World War II was a war no one expected to be as gruesome and painful as it was. The actions performed during the war were of such magnitude that those who survived were torn for their lives, their children suffering much the same effect, as the ripples of time crashed down upon the shoulders of the men and women forced into a battle for their futures, as well as millions of others. The unfair burdens pressed down on the unwilling participants of this war ended in more than just their pains and suffering, but the pains and suffering of hundreds of thousands of others, although this was unjustifiably unable to be altered. President Truman was forced to use extreme force against seemingly insurmountable odds in the shape and form of a never forgiving, never ending enemy: The Empire of Japan. His decision to drop two atomic bombs on the major civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while atrocious, were required to end a continually draining war, of which there was no foreseeable end.
“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan?We…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.” This sentiment, originally expressed by Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II, is one currently expressed by many people able to view the war and that particular action through the glasses of nearly sixty years and hundreds of other philosophers. One must remember that during the time, there was no other choice but to wait, costing further more American lives, something which was not an acceptable option.
“We believe that?an early, unannounced attack against Japan [is] inadvisable. If the United States would be the first to release this new means of indiscriminate destruction upon mankind, she would sacrifice public support throughout the world, [and] precipitate the race of armaments.” Another statement made, this time by the Manhattan Project members through the Franck Report. These scientists and engineers spent 3 years designing and improving Einstein?s original designs to give the United States a weapon capable of fulfilling the end of the war. A weapon whose ultimate and complete domination would not be questioned, even as far into the future as the 21st century. The scientists believed their weapon so great that it would unquestionably shatter the Japanese Empire, which they were uncomfortable with, but which was the very outcome looked for by those contracting their research. Loss of public support and a possible future rearmament was not nearly as devastating a future as one in which twenty- or thirty-thousand more soldiers lay dead in the mountains and fields of Japan.
Those tens of thousands of soldiers were instead spared their deaths when President Truman, a civilian, decided upon “the best decision made during the war,” and dropped two nuclear atomic bombs. Many thousands of civilians were killed, it is true, however these same civilians were responsible for US deaths, sometimes going so far as to kill the invading soldiers with such brutal weaponry as spears, or even committing suicide by running into a group of them with bombs attached to their chests and backs. These same civilians who would fight teeth and claw, until the last man fell, for no reason other than to support their Emperor. The same Emperor who refused to surrender unconditionally to save theirs and their families lives, and end this malicious war, and who had approved the decision to attack the US, a non-participant, and massacre most of the soldiers and officers of the Pacific Fleet for no reason other than to secure their further non-participation.
There is no denying that the attacks on Japan were horrible, killing thousands, but in all honesty the life and preservation of the United States of America, and its soldiers, were of far more importance than the survival of dangerous civilians and their homes, instead at the cost of those US soldiers. President Truman, this civilian in control of the military, made the decision to save those soldiers? lives, and preserve the continuity of democracy and freedom in the world. The totalitarian dictatorship that was Japan was defeated after multiple nuclear weapons were detonated over the country?s territories. That alone is a sign of the persistence of their people and the lengths they would have gone through to continue the fight against the United States.