The Decision To Drop The Atomic Bomb — страница 2

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shocking, happened at the island of Saipan; nearly 30,000 Japanese soldiers fought to the death, only 921 (3 percent) were taken prisoner. On this Island there were 20,000 civilians. Only 10,258 surrendered; the rest chose death. “In a carnival of death that shocked even battle-hardened Marines, whole families waded into the sea to drown together or huddled to blow themselves up with grenades; parents tossed their children off cliffs before leaping to join them in death” (29). According to the American historian John Dower, Japanese political and military authorities inoculated them with the terror that “the Americans would rape, torture and murder them, and that it was more honorable to take their own lives”(29). Based on such knowledge, the American president, Harry

Truman, actually appeared surprised when he heard about the Japanese decision to surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Following these experiences the allied chief commander General Marshall declared that an invasion of the industrial heart of Japan was necessary to end the war (30). Furthermore, the Japanese military was on the verge off a takeover in Japan according to Frank (233-240). This further demonstrated the fact that the Japanese were not ready to surrender. Encrypted messages showed the Japanese “Military Ultra girding for Armageddon”(238). The Imperial army held the dominant position in Japan. A July 22 edition of the Magic Diplomatic summary (summit of the war events held after the war) reveals that even if offered to keep their emperor via informal talks,

foreign minister Togo expressly rejected the idea (239). Even if Togo had accepted these peace conditions, there is no doubt that the military would have seized powers and prevented this from happening. The Japanese military had their own plan called “Ketsu-Go” to prevent an American land-invasion. The massive build-up of Japanese air-strength, kamikazes (suicide-airplanes), the creation of an array of suicide vehicles and lying of mines at strategic positions proved their willingness to fight to the end (85, 212). The Japanese needed at least one victorious land battle in order to surrender with pride according to information obtained by decoding the military messages (271). On the basis of this information, it is clear that an American land-invasion would cost a massive

amount of American soldier?s lives. Estimates vary between 500,000 and one million. Truman himself said about the decision to drop the bomb, “It saved the lives of a million American boys,” (Trackstar). Thinking of the bomb in this way many Americans today would never have been alive without the bomb. It literally saved future generations. Americans were not the only ones saved by the bomb. Richard B. Frank?s research shows that hundreds of thousands of Chinese prisoners in the Japanese camps in Mansjuria would have died if the war had lasted a few more months (322-25). Moreover, parts of the Japanese civilian population were about to starve to death because of the lack of rice and other food supplies (351). The conclusion from this information is that the only viable

alternative to an American land invasion would be conventional bombing of railroads and traffic routes, creating massive famine and severe shortages of basic human needs. Several millions of Japanese would have starved to death. Would this have been a more humane solution? The casualties would have been an estimated ten times higher if the war had lasted only three months longer, according to Frank?s work Downfall. The war could have come to an end without the Atomic Bomb already August 1945 or earlier. On the other side, the most important argument is that Japan was on the verge of surrender during August 1945. If the allied forces had let them keep the emperor they would have surrendered quickly. To add to the argument for the Atomic bomb, it is necessary to investigate the

opinions of allied military officers about the decision. Gar Alperovitz in his book The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, and the Architecture of an American Myth, concludes that the bomb was unnecessary. He believes that he has deconstructed an American myth. He has removed our comfortable illusions and forced us to look again into the frightening reality, however unappealing that time act may be. Truman knew via intelligence extracts that Japan was on the verge of surrender. The Suzuki cabinet simply awaited an American guarantee of Emperor Hirohito’s post-war status. The commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Hap Arnold, stated in his 1949 memoir that “it always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of