Why America bombed Japan twice in second world war? Is it out of humanitarian compulsion or is it choosing a lesser evil of dropping two atom bombs. Does America owe an apology to the world? How far is America justified in bombing civilian targets? (The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). . Here are some facts. Judge for yourself. This article is written on the occasion of Theodore Van Kirk, the last surviving member of the crew of that bomber that dropped an atomic Bomb on Hiroshima died on July 30th 2014.
69 years ago America bombed an atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 1,35,000 Japanese citizens. After the surrender of Germany in 1945 America unleashed its full naval force for the defeat of Japan. Towrds the end of July 1945 the American Naval forces landed in Okinawa, the outlying Japanese ice land in the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese put up an unprecedented resistence on the ground . About 80% of the 3lakh people of the Island died in fighting. His slaughter was terrible. Thousands of American soldiers also died.
Former American president Harry Truman was faced with a dilemma. If the American forces went on fighting to the Japanese mainland they would encounter as much fierce resistance as in Okinawa . Millions of Japanese men and women will fight and die when the Americans land upon the Japanese mainland. Lakhs of American soldiers would also die as the Japanese were determined to die rather than surrender to the Americans.
If this fight with Japan was taken to the finish by both Japanese and Americans, the number of soldiers that die on both the sides could be too terrible and man kind would be shocked. In those circumstances President Truman has to decide as to how to end the war with least number of deaths. Should we use the Atom Bomb? It was with a heavy conscience and over the opposition of Einstein the greatest scientist of that time that Truman decided and dropped the first Atom Bomb on Hiroshima. A few hundred thousand Japanese died. But Japan did not surrender. Truman had to drop the second Bomb over Nagasaki. A few more lakhs of Japanese died. The destruction was ruthless. And finally Japan surrendered.
What was the judgment of the world? Was Truman right in the use of Atom Bombs and putting an end to the second world war avoiding the slaughter of many more millions of civilians and soldiers. The world by and large approved Truman’s decision as he chose a lesser evil.