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Deliberately attacking a civilian population is not considered morally acceptable regardless of any real or perceived outcomes. This view was and remains popularly held by both American civilians and the military; this reasoning was not employed in this case, but why? Was it the passions of wartime, a justifiable act in this one instance or was the bombing wrong under any circumstance?
By summer of 1945, the Japanese were in dire straits, militarily and economically. The U.S. had won great victories at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers and had a full naval blockade of Japan’s mainland. Shortages of oil and food supplies had all but brought the Japanese empire to it knees but its military showed no plans of quitting. In each battle, its soldiers fought ferociously to the last man in a victory or death mentality and suicide (kamikaze) missions were common. This led the American leaders to believe that an entire takeover of the Japanese island was necessary for final victory. To that end, the U.S. had planned for a massive invasion force to land on the shore of Japan in November of 1945 which was estimated to cost over a hundred thousand American lives and many more Japanese. The U.S. was well aware of the fanaticism displayed by the Japanese; therefore, military leaders were not anxious to encounter an entire population of a country that possessed this mentality and were militarized as well. The avoidance of this ensuing confrontation and the war weariness of the American public are the common justifications for dropping the bombs. It was and is argued that the atomic bombs ultimately saved many American and Japanese lives. “It was the destruction of Hiroshima that finally brought Emperor Hirohito to confront the Japanese military and order the surrender of Japan” 1
The Japanese had amassed nine divisions; 600,000 heavily equipped forces in southern Japan prior to the bombing of Hiroshima.
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“Was It Right or Wrong to Use Two Atomic Bombs on Japanese Cities in Research Paper”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1556702-was-it-right-or-wrong-to-use-two-atomic-bombs-on-japanese-cities-in-1945-why.
US Dropping of Two Atomic Bombs on Japan
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