Should the US have dropped the bomb(s) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was it necessary? Was there another way? Were there ulterior motives? This thread is a spinoff from a discussion on another thread here in the Politics forum. Please feel free to weigh in your thoughts. "The decision (at Potsdam) whether or not to use the atomic bomb(s) was never an issue... (The) unanimous, automatic, unquestioned agreement represented a forgone conclusion" (Winston Churchill). The position held by Churchill was one of inevitability; The Allied countries planned to drop the bomb, it was just a question of when and where. The American public felt that a land invasion was unnecessary when the war could be ended sooner, while saving American lives. Many historians presently question the use of the atomic bomb(s) against Japan. However, during the war, people rejoiced at the thought of ending the war in any way possible. President Harry Truman justified the dropping of the atomic bomb by saying: It was a question of saving hundreds of thousands of American lives. I don't mind telling you that you don't feel normal when you have to plan hundreds of complete, final deaths of American boys who are alive and joking and having fun while you are doing you planning. You break your heart and you head trying to figure out a way to save one life (Seddon 234). One of Truman's justifications for dropping the bomb was a preservation of American lives. Should a land invasion have occurred there was no doubt that many America lives would have been lost. "It was a question of saving hundreds of thousands of American lives...the casualty estimates called for 750,000 Americans-250, 000 killed, 500,000 maimed for life" (Claypool 127). A land invasion would not have guaranteed an end to the war, for the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man before surrendering. A Japanese government official was quoted in saying: "We will, for no reason surrender our honor to the Americans...our countrymen are prepared to fight for their honor and for the honor of our emperor, surrender does not beget honor" (Amrine 148). "Though the possibility of a demonstration that would not destroy human lives was attractive, no one could suggest a way in which it could be made so convincing that it would be likely to stop the war" (Sherrow 54). It was a strong possibility, and there was even a vote taken about whether or not to actually drop the bomb(s) on a Japanese city instead of holding a demonstration. The decision to drop the bomb was definitely the most beneficial because the Japanese had made it quite clear that they would fight to the last man defending their country. "...The Americans were surprised at how willing the Japanese were to sacrifice their lives rather than admit defeat in battle. Their military code embodied strong cultural principles, including the idea that death was more honorable than surrender or defeat, which meant disgrace" (Sherrow 57). Dropping the bomb(s) on a city would force them to reconsider their attitude toward surrender. Truman decided to drop the plutonium bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki after it was evident that the Japanese would not surrender even after the destruction of Hiroshima. If the Japanese believed the US had an endless supply of atomic weapons, they would be forced to end the war. One major question that faced the Americans was how to drop the bomb. Should a warning be given? "It was their recommendation that the bomb be used against the enemy as soon as it could be done. They recommended further that it should be used without specific warning and against a target that would clearly show its devastating strength..." (Sherrow 69). On May 31, 1945 a meeting, held at the Pentagon included some of the top ranking military officials from the US, Great Britain and Russia. The meeting unanimously decided that no warning should be given to Japan. The committee also advised that the target for the atomic bomb should be a large city containing an army base or a munitions factory. Hiroshima fitted these conditions perfectly (Weintraub 104). The text above are snippets from a project I did nearly 7 years ago in early high school. I am trying to track down the reference pages from this project, but I don't think I have them any more. (Take this as you like) I assure you that every reference is accurate, and each was taken from respected sources I tracked down at several local libraries (at least kids used to read and use the library ). While there is almost no way anyone will every really budge from their half of this argument, I have always enjoyed a spirited discussion about this topic, so I look forward to your counter-points Mel.