This act would essentially be trading Japanese lives for American lives. The Japanese were responsible for hundreds of thousands of American casualties in the Pacific, including the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor. With Japanese forces showing no signs of surrender, American leaders made a decision. A decision that changed the history of warfare forever.
On the week of August 6, 1945, the first and the last atomic bombs ever used during war were unleashed against Japan, vaporizing two of it!s largest cities. The act of dropping these bombs can be considered a great act against humanity, and rightfully so. Any act of war that will slaughter hundreds of thousands of people should be considered a crime against humanity. However, if we had not dropped the bomb on Japan, how many Americans would have been killed attempting to invade the Japanese mainland? Some estimates are as high as half a million, some lower but almost all of the estimates are well over one hundred thousand American lives that would have been lost. This number did not include the number of Japanese that would have likewise been killed in the invasion.
This combined number would greatly outweigh the 200,000 who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Farris). As American forces got closer and closer to the Japanese homeland, resistance from the Japanese increased. The Japanese were a very proud people, and they were willing to fight until it was no longer possible. The Japanese soldiers armed women and children with grenades and bamboo spears and instructed them to kill as many Americans as possible (“WW2”).
Even if the capital of Japan was taken and its leaders captured, Japanese forces in China would continue to fight in a war where they could not possible win. In order to prevent the countless number of American and Japanese lives from being lost in an invasion, America had to surprise and shock the Japanese into seeing how futile it was to persist in the war. The only practical way to do this was by using the atomic bomb. Not that American forces had not destroyed Japanese cities in the past.
Firebombing had almost totally destroyed the Japanese capital of Tokyo. The difference in using an atomic bomb was that a! city could be destroyed in one swift blow, with no possible way to prevent the city from being destroyed. After the ultimate destructive power of this weapon had been demonstrated, Japan had no choice but to surrender (Szilard). Some may argue that by using the atomic bomb in the war, we started the nuclear arms race. This is completely untrue. Germany and Japan had begun research on the atomic bomb even before the United States had conceived the notion.
Not soon after the United States had begun research, Russia also began research. From the beginning of time, man has sought power. It is in our nature. That is the reason that wars are started, to gain more power. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate power, the power to play God.
With one push of a button, an entire city can be vaporized, killing hundreds of thousands of people. As man moved closer and closer to the dawn of a nuclear age, it became inevitable that these weapons of mass destruction would be created. Once created, there became no way to stop the spread of them, as more and more countries gained the ultimate power. If the United States had decided not to perfect the atomic bomb, or even if they had decided not to use the b!omb against Japan, other countries may have developed it before us.
Hostile nations such as Japan or Russia could have developed .