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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 5 - 11  > US leaders aware that there was no need to drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities
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2020 August 5 - 11 [PEACE]

US leaders aware that there was no need to drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities

August 7, 2020

American history experts in their contribution to the August 5 issue of the major U.S. daily Los Angeles Times claimed that U.S. leaders had known that there was no need to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, challenging the common view held in the United States.

The article was co-authored by historian Gar Alperovitz and George Mason University Professor Martin Sherwin. Apparently with the Black Lives Matter movement spreading in the U.S. in mind, they wrote, “At a time when Americans are reassessing so many painful aspects of our nation’s past, it is an opportune moment to have an honest national conversation about our use of nuclear weapons on Japanese cities in August 1945.”

The two experts pointed out that a large amount of historical evidence exists indicating that Japan would have surrendered in August or earlier, even if atomic bombs had not been used and that then President Harry Truman and his closest aides were aware of this. They noted that seven of the eight highest-ranking five star U.S. Army and Navy generals and admirals at that time on record stated that “the atomic bombs were either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both.”

The authors quoted General Dwight Eisenhower, who was the then commander of the Allied Forces and later became the U.S. president, as saying in the 1945 July conference at Potsdam in Germany that the Japanese “were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” They also explained that General Douglas MacArthur regarded the use of atomic bombs as “inexcusable”.

Citing the fact that the time on the Doomsday Clock in a highly respected U.S. scientific journal is now at 100 seconds to midnight, the historians concluded that this is “a reminder that the violent inauguration of the nuclear age has yet to be confined to the past”.

Past related articles:
> Hibakusha protest Trump justifying US development of A-bombs [July 18, 2020]
> US myths about 1945 A-bomb attacks must be exposed as outright lies: Professor [August 6, 2018]
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