I have always considered the bombing of Horoshima and Nagasaki to be among the greatest humanitarian events of the 20th century. Probably saved a million lives.
Not to mention the deterrent effect of seeing—s believing devastation. Here it is, 60 years later and not another incident.
Tojo was an incredibly selfish b*st*rd who had little regard for his own people. Some years ago, I toured the atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima with my family. The bottom floor of that museum is a rotating exhibit. When we were there, the exhibit told about how the government was training even school children to fight to the last person. It clearly showed this type of fanaticism as one of the factors which drove the Americans to drop the big one. The traveling exhibit made just as big an impression on me at the upper floor permanent exhibit about the effects of the bomb. I was deeply impressed that the Hiroshima Peace Museum made a decent effort to show the events which led up to the bomb in a reasonably balanced manner.
I tend to view the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as one of our nation’s greatest regrettable necessities. But since the end of the war and the reconstruction of Japan, we have managed to make a friend and ally out of Japan that is by and large far more loyal than our long time allies in Western Europe.
From enemy to partner to ally in under 100 years. Talk about progress.
Wow, I just imagined a DU or KOS lurker reading your posts and their heads exploding.
BTW, I completely agree with you
“I have always considered the bombing of Horoshima and Nagasaki to be among the greatest humanitarian events of the 20th century. Probably saved a million lives.”
Needs to be repeated..
Further supporting this position are the recollections of the bureaucrat running Radio Tokyo at the time. The militarists wanted to prevent him from broadcasting Hirohito’s message to his subjects. The radio station manager hid the tape from Tojo’s loyalists/militarists and went forward with the broadcast after the search for the recording.
Even after the second bomb, it was quite clear that the militarists were ready to burn their own country to the ground. If we had invaded without the psychological horror of the two bombs, we would have had to go forward with LeMay’s plan to burn Japanese cities to the ground as we did in the Tokyo firebombing raids. The estimates of Japanese civilian deaths in the planning was to be at least 1 million killed in the firebombings, and then many more in the ground invasion as the infantry and Marines moved across the island.
It would have taken us another year or two to pacify just the main island. At least. And it would have meant another 100K GI’s KIA, 1 million+ wounded at a minimum.
Both sides of my family were in Japan at the time of the surrender. I concur with your thoughts. As I said in an earlier post, that wasn’t a society ready to quit-it was a society ready to die. The parallels with North Korea are eerie. Those bombs saved millions of lives, both in Japan and on the Asian mainland.
Tojo knew his fate if Japan surrendered,