Even looking back at the casualties, dropping ‘the bomb’ was a no brainer. Us dropping those bombs SAVED LIVES. It probably saved more Japanese lives than American.
We were preparing to invade main land Japan with a force numbering in the millions, and there would have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dead on both sides.
Those nuclear bombs brought a swift end to the war. Not to mention how they were truly remarkable feats of technology for the time. It’s still scary to imagine what would have happened had Germany or the Japanese would have gotten the bomb before us. The Germans were still working on it as we defeated them. Luckily, many of their best scientists were Jewish, and fled to America to escape the Nazis. I believe Japan much less so.
and what weapons were going to be used to clear the beaches for as far as the eye could see? Both atomic bombs. Thats not a theory either: thats a fact.
The Southern most section of Japan were the Allied ( but not Russian ) landing was to take place was filled with defenders, suicide aircraft, etc. We were going to blast the beaches and then make the landings.
Those weapons were going to be used on Japan on way or the other in order for that war to end.
Does that in any way mean we should not have developed the bomb? No. Even the slightest chance of Hitler with that weapon was enough to make the command decision for the Manhattan Project the right one.
The events leading up to the decision were actually quite stunning. The silence from Germany regarding atomic research was deafening after the scientists left in the latter 1930s. So much so that the imaginations of many allied top government and scientific folks took hold and viola, Hitler was on a crash course to build the bomb.
In fact, the exact exchange went as follows:
On October 11, 1939, Dr, Alexander Sachs, a personal friend of FDR, met with him in the Oval Office. Sachs had prepared an 800 word synopsis of a letter written by Dr. Leo Szilard and signed by Albert Einstein about the impact of Germany's nuclear program.
FDR never read the letter but scanned the synopsis. After sipping a bit of brandy and absorbing the content's high points, FDR spoke:
“Alex, what you are after is to see that the Nazis don't blow us up.”
“Precisely,” Sachs replied.
“This requires action,” said FDR. He called for his personal assistant and that's the moment the decision was made.
Can you imagine that conversation today? Scares me half to death pondering it.
In 1945, as the war was ending in Europe, we sent a special force of specialists, called the Alsos Mission, to discover what the Germans were up to. We surpassed them in 1942 according to their report.
At the end of the war, their program was essentially a contingency operation with a few scientists and engineers working on a heavy-water-moderated reactor.
After being moved around a lot during the war, the reactor pot, measuring 83 inches tall by 83 inches wide, wound up in a cooling cellar of a castle in the town of Haigerloch. It's now a tourist attraction — open 9 to 5 daily.