About four or five years ago, I had a conversation with this gentleman about his opinion. He certainly sees one side of it, with some 306,600 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who suffered and died, but for some reason, he cannot objectively bring himself to see the other side, the estimates of between 2 and 10 million casualties if we chose to end the war in a conventional manner, instead.
That we had to continue is a foregone conclusion. If we hadn’t, the Japanese would have regained their strength and undertaken another round of Imperial Japanese Expansion — so sayeth the Japanese themselves, on many occasions.
It had to end.
The Question Is: Did we save any lives?
This guy says, “Yes.”
This distinguished professor of history says, “Dropping the bomb saved ten million lives.”
The Atlantic says, “It was absolutely necessary.”
The Diplomat says it not only saved millions of lives in 1945, but countless additional millions of lives in the decades that followed.
An estimated 90,000 to 140,000 people in Hiroshima (up to 39 percent of the population) and 60,000 to 80,000 people in Nagasaki (up to 32 percent of the population) died in 1945.
Tops, that’s 220,000 people who died due to the nuclear explosions and immediate after-effects.
Now, let’s examine long-term effects: In a strictly dependent manner dependent on their distance from the hypocenter, in the 1987 Life Span Study, conducted by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, a statistical excess of 507 cancers, of undefined lethality, were observed in 79,972 hibakusha who had still been living between 1958–1987 and who took part in the study.
Let’s assume they were all lethal. That’s another 80,000, bringing our total up to 300,000.
As for birth defects, countless studies have shown the number ranged from 20 to 50, total, commensurate with normal rates. In fact, in 1985, Johns Hopkins University geneticist James F. Crow examined Neel’s research and confirmed that the number of birth defects was not significantly higher in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many members of the ABCC and its successor Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) were still looking for possible birth defects among the survivors decades later, but found no evidence that they were significantly common among the survivors, or inherited in the children of survivors.
Let’s just say there double the top number, so, 100, which brings our number up to 300,100.
The survivors of the bombings are called hibakusha (???, Japanese pronunciation: [çibak???a]), a Japanese word that literally translates to “explosion-affected people”. The Japanese government has recognized about 650,000 people as hibakusha. As of March 31, 2019, 145,844 were still alive, mostly in Japan. The government of Japan recognizes about one percent of these as having illnesses[ambiguous] caused by radiation.
So, 1% of 650,000 is 6,500. Let’s add that, bring our total to 306,600 people directly and adversely affected by the explosions themselves.
306,600 casualties. Keep that figure in mind, as it’s the highest legitimate figure you’ll ever see reported for the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings.
Now, let’s take a look at the casualty count of NOT conducting the bombings:
U.S. President Harry S. Truman stated in 1953 he had been advised U.S. casualties could range from 250,000 to one million combatants.
So, 250,000, minimum.
Churchill: ” I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives.”
So, add 250,000 British lives for a total of 500,000 casualties. We’re now 67% more soldier lives lost in a conventional end to the way than Japanese lives lost in the nuclear option.
Again, this time we’re talking about the LOWEST possible casualties — trying to give these bleeding hearts every benefit of the doubt.
“In addition, a large number of Japanese combatant and non-combatant casualties were expected as a result of such actions. Contemporary estimates of Japanese deaths from an invasion of the Home Islands range from several hundreds of thousands to as high as ten million. General MacArthur’s staff provided an estimated range of American deaths depending on the duration of the invasion, and also estimated a 22:1 ratio of Japanese to American deaths. From this, a low figure of somewhat more than 200,000 Japanese deaths can be calculated for a short invasion of two weeks, and almost three million Japanese deaths if the fighting lasted four months.”
Given the heinous events of previous Japanese island fights, I’m going to split the two and call it 1.6 million, and that’s probably low.
We’re at 2.1 million casualties — MINIMUM. Top estimates exceeded 10 million casualties.
Which would you prefer? 306,600 Japanese casualties or 500,000 to 1,500,000 Allied soldier casualties AND 1,600,000 Japanese casualties with numbers possibly as high as 10,000,000?
I’ll take the 14.6% option any day, day after day, year after year, forever. FAR fewer Japanese lives lost. FAR fewer American lives lost. FAR fewer British lives lost. FAR fewer Russian lives lost.
FAR FEWER LIVES LOST ALL AROUND.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF LIVES SAVED IN THE DECADES TO COME.
BOTTOM LINE: YES, lives WERE considered, from ALL sides and ALL perspectives. The simple fact of the matter is that the Japanese war machine from the Emperor on down REFUSED to quit. They were willing to expend ALL life rather than accept defeat in a war THEY started.
You’re damned right we leafleted them.
When they refused to surrender, you’re damned right we bombed them.
When they still refused to surrender, you’re damned right we bombed them again.
And we saved MILLIONS of Japanese lives in the process.
I really don’t know how it is that anyone could wind up in the pathetically myopic self-regret pattern exhibited by the text. It’s cut from the same fiber as white guilt for what happened to blacks more than five generations ago, and in extreme cases idiots are opening their bank accounts in an attempt to alleviate their false guilt while criminal blacks are more than happy to extort even more. Thankfully, most blacks are self-respecting and refuse to go down the reparations road.
All I can conclude is that these “American-guilt” and “white guilt” people need some serious psychological help.
Should we revel in having dropped the bombs?
No. Not at all.
Instead, we should remember that fateful day in mourning and sorrow, but also in reverence for the powerful turning point in human history it has proven itself to be.