The Atomic Bombs Essay

847 words - 4 pages

World War II, which took place from 1939 until 1945, is the most destructive war in terms of destruction and lives lost in all history. At the end of World War II, America made the decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war quickly, and this has been a very controversial issue ever since. After the fact, many questioned the decision made by American military leaders, wondering if they had well enough considered the Nuclear Era they would bring about by dropping the atomic bombs. In discussions of dropping the atomic bombs to end World War II, one controversial issue has been whether the United States was morally justified, and there are two basic schools of thoughts in this debate. On the one hand, some argue that dropping the bombs on cities, therefore targeting civilians, makes the bombs morally wrong. On the other hand, some contend that dropping the bombs to end the war quickly saved hundreds of thousands of American lives and therefore was morally justified. My own view is that dropping the bombs was the best decision for America to make with the information that they had at that time and the enormous number of lives that were saved.
One representative of the anti-bomb school of thought is Gar Alperovitz, a college professor who has written two books on the topic. Though I concede that Alperovitz is right that the targeting of civilians in the dropping of the two atomic bombs was wrong, I agree more with Spencer Tucker, an advocate for the bombs who has a PhD from the Virginia Military Institute, and his statement that dropping the bombs was the best way to end the war quickly and avoid the loss of many more American lives. Ray Skates, who wrote The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb, concluded that the first stage of a Japanese land invasion would have lasted at least two months and cost 75,000-100,000 American lives, which is already more than the 70,000 killed in the Nagasaki bombing. Alperovitz is right that the civilian deaths were unfair, but the bombings already occurring in Japan, for example the bombing of Tokyo in early 1945, were killing hundreds of thousands of men. This statistic proves that number civilians killed by the atomic bombs might have been killed in fire bombings anyway if the war had continued, which in no way excuses the number of civilians killed by the bombs, but shows that the atomic bombs did not kill more civilians than the...

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