The Decision to Drop the Bomb
Our century has been dominated by a continuing expansion of military knowledge, but perhaps the weapon which had the most impact was the atomic bomb. It ended a world war, and inspired many to search of the secret of atomic weaponry. The A-bomb has inspired much controversy. From the time it was first dropped, to the present, people have been discussing if the bomb should have been used or not. It is my opinion that bomb should have been dropped. Karl T. Compton, who wrote the article If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used , also holds this opinion.
The first point he makes, which I highly agree with it that, We [the Japanese] would have kept fighting until all Japanese were killed, but we would not have been defeated. The enemy was willing to fight this war until the bitter end, and surrender was not an option for them. A continuation of the war would have cost more lives on both sides, and although extreme measures had to be taken to end the war, it is better to see the world in peace than to continue the battle for years and years. The use of the atomic bomb saved hundreds of thousands perhaps several millions of lives, both American and Japanese.
Some members of the public felt that the atomic bomb was inhuman and that Japan was already beaten and would have given up soon. This is not the case. All war is inhuman and the Japanese had been beaten in that the favor of the war was against him. At the same time, Japan was not beaten. She was still fighting desperately and there was every reason to believe that she would continue to do so; and this is the only answer that has any practical significance.
Above all, the bomb ended the war because it was the experience of what an atomic bomb will actually do to a community, plus the dread of many more, that was effective. The Japanese did not know how many bombs we had left, and this thought alone pushed them to surrender. On August 6, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima; the second was dropped on August 9 on Nagasaki; on the following day, August 10, Japan declared its intention to surrender, and on August 14 accepted the Potsdam terms. On the basis of these facts, I cannot believe that, without the atomic bomb, the surrender would have some without a great deal more of costly bloodshed. It was for the best that the bomb was dropped, if not we may still be fighting the war.