Reader disagrees about bomb
I am responding to “The Bomb Wasn’t Necessary”. The writer is entitled to his opinion, but I think it is revisionist and not supported by the facts. I will encourage readers to read the legitimate history.
As U.S. forces slowly worked to end the war, they came to Okinawa, the largest of the Ryuku Islands, some 350 miles off the Japanese mainland. Viewed as a precursor to invading Japan, this battle lasted from April 1-June 21, 1945, and claimed 12,000 Americans, 100,000 Japanese forces and over 100,000 civilians killed in combat or ordered to commit suicide by the Japanese military. Would the Japanese mainland have been less costly? You list A-bomb casualties at 100,000 with another 350,000 for the following eight years or so.
Estimates of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II show over 2 million killed, with another 500,000 to 800,000 civilians. Even subtracting the A Bomb deaths, it is clear that the Japanese leaders had no intention of surrendering. And it was clear to their leadership that the war was unwinnable, and had been for a long time.
You think that a “display” of force, i.e., blowing up a mountain, would force surrender. After seeing the destruction of the Hiroshima bomb, Japan still would not surrender. That required a second “display”.
I believe I am here today because of Truman’s decision to use the bomb. My father survived the war in Europe to defeat Hitler. Like so many others, he returned to the USA only to be sent to California to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Some estimated that we would have 1 million casualties. It is very likely that my father’s life was spared by the use of the atomic bombs. In that, I am joined by untold numbers of other “Baby Boomers” whose fathers also survived.
Let’s deal with facts and necessities, not emotions and wishes.
Bob Wallace, veteran