On 6 August 1945, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped the world’s first atom bomb nicknamed “little boy”, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people were killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 were injured. At least another 60,000 were dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. Three days later, Nagasaki got the same thing.
Japan had the A bomb coming. They were ready to fight to every last man, woman, and child. Those bombs brought that motivation to an abrupt halt. Even the Japanese military leaders and citizens acknowledged that we saved more lives than we took. The Japs were fanatical; they viewed Emperor Hirohito as a living god and would not have surrendered without something terible enough to persuade them.
As for all the bleeding hearts who piss and moan that using atomic bombs against Japan was “militarily unnecessary or immoral”: We had just finished a grueling war throughout Europe, the Pacific, Asia, and North Africa. No one in their right mind would want to turn back the clocks and find out how a ground war against mainland Japan would have panned out.
Although American planners estimated that the Japanese had about 7,000 aircraft ready to defend the Home Islands against the Allied invasion scheduled for November of 1945, the actual figure was 12,700, for which there was an enormous stockpile of fuel and more than 18,000 pilots, who, while mostly indifferently trained, would be available for suicide missions.
As with fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, we used every means at our disposal to defeat the enemy. Our destruction of them was no less severe.
It is easy to forget, or not to know, what Japan was like before it was first destroyed, and then humiliated, tamed, and constitutionalized by the West. “Implacable, treacherous, barbaric” – those were Admiral Halsey’s characterizations of the enemy, and at the time few facing the Japanese would deny that they fit to a T. One remembers the captured American airmen – the lucky ones who escaped decapitation – locked for years in packing crates. One remembers the gleeful use of bayonets on civilians, on nurses and the wounded, in Hong Kong and Singapore. Anyone who actually fought in the Pacific recalls the Japanese routinely firing on medics, killing the wounded (torturing them first, if possible), … The degree to which Americans register shock and extraordinary shame about the Hiroshima bomb correlates closely with lack of information about the Pacific war.
—From Paul Fussell’s essay first published as Hiroshima, a Soldier’s View, later published as Thank God for the Atomic Bomb and Other Essays.
While all the apologists and anti-nuke morons are performing their annual ritual of dragging America’s name through the mud, I will remember the brave American troops who fought against an Axis of evil and the final blow that brought an end to WWII.