Regardless of the different estimations of high and low American casualties, the majority of the estimations echoed towards the high end. Even if some of the estimations were off, it was still an alarming risk for American soldiers, and the President understood that. The President also understood the Japanese soldiers would not go down without a brutal fight if the Americans decided to invade. In spite of the capacity for Japanese soldiers to protect their homeland, and the amount of American lives it would take for the Japanese to surrender, the President still left this as a viable option. It was an option, rather, that would leave the lives of American soldiers out on the battlefield. ...view middle of the document...
If the demonstration failed, Japanese determination and morale might even improve. 8 Even if the bombing demonstration had prevailed, there was no guarantee that simple presentation of arms would be enough to scare the Japanese into surrendering. If that didn’t scare the Japanese enough, then the US would only have one atomic bomb left to use. And as it happened, the use of one atomic bomb was not enough to force the Japanese into surrendering.
Additionally, if the Japanese knew where the atomic test was being performed, then they might have time to ship all of the American POWs to this so called location. The US would not only be failing to convince the Japanese to surrender, but also killing their own soldiers. The US would also be inadvertently taking away the element of surprise. If the Japanese didn’t use the POWs at the test site, then they might have been used as a human shield at Hiroshima. It wouldn’t be difficult to deduce the location in which the US would drop an atomic bomb, due to the lack of conventional bombs dropped in a few cities of Japan.8 “Finally, bomb supporters counter-argue that it was the opinion of Robert Oppenheimer and other scientists on the Interim Committee that a demonstration wouldn’t convince the Japanese to surrender. ‘We can propose no technical demonstration likely to bring an end to the war,’ they wrote. ‘We see no acceptable alternative to direct military use.’” A demonstration of the sheer power of an atomic bomb to possibly save civilian Japanese lives was out of the question. There was no way a favorable outcome or surrender would emerge from a mere presentation of nuclear arms and the power it actually had.
A third alternative instead of dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was to wait for a Russian invasion. This alternative could prove to be effective in finally convincing the Japanese to surrender. It was a known fact that Japan feared the Soviet Union. The United States would often wiretap conversations between the Japanese ambassador stationed in Moscow, and the Japanese Foreign Minister stationed in Tokyo. The United States had broken the Japanese diplomatic code since the beginning of the war, so they listened in on conversations made from Japan to other countries. The Foreign Minister sent a cable on June 4, and it wrote:
“It is a matter of utmost urgency that we should not only prevent Russia from entering the war but should also induce her to adopt a favorable attitude toward Japan. I would therefore like you to miss no favorable opportunity to talk to the Soviet leaders.”
Cabling back to the Foreign Minister in Tokyo, the ambassador wrote how there was not a lot of reason to hope. The ambassador previously heard about the Soviet troop and supply movements heading towards Japan. The cable continued:
“If Russia by some chance should suddenly decide to take advantage of our weakness and intervene against us with force of arms, we would be in a completely hopeless...