It was April of 1945 and Harry Truman had been sworn into office following the death of a beloved president, Franklin Roosevelt. President Roosevelt left Truman with the hardest and still most controversial decision of all time, whether or not to drop The Atomic Bomb on Japan.
This decision would determine whether or not the outcome of World War II would be quick or prolonged. The Manhattan project for developing the bomb began with the fear of Germany inventing a type of nuclear weapon. The Allies had just defeated Germany and now, the United States focus was ending war with Japan. America had been in war for four years accumulating 1 million casualties in the process. The United States wanted Japan to surrender unconditionally, as the Germans had done, to the Potsdam Declaration.
Japan refused; talk of a land invasion on Japan transpired. A land invasion would result in heavy casualties against on either side. The United States would be facing a different type of enemy as well. The only choice was to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. While some may argue moral and ethical beliefs, they cease to think about who the real victim was and how many lives it saved on either side.
On December 7, 1941 Japan surprisingly attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, killing 3,000 Americans. This act alone was an awakening to the type of vicious enemy Americans would have to face. The treatment of Japanese prisoners alone would be reason enough to drop the atomic bomb. Thirty-seven percent of US prisoners in Japan had died in captivity while only 2 percent died in Germany. Tokyo issued that all prisoners of war were to be killed by 1945.
Many citizens of countries throughout the world have only recently begun to unfold information of experiments that the Japanese did on their prisoners of war. Eight American airmen were knocked out of the sky near southern Japan and were taking to Kyushu University where they were torn apart organ by organ. 70-year-old physician Ken Yuasa recalled, A prisoner was shot in the stomach, to give Japanese surgeons practice at extracting bullets. While the victim was still alive, the doctors practiced amputations. It just wasnt my experience, it was done everywhere. Critics of the bomb often defend their claim by stating it to be immoral.
Other words that could be used to define immoral would be wicked, cruel, and malicious. These words could not come close to matching the intensity of barbarism the Japanese performed during the war. In 1937, the Japanese troops took Nationalist Army headquarters city and spent seven weeks killing 300,000 men, women, and children by hand in the Rape of Nanjing. Death from two atomic bombs are pale shadows to the deaths resulting from the Japanese militarys systematic abuse and killings of prisoners of war and slave laborers from Korea, China, and Southeast Asia, Ohio University Professor of History Donald Jordan.
In the Rape of Nanjing thousands of women were forced to become sex slaves for the Japanese. Not only was this enemy fanatical with their treatment of prisoners, the action on the battlefield was even more dreadful. Kamikaze pilots would fly their planes into US ships and naval bases. They believed in the Brushido, which emphasized on not surrendering. If a Japanese person were to surrender, it would be in vain towards their country, and should commit suicide rather than surrender.
With this type of mentality, how could one argue Japan was leaning towards surrendering? The Japanese wanted Soviet mediation for a settlement in their best interest. If it was not met to their approval, Japan would prepare a bitter, suicidal resistance that could last for months until meeting their desired terms. In July of 1945, Admiral Kantaro Suzuki told the Japanese Cabinet that thousands of kamikaze pilots would fly against enemy ships even in training planes, that millions of soldiers would fight the Decisive Battle by suicide banzai charges and that civilians would strap on explosives and throw themselves under enemy tanks. The Japanese would fight to the very end even if it meant 100 million casualties. Thousands of Russian and Chinese were killed in human testing to develop .