America right or wrong in using atomic bombs in WWII?

Do you think America was right or wrong to use atomic bombs in WW II? What’s your opinion and why?

Answer #1

fau, Germany had already surrendered by the time we dropped the bomb on hiroshima. And no one “deserves” to die at the hands of a nuclear weapon.

Answer #2

thats a hard call. usually im all for saving american lives. but how can you weigh that against killing so manny innocent people. soldiers die, thats there job. civilians are suppose to be spared. but I guess I don’t have a problem with it because of one reason only. if they had come up with the bomb first. Pearl harbor would have been just a series of Abombs across the U.S. they would have dropped more than two

Answer #3

Hard to argue that the second bomb was justified. It’s possible that the first one was useful, but I don’t think that necessarily made it ‘right’.

Answer #4

Anyone can second-guess - weren’t there, don’t have all the facts/info - any country has an Obligation to protect it’s people / way of life from an ill-intended aggressor - the result stopped the war and saved countless American lives - easy to monday morning quarterback.

Answer #5

“But the fact that the US is the only country ever to use a nuclear weapon in warfare is not something I am proud of.”


Answer #6

I’m not faulting Truman, just giving my own view of the necessity of the bomb. There were military and civilian leaders then who opposed the decision, for the same reasons: they saw the war ending in the near future by conventional means.

Truman had to make the call, and I don’t envy him the decision. But the question was whether the US was right or wrong to use the bomb. can’t help but consider the alternatives to the bomb, or the consequences that came with its use when answering that.

Answer #7

mjax1979: Everyone has 20/20 hindsight. Based on what Truman thought and believed I can not fault him for using nuclear weopons to end WWII.

While today we think of wars as being limited to military targets and civilian casualties as colaterol damage,. historically this has not been the case. Total war requires depopulation of your enemy because civilians are part of a nation’s ability to wage war because they work in factories, pay taxes, etc.. Our civilian population has been largely spared of the terror of war because we are isolated from Europe by oceans (though Hitler was working on rockets to bring this terror to our shores).

I see the choice of Nagasaki and Hiroshima as targets instead of Tokyo as a risk. If Japan didn’t surrender after our bombing these cities everyone would have asked why he chose these targets instead of ones that would have caused more damage.

Answer #8

It is hard to walk in someone else’s shoes. Truman believed that dropping bombs would save American and perhaps even Japanese lives in the long run. We didn’t have much U-235 or P-239 so we really couldn’t afford to potentially waste a bomb demonstrating its power to Japan.

As I understand it Japan already offered to surrender to China because to their mindset surrendering to the Alies would represent too much humiliation. They also stipulated the condition that Emperor Hirohito stay in power. America demanded an unconditional surrender to the Alied forces. After this America dropped our nukes on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. You could argue that it would have saved more human life if we allowed Japan to surrender to China and it would have spared us the expense of rebuilding Japan.

Answer #9

I always thought that they should have demonstrated it’s devastation on a non-inhabited island or at least somewhere much less populated first. To see if they called our bluff, and then drop another if need be. But that is with 60 years of hindsight, and I am sure it was an extremely difficult decision for Truman. One I would never want to make. But the fact that the US is the only country ever to use a nuclear weapon in warfare is not something I am proud of.

Answer #10

In hindsight, I don’t think the bomb was necessary. The Soviets had declared war on Japan and had already invaded Manchuria, pressing toward Korea. The Allies had blockaded Japanese forces completely by 1945. Fighting on multiple fronts, with no resources in reserve and most of its industrial sites bombed, Japan was not capable of sustaining the war effort for long. An amphibious invasion of Japan may not even have been necessary.

This is why they had been communicating to some US allies (China mainly) that they were willing to accept conditional surrender, as filletofspam said. However, I think some in the US (like Curtis Lemay) were concerned that without the end of the imperial regime, the threat would not be ended (like leaving the Nazis in power in Germany).

That being said, the use of the atomic bomb more or less caused the Soviets to panic and start developing their own nuclear arsenal. This lead to the most ominous arms race in world history. Was the bomb really worth that?

Answer #11


Hiroshima - initial blast - 70,000 killed

                  dead by radiation by 1950 - 200,000
                  1950 - 1990 - 9% of all cancer deaths from bomb radiation

Nagasaki - initial blast - 40,000 - 75,000 killed

                 dead by radiation by 1945 - 80,000

Korea - (there were many koreans in japan working as forced labor)

                 22,000 - dead 

The VAST MAJORITY of those killed were civilians…

We wiped out almost an entire generation of Japanese civilians… Let us not forget what we were doing to the American citizens of Japanese ancestry in this country at the same time…

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