing, but I can't stand it when people say that Hiroshima was revenge for Pearl Harbor. I mean, if you do want to compare them in terms of death tolls, then the bombing of Hiroshima alone was 50 times worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor. But it doesn't matter any more than all the other stuff people complain about what Japan did during the war. Of course those were still bad things, but here's the thing: we (most likely) didn't kill the people who were doing those bad things. We just killed people who belonged to the same country. Is it not totally possible that the civilians we killed in Hiroshima had nothing to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor? Maybe they didn't even think that Pearl Harbor was right. Maybe they wanted to end the war! I don't see why they should have to pay for other peoples' mistakes.
Also, I hate how the people involved in the bombing treated it like a totally unconditional success and were insanely happy about that. Have you ever heard Truman's statement? "We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war." Well, congratulations to them for ending the worst war in history, but that doesn't mean they have to present it as such a good, heroic act.
And these bombs were intense--60-80,000 people were killed in the first few seconds, which is a really mind-numbing statistic. They were so much worse the firebombs in terms of effects, and a part of me actually thinks that maybe the smaller quantity of people that were killed (in comparison to how many could have been) doesn't make it that much better, because an invasion would not have necessitated such bizarrely extreme means of killing. Oh yeah, and the truth is that there was a lab rat aspect to it too, since the people of Hiroshima were the first people to ever be hit. And that's just disgusting.
It is true that Japan was definitely ready to surrender within weeks, so in general, it was not necessary. One thing that I noticed is that no one seems to think that the main reason for the dropping of atomic bombs was not to stop the war, but to rather tell the then-powerful and newly expanding Soviet Union "see what we got? back off"
Side: dropped for a different reason
"It is true that Japan was definitely ready to surrender within weeks"- how could you possibly know that that was true? There is absolutely no way you could know that.
"but to rather tell the then-powerful and newly expanding Soviet Union "see what we got? back off"- that wasn't the only reason. Think about this: do you think that it would have been easier for us to drop an atomic bomb on another country if we never saw the effects it had on Japan? We could have ended up dropping it on a place with more casualties than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I don't think it was right.
If you want to know what CreateDebate was like over a year ago, check out this identical debate... Notice the effort that people put into their arguments.
I miss this CreateDebate:
There is nothing so terrible as the loss of countless civilians in two different places to suffer the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As millions suffered under Hitler all the US could worry about was retribution for Pearl Harbor. A disgusting chapter in history for this country combined with the internment camps they threw the Japanese into in this country. There are no excuses for this type of warfare.
It wasn't retribution for Pearl Harbor. If we had invaded Japan then even more civilians would have died, look at the number of German civilians that died when they were defeated, WOW. It would have been about 500k civilians dead on the Japanese side. There would have been millions of American and Japanese troops dead, too. If you compare a possible 1.5 million to 200 thousand it makes you realize that not dropping the bombs would have been less humane.